Why Aren’t You A Model?

I’ve sat next to you in this faculty meeting for about 30 minutes now, and I can’t stop staring at your face. Drinking in your beauty this last half hour has been an utter delight. When the department chair cracked that awful joke a few minutes ago, you rolled your eyes and smirked at me. Our eyes met briefly, then you turned away, touching your hair. My heart stopped, and so did time. We could’ve been a commercial for some celebrity’s fashion line, or maybe an exotic fragrance.

I’ve enjoyed this meeting immensely. To be honest, it’s the closest I’ve ever come to a date with a fashion model. Seriously, your beauty almost makes me uncomfortable. Not just today, either. Simply inhabiting the same space as you gives me a serious endorphin rush, as well as what my students refer to as “a sick boner.” That’s an apt phrase.

So, I’ve got to ask — why aren’t you a model? No offense, but your career decision baffles me. The simple fact that you’re here says that you’ve looked in the mirror every single day for the past decade and said to yourself, “Education is where I belong.”

Don’t get me wrong. I’m sure you’re extremely intelligent. Your vocabulary exceeds mine, and I’ve never seen a typo in your emails. Your job presentation last year impressed everyone. Our HR liaison told us all to keep this quiet, but I’ll let you in on a little secret. When the department voted on your hire, one of our older faculty members dedicated a love poem to you, and his description of your posterior sent us into a tizzy. He was retiring, so we decided against disciplinary measures. The world is what it is.

If you’re interested in seeing the poem, let me know. The meter is impeccable. Our poets have a way with iambs.

Just to clear the air — I’m not sexist, all right? I’d be saying the same thing if you were a man. In fact, I plan to have a talk with Professor Redford right after I send this email. You see, my daughter’s birthday party is next week, and he looks exactly like James Franco. Our daughter’s name is Samantha, and she’s a freshmen at Sarah Lawrence. She’s coming home that weekend, and we want her 19th birthday to be a special one. There’s a lot of local demand for celebrity lookalikes these days. He’s got to start cashing in on this, if he ever hopes to pay off his student loans.

I’m guessing you’re in a similar situation. The average academic finishes their PhD thousands of dollars in debt. You pique my curiosity. Someone like you could’ve enjoyed an easy life. Even if you didn’t plan on a career in modeling, why not marry a rich man? You still could’ve pursued your interests. Not every millionaire wants children, or a homemaker. I know lots of women who’ve made the trophy wife option work for them. One of our graduate students is married to an airline pilot. He’s bankrolling her education, and I’ve never seen her with bags under her eyes. You had these same choices, and yet you declined. Why?

You’ve obviously worked very hard to get here. We received 200 job applications for your position. You beat them all. You’re in the top percentile of your field. But was it worth all that? All those hours spent buried in the library, hunched over a laptop, all nighters with your gorgeous hair tied back in a little ponytail, frazzled strands poking out? I’m just saying, if I looked like you I would’ve spent a lot more time at the beach. I would’ve reaped the rewards. You simply acted like a normal person.

At the risk of repeating myself, I’m not sexist. In fact, some of our female professors have made similar comments about you. I’ve also talked with my wife about this point at great length. She even proofed this email I’m about to send. You really should meet my wife for coffee sometime. She works in advertising. She could help you make some connections.

The more I think about it, I’m realizing there must be something wrong with you. Not in a bad way. I mean there must be some mysterious dark quality about you, maybe a tragic childhood or an abusive parent, something that made you a deeper person. Maybe you witnessed the death of a friend or a family member early in life. Or perhaps you experienced some other type of extreme trauma that forced you to become reflective, more aware of mortality and therefore the fleeting nature of youthful beauty. If you ever want to talk about, I’m here for you. My wife and I are both here for you. Our kids have recently gone off to college, so we have a lot of free time, and an extra bedroom. Imagine not having to pay rent?

Anyway, you’re what…about 30? If you start now, I bet you could spend a few years as a part-time model. Maybe you could do some work for local ad companies, or something like that. Please? I don’t know why, but this is extremely important to me. Someone like you needs to be objectified on a much wider scale. As your faculty mentor, I feel obligated to help you achieve your full potential.

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