Seeking Posh Assistant: Hotties Need Not Apply

Apparently you can be too thin, at least if you want to be Victoria Beckham's personal assistant.

In a job interview from hell, filmed for her reality show, "Victoria Beckham: Coming to America," the former Posh Spice decreed that good-looking and thin candidates need not apply.

"It has to be all about me," Beckham said on the show.

Beckham then asked a young job applicant Renee Gauthier whether she found her hunky husband, soccer star David Beckham, attractive. Gauthier stammered, "I'm really nervous. … No, he's not ugly."

But perhaps there's a method to Beckham's madness. After all, several years ago it was widely rumored that David Beckham had a torrid affair with his own personal assistant Rebecca Loos.

"If you're a cute, young blond, you don't want another cute, younger blond working for you. That's a woman's choice. I don't blame her," said Dionne Mahaffey-Muhammad, president and CEO of Celebrity Personal Assistants Inc. "That said, you can't go around and say only ugly brunettes need apply."

Searching for the Perfect Assistant

Mahaffey-Muhammad's Atlanta-based company is a staffing agency that provides college-educated personal assistants to celebrities and sports stars. According to Mahaffey-Muhammad, the term personal assistant is no longer au courant. She prefers "lifestyle managers."

Whatever they call them, celebrities can be quite meticulous in the search for staffers.

"Our clients can be very specific about the type of person they want," Mahaffey-Muhammad said. "Some clients have said, 'I only want a black woman or a white male' or 'I prefer someone who is gay.' We try to identify their needs, but some of their demographic preferences can be challenging."

Some of the job requirements can also be challenging — not to mention odd. In a recent survey, the Los Angeles-based Association of Celebrity Personal Assistants, which boasts a dues-paying membership of about 150 assistants, asked its members to describe the craziest or most fun thing they had ever been asked to do.

The answers included: caring for a Tibetan mushroom by changing its goat milk daily, picking the boss' dog's nose, finding live swans for a pool party and filming a live birth. All that for an average salary of $61,460 per year!

Rita Tateel is a founding member of ACPA and teaches a course at the Learning Annex on becoming a celebrity personal assistant. Tateel said the job was not for the star-struck.

"I tell people it's hard to have plants or pets at home, nevermind kids, if you want to be a celebrity personal assistant," Tateel said. "The operative word is 'personal.' There's an intimacy involved in what the assistants have to do. So there can be issues."

And what about Victoria Beckham's particular qualifications?

"It's not necessarily different than the wife of a corporate executive not wanting her husband to have a pretty secretary."

Burned Spouses, Girlfriends Are Wary

There is at least one other celebrity who might be able to identify with Beckham's unique hiring policies: actress Sienna Miller. Miller was engaged to actor Jude Law when he reportedly had an affair with Daisy Wright, the nanny of one of his children. Miller called off the wedding and Law apologized for his boorish behavior.

While Beckham may now be the public face of underlying insecurity, the desire to hire a Plain Jane personal assistant, nanny or other staffer seems to be widespread.

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...