Nikki DuBose, a former model turned author, speaker, and mental health advocate. In her memoir, Washed Away: From Darkness to Light, Nikki recounts her experiences navigating the dark side of the modeling industry – battling abuse, eating disorders, addiction, and various mental health issues.
“By my early twenties, I was modeling professionally and appeared on the covers of and in editorials for magazines such as Maxim, Glamour, Vogue, FHM, and Vanity Fair. But while my career was going well, my mental and emotional health were in shambles. I went from one extreme to the other to meet weight requirements for photo shoots, and quickly fell into anorexia nervosa. At times I struggled to survive, beginning to abuse diet pills as a way to achieve the figure that my agents were pushing me to have for fashion shoots,” says Nikki.
Because of the lack of laws and protections, models have long been subjected to sexual and financial abuse, bullying from agents, and have been pressured to lose so much weight that many have developed devastating, even fatal eating disorders. Nikki’s recovery from a nearly lifelong struggle with PTSD, psychosis, and addictions has left her with a passionate longing to help others who are also suffering.
**Trigger warning** physical, emotional and sexual abuse are discussed throughout the episode
Twitter and Instagram @TheNikkiDuBose