25 years old Xiao Ling comes from Gansu Province, she has been modeling in Shanxi Province for 3 years now. She met her current roommate Xiao Xie from one of her fashion show and they had become inseparable since.
Auto show and photography modeling are their main source of work. Unlike professional models, they have to live with very unstable booking. According to Xiao Ling, she can make about 4000 yuan (about 650 USD) in a good month. The auto shows every year are their best chances of making more income.
Wearing high heels is a must for their line of work. Xiao Xie gets so tired of high heels that she always puts them way out of sight as soon as she gets home.
Sleep deprivation is common for them. When they don’t have work, they will just sleep until noon.
"You see that we are looking pretty, but this work is very consuming, especially when you can’t have a regular diet." Despite their irregular eating schedule, they still have to watch out carefully for any high calorie food in order to maintain their weights.
Modeling is not always as beautiful as it seems. "In fact, grass root models like us are on a lower level compared to professional ones. Sometimes I feel like we are no different than the animals in the zoo for people’s sightseeing. Sometimes when I think of the leering eyes and filthy gestures some people give to us, I just want to quit."
Smoking has become the only way of quick relief for the two. They will light up a cigarette during makeup time, hoping to puff away their fatigue.
Even though they are not making much, they still need to constantly update their wardrobe to stay relevant in the business.
Xiao Xie and Xiao Ling on a break in their "backstage".
When asked about her boyfriend, Xiao Ling looked blank and only replied "he’s not in the city".
About her love life, Xiao Xie admitted that they can sometimes be like hedgehogs, curling up to protect themselves. "We long for true love, but we are afraid of getting hurt. After all we are grass root models without any other particular skills, we rely on showing off our pretty appearance to making a living."
(Translated from Netease)