Size Matters for Fit Model

This is a partial transcript of "The Big Story With John Gibson," March 23, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.

JOHN GIBSON, HOST: She's got the look and the perfect size, but this model says fitting the mold for the fashion industry is just not easy. Jane Skinner is here with the story.

JANE SKINNER, FOX NEWS: Well, John, she is perfect, we should hate her, but we can't because, frankly, she's just too nice. Michelle Dibenedetti has the body that designers use to make their clothes fit just right.

So what in the world is that job like? Michelle, you described yourself as a living mannequin basically. What do you do?

MICHELLE DIBENEDETTI, MODEL AND ACTRESS: Basically fit modeling is when you go shopping for clothes you're fit modeling. And that's what I do for a living. I basically just try on the clothes and then tell the designers yes or no. Pretty much.

SKINNER: But people may say, I don't look anything like her. I'm a little bit bigger or some people say I'm a little bit smaller. How does that work when designers are using your body?

DIBENEDETTI: My body is called a sample-sized body. So if you go into a store and see a mannequin, all those measurements are my body, the neck, the chest, the waist, the arm length, everything down to a tee. So basically I'm just the mannequin that tries on the clothes and shapes it for the rest of the nation.

SKINNER: So we should hate you, you are perfect.

DIBENEDETTI: No.

SKINNER: Tell me, you've got to have incredible pressure because if you gain a pound here or a pound there, it makes a big difference.

DIBENEDETTI: There's a strict regimen. I do not eat after 4:00.

SKINNER: What? You don't eat dinner?

DIBENEDETTI: I do eat dinner, but I eat it early. I eat dinner around 3:00. And then the clock strikes 4:00, forget it. No more food.

SKINNER: Really?

DIBENEDETTI: You're supposed to have five hours before you go to bed and I go to bed at 9:00. So my body breaks down what I eat rather than turning it into a bigger butt or anything like that.

SKINNER: What if you have to go to a dinner party?

DIBENEDETTI: That's fine. I can mingle. I like to talk.

SKINNER: And at 9:00, the early to bed, is that one of the diet secrets to keeping in good shape?

DIBENEDETTI: When you sleep your body is actually breaking down fat so if I'm getting my eight to 10 hours of sleep, then I'm also not putting on weight at that time.

SKINNER: I was reading, a fit model can make a really good living doing that.

DIBENEDETTI: I can't complain, actually. The minimum pay is $85 an hour. The max is $360 an hour.

SKINNER: So not supermodel status but certainly a great living — survive on it.

DIBENEDETTI: Well, I mean, I'm still super but I'll never be the supermodel, I just get to try the clothes on for them.

SKINNER: And you get to keep the clothes, too, right?

DIBENEDETTI: Definitely. I don't clothes shop. I get everything for free so anything I'm wearing it's thanks to a designer that I fit for them.

SKINNER: Wow. That's quite a perk. This is not necessarily what you want to do with your life, is that right?

DIBENEDETTI: This is my waitressing. I'm an actress. Some people waitress, I try on clothes for a living.

SKINNER: That's better than cleaning off the tables, right?

DIBENEDETTI: Yeah. I can't complain, actually.

SKINNER: So how do you break, then, into acting from this?

DIBENEDETTI: Well, on the time in between trying on clothes, I audition and actually just booked a film.

SKINNER: Good for you. Can you tell us about it, what it is?

DIBENEDETTI: Yes. It's with Elijah Wood, it's called "Day Zero" and it's basically the last day before going into the military, getting drafted, and it's what they do with these crazy people and I'm one of the crazy girls.

SKINNER: They're going to put you in military fatigues or something with that perfect body?

DIBENEDETTI: Not military fatigues but that would be fun.

SKINNER: All right. Michelle Dibenedetti. Thank you for explaining what it is like to be perfect because John tries to do it every day and, frankly we don't believe him.

GIBSON: It is amazing because when you go down the street and you pass the mannequins in the window, you can now say you know her.

SKINNER: There you go.

GIBSON: It's Michelle Dibenedetti.

DIBENEDETTI: I hope those mannequins are never naked.

GIBSON: They are frequently naked. All right, Michelle, thank you very much. Good luck with that burgeoning career.

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