All posts tagged model

You Can Do Anything, at Any Age

Published April 6, 2013 by Maryanne

curtain modelMe as a curtain model, 2011, age 47

This photo was from the summer of 2011 when I modeled for Emery Curtains. For a two day shoot I received $600.

I was excited because they wanted a woman in her 40s and it was just days before my 48th birthday. The company chose me from a photo I sent.

I’m only 5’3″ and not exactly stick thin, I’m not what one would typically think when you think of a “model” — but from time to time I did make some money modeling over the years.

While doing swimwear and lingerie fashion shows was fun in my 20s, I like being an older model much better because you get to do things that aren’t as cliche. Over the past two years I played a mom in two online videos, one was for Intel.

And just today I modeled for a photographer who wanted “real” and “ethic” looking people. Immediately I was like, “I’m Italian, sign me up!” And got paid for something that was fun and rewarding.

I will post some of the shots when the photographer sends them to me (and then speak more of the shoot).

To me, modeling is an art form, and just because you hit a certain age you shouldn’t have to stop doing something you love so much. And just because you’re not super tall, super young or super thin, doesn’t mean you can’t do it.

Life is a creative playground, with so many opportunities for those who seek them. The possibilities are endless, so nothing should stop anyone.

That is how I wish to inspire today — is there something you always wanted to do but don’t think you fit the criteria? Think again. Think out of the box. You can do anything you want in life! And I’d like to try everything.

50 Shades of It’s Been Done Before

Published February 16, 2013 by Maryanne

Bettie PageThe Legendary, Bettie Page

American culture has been whipped in the face with BDSM (bondage/discipline/sado masochism) for as long as I can remember, so I can’t understand what all the hoopla is about “50 Shades of Grey” even two years after the book was published.

Do people live under rocks?

If you’ve heard one S&M story, you’ve heard them all.

But some things S&M are definitely worth hearing about, more so than others, whether it’s in books, songs, film or pictorials. So, in my little opinion, I present to you the Top 5 that Brought BDSM to the Masses (In no particular order, darlings!)

story of o

1. The Story of O. (BOOK) An erotic masterpiece about female submission published in 1954 by French author Anne Desclos, who wrote under the pen name Pauline Reage. Desclos didn’t reveal herself as author until 40 years after the book was published.

2. Venus in Furs. (BOOK) This book, published in 1870, authored by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (the term “masochism” is derived from his name)  tells the story of  Severin von Kusiemski, who is so infatuated with a woman, Wanda von Dunajew, that he asks to be her slave and encourages her to treat him in progressively more degrading ways. The Velvet Underground played tribute to Severin in their famous song, “Venus in Furs.”

In Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s private life, he and his mistress Baroness Fanny Pistor signed a contract where he would be her slave for six months and the Baroness would wear fur as much as possible during this time.

3. Bettie Page. (MODEL) Gorgeous 1950s pin-up queen, Bettie Page often modeled for S&M photos — with a big smile on her face.

4. The Cramps. (ROCK BAND) American rockabilly punk rock band, the Cramps have been around from 1976 until 2009 when lead singer Lux Interior passed on. The Cramps, who came on stage in leather and vinyl, had many songs that had BDSM lifestyle lyrics such as “Mama Oom Pow Pow,” “Everything Goes” and “Creature from the Black Leather Lagoon.”

5. Secretary. (FILM) White hot James Spader and super beautiful Maggie Gyllenhaal make a great team in this indie film about a boss and his secretary who explore S&M. The plot is a bit weak, but with so much male and female eye candy, who cares?

Another Darlene Foster Feature Photo

Published January 24, 2013 by Maryanne

Deliverance 2013“Deliverance” by Darlene Foster

The above is another one of Darlene Foster’s creations called “Deliverance.”

This is Darlene’s newest creation from a series of photos I modeled for her back in October, 2010. We spent an entire day working together (after I had just been in a car accident, but as they say, “on with the show!”)

I’m always fascinated to see what Darlene comes up with next.

