North Carolina Newspapers

LIFE/ tEJe CJarlotte
Tuesday, November 25, 2003
Nothing sexy about lingerie TV
Continued from page 1B
ed that he was paying
homage to the title of his new
CD, “Sacred Love,” as well as
sending the subliminal mes
sage that although he was
participating in Thong Fest
2003, he was not of it. Later,
when he performed with
Blige, the two made an incon
gruous couple. The svelte
Blige, in a ruched, moss-col
ored mtnidress that showed
off her tattoos, was ready for
a cocktail party; Sting was
stdl dressed for vespers.
The audience mostly
stared, slack-jawed, first at
the ceiling and then at the
stage, failing to produce the
cheering and whooping that
spectacles such as soaring
models and live musical per
formances ai'e intended to
stir up. Even when Sting
gamely began the rock star
clap, with hands slapping
rhythmically overhead, the
audience stubbornly refused
to play along. Some of the
enthusiasm may have been
blunted by the pre-show
cocktail party, where bar
tenders served a sugar-
rimmed red drink called the
“sexy flirt” — a stinging con
coction involving vodka and
pomegranate juice. But the
more likely explanation is
that the show, now in its
ninth year, simply isn’t as tit
illating as it once was. After
so many powdered butts and
boobs, the novelty of all that
high-priced flesh eventually
wears thin. Now, it’s all about
the feathers, the diamond-
studded bras and the wings.
Guests spent the cocktail
hour drinking on red velour
beds framed with canopies
and fringed draperies. The
pre-show bordello-style seat
ing afforded the opportunity
to catch sight of famous faces
— Ivana Trump in chinchilla,
Sean “P. Diddy” Combs with
out his Mohawk, David
Copperfield without a raison
Fewer AIDS
babies being
bom in
America, but
The World Health
Organization estimates that
about 800,000 infants
become infected with HIV
each year around the globe,
mainly through mother-to-
child transmission, which
can occur during pregnancy
and labor or after delivery
through breast mflk.
The problem is most acute
in developing nations, where
mothers have little access to
AIDS treatment: Health
experts say such transmis
sions could largely be pre
vented by drugs adminis
tered before, during and
immediately after birth.
That’s backed up by a dra
matic decrease in the number
d’etre. It also gave barrel
chested men time to get
puffed up with anticipation
and for overdressed women
to preen about in pushup
In the show space, with its
gilded chairs and phalanx of
photographers — standard
issue for any runway produc
tion — one couldn’t help but
consider how a fashion show
featuring top models in
skimpy, mid-priced under
wear differs from designer
fashion shows of more expen
sive products in which the
same nether regions are
With its 10-foot costume
wings, flying models, inter
ludes of Busby Berkeley
dancing girls and Bob Fosse
hip-thrusting, the show owes
much to Las Vegas, the
Broadway musical, Cirque
du Soleil and the traditions of
burlesque. It was a $6.5 mil
lion production, although the
compan/s spending record
was set in 2000, with a $10
milhon show in Cannes.
In its theatrics, the
Victoria’s Secret production is
similar to any number of
fashion shows that have been
produced in Paris over the
years in which high jinks
overshadow the clothes. But
there was a high-priced strip
club vibe at the Victoria’s
Secret show as well. As the
models strutted about in
their W-strings,” patent
leather lace-up boots and
marabou, one got the feeling
that the polite thing to do
was to have the boys in the
front row — Denzel
Washington, Pharrell
Williams, Donald TVump —
tuck a few $100 bills into the
lace-trimmed panties.
Instead of the usual fashion
crowd of gentlemen in a state
of boredom and women in the
throes of hunger, this audi
ence was packed with busi
ness-suited men who sat with
their legs splayed open in
that defiantly mannish way
and who spent their front-
row time concentrating on
the velocity of boob jiggle
rather than checking their
watches to see if they were
going to make it to the trendy
Schiller’s Liquor Bar before
the kitchen closed.
