November 05, 2009

I do have to wonder why these young women do this to themselves”€”make sex tapes and then try to put themselves forward into the public eye. They must know by now that in this digital age such tapes are obviously going to become public. Don’t they? Well, you would have thought so, and I would have thought so, but perhaps the thought processes of a blonde Californian would-be beauty queen are somewhat different (umm, actually, I would hope that our thought processes are indeed different: I’m assuming for example that all of us are sentient while Miss Prejean…)

There is one caveat to this wonder of course: if you’re a minor starlet with a career to promote, a movie coming out that looks like it’s going to bomb for example, then the judiciously released tape, or set of pictures deshabille, can do wonders. There is, after all, in certain circles no such thing as bad publicity as long as they spell your name right. A series of (not very nude) Megan Fox photos drifted into the public consciousness just before the release of Transformers 2 (Ms. Fox being the only conceivable reason anyone would watch the movie), just as Vanessa Hudgens was revealed to us slyly just before the release of whatever that movie she was in after High School Musical XVII was.

But for a self proclaimed strictly Christian girl like Carrie Prejean this wouldn’t be a sound career move. So what on earth was she in fact thinking?

The story has it’s fun little twists and turns. Carrie Prejean was competing in the Miss California pageant and was looking the runaway winner until Perez Hilton asked her about her views on gay marriage. Given her Christian beliefs she was agin’ it and said so. This so horrified the pageant organizers that they immediately threw her out. You can see their point of view, of course: such pageants have as their main audiences teenage boys who haven’t worked out how to unwrap a Victoria’s Secret catalogue and a larger group of the musical males amongst us who wish to gasp and bicker over the frocks.

As is usual in American life, Ms. Prejean then sued the organisers for a million dollars, a nice round sum. In one of those little twists (and please, who does write these story lines? It’s not just B list movies, but A listers would be proud to star in a movie with these sorts of plot twists) the organisers then sued Carrie Prejean. No, not for being something of an airhead, that’s part of the job description of a successful applicant, but for the return of the money they had already paid out on her. For it was revealed that they had paid for her to have a boob job before the pageant, but she hadn’t as yet paid them back. So they were suing for two nice round sums, we might say.

At this point we’re in the usual modern American legal gridlock until one of the pageant’s organizers, in the midst of negotiations, unveils his secret weapon. The Carrie Prejean Sex Tape. The existence of such a thing does not really match well with the proclaimed strictly Christian beliefs of Ms. Prejean, meaning that her argument that she had to say what she did about gay marriage because of said beliefs a difficult negotiating stance to maintain. She thus folded (rumors are that it took somewhere between five and 15 seconds, so perhaps she’s not all that dumb after all), and she’ll get her legal fees paid—but nothing else. There’s no word as yet on the disputed ownership of the other two nice round assets.

All of which really brings us back to two important questions. The first being why do these young women make these tapes? Especially those whose public persona depends upon being seen as a “€œgood girl”€? The second one comes from something that the website TMZ has reported on. The pageant officials claim to have had a copy of this tape for months, but they’ve not released it because it is, indeed, highly graphic. But they also say that Carrie should have a successful “€œsolo career”€ ahead of her. What on earth do they mean?


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