I just had a chance to watch About Face: Supermodels Then and Now from director Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, and I really loved it. It’s a documentary that covers so many things, which was a little surprising. When I saw the trailer, I thought it might be six different ways of asking, “How do you feel about aging?” This is one of the themes, but probably the most shallow and certainly the most obvious.
I learned a lot about how the fashion industry has developed, but it was also fascinating to listen to the history as told by the models. As the picture progresses, a certain uneasiness develops from both the models and behind-the-scenes people like agents and make-up artists. Many models told their “discovery” story with incredible enthusiasm. How they were whisked out of their everyday life onto the runways of Paris, New York and Milan. And then other stories began to quietly appear. Eating disorders. Sexual harassment. And lots of drugs – partly for fun or as part of the culture at the time, but often to distract from the literal hunger they felt.
You’ll know all the famous faces – Isabella Rossellini, Christy Turlington, Christie Brinkley, and the list goes on and on. This is a thoughtful and compassionate picture. It may change your mind about what true beauty is. Provocative viewing – enjoy!