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Friday, 2 August, 2002, 16:29 GMT 17:29 UK
Jordan: Fronting up
Glamour model Jordan

Glamour model Jordan has announced that her six-week old baby is totally blind. His optic nerve has failed to develop properly, a rare and, most likely, incurable condition. This blow has evoked sympathy for a woman more often the subject of ridicule.
"I do want to prove I'm not just a pair of tits and no brain", says Jordan to BBC film-maker Richard Macer in a recent documentary.

Jordan at work
Famous for being famous
It's the kind of comment that makes you want to laugh and cry. Laugh, because her description is precisely the public image she has striven so successfully to project. Cry, because of her need to project it.

For Jordan is typical of so many in our celebrity lauded society in being famous merely for being famous.

Her prize assets go before her in all their 32F abundance - the result of three separate silicon implants.

Up-sizing

The once well-proportioned pretty young model, too small for the catwalk scene, was advised to enlarge herself to help her succeed in the highly competitive world of male fantasy.

Jordan at work
She projects a "super-tart" image
It did the trick. As someone once quipped about the actress Anita Ekberg, "her breasts opened doors for her". Jordan can now command thousands of pounds for an afternoon's work.

Her appearance on the front pages of the tabloids is guaranteed to raise readership figures. The Daily Star, in particular, at one time seemed almost to depend on her as their foremost weapon in the bitter circulation war.

The newspaper even sponsored her as a candidate in the 2001 general election which she ran on a "free plastic surgery for all" platform.

Boob and the ballot box

Jordan's reinvention process did not stop with her breasts. She has had liposuction on her waist and hips, and enough collagen implanted in her lips to give her a permanent pout.

Cries of "grotesque" and "cartoon fantasy woman" have abounded. But the work has continued and recently she was photographed for her first Playboy spread.

Jordan at work
Jordan campaigned for 'plastic surgery for all'
But several of those who work with Jordan describe her as a split personality. They see her Jordan persona as foul-mouthed, hard living, manipulating and sexually strident.

But there coexists, they say, a vulnerable Katie Price - her real name. A lover of dogs and horses, her life has been devoted to seeking male approval, going to extremes to please them but inevitably ending up being rejected.

This is the stuff of the abused victim, a legacy of her early life. She was born Katie Infield 24 years ago in Brighton. Her father left home when she was four and the disruption caused the family to move 13 times.

Sad start

Her mother eventually married Paul Price and Katie took her new stepfather's name. When she was seven, she was molested by a man who had pulled her into some bushes. Her view of men could not have had a less promising start.

Dwight Yorke playing for Manchester United
Dwight Yorke, father of her baby
Katie began modelling at the age of 13 for a clothing label. The photographer insisted on shooting her in her underwear. He was, it transpired, a convicted paedophile.

She lost her virginity at the age of 16 to a violent man who abused her and became jealous when she received attention from other men.

This was to become a recurring theme in her life, by now played out in the goldfish bowl of tabloid journalism. After her first breast implant, in 1999, she adopted the name Jordan.

Eager to please

Last year, she told the People newspaper how she had gone to ever-increasing lengths to please and satisfy men.

She spoke of how she hoped kinky sex would enable her to maintain relationships, how her breast implants were to increase her confidence and to make her more sexually appealing.

Dane Bowers and Jordan
The Jordan-Bowers relationship was played out in public
She described how she aborted her baby by boy-band Another Level singer, Dane Bowers, when she discovered he'd been cheating on her.

Elsewhere, she complains about men ogling her while simultaneously flaunting herself as a symbol of dubious sexual empowerment.

Her brashness and undoubted business nous conceals a seemingly classic case of low personal esteem in a cruel business that will so often build you up and drop you when a younger, fresher commodity comes along.

Football widow

Jordan's baby, Harvey, was fathered by footballer Dwight Yorke, who (like Bowers before him) left her while she was pregnant. Her son's condition has no bearing on her famous partying lifestyle.

Jordan at work
Jordan began modelling at 13
It is almost certainly due to a genetic factor. Her friends have said that Harvey's difficulties could bring out the caring side in her. "I'm determined to do all I can to help him lead as normal a life as possible," says Jordan.

Determination is one positive attribute, at least, that Jordan is not short of.


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