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The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful

    • 4.0 • 38 Ratings
    • $12.99
    • $12.99

Publisher Description

“A book about a rare life, profound love, profound grief, anxiety, self-assurance, empowerment, aging, loss, and joy. It is nuanced, complex, insightful, helpful, and constantly surprising.” —Ann Patchett, New York Times bestselling author of These Precious Days

Writer and former model Paulina Porizkova pens a series of intimate, introspective, and enlightening essays about the complexities of womanhood at every age, pulling back the glossy magazine cover and writing from the heart.


Born in Cold War Czechoslovakia, Paulina Porizkova rose to prominence as a model, appearing on her first Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover in 1984.  As the face of Estée Lauder in 1989, she was one of the highest-paid models in the world. When she was cast in the music video for the song “Drive” by The Cars, it was love at first sight for her and frontman Ric Ocasek. He was forty at the time, and Porizkova was nineteen. The decades to come would bring marriage, motherhood, a budding writing career; and later sadness, loneliness, isolation, and eventually divorce. Following her ex-husband’s death—and the revelation of a deep betrayal—Porizkova stunned fans with her fierce vulnerability and disarming honesty as she let the whole world share in her experience of being a woman who must start over.
This is a wise and compelling exploration of heartbreak, grief, beauty, aging, relationships, re-invention and finding your purpose. In these essays, Porizkova bares her soul and shares the lessons she’s learned—often the hard way. After a lifetime of being looked at, she is ready to be heard.

Biographies & Memoirs
November 15
Penguin Publishing Group

Customer Reviews

PickyPositiveReader ,

Insightful, even healing

I’d read several things by her now (the latest being “I Was The Ideal Woman” in The Cut) and she regularly struck me as incredibly honest with and brazenly reflective about her life, her beauty, what she represented, her agency and lack of it, what her industry does, how it harms women …

After that piece, I bought this and read it in a few hours. It’s a quick read not because they’re shallow or uninteresting. They are short essays and but they feel deeply kneaded through, fearless, questioning, and still empathetic. The vestiges of my own insecure condescension along the lines of how can she possibly write of these things when she was THE standard almost kept me from this book but it is well worth the read. It felt as intimate and safe as deep conversations with one’s wisest, most treasured, most open friends who’ve spent real time and energy and learning on so many things that impact us as girls and women, and aging women.

She has such a rarified experience but her boldly going-there-ness, including her and our complicity in this system that ultimately shapes and harms us, is what makes hearing it unique. Her questions are at times as insightful and brave as many philosophical works. She’s clearly done her work (therapy and such but also, it seems, lots of reading and theoretical explorations).

A surprising small (in pages, not impact) work of big (important) issues.

Beauty, aging, the value (valuation) of women, love, bravery, mental health. She explores these in a way I’d expect from a theorist or philosopher in that it’s not shallow or insta-trendy-self-love (which has its own value, of course). But she’s also also not abstruse, didactic, or heavy. And from such a unique perspective.

I’m a 51yo woman and have already shared it with peers, my mother, and expect to give it to my daughter.

Terra C 0420 ,

Another Perspective

I appreciate learning about this beautiful models life story. While not admirable she openly participates in a married man’s divorce, her youth played a role. Also, he should hold the greatest responsibility. I don’t necessarily agree with her take on aging, but I think the message here is that we all can hold our own views on beauty and aging—- then just support each other.

80'sOvsess ,

Needed more tea

I was really surprised the lack of details on her her relationship with Ric and that dynamic. It was a bit boring with some interesting information.

I was also surprised at her lack of remorse on breaking up a family with her 3 year affair with Ric.

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