Don’t Kiss me Kate

When I was but a leetle princess, I didn`t have many role models. Granted, growing up with the FPU you didn`t need many role models. She was a force to be reckoned with on her own. However, like most kids growing up I looked up to certain people. I wanted to emulate them, be like them, be them. All of these role models were (somewhat predicactbly) celebrities musicians, actors, etc. More unpredictably though, all my role models were male. Krisma Boet and I totally idolised the A-team. They were cool. They fought for justice. They blew stuff up. In a close second was McGuyver. I remember Krisma Boet locking me in my room one day (as you do) and I spent an interesting afternoon entertaining myself by pretending to be the Mullet Haired One trying to escape. *sigh* Good times…Good times…

It was only much later, when the movie Aliens hit our shores that I found a new role model: Sigourney Weaver. I remember, walking away from the tele afterwards we watched it on Betamax Video and thinking that one day I want to be like her. I wanted to kick arse in a seriously hectic way. I wouldn`t take any crap from Aliens or Krisma Boet and I would protect people on Earth *always an idealist*.

The point I`m trying to make is that it is quite natural, however unfortunate, that the people our latest generation of kids of emulating and idolising are the celebrities of our day. Fortunately there are many more women to emulate and role model in this modern age. Unfortunately, many of these women are famous for being, well…famous.

In extreme cases…your kids or future spawn will be emulating the latter day queen of Sex, Tik and Kwaito (Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n Roll for the uninitiated). Yes, ladies and gentleman…her name is Kate Moss and according to Forbes she`s one of the most influential people today. *dramatic pause*

I really did a double take reading this. Look, I have not spawned and I cannot (first hand) speak about parenting, role modeling and the delicate balance kids have between reality and fantasy. But what I can tell you is that when I think of Krisma Boet`s 2 shorties, I feel extremely protective of the amazing and grounded women I would like them to be one day. As a result I freak out when I read that Ms. Moss is most influential with the 12 to 25 crowd (and that`s quite a huge demographic right there!). Now, correct me if I`m wrong…but Ms. Moss doesn`t have the most stellar track record. And, don`t get me wrong, Katie dear needs to live her life the best or worst way she knows how. Purely because it`s her life to make or break. But, I do have an issue with young kids holding her up to be a role model. How sick is that?

I am open-minded though…so, let`s have a look at this paragon of chastity and virtue. Who and what is this ‘enigma`? *spit*…

Firstly, Kate’s signature look. Every woman strives to emulate this when they roll out of bed each morning. We want to look unkempt, dishevelled and vampish. Brushing your hair is, of course, so passe. Secondly, all it took was an ad campaign revolving around Kate Moss in a checked bikini to revive the fortunes of British fashion house, Burberry. Burberry! Burberry of the very chic and proper British trench coats and brollies. That Burberry. Now it`s Burberry everywhere, but not a thing to wear. As for pirate boots, fur-lined wedge boots, suede boots, mukluks….For every time you see a pair of these plodding down the street, blame the bandy yet attractive legs of Kate Moss. I cannot shop for all the skinny jeans, waistcoats, ugg boots, oversize faux Balenciaga bags and weird spooky and too-big-for-your-face sunglasses in every single damn store. And I only have her to thank for it mostly because she was seen spotted wearing skinny jean`s, a waistcoat, huge sunglasses and an oversized Balenciaga three weeks ago. Do I look like I want to dress like every single other woman out there? Better yet….Do I look like I would remotely want to squeeze my curvacous body and booty into skinny jeans? So then, pray tell, where in all that is good and holy, have the bootcut jean`s gone?? Has the world gone MAD? What`s with the sudden assumption that all women are size 6….

I digress…

Pole Dancing – There really was no need for Kate Moss to be poledancing in a White Stripes video other than to satisfy a private fantasy of Sofia Coppola (nowadays it’s Quentin Tarantino satisfying such fantasies but let’s stop before the conversation gets any more uncomfortable). But writhe she did, and women turned up in droves to their local gentlemen’s clubs demanding to be instructed in the ways of the pole. Which I have no problem with. At all…but c`mon. Women have been poledancing for ages. They even get paid for it and stuff.

Before Kate Moss arrived on the scene, the word bohemian was only used to describe stoned layabouts who smelt badly. When Kate mixed something vintage with something new, something designer with something non-designer, bohemian chic became a fashion term. Now bohemian means a carefree quirky spirited girl with electic taste and tolerable hygiene. Alternatively, Kate proved last year that she is a bit of a stoned layabout afterall. And the world could breathe and order was restored.

In 2002 Lucian Freud, grandson of Sigmund Freud painted a life size nude portrait of a pregnant Kate Moss. It was hung at the Tate Gallery and renewed interest in museums generally. People started buying up nude paintings without abandon. In fact, many other existing portraits were in fact painted over to look nude to keep up with the demand. There were mutterings of the Mona Lisa being modernised into a nude as well..

Everybody knows somebody who lurches from wild parties to copious amounts of alcohol to chain-smoking to cocaine comas to rehab stints to junkie boyfriends and back again. That’s right, they’re not in some downward spiral, they’re channelling Kate Moss. And that`s a very cool bohemian thing to do. So don`t knock it till you`ve tried it.

Johnny Depp was at the height of his fame and appeal when he was dating Kate Moss. After they broke up, he quickly disappeared into the outskirts of Paris, resurfacing occasionally to make the occasional movie (and baby with Vanessa Paradis). It was not until he dressed up in black eyeliner, smoky eyeshadow, braids and pirate boots, adopting a look first popularised by Kate Moss, that he made a comeback in the most fabulous way possible.

Look in your wardrobe. Look all around you. Chances are that Kate Moss has worn it, consumed it, experienced it, talked about it or dated it first.

Ok, so I was a bit-tongue-in-cheek about it…but see my point. I don`t take away from Ms. Moss that she has great business acumen, she`s able to bounce back under enormous pressure (following that cocaine scandal… cocaine, what cocaine? Are you crazy. That`s powdered milk) and she can set a trend 5 years in advance. But…I will never call her fabulous because she`s extremely thin. I cannot call someone with that lifestyle a fabulous mother. And I cannot call her a fabulous role-model. But guess what…it`s not her problem. It`s her life. She`s living it. Right or wrong.

I blame the media. But moreover …I blame the parents, the aunts and uncles. Do we take an active role in encouraging good role modelling for the spawn…or do we take a backseat and allow our kids to emulate the likes of Kate Moss and her very trashy beau.

I`d like to think we`re getting clever about it- but, sadly, that might be wishful thinking on my part. The ideal situation is to be a good role model for your kid or the kids around you….barring that, encouraging postive resonance with people of good character, who make good decisions, who are known because they contribute and not just because they are. People who are kind, generous, warm, tolerant…the list goes on.

You know, those things we strive to be. The type of men and women we want our shorties to be one day.

Ek se maar net…

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