Friday, September 5, 2008

Jamie Lee Curtis has Nothing To Hide

I heard about this story a while ago & thought it was interesting so I decide I would post it. This article was written August 27, 2002 in the San Fransisco Chronicle. Jamie Lee Curtis has written several children's books on self esteem & says that it boosts her own self esteem.

JAMIE LEE CURTIS called more magazine a few months ago. She had an idea for a story and photo shoot. The result is in the issue that hits newsstands today. The actress is photographed in her underwear as she looks in the privacy of her own bedroom, without benefit of stylists, makeup or flattering camera angles.
Curtis, famously fit in movies such as "Perfect" and "True Lies," looks like what she is: a 43-year-old mother of two. Squishy in the middle. Chunky in the thighs. Flabby in the back. Thick at the knees and ankles.
On the next page of the magazine is another photograph. It's Glam Jamie, as Curtis calls her gussied-up self. She's gorgeous in a sleek black dress -- carefully chosen to elongate and slim her torso -- and sling-back heels with ankle ties. The magazine reveals, at Curtis's request, that the transformation took 13 people and three hours.
Obviously, it is no great revelation that movie and television stars hide their physical flaws from the public, that the perfection we see on film is a fantasy created through lighting, makeup, clever camera angles and gauzy lenses.
Yet Curtis's true-life photograph has created the loudest press buzz since the magazine began publishing four years ago. The story has been picked up everywhere from Liz Smith's gossip column and the "Today" show to MSNBC's "Nachman," CNN Headline News, the London Daily Telegraph and USA Today.
Because in 2002, more than three decades into the women's movement, it is still a radical act for a woman to accept her body as it is.
"We knew the article was important," said Susan Crandall, editor-in-chief of the magazine, targeted to women in their 40s and 50s. "But we didn't know how huge it would be. Even a 23-year-old assistant at the 'Today' show, after we were on last week, said that the article made her feel so much better about her body."
'Today' interviewer Campbell Brown seemed aghast at Curtis' boldness, as if being photographed as she really looks is more shocking than being photographed topless (as Curtis was in "Trading Places").
"There is no way I would sit down for a magazine photo shoot with no makeup,
no control tops, no wonder bra," Brown said to the actress. "Were you scared at all?"
"What I'm scared of is that that's what women have become accustomed to needing to feel good about themselves," Curtis replied. "And show business and media and magazines don't help by promoting these images of women that are completely airbrushed, that are completely altered, to then give you, the unsuspecting buyer, this fake sense of that that's what people are supposed to look like."
Curtis has just written her fifth children's book, "I'm Gonna Like Me: Letting Off a Little Self-Esteem," which is what prompted the idea for the photo.
"I felt that if I'm going to try to promote something where I'm trying to explain self-esteem to children, I needed to live it," she said on the "Today'' show. "And for me to live it means I need to be the person I look at every morning when I wake up and stand in the mirror, you know, kind of as God intended me to look."
The impossible ideal of the perfect body -- what we ought to look like -- has been etched in our brains since our first Barbie. One photo won't change that. But it is a reminder of where the revolution fell short. As we were getting the world to accept us for who we are, we never figured out how to accept ourselves.
This article appeared on page A - 21 of the San Francisco Chronicle


Brigham and Karmel Larson said...

Wow-fantastic post Natalie. I look forward to learning more from you and your blog over the next months and years. -karmel

Sean said...

really good post, really difficult to read. I had to copy the text out to a text program to read it clearly.