According to (producer, Fashion Designer, Model, Style Expert, Inner Beauty Empowerment Coach, Author & Speaker) Lorelei Shellist, “Skin on Skin” is an upcoming film that she’s producing about “the dreams that lie just beneath the skin.” She goes on to explain that the film is about courage and perseverance, empowering you to pursue your dreams.
What she doesn’t explain is exactly how the film will make that happen.
All this film appears to be is yet another self-aggrandizing project telling the barely fictionalized story of a runaway who travels the world, becoming a “muse” to iconic Haute Couture designers in Paris. It remains to be seen how much of the project is fact, fiction, or a deluded combination of the two.
Yet again, she’s using Def Leppard to raise money and promote herself. “Skin on Skin” is a lyric from Def Leppard’s Women, circa the Hysteria album.
Only this time, she’s not directly peddling a product for your money, the way she did with her Mary Sue autobiography.* This time, she’s asking for money outright via a gofundme project called “Dreams with Wings.” And what do you get for your donation? It’s vaguely worded, at best. But that’s no surprise, considering the quality of writing she demonstrated in her book.
At first, it looks like the reward levels are items that you buy, like a ruby slipper or crystal tiara, because the list starts off with a health and beauty basket item for $495.00 (yes, you read that right. Four hundred and ninety-five US dollars) that you could pick up from Walmart for 8 bucks. That’s an item that you can buy. And then there’s a $35.00 powder brush for sale. And THEN the levels start.
She didn’t bother to put the levels in ascending or descending financial order. It looks like she just slapped new levels in as she thought of them. I briefly considered sorting them out and listing them in order so that I could show you the “perks” but decided not to. Why would I want to do her work for her? Screw that. She says she has a “dream team” of “angels” that work for her. Let one of them tell her that her gofundme page is rambling and ambiguous.
Suffice it to say, there is a very long list of perks and prizes, but upon closer inspection, none of them seem to hold any real monetary value. There’s a lot of fluff and babble about intangibles like getting your name in the credits and getting shout-outs on social media, but nothing that really seems worth the price.
For $5000.00 US dollars (yes, that’s five THOUSAND dollars), there’s a role in the movie itself, and an ‘invitation’ to the premier, a red carpet photo op, and 1 night in a hotel. The only thing of any real value in there is the room. So, make no mistake. You’re basically paying 5 grand for one night in a hotel room. I hope it’s at least five stars. Add another 5 grand and you get 2 nights and a chance to sit with her at supper. Add yet another 5k (for a total of 15 THOUSAND dollars), and you get those 2 nights, dinner with her (paid? Doesn’t say) and orchestra seating at the premier.
Aside from that, though, it doesn’t look like anything else is included in the price. There are ‘invitations,’ but no mention at all that anything but the room itself is included. So. It looks like you not only pay $5k, $10k or $15k for the prize, but also that you have to pay for your travel, meals, gratuities and everything else as well. For both the trips to appear in the film and to travel to the premier. Whatta deal.
In one other prize package that involves her appearing at a fashion party (that you can only have if you live in Nashville, for some reason?), you have to pay an ADDITIONAL $500.00 dollars for a personal 3 hour Magic Makeover Session with her. Let me repeat that. You have to pay not only $1600.00 US dollars for the prize itself, but an additional 5 hundred to hang with her for 3 hours. That’s a total of $2,100.00 dollars.
In another package, you get to pay $1250.00 US dollars to have Lorelei come to your house for a party. If you live in Santa Barbara.
In yet another, you pay $1150.00 US dollars for her to come to your Los Angeles home.
Or, for a mere $1000.00 US buckaroos, you get to hang with Lorelei for 6 hours, listening to her smarmy banter about finding the fashion icon in you. In Los Angeles. Or, if you add another $250.00 bucks to pay for her to travel, she’ll hang with you in Palm Springs, San Diego, or Santa Barbara. At some point during that 6 hours, the two of you are probably going to get something to eat. And who do you think is (probably) expected to pick up that tab? You’re paying for everything else, so you tell me.
For anything under $1,000.00 US dollars she pimps you out to somebody else to meet, or you get a scarf, or something. I guess you’re not worth the bother of her time for less than a grand.
Well, no. I guess that’s not entirely true. For a mere $399.00 US dollars, she’ll Skype with you.
Do you know what this reminds me of? The crowd funding project that Nick Pacione and Tabetha Jones started to fund their Sinister Souls anthology. The one where perks included hanging out with them in their home cities, as if either one of them was important or interesting enough for anyone to want to meet them. You know. The project that didn’t raise one single dime. This sounds like that. “Pay through the nose, and you get to hang out with my wonderful, glorious self!” I’ll pass, thanks.
