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The Vanity Fair Shoot

Psst! Don’t forget to enter to win a copy of Karen Abbott’s hot new book, American Rose.

SO, if you are in the grocery store, pick up a copy of February’s Vanity Fair and take a peek at pages 115 – 116. I’m in there with a posse made up of The Lady Writers of Atlanta . It’s kinda…unreal. You can see a version of it here, as ATL’s Creative Loafing did a story about VF doing a story with us local girls in it. Which, that in and of itself is pretty cool….

Yes, Virginia, it IS the issue with the ubiquitous Bieber boy on the cover. My only regret? Last month’s cover-man was Johnny Depp. What would I have given to be a skinny 116 pages away from him! Alas!

BUT MAN, IT WAS A COOL, STRANGE DAY. We all met up at the Swan House at the butt crack of dawn, and positive SWARMS of glamour teams came charging at us. I needed some serious help, too. Not everyone did. There are some women in that group who effortlessly have a host of things that are so foreign to me they seem positively French: Strapless bras. Skin care routines. Fashion Sense.

But me? I live in the high cotton west of the city, and most days I only make it out of my pajamas if I put on work-out clothes. My last hair cut was practically a criminal act, performed as it was upon my helpless bangs by me. In my kitchen. With meat shears. I did it while waiting for my glamorous lunch-can of Campbell’s Won Ton to boil. So. Let’s just say, some of us needed a bit more spackle than others.

This is a pic a friend snapped with her cell phone. Yikes, but I sure am NAKED. Not my usual attire. Or look. And what it took to get me from ME to THAT cleavagey, sleek haired object in the diamonds was…magic. That and a herd of crack professionals.

There was a Hair Team with a Hair Team Leader and a slew of Hair Minions. He would come by, and make decisions, and then his righteous hair army would carry out his orders, and then he would come back to check and polish and be SURE. When he got to me, his eyes may have slightly widened at my meat-sheared bang-age, but he had enough poise to avoid an out-and-out visible flinch. Still, I suspect he may have been flinching on the INSIDE.

He had this rich delicious chocolate voice and hypnotic eyes, and he dazzled me by waving glinty scissors about in a mesmerizing fashion, and before I knew what was what, he had me agreeing to let him cut it however he liked. I sat there, DAZED, while whole SWATHS of my hair went slithering into my lap. The remaining befuzzled, dry locks were spritzed and tonged into smoothocity and sleek submission. My hair? Will never look like that again.

*I* will never look like that again. After hair there was a Face Team Leader and his posse who created a new complexion for me and gave me ACTUAL LIPS, glossy, fullish looking ones—-a thing I have never had before.

Then the CLOTHES Team Leader WEDGED me into a skin tight dress I later found out cost—literally—seriously—MORE THAN MY CAR.

Granted, I bought my car used, but GENTLY used. It was a year old with less than 10 thousand miles on it when we got it, and the dress COST MORE THAN IT. My shoes cost more than a new transmission and a set of fresh tires would run us. I didn’t even ASK about the Jewelry—-when they started taking pictures of us holding the pieces we were to wear, I knew I didn’t want to know what it cost. Insane.

Even more insane? I was sent to march across the damp Swan House lawn in these transimission-n-tires priced pink satin slingback platforms with SIX INCH SPIKES ON THE BACK, so of course I instantly sunk all the way up to my heels in black mud. It was like I had been NAILED to the lawn by my shoes!

I had the worst time getting down to the shoot, trying to walk on tiptoe in six inch heels… by the time we returned them, ALL but the most shoe-savvy of us had blackened the heels
beyond all reason. And the photographer was having various members of the posse sprawl across the grass or in piles of damp leaves in DRESSES THAT COST MORE THAN A GENTLY USED SATURN VUE.

It was nothing, nothing, nothing at all, nothing—NOTHING – like my real life. And I am glad. It’s very tiring and time consuming, being glamorous. I wouldn’t want to do it every day. Heck, I wouldn’t want to do it once a month. I don’t want to own a dress that costs more than my car. Oh, but oh! The dress, the shoes, even the life….how fun it was to try it all on.

32 comments to The Vanity Fair Shoot

  • Melissa C

    No way! That issue of Vanity Fair has been sitting on my end table for DAYS now, and I haven’t gotten to it yet. I can’t believe I’ve missed seeing you all gussied up in your car-priced dress. Going to check it out right now!

  • That is so cool! Congrats on not breaking an ankle in those shoes.

  • Oh I want to see MORE pictures! Haha that must have been such a great, fun experience – but I am glad that you are an author and not a full-time model 😉

  • How awesome and fun! I’ll be sure to take a peek 😉

  • Mir

    I LOVE YOU IN THE HEAVY BLUNT BANGS. I said it. It’s not a look I ever would’ve even dreamed of for you but it so, so works. You look 30, with BEEYOOTEEFUL eyes that POP right out at me. Love. Are you going to keep them? Do you need me to come teach you how to make your hair look like that? YOU CAN DO IT!

  • Brigitte

    Hey, the eyes ain’t the only thing popping out at us! Hee! ;-D
    Such cheekbones, too.

    If only every woman, at least once in her life, could be all glammed up like that, it might help all of our pitifui self-esteems to see what is POSSIBLE.