To experience more of her extraordinary work, visit her site at:

RIP Helen Gurley Brown — Feb. 18, 1922 to Aug. 13, 2012

Published August 14, 2012 by Maryanne

Author of “Sex and the Single Girl” and Cosmopolitan editor for over 30 years

Burt Reynolds, famous Cosmo layout, during the Gurley-Brown reign in ’70s

Model Paulina, 1980s cover

I remember the first time I saw Cosmopolitan magazine.

It was in the 1970s and Burt Reynolds was the “centerfold.”

I was only a kid, but my mom and aunt, who were only in their 20s, were giggling and showing the picture to me, my younger sister and younger cousin.

My grandfather got pissed at them for showing us such “filth.”

I was intrigued.

From that day on, every month when my mother’s Cosmopolitan issue came I had to look at it. I was too young to even know how to pronounce “Cosmopolitan” and as a little girl, referred to the magazine as “Cosmo-Politician.”

I guess in some ways beauty could be politics. But even in my young age, I figured out how to work it.

I asked my mother what she learned from the magazine.

“How ugly I am,” she said.

But on the contrary …

Each month they had a feature where they did make-overs for women. Cosmopolitan made plain Janes (“mouse burgers” as Gurley Brown would call them!) into goddesses via make-up and hairstyling.

So as the skinny kid with pimples and glasses — before glasses were fashionable — Cosmopolitan was my ray of hope. And once I got my hands into make-up, I transformed myself into a beautiful 15-year-old who looked 18 (the thing all 15-year-olds wanted to hear!)

Throughout the 1980s I tried to emulate the looks of the models on the cover — big hair and a ton of make-up! Fuschia on the cheeks and eyes was a key element to “the look.” And don’t forget, Aqua Net Extra Super Hold — otherwise known as “glue in a can.” Every photo I posed for, I pouted — whether it was at a nightclub, for work or for family. I wanted to be Cosmo 24/7.

And if anyone doubted my look (because growing up in suburbia meant being surrounded by a lot of conservatives) I’d tell them they don’t know what they are talking about because they obviously don’t read Cosmopolitan!

I was never jealous of Cosmopolitan models. My attitude was was more of a “Yay, I can do this too!” kinda thing. Because all it took back then was the art of make-up and a good tease with a comb. Unlike today where women are brainwashed into thinking they need Botox, veneers, Japanese straight perms and plastic surgery to be acceptable. And then they still don’t think they look good enough.

Looking back, my favorite Helen Gurley Brown quotes include:

“Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere.”

“Never fail to know that if you are doing all the talking, you are boring somebody.”

“What you have to do is work with the raw material you have, namely you, and never let up.”

After Helen Gurley Brown’s book, “Sex and the Single Girl” was published in the 1960s, she was the editor-in-chief Cosmopolitan and stayed with the magazine until 1997, when she was replaced by Bonnie Fuller.

And it was during that time that I lost interest in the magazine. I was now in my 30s and living a very cool, edgy life, writing for a NYC newspaper, making my own social circles. I was no longer intrigued with the styles of models because I started creating my own.

Plus, when you read a magazine for over a decade, articles start to recycle. How many times can you read about how to please a man in bed? By the time you’re in your 30s, you should know.

With the dismiss of Brown’s reign, I turned to women’s magazines more suited to me, personally, like “Sassy” (later “Jane”), “Bust” and “Bitch.” These magazines were better for me because they embraced the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle and were more anti-fashion than fashion. Since the young audience of these magazines were free-spirits they made their own art, not necessarily emulating models. Bad asses like Courtney Love and Drew Barrymore were on the covers. Models had braces and pink hair. And you could read articles about the Prozac Nation and young rockers you’d like to date.

While Gurley Brown was famous for being feminist, “Jane” “Bust” and “Bitch” were feminist-supreme. Helen Gurley Brown’s Cosmopolitan paved the way to magazine greatness for the next generation!

And let’s not forget all the television shows she inspired! Shows about the modern, independent woman: “Sex in the City.” “Mary Tyler Moore”; and “That Girl” to name a few!