But she has something that those two didn’t, don’t and never will. A brush with fame. She dated Def Leppard’s guitarist Steve Clark. He dumped her and was getting married to another woman when he died. But never mind that. With him gone, the ex can glorify herself as his “one true star-crossed love” all she wants and he’s not around to defend himself. Neither is his wife. She joined him in death a few years later.
And there are countless scores of his fans that will swallow it whole because of their affection for him. They’ll fawn at her feet and kiss away the tears she sheds at the memory of his loss, empathizing with her pain because they associate it with the pain they feel at losing him.
And they’ll pay. They paid for her horrible book in droves. They pay for “sessions” with her in which she “empowers” them by telling them how wonderful they are – something they could easily discover on their own for free. Or they could pay to go see a shrink. At least the shrink makes no pretense about being altruistic. And the shrink will have 1) been trained with standards of ethics, and 2) studied for a PhD in actual psychology. Not some pseudo-new-age non-doctorate degree in spiritual psychology. Just saying.
And Def Leppard fans are paying for Lorelei’s film. Their names appear in the roster of her contributors, one after the next, paying hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars to blow sunshine up her skirt.
It’s their own business what they do with their money. If it makes them feel good to give their hard-earned dollars to finance her dream world of jet-setting trips to Paris, more power to them. Me, the thought turns my stomach. If I’ve got a few hundred (or thousand) dollars, I’d much rather give it to a foundation that does something REAL for people. Like, oh, say, saving lives by curing cancer. Yes, that’s a real thing, and I’ll be writing about that soon. Or I’d pay Wounded Warriors. Or donate to the homeless. Hell, I’d take in another ten stray cats before I’d give a nickel to her.
Well, I’ll probably do that anyway. So… bad analogy.
The point is that seeing someone take advantage of Def Leppard’s hard-won fame makes me queasy. And, no. She’s not the only one that does it. But she’s the one I find the most distasteful, because she does it at the expense of a dead guy that isn’t around to defend himself, who didn’t want anything to do with her, to the point of swearing out restraining orders to keep her from contacting him. Honestly, it confuses the hell out of me that fans who claim to care for him continue to worship at the feet of a woman that he didn’t want in his life. To me, that shows the utmost insult to his memory. Seems to me that if they really cared about him, they’d honor his wishes. But, hey. That’s just me.
If ever I have a Def Leppard-inspired project by which I hope to make a few bucks, I’d at least have the common decency to run it past the band first, give them the chance to give it a green light or to tell me no. Even to give them the chance to benefit from it financially, too, as well they should, since it’s their name and fame that’s associated with it. There is the small possibility that she got the go-ahead from the band to wantonly associate herself with them for her own financial gain (again), but I doubt it. They don’t own the words “Skin on skin.” They just made them famous.
No. I doubt that she asked for permission. More likely, she just went ahead and did it, knowing that, even if they didn’t like it, they probably wouldn’t say anything. That thought alone would be enough to stop me. But, again, that’s just me.
Let me set the record straight about something. I don’t dislike this woman. I don’t know her well enough to truly dislike her. But I do know her well enough to see cracks in the facade. She showed them to me herself when she rattled off a laundry list of good deeds and dared me to beat it by confronting me with “And what have YOU done?” Those aren’t the words of an altruistic angel. That’s the sort of thing someone would say if they cared more about how those “good deeds” made them look than the charities themselves.
And it’s pretty glaringly obvious that she’s still leeching off of Def Leppard’s spotlight.
In all honesty, I think that if she really did what she says she does, she might really do some impressive work. Instead of glorifying herself with her good deeds, if she actually did it for the sole benefit of the people she helped, I’d be the first one to stand up and applaud. Especially if, just for once, she could do it without the expense of her dead ex boyfriend and his buddies. That would be great.
I don’t see that happening anytime soon, however. Instead, all I see are continuing bids for money and attention riding on the coattails of others. Pity. There are young girls in the modeling world that really could benefit from the experience of someone who’s actually been there, if only she could be bothered to step off of those coattails and truly walk an altruistic path.
By all means, feel free to look that gofundme page over and see if it makes more sense to you than it does to me. It’s possible that I just don’t understand crowd funding projects well enough. Or maybe there’s something I’m just not seeing. If it seems like a good deal, or if I’m mistaken altogether, please let me know. Because, honestly, I just don’t see it.
*In literature (though in the case of Shellist’s book, I’m not convinced that the word ‘literature’ applies), a Mary Sue is a character, often created as a personification of the author herself, who is impossibly perfect. Irritatingly so. For a more in-depth explanation about what constitutes a Mary Sue, see this post.