Cover Photo: Tallulah Pomeroy
Tallulah Pomeroy

When Your Body Is the Lesson: On Art Modeling

In practice, this gig is easier than expected. It’s my mind that throws me off.

The most awkward part is that I don’t begin naked. At first, the students think I’m maybe a new classmate, the result of an add/drop, maybe a new teaching assistant. They look at me the way you look at new classmates, disinterested or dismissive—or sometimes hopeful, like maybe they imagine we’ll be friends, lovers, more. It’s how I look at them, too, despite knowing that I’m here to make money.

stand on a table, be naked, pose

Rachel Charlene Lewis is a queer writer of color based in North Carolina. Her essays have been published in the Los Angeles Review of Books, The Normal School, Teen Vogue, The Frisky, Fusion, and elsewhere.  She is an MFA dropout.