“Hello, my name is Katarina and I am a model from the Czech Republic. One day, I hope to become a supermodel, so that I can inspire little girls and have the admiration of all the world. As you can see from the photo above, I am well on my way!
My story is similar to many models. One day, I was with friends in a discotheque in Prague when a man came to me and asked, ‘would you like to come to America? You are so beautiful, I can make you rich and famous.’ Wowwee, I was excited! In my home country, I was a student of biology and my dream was to become a doctor who can cure cancer because my grandmother had the illness. But as you can see, my life as a model is much more rewarding.
When I first came to New York, I was frightened because the city is very big. But soon, I had my first job making the photographs you see here for the March edition of Details magazine. My photos were made to show men the pretty accessories they can buy.
First, the photographer told me I must take off my clothes. This made me very nervous because I am a shy person and my mother always said my body was only to be shared with a man who will cherish it like a jewel.
The photographer was angry with my shyness. ‘You think you have something we haven’t seen before?’ He asked.
Of course, this was true. Of course, there is nothing special about my body. Oh, I felt very silly! Also I want to be a famous model so I can be important to people and happy like Naomi Campbell. And so, I removed my clothes.
Next, the photographer asked me to go to my hands and knees on the floor. Then several men began to pile shoes, bags and watches on different parts of my body. At first, this made me feel like a mule, especially because the men were not very gentle. But when the photographer began to take photographs, I was happy again. Now, I was a real model! I looked at the photographer and smiled.
‘Don’t show us your face,’ he said. ‘That makes you seem human. And don’t think about anything either. It gives you too much character.’
For me, it was difficult not to think as I know many things because I have an education and many experiences in my life. Also, I was missing my family very much and thinking of my baby sister who would be so happy to see me for the first time in an American magazine.
‘But I am a person,’ I told him. ‘How can a person feel or think nothing?’
‘Today, you’re not a person,’ the photographer said. ‘Today, you’re a coffee table.’
Finally, the session was finished and I thanked the photographer for giving me this great opportunity.
When the photographs came out, my mother was not happy at all because she is a feministic person.
‘Katarina,’ she said. ‘Your father and I fought in our country for all men and women to be free of everything that steals their power and dignity. And for what? So you can take photographs with a man’s shoe up your hooha?’
My poor mother. She does not understand what it means to have dreams.
My next assignment will be in a photo spread for men’s cosmetics. They will pour shaving cream and shampoo all over my body as if I was a sundae in an ice cream shop. They even say there will be something called a ‘money shot’ with body lotion sprayed on my chin. How fantastic that there is a special photograph in which you can receive extra money!
My mother begs me from Prague to come home so that I do not continue to lose my ‘dignity.’ But really, who needs dignity when you are so beautiful?”