“I do my little thing on the catwalk”

Since we’ve come to China, it may surprise you that I’ve had two modeling jobs. (This is Liz writing, JM has not and will never “do his little thing on the catwalk.”) I know, I know, it’s hard to believe that Ford Modeling Agency never signed a contract with me, and Tyra has never once called me to try out for Top Model, but here in China – my modeling potential is finally being realized.

Seriously though, since we’ve gotten here, we’ve realized that it’s very easy to work in two venues – English teaching and modeling. We knew we’d easily find work as English teachers, but as a model? My first job consisted of shooting a video in a wedding dress to promote a retail website. The second job consisted of shooting a video to promote a new thermal cup.

This last job came out of the blue this past Saturday. I had been planning a day at home with Leo as the weeks have been busy with JM out of town. I heard a hurried knock at the door and answered it to find my new friend (and business contact) in desperate need of a foreign model for a small job. Which, for the FIRST TIME in China, put me in a good bargaining position (It was about time!). After negotiating salary (and him offering to babysit Leo for me while I worked), we were off!

We drove to the location, and in front of a crew of about fifteen, I shot a TV commercial for a new thermal cup, sitting on an insanely bright neon-orange chair in front of a fish tank. I helped them tweak their copy into English from Chinese. After hearing my Chinese pronunciation, they wanted me to use the Chinese product name, rather than the English. The whole affair ended up being a lot of fun. They would coach me in Chinese, “A little louder, turn to the right, hold your arm up higher, next take – make sure you look at the cup.” They were all the kind of cool, graphic design, artsy-type people that I am so not – so it was a lot of fun to live in that world for a couple of hours.

Leo meanwhile, was being thoroughly cared for by EVERY WOMAN within a 100-foot radius of the shoot location. I had nothing to worry about – as his stranger anxiety has recently worn off a bit (yay!). We ended the shoot by taking a big group picture with Leo and the crew (hopefully I can put it up on the blog soon!).

What’s much more interesting than my burgeoning career as a model, is the general obsession with foreigners and all things foreign here. People tend to think white skin is better and big round eyes are better– basically, the current ideal of beauty is looking fairly Caucasian. Everyone compliments my white skin and tells me I should wear black to set it off. (In the SUMMER, I should wear black to set off my neon white skin – indeed I am truly in a foreign land.)

I’ll keep you posted on my new career path – watch out Gisele – here comes Liz!

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10 Responses to ““I do my little thing on the catwalk””


  1. 1 Chris Burgwald July 22, 2008 at 5:23 am

    Too funny! In a good way, of course. 🙂

  2. 2 Germaine July 22, 2008 at 6:14 am

    After reading your post, which I loved!, I said out loud, “Too Funny!” Then I go to your responses/replies and see that Chris has posted, and lo and behold, he wrote the same thing! Now that is too funny!!! We’ve already been married too long when things like that happen 😉

    Watch out Gisele 🙂 !!!

  3. 3 mjfalk July 22, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    Why are you allowing them to shoot photos of you and/or Leo without a contract???? Truly, you do need an agent and soon. Make sure they pay you in Chinese currency—cash, if possible. I think the “no diaper” routine has some potential for baby magazine articles and photos. Begin now to practice the celebrity status facial humility poses—you don’t always get the chance to freeze that look in place before the cameras are right in your face. Glad to see your many facets shining through even in China

  4. 4 Becca July 22, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    PA-LEASE take Gisele’s place! You are soooo much cooler (and prettier) than she is!

    I am so proud of you! WOW! I have so many thoughts on this such as…wedding dresses…you have personal experience with this and thermal cups! DEFINATely experience with the coffee! Mmmmmm.

    Please check your email soon for some interesting information. :o)

  5. 5 Becca July 22, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    Oh my gosh! How could I have forgotten to say…

    “Liz. You’re so HOT right now!” :o)

  6. 6 luciesworld July 22, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    Aunt Liz,
    I always knew you were model material. All of our kid dress up cinderella modeling sessions prepared you well I am sure!

    I have found that the white skin ideal is fairly similar in Chile. It is hard to know how to respond when people make comments such as “It would be better if you had white skinned, blonde haired children”. or that indigenous people are “such and such” or act this way because they are indios. It is actually less pervasive here than in the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica, I have found. But there is a tendancy to reject anything indigenous about the culture and embrace Spanish roots. After my first semester of classes at Wash U and taking a human diversity class which dealt primarily with racism and the idealization of the European, Caucasion, light skinned prototype in America and outside of the US, it can be daunting and difficult to hear values of white skinned importance abroad.(This is not to say that there is not racism in the US) This is an issue worth exploring and continuing to understand. (by people of all skin colors and cultures)

  7. 7 Ori July 23, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    Liz, my super model friend! Yes, Gisele watch out indeed! You constantly amaze me with all you do and all that you are- looks, brains, beauty, kindness, and charm all wrapped into one! Love you so much and miss you.

  8. 8 Julie July 24, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    I hope you’re demanding copies of these videos for your growing portfolio! If you ever get them please, please, please post them!! It would be such a treat to see you take your little turn on the catwalk! Glad to hear that you’re ‘in demand’…not that there was ever any doubt!

  9. 9 Naomi July 26, 2008 at 3:18 am

    Liz, You are really cool, and I knew you have potential 🙂
    Please post the video on Youtube so I can see you and a thermal cup.

  10. 10 Marianna July 29, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    Yes! I can finally say “I have a sister-in-law who is modeling in China.”


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