  • JulieB

    Very cool.

  • Beth R

    Yowza! You all look absolutely smashing! And Joss, I know you don’t want to hear this, but you’re an insanely glamorous woman whether you wish to admit it or not. True glamor isn’t all the accouterments you got gussied up in, it’s the person and how they carry themselves through life.

    And the mighty rack is looking LOVERLY in that dress!!! (hee hee)

  • liz

    Like Cinderella! What did Maisy think of the whole shebang?

  • JenniferG

    OMG! You look fabulous! What a cool experience…the hair, the clothes, the SHOES, and hanging out with all those other authors.

  • Just gorgeous. GORGEOUS. . .all of you. I’m loving the taupish colors and the big ‘ole hats. And if ANYONE can wear those shoes, it is YOU!!!! I am just sorry they asked you to wear them across the lawn.

  • Dahling, you look mahvelous!
    Seriously. Beautiful.
    I will have to pick up a copy of Vanity Fair but leave it open, or hide it. My daughter has a disturbing, intense loathing for Justin Bieber. She might shred the issue if I leave it out!

  • Kimberly HdM

    You look faaabulous! And way to walk in crazy shoes. Rushing off to buy mag at lunch now….

  • Jill W.

    I am very excited you are in VF, but most aggrieved that you have been Bieberblasted (my too-cool 14 year old nephew’s word)in the process…

    Behold the return of the Almighty Rack. You look gorgeous! Can’t wait to see the magazine.

  • Tiffany

    I think they should have let you pose in your fantasy pants 😉 But looking good!

  • Mit

    OMG … I totally echo Mir. What an amazing look for you.

    And? I hope when you got home – Masie that you were a princess – and Scott wasn’t traveling – and swept you off to a lovely dinner. Because seriously – how often do we have pros making us look like “all that”.

  • You look AMAZING! You can’t give the haircut all the credit for those eyes and cheekbones! It was very nice Leaders and Minions to point out all of your lovely features but know how gorgeous you are.

  • Kacie

    Does this mean you just won the FFP Fashionista Challenge? Even if it was only one day?

  • edj

    SO SO COOL! You are stunning! I can’t believe you could walk in those shoes! Sigh…I wish it wasn’t the Justin Bieber issue…my teen daughter loathes him and I will have to endure much mocking.

  • On behalf of my fellow countrymen and -women, I apologize for the Biebster. However, you, my dahlink, look marvellous. You don’t look in the least intimidated by the experience.

  • Les in AZ

    That is soooo damn cool – seriously. One of these days your gonna discover you are too cool for us best beloveds.

  • Kelly

    Very Angelica Huston, in the best, most glam, way!

  • Linda J

    Holy wow!!!

    What else is there to say except that I love your work too. Brains and beauty

  • Bridget

    Bringing a copy to the next Decatur Book Festival to have as many of you as I can track down to sign the thing. Very glam!

  • Sara

    Those shoes–OH those shoes! I would rob a bank for them, but then I’d have to hire a team of men to carry me in a litter because of my inability to walk in heels. *sigh*


  • See, you’re still amazing to me, because if it was me, describing myself, I would have needed another period between Fashion and Sense.
    I want to wear a dress that costs more than my car. Just once.
    And btw, you are so lovely that I am even prepared to forgive you for forcing me to buy a magazine with Justin Bieber on the cover. OH, how my sons shall mock me!

  • JMixx

    Ack ack ack!! I cannot follow the link to see more photos, as my browser at work has decided I am up to something fishy. I beg, I plead, I try to find some way around it, but iPrissy is implacable. “You shall not pass,” it sniffs. Ah well, I will either try to find a copy of VF somewhere in Podunk, VA, where I work, or I will have to wait until I get home to see. There is a way to have modified-glam-on-a-budget, I just know it, and if anyone can figure it out, it is you.

    When you describe your hair as “befuzzled and dry,” I am moved to ask whether you have ever tried “Infusium” conditioners. I love that stuff. It tends to make hair heavy and sleek–perfect for those of us who get haircuts bi-annually (ahem. Gotta call my stylist. Today.) Not so good if you’re going for “bouncy curls,” but marvelous for those of us who have stubbornly straight hair, and have given up and pretty much let our hair do what it feels like doing that day. My part wants to move from right to left? Okay. Limp and flat? Fine–lying flat looks great when I yoink it back in a ponytail.

  • JMixx

    Oh, and Pee Ess! The Mighty Rack certainly is…um…featured to its best advantage, and, from what I can see in the little pic above, you look terrific!

  • Michelle-who-is-Shelley

    Pretty, pretty princess.

  • Barbie

    I passed the magazine around Booker T – your Pensacola peeps were mightily impressed! Way to go!

  • Leslie Noon

    I am going straight to the bookstore on Monday and buying Vanity Fair. I want to see a dress that cost more than a car. And you. I already thought you looked pretty darn cute. But in a dress that cost more than a car! Gotta see it.

  • Okay, I had to share this with you, because it’s gone viral in my country. Gordon Pinsent, a Canadian icon, reading his favorite excerpts from Bieber’s memoir: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ih-2O_gdYZo