It’s October 2009, and a new academic year at famous Charles University Prague just started, and thousands of students from Czechia and abroad alike, proud and happy, that they were accepted during a rigorous entrance selection, are gathering in classes, not to miss the start, to catch all the critical information about their demanding studies, to understand well, what demands their strict lecturers will have, to allow the young horny fools to make it through the first fateful year, the first step towards the most desired University degree, opening unlimited doors for future professional career for them…
The sun shines merrily, behind large windows of modern Charles University campus at Stodulky, a suburbs of Prague, accesible easily by underground train… but the Summer and free time of holidays is gone, you need to accept that, as the new students have many new duties…
Some of them are coming from big cities, they are from good wealthy families, they were born with a golden spoon in their mouth, whereas others were sent here by their ambitious parents, to prepare a better future for their children, than those older folks from a poor distant mountain village had…
In one of the classes, such a city doe is sitting with her back perfectly straight: perfectly dressed, just 21 years old, tall, slim and beautiful, smiling, but silent and mysterious, and any fool recognizes immediately, that she is certainly a fashion model: her style, her Queen’s mindset… her pride, self-confidence, open arrogance in her face…
Even the village rednecks, knowing nothing about city life, about all its soft subtleties, understand her elevated status, both in female and social sense, watching her both with curiosity and fascination, understanding, that this is really the big world, where they just came, and she is their peer, one of them, not an unreachable figure from magazines!
The question is: will she prove her intellectual abilities as well, or will she rely rather on her physical qualities, like a stuffed bra, artificially enlarged lips and seducing round hips, to make it through the demanding study programme of Public Relations and Communications, indeed a premium path for future VIP elites of the state, where the selection process was rather a massacre, only every 34th applicant was accepted… did she make it here the fair way, or was it about connections, contacts, pulling levers from behind, even bribery of responsible University officials, who could push her forward?
The new students are only starting to get to know each other, estimating, who he or she is, whether they will become friends, or enemies, competitors… anyway, if things will go well, they will spend full three years here, together… certainly, some of them will fail in studies, some of them will try an Erasmus programme abroad… but at least few of them will make it to final exams, God willing, and when there will be the last alumni party, they will remember, how they met for the first time, in the class number 236, where sun was warming their faces, just on that October day…
The silent chatter is interrupted, when the door opens, and rather a small, but sexy blonde woman in her thirties enters with utmost self-confidence, and most of the students recognize her immediately: her name is Barbara Nesvadbova (*1975), she is a famous Czech female writer and VIP socialite, the Chief Reporter of reputated Harper’s Bazaar magazine, local Czech edition… even movies were made from her books, she is successful, a celebrity, very frequent in the media, her personal brand is stable, no doubt about that… such a woman can indeed teach you a lot, the youngsters, hungry for knowledge, know well!
“Good day, students!” she greets them festively, searching for some papers. “The topic of this premium class is ‘Female Personal Branding’, and I will be your lecturer for today, to introduce you to this, let’s say, intricate social science… but firstly, let’s check, who is present… I am going to read your family names, and you will confirm your presence here, OK?
I mean… if you are present here, of course!
So… Buchticka, Pyskackova, Kundoliz… Ejakulova, Cucflek, Vajecnik… Kokotek, Curakova, Prcir… Picinkova, Onana, Mesickova… Jebal, Orgacova, Pichova… Tamponek, Sukalin, Semenikova… Korinkova, Cicova, Prasopes… Lahoda, Sodomik, Rychlosuk…
It seems, that you all are here, no one missed the class, we have 100% participation today… that’s very good! Remember, even your presence and activity at the classes counts into your final evaluation!”
When all the necessary paperwork is done, the older woman sits on one of the tables, just between the students.
“I am not a professor, rather a writer, you know,” she informs them openly. “So, let’s make it relaxed, OK? And rather you will be speaking, than me… I presume, that all of you know at least something about me, and the more diligent of you even made a research on me, when it was announced, that I will be present in this class today…
So, a simple question for the beginning: what do you think, that made me a social and media star, recognized by over 67% of general Czech population, as a recent street survey of ‘Heavy Slander’ tabloid magazine confirmed?
