On Anne Curtis and Nigella LawsonPosted: December 4, 2013
Recently, two celebrity women I admire deeply (ehem) made headlines with a revelation of their human sides.
On local shores is actress Anne Curtis, who attracted online attention for a recent spat at a club in Taguig. According to reports, Anne was drunk in the club and ended up quarreling with another celebrity. During this quarrel, she is reported to have slapped said fellow celebrity and uttered the lines “I can buy you, your friends, and this club.”
Now my highly Darwinist views on society (and my deep admiration for Anne, ehem) aside, that there is arguably a powerful bit of dialogue. Inasmuch as Anne is half Australian, the outburst invariably shows that she is a Filipina through and through, steeped in that rich, albeit somewhat underrated, tradition of the trailer line. (the tradition includes such crispy lines as Cherie Gil’s famous “You’re nothing but a second rate, trying hard, copy cat” from the movie Bituing Walang Ningning and, in the literary medium, many of the lines in Bobby Villasis’ plays, for instance in the play Brisbane: “Sardines! My god, smells like poverty!” But more on this tradition later)
Memes featuring the lines, with Anne’s not altogether unattractive profile, went viral following the episode. The trailer line cannot help but catch attention.
Anne has since admitted to the whole shebang and apologized, and the actor involved has confirmed that she had earlier made her apologies to him as well.
Across the Pacific beyond the American Continent and across the Atlantic (or across the Asian and European mainland, depends on the direction you choose to go to), British TV cooking personality Nigella Lawson is facing media scrutiny as she gives evidence in a court trial for fraud of her two former assistants, the Grillo sisters.
The trial has allowed Nigella to reveal rather lurid details about her married life: the prolonged abuse she has seen with ex-husband Charles Saatchi (recently made publicly visible when he choked her in a restaurant), and most recently, Nigella’s use of cocaine and marijuana multiple times.
Nigella occupies a uniquely prominent position in the British limelight. Not only is she one of the most globally recognizable British celebrities, what with her cooking shows serialized across the globe (in the Philippines the Food Network, among other stations, air them), she also happens to be the daughter of Nigel Lawson. Lord Lawson (made a life peer in 1992) served as Chancellor of the Exchequer (Budget Secretary, to those unfamiliar with British politics) and Energy Secretary under Margaret Thatcher.
Now I feature these here not only because I admire these women deeply (ehem), but because the two cases share some quite intriguing similarities. Here are two women, virtually as successful in their careers as anyone can go, revealing their less-than-perfect sides and admitting it.
For one thing, it says something about modern culture: gone is the at times stiffing norm of keeping appearances, and an admission of human imperfection has become preferable. We’ve gone a long way since the Victorians.
And on that historical note it also shows that, while we Filipinos are still relatively conservative, we nevertheless have a considerably western mindset. A parallel historical struggle against a prudish past, perhaps?
In a rather similar case, Japanese voice actress Aya Hirano almost lost her career when after-sex pictures of her were published by a tabloid paper. And of course there is the Maricar Reyes case to show the contrast (another beautiful woman!). This just demonstrates how liberal we actually are.
But okay, I admit, I just wanted to feature two really, really pretty women as they stand up for accepting human imperfection. Can you blame me, I’m a guy.