Thursday, 26 November 2009

An overcoat sensation

In our modern media-saturated world, the concept of celebrity has expanded to the point where the word itself is no longer specific enough to describe the subject in question. For instance, Lauren Bacall and Kate Lawler are both celebrities, but there's a spectacular gulf between the two of them.

There's an urban legend that eskimos have countless words for snow. It's all bullshit of course, but the principle behind the metaphor is sound. As a culture obsessed with celebrity, we need an extended vocabulary to encapsulate the sliding scale of status - something more relevant and specific that the A, B and C-list. Especially since some of the celebrities clogging up our list are so far off the regular latin-based alphabet that technically we need to start introducing special characters into the mix.

Case in point - here's Wang Zifei, the unfortunately named but strikingly attractive 'ampersand-lister' who has shot to international fame thanks to her talent for disrobing behind world-leaders. Some people have to sing for their supper, others spend ten weeks in a Carphone Warehouse sponsored-asylum in order to secure their fame. However, this violin-playing, TV-hosting actress 'unwittingly' transformed herself into Little Red Riding Hot, by slowly taking off her eye-catching crimson coat right behind Barack Obama as he spoke about internet rights in China.

Reminding people of the little girl in Schindler's List, or the spooky ghost child in Nicolas Roeg's Don't Look Now, Wang's bright red overcoat overshadowed everything else in the room, like Liz Hurley at someone else's wedding. As a consequence, she's now become an overnight sensation, with China Daily reporting that a Google search for 'Obama girl in red coat' turns up nearly seven million results.

The unwitting internet star has taken to her her blog to defend her actions, and downplay suggestions that she was attention seeking. Addressing accusations of self-promotion, the pretty student argues that anyone looking for fame would want greater longevity than the momentary notoriety that comes from wearing a loud jacket.

Ultimately, the idea of someone becoming a globally recognised face for little more than her choice in outerwear is preposterous. But it's still refreshing to know that, in a world where Jodie Marsh is a household name, some women can command the world's attention without needing to show their landing strip.

No comments:

Post a Comment