In an essay for New York’s The Cut, Jennifer Sky writes that she developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from her life as a teenage model. Sky — who quit after earning the cover spot on Sassy, which was edited by Jane Pratt — says that she began modeling when she was 15, and the impact of that world was severe:
Countless questionable things happened to me during my time as a model. From neglect to molestation to topless photo shoots to men exposing themselves to being made to stand in a freezing pool until I turned blue, I would be abused for the entirety of my career. Eventually, the highs of the photo shoots began to dull. I started to show signs that things weren’t right; feeling disconnected, hollow, having nightmares. My naturally outgoing personality changed: I became withdrawn and startled easily. It became hard for me to travel new routes, to eat at new restaurants, or even shop at the corner store. I became so timid I no longer spoke. I eventually did not leave my room unless I had a job or a casting.
Sky notes that what she endured hopefully won’t happen anymore thanks to a bill that will give labor protections to models. Still, her tale is a chilling reminder of the harsh reality behind the glamorous life of models. We give Sky a lot of credit for telling her story.