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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on January 25, 2003
This book was incredibly dull and poorly written.
The majority of it is about wanna-be models who, while hoping for their big break, partied too hard and were "sexually abused" (as the author phrases it repeatedly) by men that like to hang around the fashion scene looking for naive girls. A typical passage: "Rio spent the next four hours convincing me how dangerous modeling has become. She admitted she had been beaten, held at gunpoint by a jealous boyfriend, and raped at least six times." Details about her harrowing ordeals follow ("Get out, get your hands off me", Rio yelled).If you find that interesting then this book is for you because much of it is just like that.
There are some pages about models that I have actually heard of (Halperin on model Kate Moss,"[She] appeared to be a beautiful, intelligent, and complex woman possessed of a smoldering sensuality.") But it's all recycled gossip told in a National Enquirer style but with a more pro-model spin. Naomi behaves badly because she has been "victimized by people who are trying to take advantage of her wealth and fame", Gisele Bundchen has become more famous because she dated Leonardo Dicaprio..and so on.
The insider slant, the author was a "model undercover" in L.A. not exactly a modeling mecca like New York, is rendered ridiculous as soon as you see Ian Halperin's picture. Not exactly model material.
I recommend instead Michael Gross' "Model: The Ugly Business of Beautiful Women". It's money much better spent!
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2002
I read this book straight through last weekend. I could barely put it down. This book really hits home for anyone involved in the fashion industry. I have been involved in fashion for more than 20 years. It's about time someone was brave enough to expose some of the bad dealings of the industry. Hopefully, Mr. Halperin's startling revelations will help make more people aware that it's important to beware of who you get involved with in this business. There are many bad apples out there. I encourage all parents and young models to pick up this book before getting involved in the industry. All your questions of what it's like to be a model and how to choose the right agent will be answered. And of course, you'll be intrigued by some of the horrific experiences some of the top models you see on TV have encountered. The author posed undercover as a model to get all the dirt. And he certainly does not hold back in revealing the truth about our glamorous industry.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2004
This book is so poorly written that I had a hard time taking it seriously. I am mystified by all the positive reviews. Most chapters read as if the author scribbled them down in the span of a few hours. Despite being a journalist, Ian Halperin seems to have no concept of letting stories speak for themselves. He can't describe anyone without tacking on a string of generic adjectives. He uses clichés with abandon and repeats himself to no end.

Halperin's reasons for writing this book are confusing. In the preface, he writes, "I wanted to expose this industry that thrives heartlessly on beauty as deception." Although this sentence makes little sense, it is clear that the author is horrified by the abuses and corruption in the industry (This is the major theme of the book). Yet he continues, "Through the information I present, I hope to build self-confidence, fuel modeling ambitions..." Fuel modeling ambitions? The book is devoted to describing how most aspiring models end up emotionally destroyed, in rehab or dead. I read the book in full, but Halperin does not present any coherent strategies to help future models avoid the pitfalls.

Awkward and ungrammatical (and sometimes questionable) statements further erode this book's credibility. One chapter opens with this sentence: "The supermodels of the nineties became a generation's most sought after figure." The unsophisticated language doesn't help, either. Halperin writes that one model has "big b***s".

Finally, Halperin closes with a chapter on the murder of Gianni Versace that has nothing to do with the rest of the book. If you can ignore the sloppy and repetitive writing, perhaps this is a somewhat illuminating exposé.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 29, 2008
The facts about John Badum's death are completely wrong, which leads me to believe the author did no real research what-so-ever. First off John was murdered on early Sunday morning of Memorial Day weekend 1999, it was not late 1998. He was murdered in his sister's modest 1 BR garden apartment located in rural Batavia, NY. Hamid came through the sliding glass doors of a second floor terrace by climbing up a drain pipe and shattering the glass doors to gain access.

A "mansion" it was hardly, that's laughable at best.

And Hamid never told any "model" anything, he never knew any models to vow this alleged revenge to; nor did he really know any of John's friends.

The author needs to get his facts straight when writing about someone's tragic death or better yet, he needs to stop sensationalizing it for his ridiculous book and self gain.

It might haved helped if he actually spoke to John's real friends, which is doubtful. John's real friends would never add to tabloid journalism and cheesy books like this one.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2003
This is the Watergate of high fashion.
Award-winning investigative journalist Ian Halperin went undercover as a model to expose what goes on in the fashion industry off the runway when the lights and cameras go off. I read this book with my jaw on the floor. You will be outraged to read how beautiful young girls, some from poor countries and others red-blooded Americans with dreams of making it big, are prime targets of being sexually used, abused, perhaps murdered; they are made to go through things one wouldn't wish on their worst enemy. If you want to be a fashion model, this book will scare the living daylights out of you; if you believe this book doesn't relate to you, think of your daughter, your neice, your granddaughter.
In addition to Halperin's investigating the darker, lesser known sides of this industry, also included later on in the book are top notch, in-depth chapters of more publicized occurences in fashion recently: the untimely death of Gianni Versace, the Fashion Cafe, Niki Taylor's tragedy, the John Casablancas scandal.
It's tragic, as John Casablancas and the way he took advantage of his models is a sort of a tip of the iceberg to what is described in the first part of the book, and somehow what's below the surface has yet to be picked up by mainstream media and be prosecuted by authorities.
Also: insightful biographies of Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington and other supermodels.
A well-rounded book, paced wonderfully and written skillfully.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 21, 2004
I think this guy has like 100 different copies of what is essentially the same book issued under different titles on Amazon and in bookstores. Maybe hoping for double and triple sales from stupid people? I have what I believe is another copy of the same book called "Shut Up and Smile." Much of the material is rehashed from old newspaper reports, other people's books, etc. Some stories on sad lives of lesser-known models is interesting and not something we've read before. The passage on Halperin trying to be an undercover model is a joke. He's not a great writer and the material isn't as shocking as Halperin thinks it is. But some of it is worth reading.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
I admit it...I'm hooked on books about models and so I couldn't wait to get my hands on this one. It was worth the wait, revealing the often sordid details of the modeling industry (not that anyone expected it to be a story of purity and idealism, right?). So read this one. But don't stop there. Pick up A Thing of Beauty, which details the rise and fall of Gia Carangi. Then spend some time with Jerry Hall's True Tales (an inside look by Mick Jagger's ex).And finally, round off your reading with No Lifeguard on Duty, written by Janice Dickinson. arguably the world's "first" supermodel and Sylvester Stallone's erstwhile lover.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 14, 2004
I was intrigued by the fashion business, modeling especially, after reading the first book by Janice Dickinson. I got this book along with Janice Dickinsons new book "Everything About Me is Fake, and I'm Perfect". I was excited to see what this book said about the industry, and am a little disappointed. Basically it says over and over that most people in the business are heavily into drug use, and that a lot of crime that happens goes unnoticed. While this is upsetting to me, I would still get the same effect if I had been told one incident of this happening, not every person the author encountered. So if you don't mind repetence, then you could get through this book.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2003
PLEASE, PLEASE fashionistas, read this book. You'll be amazed at the goings on of this crazy industry. Sex, drugs, payola - this book has it all. I literally read it cover to cover. Entertaining and compelling!
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on June 22, 2002
After reading this book over the weekend, I cannot recommend it enough, especially if you're interested in the fashion industry. No book I have ever read comes close to giving such thorough detail and anecdotes of what it is really like to be a top model. The parts about Milan and New York were incredible. And the way the author presents his research, facts and first hand experience himself as an undercover model make for an enjoyable and entertaining read.
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