My Bikini Visa Ad
I figure there are worse things the photo couldâ€™ve been used for, like the before picture of a makeover.
I was in Thailand when I got a frantic email from my friend, a photographer I had met on a press junket a few years earlier, about signing a release form. She said she didnâ€™t think I had ever signed it for photos she took of me floating in the Dead Sea off the coast of Jordan.
Since she was in such a panic about it, I signed. I asked her, "Whatâ€™s this for?" Never heard back; didnâ€™t follow up. I was on vacation, after all.
Two months later, Iâ€™m flipping through _Entertainment Weekly,_ which had just redesigned its look, thinking, I canâ€™t find anything in this magazine anymoreâ€”whereâ€™s the Hot List?, when I turn the page and nearly choke. Then laugh.
There I am! _In a Visa ad._ Iâ€™m in a hat and shades and a bikini (you canâ€™t see much, though, because of the water). I immediately call/text three peopleâ€”all ex-coworkers who still work at Time Inc. and will have picked up _EW_ like everyone else I work with does on Fridaysâ€”and am mildly flipping out, alone in my apartment.
When I show my sister later, she says, â€œYeah, that sort of looks like you.â€ I say, â€œThat _is_ me, sister!â€
The ad is also very funny to me because although I think Iâ€™m supposed to represent the good life, 1) Iâ€™m wearing a freebie hat; 2) the shades are fake Oakleys that actually read â€œOakeyâ€; and 3) the bikini is an old one I got from Old Navy. As the weeks pass, I find that Iâ€™m in nearly every Time Inc. magazine (_Real Simple, In Style, Cooking Light_), but Iâ€™m so incognito I havenâ€™t had calls or emails from longtime friends.
I figure there are worse things the photo couldâ€™ve been used for, like the before picture of a makeover. And I have thought of a good way to shut people up who are appalled that Iâ€™m not getting paid (I signed a release form! Thatâ€™s how it works!): â€œCost of appearing in a national ad in a bikini: priceless.â€