But what of the so-called “normal” people? How do they sometimes end up on billboards or in print advertising? Shouldn’t they have been burned at the altar of Sophia Loren years ago?
Apparently there are entire agencies dedicated to finding and representing models with a more “not hot” look. They’re just like regular model scouts, only instead of seeking out willowy 14-year-olds that tower over their parents, they look for people that resemble the deranged uncle that ruined Thanksgiving by rubbing his bare belly on the stuffing.
Freakonomics has posted a Q&A session with Simon Rogers, owner of Ugly NY, a modeling agency that specializes in this sort of thing. When asked why anyone would want to use real-looking people when pretty people are such proven sellers, he had this to say:
It depends entirely on what the “product” is, and who it’s aimed at. There will always be a place for the traditionally beautiful in life, and that is as it should be; but in taking the blinkers off and opening themselves up to how most people really look, creative teams across the world are giving themselves whole new seams to mine, and are able to think way more outside the box when it comes to positioning their clients.
This is all well and good, Mr. Rogers (heh) but you listen to me — if I see one ugly or even normal-looking person in an ad for domestic light beer, so help me I will come down to your agency and slap you right back inside that box. We have standards in this country, pal.
Moons — Josh Ritter
OK/No Way — Mission of Burma
Ikea — Jonathan Coulton
All the Photos — The Sea and Cake
Born into a Light — Ryan Adams and the Cardinals
Sweet Black Angel — The Rolling Stones
I Was Made For You — She & Him
Big Takeover — Bad Brains
Hello Kitty Kat — Smashing Pumpkins
Fast Blood (Live) — Frightened Rabbit
Flakes — The Mystery Jets
The Rules: The Friday Random 10 is exactly that — random. We open up our iTunes, set the thing on shuffle, and listen to 10 songs. We are not permitted to skip any out of embarrassment or fear of redundancy. Commenters are encouraged to post their own.