I am only slowly recovering from a venture into Humanworld.
Last night, I took a visitor from a distant European swamp to see the Golden State Warriors play the Orlando Magic.
Our evening was delightful, save for several employees of a certain tech company (Oh, aren’t all employees of tech companies certain? Let’s just say they do business with Salesforce.com) who whined their way through the whole evening.
They whined about work (A lot. And it was very dull. Why can’t corporations make their politics interesting?). They whined about the basketball a little. And then one of them whined about the big issue of the day.
Jennifer Love Hewitt’s bottom.
In case this Richter-breaking rumble has somehow escaped you, Ms. Love Hewitt was captured on film by a wily photographer (no doubt working for a corporation with very dull politics) cavorting in the sea with her new lover, a skinny little Scottish chappie called James McEvoy.
The picture that froze the world (and I refuse to print it here on principle. Go to tmz.com if you need a bottom fix) was a shot of Ms. Love Hewitt’s posterior.
It appeared to be a rather pale version of one of my mother’s less successful cakes, stretchy, misshapen and not entirely edible.
Now I know those words might offend a few people (but not American Idol’s Chris Sligh, who appears to have a mighty graceful grasp of the realities of life, as well as, no doubt, a bottom not dissimilar to Ms. Love Hewitt’s), but I am truly making a serious point here.
Human beings have become more obsessed with their bodies than Hillary Clinton is obsessed with power.
I will never fail to recollect the experience of an old girlfriend who wandered into a changing room to try on a pair of jeans. When she discovered that her lower half had migrated away from a size 8, she screamed so loud that I thought Bono had slipped in there with her.
She was angrier than Larry Craig when he discovered, in a private moment in a lonely bathroom stall in Idaho, that he might, indeed, have a small predilection for, well, someone else in a lonely bathroom stall in Idaho.
I wandered for a brief moment into her changing room, just to check whether a strangled Bono might be lying on the floor, when I saw that not only was there a mirror the size of Kansas in there, but that it magnified every blemish, every piece of overextended skin and evey hair she had failed to shave on the upper part of her leg.
Have we, in fact, underestimated the true effect on our already delicate psyches of our own physical image?
Please think about this very carefully the next time you are in the office bathroom. Or Idaho.
Are Arnold Schwarznegger and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson uniquely talented individuals? Or do they simply look in the mirror in the morning and love what they see? Might this explain the ascendance of Nicolas Sarkozy, Tony Blair and, well, Barbara Walters?
And might it just as accurately explain the decline of Britney Spears?
How many Pond visitors have EVER loved what they see when their being is confronted with full-length reflective glass?
Mirrors exist to make bodies, and therefore doubts, larger.
Perhaps we should ban them. Perhaps we should drive those vile mirror manufacturers underground, forcing them to produce these evil pieces of furniture in outposts such as Colombia and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
And while we’re at it, let’s ban the manufacture of cameras too.
If we could be encouraged to look at ourselves less and at others more, might there not be a chance that the world could be a slightly more altruistic place?
Might it not be just a tinge wonderful to hear that every single plastic surgeon had gone out of business overnight?
Might it not be at the very least a relief to get up, put clothes on and think only of the day ahead rather than how much wobble is going on behind?
I know I might be asking for the impossible.
But surely this would be better than poor Jennifer Love Hewitt, who was so moved by the interest from the rumpenproletariat that she was forced to write a blog to declare the following:
This is the last time I will address this subject.
I’ve sat by in silence for a long time now about the way women’s bodies are constantly scrutinized. To set the record straight, I’m not upset for me, but for all of the girls out there that are struggling with their body image.
A size 2 is not fat! Nor will it ever be. And being a size 0 doesn’t make you beautiful.
What I should be doing is celebrating some of the best days of my life and my engagement to the man of my dreams, instead of having to deal with photographers taking invasive pictures from bad angles.
I know what I look like, and so do my friends and family. And like all women out there should, I love my body.
To all girls with butts, boobs, hips and a waist, put on a bikini — put it on and stay strong.
May I let those words hang in today’s air like yesterday’s washing after a particularly acidic rain.
Jennifer Love Hewitt would like you to know (er, I think she means ‘believe’) that she is a size 2 and I would like you to know that when I turned around last night and saw what the whiners behind me looked like, I realized that there are, indeed, faces in this world that look like Jennifer Love Hewitt’s bottom.
So you see, if there were no mirrors and no cameras, if the world became less obsessed with looks, I would not have made such a gratuitously unpleasant though, to my mind’s little eye, accurate statement about another human being.
I would have simply called him an asshole.
I think I’ll go to Church now.