The career slash

Kate Moss is reportedly cutting a CD. Which will, of course, be as wildly successful as everything else she touches, including cut-off jean shorts, wellies, Topshop and that whole date-a-musician grunge glamour thing. So, Kate is now a model/designer/muse/singer – truly an impressive hybrid career moniker.

The new thing to be, at least according to Moss’ example and media outlets such as the New York Times and Vogue, is a hybrid. But not just the tired actress/model/designer combination; that’s old hat. Save, of course, for Moss, who can do anything and still be awesome. Now, the hybrid has to be a combination of intellectual achievement, artistic credibility and flat-out fabulousness that only partially stems from access to an extensive designer wardrobe. Take the examples mentioned in the January issue of Vogue: Model/graduate student who has achieved the impossible by finding time not spent in class, studying or sleeping in which to actually be a model. (Grad school is all-encompassing.) College student/DJ/fashion show front-row fixture.  Actress/photographer/model/face of Chanel.

The New York Times recently ran a piece featuring a 19 year-old (let that sink in) who is equal parts student, author, socialite/debutante, lobbyist, Gossip Girl inspiration and apparent royalty. It’s exhausting just reading about her.

Such features makes me wonder if I’m going about things all wrong. Instead of spending my college years writing papers and singing a cappella, and grad school working constantly and not sleeping enough, maybe I should have been writing my memoir. Or lobbying congress. Or crashing fashion shows. Though to be fair, I went to school in St. Louis – not quite next door to Bryant Park and Lincoln Center.

I am too short to be a model. Too boring to have a memoir (yet). Too unmotivated to lobby congress. And I don’t have an extensive designer wardrobe or family connections to royalty. My slash, if I had one, would be writer/editor/bookworm/geek/shower opera singer. None of which, I might add, would net me a mention in Vogue’s hallowed pages.

But then I wonder. I am a great bookworm/geek, thanks to the time I have spent reading, studying and depriving myself of sleep in pursuit of my degrees. If I was to also be a lobbyist/model/socialite, how good would I be? I’ve tried to be perfect before – my grade and high school years had me running around like my pants were on fire trying to be the best student, the best singer, the best field hockey player, the best at accumulating community service hours, the best insert-something-here. But a lack of time to devote to each pursuit got in the way. And math. I was never tops at math.

I envy these women’s accomplished slash careers and their seeming acquisition of a Harry Potter-esque time turner in order to be able to do it all. It would be nice to be a fixture at the fashion shows, friends with Karl Lagerfeld, known face in congress. But perhaps it’s more satisfying to take the time to fully immerse myself in something I find interesting, rather than just skimming off the top. Now all I need is for Chanel to realize that short, pale Dorothy Parker-aspirants are the next big thing. Friends, ready your slashes – our time will come.

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Filed under Philosophizing, Talking points

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