The Ugly Side of Pretty

10/10/2012 11:10 am ET Updated Dec 10, 2012

Self-absorbed, spoiled, jealous, mean, vapid: these are some of the words that are used to describe models. Now before you begin picketing outside my home and start muttering how you met a nice model once, hang on. I give myself carte blanche being a former "one of them" to diss on them as much as I want. This dissing isn't for the pure thrill of it or because I wish I could be one dress size smaller. This article comes after being a former international model myself and now being a model scout. You can then imagine the up-close and personal -- sometimes gruesome -- experiences that I may have had that have led to these observations. I can say with full authority that models have this reputation for a reason. It doesn't mean that they are all this way, but yes, the majority are.

I can remember being overseas modeling and most of the models in the city were traveling to an island for the weekend. This was a smaller market, so about 100 were going. When we arrived on the island I was walking behind everyone and could hear the girls making fun of the locals and laughing loudly. Oh yes, yelling things like. "These people smell!" True story. Keep in mind that all of us were from other countries, I was one of five Americans there, so there should have been a certain amount of respect paid to the locals for allowing us to live and work in their city. I was so mortified to be a part of this group that I went to eat (yes, we ate) with one other girl and four guys. I didn't want to be associated with these girls and let's face it, Americans are renowned for being ethnocentric.

There is something that seems to happen to a person when they receive the label of model. Make no mistake about it, this is a very powerful label and there are a lot of preconceived notions that go along with it. Essentially you are being paid for what you were born with and you're told that your body type and features are superior to others. That's one powerful ego trip and if you buy into it, you can ride that shallow wave for a very long time. Not only are you paid for your looks, but on a daily basis you're treated differently and more privileged. This usually creates a person who's constantly acting entitled because well... they do always get what they want! People don't say no to you when you're pretty, that's a fact. Unless there is a higher calling to delve into the realms of the mind, spirit, or soul, this doesn't end.

However, not all hope is lost for these pretty birdies. There are ways to bring these beauties into the realm of the living and enable them to have more productive lives with the rest of us minions. The first step, and most difficult, is admitting you have a problem. I know this is a moniker for addicts but an addiction to yourself, i.e., narcissism is no different. This happens a few ways, first when they begin to age realizing that without their beauty they must rely on other qualities to function in society. Second, a cosmic brick to the head, I said cosmic -- don't get carried away. This is a life-changing event that forces them to ponder the larger philosophical questions like who are they or why are they here, etc. Lastly -- and you might be able to intervene as a friend with this one -- activities that are unrelated to them. Philanthropic activities are a great one. Find out what the model feels something for, it could be animals, children, flowers, art etc. and take them to a charitable organization where they can donate their time. It helps many people, not just models, realize that their problems are small comparatively and that there is an entire world functioning outside of themselves.
Remember, models are just people too, so treat them as though you would treat anyone else.