No Lifeguard on Duty: The Accidental Life of the World's First Supermodel is an autobiography by fashion model, photographer, author and talent agent Janice Dickinson. It was published in hardcover format in 2002 by ReganBooks, an imprint of HarperCollins. The author's friend make-up artist Way Bandy advised her to begin putting her past experiences down on paper as a form of therapy from prior trauma in her life. After gaining sobriety, she started compiling her notes into book format. She contacted book publisher Judith Regan who agreed to help her publish her book after hearing her tale on the phone, without first seeing a writing sample. In November 2014, Dickinson asserted in an interview with Entertainment Tonight that pressure from Bill Cosby and his lawyers resulted in the removal of an account of sexual assault and rape by Cosby when she visited him at a hotel in Lake Tahoe, California in 1982. After Cosby's attorney disputed this account, she reappeared on the program to proclaim she was telling the truth and explained she was speaking out publicly because of a need to be heard and to represent other women who stated they experienced a similar trauma.
The book recounts Dickinson's early life where she states she experienced child abuse from her father, and moves forward describing her experiences throughout her career as a model. Dickinson explains her struggle with substance dependence upon drugs and alcohol during her career. The author discusses her time as a representative for companies including Virginia Slims, Max Factor, and Hush Puppies; and her success appearing on the covers of magazines including: Vogue, Elle, Harper's Bazaar, and Cosmo. While performing work as a model she takes the time to gain knowledge about the craft of photography and fashion. Dickinson describes how she originated the term "supermodel". No Lifeguard on Duty cautions about the tendency towards insecurity in celebrity culture.
No Lifeguard on Duty received a favorable reception from multiple publications. Film rights to the book were purchased by Warner Bros. in 2004. Women's Wear Daily praised the author's comedic style in the work. Knight Ridder Newspapers wrote positively of the author's courage at describing difficult experiences from her past. The New York Observer found the writing style of the book to have a good flow throughout. Publishers Weekly wrote: "Dickinson comes across as a triumphant survivor."
Dickinson's book had a positive impact on her career. Because of reading the book, Tyra Banks decided to bring Dickinson on board as a judge on her new program America's Next Top Model in 2003. Dickinson served as a judge on the program for a total of four seasons before being replaced by Twiggy Lawson. Oxygen Network subsequently hired her for its new program centered on the author's efforts to start her own company; the program launched in 2006 titled: The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency.
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