How To Make It As A Model In New York

Do you ever wonder if that homeless guy in that MTA ad that says, "Give to the homeless. Just not here," is really homeless or is he some disheveled sad-looking old man playing the part? Turns out, the answer could be both. Welcome to the world of real-person modeling, where sad-looking old men are the next Giseles. In this week's (strangely alluring!) Times Style section, Bernice Yeung took a look at Ugly NY, a real-people modeling agency. Guess who's a model? Frightening concoction Amanda Lepore! A night technical director at Fox TV! A woman named Messy Stench and some really really ugly dudes. And guess where Ugly NY founder scouts for new talent? On the uptown-bound No. 1 train—the ugliest line in all of the transit system!

Real-world models "get paid anywhere from a third to half what a professional model would" and must fork over $75 for a "comp" card to leave with potential clients. So what's in it for Ammo, Machine, Kutcha and dragonfly? Status! Unlike Google co-founder Larry Page, who was recently turned away from the Beatrice Inn, these tattooed, threadbare souls can sunnily say, "Hey, let me in. I'm a model!" and breeze right through.

Also they could be the homeless guy in the MTA ad. Priceless.