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Model: The Ugly Business of Beautiful Women

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3.45  ·  Rating Details ·  379 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
A senior writer at Esquire takes readers into the studios, the castles and villas where models play and are preyed upon by the rich and unscrupulous, tearing down modeling's carefully constructed facade to reveal the untold truths about the ugly trade in pretty women. Includes interviews with Anita Colby, Suzy Parker, Jean Shrimpton, Cindy Crawford, and others. Photos.
Hardcover, 524 pages
Published May 1st 1995 by William Morrow & Company (first published 1995)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Alshia Moyez
Sep 17, 2011 Alshia Moyez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: great-fun
The book was amzingly researched and look how low the ratings are. I believe this book was unintentionally written for a limited audience. I think the author is really into fashion and is pre-occupied with models but he forgot that most people aren't. If you're in the fashion biz you'll know most, if not all the names mentioned in this book. If not, they'll be too many names for you to keep track of. I think this 3 star rating this book has earned overall has been unearned and given by people ou ...more
Erika
Great reference, including interviews with key people in the business. Very useful, one of few books on the history of the modelling profession.

Remember looking at a brand new copy of the book in New York, just after it was published. Wanted it, deemed it too unserious (fashion, I was a literature major and a different breed of snob at the time), left it behind.

Have been pining for the book ever since! Finally bought a hardback copy on Am. Ebay - condition like new - although not signed by Mic
...more
Brent
Sep 13, 2008 Brent rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: research
Michael Gross did an impressive amount of research and numerous interviews for this book, and it shows through in an engaging treatment of the history and personalities of the industry. It gets dense and hard to follow at times.
Marcia
I really liked this book, which focuses on the history of modeling, from the 1920s or so up until the mid-1990s. The title and the back copy both make it seem like it's merely a collection of gossip and dirt, and while there's dirt a plenty, it's actually pretty serious. There are a LOT of names to keep track of, and I do think that in order to enjoy this book you need to have not only an appreciation for fashion but also some prior knowledge of prominent fashion photographers and models of the ...more
Suzie Quint
Apr 18, 2015 Suzie Quint rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: research
The first 25% of the book was interesting, but then it started reading like a tabloid about all the sex, drugs, and scandal. It might have been more interesting if I cared about about or even knew who more of these people were. It does deliver a good history of the fashion industry up through the 90s, but of course, it's not up to date.
Emily Jones
Loves my models! This book was pretty informative to me as far as the early models & how they got their start. Sometimes it was hard to keep everything straight, but overall a good read if you are into all this nonsense. Which I am!
Summer
Everyone knows that the modeling industry is full of drugs, eating disorders, casting couches, and other dangerous behavior, but it's interesting to see it from behind the scenes.
Kristen
The fun parts are the discovery stories of all these posing beauties; also a little bit about how modeling agencies started. John Robert Powers was an out-of-work actor who found himself running a clearing house for movie extras. He suddenly thought, "Hey, there are commercial photographers out there looking for models. And I know dozens of out-of-work actors and actresses. Why not bring them together?"

The book also details the wars between modeling agencies, stealing one another's girls. In fac
...more
Theresa
Jul 26, 2009 Theresa rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: my worst enemy
UGH! What a horrible book. Long, dull, name-dropping names you don’t care about. And, the overall story – highly disappointing. The “ugly business” – not really much of a surprise. And, I’m not sure that that’s because the book was published 15 years ago.

So what do you learn in this book? Photographers have sex with the models – so does anyone else who has any sort of influence in the industry (ie, can get the model work.) They use a lot of drugs. The agencies fight with each other to get models
...more
Molly Black
If you're interested in the history of how modeling got started and why models can make so much money just based on their looks, this book is a decent place to start. I was surprised to see so little about Gia, comparative to what another reviewer wrote. Especially since she was not only one of the first "supermodels" - but also because of the industry's reliance on drugs, she also became one of the first female ARC deaths.

So this book is interesting but I'm also surprised it didn't go into the
...more
Lisa Marie
Nov 23, 2015 Lisa Marie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really like this book, I'm not sure why this book is so lowly rated. I wonder if people somehow believe the Model business and life is such an idyllic thing but as with anything there can be a very ugly side to it. And don't forget women were once thought of as just pretty faces, to be done with as men thought was okay. This book gives a really good overview of how things were at the beginning of the Model business and how things evolved. Eileen Ford and her Husband were either loved or hated, ...more
Krista
Feb 03, 2013 Krista rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This is only somewhat a book about models, so the title ("Model") is a bit misplaced.

