Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Anna Nicole in the Media

First Page Photos of Anna Nicole on Google Images
Anna Nicole Smith has often been characterized as a gold digger, a sexy playboy model, a fat lost case, and a dieter’s revolutionary icon. However, not once, until recently, did I even know she was a mother. Her reputation that had been created by the media is so phenomenal that even her death was tabloid news. Think about that, her death was so disrespected that it was featured in scandalous print.

Anna Nicole had two children, one that recently just passed away, and one that was just recently born. Her life as a playboy model was long down the drain yet every picture you see of her in news articles is of her when she was a playboy. While searching google images for her picture, I came across loads of naked pictures and not one of her and her children. I even came across a mug shot of her from years ago before one picture of her children popped up.

Another issue that has become automatic with the association of Anna Nicole is the idea of her weight. One article’s description of her clandestine pregnancy was “Does Anna Nicole Smith Have a Bun in Her Fluctuating Oven?” Even the mere mention of motherhood like characteristics was shot down with her portrayal by the media.

Once I did find out that Anna Nicole was indeed a mother it was due to her untimely death. It was not, however, due to the fact that the children were mentioned out of sympathy and respect. Her children were only referred to out of mockery and ridicule. Her son was referenced to when talking about rumors of a drug overdose which he had died from and her daughter was mentioned when talking about her “unknown” father. The fact that Anna Nicole’s word was not taken as truth about who her daughter’s father was is absurd and shows how desperate the media is for any given scandal.

Recently discussed in class was Courtney Love’s portrayal as a mother in media and how the world views her. One quote that coincides with Smith’s situation was “Love’s flaunting of her sexual nature rails against normative definitions of mothers’ sexuality” (Ladd-Taylor, 329). I am more than convinced that this very same characteristic, along with others, has condemned Anna Nicole as a mother for years simply due to her depiction through media.






2 comments:

Jessie said...

Katelyn-
I think you have a lot of really relevant issues in this post. It might have helped to focus your post less of them so that you could really get into one or two of these examples in a more in-depth manner.
I think that your own positionality in this issue (your articulation of finding images on google, not knowing certain facts and pieces of information on the non-sexualized, non-money, etc parts of her life) would make a great focus for analysis due to your reliance on the dominant/"mainstream" media for news--and what your findings are as a result.
To clarify a specific issue- her son first make news (quite a bit) for having died on the same day her daughter was born in the Bahamas...mainly because of the irony of death/birth on the same day, Anna Nicole-Smith's non-maternal fame status, and her daughter's birth happened seemingly out of nowhere, because she was "hiding out" in the Bahamas.
The only other issue that was really jumping off the screen as I read your post was that your conclusion isn't exactly a conclusion for the post...in fact, it seems like you're just ending the post arbitrarily.
With a paragraph like your conclusion (well, the last paragraph of your post...) it would have been helpful to use that as your intro to keep it focused on the most dominant issue in your post and because that issue is also the most relevant to course material. Therefore if you had:

Recently discussed in class was Courtney Love’s portrayal as a mother in media and how the world views her. One quote that coincides with Smith’s situation was “Love’s flaunting of her sexual nature rails against normative definitions of mothers’ sexuality” (Ladd-Taylor, 329). I am more than convinced that this very same characteristic, along with others, has condemned Anna Nicole as a mother for years simply due to her depiction through media.

You would then be able to write a very focused piece on the issue of sexuality, celebrity, motherhood, and Smith. The source's citation in the conclusion stands out because it needs more explaination (which is why I suggested putting the last paragraph in the place of the first) than you've given it here.

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