STORYTIME: SHOOTING, SWEATING, SWEARING
Photo by Russel Rahman
Dress: Pinup Girl Clothing
Rust and Fray reached out to me a few weeks back to set up a shoot. They picked me for their Talented Tuesday series, which I was pretty excited about. Basically what that meant is that we did an interview while we did the photoshoot, which means I got not only got to get attention from 3 photographers and one videographer, I also got to talk about myself, A LOT, which we all know I like a little bit too much.
They're a sustainable bag company. They pay their manufacturers a fair wage and they only use upcycled materials (upcycled means that they use waste instead of recycled items, which have to be broken down and then turned into something new). So basically they took things that we threw away and made it into art. No big deal. We talked about that... I told about how I had just watched Boss Baby and it was my new favorite movie, and all in all, it was a great day where I got a lot of attention.
The only problem was.... the humidity. My god New Yorkers... It's this bad in Iowa, but I'm used to having a car or only having to travel short distances in between work and my air conditioned home. Trying to keep big 80's sex idol hair alive while running through the subway in heels is NOT an easy feat. Especially when you're a sweaty beast like me.
Now, if you're one of those people who goes to the gym and says things like: "doesn't sweat much, even while sprinting!." I can't relate to you at all, so you should probably stop reading and go brag elsewhere.
Now that that's out of the way, let me speak with those readers who considered buying that boob sweat towel:
I sweat. A lot. All the time. Sometimes even if I'm cold. Maybe it's because I'm a hydration station, but nonetheless, it happens all the time. So the minute I left the house on the day of the shoot, I knew it was only a matter of time. The schedule went a little something like this:
7 AM: Arise sleepy Meewa, and stumble to the coffee machine. Drink coffee while grumbling and answering emails. Hope for an early coffee poop. Shower.( I hate blow drying, so I washed my hair before. So I could... you know... style it, for the photoshoot. That was the idea anyway...)
Pictured: Me, pre coffee poop/ makeup
8 AM: Begin makeup (I washed my face during the grumbling so it would be completely dry when I started my makeup). Do not put ANY moisturizer on face. Put on a mattifying primer. Put a layer of powder underneath the concealer to try to get everything to be GLUED on. Start sweating anyway because the bathroom is on the side of the apartment with no AC. Run the fans so what little from the bedroom can drift towards the bathroom at a glacial pace. Always take cold showers so you don't fog the room up even more and so that you hate showering and don't waste water. Attempt to "bake" your under eye circles like the drag queens do. Spill most of the powder on your now protruding gut. Have glorious coffee poop. PRAISE METAMUCIL!
9 AM: Continue on with makeup process. Listen to James Brown for inspiration of sexy funkiness. Put a layer of powder on top of everything. Curl hair and tease it a little. Bring hairspray for backup. Gather outfits and heels that are definitely not going on until after the commute.
9:45 AM: Leave apartment. Regret leaving immediately. Rain from the morning is slowly evaporating onto already grimy body. Hold hair above neck and use the broken dollar store fan that you have to pinch together with your ring finger. Maneuver expeditiously. Look like angry church lady.
10:45 AM: With the luck of a thousand four leaf clovers, switch two trains and manage to be blissfully early. Instead of the usual late sprint with model bag and hair stuck in armpits and neck sweat through midtown Manhattan, gracefully walk past construction workers with a quiet smile and a confident hair flip that says, you're welcome. Be grateful that the building is only two blocks from the train, as the perspiration begins to gather. Wipe sweat 'stach.
11 AM: Go up to the fancy Manhattan office. Be unimpressed with the level of air conditioning, yet very excited about the chilled water cooler INFUSED WITH PIECES OF LEMON AND GRAPEFRUIT. WHAT?! Game plan with the folks and learn that there will be, not one, not two, but THREE PHOTOGRAPHERS and another cool kid taking video for Instagram. Giggle inwardly.
11:30 AM: Walk to the public library with entourage. Try to appear like that there's no photoshoot happening despite there being 3 cameras that aren't super well hidden. Get in trouble with the guard and wait in the lobby, despite there being a male tourist not 5 feet away with a DSLR around his neck. Learn that in order to do a photoshoot at the NYC Public Library one must set it up 3 weeks in advance and PAY A FEE. Swear silently while standing outside the building and take photos. Struggle to look chic.
12:30 PM: Walk back to their office, covered in "glow". Go to the bathroom to change and stand in the stall completely naked for 5 minutes, dabbing soaked body with toilet paper. Attempt to fix makeup. Put hair up.
1 PM: Parade group to subway. Attempt to get some candid photos on the train platform. Curse the fact that the humidity is always worse underground, and despite what one would think, much hotter than the street above. Continue to frantically fan neck.
1:30 PM: Arrive in Dumbo, Brooklyn. Look up at the skyline and feel incredibly grateful that now one of the crew members is carrying your bag on his own sweat soaked shoulder. Continue to dab face with paper towels from a deli. Keep shoving them in different places in bag so that there's a panic every time a quick dab is needed while the photographers wait.
3 PM: Find different locations around Dumbo. Get great pictures, but feel bad as while changing in and out of heels during longer distances, it seems as though shoe switching delays are the majority of what's going on at that time. Get hollered at during photoshoot, don't mind it as it's cheerleading that perhaps the sweat shower is not so obvious.
3:30PM : YES A BREAK! Stop in at a furniture store that happens to have a coffeeshop (when rich people shop for $3,000 plates and bazillion thread count sheets they need to stop and sit down from exhaustion from spending so much money so quickly). Eat first snack of the day, a cookie. Attempt to chew quickly while telling stories from childhood during interview. Complain inwardly that hair has to be down in order to hide the microphone under it. Maintain accidental chocolate on mouth. Go to the PUBLIC RESTROOM to change. YES THIS STORE IS SO FANCY THEY LET PEOPLE USE THE BATHROOM. *For those of you still reading who have not been to New York, please scroll to the bottom of the page*
At an ACTUAL, CLEAN, PUBLIC RESTROOM in Brooklyn. (2nd outfit, Pinup Girl Clothing*).
4 PM: Sun comes out, of course. So now despite spraying your hair up for the last outfit, begin to look like a drenched subway rat. Receive encouragement from two women walking by who are appreciating seeing a curvy model. Feel awesome about that for weeks to come.
5 PM: Finish interview and last photos. It's a wrap! Put hair into sweaty top knot and be grateful that while your dress may be stuck to every inch of your soaked body, at least it's not riding up like usual. Begin the long trek home. Be grateful your swollen feet are in sandals. Sit down in the shower. Do not leave couch for 4 hours. Order Chinese. The End.
Pretty picture, but as you can see, my hair looks..... wet.
*Generally, aside from Starbucks, and Chipotle (oh shit, I'm giving you all my wisdom, you better let me cut you in line if I'm particularly hydrated one day), where you have to either buy something for the code or wait and hope someone comes out, there is no such thing as a public restroom in NYC. It doesn't happen. You would think that large boutiques or chain clothing stores, groceries, or restaurants would have restrooms. BUT THEY DON'T. And if you DO SEE ONE and ask, THEY SAY NO, WE DON'T HAVE ONE. Even if there's a restroom in sight. So you have to either: wait in line at Starbucks or Chipotle, or just strut into a bar really convincingly and hope no one notices, or that they think you're an alcoholic because it's 10 AM and they just opened*
* I'm really excited to be working with Pinup Girl Clothing. This is another super awesome, small clothing company that started with a badass woman and her sewing machine in her garage. Check them out!