Jael Strauss, a former America’s Next Top Model contestant on cycle 8 of the show once had a dream of making it as a model but that dream may have already been tampered with from the age of 15 when her own parents introduced her to narcotics (cocaine), and it is from there we learned on yesterday’s Dr Phil show that the former young beauty had begun her descent into self neglect and self abuse.
According to the girl’s parents their daughter acted out the pressures of trying to make it as a model but sadly the more she displayed signs of the real nitty gritty of her life it was time for her to be evicted from the show. Such are the bitter realities of reality tv that only take the time to showcase preferred realities.
Once off the show it is discovered the young woman begins a plethora of drug addiction, including crack cocainewhich she openly boasted about on her myspace page. From there Jael Strauss leaves her family house to begin a full on commitment to drug abuse and self abandonment working as a stripper to support her habit and living in a cheap motel.
Then there is this remarkable comment from Jael’s father Larry:
“I’ve had the opportunity to help many people get off drugs and get back to their lives, but I never had the objectivity to help my own daughter.”
And here is when the bombshell is dropped. Asked by Dr Phil whether Larry ever did drugs with his daughter Larry retorts ‘that he isn’t here to share details of his personal life.’ Never mind that details of Jael’s personal life are smothered all over the screen who is loathe to have the cameras turned off as she is cornered by her family who have come to rescue her. Or have they come to rescue themselves and their own guilty conscious….?
Once on the show we see Jael run off stage and into a parking lot chased by our collective hero Dr Phil (some things are too ridiculous) but at least the man acknowledges the leverage he has as he attempts to find out what it is about this girl that has so deeply wounded her. It is true, no one ever wakes up one day wishing to be a drug addict, it is almost certain a disparaging state of mind that leads one to seek an alternative reality.
It is here that the girl gives in (some what) and relents about an incident when she was ten years old, about something that happened that her parents refused to believe her (was she abused, sexually molested and by whom?). From there our hero Dr Phil brings her back to stage and the audience goes into a fantastic standing ovation. Someone once again is cheering for Jael Strauss, that thing that she always wanted has finally returned. At least for a moment.
One has to wonder what will happen to Jael Strauss and the thousands of individuals like her who turn their back on society because in their mind society turned their back on them, whether their parents, an uncaring supposed mentor (in Jael’s case, Tyra Banks, but can we really blame Ms Banks?) or just everyday passerbys who sneer at the junkie ruining their life….but by extension reminding them of their own life’s frailty.
Will Jael Strauss get a grip and move on? Let’s hope so but then there are thousands of other individuals who need the help that Jael has been offered. Will Dr Phil now go to every besieged parking lot looking for them too? What about you…?