Not In Kansas Anymore...

Click your heels, and see if home is where you hang your hat, or somewhere else inside yourself as this simple, postmodern girl takes on L.A.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I just have to comment on these new Lindsay Lohan pics, shot by Bert Stern, in the esssence of the very famous photo shoot done with Marilyn Monroe, right before she died. Lindsay is made up like Marilyn, and they're nude/semi-nude, and very much almost pose for pose, from what I have seen.

Of course, the originals are beautiful, and in the present tense, Lindsay is a beautiful girl, and takes beautfiul pictures. She, like Marilyn, probably always will. She hit the genetic jackpot, much like Marilyn did. And Bert Stern is still a wonderful photographer. And yet...

Everything has a context. A cultural context. And this is my take on that:

I think they're disturbing. She's too young to be taking her clothes off like that. I'm not trying to be a moralist, and I'm hardly a prude. I don't judge her, neccessarily, for wanting to do them- 21 year old girls like to do all sorts of things, and playing with identity is one of them, naked or clothed. But I just gotta say it: where's her FRICKIN PUBLISCIST?? For cryin' out loud, she's been in rehab THREE TIMES this year, she's gotten out of cars without her panties on,, hello????
AND: She's done a few cheesecake-y things for Vanity Fair, Maxim, etc, and she's ONLY 21! Where do you go from there? Seriously: where do you GO from there?

Secondly, I think far too much emphasis was placed on her becoming "legal" ( when she was 18, for those of you not in the know, there was a giant party in LA with her naked ass poking out of a field on all the fliers and invites. Not to mention that cover of Rolling Stone when she was "Hot, Ready and Legal!!!" Then again when she was 21, the nightclub Pure in Las Vegas offered her ALOT of money to host her 21st, with big billboards screaming "Lindsay Lohan turns 21!" Her fee was allegedly already paid at the time she started rehab #2). It was all clearly an underage-girl appeal, -- and granted, there were not and are not many girls who were as gorgeous and appealing as Lindsay well before they were even 17, so it's not like I don't understand, or even think this is the first time. HOWEVER, I think legitimizing that kind of attitude toward adolescent girls and then celebrating it when they are finally of age to be plundered ( excuse me for being blunt) and normalizing that ( especially in her case) has really become a tweak off normal. To me, that's what's really more of what's happening here, with the acceptance of stuff like this. In other words: hey, we finally get to see her naked. Isn't about time? She's 21, so yeah, right? And she's legal, so what's does it matter? It matters because she's already gone far enough, as soon as she was 18, and now you've got the whole package, ( see above), and the world feels semi-entitled, or at least not surprised ( see this paragraph).

Plus, in a related vein, a young girl who was once a child star or even a teenaged star can't get attention in a serious way anymore in this town til she does Maxim, and if you don't believe me, go back and look at all the covers for the last 5 years. There's not a single girl on that magazine who isn't under 25. That's sad. It wasn't always like that- granted, it was always hard for women to be taken seriously if she couldn't shake off that "little girl" image, and produce some sex appeal, but in the last few years, it seems as if it's just expected that an actress of a certain age is going to appear in a really oversexed soft-core photo shoot. This Lohan shoot takes it as far as it has ever gone, (even if it's not for Maxim, et al) and with it now, it's gone too far. What next?

Overall, she has plenty of sex appeal on her own, with clothes on, and enough critical accolade to make a career on, so both ends of the Hollywood agendas are covered, anyway, if we were playing that game. So I wonder what else is shifting around culturally to make this an acceptable thing. .. So no, I don't like it.

Lastly, I very much agree with my friend R's statement about the appeal of the original Marilyn pics: they worked becase she was brutally honest and beautiful and vulnerable. I don't think they're sad or that they were taken when she didn't " much care much about her reputation anymore" , as has sometimes been said ( further evidenced by the fact that she took a pin to each negative she didn't like). They are more poignant, if only because she died not too shortly afterwards. The only appeal Lindsay has in them is that she's young and beautiful, and trying on her sexuality for herself in them, versus for someone else,( but as aforementioned, that's not how they'll be marketed).

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.....