A Cautionary Tale

It’s great to indulge my inner child by partaking of the technological advances that were either in their infancy or not even fully developed during my adolescence, things like: Social Networking, Blogging, and even YouTube.

Yes I know that as a grown woman I am probably not expected to be interested in such things, but such is the allure for a media and popular culture junkie. For me the caveat lay in the fact that I have experienced first-hand some of the events that I see younger people romanticizing online.

Norma Jean Mortensen:image
I expect fans of Marilyn Monroe to elevate her to mythical levels, but in reality she was an emotionally troubled pill popping drug addict that was an actor and nothing more.

From the Documentary: The Self Destruction of Gia

UPDATE: I’ve REMOVED the link to the Gia Carangi foundation. It appears to be a defunct organization. I've attempted contact to no avail. If in the future I do receive contact I will ad the foundation back to the list. Apologies.

image• Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, January 29, 1960.
• Parents separate when Gia is 11.
• Gia shows signs of being gay at 13.

Gia was a LESBIAN who became America's FIRST Supermodel.

I didn’t expect to see all of the teen created fan videos dedicated to Gia Carangi on You Tube.

Carangi was from my era, that made her significant to me and my fantasy girlfriend. There was no You Tube back then so the impact that this beautiful woman had on me was to compel me to go to to Manhattan to model. BOOM! Years later I see videos made by preteens, inspired by the movie GIA. Yideos featuring pictures of Gia during her career combined with music from the L Word of all things!

This reflects a notion that these naive young women don't have a clue what it was really like (even for an unknown such as myself) and the videos reflect a romantic notion that Gia somehow could’ve been saved: Gia Carangi couldn’t have been saved by anyone until she was ready to save herself. To romanticize something means: To make romantic or treat as idealized or heroic.

Gia died 5 months after she was diagnosed with AIDS. In 1986 there were few in any successful treatnents for HIV/AIDS. Gia died experiencing the full array of the symptoms associated with the disease. It was not pretty.

It was only when Carangi could no longer withstand what she saw: [How her appearance had drastically changed and declined so radically] that Gia finally decided to turn her life around. Such a realization is referred to as “Hitting Rock Bottom” or, reaching the lowest possible level in the worst possible situation and one is fortunate if they survive that. Gia didn’t.

Carol O.:

I have met and interacted with: Wealthy lesbians that one would think wouldn’t succumb to the problems of Heroin addiction, or Alcoholism. But it happens because it seems that they are the most ill prepared to deal with the “ups and downs” that life gives to all of us.

For example: It was hard to fathom as I sat in her mother’s parlor across from Central Park: Across from the Bryant Park Grille that Carol was was a Heroin addict. She had graduated from a fine Ivy League University, didn’t need to work or suffer from the stresses of financial instability.

Yet Carol became another victim to Heroin and to AIDS which caused her body to unimaginably waste away and here’s the strange but possibly true thing about this.
Drug communities are isolated in small self involved circles.

Despite the wealth that Carol had, it’s still not unimaginable that she shot drugs with addicted lowlifes where she was exposed HIV. Carol was living in Manhattan at the same time that Gia was, I wouldn’t be surprised if their paths crossed in more ways than one and not in a good way.

Maybe it was the drugs or her inherent sense of entitlement but Carol was NOT a person that I felt empathy or compassion for.
She was cruel to me.

She was an elitist who had access to some of the best things that life had to offer and still was jealous of me and others who looked a certain way or had done something that she wanted to do [That will remain private]. When asked why she doesn’t to go to “Rehab” she informed me that she had gone [Rehab didn’t address her needs or didn’t prevent her backsliding into addiction]. Not long after Gia passed Carol was dead and as you may have saw in the movie: Gia was not adverse to visiting sleazy Heroin dens and neither was Carol.

Amy Winehouse:

It seems that like many, I had the most visceral reaction to watching Winehouse’s decline. Winehouse died from acute alcohol intoxication, I knew a girl who was so wealthy that again I wondered why she didn’t seek help for the problem image
that she must have known she had. (I wondered why for many it takes "Hitting Rock Bottom.")

I literally wondered when would Winehouse die and end this media circus, I didn’t wish her dead but it seemed to me that she was flaunting her addiction, that being an addict no longer held the burden or stigma of shame that it once held [Like when Carangi attempted to hide the needle’s track-marks during her last photo shoot]. Of course once Winehouse actually died I was saddened by such a loss of great talent, because by the time Winehouse realized that she hadalso hit “Rock Bottom” it was too late.
Surprisingly I often find myself defwending Wimewhouse when I hear a teen disparage her. Life can be ironic.

imageWhitney Houston:

There are significant years in your life where momentous life changes will occur and they happen every 10 years more or less. The first major like passage occurs before age 30, the second around age 40 and so on. According to reports, Houston had a heart attack brought on by years of abusing Cocaine (and later prescription drugs) and fell face down while entering a bath, ultimately drowning. The Coroner cited this as an “Accidental death.” A hole in your nasal cavity that is caused by Cocaine, doesn’t happen by accident, the damage it does to your heart is no accident.

When substance abuse is involved there are rarely any accidents. There is a strong reason that I neither smoke, drink or do illicit drugs.

Sum it up to dumb luck, or my naiveté, but I was able to dodge repeated bullets of temptation that were fired at me and not succumb to the troubled artist/ actress/model phenomena or romanticizing such phenomena.

It is not helped by the fact that today lesbian portals which should be providing some sort of guidance and leadership to their impressionable followers are neglecting the issue.

They do so because either they are not informed, don't want to appear preachy or too young to grasp the significance that this life is ALL we have. No afterlife, in fact the only thing after life is: NOTHING. Seems like the only thing popular lesbian entertainment sites are interested in is confusing their readership by inferring that Lesbians sleep with and marry men, or providing catch-phrases to summaries of television shows..

While none of aforementioned celecreties intended to self destruct, at best they didn't fully understand that we hold a tenuous grasp on life, at best we delude ourselves into thinking that is we live a clean life we can outsmart the fate that awaited these individuals or we succumb to the opiate of religiosity by believing that we won't die and will be mystically transported to another other-worldly dimension.

But just because we may not succumb to a drug overdose doesn’t mean that tomorrow is guaranteed to us.


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