What does one know about a super model? Eye color? Breast size? The shape of someone’s face and the curves of one’s body do not describe who a woman is. In the movie Gia, no one really understood the woman behind the millions of pictures. Gia would not let them. Maybe this is because Gia didn’t exactly know who she was herself, or maybe it was her constant need to stand out and to satisfy everyone with her beauty. The women in this movie all brought out different sides of Gia because of what they offered her in terms of a relationship and how they portrayed her. Gia’s relationship between each woman in her life reflected both that need for approval and her reluctance to get too close to someone. In the life of a super model, one is to be seen and not heard. In Gia’s life as a confident, strong willed woman changed into the life of a super model where companionship and a place to call home never seemed to be in reach and only the way she looked seemed to matter.
Gia’s first real relationship with a woman was with her mother. Her mother always encouraged beauty. “Looks, girls learn early, collapse into a metaphor for everything else” (Gilman). This was overly iterated to Gia as a young girl. Standing in front of the mirror reflecting on how pretty the two of them looked together was an important part of the movie that reflected her mother’s superficial behavior toward the importance of how one looks. Because her mother left her, Gia began a new route in life, a one that strayed from the path of most teenage girls, onto one of rebellion. Much of this rebellion was in her appearance, which could be seen as a direct revolt against her mother and the abandonment she felt because of her leaving.
Later in Gia’s life, when she and her mother rekindled their relationship, Gia felt the need to please her mother. She saw that she could do this through her modeling. Gia’s mother was always encouraging her to pursue her modeling career even when she it was the cause of her drug addiction. Gia’s mother saw the modeling industry as success and the completion of what every woman’s goal should be. To be beautiful was her first priority for herself and for her daughter, so to her, Gia’s career was both of their triumph. This is where it is evident that Gia’s mother thought beauty came before all else. Gia was never able to satisfy her mother, especially at the end of the movie when her modeling career was over. Drugs were her escape of the feeling of disappointment weighing down on her from her mother’s words and actions that she never attempted to hide.
Linda was a very important role in Gia’s life and career. She was Gia’s one true love who provided a home and a feeling of comfort throughout her struggle with herself and her addiction. Linda did not feel that Gia’s modeling career was important, she only cared that Gia cure her drug addiction and lead a happy life with her by her side. Because of this, Linda’s view on the world of modeling was seen only as Gia’s downfall in life. In many aspects modeling had made Gia who she was, but Linda always saw it as a negative industry because it was the source of Gia’s drug addition.
At first, Linda was reluctant to let Gia in because of the uncommon nature of their relationship (woman to woman), but after time her feelings took over and she let Gia into her life. Although Linda was what Gia was always looking for, she could never fully accept that she was there and that she loved her. After Linda’s many rejections at first and her disapproval to her life of drugs, Gia ended up leaving and once again finding herself alone. Gia was so used to people leaving, as they did her whole life, and so used to people only loving her for her face, as they did in her career, that she was unsure of how to handle someone who truly loved her as a person. The possibility of Linda as a real option scared Gia, and she ultimately pushed her away with drugs.
“The beauty myth tells a story: The quality called ‘beauty’ objectively and universally exists. Women want to embody it and men must want to possess women who embody it.” (Wolf) The modeling industry from the beginning encouraged this kind of mindset. Once a woman’s mind was in, it was hard to get out. Without beauty came disappointment followed by the need for escape. Gia’s tragedy was initially developed through the need for beauty by Gia’s mother and Gia and because of these unhealthy views, Gia was lost of a companion who loved her and lost of all love for herself.
Gilman, Susan Jane. "Klaus Barbie, and Other Dolls I'd Like to See". Chapter II: Becoming a Woman in our Society. 2000: 73.
Wolf, Naomi. "The Beauty Myth". Chapter III: Gender and Women's Bodies. 1991: 121.