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Did you see the Brooke Shields' doc "Pretty Baby"? I didn't but hearing her promoting the project in interviews it does seem that she delves into how being valued for one's looks when they're a teen (or preteen I think in her case) really had a damaging effect ...

I feel like for a brief moment, Vogue tried to crown a new class of "supers": they called Kendall Jenner and Gigi and Bella Hadid that. But it really didn't seem to stick. Kendall isn't as culturally ubiquitous as her sisters. Gigi and Bella are popular but not in the way Christy and especially Cindy were ...

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Yeah I know Anna wants to have a new class of supers but they haven’t really manifested — the Hadids and Kendall, etc. have risen pretty high and have amazing name recognition but they aren’t at the same level as the supers, I agree. Kendall’s fame is so tied to her family, as is the Hadids’ in a way. Maybe it’s not possible to mint supers in the modern age given we all consume much of our media in an algorithmic feed. We’re not all watching the same shows, commercials, etc, but living in a media bubble with endless options tailored to us

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Excellent point re: our fragmented, personally tailored-to-us worlds. There aren't even Hollywood actors (at least young ones) who have that sort of cultural dominance. I think the only people in the world with that cross-generational power and fame are Beyonce, Taylor Swift, and maybe Rihanna. All musicians!

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I appreciated a lot about "Pretty Baby" but I didn't think there was a deep enough reckoning from Shields; I got the sense that Shields wasn't actually ready to truly look at her relationship with her mother and the damage her early sexualization did to her. The closest it gets is when her daughters kind of probe her at the end, but I wanted more context about some of this stuff.

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Sep 22, 2023Liked by Amy Odell

When you tired of that Versace couch, please send it my way. It’s really fabulous. Fascinating story from your point of view. Thank you.

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Haha I wish I could replace the millennial gray couch in my home office with that.

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Well, we could always share it. Six months for you and same for me. My study couch is brown :-(

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Thank you for another great piece! Your reflection about what made Supers deserves to be explored. One thing I believe contributed to catapult them to where they are today is their relationship with the designers they catwalked for. Nowadays this type of relationship doesn't seem to exist or be as strong. Designers barely stays 5 years in the same house, or when they build their own brand there are too many middlemen between the designer and the models to create a strong bond, unless you're Gigi Hadid. There is no muse anymore like there were once. Outside of the Supers, when we think of designers like Yves Saint-Laurent, he had 'his' models, he designed FOR them and it led to create a certain image of the brand and the type of woman wearing it. Nowadays, it barely happens.

The whole modelling industry has evolved since the Supers era and now models are even more anonymous than they already were, even with social media. There are faces we know and see over and over again on catwalks, besides the Gigis and the Kendalls of this world, but they just stay, faces. That's it. To be culturally relevant and become a Super, I believe models nowadays can't only model, they'd need to be on many forefronts, and that requires a lot of work, energy, and time. And modelling already sucks up a lot of energy and time.

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Thank you for highlighting this! I was struck in the doc how Christy did Marc Jacobs when he was kind of nobody... just to support him. I struggle to think of examples of that sort of thing nowadays -- everything is so corporate and capitalistic.

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I have a piece coming out for a print magazine that looks at this relationship between designers and models before the Supers era. And what I found was fascinating.

I also struggle to find anyone with that sort of bond nowadays.

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Sep 23, 2023Liked by Amy Odell

Was surprised how likable the doc is.. well edited & great old clips. One can feel their friendship & each of them seems to have the awareness that the whole experience was “circus” .. such a contrast to that bland Vogue cover

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Sep 25, 2023Liked by Amy Odell

Just watched the first episode last night. Sang along with the soundtrack (and told my husband it was Wham UK before Naomi said it, lol), told my husband who Eileen Ford was and repeated Cindy's cornfield/Northwestern/Skrebnski stories before she did (I'm from Chicago).

My husband said "I think this is the story of your life" and he might be right.

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