Pop Rocks: Raising Daughters in the Wardrobe Malfunction Era
I want to congratulate Anne Hathaway, recent Screen Actors' Guild nominee for her performance in Les Miserables, for breaking our long national drought of celebrity upskirt shots. It seems like only last month when one could count on a Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton or Ciara to flash us on an almost daily basis. The funny thing is, I believe her when she gives her "awkward car exit" excuse:
Lord, please smite all these heathen paparazzi.
"I was getting out of the car and my dress was so tight that I didn't realize it until I saw all the photographers' flashes. It was devastating. They saw everything. I might as well have lifted up my skirt for them."
I've been on the periphery of these red carpet entrances before, and I'd frankly be terrified of exiting a car in the midst of a couple dozen photographers and their xenon tube flashes. It doesn't matter that I (usually) wear pants; I'm convinced those things are X-ray enabled.
More to the point, I have daughters, and in an age when even quote-unquote "respectable" actors like Hathaway aren't immune to this kind of shit, I found myself wondering what parents can do to help their kids avoid similar pitfalls.
I admit, I've never worn a Tom Ford creation, so I can't speak to the panty line problem. My knowledge of fashion only exists to the extent I can leave the house without looking like Jay Cutler walking his dog, Maybe the dress doesn't hang right when you're wearing knickers. The point is, whatever the reason for going commando, Hathaway is now serving as our most recent reminder of what unforgiving d-bags we all are.
So I'm putting together a list of guidelines for my girls. It's a work in progress, and while I'm not naive enough to assume they won't do stupid shit as they grow up, I just hope it isn't stupid enough to follow them around the rest of their lives.
Aim Higher Than Kim Kardashian
Case Study: Kim Kardashian
I know it doesn't look like it from the covers of grocery checkout rags or the entertainment portion of the news (more and more simply referred to as "news"), but there are better female role models than an airhead who first gained notoriety for a sex tape and has since been defined solely by showing her ass and the men she's glommed onto. We have female Supreme Court Justices, Secretaries of State and ambassadors. Start there.
Dumb Isn't Sexy, It's Just...Dumb
Case Study: Mean Girls
Speaking as someone who's been male for
most of my whole life, few things are less appealing than stupidity. Both genders can appreciate the benefits of eye candy, true, but as someone (I think it was the Iron Sheik) once said, "The mind is the biggest erogenous zone."
No guy that I hang around with finds idiocy -- feigned or otherwise -- attractive. You may be told men are intimidated by smart women. This is only true of stupid men, and they aren't worth your time.
Guys Want To See Girls Naked. All Of Them
Words you will never hear: "All rise for Judge Kardashian."
Case Study: The Internet
There are terabytes of pornography out there, from "tasteful" art nudes to "I think you can see her kidneys," as well as forums/message boards devoted solely to salacious photos of every actress from Helen Mirren to Dakota Fanning. And it will never be enough for some dudes.
Having grown up in the pre-"sexting" age, I don't want to think about how often the average teenage girl these days is wheedled about sending nudie pics to their so-called boyfriends. "I'll never show these to anybody" is the new "Just let me put the tip in."
By the way, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention another unfortunate aspect of this whole thing was Today host Matt Lauer getting his dirty old man on.
Matt Lauer jumped at the opportunity to ask Anne Hathaway about her recent wardrobe malfunction during her appearance on "Today" this morning.
"Seen a lot of you lately," he said after welcoming the actress to the show.
"Seen a lot of you lately?" A gentleman might acknowledge the existence of the photo, but he wouldn't come straight out and admit to checking out his guest's bush. You'd expect that from someone like Jimmy Kimmel, but I always held our morning hosts to a higher standard.
Which leads me to:
A Picture's Worth A Thousand Words, And Lasts A Thousand Years Online
Case Study: Vanessa Hudgens
This is a particularly great lesson: Get a DUI and you can be elected President of the United States (get two and you have to settle for VP). Get naked pics stolen from your cell phone and you'll end up explaining your "poor judgment" for the rest of your life.
It's a start. I'll probably throw some "study hard" and "don't do meth" in there as well, but I'm open to other suggestions.