Model, A Memoir
author – Cheryl Diamond
It all became clear to me when a thirteen-year-old compatriot of mine pointed out that the publisher’s imprint on the book was the same as all of the candy-colored paperback summer novels she’d been reading. Until that moment, I was reading Cheryl Diamond’s new memoir Model with a fair amount of annoyance, getting hung up on repeated instances of glib commentary that drag the otherwise interesting story to a halt over and over again. The book has a note of the blog about it. You know the one-two blogging gambit: report the incident, then make a smart(-ass) comment about it.
But okay, Diamond was a sixteen year old girl during the year or so period that the book covers. And we now realize that the target market for the book is the young adult. And for that young adult, the story will be fairly thrilling because Miss Diamond, as reported by Miss Diamond, had an “everything’s-going-my-way” experience as an underage model wise beyond her years. She reports few disappointments, no mistakes, took the slings and arrows slung her way with aplomb, and got away with doing foolish things with no consequences. The reader’s mom will appreciate that Diamond doesn’t booze it up, take the coke offered to her, or refuse a burger.
On the upside, Diamond tells a fine story simply by capturing the kinds of outsized personalities that fashion attracts. And for those on the outside, the common practices and shenanigans of her agency will be illuminating if not scandalous. I was genuinely curious about how this story would play out…and did slog through the whole thing to get to the redemptive ending.
The told story has a distance that the Big Fish story often has: the fish is bigger, the travails exaggerated or minimized to cast storyteller as heroic or at least in a better light, and all of the edges are polished off.