Tell me, what effective means of personal branding were used in my, let’s say, case study! And please, don’t forget the gender dimension, OK?”
Surely, that many ambitious students know, that they need to be seen, to get noticed, because if a teacher remembers you once, all is much easier later, even some mistakes forgiven…
“You were a part of a new generation of female authors, just when the book market was thristy for a new blood, in the wild 1990s, the age of rapid social and economic transformation of the Czech society, after Velvet Revolution in 1989, when Communists were removed from rule in Czechia,” very active student Kundoliz from Horni Dolni village near Czech borders raises his hand boldly. “You revealed modern female thinking and lifestyle in the epoch of new freedom, like no Czech author before… all related to the present times, so your work was appreciated highly, for being fresh and actual, reflecting ‘Zeitgeist’, or ‘spirit of the times’… its special post-revolutionary dynamics, social development towards fully developed Western society.”
“Not bad, not bad at all… for the start,” Nesvadbova appreciates his insights. “What else?”
“You were able to create desirable and attractive controversy, to stir the media attention, including the newly developing tabloid media, who promoted you, who made you,” student Semenikova with large hipster glasses presents her female opinion. “The Czech gossip media needed new stars, not to write about old and corrupted Communist bitches, who only switched coats, slowly infiltrating the Czech social world again… and you, just some twenty years old, but blonde, wealthy, fresh, original and sexy, were the most interesting material.”
“Very good,” the blonde lecturer seems very satisfied, how bright and well informed students she has in her class. “You probably mean that ‘lesbian’ photo shoot with Katerina Kornova for a Slovak magazine, where we were almost naked, wearing only wet transparent dresses, and I showed my tits there, much bigger in that time, than today, because I was some ten kilos heavier in that time, to be a proper blonde bomb-shell… and this Slovak cover ‘leaked’ into Czechia later… indeed a perfectly intricate media game… what else?”
“You wrote about love and relationships, and such books always make a profit,” student Pyskackova, a professional sportswoman, claims. “Your style was fresh and original, but truthful, describing reality very precisely, so women loved you, as you were writing, what they felt, what they lived… they could find themselves in your books.”
“Good notice,” Nesvadbova smiles. “My secret of success and fame was very simple: I was really writing, what they felt, gathering all the feelings and experiences from my female friends from all possible segments of society, directly, listening to them carefully, and then using their insights and opinions about men, love and family life in my work, claiming it to be my thoughts, my special experiences, my love adventures…
It all seemed very genuine and authentic, but in practice… it was a controlled style, a systematic approach, writing exactly for your audience, trying to think like them, to understand their tastes and life challenges… my whole literary success was not a coincidence, or luck… rather cold calculation… and my ingenious creative style was further improved by that Simona Monyova, who literally created a pattern for her work, a machine for new books, written easily and quickly, like in a factory, for fast, easy and certain dollars from vast and eternally hungry female audience…
(=Monyova was killed in 2011, just two years later, by her jealous husband, who couldn’t digest her success and money… she was allegedly thrown out of the window of their terraced house by him, and he got thirteen years for the shocking crime, which raised much attention to domestic violence and related female challenges in Czechia… in certain sense, Monyova’s death helped to many female causes, and she became an immortal warning symbol for females, oppressed by violent men)
Surely, to assure your success, as an author, you need to write someting interesting for an audience, and if they feel, that you write just about them… not knowing, that you listened to their conversation with a friend yesterday in a cafe… they will indeed praise you in all senses, recommending you to friends, giving your books as gifts, creating a cult-like following for you, buying every new book with devotion, not regretting spent money…
But there was also much less competition in that time, in the 1990s, that’s true… there was no Internet, and the barrier to become a writer was much higher… indeed, I was at a perfect place, at a perfect time, becuase wild nineties, oh, my dear students, it was about money lying on the ground, just like that, you just had to bend for them a little…
You live in different times, the world has changed so much, all that technology, social media, fashion blogs… we barely had cell phones!
You have maybe more options, but all places are occupied, and it’s much more difficult to make your distinctive name, in all that crushing and talented competition…
But what else brought me to success, if we return to my case study?”
