The Prettiest Idol Ever speaks out about her pain and anguish: "the pictures that have been released of me, that are actually me, they were very personal. That is not how I intended to portray myself...I'd rather promote myself in a more classy way. That was personal, that was private, that was not for the public eye." Oh very definitely! And we really should understand. Antonella is simply a child of the self-documenting times, an age that officially began with "that primal national drama of the Paris Hilton sex tape, those strange weeks in 2004 when what initially struck me as a genuine and indelible humiliation—the kind of thing that lost former Miss America Vanessa Williams her crown twenty years earlier—transformed, in a matter of days, from a shocker into no big deal, and then into just another piece of publicity, and then into a kind of power."
"Ignore old ideas about privacy and make your private life public," is how Virginia Postrel sums up this mindset. Is that empowering? Not everyone thinks so. But it is the end of shame. I used to think that the only real stigma these days is to be outed as a bigot yet even that's not always true. It's all OK, it seems, as long you're on TV -- "Yes, they post party pictures. Yes, they use 'away messages.' When I ask them why they’d like to appear on a reality show, they explain, 'It’s the fame and the—well, not the fame, just the whole, "Oh, my God, weren’t you on TV?"'" It's all an audition.
Antonella already knows this. "[A]ll the embarrassment that's come with it...in retrospect, I still think it was worth it." And she's right: "Simon believes Antonella's photo scandal will make her more marketable than any of the Top 12, 'She'll make more money than anyone who wins this show. I predict that.'"
This all makes me feel sorry for Katharine McPhee, who's never been photographed with a pack of genital-shaped pasta and so must hawk her new album via movie theater promotions. Now this, I don't approve of one bit. Any and all pre-feature musical entertainment should be provided only by the Fanta dancers. I'm old-fashioned that way.