elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,
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elisa_rolle

Gia Marie Carangi (January 29, 1960 – November 18, 1986)

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and Cosmo cover girl Gia Marie Carangi caught the eyes of both men and women. Her life story details the tragedy of a beautiful woman battling internal demons. In Gia’s case, the demons won in the end.

Gia was the quintessential supermodel, appearing on the covers of Vogue, Vogue Paris, American Vogue, Vogue Paris, Italian Vogue, and several issues of Cosmopolitan in the late 1970s and early ’80s.

After Gia became addicted to drugs, her modeling career faltered, and in 1981 she dropped out of the fashion world. She then enrolled in a twenty-one-day detox program and started dating a college student called Rochelle (her real name was Elisa Golden), but her main girlfriend was makeup artist, Sandy Linter. Gia’s attempt to quit drugs was doomed when her good friend, fashion photographer Chris von Wangenheim, died in a car accident. Gia locked herself in a bathroom for hours, shooting heroin.

Afterward, Gia’s life entered a downward spiral of drugs and prostitution. She became infected with HIV and was among the first widely publicized cases of death from AIDS-RELATED complications.


Gia and Sandy Lister


AIDS Quilt



Stern, Keith (2009-09-01). Queers in History: The Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Historical Gays, Lesbians and Bisexuals (Kindle Locations 5345-5354). Perseus Books Group. Kindle Edition.

Further Readings:

Thing of Beauty by Stephen Fried
Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Pocket Books (June 1, 1994)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0671701053
ISBN-13: 978-0671701055
Amazon: Thing of Beauty

At age seventeen, Gia Carangi was working the counter at her father's Philadelphia luncheonette, Hoagie City. Within a year, Gia was one of the top models of the late 1970's, gracing the covers of Cosmopolitan and Vogue, partying at New York's Studio 54 and the Mudd Club, and redefining the industry's standard of beauty. She was the darling of moguls and movie stars, royalty and rockers. Gia was also a girl in pain, desperate for her mother's approval—and a drug addict on a tragic slide toward oblivion, who started going directly from $10,000-a-day fashion shoots to the heroin shooting galleries on New York's Lower East Side. Finally blackballed from modeling, Gia entered a vastly different world on the streets of New york and Atlantic City, and later in a rehab clinic. At twenty-six, she became on of the first women in America to die of AIDS, a hospital welfare case visited only by rehab friends and what remained of her family.

Drawing on hundreds of interviews with Gia's gamily, lovers, friends, and colleagues, Thing of Beauty creates a poignant portrait of an unforgettable character—and a powerful narrative about beauty and sexuality, fame and objectification, mothers and daughters, love and death.

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Tags: gay classics, model: gia marie carangi, queers in history
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