Beauty Shop Talk: Will My Political Fortunes Plummet?

"I'm sorry I ruined your life," I said, as Daddy fastened the gate on the U-Haul trailer that would take him and Mama to their new life in Idaho. In Boise, people have never heard of Vicki Charmaine Bunch or the revealing campaign photo that would have made Madonna blush. I never realized my becoming a candidate for city council would shine a public spotlight on my entire life. Reporters follow you into lingerie shops to ask what you think.I feel terrible about my folks having to move away. Since I announced I would run for a seat on the Fort Worth City Council, I know how models get trapped in the underground world of the two-bit porn star, which adds to my viability as a political candidate. Getting your picture taken just sort of goes to your head. When the photographer says, "You're lookin' good," you start thinking you're Amber Waves in Boogie Nights. Between the flashing lights and turning my head from side to side, I got so dizzy I tumbled off the set. I believe my clothes must have fallen off because I could swear I showed up in my pink organza Easter dress.Even my grandmother said the picture in the vinyl leopard-print raincoat makes me look like "one of those young ladies without a bra on the magazine at the check-out counter.""She's right. It's Vicki Charmaine does "Cosmo," said my best friend, Brandi. "Maybe they'll profile you like Darlie Routier." Why not? Darlie and I are both gum-popping, blond-headed Texas gals. I felt like a ton of bricks had been lifted off my chest. According to Catherine Romano, a Cosmopolitan editor, Routier will make her appearance in the February issue. "The woman could well be one of our readers," she said. Staffers even tried to bring a stylist into the jail to fix up the 27-year-old mother sitting on death row for the murder of her two young sons. Now that's moral support. I know what it's like to be accused of being a bad mother. "Why didn't you just tape a dollar bill to your chest?"Jasper cried when he saw the press release. The poor little guy spent most of his Christmas vacation swiping newspapers off the stands to color a polka-dot t-shirt on my picture before putting them back. Anyway, I'm hoping even if I don't win city council, maybe I can get hooked up with Cosmopolitan. I ran out and bought a copy. I used to think the magazine was just for girls who hadn't graduated from high school but, lo and behold, there was an article by none other than Mary Matalin, the well-heeled Republican apologist. Imagine -- Darlie and Mary Matalin and I are all Cosmo girls! I was so excited, I wanted to call them up and see how they scored on the January Cosmo quiz "Are You Try-Sexual?" -- "Your lover playfully spanks you during foreplay. Your reaction?"I quickly tallied my score (30 points: "Voracious vixen") and wondered -- were my fellow Cosmo girls "Naughty and nice" or "Repressed princess?" If the public knew their scores, maybe Darlie and Mary would not be thought of as mean people. I found all kinds of good advice in that magazine, from writer Isabel Burton's pointer: "To appear fascinating, use hand gestures" to Adrienne Vittadini's tip: "Sweater dressing for spring is so important." And then there's the "Bedside Astrologer." It will really help with my campaign! As Cosmopolitan's editor-in-chief, Bonnie Fuller, says, "Even President Clinton fits his born-leader Leo personality profile." I have a feeling '98 is going to be my lucky year. Who wouldn't vote for a Pisces voracious vixen with fascinating hand gestures?

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