Sunday, 9 March 2008

Grin And Bare It - Sex Sells Starlets

Starting from Marilyn Monroe's Playboy photospread, showing some skin has steadily morphed into a tactic that the majority of photogenic film actresses use for the sake of publicity. Over the past forty years, men's magazines have been only too happy to meet this demand. Global sales of FHM, Maxim and Stuff have risen because they contain some Hollywood starlet baring as much as she dare. It's a win, win situation. They get the exposure (no pun intended) and they encourage males to agree to see a chick flick that she might be in, and their girlfriends are also happy, because they don't need to push their partners to go with them. The latest of these female celebs to disrobe is troubled teen mega-starlet Lindsay Lohan in a photo shoot for New York Magazine, except she is not really a teenager any more. Many prudes will be keen to point out that this is the most outrageous thing she has ever done, but the headlines have fully documented that she is capable of behaviour that is much more scandalous. The most worrying aspect of this current trend in the media's sudden need to get starlets, some of whom have yet to leave their teenage years behind, to become more sexualised. As much as I detest the evangelical, self-righteous ramblings of top moral crusader in the media circus, John Beyer, I do feel he would have a little bit of justification for saying this way of selling rising actresses could get out of hand, if not supervised properly.

Saying anything goes can be both a good and a bad thing. I think that few media types would want to repeat the mistakes made by Channel Four, when they commissioned 'Minipops', which ticked every box on why stranger danger was ever present at the time.

I freely admit that the spectacle of seeing Scarlett Johansson wearing next to nothing turns me on, but there does need to be some sort of limit. It is the responsibility of every publicist to apply the brakes a little.

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