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.