Before Top Model
CariDee is named after her grandmother Dee and Carrie from the Little House on the Prairie. She stated during the cycle that she worked as a photographer before appearing on America's Next Top Model. She has suffered from psoriasis for 15 years and believed her dream of becoming a model was unattainable. However, a doctor recommended Raptiva, a drug that she still injects weekly in order to control the disease, and it has worked well for her skin, although a small patch still remains.
On Top Model
As winner of the acting challenge in Cycle 7, CariDee had an opportunity to guest-star in an episode of the hit CW series One Tree Hill (which airs immediately following Top Model). Compared to past acting challenge winners, CariDee had a bigger role in that episode. Also, during that same episode, she mentioned, in an emotional outburst during the acting challenge, that she knew about stress and had attempted to kill herself earlier in life because of it.
She was criticised for making an impulsive yet crude joke to fashion photographer and ANTM judge Nigel Barker during the bullfighting photo shoot in Barcelona, although CariDee has stated that "he actually joked back" and was never really mad. In panel, she took out a note and apologized to Barker.
While participating in the "Water Nymphs" photo shoot, she suffered hypothermia symptoms from floating in icy cold water for a long period of time; CariDee has attributed it to her drug's side effects, which include lowering of the immune system. This same week CariDee survived her second bottom two appearance over the remaining Babin Twin Amanda.
There was a small bit of controversy regarding her on the show as well: Though she was shown speaking to her boyfriend on the phone in one episode, a few episodes later - when the girls were overseas in Barcelona - she was shown getting passionate with one of the male models the girls worked with. CariDee has interviewed
saying that during that point, she and her boyfriend were seeing other people, and had since gotten back
Throughout the competition, the judges found much controversy in CariDee's personality, which was considered
notably more outgoing than that of the other contestants. She was noted for her striking comparability to Rebecca Romijn and Karolína Kurková. In the early stages of the cycle, her personality was considered fun and outgoing, most notably during her "hiding dizzily" at a panel challenge. Later on, however, the judges began to express concern that it may be a little too bombastic. Because of this, the judges were unsure as to whether
she was the person they wanted to represent Top Model, noting in the cycle's finale that she was sometimes too
unpredictable and unstable.
Spokesperson for Psoriasis Foundation
CariDee recently signed on as spokesperson for the National Psoriasis Foundation to spread awareness about psoriasis and encourage others to seek treatment.
As a youngster, CariDee says she felt "cursed" with psoriasis. She experienced taunts and embarrassment. Today, her "curse" is her cause.
"Psoriasis awareness is very important to me. I want others with the disease to know they are not alone. I want to inspire them to live their dreams, she said.
CariDee was featured on the front page of Social Life and Cover magazines with Top Model alumni Naima Mora and Dani Evans. She modeled looks of the Spring in InTouch magazine, and appeared on the weekly "My Life as a CoverGirl" segments on The CW. She has also modelled for CoverGirl Eyewear and Inked magazine.