Sheila applied widely and on a whim. She needed a job and she needed one fast. Her work experience included babysitting her twin brother and serving stale cups of coffee at the Coffee Cup-a-roo. They were jobs that represented a distant past in a Podunk town no one knew—jobs that barely proved to exist. The past would melt away (or amplify as it sometimes did for publicity purposes) as soon as her friends and family saw her on TV, by then a professional rockstar. Paying the rent until that happened, however, was another matter.
The ad was heavily punctuated with emojis and bright red exclamation points. It expressly required “HOT girls only between the ages of 18-26,” and promised “bonuses of up to $750” for girls who participated in nude dance-offs.
Sheila found this ad after combing through every waitress, housekeeper, nanny, and front desk position she could find between Studio City and Redondo Beach. At four in the morning, brain-fried and wired, she clicked on one listed in all caps and thought this. This might be her chance.
Dimly lit by her laptop screen, she pulled off her top as the instructions suggested. They were explicit suggestions, not demands, so that when she took her terry cloth shorts off as well, she didn’t feel the pressure of a big mistake looming.
Instead, she tilted the screen just so. She positioned her arms and chest to enhance the breasts she had just begun to grow. She adjusted her head to narrow her jaw and pouted her lips as though the taste of something sour lingered in her mouth. The mechanical effect kept her outside of her self as she took the shot and clicked “Send.” If all else fails, she thought, at least I have this.