Monday, July 16, 2007

When Posh Spice told the L A Times today

"They dress down quite a lot here, don't they?" she asks. "It seems to be in keeping to go to Starbucks in track suit bottoms and Ugg boots."

It was the best possible thing she could do to differentiate herself from the crowd, pump up her marketability and pursue her dream of being photographed in America as often as possible.
In talking down to the American mainstream media about American culture, Posh has managed to tap into centuries of colonial and class anxiety that has never left the US since the War of Independence, despite the fact that the US actually won the war against the English. Americans can’t stand it when the English outwardly patronize them. They feel inferior to the English anyway but when they’re made to confront that fear they get resentful. IT’s that resentment that will get Posh media attention.

Of course, everything has to be in the right proportion for it not to backfire though. Reality TV is usually pretty good at profiting from exploiting the scale where offensiveness arbitrarily fluctuates between unacceptable and guilty pleasure. Posh can’t be a Hyacinth Bucket type character, she still has to toe the line with the LA aesthetic to stay in with the right people. Los Angeleans aren’t going to put up with a fat, fashionably inept, snow white complainer. They need to see tans, white teeth, maddeningly expensive gowns, sun bleached hair and cheekbones. That would explain her physically crippling diet of shopping, edamame and, if the LA Times feature is to be believed (and why wouldn’t it be?) apparently strawberries soaked in balsamic vinegar.

If Posh can strike a perfect balance between being a strongly opinionated, English accented sometimes fashionista who unapologetically points out the faults of Americans in the media she could potentially become a mixture of Anna Wintour and Paris Hilton for a select group of people in the US. It’s all equal parts smarmy patronizing, unreachable access to status through money and fashion and gutter level, general, maximized physical appeal. Of course, seeing as she has gold taps with jewels encrusted in them in her bathrooms and a million dollar TV, there’s a certain amount of class and taste that she’ll never have but that shouldn't really pose a problem. [source]

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