|Marvel: In the Beginning...|
There are few crowds in which this woman would not stand out. For one thing, she is well, well over six feet tall, perhaps even closer to seven, and in proportion to that is built like a (female) professional wrestler, muscular and full-bodied. Absolutely no fashion model twigginess here. For another, she is green. Her skin is a rich, smooth emerald, an unnatural color that could be either attractive or just too exotic, depending on your point of view. A surprisingly feminine face is framed by a long flow of slightly curly, raven hair that falls all the way down to her waist, her eyes are almost as black, set beneath arching brows. Color-corrected to normal, she would be a striking beauty, and even allowing for being green, she has an exotic loveliness.
She is currently simply dressed. Plain black slacks enwrap her muscular legs above black sneakers. A fitted T in a shade of orange that would look far too glaring on somebody of any normal, human color clings to her torso, her arms are left otherwise bare. She currently wears no jewelry and ornamentation.
Tall for a woman, this young lady stands just shy of six feet when in flats, and has a mature enough look and curves most would take her for her late teens, just under twenty years of age. She has a long, full mane of lustrous raven black hair which tumbles smoothly down to frame her face, over her shoulders and down to mid-back. Her face is a natural oval with high cheekbones, full lips, a narrow pert nose and raven dark sculpted eyebrows over deep crystal blue eyes framed by long dark eyelashes. Her neck is gracefully slim, shoulders broad but natural for her height, lending balance to her toned and trim unfairly hourglass figure. When she speaks, it is a warm, cultured soprano tone with clean diction. To be honest, this young woman is gorgeous, the sort of looks one would associate with (non-anorexic) supermodels and actresses. Say, isn't she familiar?
Currently this young woman is dressed casually in a tightly fitted scarlet red t-shirt with a low but still modest scoop neckline, long enough it could almost tuck in but isn't, perhaps flashing only a hint of skin on her tummy as she moves. She wears a pair of hip-hugger designer blue denim jeans with beadwork along the outer seams, on both back pockets, echoed in the loose, decoration-only beaded leather belt slung through the loops. She's wearing a pair of modestly heeled open-toe mules in scarlet red on her feet. A small black leather backpack rides one shoulder, with an obvious iPhone in a pouch mounted on the strap.
Though she does not answer immediately, within three rings Andrea Tellierra manages to get herself out of the library at the school, and then accept the incoming phone call - her smartphone was set on vibrate, naturally. "Hello?" She didn't recognize the number, but very few people have this number. She tends to answer rather than automatically ignore people. She can always block numbers that are a problem later.
And it's a personal number. "Hey. Andrea?" At least she didn't call her Ms. Tagliatelle this time. "It's the green one. You busy tonight?" She sounds in a very good mood, although she doesn't initially explain why she would be seeking out the teenager's company.
The green one? Andrea blinks, and then grins, a smile audible in her voice as she responds. "Hello! Mmm. I am not inherently busy. No appointments, and no homework I can't put off by one night. Did you want to meet up?" Sure, Andrea will call Jerry to tell him she's going into the City, and she'll inform the Professor before she leaves that she's not going immediately home. She's responsible like that. But she is pretty free to go when and where she wishes.
"Okay. What kind of food do you fancy?" Because Jen, a lot of the time, just fancies food...blame that Hulk metabolism.
"I'm not extraordinarily picky. But I'd prefer something lower carbs, plenty of veggies, if I can manage it." Andrea offers. She's not on a diet, like so many models that make themselves quite literally sick with such foolishness. But she tries to eat healthy. Growing body, after all.
"I think I know a good place," Jen says, cheerfully. "I want to talk to you about a project you might be interested in." She has an unfair advantage of being able to eat junk food. Andrea doesn't.
"OK." Andrea offers, wondering just what sort of project She-Hulk would get wind of before her own people. Still, she'll happily meet up with the other woman and see what she has to say. "I can get into the city in about forty minutes. Tell me where to meet you, and I should be there in an hour?" she offers. Thankfully, she has some clothes here at the school now, and can change before she heads out.
She-Hulk gives an address. "Cool." Even if Andrea can't help her with her idea, then at least she can get company for dinner out of it.
