One Couple's Midwest Model Factory


Just in time for Fashion Week, ABC will air a special tonight about the life of a model. In a preview of tonight’s Nightline, we meet Jeff and Mary Clarke, self-described “professional stalkers” who wander throughout the malls, gas stations, drug stores, and other public spaces throughout America to find untouched talent. (These individuals are traditionally called “scouts.”) Mary’s career as a model scout began in 1997 when she spotted a young Ashton Kutcher in Iowa on a Tuesday night — and when you discover the future Mr. Demi Moore, what other credentials could you possibly need?

ABC’s cameras follow three teenage Midwestern girls as they embark on modeling careers with the Clarkes, all of whom the couple found themselves. The girls will spend a few weeks in a “Model Bootcamp” living at the Clarke’s home in Missouri, working out, training, and eating only veggies and egg whites in hopes of fitting into the perfect size. “Feed me. I want some bread,” one of them says to the camera, but the couple insists that they “so adamantly make them understand [that] you have to be healthy in this pursuit.” As for the money? The Clarkes also insist on a 10% cut of the model’s pay for her entire career.

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