Monday, June 30, 2008

Ruslana Korshunova, No Longer Anonymous:

Over the weekend a successful young fashion model touched off a minor media circus by killing herself. Almost immediately, details of the beautiful life cut tragically short swooped in to fill blanks; the apocryphal tale of her "discovery" by benevolent industry scouts; her melancholy poems; how she'd been watching "Ghost" the night before. It was mostly bullshit. But there is something about great beauty that inoculates us to the more mundane realities of life, which was that Ruslana Korshunova was an immigrant from a desperately poor country who came to New York at a scarily young age to make money to send back to her parents. In that way she was no different from the tens of thousands of kids from former socialist states whose parents send them thousands of miles to work in restaurants and gas stations. It's generally more legal, and the living conditions a little nicer, but as our anonymous model columnist Tatiana has discussed before in this space, the people governing a model's fate are no less predatory and self-interested, and the experience is only slightly less anonymous.