On Male Models. And Chemo.

Let me break it down: I don’t want to hear about your “bro” Brayden from Oklahoma who was pursuing a degree in political science at Columbia before a scout discovered him at a Starbucks on the UWS and put him on the billboard above the Chateau on Sunset and how he’s actually really smart, okay? They’re all dumb as shit. I find that hard to believe.  At least 10 a day walk into me at the gym. This is usually because they’re staring in the mirror and trying to walk at the same time. And no, sorry, your male model friend isn’t staring into oblivion because he’s “deep” or “has the spirit of a poet.” He’s overwhelmed. There isn’t this much stimuli on the farm he came from.

I’m not bitter. I promise. I just ran out of ice cream.


As some of you may know The Fat Kid in Me had The Lymphoma in Him last year and underwent chemo for six months. Everybody is desperately afraid you’ll lose tons of weight on chemo and freak them out by being too thin. The thought scared me too but I decided to turn lemons into lemonade. Look on the bright side they say. So I told myself I’d finally be a male model. Sure I wouldn’t have the height, but as long as I disappeared when I turned sideways, I’d be late 90’s heroin- chic male model material and at the very least Kate Moss would wanna be my friend, right?


I got fat as fuck. From steroids. And not having the energy to exercise move. And Trader Joe’s mint chocolate chip ice cream. Whatever.  I’m not a whiner though. Two weeks after I finished chemo I was back in the gym. I grew up outside of Philly. I saw Rocky. My entire life everyone has joked about what a “baby” I can be. And it’s true. I can. But, it’s an act. I’m pretty tough when I want to be.

Chemo John and his gorgeous sister Shannon

It wasn’t easy. One day I actually fell off the treadmill. Imagine that. I was twenty-six pounds overweight, with no eyebrows and no hair. I know that there are worse things in the world, but it was humiliating. My gym is at the corner of Models Ave and Five Percent Body Fat Street. No joke, the guy working out next to me is the model demonstrating the perfect ab routine in Details magazine. And no one assumes the kid working out next to them is two weeks removed from chemo, they just assume he’s a fat freak.

I’m glad I fell off the treadmill though. Because I got up and made myself tweet a joke about it. (I know it was funny because it got 21 “Likes” on Facebook.) And that’s the lesson I needed to learn. I’m never going to be a male model. But I’m always going to be funny. And cancer can never take that away.

Plus, it’s okay for funny people to be fat.

Besides. I don’t need to land a magazine spread to be a model. That’s why God made the iPhone.

If I was your boyfriend I’d never let you go/ I can take you places you aint never been befo’

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