Posted on: June 19, 2024 Posted by: Comments: 0

Growing up in the suburbs of Annapolis, Maryland I was what most would classify as a tomboy. My childhood and adolescents were filled with various sports teams, ranging from Soccer to Taekwondo. There was never a season where I wasn’t involved in some type of competitive sport. This continued all the way through to high school where I landed varsity positions on the state champion cross-country and track teams. Athletics were my life. Looking back its funny to think about, because I was never girlie and into fashion or makeup. But being so sporty made me extremely competitive, and that was just what I needed for the career ahead.

When I was in high school, I was a huge fan of the reality TV show “America’s Next Top Model”. And maybe it was because I was competitive (or just young and delusional) one day I said: “Hey I could do this!”, and decided I wanted to be on the show. So, I sent in some photos and an application, and within a few days I got a call to come to the audition in New York City. That audition led to a callback, which lead to the show sending me a contract to fly out to LA to be on the next season. I ended up turning the show down and going to college to run D1 track and cross country (I told you I was a tomboy). I unfortunately got injured my first season in college and was unable to run the rest of the year. It was during this time; I was approached by my now current agent to consider a career as a fashion model. When one door closes, another one opens!

From there it was full steam ahead into the world of fashion. I went to New York City and interviewed with some of the top modeling agencies in the world. I got offers from eight out of the ten agencies we interviewed with. I landed one of the top agencies, Supreme, and remained with them for just over six years. I then signed with international top agency, Next, who I have been with for the past seven years and am still currently signed.

The first few years were difficult to adjust to working as an equal with adults when I was only eighteen years old. It was long work hours and a lot of trial and error in terms of professionalism. I learned you needed to be on time, well slept and not hungover (this one took me a bit longer to figure out). I felt like a kid in an adult’s world. But I was a quick study, ending up having a fabulous thirteen-year (and counting) career, working with such clients as “Victoria’s Secret”, “Ralph Lauren”, “Calvin Klein”, “Versace”, and many more.

It was kind of crazy the way my career took off. It was rare to have such longevity as I had accomplished. Many of the girls I started out with stopped modeling for lack of work, body sizing issues, drugs/alcohol…. the list goes on and on. Modeling is a super competitive career, you either sink or swim. I like to think the endurance and determination I learned being an athlete played a big role in my success.

I was having lunch with a girlfriend, who is also in the industry, and we were laughing how whenever someone finds out we are models they always ask, “What is your favorite job?” It’s funny because in no other industry are you asked which meeting was your favorite. But none-the-less people are like racoons, attracted to the sparkle and allure that modeling holds. Now don’t get me wrong, there is plenty about the industry that is glamorous, but what shines is not always gold. When I was just starting out my career I lived in various model apartments around the world. During my time in those apartments, I was privy to girls eating orange juice-soaked cotton balls to “feel full” (kids do not try this one at home), stealing other model’s clothes and bringing strange men back to shared twin-bed bedrooms.

But none of those experiences compared to those of some jobs. I was doing my first season of shows in Milan and got booked for “Armani”. I was thrilled, Giorgio hand selected each girl for the show and was very hands-on. The day of the show, the girls were in hair and makeup backstage putting on their looks and lining up for the show to start. The music started as Giorgio went down the line for finishing touches on each girls look. He stopped midway down the line and said something in Italian to a model. The translator then says, “He said your cheeks are too big: leave.” The girl then had to undress in front of everyone and leave the show, her look was given to another girl as the show started. By the time Giorgio got to me I was sucking in my cheeks!

There was another job I had in Paris where I was posing for French “Elle”. The hair stylist’s body odor was so strong I was choking on set. Once he finished touch ups, I felt like I could finally breathe, and we started shooting. Everything was going great and then the hair stylist stood behind this big fan to blow the hair on set, and I am just hit with a waft of the worst stinky, sweaty body odor you can imagine. He stood behind the fan the rest of the shoot, I could barely stand it, but had to be muscle through and finish the job.

I have absolutely loved my career thus far in the modeling industry. The bad experiences make for great stories, and the good experiences make for incredible memories. I hope my journey can help some young girl out there not to be delusional like I once was and take that leap to try something new. You never know what door could open after one closes.

The post Megan Irminger: What Shines Is Not Always Gold appeared first on The Fashiongton Post.

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