"Listen,'' she lectured to a group of obnoxious photographers. "I'm human. My hair is mine. And you cannot fucking come in here and think I'm like a machine or an object you can just touch and fucking grab. What are you thinking? Would you like me to go around fucking grabbing you and thinking you're like world property? Leave me alone!''

I never use to swear, but the press doesn't seem to understand that I'm serious when I'm not swearing at them. All I wanted to do was to grab a quick burger from McDonalds and head on my merry way to my next job. Silly Luciana, the cameras are everywhere, of course they followed me from my car to McDonalds and back. Didn't know their drive-thru was closed that day.

Grabbing my hair, my bag, my arm... is not the best way to get me to give a person an interview. I hope they know that now. I don't understand what the big deal is, I work as a model for god's sake, it is just a job, its not what I am. What I am is twenty, I'm not even allowed to drink in the United States, which is not a problem for me since I don't like alcohol that much anyways. One shot of Vodka, mixed in with some kind of fruit juice does it for me --- I hate champagne.

For the past few weeks, ever since I have started dating a Hollywood actor, I have become the centre of media attention. Why do people care so much? Okay so I DO know why, but I don't understand what the big fascination is. I just happen to like a guy I met through my work, and he happens to be famous as well.

While I wait for my car to arrive at my next job, I flip through a recent US Weekly. Today's headlines read 'Brazilian Supermodel and Mayflower's Reilly, True Love... or a Stunt?'. My face grimaces at this headline. People are writing that our relationship is a great stunt for both of us to boost our careers. I have never read such bullshit in my life. That's fucking ridiculous. Before him, Luciana Del Nisso was already on top, likewise for him, Colin Reilly was on top before me.

"Quickly Luciana! You're late!" Yells Carmen, my personal assistant, from accross the room.

"I'm sorry Carmen, I was held up buying lunch!" I reply.

"You know better than to go out in a public place, especially right before a show!" She lectured. This annoys me, she says this as if I have no right to go out to a public place. Even though I know better than feel hurt by her comment, half of me agreed with her because it is true that I knew it was risk to go anywhere public nowadays.

"Quickly!" Carmen called out as she led me through the crowd, while people gave me flowers sent mostly by the men who had come to see me in the show.

I am quickly lead to my dressing area. The only private one as I am told, since the other models are all just getting changed in the main room. It is actually just a black curtain that boxes in a space just small enough for me to get changed into the clothes I'll be wearing tonight for the show.

I quickly pull off the white Gap t-shirt I had on as well as my Hilifiger jeans.

"Shit - " I muttered as I looked at the waist mark the jeans had imprinted on my skin. I quickly rub around this area, hoping that it will fade by the time the show starts, because I know I will be wearing next to nothing tonight, only a bra and panties as all of the other models are doing. It is afterall ... the Victoria's Secret 2003 show.

I search through an outside pocket of my Louis Vuitton bag looking for my pack of cigarettes. I am rewarded a minute later when I take a nice, long breathe, sucking in the cigarette smoke. My parents and my sisters back home do not know I smoke, nor will I ever tell them. Like swearing, smoking is a habit I did not attain until I started modeling.

My puppy, Bella, smelling my cigarette jumps out of my handbag and runs towards me, barking, wanting to be pet. She is a white maltese puppy whom I bought two years ago when I first started modeling. It gets very lonely when you are all alone in New York City. The modeling scene can eat you whole if you let it. First off, there are the designers that refuse to hire you for dozens of reasons that can make a girl go anorexic. Than there are the agents that refuse to book you for any castings unless you sleep with them. When I first was discovered in Sao Paulo, the agent had been one who genuinely believed me, but when I moved to New York to get more work, my agent there tried to make me give a blowjob to one of his business partners at a dinner party. Needless to say, I no longer accepted invitations to dinner parties after that incident. I found a new agent after a few months, and though cautious at first, I like the Ford family. It has been nothing but good to me ever since.

As soon as I put on my first outfit, a makeup artist came in and started using foundation to cover up all the flaws in my skin, including the waist line imprint. Almost as soon as she left, I was called out of my private dressing area and into the main room where several dozens of people were busily in preperation. I hold Bella in my arms, petting her and kissing her.

