And I loved it. Thus began my mania for Duran Duran for the next few years. The walls of my room--nearly every square inch--were covered with posters of the band. Like any young girl, I was in love, and obsessed, and filled with ridiculous fantasies of Simon Le Bon waiting till I was old enough so we could get married.
But this isn't a post about Duran Duran, per se, but about how they were responsible for really getting my mind spinning recently.
Okay, so I admit it--I follow their Facebook page from my own facebook page, and I get updates in my news feed. I'm not a 13 year old girl anymore, and I haven't maintained that same unwavering devotion and adoration, but I do take a look occasionally if something catches my interest.
And so, they have a new video: "Girl Panic." In this storyline, we follow the "members of the band" around in their decadent lives, with little artsy shots of them in glamorous locations.
There is a TWIST though: SUPERMODELS are acting as the members of the band.
Let me cut and paste a little blurb for you from an article I found HERE:
"Ladies and gentleman, it's the return of the 'Supers' - Naomi Campbell (as lead singer Simon Le Bon), Helena Christensen (Roger Taylor), Eva Herzigova (Nick Rhodes), Cindy Crawford (John Taylor) and Yasmin Le Bon who is keen to point out "I am NOT a member of Duran Duran". The girls have been draughted if to play the boys, perform Girl Panic! as the boys and be interviewed by the boys themselves about how amazing and talented they all are."
So this to me is like a return to those decadent, shallow, wealth-peacocking (yeah, I created my own damn word) days of the 80's.
and a fond re-embracing of SUPERMODELS.
And you know what?
I was TOTALLY disappointed. And super duper bored.
From the moment Naomi roused herself from her bed, barely dressed, shoes with heals so high my ankles snapped just from watching, and she strutted around the room observing the other models still asleep, and barely dressed, suggestively lying atop one another, and the champagne glass still held in one hand, I have to tell you I lost all interest.
And I couldn't even watch the rest of the video.
Supermodels. Supermodels? Seriously? Do we really still care about this shit? I mean, remember the days when Supermodels were like demigods parading often across our TV screens, and pasted all over really vapid magazines with their blank faces looking out across a world of over-priced capitalist dreams, worshipped as the pinnacle of unattainable image and beauty?
Oh, you could be a MODEL back in the day--and models were fine and good, but then they invented the SUPERMODEL, and the hierarchy kicked itself up a notch or ten.
That's why we were subjected to truly terrible television programs in which Tyra Banks and all her vicious, mean friends could rip a girl to shreds; insult, degrade, berate and belittle her, all under the umbrella attitude of "suck it up, buttercup, this is the WOLRD of MODELLING and MODELLING IS HARRRRRD."
And there was ME sitting on the couch (JUST before I turned the damn show) thinking; "what the f*ck?!? They're JUST TAKING PICTURES!!!"
Why does that world have to be so vicious and cold and catty and HARD? Why does a girl have to, or WANT to stand there in shoes that are cutting off the circulation in her feet for twelve hours to get that perfect shot to make me want to buy that perfume that smells like garbage anyway? Why does she have to be plunked into a pool until she nearly has hypothermia while some bitchy photographer has a cow if she's not giving him the LOOK he's after, and be told that that's the way it is for real modelling shoots, so if she can't cut it, she might as well take her bony ass and leave right then and there.
Re. Tar. Ded.
That's not HARD.
I don't need a Louis Vuitton or a Fendi or a Louboutin ANYTHING.
You know what's hard? Being a mother of four young children, with no husband in sight. Being a mother of a special needs child who punches you or kicks you sometimes. Having breast cancer. Battling infertility. Standing up for your own beliefs.
Real women are out there every day, and we come in all shapes, sizes and colours.
I truly don't get the whole MODEL thing. That's not what I want for my daughter. Ever. I tell her every day that she is beautiful inside and out. She is beautiful for her BRAIN and her big, generous heart.
Am I getting off topic?
So what about escapism, right? Do we want to see a video filled with pain and suffering because that's life? No, that's not exactly what I'm saying. Escapism is good. That's why we like movies and books, art and music.
But when I saw that video, I said "hm." I shut it off, and I walked over to The Man and I asked; "isn't this supposed to be the ERA OF THE REAL WOMAN?"
I mean, am I totally naive? Aren't we moving past all this shallow supermodel, aren't-I-a-decadent-pretty-creature bullshit? Maybe I am naive. Maybe it's because I'm almost 40, and you know what's important to me? Being healthy. Trying to be as fit as I can be so I can be with my kids for a really, really long time. I don't worry about wearing much makeup every day any longer.
Yeah, I know we can never entirely stop judging and valuing people by how they look. We are, after all, visual animals.
Have we really not moved, even a teeny tiny bit, beyond that size zero crap? I mean, we have Adele now, don't we? Isn't her voice spectacular? Isn't she beautiful just as she is? Doesn't beauty come in a few more sizes now? Aren't there all kinds of interesting, beautiful women in the world who will never be SUPERMODELS?
Have I only been swept away by this:
We still have a long way to go, but I think we're starting, if only just a little to move in a better direction.
I don't step on the scale anymore, girls. I eat healthy food. I exercise every day. I don't smoke.
I never buy fashion magazines, girls. I don't need a bunch of airbrushed, digitally perfected, impossibly thin women to make me feel bad about myself any longer.
I like to look as pretty as I can sometimes. Other times I'm just not bothered. And I feel good about it.
Hey, it's not Duran Duran's fault--they're just not ready for the new era.
"Things won't change, until we change them."
Go on with your bad self, girlfriend.