Instead, this is a book about the rise of the modelling *business*, with the major stars of the piece being model agencies, around which a constellation of supporting characters--photographers, designers, models, even makeup artists--swirl. The book speaks to the expected scandals, but it also discusses very interesting themes for the postwar economy: women in the workforce; consumer representation of women; ev
...more
Asif
Apr 03, 2016 Asif rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Interesting in bits and pieces but more about the owners of the large modelling agencies and their wheeling and dealing than about the models themselves. Contains some revelations that are hardly revelatory -- that modelling agencies and especially their rich, white, male owners, sleep with many models many as young as 16. That the modelling industry involves selling your body to some degree is hardly news.

Lisa
Apr 29, 2008 Lisa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Aspiring models and their mothers.
Shelves: sex-and-womens
I love how the description for this book actually uses the oxymoron "In-depth interviews with models.." As if. Cheesy and exploitative, un-shocking and kind of dull. Models are too skinny, whore around at an early age, and are dumb. This isn't news. Some of it is disturbing. Where the heck was Stephanie Seymour's mom during all this? Stephanie did eventually end up with Axl Rose, so what does that tell you?

Annie Kookie
Jul 23, 2008 Annie Kookie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: models
Shelves: borrowed
An interesting insight into the modeling world. While a lot of information is laid upon you, it is often vague and the intrigue lost. There are moments of clarity when you really toss your head aside in thoughts unbeguiling, but really when you get into the world of the arts, and the concpet of that world, it seems haf it isn't all that same as the next - as unbecoming as it may seem...
Rosalind M
Jun 15, 2015 Rosalind M rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
3.75 stars. A daunting amount of background research went into this history. It attempts to cover so much that it becomes weighted down with the seediness of the bookers and agents and the tactics employed by the agencies in bagging and retaining successful clients.
Beth
Sep 15, 2013 Beth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The author is exhaustive in his research and detail which made the book a bit plodding at times and kind of boring. I would have liked more about the models themselves and less about the agencies and their owners.
Biscuits
May 08, 2007 Biscuits rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bios
Saw this book cited after the whole Kate Moss cocaine incident. The author said models live off the 3 C's: Cocaine, Coffee and Cigarettes. Found the early days of modeling confusing and hard to follow, but interesting none the less.
Gina
Sep 26, 2007 Gina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Somewhat interesting, but all in all, models and the modeling industry are kind of boring.
Florence
What a sordid history the modeling profession has.
Caroline
Nov 16, 2009 Caroline rated it it was ok
Lots of info about someone named Gia who I's never heard of at the time and not very much about the supermodels of the early nineties
Sarah
Jul 28, 2014 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
honestly, havent finished the book yet. but the insight into the model industry is interesting to the outsiders. but everyone knows models uses drugs!!!
Ellen
I had to return this before I could finish it -- it's incredibly dense and I wasn't up to the challenge. I hope to pick it up again some other time, because I barely got to the 1930s.
A.J. A.J.
Sep 19, 2016 A.J. A.J. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
interesting, i'm going to reread it.
Della Scott
Jan 14, 2013 Della Scott rated it it was amazing
I registered a book at BookCrossing.com!
http://www.BookCrossing.com/journal/11641142
jasmine
Jun 25, 2007 jasmine rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
stupid book, but what else would you expect?....
Aauvi House
Jan 24, 2012 Aauvi House rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fashion
Riveting....
H
Dec 12, 2014 H rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the fashion world, models, fashion photography
Shelves: fashion-nf
Very dry at times, but there are few other books as thorough and informative about fashion models. Covers the history of models up til the 90s (time for an updated edition?).
Alexa
Jun 24, 2008 Alexa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i enjoyed this one too! once again....so much scandal, drugs, and crazy parties!
Alisha
Feb 08, 2015 Alisha rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fashion-art
kinda boring
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This book list is a work in progress. Michael Gross is recognized as one of America’s most provocative writers of non-fiction–its “foremost chronicler of the upper-crust,” says curbed.com. His latest book Unreal Estate, to be published November 1, 2011, is a west coast version of his bestseller, 740 Park, this time exposing the most exclusive neighborhoods of Los Angeles–Beverly Hills, Holmby Hill ...more
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