Paulina Porizkova’s new book
Vulnerable, painfully honest and relatable
What if you had it all until unexpected events changed your life forever? What if a marriage of 30 years, with the love of your life, ended with a betrayal beyond understanding? What if the very person you trusted the most passed after a sudden illness and left you bereft claiming “abandonment” even while you remained at his bedside during his last days? What if a multi-million dollar career, as one of the highest paid models in the world, was not enough? And what if you had to start life all over again?
That is a glimpse at the life of supermodel Paulina Porizkova, the face of Estee Lauder, and the widow of the Cars front man, Ric Ocasek…as revealed in her best-selling memoir, NO FILTER: The Good, The Bad, and The Beautiful, published by Penquin Random House.
In Paulina’s own words, “To be famous is to be in a bubble. The outer surface of the bubble is reflective, mirrored. It means that when people look at someone famous, they don’t actually see the person inside the bubble–they see themselves. We assume that being famous means everyone knows you. But in fact, being famous means nobody knows you. I have always wanted to be seen and heard for all that I am. Things I want to share, things I have thought about, things that hold me back, and things that propel me forward….the good, the bad, and the beautiful”.
Although Paulina ruled the catwalks in the 1980’s and 90’s, the hard truth behind her rise to fame and marriage to Ric Ocasek was anything but perfect. Her relationship with Ocasek, 20 years her senior, began with the blindness of youth, ignoring the possessive and demanding nature of this still-married man. While Ric and Paulina embodied the fantasy marriage of a model and a rock star, the romance grew cold which was a painful blow to someone whose profession was so closely linked to physical validation. Poriskova writes, “I was becoming invisible to him, gradually receding into the wallpaper”. Ocasek’s death and his claim, written in his will, that Paulina had “abandoned him” engendered a period of soul searching which shaped her need “to be heard” and to realize her own self-worth, well beyond the manufactured image sold to the public.
In her collection of essays, she writes about a challenging childhood that included living as a Czech political refugee in Sweden, where, as a bullied teenager, she “frequently felt ugly”. Even when she became the first central European woman to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated, high anxiety still haunted her. In a beautifully poignant chapter, entitled “Every Woman Is Beautiful”, Paulina speaks to all women, with these words: “I love the life you’ve lived, etched in your face and body. The history of your life is written in your skin. That’s why you are beautiful”.
“I love the hooded eyelids. They are sensual and a little sleepy. Like you’ve just made love and fallen asleep”.
“I love the 11’s between your eyebrows. They make you look like a woman of deep thought.
A woman who hasn’t let her life go by unnoticed”.
“Your crow’s feet? They are maps of laughter. Your history of squinting at the sun, of smiling at those you love, of the most joyous moments of your past”.
“I love the lines around your lips. Maybe you were smoking cigarettes late at night in a smoky club, or maybe you have kissed so many people that the kisses have etched onto your lips forever”.
“The lines across your forehead are a reminder of the excitement and delight you have witnessed, the presents you’ve opened, the arms you’ve fallen into, the moments of the unexpected and the new”.
“The tendons in your neck look like the sails that cut and navigate the winds of your life.
They lead you forward. Your neck looks strong, powerful. It shows the courage and power of holding your head up, holding up the history of your life”.
And so, this is just a sample of Paulina’s writings…her musings on heartbreak, beauty, aging, relationships, reinvention, and finding your purpose. In this book, Paulina…..vulnerable, painfully honest and relatable….shares the lessons she’s learned, often the hard way.
And we are honored to announce that Paulina Porizkova will be a special guest at our upcoming Renewal Summit on May 19th at the Scandinavia House. I met and chatted with Paulina at a recent event where she spoke and she is thrilled to join the Tomatoes and meet each of you…she is indeed the wise, generous, beautiful, empowered and totally relatable lady that has evolved through a life of challenge to now find her raison d’etre.