"Mommy's working, be good, Carmen will take care of you." I cooed while a man takes a can of spray that makes sure my panties stay exactly where they are while I'm walking down the runway.

Ana Tavernez's tall blonde figure walks by, giving me a smile and a 'hello' before she heads for her makeup chair. Ana also hails from Brazil.

Only two years back was she a bitch to me because I was a lowly new model. One who didn't deserve to receive the respect that she only bestowed upon the 'important' people. Now that I am someone, it is all different, she is overly friendly. And though she acts as if she knows me very well, she is just the opposite, I suspect that she has been passing on stories to the press about me, ones that project me to be a avaricious woman. I think I know why, in the media, I am said to have taken over her reign as top model, and for every model, we know that it means lower pay, which is the worse, because it means that your paycheck will only decline from there. So it is a game of how long a model can stay at the top. One in which I have just begun.

I am shoved into a makeup chair now, mirror in front of me with a row of yellow bulbs of light flashing down upon me. A makeup woman starts working on me the second I am seated. I keep petting Bella now, for she is the only person that understands me, I softly sing to her a song I knew when I was a child.

"Please keep your jaw still. You don't want to look like a clown do you?" The makeup woman asked.

"Sorry." I replied, keeping still, reminding myself that this is the last job before going on a week of vacation in China.

The makeup woman begins work on my eyelids after a few minutes, and soon I begin to watch the people scurrying about behind me in the mirror.

I see the designer eyeing the Russian model Alsou in an outfit of black lace. About four other people were listening to the designer attentively, ready to make any modifications. Beside them, two models, Carolina and Josie are laughing at some pictures Josie had taken last year. Though I do not know those two personally, I have heard that they have been roommates since the beginning of their modeling careers. Just a little bit beyond them was the Swedish darling, Agata, speaking into a microphone, no doubt about herself and how she had never wanted to be a model but was discovered! I smile thinking of this, it is funny how she lies even though every other model here knows that she had been puking since the age of eleven in her pursual for a modeling career.

While it was true that I have a strict diet, I am not anorexic nor obsessive like many here. Almost all models have some degree of an eating disorder. I am proud to not be included in that category. I am not naturally thin, but I know most models will be envious to learn of the fact that I am almost always full.When I was young, I developed two ulcers in the lower region of my stomach from not eating scheduled meals. So it was necessary that I have a surgery where a good portion of the bottom half of my stomach was taken out, and the remaining part of my stomach was attached to my intestines. As a result, I am easily full, and due to this, I lost my baby fat early into my adolescence.

"Luciana! Can you give viewers of Fashion This Week a sneak peek behind the scenes of this show?" Asked the British host Maggie Donahue, who than shoved a microphone into my face.

I smiled, knowing this is part of my job.

"Of course Maggie! Anything for you! Just tell me when you start filming!"

"You can start whenever you want, we will be editting this film." She replied.

"Of course ---- Hello, I'm Luciana Del Nisso, and you're here with me backstage at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2003! We're all just getting ready, as you can see, everyone is busily getting prepared! --- Here follow me.... look ! Here are the wings for this year's angels. I get to wear these peacock wings and these silver shiny ones. Aren't they beautiful? They took hours to make, and they are all glued on, feather by feather... which will make the show ever better when you see it tonight live on DBS!"

I hand the microphone back to Maggie as I gave her a nod of apology indicating with my hands that I must get back into my makeup chair to get ready. She understands, than quickly forgets about me as she launches another attack at the nearby Alsou.

Alsou is a strange one, raven haired and fair skinned, she is very exotic, one of the most exotic looking girls here. She has a very good body, not one ounce of fat on her, with breasts that seem to perfect to be real. I on the other hand, have naturally dirty blonde hair that has been dyed to a dark brunette, and a tanned skin far from flawless. Light freckles appeared on the apples of my cheeks and a tiny scar can be seen just below my right year. As for my body, at the moment, it could stand to loose another five pounds, but I am not going to fret over it, as long as there is someone willing to use me, I do not want to deprive myself of what I like best.... meat!

