Carre Otis has been in the public eye ever since she was in her mid-teens. Millions of people have gazed at her image in magazines from Guess and Calvin Klein ads to poses on the pages of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition and Playboy. They've also seen her on posters and in her controversial sex scene with her then-future husband, Mickey Rourke, in the film "Wild Orchid". The troubled marriage to Rourke that followed was widely covered in the media, as were Carre's struggles with drugs and a particularly brutal eating disorder. But to see someone naked on the page or exposed on the screen doesn't mean we know who they really are. After years in the modeling and entertainment industries, Carre has spent the last decade on a deep and private spiritual journey, focusing on her own growth and on that of her family. Having found the balance and the serenity she worked so hard to achieve, she's now ready to tell her side of the story. Her greatest incentive to do so are her two young daughters, as it is imperative that they hear of their mother's past from her, rather than encounter it on the Internet.
For this reason-and for the sake of all our daughters-she confronts her complex past fearlessly and with unremitting candor. The result is a remarkable narrative of success, despair, and ultimate triumph. "Beauty, Disrupted" is more than the familiar celebrity story of rise and fall, and then rise again. Carre is keenly aware that her struggles were not unique to her, or even to women in the modeling industry, as we live in a culture that places impossible expectations on young women-including intense pressure to be thin, beautiful, successful, and pleasing to one's family, teachers, and men. The conflicting ideals to which young girls are held are simply overwhelming. They're told, Be smart but not too smart, Be thin but don't be anorexic, Be sexy, but don't be a slut. Naturally, eating disorders, drug and alcohol addiction, self-injury, and self-destructive sexual behaviors abound. The scars that our culture inflicts on teen girls can last a lifetime. In Carre's case, she came to see the cause of these scars as a kind of spiritual illness-a socially constructed sickness threatening us all.
The story of how she journeyed from such life-threatening circumstances and behaviors to such life-affirming ones is more than a cautionary tale-it an inspiring truth intended for all of our daughters as well as the mothers and fathers who love them.