Her Model Behavior Brings a Big Payoff
America's next top model? Forget the TV show -- the real winner is Chevy Chase's Hilary Rhoda, a 19-year-old who just landed a multimillion-dollar contract as the new face of Estee Lauder cosmetics. "It's pretty amazing," she told us yesterday from a photo shoot in Asia. "I was so thrilled."
The 5-11 blue-eyed brunette has great genes and even greater timing. Rhoda was a sophomore at the Academy of the Holy Cross in Kensington when she and her mom happened to hear one of those "be a model" commercials on the car radio. Marianne Rhoda said they should drop by the cattle call at the Hilton Washington, but the teenager wasn't interested: "Don't even think about it." Mom prevailed, agents swooned, and soon the lacrosse and field hockey star was modeling during school breaks -- and loving it.
After graduating in 2005, she postponed college and headed to N.Y.C. to pursue modeling full time (with Mom as manager). She got her big break weeks later, when Balenciaga's Nicolas Ghesquiere selected her to appear in his Paris runway show. Pretty soon, the Brooke Shields look-alike (those oh-so-'80s dark eyebrows!) was on every runway and cover and in every fashion spread, standing out from those sassy Brazilians and wan Eastern Europeans who dominate the biz.
Last week, Rhoda achieved the rank of supermodel when the cosmetics giant announced she will star in ads beginning this summer. "There's something very sophisticated about the dark hair and blue eyes," said a company spokeswoman. Another plus: Rhoda isn't super-skinny (a size 4/6, practically robust in the modeling world), and represents Lauder's "healthy and athletic" ideal.
Alas, her "crazy schedule" means she probably won't be in Washington anytime soon. And no boyfriend (too busy), but she has a group of friends who still treat her as they did in high school. Now that she's hit the big time, do they make her buy the drinks?
"I'm too young to drink," she reminded us.
THIS JUST IN . . .
HEY, ISN'T THAT . . . ?
"Short of letting everybody have a feel, I don't know what else to do. . . . I really am pretty happy with what God gave me."
-- Jennifer Aniston, on People.com, denying recent tabloid speculation that she got new breasts to go along with her new nose (which she says was to correct earlier surgery on a deviated septum).