For years, Lauren Hutton was the face of Charlie cologne. And Brooke Shields had the hips that filled Calvin Klein Jeans. But – quick – name the hands behind the latest Eucerin print ad? Or the lathered shoulders seen in the Dove commercial?
“Parts modeling,” a niche within the larger modeling industry, can be every bit as competitive as other commercial work. Just ask “parts model” and Secaucus resident Jen Hobbs.
“It actually isn’t that much different than other modeling work,” she said last week. “You still have to go out on auditions. You still need an agent. You still have to have a portfolio.”
And you still have to meet strict standards, she said.
“You can’t have any cuts or scars or blotches. The bookers don’t want to see any ridges or indentations on your nails. The same goes for feet and legs. They want your hands and feet to represent ‘an every woman.’ So you can’t have anything that might be considered distracting. No blisters or cuts.”
Bunions, corns, and tattoos are out, she said.
Parts models, Hobbs added, live a life where they must constantly take care of – and guard – their money makers. That means slathering lotions and moisturizers on hands and feet, protecting delicate digits in thick socks and gloves, and avoiding high heels.
“Sometimes for me it’s hard, ’cause I’m a little clumsy,” Hobbs laughed.
Once, she nearly had to cancel a job because of a red blotch on her hand.
“Parts modeling is really no different than other types of modeling. It’s difficult to break into this and it’s difficult to get lots of jobs because the competition is stiff,” Hobbs said. “As a matter of fact, there’s a modeling agency in New York City and they only represent the top parts models.”
The accidental model
Hobbs is the face behind the PedEgg.
Hobbs – the feet and ankles behind the PedEgg foot file (as seen on TV!) and the upcoming PediPistol – got into modeling by chance, not choice, she said.
“In college, I had a friend who was interested in getting into photography and he needed a portfolio,” she said. “So he asked me if I would do some shots for him and they came out great and I really enjoyed it. I put together a portfolio of my own and decided to see what I could do from there.”
A petite 5’ 2”, Hobbs decided to focus on work in commercial print, she said, because she’s too short to do most fashion and runway modeling. A car commercial, hand lotion, and health insurance web site are among the print ads Hobbs has added to her portfolio.
The PedEgg, which she shot last February, was her first TV commercial.
“That was really great because it opened the door to more TV work and gave me a different kind of experience,” she said.
But wait, there’s more
A magnum cum laude graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey, where she majored in creative writing, Hobbs has the vivacious energy of actress and “My Name is Earl” co-star Jamie Pressly. She’s currently taking acting classes at the TVI Actors Studio in New York City and hopes to capitalize on her talent, wholesome look, and charisma and break into sitcoms.
Most days, Hobbs works as a publicist at a Manhattan publishing house that specializes in nonfiction books. Her job, she said, is flexible enough that she can audition for other work when opportunities arise. Recently she traveled to a studio in Philadelphia for an open call audition.
“I have to be realistic about what I can do and I have to go where my strengths are,” Hobbs stated. “You know, there’s only so much I can do with modeling. So, I need to get into something else. There’s more I can do in acting. That’s why I’m making the shift.”