"Look, Mama, she's naked!"
I'm waiting in line at the newsstand with my very observant
2-year-old daughter, and she is pointing to Rolling Stone magazine.
On the cover is 21-year-old singer Christina Aguilera, sprawled
on a red velvet blanket. She is wearing black leather boots, black nail
polish, one studded bracelet, ratty hair extensions, and as my child has so
innocently noted, nothing else. Aguilera's privates are strategically hidden
behind a guitar; her backside is tastelessly, tritely, exposed.
The article lays bare all the silly, sordid details of
Aguilera's new album (appropriately titled "Stripped"), her new hardcore
music video (titled "Dirrty," with an extra "r" thrown in for, you know,
edge) and her transformation from bubble-gum, Mickey Mouse Club member to
foul-mouthed vixen. The young woman who once sweetly warbled the theme song
to the Disney movie "Mulan," now grunts and writhes in a thong and kneepads,
thrusting herself onto every moving object in her way, while "singing" the
Ah, dirrty (dirrty)
Nasty, you nasty (yeah)
Too dirrty to clean my act up
If you ain't dirrty
You ain't here to party (woo!)
DJ's spinning (show your hands)
Let's get dirrty (that's my jam)
I need that, uh, to get me off
Sweat until my clothes come off
In a pathetic attempt to prove that this is not just a
made-for-TV act, Aguilera has been spotted around New York City re-enacting
her "Dirrty" video in popular nightclubs. The New York Post's gossip page
even launched a "Christina Aguilera Skank Watch," which tracked her recent
visits to local strip clubs, where she "got lap dances," "fondled the
breasts of a buxom stripper" and "was spotted cuddling with some sexy female
friends at a 'Drunk Love' party."
"F--- the pretty," Aguilera retorts when asked by the Rolling
Stone reporter about her tamer, younger years as a teen idol.
"F--- the dessert -- where's the tequila?" she exclaims, apropos
Aguilera's other favorite f-word is "flava." As in: "I want the
boys with the flava." Explaining why she doesn't usually date "white boys,"
Aguilera expounds with faux ghetto flair: "He's got to have some flava and
edge to him. I don't discriminate because of color. I actually dated my
first one recently. I put some cream in my coffee." Flava lover Aguilera
herself is paler than vanilla ice cream when not slathered in
coffee-colored, self-tanning lotion.
"I don't see anything wrong with being comfortable with my own
skin," Aguilera snaps defensively, as she strikes another gangsta pose and
shows off her ridiculous body piercings -- which Rolling Stone has
painstakingly diagrammed for the masses.
As I am returning the trashy magazine to the newsstand rack, my
toddler chirps in again: "Mama, where's her shirt?" I answer: "Her mama
forgot to tell her to put one on." My daughter, naturally, has a follow-up
question: "Well, where's her mama?!"
That's exactly the question I ask myself whenever we encounter
some young Aguilera look-a-like and her friends hanging out at the mall with
their thong straps glittering out in the open, their hip-huggers succumbing
perilously to the forces of gravity, their noses and eyebrows and tongues
marred with metal, and their faces plastered with red light district makeup.
Where were their mamas -- and dadas -- to teach them that slutty
is not sexy? Gutter talk is for vagrants, not for young ladies who want
respect from the world. Promiscuity isn't a sign of maturity. It's a sign of
self-loathing. Being "comfortable in your own skin" doesn't require having
to bare every last inch of it in public.
From Madonna, to Britney and Christina, to the under-dressed
teens at the mall, legions of girls have been raised to believe that letting
it all hang out is the only true path to womanhood. Christina Aguilera is a
sad symptom of this cultural zeitgeist. Stripped of her inhibitions and
sense of self-restraint, it's much too late for mama to put her
peep-show-profiteering daughter's shirt back on.
This naked truth cannot be disguised: The era of radical
feminist sexual liberation has produced a generation of shameless skanks.