Entertainment Celebrity Why Miranda Kerr’s sex life comments are irritating
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Why Miranda Kerr’s sex life comments are irritating

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· Is ‘Brand Miranda Kerr’ falling apart?
· Miranda wants ‘to explore’ her sexuality
· 
Miranda Kerr and Orlando Bloom separate on good terms

About a year ago, my dear friend, accomplished fashion blogger and all round amazing person (I’m not biased at all) Phoebe Montague, aka Lady Melbourne, interviewed Miranda Kerr while she was in Melbourne spruiking a beauty product.

The piece Phoebe published on her blog was less gushing fluff about shampoo and more a thoughtful and very revealing look into the Miranda Kerr “machine”- the requests from her PR team that all questions be submitted, vetted and pre-approved, the constant entourage, the manufactured nature of any media that Miranda does and the attempts to shut the interview down at the first hint of a question that strayed into more personal territory. (Read more here and here)

With this in mind, it was with a fair dose of cynicism and eye rolling that I read excerpts of Miranda’s new interview with GQ, which have been breathlessly reported with headlines along the lines of MIRANDA WANTS TO HAVE SEX WITH GIRLS, alongside naked photos from the accompanying shoot.

What really bothers me is that in a few neat sentences, Miranda Kerr has managed to sum up so much of what is problematic in the way our society views and in turn portrays women.

On the topic of her sexuality, Kerr said: “I love the female body and truly appreciate the female form… I definitely need a man in the bedroom, however — a nice strong chest to lie on. Still, I want to explore… One-night stands aren’t my thing. I made Orlando wait six months until I even kissed him.”

“I always ask for a critique on my performance. I always want to better myself in every way. The older I get, the more confident I am about asking for things I enjoy. One thing I’ve noticed is now that I’m having less sex my body isn’t as toned. The more sex I have, the more defined my arms and stomach get.”

GQ
Photo: GQ

Apparently having sex on planes was also an important component of this interview, with Miranda saying “Let’s put it this way, I’ve had an orgasm in the air before. Alone. And together.”

Considering how carefully Miranda controls her image, and how closely the team around her would have controlled this interview, the whole exercise strikes me a wildly manipulative, calculated and cynical attempt at getting people talking, making headlines and further reinforcing Miranda’s image (as if we didn’t already know she was an incredibly attractive, successful underwear model).

But image manipulation aside, this interview is illustrative of much deeper, more fundamental issues in the way we perceive and value female sexuality.

I mean, props where they are due, sure. It can’t be easy managing to paint yourself as sexually available (but not too available) and possibly bisexual, but needy of a man in the bedroom, and also eager to please and unthreateningly coquettish, all in a couple of carefully crafted sentences. That takes skill, right? Maybe all those PR people really are doing their job after all.

I respect women’s right to do and say as they please. Truly, I’m not of the “if you aren’t my kind of feminist, you aren’t a feminist” ilk and I’m definitely not into criticising anyone for commenting on their sexual proclivities, per se. Like, it’s her life, right? She can do and say whatever she wants and it doesn’t hurt anyone… right?

What really bothers me is that in a few neat sentences, Miranda Kerr has managed to sum up so much of what is problematic in the way our society views and in turn portrays women.

It’s the message that it’s not about being funny, or being kind, or being smart, or being insightful, or being ambitious, or being strong- what’s really important is looking really good in a wet singlet top and giggling about how much you love men taking charge in the bedroom.

Her comments reinforce this pervasive ideology that women’s sexuality is something they have, and use, and give up, as if it is something separate to them as a human, and not stitched into the fabric of their identity in an incredibly complex and nuanced and beautiful way.

The truth is, female sexuality is far more interesting and multi-faceted than this one-dimensional, cloying “cool girl” parody created by the media culture we live in.

There is this great soliloquy in the book Gone Girl that is illustrative of this very stereotype. It reads, in part:

“Men always say that as the defining compliment, don’t they? She’s a cool girl… Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Men actually think this girl exists. Maybe they’re fooled because so many women are willing to pretend to be this girl… I’d want to sit these men down and calmly say: You are not dating a woman, you are dating a woman who has watched too many movies written by socially awkward men who’d like to believe that this kind of woman exists and might kiss them. There are variations to the window dressing, but believe me, he wants Cool Girl, who is basically the girl who likes every thing he likes and doesn’t ever complain.”

While I don’t subscribe to the notion that “all men” desire this kind of unfettered, uncomplicated sexuality, there is no doubt that that’s the girl the media likes to show us. That’s the girl we see when we flick through magazines. That’s the girl who stares down at us from every billboard and from every advertisement. That is the girl who is overwhelmingly portrayed in pop culture.

The truth is, female sexuality is far more interesting and multi-faceted than this one-dimensional, cloying “cool girl” parody created by the media culture we live in.

It is easy to dismiss this as unimportant, and there are far greater battles that women are fighting than arguing over a lascivious nude photoshoot in a men’s magazine. In the relentless media cycle, this is just another story, which will be quickly replaced.

But it is all part of a much more complex and varied continuum in which women are defined by their sexuality, which plays out in our society ways large and small.

And I don’t think that is unimportant.

When this narrow set of values seeps into every story we are told, over and over, sometimes it can be hard to tune out the noise.

It can be hard to remember that there is far, far more to being a woman- far more to life- than being hot, or having great hair, or looking really good with no makeup and being everything, and nothing, all at the same time.

What are your thoughts?

This article appears courtesy of The Peach.

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