Carol Alt

Overexposure

By Carol Alt / Post / April 25, 2016
carol alt

The other day, I saw a poster with Amy Schumer on it titled “Overexposed.” It’s funny to hear that word in this day and age; it’s almost impossible to be overexposed. Maybe a celebrity could feel exhausted with the amount of press they’re getting, but overexposure? Never. There’s never enough exposure these days, as some of these crazy reality stars have proven.

I remember the moment when Paris Hilton became too much for me. The only consolation I had was that I knew at some point or another, everybody would get tired of her and her moment would pass. We saw Paris Hilton lookalikes everywhere. I was figuratively choking on them! The problem for me with the Kardashians- and I even dread saying their name- is that there’s so many of them it’ll take forever to get them out of the public eye. When one becomes “boring” the media jumps to the next family member until the first does something else stupid, crazy, or interesting. Even the parents are involved. At least Paris Hilton’s parents had enough sense to stay out of the spotlight. Even her sister was reluctant, so Amy Schumer saying “overexposed” is pretty funny to me.

It also kind of reminds me how things have changed. My experience with overexposure happened in 1980. It was the end of my first year modeling, and my agency called me saying I needed to take a few days off.

A few days off? What were they saying? I don’t know how to take a few days off. At this point in my life all I knew was modeling. All I know is getting on a plane, landing in a foreign city, going straight to the studio, working until the evening, going to bed, getting up the next day and starting the day all over again. Going to the studio, working till evening. Eating three meals in the studio and then going to bed. The third day I would get back on a plane, usually the Concorde, which would bring me back to New York at 9AM where I would jump a taxi at the airport and go straight to the studio. To say I was busy would be an understatement.

So I had no friends, no life, no hobbies except modeling. When my agent says I was “overexposed” I had nothing else to do! So after complaining to the agency about their opinion of the overexposed, they asked me if I would walk the shows. Need they even ask? Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein had only ever used their in-house models for their runway shows. A quick note- an in-house model is the fitting model that Calvin or Ralph creates clothes on. They are literally used as the human mannequin, clothes are created to fit them, and if you had a body like they did, you were known as “sample size.”

Anyway, no high-fashion models had really ever walked the runway at that point and as you’re going to learn about me, I like to be the first one to do things. It’s a big thrill for me to do things that haven’t been done before. So in my “overexposed” state, which would never happen today, I walked the quiet runways of ateliers and salons of Seventh Avenue for $700 per show. I seemingly became the first high-fashion model to do this. Years later, and I was offered $50,000 per runway walk, and I turned it down. But that’s another story, another blog. Read the next one to find out what happened.

Edited by Jake Layton

Carol Alt

Learn more about Carol here.

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