Confessions of a High School Supermodel

Meet Maddie Fox, a self-proclaimed Lozerilla. She’s 16, loves One Direction, shops at Forever 21, and frequently spends high school lunchtime hiding inside a bathroom stall. Maddie dreams of fitting in with the popular girls, but her shyness (and the fact that she has the most embarrassing family in the world) makes that impossible.

But when a chance encounter with a modeling scout thrusts Maddie into stardom as the next Victoria’s Secret supermodel, the girl that no boy ever looked at twice is suddenly a sex symbol, her picture on every teenage guy’s bedroom wall.

Maddie has to navigate her newfound fame amidst the jealous girls at school who want to see her crash and burn. But is getting everything you ever wanted all it’s cracked up to be?


2. Chapter 2





Maddie’s eyes scanned the bustling street in front of school for her mom’s minivan.  She heard the familiar blare of the car horn and a second later, the silver-grey Toyota pulled up.  Maddie quickly hopped inside and slammed the door shut behind her.  Her little sister Cassidy was already buckled into the backseat. 

“Hey Mad, how was school?” her mom asked.

“Fine.”  Her typical answer. 

“Did anything interesting happen?”

“Nope.”  Maddie preferred to keep her mom as uninformed about her life at school as possible.  She leaned back in the seat and closed her eyes, grateful the week was finally over.

“I hope you’re not too tired.  I was thinking we could go to the mall right now.  I have a coupon that came in the mail for some free panties and I think it expires today.  You can have it.”

Maddie shrugged. “Sure mom.  Whatever.”

Cassidy piped up, “I need a bra!”

“No you don’t.  You’re seven.”

“I’m very mature for my age.”

“Not in the chest area.”

Maddie wasn’t surprised her mom was driving them to the mall for some free underwear.  Mrs. Fox had never passed up a deal for a freebie or a giveaway in her life.  She was actually, well, the most honest way to describe it was just plain cheap!  Maddie didn’t like shopping with her mom, who was totally embarrassing to be around in public. 

Whenever they visited expensive stores like Nordstrom, her mom would busy herself not with actually picking out clothes, but with flipping over price tags.  She’d loudly quote the price to anyone in the immediate vicinity, often followed by “Are they crazy?!” and “Look how expensive everything is!”  Maddie had long since learned that it was best to wander around by herself while shopping and pretend she had no connection to the crazy lady who kept trying to talk to her.

Mrs. Fox pulled up to the Westfield Shopping Mall, and they all lumbered out of the minivan.

A short while later, Maddie was happily browsing through the racks at Forever 21.  They had already been to Claire’s, Love Culture, Topshop, and H&M, but she’d saved the best for last.    

Maddie loved Forever 21.  All their clothes were so trendy, and affordable too.  She was lucky; her local Forever 21 was huge, like a two-story high treasure chest.  The store was laid out beautifully, every corner stacked with the most delectable treats.   Maddie had always particularly liked the jewelry section, with everything sparkly, dangly, and shimmering.  Chains, crystals, studs, and pearls, all new and shiny and begging to be tried on!

Maddie got some money from her parents on her birthday and Christmas, and she earned a little bit from babysitting, but that was pretty much it.  Most of the time, she was with her parents when she went shopping, so they were the ones who bought things for her. 

It wasn’t anything like some of the other girls at school, who each seemed to own personal credit cards, as well as large amounts of cash they could access any time.  They seemed completely independent; Maddie got the feeling they would never be caught dead shopping with their parents or little siblings. 

Maddie perused the racks, nodding her head and humming along to the Selena Gomez song blasting through the speakers.  “I, I love you like a love song baby!”

She browsed her way through the store, picking out clothes she liked along the way.  She found a pair of cream-colored crochet shorts, a lacy hot pink bandeau top, and a pair of cutoff jean shorts covered in studs that looked exactly like the ones Aria had just worn on Pretty Little Liars. 

She picked up a beautiful coral top covered in glistening sequins.  It was exactly the sort of thing the popular group of girls at school would wear.  Maddie found a mirror and held the shirt up against her body.  The shimmer made her cheeks look rosier, and the color went well with her long brown hair.  Reluctantly, she hung it back on a rack, along with the other clothes she’d picked out. 

Maddie had a good eye for clothes and she knew what was in style.  She loved to read girly magazines, look at fashion blogs, and watch YouTube beauty gurus like Macbarbie07 and Elle & Blair.   She wished she dressed more like the pretty, popular girls, but she just didn’t have the confidence to pull off really trendy clothes.   She didn’t like to draw attention to herself.  She was uncomfortable when everyone was looking at her and worse than that, she didn’t want people to think she was trying to copy them to fit in, as if new clothes would suddenly make them start being her friend. 

She was probably way overcomplicating things.

Maddie was fingering the soft material of a mint green off-the-shoulder top when suddenly, a flurry of clothes ahead of her caught her eye and made her freeze. 

Maddie could see Sundance, Livia, Amberly, and a couple more of their friends ahead of her trying on shoes.  Livia reached up and pulled a purple suede wedge heel off the shelf, looked at the size on the bottom, and then dropped it. 

“Where are all the size sevens?” she complained loudly. 

Meanwhile, Maddie could hear Sundance saying, “I know Sawyer and I are ‘in a relationship’ on Facebook and all, but I think if he really loved me, he’d put me in his profile picture too.”

Maddie could see Sundance carrying that same coral sequin top she herself had been admiring moments earlier.

Sundance was the girl that Maddie secretly wished she could be. 

