"Letter From London"
Do you day-dream of becoming a famous model overnight? Do you wish a photographer would come up to you as you walk down the street and ask you to pose for Vogue? Oh, dear, I was the same as you once. But it just didn't happen that way. This is the true story of how I started, told for Teri Lowney of San Fransisco, Calif., and all the others who have written asking the same questions:
I wanted to be a model, but I just didn't know how, so I called up a friend at a big magazine. He said to come over to the office. The office was a great building in London full of long corridors, and it didn't take little Pattie long to get lost. There I was, looking at numbers on doors, when a stranger bumped into me.
"You a model?" he asked briefly. "Come in here. I can probably use you." Not the romantic approach I'd hoped for! Still, I earned my first fee that way, and he ended by giving me some good advice: "Get a good agent and go to one of the top modeling schools."
So that's the advice I'd pass on to all of you who dream of becoming models. Train at a school that has proved itself not just one of these places that give you a paper diploma and nothing else and don't try to sell yourself when you have qualified. Let your agent do that.
Audrey Lubert fo Chicago Ill., wants to know my height, weight and coloring. Well, I'm five feet seven inches tall, I weigh 105 pounds, have blue eyes and am what they call a pink and white blonde!
Debbie Wadleigh of Indianapolis, Ind., asks how tall you have to be to become a model. That's a difficult question, Debbie. You could model small teenage fashions and be no more than five feet tall, but for sophisticated clothes, a girl has to be five feet six inches at least.
(Sabrina Note: If you are interested in modelling, I must inform you of the latest height statistics. For face shots, or small magazine ads, the height requirements usually have little relevance and the model can be as small as five feet. But if your looking into doing runway, you should be as tall as 5'9" or taller! Yes, the times they are a changin'.)
Theresa Van Gilson of Silver Springs, MD., raises the old question of a model's diet. Well, there's only one real answer. A successful model has just got to be strict with herself and lay off all fattening foods. That means no bread, butter, spaghetti or sweets! Theresa doesn't say so in as many words, but I guess she must be about fourteen. Watch out for "puppy-fat spread," Theresa. Eat proper meals at regular times with lots of lean meat and green vegetables.
(Sabrina Note: What Pattie means by "puppy-fat-spread" is to try avoid eating between meals. Eat a balanced diet of three meals a day, and you are suppose to drink 8 glasses of water as well. Eating a variety of foods is important, but you don't have to go CRAZY about dieting like Pattie makes it seem. You should eat less sweets, not completely drop sweet-eating all together! And one good factor Pattie forgot to mention was exercising. Theres more than one way to keep a good figure, girl.)
Theresa also asks me to recomment good English fashion magazines. Personally, I like Queen, but I suspect it's a bit too old for you. Honey would appeal to you more. The best fashion magazine in the world, for my money, is the French one, Elle.
(Sabrina Note: I don't know about "Honey" but I do know that "Elle" is still a big magazine today! Make a subscription and check out the magazine Pattie adores.)
So many of you, like Amber Durham of Rhode Island, ask me what England's like. What can I say? Just come and see it for yourself! Come to England in the Spring when everything is marvelously green. It's the greenest country in the world, I think. The charm of England is that the scenery changes so quickly. One moment you an be in country with pines and heather and silver birches, and the next you can be in rolling parkland. It would be a shame to come without seeing Scotland and Ireland and Wales as well. They're much more mountainous, but romantic in a wild sort of way.
Donna Brunner of McKees Rocks, Pa., asks: "Will you be coming to America?" You bet I will, if I get the chance! I've been asked to go many times, but it's a question of waiting till my commitments here let me get away.
Linda Lurger of Chrisman, Ill., wants to know all about my make-up. First of all, let's start with my hair. It took me about a year to grow it long. I style it myself by washing it, letting it get almost dry and then putting rollers in the ends. It's nice of so many of you to say you like my eye make-up. All I do is to use a brownish-black eye-liner, and take it out a little bit at the corners to make my eyes look bigger. I only wear eye make-up. I use nothing on my skin, and all I ever use on my lips is a little foundation cream. No lipstick! My favorite perfume is Jicky by Guerlain. It's got a lovely musty scent without being sweet.
Just time for a few more answers to your questions. Diane Collier of Metairie, La., is curious to know whether I'm going to be in the Beatles' next film. No, I'm not. I haven't been asked, but in any case I want to be a model, not an actress. I think you know how I feel. I don't want anyone to say: "Of course, they only put her in the film because she's George's friend." I'd hate that.
Mary Beth Fugilino of Wilmington, Del., asks whether I'm nervous and suffer from stage fright. No, Mary Beth, the only time I'm inclined to take fright is when I have to talk to people outside my age group and circle of friends who won't help me to make conversation! This is the oldest problem that we all have making chat to strangers. But it's not hard, really. The great thing about getting boys interested in you is to make them think that you're interested in them. So ask them lots of questions about their school or college or home or hobbies, and you'll find yourself getting on like a house on fire! What was your other question, Mary Beth? Oh, yes, about my kitten "Wee-Wee." He is pure black without any markings.
The most pointed letter I've had it was a sweet letter, too came from Gloria Ambrose of Wickliffe, Ohio. She said: "I meant to write you a nasty letter because you like George, but after I thought about it, I saw that I couldn't keep you from liking George and George from liking you "
Well, Gloria, I like you because you like George, and I'm glad you didn't write me that nasty letter. After all, people who do these things only make themselves unhappy in the end, and you don't sound at all like an unhappy person. Rather a nice person, in fact!
Love to all of you and thanks for all your letters. I've had hundreds far too many to answer, I'm afraid, but in future columns I'll try to pick out the most popular points and deal with them. Ta!