“True beauty is found in the imperfect and vulnerable.”
Cassie Lane is one of the most hilarious, intelligent and beautiful people I know and like so many of us, Cassie Lane grew up desperately wanting to be someone else.
At 16 years of age, Cassie jetted off overseas from Australia on an exciting student exchange adventure. One day she was walking the streets of Italy and the next she found herself swept up into the life of a jet-setter, strutting the catwalks of Milan, Italy and the world as an international model.
Next stop USA. Life living in Los Angeles was like something out of a TV show – sharing a house with 3 other models, mixing it with celebrities on a global scale and partying hard in the LA scene. And yet something was missing…
Beneath all the flash and fancy, she started seeing through the world of exploitation and self-destruction where “living off your looks can attract as much scorn as admiration.”
Yearning for something more, Cassie returned to Australia determined to pursue her passions and whilst taking her next steps in self-development through study, she also began dating Australian footballer, Alan Didak (Collingwood football Club), who wasn’t that well known at the time. As his sporting profile grew in Australia, Cassie found herself thrust back into the limelight and the oft noxious environment of a WAG (Wives And Girlfriends of high-profile professional athlete), where at times she found herself labelled as ‘slut’, ‘skank’ and ‘stripper’, and constantly being told that she should toe the line and be happy with her life as the partner of a football star. And then came the toxic cherry top… being voted worst dressed at the Brownlow Medal whilst attending the nationally televised AFL Best & Fairest Awards show with her partner. Devastating…
Especially for a highly intelligent person that now not only has a double degree in Psychology and Communications, but now a Masters of Creative Writing at the University of Melbourne, from which the thesis of that Masters is this very book and memoir.
‘How to Dress a Dummy’ is frank, open, honest, hilarious and beautiful journey of empowerment and self discovery… I myself was clearly never a catwalk model, but there are so many parallels between Cassie’s life and my own. I grew up knowing that I was different, an outsider and I always felt like a bit of a weirdo. And I still am a weirdo, it’s just that I’m my kind of weirdo and the most beautiful thing that you can discover is to learn to love yourself and to be yourself, for once you do you will notice that you attract the friends/people who most want to be around you, to be with you and to be like you… And that is one of the most amazing moments of realization that anyone can experience!
It makes me so happy to see my friends strive for success, achieve their goals and focus on what completes them and makes them happy. I love that I can share this story.
I love you Cassie Lane and I am SO proud of you!