Inside the High-pressure World of Hand Modeling


Hand modeling may sound like a glamorous job. You're getting paid $1,200 a day to spread the latest margarine on corn muffins, wash dishes with the trendiest new dish soap, and maybe even hold a fruit for the cover of the hot new Twilight book. But it's a hard, unforgiving job that requires gloves, and, perhaps most important, lots of lotion. Parts model Ashly Covington doesn't cook, clean, or engage in any manicure-threatening activity. She spoke to CNN:

"Most people can walk away from work when they're done with a job, but parts models can't, because [our parts] have to be flawless. I moisturize 20 to 30 times a day, and wear gloves 90 percent of the time," she said. "When it's your livelihood, you've got to think hands first."

A seasoned professional like Covington puts not only moisturizer, but soul into her work.

"I was doing a shoot where I had to pick up a cheeseburger and bring it to camera, but they wanted it to be the most delectable cheeseburger," Covington said. "So I said 'mmmm,' and really conveyed the emotion entirely to get it reflected in my hands."

Hand model James Furino describes the pressure clients like Smirnoff Vodka put on parts models.

"They spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in pre-production and people are flying in all over the country so you can get to that exact moment where you split a muffin, and it's [on] you," he said.

Furino and Covington spend their lives in the shadows as hands without faces. But Kimbra Hickey, who became the hand model for the Twilight cover five years ago, signs autographs for fans at bookstores and re-creates her cover pose for their amusement. She now tours with Twilight conventions. And that is the power of Twilight — to put a face to the world's most glamorous hands.

Their hands are worth $1,200 a day [CNN]