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.