July 1923, 1999
Most Valuable Playmate
When U.S. women’s soccer player Brandi Chastain took her shirt off on worldwide television, revealing what is now the planet’s only famous sports bra, she might have expected the endorsements to start pouring in. At the very least, she might have counted on a Nike ad, considering that the bra in question was unmistakably swooshed. But apparently, her fit set of abs wasn’t quite the money shot Nike was looking for.
Chastain, who struck her somewhat controversial pose after scoring the winning penalty kick in the Women’s World Cup (like you didn’t know), won’t be in any of the print ads Nike has planned for its new Inner Actives sports bra. Instead, the company has chosen to go with a frontal shot of a bare-breasted woman neither a model nor a soccer player along with the question, “After years of exercise, what kind of shape will your breasts be in?” The ad has some magazine publishers a little skittish.
“There’s a very good chance [magazines containing this ad] would be pulled off the newsstands,” Conde Nast’s Catherine Viscardi Johnston told Ad Age. Johnston told the same thing to Nike, which has promised to produce an alternate “newsstand” version in which the woman’s nipples are obscured by hair or hands (her hands, presumably). Seventeen is one magazine that’ll go with the tamer version of the ad. “Our research tells us that young women are uncomfortable with nudity,” said Lori Burgess, the magazine’s publisher. Which brings us to . . .
God Save the Clean
A quintet of Republican Congressmen banded together this week in an attempt to save the Child Online Protection Act, the all-but-dead 1998 law that would make it a crime for a commercial website to publish sexually explicit material. Passed last September in the same week that House Republicans released the sexually explicit Starr Report online, COPA was ruled unconstitutional in February by a federal district court. Unbowed, the Congressmen, led by GOP presidential candidate Sen. John McCain of Arizona, have asked a federal appeals court to overturn that judgment.
COPA defines “sexually explicit material” as “any communication, picture, image, graphic image file, article, recording, writing, or other matter of any kind that . . . depicts, describes, or represents, in a manner patently offensive with respect to minors, an actual or simulated sexual act or sexual contact.” In a twenty-eight-page amicus brief to the appeals court, the Congressmen contend that “tens of thousands of sites sell pornography. Most openly allow children, as well as adults, to view hard-core and soft-core porn pictures . . . even when searching for innocent material such as ‘teen,’ ‘boy,’ ‘girl,’ ‘toy,’ ‘pet,’ etc.”
A Yahoo! search for the word “pet” yields seventy separate categories. Alas, not a one contains links to pornography.
A pair of nurses in Arizona has become the talk of the docs not to mention the orderlies after their pay-per-view adult website was discovered by fellow staff members at Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Hospital. According to Reuters, George and Tracy Miller, who’ve been married for fourteen years, have been stuffing their kids’ college funds by stuffing each other online. But ever since colleagues began calling up the site on hospital computers, the Millers, who are on-call, have found that their hospital beepers don’t sound as often as they used to. “It’s just so frustrating that they can do this,” Tracy Miller said. “It’s none of their business what we do when we’re not at work.” But a hospital spokesman argued otherwise, citing a policy under which employees can be disciplined for “immoral or indecent conduct on or off duty.” The Millers say they’ll battle to keep their jobs. Both of them. “We’re not giving up,” George Miller said, “I’ll fight this until my heart stops.”
A Makeover in Every Pot?
In a time when cynicism about government eats away at our societal fabric, it’s heartening to find a politician who can demonstrate true compassion for the people. And yet, an Islamic opposition party leader in Malaysia has come under fire recently for speaking out on behalf of one of his more downtrodden constituencies: unattractive women.
Specifically, Nik Aziz Nik Mat feels employers should make more of an effort to hire the homely. The theory is that pretty women have assets other than money, and therefore don’t need the work as much as their unsightly sisters. “Pretty women have already been endowed with looks,” said Nik Aziz, who claims that he himself has made it a point to employ uncomely women in eastern Kelantan state, where he’s a chief minister in opposition Parti Islam Se-Malaysia. “[Hotties] usually end up having rich husbands. It’s the women who don’t have the looks that we should give a little help. We give them jobs, so they can have money.”
Quotes of the Week
“Imagine yourself in a long skirt with a pale face and no hairdo. My husband will surely dump me!”
A Bangkok policewoman, objecting to a ban on short skirts, dyed hair and makeup for female officers.
“Imagine that after being rich, famous and well-known around the world, they’re put in jail. Don’t you think it would be a pretty tough blow?”
Attorney Francisco Gastelum, explaining why his pop star client Gloria Trevi and her former manager have gone into hiding after allegations they lured underage girls into sex.