The naked truth

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Front Page -

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.



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.’’

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