Diana, still our god­dess of beauty

Miami Herald - - FRONT PAGE -

ing. Maybe if we keep re­liv­ing the story, the end­ing will be dif­fer­ent, but it never is be­cause worWhat

is it about the month of ship based on ex­ter­nals is al­ways Au­gust that finds so many bound to dis­ap­point. celebri­ties dy­ing? Beauty cov­ers a mul­ti­tude of

Just this month we’ve seen sins, and Diana, like all of us, had the pass­ing of Glen Camp­bell, plenty of them. We for­give her Barbara Cook, Dick Gre­gory mul­ti­ple af­fairs and her ma­nipuand Jerry Lewis. Thomas Meel­a­tive tac­tics be­cause we love her han, who wrote the book for looks. She makes us feel good the mu­si­cal “An­nie,” died last still. We de­sire her even in death. week. A decade ago, the fem­i­nist

Mar­i­lyn Mon­roe died in Auwriter Ger­maine Greer penned gust 1962 (though she “lives” on a dev­as­tat­ingly hon­est es­say for in so many ways). Elvis Pres­ley The Sun­day Times that pen­e­trat­died in Au­gust 1977. He, too, lives ed the makeup, the clothes, the on, though it now costs $28.75 jewels and the im­age: just to walk by his burial plot at ‘When Diana pre­sented her­self Grace­land. to her ador­ing public as a guile

Au­gust is also awash in im­less girl who fell in love with a ages and re­mem­brances of Dichap who just hap­pened to be ana, Princess of Wales, who died heir to the English throne, only in a car crash in Paris 20 years to have her in­no­cent young love ago, on Aug. 31, 1997. Chan­nel 4 spurned, she was act­ing a lie.’ in Bri­tain re­cently aired videoGreer says that in adult­hood tape of Diana, taken dur­ing sesDiana be­came ‘more, rather than sions with her voice coach, Peter less, de­vi­ous.’ It is a char­ac­ter Set­te­len, in which she dis­cussed as­sess­ment her ador­ing dis­ci­her fail­ing mar­riage and her af­ples are pre­pared to over­look. fair with for­mer Army Cap­tain And then Greer writes this exJohn He­witt. On the 10th an­plo­sive line: ‘ The story of how niver­sary of her death, I wrote she emerged from her dowdy a col­umn about Diana and the chrysalis to be­come the peocult of beauty. Those who wor­ple’s princess is of­ten told, but ship her im­age still re­mind me what is sel­dom as­sessed is just of those who once wor­shipped how much of a per­for­mance this false god­desses. Very­was.’lit­tle­has changed. We are pre­pared to be­lieve

“Diana is our god­dess of beaulies if they af­firm our deep­est ty. Her im­age on the cover of de­sire to feel good, if not about Peo­ple mag­a­zine guar­an­teed roour­selves, then about a god­dess bust sales. We can’t get enough of statue that can be as de­void of that face, the clothes, or the fairy spir­i­tual power as the false gods tale story with an un­happy end- cre­ated by pa­gan peo­ples.

Sup­pose Diana had been the mis­tress of Prince Charles and Camilla were his first wife. If Camilla and not Diana had been killed in that Paris tun­nel would the out­pour­ing of grief from peo­ple who never met her have been as great? Surely not.

No one cel­e­brates or el­e­vates plain­ness; less so, good­ness. Con­sider the power of the beauty cult . . . Ca­ble net­works em­ploy Bar­bie-doll wannabes who are blondes with short skirts and ap­par­ently lit­tle self-re­spect. They are all in­ter­change­able parts, vir­tu­ally in­dis­tin­guish­able from one an­other. Most speak in cliches and have trou­ble ad-lib­bing any­thing that isn’t writ­ten for them in the teleprompter, but the lip gloss and hair look great. They are the fan­tasies of ag­ing male man­age­ment and mid­dle-school boys, or am I be­ing re­dun­dant?

“The Diana cult will con­tinue un­til some­one younger with a bet­ter story re­places her. The public al­ways wants a bet­ter and younger story. Con­sider the mu­si­cal “Chicago,” when public at­ten­tion and fa­vor quickly pass from Velma Kelly to Roxie Hart and then to yet an­other woman with a more ex­cit­ing nar­ra­tive.

Ger­maine Greer con­cludes by writ­ing that Diana was a ‘des­per­ate woman seek­ing ap­plause.’ No won­der so many still love her, be­cause they are seek­ing the same thing.” Tri­bune Con­tent Agency

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