Body of Evidence

Saturday, September 29, 2012, 20:19

I can think of several reasons why anyone would want, or need, to change bikini bottoms – albeit “under a huge towel” – in the open air.

But I can think of even more reasons why anyone with an ick of sense would think better of it, especially if one is a personality who has attended induction courses in bon ton and etiquette.

In James Bond films, the glint of the run’s rays glancing off a gun-sight scope lens always alerts our hero to malefactors lying in wait behind some providential hillock. On the rare occasions when this does not happen, there will always be the preordained, predictable industrial oven or tree trunk to deflect any shots that may be fired at him and his hot date of the day.

Alas, the love story of William and Kate, although described as a “fairy-tale romance”, has its roots in real life.

And this is why, given the manic fixations of the paparazzi and the people to whom they cater, I cannot fathom out why Prince William’s relatively new wife didn’t run, rather than walk, to the nearest building when she got the urge for a different tan-line.

A quick gallop around even the less tawdry rags will give us the following body-connected bits and bobs. Of course, many of them are built on nothing more than a description of the said bodies, and contain more pictures than text, rather as the ‘personalities’ in them have more money than sense.

There’s Christina Aguilera’s new video, in which she hitchhikes, picks up three men, and disposes of them – literally and figuratively – in an absurd rendition of Girl Power (pink smoke explosion included). Is this the way tomorrow’s women are being encouraged to “stand tall”?

Then there is the ‘confession’ of Lady Gaga, brought about by grossly manipulated photographs of her, or rather, of her weight-gain. Having told us that she has been indulging in her father’s pizza e pasta of late, she now admits that she has been alternatively bulimic and anorexic since her teens, and has instituted a Body Revolution Campaign to make us accept ourselves, no matter what size we are, and whether or not we are ready to show what others consider imperfections… including missing limbs or disabilities.

There is yet another side to the question – some singers will not ‘fix’ their noses, (or make themselves sick) because it will change their voices and harm the quality. With people who don’t have a fan base to impress and indulge, the stakes are altogether different.

I would say that this is only a part of the problem, because the meanings of the words flamboyant, eccentric, and exhibitionist have different nuances that Gaga does not seem to have yet grasped. That is why, perhaps, she has begun the campaign now, at a time when her star could be waning.

Lady gaga is not the only one to “openly” tell us that her struggles with weight have ben (almost) lifelong. We’ve had Lucy Davis (Dawn in The Office) tell that her milestone fortieth birthday impelled towards “getting her life back on track” – as if she could not have done so without a “shrinking frame and muscly arms”.

We have reams of “amazing weight loss” photographs of Bristol Palin that she says has imbued her with ‘newfound confidence’. Seeing that it takes a lot of chutzpah to be on Dancing With The Stars in the first place (i.e. before losing weight), I choose to take this statement with a pinch of salt.

Kelly Clarkson, Brandy, Katie Couric, Snooki, and Ashlee Simpson are only a handful of the long, long list of people – alas, mostly female, and typically trim – who say they ‘had’ eating disorders.  Rather as if this episode in their life was over and done with, and could not be triggered again.

Is telling today’s young girls who have body issues that this is “just a phase” doing them any favours?  Does it mean that at any time in the future they will feel bold enough to undress in public, or will it further convince them that unless they are ‘out of it’ they will never be ‘good enough’?

Please  note that all the celebrities who have posed nude while pregnant – including Monica Bellucci, Christina Aguilera, Heidi Klum, Alessandra Ambrosio, Jessica Simpson, Demi Moore, Claudia Schiffer, Cindy Crawford, Myleene Klass, and countless others – had perfect skin and appeared to be in the best of health. It is only the rest of us who have morning sickness 24/7, varicose veins, urticaria, and migraines.

We have seen countless photographs of the derrières of Pippa Middleton and Alicia Keys; should we be mentally comparing them to those of Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian? Do photographs of supposedly erogenous zones objectify or empower the persons in them?

The camera catches Jennifer Ellison’s tummy when her t-shirt rides up, ironically as she comes out of a fast-food diner. Salma Hayek sexts her husband and mentions her chubbiness; as does Honey Boo Boo when she worries that she will not win any awards in her next beauty pageant (just for the record; she does).

What are we supposed to think when Lady Gaga says she “doesn’t mind” her weight gain, and yet lets fall that she is “on a diet”?

I have a strong suspicion that many of the afore-mentioned instances and others of their ilk are but publicity stunt set-ups.


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