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Be a Model (or Just Look Like One)

The Huffington Post logo The Huffington Post 10/03/2016 Kelly Hughes

2016-03-09-1457533031-610790-bon.jpg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-03-09-1457533031-610790-bon.jpg

When he still weighed 300 pounds, Ernie saw that the Bon Marché (before they became Macy's) was having a contest to find Plus Size female models. So of course Ernie had to enter.
I did the photo shoot at my place using a cheap camera and a table lamp as our main lighting source. His wig made him look like Liz Taylor in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf. So to give him a competitive edge, and make his lips stand out, I persuaded him to paint them with red nail polish.
"It'll keep them glossy for the camera."
"Kelly!" And then, "Alright."
So we painted Ernie's lips with nail polish. It glided on so easily.
"This looks great," I said, and started snapping shots. And after about a minute, Ernie started screaming because the nail polish started burning his lips, and as it hardened, the polish contracted and tore at his lip tissue.
"Stop whining," I said. "The lips are fabulous. Do you want to win this contest or what?"
So Ernie suffered through the shoot.
"See, it's all over," I said, handing him the nail polish remover. And as he rubbed his lips with a cotton ball, he screamed even louder at the burning sensation of the nail polish remover on his raw lips.
"If you fucked up my lips, Kelly, my mother's going to have to donate labia tissue for my reconstructive surgery. Fuck! This really hurts! I think we did permanent damage!"
After we got the photos developed, Ernie submitted one to the contest. But several weeks later he received a generic letter saying he didn't win. There was no mention that he lost because he was a man.


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