Aren’t you forgetting something Anne Hathaway?
From time to time developments come along in popular culture that force me to reflect that perhaps I am getting a bit past it, and the modern world is becoming a bit confusing.
Such an example occurred this week when the actress Anne Hathaway was photographed emerging from a limousine in New York on her way to the premiere of the movie version of the musical Les Miserables.
For those who may have missed the photograph Hathaway was dressed, according to E! Online, in “a striking black column gown by Tom Ford with a voluminous cape for added drama’’ with `“edgy knee-high gladiator sandals’‘.
For us old timers however while that was all well and good there was critical item missing from the Hathaway wardrobe, viz her underpants.
The American press referred to the incident as a wardrobe malfunction, but I am not sure how that works. In this case the wardrobe, what there was of it, was working fine, the issue was what was missing from it..
Now if you had told me when was I at school that in 2012 to explain the Cuban Missile Crisis to a youngster you would first have to explain there was once upon a time a place called the Soviet Union and that respectable actresses would one day be regularly giving us a glimpse as they alighted from their vehicles, well I don’t know which I would have found harder to believe.
In those days when a lady of the stage decided it was time to delight her fans by giving them at a gander down there, they usually did so only after pocketing a large fee and giving a number of interviews in which they reassured their public that the role was of such artist merit that it would have been a crime not to disrobe.
They didn’t just hop out of a car sans knickers when it was a dead certainty cameras would be there to immortalise the moment.
To those of us who delight in The Things Actors Say, Hathaway’s interview the next day with NBC’s Matt Lauer was a a moment to treasure.
``It was obviously an unfortunate incident,’’ she told him before going on to say it made her sad for two reasons: ‘‘One was that I was very sad that we live in an age someone takes a picture of another person in a vulnerable moment and rather than delete it, and do the decent thing, sells it’‘.
Which I suppose is fair enough and made me wonder if actresses had not been walking around without undies since time immemorial. Perhaps they never wear underpants at all. Perhaps showfolk are like Scottsmen and nothing is every worn under the kilt and it is only our unchivalrous age that sees to it that such images make their way to the screens at our workplaces by lunch time the next day. Perhaps. I just don’t kow.
But then Hathaway went on and undid her good work with this pearler: “I’m sorry that we live in a culture that commodifies sexuality of unwilling participants, which brings us back to Les Mis, that’s what my character is, she is someone who is forced to sell sex to benefit her child because she has nothing and there’s no social safety net.’‘
Let’s unpack that thought. In Hathaway’s world it seems there is little to choose between Fantine the impoverished factory worker in Les Glumsaif who goes onto the street to feed her daughter Cosette and she Anne Hathaway, victim of the paparazzi.
Never mind for a second that I’d be surprised if anyone actually got off on her flash the other night, I’ll leave that alone. I actually think that most of just found it funny that you could get yourself all dressed up for a big night and forget the first thing that most of us put after we get out of the shower.
That and the contrast between the amount of money Hathaway had spent on her outfit and the fact she appears to have been too mean to spend $5 on a pair of Reg Grundys to come out the cold.
Another surprising thing to me about the Hathaway expose was it wasn’t as though this was the first time it had ever happened to a celebrity. From memory I believe the getting out the car glimpse was pioneered by Britney Spears. Lindsay Lohan’s had her moments in the sun that department too I seem to recall. (I’d check but this is a work computer.)
If Hathaway was so worried about unwillingly commodified for the sexual pleasure of others, she ought to have heeded their example. A woman in her position has plenty of money, she doesn’t need a social safety net to keep herself private.
She just needs to pop into Target. But as I say I am getting old. I don’t understand anything these days.
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