So after informing the Professor of her intentions, Andrea does change, and calls Jerry to inform him of where she's going and what she's doing. Though Jerry is not thrilled that she intends to meet She-Hulk in public, he cannot really argue much. He well knows she is more than independent enough to go without his permission. Once she is changed, Andrea heads out front to meet Marcus, her gardener-cum-driver for this evening, and catches a ride from him to the train station.
An hour later, casually dressed, the tall raven-haired young woman emerges from a transit bus, smiling and waving to a little girl in the front seat who was very excited to meet her favorite Disney Channel star, and walks down the street to the address where She-Hulk asked to meet.
Which turns out to be a pretty decent Vietnamese restaurant. Not upscale, but the kind of nice casual dining location that tends to attract both those without much money and those who like the idea of slumming it a little. She-Hulk is already there, sort of arranged outside. Honestly. Can the woman do anything without posing?
It is thusly rather easy for Andrea to spot She-Hulk and wend her way through the restaurant to join her at her table. "Good evening." she offers, smiling. "You look quite comfortable. Is that really your own personal chair?" she inquires. Then again, given She-Hulk's mass, it might almost have to be her own personal chair.
She-Hulk laughs a bit. "Normal furniture...really can't handle me." If she knew Andrea's reticence, she'd have arranged to meet her as Jen. Unfortunately, she doesn't. "I tend to destroy it, unfortunately." She presumably weighs even more than she appears.
"Oh. OK. So ... hence the metal heels in your shoes that day." Yes. She noticed. Andrea seems to notice quite a lot, easily avoiding an intersection with a server who forgot to say something while coming through with a big platter of food. She just naturally isn't there when they should have collided. "< Pardon me. >" she offers. The server pauses, glancing at Andrea, and then offers the same in return, apologetically. Andrea sits up on one of the stool-like high chairs across from She-Hulk. "It's good to see you. How have you been?"
"Good." Of course, when is she not? She always seems to be radiating good cheer. "So. I've been thinking..." She flags down the waitress and orders some kind of cocktail. "You can get one of these virgin, by the way." No, no corrupting the minor.
And again, Andrea addresses the server not in English, but in relatively smooth Vietnamese, asking for a virgin of whatever cocktail She-Hulk is having. And a menu, of course. "I'm glad you have been well. I have thought about you several times, especially with all of the attention you were getting from the Globe. So tell me what you have been thinking."
"How many languages do you speak?" She-Hulk can't help but ask. She actually sounds quite impressed by the girl's fluency. She'll have to make her order...its bound to get them better service. "Well, it was actually, partly, Mr. Stark's idea."
"Five, currently." Andrea answers after a moment's consideration. Why bother to lie, after all? "Mostly the languages known by my tutors or others in my household when I was younger. Vietnamese is one of those I'm not /as/ good with. Cantonese as well. I'm really pretty fluent with Spanish and French." The mention of Tony Stark gets Andrea's eyes wide, as she accepts her drink and sips. "I'm still curious. And listening." As if she's ever not, honestly.
She-Hulk sips her own drink, studying the menu for a moment. "Truth is. I'd like to do more modeling, albeit not full time. But I'm a superhero first, anything else second." Even a lawyer is secondary. "And I don't exactly need the money. I was asking for his advice on some suitable charities to send donations to. Really, I'm doing it for the custom fitted clothes." Can you blame her?
Andrea chuckles softly. "You'd mentioned that before, and I can't blame you." Andrea has to shop rather carefully herself, and she's only six feet tall. She-Hulk? Oi. "I am wondering, though, quite what got you talking to Tony Stark about such matters." She's not prying so much as just stating the obvious. She /is/ curious.
"Actually, I thought he knew more about charity work than he did. However, he did make an interesting suggestion." She grins. And yeah. Six foot seven women? Pretty rare. Painfully so, in fact. "He thought that it might be good to funnel some of it into projects designed to help young women realize you don't have to be a stick figure to be pretty."
"All things considered, that's a cause I think very important. Unfortunately, it doesn't make much penetration, or so it seems." Andrea comments. After all, she herself is accorded to be quite beautiful, and she's no stick figure. But still, young women are bombarded with images that abuse their self-image and demand of them that the only 'sexy' figure is some unrealistic, anorexic ideal. "I will admit, I was a bit appalled to learn how little Mister Stark really knows about what his charities do in his name. But at least he hires good people to administer them on his behalf. They still do good work."
