A young twenty something girl from Florida Facebooked me and asked me, "Is it really you?" Of course it's me. Who else would it be? So I emailed her back and she asked me to call her friend to wish her Happy Birthday. On Saturday, I called to wish her friend happy birthday, and the girl was screaming on the phone when I said, "Hi, it's Kelly." And she said, "Kelly Bensimon?" My older daughter was in the car with me because I had just picked her up from swimming and she was giggling as I spoke on the phone with the sweet girl. After I hung up, my daughter told me how fun it was to have that girl be so excited. Then it dawned on me - yes, it was fun. She was right and so insightful. This whole process has been so fun, hedonistic and filled with vicious gossip and crazy press. (Even TMZ followed me with my twin brother walking down the street.) But making that girl happy and exposing people of all ages to a life I am so proud of and grateful for is amazing.
Modeling breeds such insecurity. You have to look a certain way, fit into a certain size, and be tall. No one cares how you feel, or what you think. If you are the look, they will do whatever it takes to keep you happy for the time they need you. Every day you are with new people, some who are so nice to you, and some who never give you the time of day. I have been every hair color - blonde, brunette, and even red. But traveling, meeting new people, synthesizing information quickly, learning to speak foreign languages, and acclimating in foreign environments within days made modeling an amazing experience. I did all of this while I was attending Trinity and Columbia. At Trinity, I had all my classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays and took the 4:26AM train to New York and the 6:05 back to Hartford every other day. That's why I transferred to Columbia so I could work. There, I went to school year round and took exams after flying back from London, and wrote papers weeks in advance to be sure they were on time. It was so stressful, but I don't regret one minute of it, because I wouldn't be who I am today if I didn't challenge myself.