Skip to comments.Mark Steyn: Identity crisis
Posted on 01/17/2003 6:49:10 PM PST by Pokey78
There are so many Kate Winslets to choose from these days. The anorexic supermodel Kate on the front of GQ went a bit too far, Miss Winslet now says. According to Women's Wear Daily, the Kate seen in profile on the cover of January's Harper's Bazaar is actually Kate's head "grafted on to fashion director Mary Alice Stephenson's body". There are a few wispy strands of hair across the neck to conceal the join.
Saddam has lookalikes, but Kate has lookunlikes. What a game gal, bravely defying Hollywood convention: she does her own nude scenes and then brings in body doubles for the fully-clothed shots. Actually, "body doubles" isn't quite right: hers is the double, and theirs the single.
No disrespect to "fashion director Mary Alice Stephenson", a wee slip of a thing, but I prefer the original. The only thing I liked about Iris - or Hideous Kinky or Titanic or pretty much any Kate film since Sense And Sensibility - was the nudity. Similarly, I'll take Renee Zellweger bulked up for Bridget Jones over the slimmed-down version on display in Chicago, where she's not exactly bustin' her bodice, if you get the cut of my jib.
But I don't understand why Kate's a "role model" for "plus-sized women". She'd look positively cadaverous in my corner of New Hampshire, where you're hard put to find a woman under 400lb, even if you wanted to. (It's been 40 degrees below freezing most of this week, and a January night is no time to find yourself rattling around a draughty double bed with only an anorexic stick insect for body heat.)
I see the feminist line on Kate's computerised slimming is that relentless pop-culture messages about "body image" are tyrannising women into bulimia. Really? Go to an American multiplex any night of the week and you can watch Julia Roberts or Cameron Diaz while surrounded by an audience whose distaff side rarely checks in under 300lb and is happily chowing down on supersized extra-buttery popcorn. Whatever oppressive messages about "body image" are being transmitted, these gals are cheerfully ignoring.
Even Kate isn't being that pressured to lose weight. The only people under pressure to take the pounds off are her picture editors. And in the obvious phoniness of that cover, the GQ guys have let us in on a profound truth: there's no reason why the faux intimacy of celebrity has to be constant. Kate Winslet can be whoever you want her to be: if you see her as emaciated, why not? Who says a star has to have only one consistent image, or even one consistent bottom?
Keep Kate's bum in mind in the coming days as the three remaining British male celebrities not yet arrested for paedophilia are taken into custody. I've no idea whether Wossname or Thingummy or any of the other A-listers really are paedophiles, any more than you know whether I'm a paedophile or I know whether you're one.
The only reason we're shocked when a celebrity gets arrested is because we think we know them. But we don't even know if it's them we think we know. Right now, there are guys mooning over that Kate Winslet cover, even though it's not her. Why would we presume to know a celebrity's taste in other people's bodies when we're not even sure which is her body?
The delusion of intimacy is the curse of the age. Take George Galloway. Apparently, like Kate, he's lost weight - or so Saddam told him at their last meeting. The one where the Butcher of Baghdad offered Gorgeous George his box of Quality Street.
Given the number of Saddamite doppelgangers, I'm 99 per cent certain George wasn't in the presence of the real McCoy. What's the point of having all those understudies on the payroll if you can't delegate the discount matinees? I'll bet poor gullible George was sharing the Quality Street with the palace equivalent of "fashion director Mary Alice Stephenson". But he came back to London convinced he knew the real Saddam better than anybody.
Yesterday, my colleague Alice Thomson yoked together paedophilia and terrorism "hysteria", and seemed pretty certain that, just as showbiz personalities and scoutmasters are being unfairly tarred with the paedophile brush, so Algerians and Muslims in general are getting a bum rap on terrorism.
Well, I dunno. Since September 11, the only thing I know for certain about western Muslim populations is how little I know. In Algeria, 100,000 people have been murdered by Islamists in the past decade. Some of the recently arrived Algerians in the West are fleeing those murderers; others have a lot of blood on their hands. Who knows which is which? I don't, nor does the Home Secretary. According to the Office of National Statistics, 20 babies born in Britain since September 11 have been given the name Osama. That seems a lot to me, but perhaps to Alice it's a reassuringly small number. But the truth is neither of us knows. And, as with Kate's bottom, there's an awful lot of airbrushing going on.
Heh, that's true in a lot of places. But I wouldn't bet on ol' Steiny getting a whole lot of dates in his corner of New Hampshire after writing this....
Reckon John will the 'bugs' worked outta this program anytime soon?...
Is this true? What's wrong with Kate's body and why would they do this?
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