She-Hulk nods. "Well, that's why I came to you. Because, you're a very good example of somebody who isn't a stick figure, and so am I." She-Hulk grinned. "Pretty far from it, in fact. But neither of us is overweight either. And...Stark, I dunno. He's more interested in a good time than anything else. Nothing wrong with that, but..."
Andrea nods. "Nothing inherently wrong with it, no. But he could do so much more." Andrea herself finds great pleasure in helping others, and she finds it hard to imagine being someone who didn't find the same pleasure in it. "Well, I appreciate you thinking of me. What sort of thing were you thinking of attempting?"
She-Hulk hrms. "That's still in the early stages. It's easy for me. I'm completely happy with my body and can't quite imagine being any other way..." A pause, and a lowered voice. "Well, that depends, but..." But the other her can't directly help. Not really.
"You can't imagine being any other way than the ways you are, this being one of them." Andrea offers. Yes. They've discussed that She-Hulk is not big and green one-hundred percent of the time. But Andrea doesn't ask anything more. "I am quite happy with how I look as well. I love who I am. Sometimes I have some difficulty because people see me as older and more mature than I am. But I've also been told I act more mature than my age. So I just deal with it as best I can. But what you're suggesting is that we somehow try to develop a campaign to help increase awareness and impact with girls and young women to change their perception of their own bodies in relation to beauty." And that's as far as Andrea gets. This is a big issue, not easily tackled.
She-Hulk nods. "Well, I know we can't fix it all on our own. But if we can even reach a few of them and keep them from starving themselves, wouldn't that be worth doing?" She sips at her cocktail. Which is very good. Yes, even the booze-free version.
"I'm just trying to think, how can we shape this campaign to have better penetration, to reach as widely and successfully as possible. And I'm not really sure." Andrea offers. One problem with Andrea's upbringing is that she doesn't entirely understand the point of view of /normal/ teenagers. She has never been one.
She-Hulk nods. "Mostly, my appearance tends to get the attention of the *boys*. She glances down at herself. "I think its the rack." More of the cocktail vanishes, then the waitress is asking them if they want appetizers.
Andrea's cheeks pink a bit at that, but she nods in agreement. "Mine is not ... so substantial. But I can have problems getting some guys to look me in the eyes." The polite way of saying the same thing. "I suppose my concern is that it might work better if we were to use models who ... weren't models at all. Not like you and me. Not like the rail-thin sickly ones either. Real women, with real bodies." No, Andrea's body is not artificial. But she does maintain it with the kind of effort few women can afford to dedicate to such a superficial subject.
She-Hulk considers that. "Not a bad idea at all. I mean...I know how hard work it is to look good, and not everyone can do that. I kinda cheat." Yeah. She cheats alright. Not that she's in bad shape as Jen. She keeps herself up pretty well.
"I suppose what we need most is a marketing group. They know how to do this best. We just have to induce them to want to do it. In this case, throw a lot of money at them, but contingent upon success." Andrea offers. She really is a pretty smart cookie. "I work hard for my figure, for my fitness. But I also recognize I spend a great deal more effort on such things than many young women can afford. And I have the resources to do so in ways most cannot."
She-Hulk nods. "Not that its not good to encourage people to be fit. Being thin is bad, but so is being so fat you get out of breath climbing a flight of stairs." A slight sigh at that.
Andrea frowns a bit, and nods. To the waitress, she offers in Vietnamese a brief list of appetizers and arranges for a platter of her selections and the appropriate sauces. And refills on both of their drinks. Once that is done, she switches back to English and their conversation. "Extremes of any kind are generally a bad idea."
She-Hulk nods. "But you're right. What we need are ordinary girls. Real girls. Who are pretty, but not supermodel pretty."
Andrea smiles, glad She-Hulk agrees. "If we present that idea and the right contract to a good advertising and marketing agency, they'll figure out the rest." Likely something wherein the two lovely ladies who sponsored all of this go out of their way to compliment the beauty of a group of otherwise ordinary but healthy young women, and point out what they see not so good in the painfully thin and unhealthy looks of many 'starlets' and models. "Of course, if we could manage to arrange a financially costly backlash against those who continue to use and stress such unrealistic body types, that might be even more effective in the long run."
