Diana, still our goddess of beauty
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