Angela Scanlon: Dare to bare? For today's A-List it's a case of dare to wear
Published 17/05/2015 | 02:30
In the world of celebrity, life is a bit mental. You are treated like a giant (although sometimes scary) baby. You are pampered and protected, people give in to your every whim, say yes to your every request because they're afraid you'll cry or scream or throw a tantrum and, frankly, it's embarrassing.
An actual baby throwing a tantrum can be annoying but you tolerate it because you assume it's their first time out or someone else is to blame - they don't understand and anyway, they'll learn. You're the boss after all, even if they don't realise it in that moment of rage. But with giant celebrity babies they actually are the 'boss' so the whims can be laughably ridiculous and full-on offensive, but they own the people around them and so when they say jump, the crew ask 'how high?' (not to their face obviously, we're not looking her directly in the eye today).
I've always believed many people who are mega famous remain the age they were when they got famous. Britney Spears was in The Mickey Mouse Club, she's essentially eight years of age but with a peak in fame aged 16 with chart topper, ear worm of a decade Hit Me Baby One More Time, it makes things complicated. There is hormonal angst and a juvenile recklessness thrown into the mix. She was the babe of my generation, with her pigtails and her toned stomach and her tracksuit bottoms, innocent but sexy, girl next door, but serious siren.
This was not the day when you repeatedly stuck your tongue out or writhed on a concrete ball with your nipples visibly erect. Oh no, they were the good old days when we were pure and we didn't have the internet and a young one flashing a bit of belly was considered fairly risqué.
Now all the grown up female babies, the biggest global stars of our generation, are racing to go back to the days when they were unencumbered by clothes. A race not to 'out-dress' each other but to undress, throwing off the shackles and constraints of, say, a silk gown or a tuxedo or something that previously was considered appropriate attire for a red carpet situation. No they're not interested, they want to set free their bits in what are essentially beautifully-tailored net curtains with a tonne of crystals and embellished lovelies all over.
These are strategically placed to cover breasts (mostly, side-boob is OK) and bums (not bums actually, those seem to be getting a bit of air these days). Usually they will cover their more intimate areas - unless of course times are tough and they need to make a splash.
At last week's Met Gala for instance, it seemed the bigger the star, the less they wore. And although on the one hand it's wonderful that women feel confident and comfortable enough to show it all off, I can't help but feeling it's all a little bit sad. Like they're going backwards. Like they've given in. They know how it works and although they wish it could change they're not prepared to lose column inches or magazine covers or filthy wads of cash to make changes themselves.
Beyoncé with her high ponytail and impeccably toned and oiled body is undoubtedly a vision, she is otherworldly and goddess-like. But, and this is the dividing factor - she is also an incredible talent, gifted with the kind of innate ability that sweet little Britney could have only dreamt about. Yet mostly we talk about her behind; that obsession fuelled by her decision to wear less and less. Perhaps it's a sign of the times and I'm in fact a granny trapped in a dashing young filly's body, but although her fame continues to grow, my interest is rapidly shrinking…
dare to bare? for today's a-list it's a case of dare to wear
The Eurovision is almost upon us! Ireland has more wins at the sparkly, bonkers contest than any other country (seven in total), we gifted the world Riverdance and we even sent a turkey. It is fair to say our relationship is complex but, while we often dismiss it, inside we are yearning for dominance again. Tune into my tribute show, Ireland's Eurovision - The Good, The Bad & The Mad on RTÉ1 on Monday at 9.35pm.
Frida Kahlo, a Mexican painter best known for her self portraits, was an icon. Praised for her 'uncompromising depiction' of women, her work still resonates. Now, after years of her clothes being under lock and key, we are given a glimpse into her wardrobe and her mind. Photographed by Japan's Miyako Ishiuchi, the images show everything from these uneven boots (she suffered with polio as a child), to her elaborate corsets (a serious accident left her in a full body cast for three months), sunglasses, bathing suits and her make-up. The photos are showing at London's Michael Hoppen Gallery and you can buy Ishiuchi's book on Amazon.