Feature

Understanding the suicide of a supermodel

Ruslana Korshunova jumped to her death in her prime.

What happenedSupermodel Ruslana Korshunova reportedly committed suicide by jumping from the balcony of her 9th-floor New York City apartment on Saturday. British Vogue had profiled the Kazakh beauty as a new face to watch, and an anonymous friend said she was "on top of the world." (New York Post)

What the commentators saidKorhunova's career was taking off, said the New York Daily News, but her posts to a social networking Web site showed that she was troubled about love. "I'm so lost," she wrote. "Will I ever find myself?"

"Plucked" from her home country at age 15," said David Usborne in the London Independent, Korshunova's "instantaneous success" might have become "overwhelming." Models "face pressures they can barely cope with"—friends say that Korshunova didn't turn to drugs or alcohol, but her online posts indicate that she experienced an "acute" loneliness that "cannot be cured by dawdling on Facebook."

Forget the nonsense "about the existential pressures of being an international supermodel," said writer Robert McCain on his blog, The Other McCain. Korshunova, at 20, was caught up in a love triangle—she had a new live-in beau but spent her last night alive out late with an ex-boyfriend. There's not much mystery to the cause of her death: Between her passionate online posts and her real-life boy problems, this is a simple case of "romantic despair."

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