She-Hulk nods. "You'd think that with the epidemic of anorexia, people would get it, but I sometimes think people are, on the whole, even more bullheaded than I am."
Andrea merely shakes her head. "Honestly, I do not understand it myself. But I agree I do not like the results and would like to see things change." Even if that put her out of work, she'd be fine with that.
She-Hulk doesn't, personally, think it would. Andrea can act. She stretches a little, then reaches for the appetizers. Yeah. She let Andrea order...but she WILL insist on paying.
Andrea starts with some nibbling on spicy little chicken bits. "I can talk to Jerry, and my agency. Tell them I want them to help me find the right marketing group or ad agency to tackle this. Jerry can help me work out how to word things so that they know they won't get paid the big bucks if they can't make it work. A bonus structure, I'm thinking."
She-Hulk nods. "That's the best way. And maybe we can get some money out of Stark's foundation too. He did give me the card of one of their people so I can talk to her."
"I'd be willing to bet there's a foundation somewhere already being funded by the Maria Stark Foundation that is aimed at just what we want to accomplish. If we throw our money behind that, and our names and faces, I'm sure they would jump at the chance." What charitable foundation wouldn't leap at the chance for more money, legitimate sources, and public faces committed to their cause? Andrea smiles. It's a good idea. "I'm glad you thought to ask me about this."
She-Hulk grins. "You just came to mind as somebody who actually has the *right* body, not the stupid twiggy body."
Andrea smiles at that. "Thank you. I try." It helps that Andrea herself has had a great deal of positive reinforcement of what is 'right' against what is 'expected by the media.'
She-Hulk nods. "On top of that, I don't get the impression you do drugs or anything like that." She knows she's not one to talk about sleeping around.
Andrea makes a little face at that and shakes her head. "Never." Of course, the court records of her 'divorce' of her mother are sealed, so no one necessarily knows that is why she split with the woman. But Andrea knows. "I could never go down that road." Hey. Her head is trippy enough without adding that foolishness.
She-Hulk grins. "I doubt anything like that would even work on me." She snags another bit of appetizer. "Alcohol certainly doesn't. I think I'd have to drink several kegs of brandy or something to get tipsy."
Andrea merely shrugs. "I imagine I'd be as vulnerable to it as anyone. But I could not live with myself going down that path. I have seen all too clearly what it can do, and I want nothing to do with it. I don't need it, either. As difficult as my life can get, my life is pretty wonderful. And if ever it isn't, I have the power to change it. I don't need drugs to do that."
She-Hulk snorts. "Drugs don't change anything. They're a means of escape." The irony that this is a means of escape, all of it, a way for Jen Walters to be somebody else...doesn't escape her.
"An inefficient, unsuccessful, exceedingly temporary, destructive and expensive means of escape." Andrea opines, as she nibbles on more appetizer bits.
She-Hulk shrugs. "I guess they don't think they have a better one. Like, I don't know, taking up a sport. That's a good escape, if you really need one. I'm told bad poetry works for some people."
"Taking up a sport. Reading a book. Finding a hobby. Volunteering. Many things can work, if one is only willing to give them a try." Andrea mentions. She agrees.
"Beating up bad guys works well for *me*, but I wouldn't recommend it to people who aren't, you know, all but indestructible. Or damn good at what they do." She grins at Andrea.
Andrea chuckles at that in amusement, a twittering sort of sound. "I have no intention of taking up a pasttime like that. I am most definitely neither."
She-Hulk grins. "But you can act," she points out. "That's a pretty good talent right there. Doubt I could manage it."
Andrea smiles and shrugs her shoulders. "Honestly? I think anyone /could/ act. It's just a matter of being able to imagine oneself in the situation of one's character, and then feel how to respond. That and remembering the lines and marks."
She-Hulk hrms. "I don't want to be anyone but me, though. Definitely not." Hrm. They're running out of food here. "Why? I mean, being me is pretty awesome."
"Being me is pretty awesome as well, really." Andrea admits. "Which is why I like sharing what I can of it with others, when I can."