Thursday, March 27, 2008

SJP Sexy?

Last week, the actor Sarah Jessica Parker admitted in an interview with Grazia magazine that she was hurt by a list that named her the Unsexiest Woman Alive and her comments were widely reported. "Am I really the unsexiest woman in the world?" she asked. "Wow! It's kind of shocking."When something unflattering is written about a celebrity the typical reaction is to pretend they haven't seen it or to not dignify it with a response, the fact that Sarah Jessica Parker acknowledged the list at all is unusual.

But, the list that she referred to was in Maxim magazine which doesn't really rate an appearance on a measure of things to be legitimately hurt about. It makes no sense at all why Sarah Jessica Parker would take this Maxim list to heart? Why would she expect to fit the ideals of its audience? Why would her husband; Matthew Broderick, also be stunned by her appearance on this list? "It upset him because it has to do with his judgment, too," she said. This I don't understand. Was he always secure in his judgment about her until the Maxim magazine list came along and suddenly forced him to reconsider everything? Did this list really have that kind of impact?

I mean, whatkind of effect can a list expect to have? You never hear someone say, "Well, I used to think the unsexiest woman alive was Madeleine Albright but now that Maxim says its Sarah Jessica Parker, I have to reassess." If a list is seriously going to change someone's opinion, how much weight should that opinion be given? Moreover, the criteria Maxim readers use to define what they consider to be sexy can't be overlooked.

As Carrie Bradshaw, Sarah Jessica Parker inhabits a world where women are in charge, they live free and interesting lives and are asked out by men every day. I can see why none of this would appeal to readers of Maxim. Est Tu Maxim?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


I remember walking up the high street in Hampstead and picking up a card from the Catto Gallery about this exhibition. I love the painting and just managed to buy a print of it after years of seeking one out, oh my love of the internet is justified. Now I have the print, I don't actually know what I will do with it, & whether I can actually bear to look at it.

The person I walked up the street with that day was the person I thought was "the one" even though I loathe that phrase. I am told that little girls imagine their wedding day, I never did, but I did want to marry that man. When it ended, he said that the relationship just wasn't working for him anymore, & that he was sorry because he knew how I felt about him. He was sorry, & he was kind, & he was lovely to me even when I turned into the almost psycho ex-girlfriend. I say almost because I was in agony & people in pain don't behave well, I just kept clear of restraining order territory, but not entirely of stalker type behaviours.

Even now, I can't believe how long that pain lasted. It became more manageable, as these things do, but I managed to feel it for 5 long years. I valued that relationship so highly that its ending devastated myself and my psyche. No doubt I projected all kinds of features onto/into it that didnt' exist and I still find my way seeking a way to stop regretting the waste of those 5 years when I kept waiting to stop feeling the pain so acutely. The pain receded but it remained a part of my emotional make-up.

Now I want to tell him I am sorry, but I'm not entirely sure what for, for being hurt, for behaving in a way which hurt people do, or just for him being the screen for those projections. I loved him truly but would never want to see him again, & that's unusual for me, but maybe that is because I still harbour a wish that he had wanted to marry me even if that would have been a terrible idea. I hope he is happy but I don't want to know anything about it. I don't really know what I want to be forgiven for but I do know I have to forgive myself first. I could cringe at the memories, but we are only human, and we are almost entirely fallible. In the end, he was more honest than I was & I am grateful for his bravery and kindness when he ended the relationship.

The print tells me about a happier day when the sun was shining and I was a little overdressed, I remember knowing I looked good (& that I wouldn't have those legs forever!), but feeling the heat. I didn't have any faith that I would be the right person for him, even then, & we do after all have to be the right person for each other for relationships to work. My clothes weren't quite right & we weren't quite right.

Now that I've bought it, I think I have to find a way to co-exist with the memories before I can look at the print on my wall.