Keyboard Cat, Play Mr. Hefner Off the Stage.
This started for me with Michelle Williams. No, let’s rewind that. This started way before that. This started for me when we used to get Playboy at the tattoo shop years ago. Playboy was turning into this weird platform for Chuck Palahniuk and bad jokes and cigar advice (but maybe it has always been this?) and a never-ending parade of naked women who were indistinguishable from the naked women the month previous. And lo and behold, who was gracing the cover that month? Marilyn Monroe. I was confused. Were there no more eligible blonde girls in the world willing to pout semi-seductively while lying next to a roaring fire? Upon further research, it appeared that yes, there was an abundance of such talent still left in the world, but Playboy had chosen to tell us, again, of how Marilyn Monroe held captive a nation.
Previous to this, I’d suffered through images of Anna Nicole Smith draped on a red background in nearly the same pose as the famous Monroe nudes. Eye-roll. Anna-Nicole Smith was kind of her own powerhouse of tragedy and blonde-ness in her day. Making her up to be Marilyn Monroe seems redundant. (Or prophetic?) Cindy Crawford, Megan Fox, Scarlet Johanssen, and more, have been given this same treatment. All of these women, attractive by most standards, and certainly in a way that did not demand a complete rethinking of their faces and hair. And then, in a slight I cannot forgive, I found Kate Moss on the cover of New York Magazine, hussied up like Marilyn Monroe. Now, you’ve gone too damn far.
You know who’s beautful? Fucking Kate Moss! You know who looks great as Kate Moss?! FUCKING KATE MOSS! What is this lunatic obsession with turning gorgeous women into a long dead sex symbol? You know what all wannabe models who are 5’4″ say? “But Kate Moss is short!” Yes, she certainly is. But A) she was tall as a child and they thought she’d grow to be 5’10” and B) she’s fucking KATE MOSS! Kate Moss is the yardstick, forgive the pun, by which other short(er) models judge themselves. Stop crapping all over Kate Moss with Marilyn Monroe!
“But, Chris, you don’t understand! She banged a president, she captivated a nation, she was the embodiment of sex to millions of boys!” I completely understand that. And she’s been dead a long time. And you’d do an honor to her memory by not trying to put her face on every other woman’s face. That’s not homage, that’s creepy and weird. That’s what serial killers do.
I blame Hugh Hefner.
Enter: Lindsey Lohan posing for Playboy Magazine. I was really sort of unfazed by this news, neither shocked nor excited, to hear that she’d taken the money and was going to get naked. This was in the cards all along, like most of these things, completely PR based and a lame, desperate attempt to boost her public image and get her back into a movie again. I didn’t really care until I heard that Hefner insisted she channel Marilyn Monroe as the theme. That’s interesting, since SHE’S ALREADY BEEN IN A MAGAZINE CHANNELLING NAKED MARILYN MONROE.
The man is obsessed. And I get that, I really do. But obsessions are often best enjoyed privately or amongst others who also share your obsession. Not all of us are perpetually hot for her, or feel the need to put her on the cover of your magazine 5 times. (Only once was she actually alive.) Or purchase the burial vault next to hers. (True story.) We as a nation need to develop a healthy crush on someone approximately our own age, and who is still breathing. (Preferably.) Its time to let some other starlet bang a president so we can all be captivated once again. Hefner, how can we miss Marilyn Monroe if you just won’t let her leave?
I’m begging you, photographers and art directors, around the world–let Marilyn die. Let her go. Quit digging her up every third month and throwing her on a magazine cover in the name of nostalgia. Stop turning every famous woman into her, as if all of the current famous faces were lifeless blank slates to be pinched and squeezed and makeup-ed and peroxided to resemble her. Lest she become an anchor to our collective libido, perpetually embodying beauty and sexuality and femininity until we are no longer able to recognize the hotness of anyone else. OH MY GOD.