She looked like she came straight from the Barbie factory, with soft blonde curls that bounced when she walked.  She had a beautiful, feminine face, like she belonged in a church choir, or a Disney Channel show.  Her features were all pale and smooth and honeyed, nothing hard or threatening, like a soft charcoal pencil with the edges rubbed out. 

The only hint that there was something off about her was her smile.  There was an edge to her smile that left Maddie feeling a little uneasy, like when you can tell someone is just pretending to find your joke funny.  When Sundance was a kid, she’d invent little games for all the children to play that usually involved excluding one person in creative and humiliating ways.  As she got older, she liked to play pranks only when there was someone else around to take the blame for it.  She never got caught; she was too well-liked.   Teachers adored her and held her up as an example of what other kids should emulate.  Not a single Valentine’s Day went by where Sundance did not have a date. 

And then there was her name.  She had that unusual, film festival name that immediately attracted attention because everyone felt the need to repeat it after she introduced herself.  Sundance?  “Yes, Sundance. “  

Maddie ducked behind a rack of clothing.  What on earth were they doing here?  Today was Friday!  Pool Party Fridays at Sundance’s house, otherwise known as PPF, which they had every single Friday afternoon!  Maddie had seen the evidence on Facebook to prove it.  Every Friday after school, no matter what the weather was like, Sundance had a pool party for her and her friends.  It was always the usual crowd, the most popular girls and the most popular boys.  Maddie usually mocked Pool Party Fridays and called it stupid (“PPF stands for Poop Pee Fart!”), but privately she’d always been dying to join. 

Maddie felt trapped.  What should she do?  It was always awkward running into someone outside school that you’re not actually friends with.  Do you A) say hi, even though you would never ordinarily acknowledge each other at school?  Do you B) walk right by them without saying anything, even though that might be rude?  Or do you C) start shopping at the other end of the store and just pretend you don’t see them?  Maddie quickly decided on option C.  If they happened to see her, well, then it would be up to them to decide what to do. 

Maddie crept out from behind the clothing rack and began swiftly walking toward the other side of the store, when she heard her mom bellow, “Maddie!” 

She turned around and saw her mom standing at the sale rack looking through clothes.  She was painfully aware of her mom’s huge oversized t-shirt with the picture of the wolf on it, dirty gray sneakers, and fluffy eighties haircut.

Maddie waved to her mom and pretended to be extremely interested in whatever was hanging right in front of her, picking it up and inspecting it carefully without even seeing it. 

“MADDIE!” her mom called out again, this time waving frantically.  “DO YOU LIKE THIS SHIRT?” she hollered across the store.  She held up a gigantic oversized t-shirt adorned with a yellow Tweety Bird on it.  The shirt would have fit a 300 pound gorilla just beautifully. 

“It’s on sale!!!” her mom yelled. 

Maddie could hear her classmates giggle.  So much for trying to remain anonymous. Maddie shook her head fiercely and mouthed the word “NO” to her mom.

“WHAT?” her mom bellowed.  “Speak up, I can’t hear you!”

“No, mom!” she finally called, and trotted a tiny bit closer, her entire face burning.  She could still hear Sundance and her friends snickering.  Suddenly, their laughs seemed to be focused in a different direction.

Maddie’s little sister Cassidy was over by the cash registers, where the bras and underwear were.  She had taken down the biggest bra she could find in lime green and put it on over her shirt.  She was wiggling her shoulders back and forth and making the bra jiggle. 

“Hey look, Maddie, I have boobies!” Cassidy yelled.

Maddie frantically looked back at her mom but she didn’t notice what Cassidy was doing.  Instead, her mom was holding up a pair of the biggest, ugliest black pants Maddie had ever seen.

“Maddie, these are only five dollars!” her mom cried.

Yeah, no wonder, Maddie thought. 

“I’m getting them for you!” 

She then proceeded to screech so loudly the whole store turned around to look, “Black is good because you won’t stain it when you get your period.”

Maddie froze.  It was at this point that she prayed there would be an earthquake, or a tsunami, or a hurricane, or any kind of natural disaster to stop every set of eyes in the store from suddenly rushing to her tomato-red face.  Maddie held still for a moment, then promptly turned around and made her way to leave the store.

As she hurried to escape the maze created by so many racks of clothing, Maddie could see Cassidy shimmying over to amused shoppers and asking them to stick money in her outfit.   Maddie was horrified when she saw a giggling Sundance stick a dollar bill inside one of Cassidy’s bra straps. Meanwhile, Forever 21 salespeople were frowning and shaking their heads at the little girl.

As Maddie escaped the store and the horrible scene slipped out of sight, her last image was of Sundance and Livia holding each other laughing.  Livia was wiping tears out of her eyes. 

“That was hilarious!” she exclaimed.


Top 10 Ways to Make a Situation Less Awkward

1. Say “awkward.”  Because that always makes thing less awkward.

2.  Keep your phone on you at all times.  Pretend to text someone.

3.  Make a joke about Helen Keller. Or Anne Frank.  Everyone likes those.

4.  Laugh at your own joke if no one else does.

5.  Pretend to be someone else by randomly talking in a British accent.

6.    Take up some outdated sayings. For example "Oh my lanta!", "Gee Wilikers!", or "Bobs your uncle!"

7.  Dart your eyes back and forth and hum the Mission Impossible theme song.

8.  Pull out a granola bar and start munching. 

9.  Say ‘I love you’ at random intervals.

10.  Flee the scene.

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