Many young women aspire to one day take a turn on the fashionable catwalks of New York, Milan and Paris, but former teen model Jennifer Sky tells ET her dream-come-true very quickly turned into her worst nightmare.
"I felt like I was treated like a piece of meat," says Sky, now 36, of her short-lived career in the industry.
Worst of all, Sky claims the abuse, at times sexually charged, gave her PTSD—a condition which she is still suffering.
"Men exposing themselves to me so young was definitely one of the causes of PTSD," she recalls. "For sure."
In a piece written for New York Magazine's The Cut, Sky further describes the events leading up to her disorder, which gives her anxiety and panic attacks regularly.
"From neglect to molestation, to topless photo shoots, to men exposing themselves, to being made to stand in a freezing pool until I turned blue, I would be abused for the entirety of my career," says Sky, who is now pushing for regulations regarding the treatment of underage models. "I started to show signs that things weren't right; feeling disconnected, hollow, having nightmares. My naturally outgoing personality changed: I became withdrawn and startled easily. It became hard for me to travel new routes, to eat at new restaurants, or even shop at the corner store. I became so timid I no longer spoke. I eventually did not leave my room unless I had a job or a casting."
At 17, Sky took her leave from the modeling world to pursue acting. She went on to appear in TV's Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Xena: Warrior Princess, as well as act in films opposite Peter Falk and Bradley Cooper.
To read more about Sky's experiences as a model, visit her website here.