- THREE YEARS IN A ROW: Cover girl Marie Wasicek.
Summer is nigh, and it's time for the Arkansas Times to count the ways to enjoy the season, even if it's 100 degrees in the shade.
This year, we review two new books on shady hikes, go dirt-track racing, and try out the tacos at the Sunday soccer matches. We've assembled the season's biggest events, from music to movies in the park. For food and drink, we focus on that summer staple, potato salad, and on the state's own grape.
And, of course, the issue features the latest in swimsuits. Our swimsuit spread and cover always make a big splash with Times readers.
Marie Wasicek has been our cover model for three years running. Gerard Matthews interviewed her about what it's like to be a model. We start the summer issue with his Q and A:
GM: A lot of people probably look at pictures of you and immediately form some kind of image in their head about what kind of person you are. What do you think that image is and how does it compare to reality?
MW: I think that there is a tendency to look at models with certain preconceived notions, but it is my experience in the industry that most models are just like any other girl with the same insecurities, problems, etc. The reality of the situation is that it really isn't all that different from any other job.
GM: What is it that people would never know about you just from seeing a picture?
MW: It's difficult to form a judgment about anyone based on a picture but I would hope that they would see a person with strong morals, good character, and a sense of humility and humor. What I hope people would never see are the pictures before airbrushing!
GM: What are you up to now? School? Job?
MW: I am finishing school in a few months. I'll have a master's degree in occupational therapy. Right now I'm in New Orleans on a clinical rotation. After graduation I'm considering working as a traveling occupational therapist, and would love to continue pursuing a career in the modeling industry.
GM: I guess you get quite a bit of attention as a result of doing our cover and other modeling jobs. What's that like? I imagine some of that attention is good and some is bad. Do a lot of creeps try to look you up? Is there a downside to modeling that people might not realize?
MW: I wouldn't really say that I have creeps constantly trying to look me up, but I would say that some of the attention that comes my way can make me feel a little uncomfortable at times. As far as the downside to modeling goes, I would say that overall it is a very positive experience, but at times it can be tough having people be so critical of you.
GM: How long have you been modeling and what other jobs have you done?
MW: I have been modeling since I was 4 years old. I started off doing shows at a local mall in Baton Rouge, La. As I grew older I competed in — and lost in — a lot of beauty pageants and even though it crushed me at the time, I learned to be comfortable in front of the camera. When I was 15, my mother sent some pictures to “The Agency” in Little Rock. As the years went on, I was booked for all sorts of modeling jobs ranging from runway shows to advertising in print and TV.
GM: What does your dad think about it? I can imagine some parents might get pretty protective of a girl in your situation.
MW: My dad was raised with two brothers and lots of sports, so he really didn't understand all of the “girlie” things that I am interested in. But he is very supportive, and knows that I have a good head on my shoulders. I don't think he worries TOO much about me!