Tuesday 23 October 2018

Small or pear- shaped need not apply

Gayle Killilea

LOUIS WALSH would have been in his element. He could have formed a dozen new chart-topping acts from the crowd of young hopefuls at the POD yesterday morning.

But this was no talent competition. MTV and IMG Models were hosting a model search day, looking for eight finalists for the "Fashionably Loud" model of 2001. The requirements were simple. Girls and boys had to be aged between 14 and 24, and at least 5'7" and 6ft respectively. All the same, when the doors opened, the POD was inundated with yodellers, tap dancers, wannabe pop stars and TV presenters.

Take the two eight-year-olds who dragged father along for company. "What are they measuring you for?" asked Dad. "You told me this was a singing competition."

"I thought this was for a presenting job," said Katie, a very pretty 17-year-old. "I'm outta here. I feel like a big oaf," she said, looking at the hordes of tall skinny girls.

Prospective male models were few and far between. It appears that Irish men are just too small (maybe they make up for their diminutive status in other ways). But the tape is unforgiving. In the first hour 80 girls showed and six boys, only two of whom made it past the tape. Neither was Irish.

The scouting team have been to nine cities looking for people with "something special" and Judy Gilroy, a 15-year-old Mount Anville pupil appeared to have it. "She's great," the scouts whispered after checking her height. She had perfect complexion, was tall, naturally beautiful with a model figure, blonde hair and good bone structure. Any modelling agency would snap her up.

However "special" the Irish MTV fans with funky clothes and quirky personalities who showed up were, this was essentially a model casting with the usual cruel rules. Small, sweet and pear-shaped do not belong on the catwalk not even on an MTV one.

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