The Cutler Chronicles
Of all the things to anger me this weekend, this is probably the one I should have let go. But I won't. Call it pettiness or whatever you will, but the story of the rise to low-level stardom of one Jessica Cutler sets my nerves on fire.
A five page article in the Washington Post yesterday details Cutler's rise from obscure whore to Playboy poser and six-figure author. The author tries to make the article appear to be a bit more than a fluff piece propping up yet another famous slut by interspersing the Tales of Jessica with studied quotes on moral relativism and the sexual mores of our younger generation. But it's hard to read this piece as any kind of morality tale when there are sentences like this:
Jessica tottered down the Russell Building's marble hallways atop the cute, nude-colored sandals that she liked to think made her legs look longer and sexier.
It's a Jackie Collins novel come to life.
The article goes on to detail Jessica's sexcapades and offers up justifications for her taking money for sex. It's a sordid story and I can't for the life of me figure out not only why Cutler seems proud of her tale, but why she's being feted by the media as if she were the spokesmodel for today's woman. Good god, let's hope it's not that.
Reading the rest of the story, I came away with a worse opinion of Cutler than I already had. She's a shallow, vain, self-centered woman who is going to crash and burn at a very early age, book contract and Playboy money notwithstanding.
I don't wish that on her. I'm sure it can't be good for one's self esteem when you look in the mirror at 30 years old and realize that everything you've done for the past few years has led you down the road to psuedo-celebrity hell. "I was a Trivial Pursuit Question" isn't something you want to add to your resume. Unless, of course, you're trying out for a gig on The Surreal Life.
Wait for it.
"I was only blogging for, what, less than two weeks?" she says. "Some people with blogs are never going to get famous, and they've been doing it for, like, over a year. I feel bad for them."
Note to Jessica: There's famous and there's infamous. Guess which you are.
And honestly, most of us don't want to be famous, per se. Sure, I'd love to get that six figure book deal, but I'm not gonna bang dirty old men to take the fast track to fame.
And therein lies most of the problem. What do young girls think when they hear the story of Jessica Cutler? Were they to read this WaPo article, they would see a woman who has slept with men in exchange for expensive meals and cash. They'll see her described as a fashionable, hip chick with all the right clothes, all the right connections, living the party life with no regret. It's no different than Paris Hilton, to an extent. A B-list celebrity cavorting in the spotlight, most often seen half naked in front of night clubs or fully naked in a home video. How does the media react to Hilton's sexual exploits? They give her a hosting spot on the Teen Choice Awards. It's soft-core porn, mass media style.
I'm not a huge moralist and I don't think there is no place for sex - or sexuality - in our society. But there is a big difference between promoting sexuality and promoting sex.
Perhaps my moral standards have changed as my kids got older. I see this blitz of breasts on even network television every day and it saddens me to think that my daughter is growing up in a media-crazed society that rewards most the women - and girls - who show the most. Maybe I've become a bit of a prude in my old age, but I cringe when I see women parading around in next to nothing because I know that teenage girls are impressionable and will emulate these women. What does a girl want, anyhow? Fame, fortune, Hollywood nights and hunky celebrities/rock stars dangling from their arms. No matter how
"good" your teenage daughter is, it's a safe bet that these are the things she's daydreaming about as she stares out the window. Now, thanks to women like Jessica Cutler, the media that gives play to them and the people that open the doors to their virtual pink Cadillacs to pimp them, our daughters can further see how being a vapid, self-centered, materialistic whore can get you five pages in a major newspaper, a spread in Playboy, a book deal and a chance at fifteen minutes of fame.
[photo and WaPo link from OTB]