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Supermodel Carre Otis: Beauty, Disrupted

Sexual abuse; drug abuse; self-esteem issues; eating disorders; reckless behavior; burnout; a high-profile, dysfunctional (to put it lightly) marriage—Carre Otis’s memoir has all the ingredients of the cliche supermodel tale, but her poignant, well-scribed (with Hugh Schwyzer) story exposes fresh, shocking details about the modeling industry. Even before she wobbles, scantily-clad, down a catwalk made of tables in a bar, trying to make her way as a teen runaway, Carre had suffered a scarred girlhood. By 20, she had endured so much abuse that the reader can hardly bare it. I wanted to reach back in time and snatch her from the thieves of her youth (her agent Gerald Marie, her boyfriend/husband Mickey Rourke, among others) and hug her until her tears dried—which may have taken years.

Carre Otis: Beauty, Disrupted

Fortunately—and amazingly—Carre dug herself out of the abysmal crater she wedged herself into during her teens and 20s and hugged herself better, with the help of Buddhism and intense introspection. For two-thirds of the book, it’s hard to believe this story could have a happy ending, but it does.

“There was an aspect of wanting to set the record straight, but there was also the need to tell this tale for those young women yet to fulfill their own journeys,” writes Otis.  ”Mine is every woman’s story but for a few differences. It’s the story of our right to say no, to not be silenced, to tell things like they are and, of course, to move on in the sweetest victory of forgiveness…”

It is a story for every young woman to read and learn from. It’s also a story that may scare any aspiring model far, far away from the catwalks! Never fear; almost none of my modeling friends fell into the pitfalls detailed in “Beauty, Disrupted” or encountered the outrageous treatment Carre endures. My book tells a very different story, but again, it’s one every young woman should read. (Yes, yes, you will know first when I have a release date!)

Stay tuned for the announcement of Modelingmentor.com January Model of the Month!