Wednesday, December 20, 2006

They're bring Sexy Back

I was in despair last week because I had forgotten to watch the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, which generally is the best showcase of gorgeous women this side of- well, the Victoria's Secret Catalogue. Fortunately, they reran it last night and I blocked out some time to be a creepy voyeur.

To my surprise, the show was disquieting and decidedly un-sexy. I struggled to figure out the common theme among all the things I hated about the show, but the theme of the show was "What it is like to be a Victoria's Secret model" and that theme is resistant to deep thought. However, I do have some observations.

It is remarkable how gay the event is. It is like an incredibly expensive drag show. Everything is either campy or glam, but either way it is over the top and fabulous. The girls are wear big hair, glitter, diamonds and campy costumes. The music consisted of Justin Timberlake, electronic remixes of pop songs and a huge choir. The last drag show I saw was less of a parody than this.

The show strives to fulfil fetishes, especially kid fetishes. The themes of various "acts" were angels, stewardesses, Scotland (think leather and buckles) and most bizarrely, growing up (over a carnival remix of Kelis's "I'm Bossy", though the song before that was the more appropriate, "When You Were Young"). They had models dressed only in bras and panties walking down the runway in in garish colors dragging a pink comforter, carrying pom-poms or graduating. The idea was to sell the Pink Line, which markets to undergrads, but the conjunction of child imagery and sexuality is um... disturbing.

In even worse taste is the state of the models. Besides the few models I recognized (
Adriana, Gisele, Alessandra, Ana and Karolina... ok so I recognized a lot of them, but there were 27 models total so I am only 18.5% a loser) the models began to look like anorexic adolescents or freakishly elongated aliens. The look for runway models is 90% leg and abs, with a big smile and bigger hair as the cheery on top (like I said, drag show). The problem is that most of the girls are stick figures wobbling on chicken legs and emaciated frames and the big hair can't hide pre-teen faces. Is it too much to ask for models that don't look like high school freshman who just spent some serious time on the rack?

The show pretends that it is about anything but dudes looking at girls they will never attain. So to fit their loose "We are regular people, see how we live" theme, they jam the show full of gimmicks like interviews with the models and a hidden camera (if they would have taken the camera into the bathroom then they would have hit three of the four "unacceptable" perversions: bondage, kids and water sports, leaving out bestiality). So instead of just watching hot models, we were forced to sit through grainy bouncy footage of nothing. Literally, nothing. The camera never focused on anything of interest and the shot of "What it is like to walk down the runway" became grainy blown out lights bouncing with the model's strut. The interviews were full of annoying "Idiot says something uninteresting and then laughs in pretend embarrassment" moments. Adriana Lima, one of the hottest women in the world for my money, destroyed the illusion by opening her mouth and being vapid and self important. What was I expecting, right? Since she recently reported that she was a virgin, I guess she is from the Paris Hilton school of public relations. Which is to say, lie because no one can prove different.

On the music front we have an interlude from J.T. Justin Timberlake has emerged as the clear winner from his break up with Britney Spears. He has reached a point where a guy could conceivably like him and not get made fun of. That said, why have him in the show? To rope in the women (who would presumably be the target audience for a company that exclusively sells women's clothing) that otherwise have nothing to see in the field of starving T & A? Justin clearly can dance, but why dance like that? It is all pointless jerky motions that look like a million variations on the robot; it is highly skilled cheerleading instead of real dancing. Also, did he write (or whoever wrote it, Timbaland probably) "Sexy Back" specifically for the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show? It is a little too neat of a fit.

The "climax" of the show was the final string of models in diamond bras came out to a winter theme over a huge choir singing in the background. Someone put together the obvious metaphor of diamonds and ice, since they needed some way to showcase the absurdity of a multi-million dollar bra. The best thing was the choir singing "Just a little more love, just a little more peace, is all we need." Say what? A song about peace while
diamonds of all things are paraded up and down the runway. Diamonds are worth far less than they cost, since their value is neither intrinsic or rare. De Beers suppresses small diamonds (1.3 billion dollars in present day worth withheld from the market in 1981) to keep the price of a relatively common rock high. That diamonds (with can be produced with superior quality in a lab, though diamonds that are made are considered "fake". What a metaphor for a Nip/Tuck industry) were juxtaposed against millionaire women whose value is derived from talents that are inflated by a similarly bankrupt system was too much for me to bear. So I ended up watching sports instead. Eat a sandwich and I will see you next year girls.

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