Asher is a great actor and that’s all we need to know
IAM ashamed to admit I clicked on the link to that Asher Keddie story this week. Knowing our paper had knocked back overpriced paparazzi pictures of Keddie given their complete lack of news value, I was intrigued to see what kind of spin a rival website publication could possibly put on a new mother having a sneaky ciggie at the park with her husband.
After all, she was in the open air. Her baby, Valentino, was nowhere near and she’s, you know, an adult and perfectly capable of making her own decisions about her own health. With all that in mind, I failed to see how Keddie’s habit could be of interest to anyone, let alone salacious enough to be worthy of tabloid fodder?
And then I read the headline.
“Makeup-free new mother Asher Keddie smokes rolled-up cigarettes with husband Vincent Fantauzzo in a desolate park two days in a row after giving birth in March,” it screeched in judgment.
So it appears Keddie’s crime was to not only smoke the occasional cigarette, but to do it without having the decency to put on a bit of lippy for two whole days. Worse still, she’s a mother. What a disgrace. Someone should take back her Gold Logie.
I know we are now living in a celebrity-obsessed culture where every move of the rich and famous is scrutinised for entertainment, but have we sunk to this?
There will be some puritans who argue Keddie is breastfeeding and therefore her body should remain a temple until her child is weaned. Sure, smoking is not an ideal thing to be doing but neither is drinking coffee and plenty of sleep-deprived mums wouldn’t be able to function without their caffeine hit from a good strong, latte in the morning.
Anyway, this wasn’t a story aimed at raising awareness about wider health issues of smoking while breastfeeding, it was quite simply just an elaborate excuse to shame a famous mother.
Don’t get me wrong, there have been times in the past where celebrities being caught smoking had legitimate news value.
When Shane Warne was snapped smoking in 1999 it made headlines. And rightly so. He had been paid a reputed $200,000 by Nicorette to give up smoking but succumbed to temptation.
Likewise, a case can be made for publishing shots of Chrissie Swan lighting up because she was pregnant at the time and so she was sprung doing the wrong thing. And celebrities are meant to be role models right?
But is simply smoking sans makeup in a poncho in the park worthy of critical reporting?
No. Let’s face it, plenty of people smoke.
Even I used to smoke. I regret it a lot, except when I have a few drinks and then I long to light up again. Many of my friends smoke and some of them are — shock horror — mums just like Keddie. The chief difference being that they are not on the TV so nobody cares if they choose to take a puff.
I have always loved a bit of celebrity gossip. I used to look forward to my visits to the hairdresser because they gave me the chance to pore over the magazines without interruption. But in recent years I have found myself becoming increasingly bored by what’s being offered up as news. Whole editions devoted to celebrity sweat patches (yes, seriously). Stars without makeup. Or looking too fat. Or too thin. They are chastised for having too much surgery, or being in need of a good nip/tuck. No matter what they do, they can’t win.
And, you know what, we don’t win either because all this scrutiny of already beautiful and successful people sure doesn’t make us regular folk feel any better about ourselves when we look in the mirror.
I’m going to boycott the magazines and websites that zero in on Cameron Diaz’s pimples and call it news. Because it’s not. And frankly, I don’t care whether Keddie smokes or drinks scotch or exists on a diet of carrots and Twisties.
I think she’s a terrific actor. And smoking hot — even in a poncho.