Jennifer Sky On the Horrors of Modeling and the Triumphs of Acting

by Solange Castellar

Jennifer Sky is most famously known as the red-headed, kick-ass warrior princess Amarice on the hit 90s show Xena: Warrior Princess. But before she became an actress on the cult show, she took a stab at a modeling career. In a recent New York Times Op-Ed piece, Sky says the fashion industry is anything but a dream.

As Sky starts out her op-ed, her memory ignites with stories of all the fashionable youngins hurrying to catch the subway in order to be on time for their next show. This was the last remotely nostalgia-worthy note of her time in the modeling world. Sky goes on to talk about, during a photoshoot, she was forced to stand in a freezing pool. When her skin turned blue from the cold, the photographer yelled at her. Other horrors include being given drugs and, as she says, “coerced into going topless.” Once this happened, she knew that she wasn’t in control of her body.

Sky’s transition into acting came once she was given the Xena script in 1994. She quickly realized that the acting world was completely different. Although she didn’t get the part she originally auditioned for (which was Gabrielle, a farm girl), she was offered the part of Amarice. And through this part, Sky completely embraced a feminist agenda.

Sky says the show had “female lead characters who were unapologetically powerful and sexy.” She was able to kill a bunch of bad guys, she had a same-sex lover and a boyfriend of a different race, and she said that “gender didn’t matter in the Xenaverse.”

“It managed to bring home thought-provoking storylines about same-sex love, about religion, about soul mates and manifest destiny,” says Sky.

But what she really gained from her time on Xena was a sense of hope, which she once had in her childhood, but was then stolen of it when she was exploited in the fashion industry.

“I never forget how much we all need our heroes and heroines, our mythical gods, our warrior princesses. For all its pomp and glamour, the fashion industry was never able to give me that kind of hope,” says Sky.

Well Jen, I’m probably not wrong when I say that you have given hope young girls out there as well. To be able to be a woman and kick butt on a national show makes you a role model to all young women.

Thanks to The New York Times

Image via The New York Times

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