Mind you, I don’t agree with all of Gurley Brown’s philosophies, some of them being very depressing (like being as thin as possible without getting sick or getting breast implants at age 73 or her views on money). But I do think she contributed more than her share to society for being a cutting edge trend-setter and a person who stood up for what she believed in.

RIP Helen Gurley Brown –yet  another original bites the dust.

Viva Gia!

Published August 7, 2012 by Maryanne

1980s, first supermodel Gia Carangi

Cosmo Girl!


I have to be honest, I lived the 1980s but do not remember Gia Carangi, the famous supermodel.

Mind you, like Gia, I was also in my 20s at the time so a lot of cultural things slipped by me because I was making my own culture by dating, going to nightclubs and exploring — which is totally understandable for a 20-something. And don’t forget, we didn’t have a lot of the media we have now back then. There was no internet, no You Tube … and some families didn’t even have cable television; some still had b&w TV sets!

When I first heard of Gia, it was when I picked up the 1994 paperback edition of the book, “Thing of Beauty: The Tragedy of Supermodel Gia” by Stephen Fried, originally published in 1993.

I was mesmerized by the tragic story of a gorgeous Italian girl who rose to superstar status in the late 1970s, early 1980s fashion industry, and just a short time later died of AIDS in 1986.

The cool thing about Gia was — she was into cool things, like David Bowie and Blondie. She was in Blondie’s “Atomic” video. She was tough and throughout the book I thought she was like a fashionista version of Joan Jett.

A few years after I got the book, an HBO special came on about the life of Gia, staring Angelina Jolie. To me, that was Angelina’s best role ever. I loved the dark, sad movie. It effected me for days.

Well, last week Lifetime showed the movie again. I dug out my old “Thing of Beauty” book and started to re-read it.  I also looked up videos of Gia on You Tube and watched interviews. And a cold chill encompasses my body as I revisited the tragedy.

In my opinion, Gia was a fantastic model because her looks transformed her into a vast variety of different people. In Gia, at times I see: Julia Roberts, Janice Dickenson and Cindy Crawford.

And I also see, in Gia, some friends I had in the 1980s — not models, just normal pretty girls. I think that’s why Gia is so fascinating — on one hand she has the superior looks, but on the other hand, a sweet, simple vulnerability that all of us possess. That is what we’re relating to; we all just want to give her a hug.

During one of her last interviews, I felt she is being interrogated when asked about her drug use. Then Gia brought up drugs in food — which I felt was a genius move. Then the interviewer resorted to sarcasm by saying there isn’t cocaine in food.

Yeah, there isn’t cocaine in food, but other DRUGS that cause cancer, diabetes, obesity, etc. which can all lead to DEATH! With Gia being as tough as she was, I wondered why she chose to stay in such a vulnerable mode during the interview and didn’t defend herself by saying what I just said.

Regardless, that girl was wise beyond her years and ahead of her time. Some people simply are therefore they die young and maybe come back many years later. I feel this way about James Dean.

And also, Nancy Spungeon.

No, really, hear me out …

If you read “And I Don’t Want to Live This Life” by Deborah Spungeon, Nancy’s mom, there are similarities. (And so interesting, both girls were from Philadelphia!)

These girls were tough, did drugs, turned tricks for drugs, possessed incredible style and beauty. I know a lot of people don’t think of Nancy as a “beauty.” But look again, she has similar features to the stunning Lady GaGa.

Both Gia and Nancy were head strong and intelligent. Spungeon’s IQ was 175.

And both died in their 20s.

I can only speculate, but I think people who die young just know their own destiny and live these frenzied lives as if they are trying to cheat death, somehow.

Fatal stories are horrific to us, especially when we’ve lost loved ones who wanted to live. How can others throw their lives away just like that? It’s not for us to say or judge, as we do not know the pain that lives inside another human being.

I like to focus on the positive. I did not know Gia personally, but what I do know is what she left behind to the world: Art via her beauty. She was a damn good model and I love going back to the 1980s through her work. Even though Gia’s time wasn’t so innocent, it was an innocent time for a lot of people. And nostalgia is healthy.

RIP, Gia. You were an original.