“You were setting an example for a modern woman, needing orientation in life, even in that ancient times,” student Prcir, a passionate reader of all kinds of literature, stated from the last row of tables loudly. “You preceded all the glossy magazine of today, advising women, who they should be, to be successful, to have orgasm, to win in career, to win over men, to be slim…
And when these mags came into Czechia in 1996 or so, you were a queen there, you were setting trends, like that bitch from ‘Devil Wears Prada’… Harper’s Bazaar couldn’t get any better chief reporter, and you are a critical part of their commerical and social success…. so many years in the same chair seems too long time, but without you, they would sustain heavy loss in all senses… once you leave, there is still no one, to replace you, as you combine both past and present, able to extract the best from both times.”
“Oh, that’s very good perception,” the reputated writer couldn’t resist to applaud. “I simply brought American influences here… something like import of values and thoughts, very common and trendy in the corrupted West in that time, but still not too widespread in post-Communist Czechia… again, you can see, that I went for an easy inspiration abroad, how to do things effectively, how to predict the inevitable future of female gender, and to use to my personal gain and advantage…
By the way, did you ever hear the name of Lauren Weisberger, who wrote that mentioned book? That is an extremely interesting case study!
Anyway… what else was the reason of my success?”
But this time, the class remained silent, as students ran out of ideas probably.
“Come on, people!” the female celebrity tried to encourage them to some activity. “I understand, that you are a new, distant generation from me, and all these tales are some fifteen, twelve years old, indeed an eternity in media sense… but you are University students, so you have to possess some general knowledge, being able to connect the past, and the present… that you are able to acquire information, and to synthetize it…”
There was still silence in the room, only student Picinkova wanted to say someting, but maybe she was not sure, whether she is right, or she was too shy, so she lowered her hand again.
“You used contacts of your father Josef Nesvadba, a writer and a well established Communist cadre, allegedly even a collaborator of Communist secret police, StB,” a clear female voice broke the silence decisively, waiting just for the right moment cleverly, when to pull aces from her sleeve, as her competitors will waste all ammunition, and the stage will be free for her show.
“Through him, you were able to get to the highest echelons of the Czech society, both ‘old’ and ‘new’ structures, influencing top political elites, including Vaclav Klaus, the Prime Minister in that time, and now President,” the girl continued boldly. “And there were also rumors of your Illuminati membership, and cordial collaboration with that global female organization, WWU (=World Women United) from United States, who wanted to import ideas of gender equality and human rights into middle Europe and post-Communist states in particular, and you served them perfectly, as a carrier of their covert message.”
This time, Nesvadbova made no reply, only watching the speaker with something between surprise, curiosity and suspicion.
“From which sources do you have this information? Remember, this is an University class, not a cafe, not a pub, where you can present freely, just what your tongue brings… you need to support your claims and conclusions with some provable evidence… and the information you presented, it was never publsihed in any Czech media,” the lecturer said with indifferent voice, to preserve the academic decorum.
“I made an extensive research about you, not only in the media,” the girl, who spoke before, explained openly. “I asked people, the insiders, your generation, your peers, even your VIP lovers, including Karel Brezina, once a rising Czech political star, later a convinced criminal and your husband…
Your alleged love affair and marriage, it was a Public Relations master piece, a part of Czech golden PR chronicle, helping brands of both of you immensely…
You were my utmost personal inspiration, when I was studying high school, Gymnazium Voderadska at Prague-Vinohrady… dreaming, planning my life, setting my goals, searching for way, how to get there, to the stars…
Although you belong into other times, other world, your strategy and used means revealed many secrets about Personal branding and Public Relations for me, more than any thick book, written by some educated fool… because all that years, when you are at the top, all the events, year by year, it allows me to understand, what moves were good for you, and which not… what brought short-term gains for you, but paid dearly in the end, and what gave you a perfect, lasting victory.
Of course, it’s easy to assess and analyze your moves nowadays, when it’s all rather a history… but you are a player, an example for me to follow… you showed me, what can be achieved in life…
And I won’t settle with average achievements… for last five years, since I was sixteen, I am slowly but steadily building my personal brand… and all the investments will turn into major victories… very soon, I feel it… but you are the one, who gave me hope, that the stars are accessible to anyone.”
