article published today on jezebel.com (it's very long!!) I Am The Anonymous Model By TatianaTheAnonymousModel, 1:20 PM on Tue Jul 21 2009, 14,506 views Modeling was my first job, and is to date the one I've held the longest. My final stint, which started in Paris and wound through cities almost too numerous to mention, spanned almost two years. Then, this summer, I quit. The industry demanded a geographic flexibility that was initially very exciting. I had eleven addresses last year, and that's just for starters. I lived, notionally, for a time with a boy in San Francisco. There was the couch in the freezing Bushwick railroad, and the extended Stuyvesant Town housesit. A dissolute month on my then-editor's couch. It became apparent to me early on that a lot about the fashion world does not, on its own terms, add up. Fashion has industrialized , and deeply fetishized, its production of newness, but every photographer I ever worked with would inevitably give, un-prompted, at some point during the shoot, his What-We-Lost-With-The-Death-Of-Film eulogy. Early adopters these people are not: the industry still follows an archaic schedule whereby clothes are presented six months ahead of season in shows that are "private," but for the whole of the Internet, which means that in many cases knock-offs beat the originals into stores. Nobody can say for certain whether or not this matters, given so many of the designers who protest the knock-offs the loudest revisit each others' and their own old ideas in an orderly season-to-season progression, like runners in an infinitely recursive relay race, with shoulderpads. The money doesn't make sense: designers sell next season's clothes at those shows, then fill their orders using proceeds from the collection of two seasons ago that retailers are, finally, coughing up for. This structural financial constraint makes nimble reaction to any external world event almost impossible, which explains fashion's famed disconnect from things that might be called "external" "world" "events." I learned early that the higher a job's fashion quotient, the less money I would be offered. How, exactly, I was supposed to make a living as a model never became entirely clear; when I worked two months in Australia last year, after agency fees and the rent were deducted, nearly AU$5,000 worth of earnings became AU$690.90. Less than the cost of my airfare, certainly less than the cost of the food and subway passes I'd had to charge during the trip. I left Sydney in November. I didn't get my $690.90 -- $413.70, after wire transfer fees and currency conversion -- until this April. "At least," said the agency accountant, "you worked!" I had to get used to living however, and wherever, I could. Like in a tiny Washington Heights studio. Milan was a single room in a long-stay hotel with a hot plate, a bar fridge, and two other models. I still don't know how much I paid for that; I was too afraid to ask my booker at Elite Milan. Because the industry keeps even its marginal players endlessly occupied, but bored, there was always plenty of time to think. I often reflected on the fact that studies show that women, after looking at fashion magazines -- full of pictures of girls very much like me, sometimes even pictures of me -- feel bad about themselves. I also often wondered why it is, given this fact, that we buy the magazines again next month. This is not to say that I didn't enjoy modeling. In point of fact, what kept me in the industry for so long was the constant contact with lovely women, smart women, talented women, hard-working women, inspiring women, women of the sort I wanted to grow up to be. (I met some nice men, too, but, in this industry, there are just fewer of them -- fashion is a powerful global business that has the quirk of being thoroughly gendered.) In fact, fashion is the world's largest employer of women; it's an industry of women, by women, for women. I felt like I was always meeting the best of them: Foodie art directors who advised me on which East Village deli secretly sells the best $3 goat tacos East of the Mississippi. Prop stylists who went to RISD, emerged only with an ingrained loathing of the art world old boys' club, and decided to **** it and paint hay bales odd colors and source antique books for editorial spreads. I remember walking 20 minutes from a train station to get to a photographer's apartment, and then talking for an hour about Tess Of The D'Urbervilles and Cindy Sherman, over tea, while she intermittently remembered to take my picture. (She drove me home, and we worked 12 hours together that weekend.) It took me a very long time to reconcile the apparent disconnect between the consistent wonderfulness of the many people I was working with, and the persistent awfulness of the position of abject and total disempowerment that I, like any non-super model, occupied -- to realize that the problems of the modeling industry are not in fact personal, but structural.