December 13, 2010

The Vanity Files

I admit it. I'm vain.

But I'm not only a writer and a music industry executive - both of which are somewhat "behind the scenes." I'm also a performer.

And performers must, by trade, be vain.

We have to worry about our gray roots growing in, our shaggy eyebrows, our yellowing teeth, our rosy cheeks, our sagging bustlines and our muffintops. It's part of the job.

I've been a hired spokesperson on QVC for two years now, selling music on behalf of my former employer who now hires me freelance to hawk their musical wares. Over the first year, I watched myself gain so much weight that my bras stopped fitting - something never as noticeable as in my eight minutes of camera time.

I could hide from mirrors and from my reflection in dark window panes along New York City's streets, but I couldn't hide from my own demo reel.

Sure, I'd done my job well on QVC. I'd sold boatloads of CDs and more than earned my fees. And I'm sure, at that size, I was an accessible, realistic depiction of a young woman that QVC audiences could relate to. But I hated the way I looked.

So although I was getting physically injured from all the weight that I'd gained, and was in constant pain and fatigue, it was shame - and, ultimately, vanity - that pushed me into joining Weight Watchers last January.

Now, nearly a year later, I've lost almost 50 pounds, and I'm going back on QVC. And I can't wait to see myself.

I know it's vain. I know it shouldn't matter. But I wonder: will the weight loss give me a renewed confidence and heightened attractiveness that will sell even bigger boatloads of product? Or will I transform from the sorta chubby cute girl next door into the scantily-clad new neighbor from Brazil, an outsider, an other, and therefore a threat to the entire block?

When Stella gets her groove back, does she lose the trust and confidence of all those around her who have also lost their mojo?

Cross posted on Extra Criticum.

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