Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Raised expectations

For the last 25 years Tom Cruise has been at the top of his game, ever since he first danced in his underwear to Bob Seger's 'Old Time Rock n Roll'. In the decades that followed, he managed to find crowd-pleasing roles that enabled him to stretch his skills whilst continuing to up his cost-per-movie. But as his star rose, his accessibility seemed to fade, reaching a nexus point where he became more icon than human being.

After failed marriages to Mimi Rogers and Nicole Kidman, he surprised the world (and Oprah in particular) when he declared his love for ex-Dawson's Creek alumnus Katie Holmes, in a gymnastic display of couch abuse that would have DFS workers crying into their scatter cushions.

When Katie announced that she was pregnant, cynics expressed surprise that Tom had it in him, or more importantly, that he ever had 'it' in her. But nine short months later, out popped Suri with a full head of hair (and probably an agent).

Now, three years later, Suri is back in the public eye, and she's certainly making the most of her profile. Displaying a tabloid-friendly persona that makes Paris Hilton look like Nell, the toddler has got the tabloids falling over themselves to cover her every move.

The current media obsession is with Suri's footwear, since recent photos have showcased a shoe collection that would make Sarah Jessica Parker consider infanticide. Questions are currently being asked about whether it's appropriate for a three year-old to be wearing 'high heels', despite the fact that the shoes themselves are about as high as an Osmond at a Christening.

Of course, it doesn't help that Tom and Katie have also allowed Suri to experiment with lipstick, nail varnish and accessories, as well as swigging from a Starbucks cup. Maybe it's not appropriate for a pre-schooler to try out make-up or develop a caffeine dependency.

The thing is, children have always tried to emulate their parents' behaviour. Little girls will always want to copy the things they see grown-ups doing, from tottering around in ill-fitting heels to applying mascara and picking out handbags. I just think it's nice that Tom is prepared to share that kind of quality time with his daughter.

Despite all the media coverage, there is a silver lining to this story - other than the fact that Suri is likely to develop the calf-muscles of an Eastern European shot-putter. Not only has Katie Holmes managed to win the argument about her daughter's education, Suri is also likely to hold on to the coveted title of 'hottest tot' - possibly the most inappropriate accolade anyone could hope to achieve.

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