Germaine-love-her-Greer and me with living dolls

In days recent, spiritual-god-mother-Sheena-Coffey and non-darling of the Australian media, Germaine-where-for-art-thou-Greer, opined Katie Price may not “make old bones”.

Make old, what? Well, age, you see.

She was making a bigger comment about a generation – too many young women look up to self-styled businesswoman Katie P, who also happened to speak rather well in a debate on ambition at Cambridge University last week.

She questioned Katie Price’s life had been achieved “at what cost?” She also added, had she been involved in this ambitious debate, Price’s performance would have fallen well short.

Price has quite the empire – it spans novels, clothes – equestrian, included – topless shoots, a talent agency, about 33 children and Peter Andre.

In Greer’s eyes, Price’s camera-filled life and previous work is considered “inhuman, horrible and abject”.

She makes several comments about the sadness of Price’s life, which are actually sad, before making the point that really grabs me: “We have a terrible situation where young girls look at Katie Price and want that life, the pink wedding dress and the pink carriage… at what cost is that?”

What cost, indeed?

A girl I know, not so well anymore, wanted to be famous. She’s vivacious, vibrant, cooler than Ruby Rose and very good-looking with the added bonus of a very lovely figure.

To see her ambition fulfilled she chose the path of glamour modelling – including bikini competitions, lads’ mags and promo work. This celebrated her body, her looks, her sexuality; it employed none of her intelligence, her wit, her personality.

I think she sold herself short.

Her dream of fame, was intrinsically wrapped with her sexuality; a path chosen by Katie Price, by Paris, by Kim – by women who have achieved great success out of their sexuality.

This type of success, success for sex, has had a profound impact on our lives. It colours entertainment on the movie screen and television and in real life, it impacts fashion, our behaviour and our expectations of ourselves and others.

I was recently reminded of how sexualised women can be, when attending my very first professional basketball game. The LA Clippers had a posse of women who stood outside the stadium as people piled in, posing for pictures with leering men and me. Yes, me.

They smiled, they were poised; just perfect.

I jumped in front of the drooling gents, ignoring their growing line and tried to gather them close. They warmed, slighlty more than they had to the men before me, but still kept their distance. A lesson learned from experience, I imagined.

I thanked them very much. Very much. And on and in I went.

The players eventually came on out, preceded by these glamourzons who did a wee jiggle and jive before plonking themselves courtside. They popped up again, later at a break and again later, at another break. And so on. They didn’t do any particular theatrics, apart from hold a frozen smile and shake at the same time. I was doing far more interesting things from where I sat, keeping a-hold of my beer and carrying a conversation, but no one offered me a courtside position.

They were there for entertainment. For sexualised entertainment. To fulfill an expectation we now hold of entertainment.

It was shallow and hollowless; just like their smiles, like their performance.

It saddens me to think some women must take this path in what might be another ambition – professional dancer, performer, whatever it may be.

There’s other ways to achieve your goals and there’s women to prove it’s possible: Missy Higgins and Adalita, Michelle Williams and Ellen Page, Alicia Molik and Lady Gaga.

There’s some fabulous ladies to inspire and if there are big dreams to pursue, there are wonderful women to follow.


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