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NO FILTER by Paulina Porizkova


The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful

by Paulina Porizkova

Pub Date: Nov. 15th, 2022
ISBN: 978-0-593-49352-6
Publisher: Open Field

An iconic supermodel offers insights into lessons learned from a life that has been anything but perfect.

Porizkova (b. 1965) ruled the catwalks in the 1980s and ’90s, but the hard truths behind her rise to fame and marriage to Ric Ocasek were buried under the outward glamour. In this collection of essays, she speaks candidly about a difficult childhood that included living as a Czech political refugee in Sweden, where, as a bullied teenager, she “frequently felt ugly” and endured her “flaws [being] discussed before me as though I couldn’t hear what they said.” Even when she began earning money as a model, high anxiety levels caused daily panic attacks. Her relationship with Ocasek began in youthful blindness. She could not see that the still-married musician’s demands—that she wear less revealing clothes, give up her gay male friends, and put his career and needs above hers—were symptomatic of the possessive behavior she accepted—and even cherished—because it made her feel she was “home.” The author writes that Ocasek was like a Russian tank, an occupying force she greeted with “flowers and cheers.” Growing older brought clarity regarding an increasingly troubled personal life and the fact that her looks had transformed her from a real person into an object. It also forced her to confront the fears that drove her to seek small procedures like eye lifts to fight not only the loss of beauty, but also increasing social invisibility as a woman. Ocasek’s sudden death and his claim, written in his will, that she “abandoned” him, drove Porizkova into a painful period of litigation and soul-searching from which she emerged determined to “be heard” for who she was rather than as the “manufactured image” into which she had been made. The occasional repetitiveness and fairly haphazard organization of these essays make the book feel unpolished, but its raw honesty will appeal to Porizkova’s many fans.

A flawed but well-intentioned self-examination.