I Sez: Bravo, LL
Posted by Andrew Unterberger on February 20, 2008
Obama no doubt pissed at stolen thunder
I remember reading a rant from some random blogger a good number of years ago about the potential consequences of Jennifer Love Hewitt doing a Playboy spread. The general theory was that JLH going buffo in printed form would eventually bring about world peace, through a sort of chain reaction started by the fact that the great majority of male teenagers (and probably a healthy number of females as well–this was back in Hewitt’s prime) across the country would take at least one whole day off from causing mischief and just masturbate in their bedroom instead. The logic of the mechanics was a bit off, but the sentiment was there–there’s just something extremely special about the moment you first see a celebrity naked.
As no doubt all of you with the internet and a couple of mouse clicks to spare know by now, Lindsay Lohan has recently participated a semi-nude photo spread for New York Magazine, in a tribute to a famous photo shoot done of Marilyn Monroe at the Hotel Bel Air (entitled “The Last Sitting”) done just weeks before Monroe’s death. Hearing about this–and seeing the first photo in the spread–I figured this would mean nude the way that much-hyped nude Vanity Fair spread of Keira Knightley and Scarlett Johnassen that somehow ended up being about as erotic as My Dinner With Andre meant naked. But no, there’s some actual nakedness going on here–fairly clear breast shots, some impressively-hinted at frontal–enough at least to make you go “This is what New York Magazine has been hiding all these years??”
Now, this being the internet, of course, the pictures have started the debates flying–over whether or not people dig her heavily-freckled body, whether the tits are real or not, whether she’s as hot as she was a couple years ago (which, I might point out, is an exceptionally difficult complaint to raise without being creepy). It reminds me a little bit of that Meg White dorm room sex video that leaked a few months ago, where everyone was complaining about how chubby and/or dispassionate (yes, this was actually a frequently levied grievance) Meg looked in the video, while I was just going OMFG MEG WHITE. Of course it turned out not to be Meg White at all, something everyone basically knew while watching it. But the fact that it could have been, that for a second we could believe it was–that made all the difference.
Point is, hotness quotient aside, there’s something so much more rewarding about seeing famous people naked. In this age of easy access to truly limitless pornographic possibilities, the idea of celebrity nudity should probably seem laughable. After all, why would (or should) anyone bother suffering through two hours of About Adam for that split second of naked Kate Hudson when they can probably find videos of completely naked girls probably almost as attractive as Hudson performing countless scnadalous sexual acts for hourson end for free and with less effort? It seems about as quaint a proposition as taping songs off the radio in the age of MP3s.
But there’s an advantage to seeing a disrobed celebrity that the experience’ll always have over random anonymous pornography–the sense of accomplishment. For, lest we forget, famous people (with the possible exceptions of Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jim Morrison) spend the great majority of their lives with clothes on, usually with little in the way of means, motivation or opportunity to change that status. So when you finally do see that person clothesless–whether on sceen, in an unsolicited gotcha shot, or a classy spread like this–you sort of feel like you’ve beaten them in the battle of not getting to see them naked. It’s a small victory, but in situations like this, it makes all the difference.
Not to say that the attractiveness is irrelevant–regardless of who you are what you think of her particulars, Lindsay Lohan is pretty well guaranteed to be hotter than 95% of the girls you know, and unless you’re Justin Timberlake or Derek Jeter, 99% of the girls you’ll ever sleep with, and that makes this spread a significantly more momentous occasion than it would be were, say, Tilda Swinton in her place. But this is still why I have more interest in Killing Me Softly than I probably ever will in Pirates. And why I won’t be going to sleep for at least another 5-10 minutes.