2B 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 worldwide transmissions THE ASSOCIATED PRESS 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 brassieres. 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 exposed. 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- walk. 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 impersonator. 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 & Tfeller. 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 together. “I love my brother, he’s always been part of my life,” states Cronetta. “I want to be adopted into the same family with Robert.” 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 MECKLENBURG COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES YOUTH AND FAMILY SERVICES DIVISION 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\'waarp.org/nc.