Over the past four years, Brazilian models have been prized, and I am lucky that girls like Ana led the way, or else I would still be starving. Even though I'm labeled Brazilian Bombshell quite a lot. I am actually only half Brazilian, because my Mother was half Chinese and half Dutch. That makes me a quarter Chinese and a quarter Dutch, which gave me an almost penetrating look. Striking was the word used by designers that like to use me. Of course this 'striking' look was also the reason why it took me more than a year to begin getting jobs.

A year ago, when I was almost ready to give up and head back to Sao Paulo because of months of no jobs, thus starving, I was lucky that a model was sick and could not do the Italian Vogue editorial, so I was called to the shoot. There were three other female models there, but the photographer, Carlos Benini, took a liking to me after a few shots, and ended up using only me for the duration of the time. I was also lucky in another aspect, I was lucky that Carlos hated the attitudes of the other models, two other fellow Brazilians who have already made big bucks in the industry, and one American, relatively unknown like me. The two Brazilians were Ana Tavernez and Fernanda Vurgeiro. They had already made it big, as their egos had become as well. Both of them arrived very late. Ana arrived five hours late, missing her flight because she had to do some shopping while she was in Greece, and Fernanda came in on the second day of the shoot, eyes still puffy because her boyfriend and her had yet another infamous fight.

I shake my head, disgusted at how those two act. They like modeling because it feeds their ego. For me it is not the same. Every photographer is my boss. I must strive to do my best, be on time, and to be professional no matter what. And I expect the same from them. When I was a nobody, they would tell me to come in at eight, and I would find that they wouldn't start shooting until two in the afternoon. I bring a novel with me to every casting now. It made me mad than, but I bit my tongue and didn't complain, afterall they are the people who decide how much exposure I receive from the magazines. Learning not to complain was how I got here, not because I am dating a Hollywood actor.

Once again I am sitting in the makeup chair, this time looking at the models, around me. I catch eyes of some of the less well known models around me, no doubt wanting to see my infamous temper as the media prints it. I am quickly bored by the stares. I know the girls are whispering and talking about me, no doubt saying I am cold bitch. So what if I am tired right now and don't feel like acting like going around the room socializing?


There is about twenty minutes before the show starts. Only the newcomer Lindsay Monera, a classic American blonde, grabs my attention. Her hairstylist and her are arguing. As I tune into their conversation, I realize that her hairstylist wants to chop off her signature locks, the ones I have seen in a few issues of Harper's Bazaar, and some GUESS ads. She is refusing him, and furiously so. The hairstylist is throwing a fit, walking away, refusing to work on her anymore. Silently, I applauded her. You don't find many girls having a backbone when doing jobs as highly profiled as this.


"That's right - let him go fuck himself! It's not like it's his own hair he wants to chop off." I say to Lindsay.


The blonde turns around to face me startled by my comment. Though she is just as pretty as the other girls working here today, to my knowledge, her name was still relatively unknown. I am very surprised she was chosen to be a model at this show in the first place.


"Luciana Del Nisso right?" She asked.


"Of course, who else would I be?" I asked rhetorically giving her a taste of my sense of humour.


She gave a small nervous laugh.


"Sorry I'm just surprised. People say you are not very talkative."


I laughed. "Oh you certainly can be more candid with me can't you? Its no fun, if you're going to try and protect me from hearing what people are saying about me."


She smiled. "In that case, Ana says you stole her jobs with Vogue, and Agata is saying that you look like a showgirl wearing the peacock wings." Lindsay turns her head looking in a direction to her right, " I believe she is complaining to the costume director right now, because she thinks that those wings would better illumniate her skin."


Not surprising at all. I've heard all of this before. I was going to reply, before two assistants, helps me strap on the peacock wings I'll be wearing as the first girl to appear.


"Get in line girls !!! In order please ! Show is starting in five minutes!" Yells a stagehand through a microphone, herding us like sheep.


I get in front of the line just a few seconds before the music starts. I take one last look at Lindsay who happened to be behind me in the line.


"Than I guess I'll just have to look like a showgirl than!" I said when a stagehand nearby cues me, as I walk into the view of the audience and start doing my descent down the runway.