When Molly Dillon ’08 got ready to go to BAR on Thursday evening, she knew she was going to be judged not only by her peers. Instead, Dillon, who beat the typical Thursday crowd when she arrived with two friends at 5:30 p.m., knew her clothing would also be caught by the camera — a professional one.
Dillon was one of approximately 30 Yale students who came out for a model search run by Co-Ed Magazine, a publication launched in January. Of the 30, four were chosen to represent Yale in November’s issue. The magazine, which is printed four times a year, publishes articles about college life, along with numerous photographs of college women, often scantily-clad, always attractive. Yale is the only Ivy League school they have canvassed for potential models.
“We wanted to know what the girls are like at an Ivy League school, what the students do,” said Kristyna Kane, Co-Ed’s fashion editor. “And Yale — the name has been around forever.”
Co-Ed is not the first magazine to come to campus looking for attractive bodies. In April 1995, Playboy Magazine also came to Yale to audition ladies for its “Women of the Ivy League” pictorial.
The winners of Co-Ed’s audition were Lacey Gattis ’07, Lauren Ezell ’07, Marisol Temech ’07 and Whitney Seibel ’06.
Although most of the women trying out said they would definitely model for the magazine if chosen, Ezell was not convinced.
“I am mortified,” she said. “I got dragged down there today by a friend. I need to process [the outcome] and ask some people if they’ll still have respect for me.”
Still, she said, she would probably go through with the shoot — at least, she said, she does not have to wear a bathing suit.
For most of the women pictured in the magazine, modeling for Co-Ed is their first time posing professionally, said photographer Thom Jordan, who was shooting the Yale candidates. Some of the girls, like Dillon, said they came for laughs, essentially to make fun of the process. Nevertheless, they ultimately ended up participating and competing, posing for both a head and a full-body shot.
Gattis, a petite blonde who said she found out about the scouting event from the Rumpus e-mail list, is one such first-time model. She also heard that last year’s Rumpus editor wants to work for Co-Ed after he graduates, she said, so she decided to check it out.
The odds were more in her favor than she predicted.
“I thought there were going to be a billion people,” she said. “I was expecting a lot of six-foot-one girls to be here.”
Instead, when Gattis arrived, she was one of only three students waiting for her initial photographs.
Height does not really matter for the shoots, Kane said, adding that it’s more important that the models’ personalities shine through. After all, the magazine is not just pretty photographs — each college woman has a short profile published along with her picture, too, she said.
But for Teresa Ding ’08, the purpose of coming to BAR was not to try to get her hobbies published in a magazine. Ding said she came to the event because she wanted professional pictures. She writes a column for a newspaper at home in China, and she wantes a better headshot to run with it.
“Besides, I can put [the picture] on my facebook.com profile,” she said.
Other students, unlike Ding and Gattis, came with some modeling experience under their trendy belts. Seibel, one of Rumpus’ 50 Most Beautiful People from 2002, said she heard about the scouting event from the Y-Couture e-mail list. She said she always ends up appearing in “random magazines and game shows,” including Maxim and Who Wants To Be a Millionaire, and thought she would come by.
“It’s a nice contrast to the Morgan Stanley meeting I just struggled through,” she said.
Meanwhile, Temech did a photo shoot for a friend’s clothing line last year, she said, and had so much fun she thought she would check out the proceedings at BAR. A personal e-mail from Julie Gordon, collegiate editor at Co-Ed, helped convince her. Gordon told Temech she had received her name from Rumpus’ new Beautiful People list.
“I don’t think I’m tall enough to be a model,” Temech said, laughing. “But this isn’t something you get to experience every day.”