Funny Money: Model Problems


dolla, dolla bills, y’all.

“The [bad word] agency owes me $30,000 and they charged me [same bad word] five percent for an advance on this other job… which was, like, [again, bad word] $20,000! I couldn’t believe it.”

As the model across from me loudly converses with another model, there are a couple things I can’t believe, neither of which is that the agency is charging her five percent. Getting ripped off by agencies is standard procedure. What I have never been able to get used to however, is when models talk about money, especially around non-models.

In Model Land, missing the $30k you earned is a legitimate concern.

To most, such lump sums seem like impossible windfalls – ones you only get in the instance of a family death or as compensation for losing fingers in a serious car accident. But in Model Land, missing the $30k you earned is a legitimate concern. Talking about it so casually in front of people, however, is legitimately offensive.

The average American makes $23.82 per hour, just under $200 per day. Models, on the other hand, are used to cashing out anywhere between $500 to $50,000 for an individual job. You’d think this disparity would be obvious to models, only it’s not.

I blame the disconnect on the industry scooping up girls in their early teens, before they’ve had to work a blissfully thankless minimum wage job that teaches the value of money and hard work. Girls like this started making $3k per day jumping around in Target catalogues, only to turn into spoiled adults with inflated expectations and bad manners.

This general level of ingratitude is embarrassing to be a party to. It is a jarring cluelessness with a complete lack of care for everyone else in the room who has never been blessed with such #richgirlproblems, like the front desk assistant being paid $9 per hour to listen to this drivel.

A model’s lack of real world experience comes at a cost, and that handful of zeros at the end of her paycheck will never to make up for the fact she’s painful to be around.– Jenny Bahn

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