I know this is a few months old, but I had to say something about it…
In the June issue of the insanely popular women’s mag Glamour, former Sex and City starlet and fashion icon, Sarah Jessica Parker (SJP) was asked to talk about a pressing issue—clothes. In the feature story, “Guess Who Loves Cheap Chic? Sarah Jessica Parker,” she chatted about her new Steve and Barry’s clothing line Bitten. Her American classic inspired designs are a mere $19.98 per item, come in sizes 2-22 and range from cuffed shirtdresses, bright colored hoodies, and grey cotton business suits. Based on the notion that “a sweater shouldn’t cost more than your groceries,” her line is geared toward working and middle class women who want be trendy and well put together without spending a fortune.
The interview started off like any other: the genesis of Bitten, her husband Mathew Broderick, her toddler James Wilkes and her less than fabulous upbringing living on welfare in Ohio. Then it took a bizarre turn. The interviewer, Bob Morris [Surprise! He’s a man] asked her “Do you think that stylists should be celebrities?” SJP replied, “I am very distressed by the sensationalism of everything. And look at how celebrities are acting now a days: People are getting attention for doing nothing, for behaving badly, for abusing themselves in public and being abused, exploiting themselves.” Morris then posed the question, “You don’t think it can be funny?” SJP didn’t think so. “In the last six months, how many women have we seen destroyed themselves?” She has a point—remember Paris, Britney, Mischa, Nicole and Lindsay? Morris, I guess taken off guard by her strong words, attempted to steer the conversation back to fluff by telling her, ”This is getting too serious, let’s get back to clothes.” SJP, painfully self-conscious and humble, laughed and said, “I’m sorry.” [Ironically, Glamour’s June issue was the Heroes Issue, which celebrated women committed to transforming their community and creating change.]
I understand that for six seasons, SJP played a character void of any real political convictions. Carrie Bradshaw was consumed by Manolo Blahnik slingbacks, unavailable men, cosmos and Vogue. And I also understand that those obsessions and her face are permanently etched together in the American cultural imagination. But FYI: SJP is a real person with real opinions. To stifle her because she sounds slightly feminist—the opposite of what people might expect—is utterly ridiculous. Interestingly, Morris didn’t shift the focus back to clothes, but pressed to know whether she supports Hillary or Obama. I guess that sort of politics is less threatening.
To add to the horror, the chat rounds out with the most shocking question ever asked in the history of celebrity interviews: “Did you ever worry about what you were going to wear on your date with JFK Jr.?” [Gasp!] Surprisingly, she answered the question with what I assume to be a pleasant attitude. [Note to Morris: JFK Jr. died in a tragic plane crash with his wife Carolyn Bessette and his sister-in-law Lauren Bessette in 1999. Not to mention, SJP has been married to her husband for the past ten years.]It’s nice to know that no matter what you accomplish—an twenty-five year plus acting career, half a dozen accolades and a successful perfume line—you will always be remembered for a famous dead boyfriend you dated ions ago for a couple of months.
Celebs, here is my advice if you want to don’t want to be hushed in the glossies: If you haven’t recently adopted an AIDS orphan from Africa, attended an abortion rally, or called Bush an idiot on the record, stick to more expected non-controversial topics like bikinis vs. boy briefs, Pilates vs. Capoeira, and Hybrids vs. gasoline dependant cars. You can never go wrong with that.