SWow. Christie Brinkley sounds like a damn fool in this New York profile from the latest issue. Brinkley has all the self-awareness of a lobotomized golden retriever as she flashes her trademark toothy grin and shows New York writer Amy Larocca her myriad multi-million dollar Hamptons pads. While telling LaRocca how happy she is and saying sound-bytey yet vapid things like "I just love America. I love living here," Brinkley glosses over the fact that she just went through a sordid, messy divorce that she chose to make public, despite the long lasting effects it might have on her young children. Larocca does a beautiful job of implying that Brinkley is full of shit, particularly with this wonderfully descriptive passage: "[Brinkley] speaks in the breathy, enthusiastic delivery of a librarian reading aloud to someone in the third grade, and she smiles almost constantly. She can talk through the smile-which reveals both top and bottom teeth at all times-almost like a ventriloquist."In this ventriloquism metaphor, Christie's still-flawless California good looks are the dummy, and the hand of "keeping up appearances" is far, far up Christie's behind. Indeed, she is very rich, and even though she hopes to take up surfing and get back into "shell painting," it's sort of hard to believe that anyone's American dream involves your husband fucking a teenager in your new Hamptons home. Which brings me to Gerren Taylor, who still dreams of being a Christie Brinkley one day. You see, Gerren made a big splash when she hit the catwalks for the first time at age 12. That year, she walked for Marc Jacobs, Tommy Hilfiger, Betsey Johnson and Tracy Reese. She became the first African-American to book a Marc Jacobs campaign, and according to the L.A. Times, everyone expected Gerren to be the next big thing. Except then she grew. The next year, "She went to Europe to try her luck at the fashion weeks there, but was told by booking agents in Paris that 38-inch hips on a pole-thin 6-foot frame made her too big to model. (They wanted her to diet down to 35 inches.) In less than two years, her career had come to a halt." Gerren is now 18, and there's a documentary about her brief foray into modeling called America the Beautiful that premieres in L.A. this week. "In 2005, when Taylor returns from Europe humiliated, we watch her hit rock bottom," The L.A Times reports. "Agonizing over the flaws she perceives in her pancake flat stomach, her flawless face looks straight into the camera and she says, 'I'm ugly.'" Gerren hoped to at least have enough money from her modeling days to pay for college, and she didn't even come away with that. After I read the piece, I initially felt bad for her. It sucks that she was made to feel bad about looks, and I imagine part of why she was encouraged to be a model by her mother was so that she could make money for college. But then I thought about it for a while, and I stopped feeling that bad for her in particular. Hundreds of thousands of shorter, less genetically blessed American women are having trouble paying for college. Many of them have to actually work retail jobs (the horror!) or rely on academic scholarships and loans to get an education, and the financial disadvantage sucks for everyone. Why should Gerren get a free pass because she's beautiful? And furthermore, why are there so many goddamn articles about aspiring models? Aren't there young women out there doing anything more interesting with their time? It's time for some real talk. I don't care what Tyra Banks tells you, but not all women are meant to be models, and if you need to have an eating disorder to be model skinny, get another career. And as Christie Brinkley and her flashing veneers prove, even if you are a wildly successful model who remains strikingly gorgeous into your 40s, your life can be just as big a hot mess as the average lady on Maury. Of course, it's human to be fascinated by outlandish beauty. That's what photographs are for. I'm just over so many words being spilled on those image makers. This Year's Model [New York Magazine] Model Gerren Taylor's Short But Stunning Fashion Career Seen In 'America The Beautiful' [LAT] Where the Only Hiking Is Toward the Runway [Washington Post]
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