"Scouted" on E!
Written by
Jill Johnson
December 2011
Written by
Jill Johnson
December 2011

Gillian Begins Her Transformation

Finally, a modeling reality TV program that has something to do with reality. The first episode of “Scouted” aired last night on E!, offering America an inside view of how new faces are discovered and, if deemed worthy, packaged for stardom. 

The team of scouters and packagers featured a host of familiar faces for me: Page Parkes, who was such a big supporter of Tear Sheet, a powerhouse in Texas and Miami, and a surrogate mom to many of my model friends; Julia Samersova, who was a regular on the scouting event circuit when I was too; Michael Flutie, supermodel maker and founder of Company in New York—his name brings back memories of sitting in the stark waiting area with my book in my lap awaiting sure rejection (no way would a German-catalog girl like me get picked up by an edgy agency like that). As soon as I saw the team, I knew this show was the real deal—these are people who have been in the fashion business for decades and set model trends. 

Even someone who has never opened an issue of Vogue could see that 15-year-old Gillian, one of two models featured on last night’s show, is a showstopper. WOW. With her tiny face, wide-set eyes, infectious smile, and ability to go from girl-next-door to wickedly editorial, she reminds me of Kate Moss. No surprise, One Management signed her. Gillian’s mom laments that this happened so soon—when her daughter wasn’t even half way through high school. She is on to something. I hope Gillian remains as sweet and wholesome as she seems now. (And that her dad defies his cancer prognosis and sees his beautiful daughter blossom into a woman). 

We’re never told if Gillian and Jennifer, the other discovery, are competing with one another for a spot at One, but it's implied. This part isn’t realistic, since they are two totally different types. A gap-toothed African American, Jennifer is chastised for being unprofessional and subjected to a “mock casting.” This would never happen either. Nor would a model be asked by a client, “What differentiates you from other models?” Or, “What do you get from modeling?” Clients look at a model's “book” (portfolio, which Jennifer forgot—also hard to believe), perhaps take a picture, have her walk or try something on, but they don’t philosophize about modeling. It’s really not a deep endeavor. It’s a job.

This fact seems a bit lost in the land of fantasy making. Jennifer’s mother (or her “momager,” as Julia refers to her) says, “I want the world to fall in love with my daughter.” Whoa, mom, take it down a notch.  View modeling for what it is: a fantastic way to see the world and possibly a springboard to a more long-term career: something fashion related, entrepreneurial, journalistic, or, the old stand by, acting. 

One Management’s Scott Lipps turned down Jennifer. Maybe he couldn't get past her forehead—it made Tyra’s look small.  Or he couldn’t get past her momager.  Moms, let that be a lesson to you.  

For scoop on “Scouted”—or to get scouted—check out: Eonline.com/scouted


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