A Lawrence teen-ager has spent the last two years modeling in Paris and New York.
Think modeling is about sipping champagne, hanging out with Mick Jagger and pulling down $10,000 for a couple hours work?
Talk to Lydia Hull, 17, a senior at Lawrence High School and daughter of Bert and Vickie Hull.
She'll set you straight.
"It takes its toll on you. You're (often) mentally and physically exhausted. It's hard. If you feel sick, too bad, you have to go in. Once the (photographer's) lights were so hot, they burned my arm like a curling iron," Hull said.
Since getting picked from among 25,000 girls to appear on a cover of Seventeen magazine in 1997, Hull has signed up with several modeling agencies and spent five weeks this summer doing casting calls for clients in Paris.
While in Paris, she was chosen to appear in a six-page fashion editorial spread in Jeune et Jolie -- the French equivalent to Seventeen. The work was shot at a castle in Scotland.
Hull also appears in a full-page ad for T.J. Maxx in the October issue of Jump magazine, which is on newsstands now. The same ad will run in the October issue of Seventeen.
In October or November, Hull's face will grace the cover of Jeune et Jolie, and she'll appear inside the magazine for a two-page beauty spread.
Hull, who'll graduate early from LHS in January, has signed up with Page Parkes Models Rep in Dallas, Miami and Houston; Warning in Los Angeles; and Madison Models in New York City and Paris.
But if you think the last two years for Hull have been a whirlwind of pure glamour, think again.
She described 16-hour days competing for jobs against 50 other girls; paychecks eaten up by expenses she has to foot herself; and lots of pounding the pavement between casting calls.
The perks aren't what you'd expect, either.
"People always ask me, 'Do you get to keep the clothes?' A lot of the time, you wouldn't want to. It's itchy, and they have to pin it up in back to make it fit right," Hull said.
Yeah, it's true, her male colleagues aren't hard on the eyes.
"It's fun working with male models, but you don't even look at them, because you're working with them. After a day walking around on casting calls, you're not even in the mood to flirt," Hull said.
Still, she conceded, modeling in Paris does have its moments.
"It's really cool to see your picture on the magazine. It's fun on a shoot when everything's working, and it's fun to travel and meet interesting people from around the world."
If she had it to do all over again, would she take the opportunities that have arisen from being picked for the Seventeen cover two years ago?
"Maybe, maybe not," Hull said.
"There's a lot more to it than meets the eye."
-- Jim Baker's phone message number is 832-7173. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.