Recalling My Ramp Walks – For the “TRESemmé Ramp Ready Hair” contest
My very first attempt at walking the ramp was way back in my undergraduate college days when I was gang pressed into joining a fashion competition due to the paucity of adequate men to accompany the ladies hand in hand on the ramp. For make no mistakes we had the ladies lining up in droves anytime a fashion event was announced as part of college cultural. But it was different for the men. There was a kind of taboo on men flaunting their assets on stage. This was primarily because most my batch mates at college had no assets to spare. The concept of working out or having a hot bod were looked down upon because, face it, we were a bunch of geeks and followed the grapes are sour theory. But somehow the girls in class never subscribed to this view of brains and body being antithetical to each other. Of course, they too had more brains than body, a sine qua non, for a merit seat in medical college, but that didn’t stop them from trying to flaunt their non-existent assets on the ramp. And of course you cannot have just ladies walking the ramp unaccompanied by men as it would look awkward and ugly. Hence, any guy who looked halfway decent, like yours truly, were drafted in to hold hands with the ladies and walk the ramp.
The very first time I was so chosen to walk the ramp, I stood there looking like a rabbit caught in the headlines of an onrushing car, as the long thin ramp which extended right over the hooting audience down below (for college cultural’s crowds can be very rowdy) looked like the pathway up to the gallows to me. the girl who was hand-in-hand with me, kept whispering “don’t trip, don’t trip” which advice I couldn’t decide was to her or to me. But good advice it turned out to be, for the hastily thrown up stage on the college grounds was made of rough hewn planks joined together and covered by a carpet was full of unexpected bumps and any fall in front of such a large crowd, would have done immense damage to my ego. As the music signaled our turn, vineeta and I, walked hand in hand right up the ramp, till we split and posed at the very edge. Thankfully the lights in the auditorium below were dimmed while all the light was focused on the stage, on me. And then it hit me. It gave me a heady feeling, like sniffing a whiff of a narcotic. There I was posing on the edge of a ramp, at a good height below the crowd and my adoring fans were making a hell of a din and cheering me on. Whether they really were cheering me on (or not), I leave to my biographers and historians in the future. But as I stood there, the only emotion I felt was elation. I was there, poised like a god and my devotees were worshiping me from below. And like all fools who don’t know when to stop, I let the adulation go to my head and did a Sourav Ganguly (yep, the remove the shirt and wave over the head routine). Later in front of the vice principals office I pleaded a wardrobe malfunction, but the consensus was I had suffered a mental malfunction and I was let off with a warning for a first time offence.
So with such an inauspicious start to my ramp career you would have expected it to be all downhill from there. But in a twist of fate, the story gets better. I had tasted the roar of the crowd. I wasn’t about to let off drinking more of it. And hence every time, there was any invitation from any college in the boondocks with a fashion event on, I was the first to line up and sign up. Pretty soon, my senior at college who were the cultural secretaries tried to dissuade me, saying that I did not have the body to walk the ramp and I was on the watch list of the vice-princy. That’s when I made the smart move of making myself indispensable to any fashion event. I expanded my knowledge of the latest in clothing trends (even my enemies would agree that I have always had a good taste in clothes), I learnt the nuances of ramp walking and I trained the ramp walking newbie’s in the correct way to roll their hips and pose. Within months I was the resident fashion guru on campus and I got to go around the first year class rooms (every year) and pick out the good looking girls for the fashion team and train them to ramp walk, with extra homework thrown in for those who couldn’t cope up with my training methods. Being in a position to decide who makes the cut, gave me an immense prestige among the girls and I really basked in all the attention on campus.
But I also learnt that Ramp walking is not as easy as they show on Fashion TV. For one thing, most fashion shows have nonexistent green rooms- the change rooms were we make switches of clothes for the various events like ethnic, western rounds etc. If it’s so difficult for the boys to change in a temporary shed behind the stage with a lean-to door, think how it would be for the girls. Most days, we (the guys on the team) had to do rotation duty as gatekeepers in front of the temporary doors of the girls change rooms to protect our girls from any unauthorized entries. Add to this lack of mirrors, fans, space to change without bumping into each other and the time factor- for if they were more participating teams, we would have more time between rounds and vice versa, every show was a challenge in hands-on management. But I coped and thrived, because in the end nothing beats the thrill of standing there awash in the approval of the whistling crowds below.
Even changing clothes in the midst of a dozen people and always on the clock is quite an exciting experience. Sometimes you just had time to pull on the trousers and hurry up with the rest in hand, putting them on while getting lined up in pairs. And that’s for just the clothes; forget the hair, for you almost never had time enough to even run a comb through the hair. And that’s how I discovered THE SECRET- a proper conditioner – for mussing up hair. If you are a regular conditioner user, you would know that hair soft hair can be molded into any shape with just the fingers. And if your hair looked a little like you had just got out of bed, why that’s exactly the look you should use- a smouldering “look how hot I look even just out of bed” kind of gaze at the audience and let their imagination fill the gap. I guarantee, that mussed up hair, with a devil may care arrogant look, will get the girls cheering for you (and the guys offering to buy you a comb). For the secret to success on the ramp is to put on a bold front and never back down, despite whatever happens and so a little untidy hair will just add to the insouciance.
And that’s how we used to do the ramp walk thing during my college days. We didn’t have the facilities, kids these days have. We just had to improvise all the time. With ramp ready products like TRESemmé, I am sure college kids these days can do salon style hair getups and be a grand success on the ramps effortlessly. And I have a sneaking temptation to somehow rewind time and get back on the ramp again (at least one last time) just to see how I would look now with all these salon level styling products available to everyone. Shall I?
P.S. All the above Hair-styles were styled courtesy TRESemmé Ramp Ready Shampoo & Conditioner, except for the last hair-style…