L.A. Archetype: Model

Joy Green shares the unretouched version of her life in the fashion industry


➻ “Do I want it enough? That’s the question I ask myself on days when I haven’t booked anything and I need to work out because I’m not doing the right thing by sitting down and watching five episodes of Breaking Bad.”

➻ Green, 22, moved from Fresno to Los Angeles when she was in the first grade. After appearing in local runway shows in her teens, she was spotted by a photographer at an American Apparel store. She signed with the Daniel Hoff Agency, deferring college plans to pursue acting and modeling full time.

➻ “I’m on the runway for 15 seconds, and my job is to make the dress look good in that 15 seconds. I don’t know if it’s because I’m a Leo and love attention, but it’s amazing to feel everyone looking at me.”

➻ Green has appeared in ad campaigns (including for Levi’s) and magazines (Elle, Vogue). She has up to five auditions each week for modeling and acting jobs and books gigs roughly once or twice a month. Green receives anywhere from $200 to $3,000 per job. She does not take jobs that require nudity.

➻ “I was hired to appear in a concert visual for a rapper—behind the scenes—and be one of the party people in a nightclub. I go and it’s a strip club. They asked me to put on a bikini and walk around a pole. I stood my ground and told them, ‘You’re going to have to find someone else.’ ”

➻ Most models range from a size zero to size four in American clothing. Green is 5 feet, 10 inches tall and a size four. Green has witnessed models taking drastic measures to stay slender, including ingesting cotton balls or eating only a single apple per day.

➻ “I’m comfortable at a size four. I know I’ll never be a size zero—my bone structure won’t allow that. But the younger you are, the more of an asset you are in the fashion world. I felt I needed to catch up with the girls who had been modeling since they were 14. Usually, they stop using models at around age 25.”

➻ The world’s oldest working supermodel is Carmen Dell’Orefice, who at 83 is still doing runway shows and magazine covers.

➻ “It’s all in the photographer’s hands. You sign a contract stating that you don’t have any right to approve which images they’re going to use or how they will be used.”

➻ “The best advice I ever got was from my grandmother: ‘If you don’t stand for anything, you’ll fall for everything.’ That has guided my entire life.”