In a brave decision, former captive Jaycee Dugard has allowed a current photo of herself as an adult to grace the cover of People magazine. This is the first photo of Jaycee Dugard as an adult that has been released to the public, and you have to wonder what People magazine paid to get this exclusive photo.
But was this the right move for Jaycee Dugard? At first I was concerned that it was not. After all, she has been living an extremely sheltered, bizarre, and terrible lifestyle since the age of 11, when she was kidnapped by registered sex offender Phillip Garrido. For the 18 years she was held captive, she’s had little contact with people, and likely doesn’t realize what a celebrity she’s become. Garrido fathered two children with Jaycee Dugard, and photos of these two girls, which were led to believe that they were Jaycee Dugard’s sisters by Garrido, have been sought after on the web almost as much as current photos of Jaycee Dugard.
On the People magazine cover, Jaycee Dugard smiles straight into the camera. The blonde hair of the 11-year-old from the photos we’re so used to seeing has darkened to brown, and the young, 29-year-old woman in the picture appears to be pretty, healthy, and happy, belying the terrible ordeal she’s been through (you can see the People magazine cover here). She doesn’t even look 29 years old, and many people will likely be surprised by how good she looks (I guess I was expecting to see an unhealthy-looking, extremely thin and pale woman that’s aged more due to the stress of her ordeal with a serious look on her face.)
Since the shocking news was revealed that a young girl missing for 18 years had been found, there has been a massive amount of public interest in Jaycee Dugard’s tale. Not long afterward, searches for photos of Jaycee Dugard as an adult were very popular, with the public wanting to see for themselves how the victim was doing. These searches have died down, but perhaps Jaycee Dugard gracing the cover of People magazine wasn’t such a bad move. The public will always be interested in her story, and it’s probably a good sign that she’s bravely putting herself out there, not shying from the spotlight and hiding from the many eyes on her.
But Jaycee Dugard’s journey is far from over. She’ll probably never be able to completely rid herself of the scars of her ordeal, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see her speak out about it to the public some day on television. But for now I just hope the decision to display herself to public on the People magazine cover has a positive effect on her life and that she continues to show signs that she is truly enjoying her newfound freedom and her new life.