I loved When I Was A Mall Model. I’m not even going to pretend otherwise. Back in the way back days of the American 1970’s every middle school girl thought she was going to be a model. (Well, except me. I was absolutely certain I wasn’t, which made me one of two girls in the grade to hold that opinion.) The richer girls would brag of taking classes at Barbizon. The less fortunate would practice their walks during recess. Seventeen magazine told us all models thought they were ugly, none ever realized they were special and all of them lived on junk food. What 12 to 14 year old girl couldn’t identify with that?
Monica Gallagher went a step further and actually worked as a model. This short comic is a beautiful slice of her coming of age story. Young Monica pays her dues as a mall model while aspiring to the rarified world of Hair Shows and Runway Work. She knows all she has to do is want it and it will come true. For a time, it seems like she’s right. When I Was A Mall Model was a great read. It took me back to a stage of naiveté and self assurance that will be familiar to many women. If we dream it, we can be it. Eventually every girl has to wake up and decide what kind of woman she’ll become. In Monica Gallagher’s case that was tougher than she expected. Sparsely drawn but memorable beyond it’s page count, When I Was A Mall Model is perfection in a small package.
*This post originally appeared at Love In The Margins.