Every day I see pictures on Instagram and Twitter of girls with their perfect stomachs and their amazing legs. I see gorgeous women from actresses and performers, ASOS to Victoria’s Secret models, fashion and fitness bloggers to even some of my friends and acquaintances, and I just think to myself how lucky they are to look the way they do. I live in an endless cycle of seeing models in magazines and going from ‘it’s all make up and Photoshop’ to ‘but she has the ability to look like that.’ But this debate is not just in my head, there is a constant debate about image in society that I truly believe will never go away. Girls and boys, men and women, are all affected in some way. But I do believe even more strongly in the fact that everyone is beautiful and despite my own insecurities I am slowly but surely learning to love myself with the help of friends and family.
But the amount of times I’ve seen tweets, blogs, articles etc. on the likes of Victoria’s secret models is ridiculous and becoming boring. I could go on for days about how the media and the fashion world has negative effects on young girls and boys but instead of continuing with the modern societal issues, I wanted to focus on a model I have been intrigued by for a while now. A gorgeous model called Gia Carangi, who embodied the struggle of trying to be perfect.
Gia was an American fashion model during the late 1970s and early 1980s, and although that title has also been applied to others, Carangi is considered to be America’s first supermodel. She was born in Philadelphia in 1960. By 1978, she was one of the most sought after fashion models in the world. Unfortunately, her career as a supermodel did not last once she was plagued with drug addiction. She left the fashion world in 1982, only to die from an AIDS related illness 4 years later on November 18, 1986. She died aged 26.
“Robert Tilton says Gia thought the people she worked with in the fashion industry were bull shit. I beg to differ. I knew her better than he knew her. She may have been sad but when she worked, she was a true artist. Gia loved the people she worked with. Gia was a true artist and suffered for her art and for her life” – Sandy Linter on Gia’s hatred for the fashion industry
By the age of 20, Gia had the world at her fingertips. Gia’s signature look had set her apart in the competitive fashion industry, while her personality left most adoring her very presence. But while life appeared to be perfect for the young model, her ‘well-manicured world’ was suddenly shattered with the death of her agent and mentor Wilhelmina Cooper.
“I’m an extremist. I have to go all the way,” claimed Gia in a 1982 interview.
At 10 AM on November 18th, 1986, Gia Carangi passed away, losing her battle with AIDS. At 26, she had her entire life ahead of her, although in many ways she had experienced both enough euphoria and horror for a lifetime. In a way, Gia was a paradox. Trapped by her beauty, even as it took her to the top of the world.
‘The 20/20 Interview’