The naked truth
FOR six years, ever since a tourism campaign blazed on to our screens with a bikini- clad blonde asking prospective tourists ‘‘ so where the bloody hell are you?’’, Lara Bingle’s every stumble has been chronicled.
She’s been labelled famous for being famous, bagged for her high- profile romances and controversial break- ups, questioned about her weight, her driving, her magazine persona and fashion choices.
It’s easy to label Bingle a car crash – and she’s had a few of those too.
So why on earth would the 24- year- old want to be part of a reality television show?
‘‘ Because there are two sides to every story,’’ says Bingle, just weeks into shooting
Being Lara Bingle.
‘‘ There’s the way the media portray me to be – and sometimes that’s portrayed correctly, and sometimes it’s completely not me – and then there’s what I really am.
‘‘ The incentive for doing this show was to just be me, and to have control, to say: ‘ This is me, this is what I want out there’.’’
Filming of the eight 30- minute episodes has, as always with Bingle, provided plenty of tabloid fodder.
Barely a day goes by without Bingle making headlines in gossip columns.
Recently there was the nude photo scandal, in which she was snapped by paparazzi nude in the Bondi apartment she, brother Joshua, and best friend and manager Hermione Underwood have moved into for filming of the show.
Bingle maintained she was just closing the curtains on the way to her cupboard from the shower. Critics suggested it was a publicity stunt to create buzz for the show.
Bingle says the incident – and filming the show – has reminded her that when you choose to court the media, there is always somebody watching.
‘‘ In the past I haven’t been aware of so many eyes on me,’’ she says, laughing ruefully. ‘‘ Maybe being more aware of that would have been handy six years ago. But then I wouldn’t be where I am today.’’
Bingle’s critics say her future rides on the success of the show. She counters that it will be a success if she achieves her aim of ‘‘ humanising’’ herself to audiences.
‘‘ Even my brother doesn’t know what I do,’’ she laughs. ‘‘ It’s risky, definitely. I’m the guinea pig, and that’s all right because I am a risk- taker.’’
She concedes she has been burned ‘‘ completely, a lot of times’’ by life in the public spotlight. So why go there willingly?
‘‘ Finally this felt right. I trust the production company, Eyeworks, to show me in the light I envisioned,’’ she says.
Bingle promises the show will be warts and all – chronicling ‘‘ hurdles’’ she hits while filming.
‘‘ There are three things that are supposed to be the most stressful in your life – moving house, starting a new job and getting a divorce – and I did the first two of those in the first week,’’ she says.
The nude photo scandal followed, Bingle marked the anniversary of her father’s death and then her former fiance, Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke, married model Kyly Boldy in secret.
DEBBIE SCHIPP BEING LARA BINGLE, TDT, Tuesday, 8pm
SPOTLIGHT: Lara Bingle says a chance at ‘‘ humanising’’ herself ‘‘ felt right’’.
Six years in the spotlight have given Bingle a thick skin and she isn’t planning to flee public life.
‘‘ If I was going to run away it was going to be a long time ago,’’ she says.
‘‘ The barbs can hurt. Yes, sometimes I cry. I’m 24. I’ve made mistakes. But I also have grown up quickly. I feel like I’ve lived two lives to some degree.’’