“Well, well… this statement literally took my breath away,” Nesvadbova moved closer to the girl, to have a better look at her, noticing her shining beauty with cold face, trying to understand, who is this individual… possibly a member of the reputated Golden Youth of Prague. “My father was very important person for my career indeed, his contacts, as you said correctly… I can’t deny that… what is your name?”
“Korinkova,” the girl stood up, and everybody in the class turned towards her, understanding, that this must be some heavy-weight asset, an upcoming star, if she gained attention of such a celebrity, like Nesvadbova was, without any doubt.
“You are a fashion model, aren’t you?” the VIP blonde woman guessed, when she noticed girl’s slim long limbs, well defined body.
“Yes… from Czechoslovak Models agency,” the girl replied with shining smile of her perfect white teeth… and everybody knew, that CM is the undisputed market leader in fashion modeling of Czechia, since distant nineties.
“I just imagine, what would become from my personal brand, if I would have your body, your beauty,” the lecturer was thinking loudly. “Indeed, I was nothing in comparison with you… I was just a common city girl with red nails and red lips, showing her female aggresivity and power of The Moon… but you… you are a different class!
Maybe you are a mere student here, and I am a lecturer, at least for today… but you have the potential, to surpass my success many times… I said, that the 1990s were one big opportunity, but I was just a bright intellectual bitch… but you… there is something inside you, you have ‘that thing’…”
Everybody in the class was wondering, when hearing these strong words of appreciaion and respect from a celebrity. Wasn’t even Nesvadbova a real lesbian, in the end…?
“Good, people… let’s talk about some boring theory now,” the presenter moved to another topic then, but when the class ended, she made a gesture, calling the fashion model to her table.
“My times of fame have passed,” Nesvadbova said with sadness, realizing, how her own youth and beauty is diminishing inevitably. “I used my window of opportunity well… but today, I am rather nobody, you girls have another inspiríng examples… all that social media, thousands of pictures, tons of sexy content… who knows, if I could succeed today? But this is an academic question… you are riding the horse now.
You mentioned your plans for the future… what are those?”
“I don’t know exactly, yet,” the beautiful young girl answered modestly. “Just a feeling… Public Relations, media… maybe abroad, to see the world, to learn languages… there I belong, living in the present, seeing opportunities, being a woman of action, not passing the chances, using them… I hope so.”
They remained alone in the class, everybody else left already.
“Who is your father? You aren’t a Cinderella from a distant Silesian mountain village, are you?” Bara Nesvadbova asked openly, like if talking to a VIP peer. “I met a man one day, he had the same surname, like you… and he was some key executive, former Communist corporate elite from the agriculture branch, who used new times well, working in Pharmaceuticals, if I remember correctly… his business company even backed one of my books, securing publicity for me… are you related, or not?”
“On biological level… yes,” the female student admitted with shyness. “But he put his hands away from me, completely, long time ago, he divorced my mother, left the family, my older sister and me, never returning… now, he has other, new family, new round, new baby, we mean absolutely nothing to him… I didn’t get any support from him, only this body and the talent, which I inherited from him.”
“Such a shame… some men are real rats,” the older woman expressed her utmost disdain. “But do you realize, how perfect is this ‘fatherly feature’ for your future personal brand? Like, being deserted by your father, desiring for a paternal, fatherly figure, looking for him in all that male losers around, not able to find… this is, how to create a perfect media tale!”
“I never thought about this issue, like that,” the girl said with surprise. “When you are a model, you try to be perfect in all senses, hiding your flaws carefully…”
“That’s wrong thinking… your flaws can make you more human, to get close to that losers outside,” the media professional stated secretively. “You need to use everything you have, to make a breakthrough, remember that… no one cares, how much controversial information it is… only publicity is, what counts in this special world!
Girl, there is still a long way ahead of you… but I am certain, that you will succeed… I will be watching you… and I am Barbara, by the way.”
Both women shook hands. “Marketa,” the younger one introduced herself.
