Back in my early twenties, I was having a bit of a rough time. I wasn’t enjoying my job, I wasn’t in a fulfilling relationship, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life. And, around the time I was feeling so perplexed, Grazia magazine decided they wanted to run a feature about young women going through a quarter-life crisis and somehow I managed getting involved. Fast forward five years and I’m pretty sure that feature has never seen the light of day! So what happened?
It all started with a Facebook post
A girl I was friends with knew another girl who worked in London who posted a request on Facebook for girls who felt a little bit rudderless in their teens. They promised payment, a trip to London for a photo shoot and an interview. I was suggested and dropped an email off to the magazine. They accepted, simple as that!
A few weeks later, I was called by a nice lady from Grazia, who asked me about myself, where I was at in life, what I enjoyed about my job, what I thought I might want to do with my future – all kinds of things. I really enjoyed chatting to her and it was kind of therapeutic.
After that, my original contact emailed me and asked if I wanted to come down to London (all expenses paid) for a photoshoot. I mean, who could say no to that?! Certainly not me. I booked a last minute day off work and headed for the Big Smoke.
The photo shoot
It was an absolute scorcher of a day as I rocked up to a random pub in London (I forget where exactly). I was met by a hair stylist, a photographer, a photographer’s assistant, a clothes stylist, a makeup artist and a features assistant from Grazia. Very exciting and very overwhelming!
I was asked my clothes size before we got there, which was a 12 at the time, but I soon found out that most of the clothes were a 10 because the shoot had been pulled together last minute and they had to work with what they could get. Not too much of an issue, if slightly cringe-inducing as I tried to squeeze myself into too small jeans!
I was asked to try on about six outfits – gorgeous clothes from both designers and high street – and assessed by the stylist in each one. Once I’d been through them all, three were chosen for my final shoot. Then it was over to hair and makeup.
While I was getting my face done, I couldn’t see myself at all. I had no idea what my makeup looked like and I couldn’t tell what was being done as my hair was being teased into bouncy waves at the same time! Needless to say, the makeup artist was incredible and I was transformed into some kind of strong-browed glamazon babe. I swear that was my awakening into doing my makeup properly!
The photographer was a Scottish guy and I swear, for the life of me, I can’t remember his name. Oops. He told me a few poses to do, tried to make me feel comfortable (nigh on impossible) while he shot me. Between takes, the makeup and hair stylists kept touching up how I looked and where my hair fell. I felt like a frigging model!
It was 100% awkward at first but that wore off a little bit, although I would have liked to see some of the shots as I went to see whether I was arranging my face in quite the right way.
Going home to Newcastle that night, I didn’t want to take my makeup off! I felt so glam, it was amazing.
What happened next?
The next day, I emailed everyone who had been involved with the shoot and interview to say thank you. Then I followed up with the Features Assistant at Grazia to see if they had any idea when the feature would be in the magazine. They told me the month after. It wasn’t. So I emailed again (feeling like a stalker) and they said they were trying to space out the articles so it would be soon. It wasn’t.
I subscribed to Grazia for A WHOLE YEAR after the damn photo shoot in the desperate hopes of seeing my made up mug in there. After a year, I realised it probably wasn’t going to happen…
Getting my hands on the photos
I was dying to see what I looked like after I’d had so many people fussing over me that day – I was also slightly worried that my photos were so bad that’s why they hadn’t run the feature! Two years after the photo shoot had taken place, I googled the photographer (when I still remembered his name!), found his website and dropped him an email asking if he was able to send me over any pictures.
Thankfully, he did, but his email went into my junk and I got a rather snotty follow up from him saying that if he took the time to dig out old photos, I should at least have the time to say thank you. It kind of put a bit of a downer on the whole thing, so in the end I only saw TWO out of the hundreds of pictures he must have shot and now I can only find one of them. After that, I kind of put it out of my mind.
So there we have it, that’s the story of how I almost made it into Grazia magazine. Who knows where the pictures and interview ended up – on the discarded pile I’m guessing! But who knows why. And after that year, I definitely didn’t bother renewing my subscription to Grazia…
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