The models smiled and
blew kisses at the camera.
rather than glaring haughti
ly into the middle distance. It
would never do to have this
buffet of pert minxes intimi
dating the red-blooded boys
in Middle America who are
expected to fantasize about
nibbling the necks of models
Heidi Klum and lyra Banks.
Even Naomi Campbell’s typi
cally predatory expression
was softened so that she
looked like the sort of girl
who’d think it was a kick to
go bowling on a first date.
The models walked rather
than stalked down the run
way, with less of the high-
stepping equine strut and
more hip swiveling.
Jacquetta Wheeler made the
mistake of stomping out as if
she were showing off couture
- her tiny thighs jiggled from
the reverberations of her feet
crashing down on the cat-
The garments — scraps of
lace, bits of latex, swatches of
satin — neither smoldered nor
sizzled. Any sex appeal they
afforded was of the Elly May
Clampett variety. There was
an undeniable hick sensibili
ty at work in doUing up a
model in several yards of
powder blue tulle ruffles as
though she were a bride
being married by an Elvis
The show tried, unsuccess
fully, to recall the days when
pinup girls were idolized by
ruddy-cheeked boys with
buzz cuts. But those women
were sexy because of the pos
sibilities that their knowing
smiles suggested, because of
what was unseen beneath
their full-coverage briefs and
underwire bras. What’s being
offered now is a pricey lounge
act. All that was missing
were Celine Dion and Penn &
The models made an honest
effort to exude sensuality, but
their plastered-on g^s going
out to Middle America were
at odds with any suggestion
of the erotic or suggestive or
even sophisticated. The
Victoria’s Secret fashion show
isn’t sexy — unless one finds
something compelling about
a woman dressed up Uke Big
Bird. It doesn’t have to scorch
one’s sense of decency, but at
the very least it should sting
a little.
Really Works,
Advertising & Stories!
The Post readers are loyal and trustworthy,
but they will wait to make sure you are
going to last before knocking the door
down. But once they know you provide a good service, and are
going to be there, they are there too. Not only did the ads
work, but the stories pull in clients as well. After being featured
as the Lifestyles feature of the week, we could hardly handle the
business. Thank you to the staff of Wfie Ckatlotte
Sandy St^hen&Ov/ner
3203 Eastway Drive
Remount & West Bivd. - Opening in September
NOW OPEN, 101 Indian Trail Rd.
Kids advocate for other children
and themselves
E very child wants a
home” says 12
year-old Cronelta. “So
help the children in the
world because everybody
needs a parent."
Cronetta and her broth
er Robert, age 10 are
spokespeople for chil
dren in foster care who
are waiting for adoptive
families in Mecklenburg
neighborhoods. They
know what it feels like to
be waiting - they are
waiting for parents to
adopt them.
“Cronetta is insightful,
engaging, and outgoing
- she has a strong sense
Cronetta and Robert are two of many children waiting
to be adopted in Mecklenburg County.
of responsibility, appre
ciates guidance, and has
a positive outlook on
life,” says long-time
friend Evelyn Dillard.
“Robert has an engaging
smile, pleasant personal
ity and has a spe'cjal
interest in
music.” Both
Cronetta and
Robert sing
in the church choir
“I love my brother, he’s
always been part of my
life,” states Cronetta. “I
want to be adopted into
the same family with
If you are interested in
finding out more about
Cronetta and Robert or
other children awaiting
adoption, call Mecklenburg
County Department of
Social Services at 704-
336-KIDS (5437).
Communities for Families & Kids
We couldn’t be your voice
in Washington without being your
neighbor in North Carolina.
AARP. Creating change in our community.
From community service
programs to consumer
protection and nursing home
reform, AARP is working
hard to create positive social
change where it’s needed
most — in every community
We’re fighting to protect healthcare
for our most vulnerable citizens,
battling predatory lending, supporting
grandparents raising children and
advocating for prescription drug
assistance. Get in touch with us to
learn more and to find out how you
can help.
AARP North Carolina
TTte power to make ft bettor."
Call us at 919-755-9757 or visit our Web site at •wa\'

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