Question: Why I Gotta be Naked to Make It?

August 24, 2009

The Curious Case of the Naked Celebrity

The Curious Case of the Naked Celebrity

This past week I had an in depth conversation with a friend about being naked. It wasn’t about us being naked or people we know personally being naked, or even nudity in general…it was about the celebrity nakedness epidemic that seems to be plaguing Hollywood as of late. Once upon a time, creating a hit record, making amazing films, even winning a Superbowl or something constituted and solidified your fame. Now in order keep your celebrity or even to just become a celeb one must take drastic measures, including “leaking” nude photos or starring in a homemade porn film with your boyfriend.

By now we’ve seen, or at the very least heard, about Cassie’s spread eagle photo shoot and Rihanna’s tittie flicks dedicated to her very own Ike Turner, but in my mind the real phenomenon and break out star is Kim Kardashian.When I started writing this, it took me a second to actually put it all together. I’ve got to admit, although I have absolutely NO IDEA why she’s as famous as she is, I know her first step to celebrity started with her sex tape with Ray J. Before that she was a stylist to his sister Brandy, a job that doesn’t garner much attention camera wise (unless your Rachel Zoe) and is often overlooked and ignored. Seemingly overnight Kim Kardashian’s face was everywhere; in tabloids, on television, in music videos, on the covers of magazines, befriending legit celebrities, beside Reggie Bush…EVERYWHERE. She is the poster child of Public Relations, how to take a “oops” situation and turn it into an empire. And to think, it all started with a scandal…and some tits. I guess it really ain’t trickin’ if you got it. Or is it?

Which brings me to the question at hand: Why I gotta be naked to make it? Is that what one must do to become a celebrity and maintain that status? Where once a good record, a solid performance, and a hustle seemed to get you all you wanted, now in order to stay in some sort of limelight, I need to show my ass? LITERALLY?

A couple of days ago I woke up and went about my normal routine of chugging coffee, checking email and my blog, and reading my favorite celebrity gossip sites for a good laugh or two. Not one, or even just two, but ALL of them had pictures of Kanye West and his ball tickler girlfriend Amber Rose and their recent trip to a Miami beach, where Amber decided to tan the proper way: by taking off her top. Being that she’s pretty much a staple on gossip sites because of her counterpart, this did not disturb me. No, what disturbed me was that her name was on the tip of everyone’s tongue causing her infamous nakedness to be a trending topic on Twitter…FOR SEVERAL HOURS.

How is it that we give so much attention to this sort of information. I’m fully aware that sex sells. I’m also aware that in today’s market you don’t necessarily have to be talented to become famous, otherwise Beyonce would be no where near a movie screen, and Cassie wouldn’t have a record deal. What I’m not so aware of, is how these lapses in judgment bring more fame than a successful project or venture. Why is this behavior so acceptable?

Personally, I blame the Public Relations teams/ record labels/ movie studios/ and agents. They can be your best friend, or your worst enemy if you’re a celebrity. Some don’t look at these people, as well…people, they look at them as a paycheck. A celebrity is a brand, a brand that makes money, and and the goal is to maintain this branding by any means necessary so the machine can keep pushing out the dough. Embarrassment, shame, and humiliation is the last thing these ‘officials’ think about when an ‘oops’ situation occurs, especially if it proves to put the name of that person on everyone’s lips.

For lack of sounding like a self righteous bitch or a prude, I’ll end with this: In a perfect world, the people we look up to the most wouldn’t have flaws, but this isn’t a perfect world, and everyone has flaws. We can’t be sure that talent will alone ensure someone celebrity, because that isn’t always true. The proof is everywhere; entertainment sells, and so does sex….but does that mean I have to go without pants like Lady Gaga, go into rehab like Mischa Barton, or snort something like Lindsey Lohan to get recognized? Do I have to be naked to make it?

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2 Responses to “Question: Why I Gotta be Naked to Make It?”

  1. bruby said

    Wow great article D. I wonder the same thing.

  2. What a brilliant article. I just wrote something similar myself. I don’t think you’re a righteous bitch or a prude – I agree with you that if the world had just a little bit more creativity about it, fewer people would jump on the naked bandwagon. It’s a bit sad that Brit singer Lily Allen is now getting her kit off everywhere, just to get a few more column inches. Great post.

    http://jeremywaite.wordpress.com/2010/02/16/to-sell-more-of-your-mediocre-product-just-add-sex/

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