“Remember, Marketa… your father can be very helpful for you, regardless if he wants, or not, whether he knows and agrees, or not… it’s just about being clever, resourceful, thinking out of the box,” Nesvadbova said a very powerful sentence, which was written very deeply into Marketa’s mind, for many years to come, remembering it even in distant deserts of the Emirates, where she will move one day, when God will order so.
“It’s even better, when you don’t need his direct cooperation and approval… in PR, you can create the world, as you want the people to see it, including yourself, how they see and perceive you, who you are… this is the real magic of personal branding,” the female star finished her presentation.
“Thank you, Barbara, I appreciate it… I hope, that I will be able to repay you one day,” Marketa expressed her gratitude, and it sounded sincere.
Nesvadbova just nodded. Marketa will repay her indeed, even without her knowledge and approval.. that is the way, how the VIP world and Public Relations worked.
“I need to go now, sorry,” Marketa checked her wrist watch. “I have a fashion show in the evening, and there is a preliminary test of dresses… ‘Natali Ruden’ brand…”
“A friend of mine… naturally,” Nesvadbova smiled. “I will come, to see your feminine magic in action… and maybe one day, who knows… I will write a book about you?”
“About me?” Marketa was wondering. “But I am still nobody… I am young, but patient…”
“All the best things come to those, who wait,” the Czech VIP celebrity appreciated this patient approach. “We will meet again… just remember my today’s lesson well, because I paid dearly for this knowledge, and you can make it much farther, than I ever managed, ever imagined…
My life nowadays, it’s rather a misery, Marketa… I have to take care of a bastard now, playing that big mature motherly game now… ‘Bibiana here, Bibiana there’… the media don’t care about me anymore, the bitches even ignore me… I am not interesting for them, anything I do…
I rejected to fuck with Pavel Novotny, that tabloid rat, so I don’t exist for his ‘Heavy Slander’ now, where he is the chief reporter… the media game is like a domino… and he is the critical part… you remember that too!
If you have Novotny… I mean, if you possess him, using any means… you are a Queen, and not only in Czechia! He can do that for you, if you manage to push him, where you need him… by manipulating him, seducing him, controlling him… anything, what works! Even he is just a man, a human! Weak, easy to be influenced and persuaded!
But enough of wisdoms for today… I am sure, that you will figure the rest of PR tricks yourself, or you will learn it here, in the school… and in the end, you will be even grateful to your father, for all, what he gave you… even without his consent or knowledge…. and if he damaged you, if he has hurt you… he will repay you all debts, plus very fat interest! He will became an object and tool in your big game!”
Marketa’s pretty face became serious, a very unusual phenomenon, regarding her, as she was always shining and smiling, never introspective: fashion model rules.
But it seemed, that her father, all this paternal affair, can provoke very strong feelings inside her… or was it just a game, to persuade Nesvadbova, that Marketa is just a weak poor puppy under that glamorous fashion model’s facade, who deserves help and support?
Because if you would approach Barbara just like that, she would reject you… but even she is just a human, who has a red buttons on her… you find these, and you can make a tamed, cooperating animal from a rough lioness…
Was it all just a coincidence, or Marketa’s perfected game? Was she a bright pupil, surpassing her teacher even during the first lesson?
One day, many thick theses will be written about this issue, but a clear answer will be never found, as even the highly intellecual academic and scientific world can hardly understand all depths and layers of feminity… ever.
And a woman… she was.
Submitted to God, without her consent or knowledge.
And He had His own special intention with her, as she was His creation… how could she know, what will happen just three years later in the Emirates, and that she will be the one, who will literally shake and change the world in many senses, several times?
Indeed, in the end, God will surpass all her bold girlish dreams thousand times.
They will call her… Maryam, The Islamic Princess, although she doesn’t know anything about Islam now.
But one day, and not so late… she will know much, and another day, far in the future, God willing, when her days in this transient physical world will be finished… she will face her Creator, the only entity, who can judge, what she will do, with His permission.
All the painful sacrifices, sweat and past hard struggle will disappear then, it will all lose any sense… and maybe she will be admitted into Paradise, God willing.