Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Book 2, "No Lifeguard on Duty: The Accidental Life of the World's First Supermodel" by Janice Dickinson

Well, that was intense.

Before I'd read this, the only thing I knew about Janice Dickinson was that she was that one screechy, mean and altogether hilarious (and terrifying) judge on America's Next Top Model who was crazier than Tyra Banks. And that's saying a lot. I knew she had been a huge model in the 80s, one who currently looked like a terrifying alien spider wearing a woman's skin, and that that was due to extreme levels of plastic surgery. I had no idea she had lived such a damn fascinating life.

This is an autobiography, and it reads like Janice Dickinson herself: crazy, intense, crude, but definitely interesting. She's not the world's best writer (by far), but the brutal honesty of her writing can get you past that pretty quickly. She's full of horrifying stories about the worst parts of the 70s-- Studio 54 sex, drugs, sex, celebrities who take drugs and have sex, perverted photographers, the whole deal. But it's not just a story of a spoiled model, because Janice Dickinson has one hell of a dark past, and the entire book is peppered with a lot of regret and shame, which makes Janice Dickinson incredibly sympathetic sometimes. I wasn't expecting that.

This woman holds nothing back. She fully admits to being spoiled, arrogant and shameless. She's seen everything and done everything (and everyone!) and doesn't care who knows it. There's something disarming about that much honesty. And she admits to her worse mistakes, and how none of the sleeping around, the drugs, the fame, ever made her very happy, because of how messed up of a childhood she had. The whole thing definitely shows you the dark side of celebrity and fame: when you have everyone around you telling you how perfect you are (because it'll make them money), why would you want to do anything differently? It's a terribly dark world, and the fact that she survived a whole lot of horrible things is proof that she is one tough, tough chick. And you gotta admire her for it.

I don't know who I'd recommend this to, but I'd definitely say it's worth a read. There's a lot of darkness in the book, but there's also oodles of dirty celebrity tidbits and funny stories. It's definitely memorable. I know I'll never look at Liam Neeson the same way again.

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