Nerve Counsels: Forget Paris

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I'm late in blogging it, but Nerve's Rachel Shukert has a great piece on America's failure to compete in the celebutante sector:

They are the Three Graces of the British tabloids, products of a country that has managed to yield both Dame Maggie Smith and Jack the Ripper. They are women so ferociously exhibitionist that Paris Hilton could post a film of her own pelvic exam on YouTube and seem positively demure in comparison. I am speaking, of course, of Jodie Marsh, Jade Goody, and the incomparable Jordan.

Paris Hilton catches a lot of flak for not having some kind of marginal music or film abilities like her celebrity sisters. It seems to annoy people that she isn't famous "for something," as if her genius for staying in the pages of US Weekly weren't enough. Shukert's insight is that Hilton isn't even that good at being pointlessly famous. Compared to her British counterparts, it's as if she isn't even trying. Jordan Katie-Price is an illustrative case study in how American celebs are underperforming:

Jordan's notoriety quickly grew, along with her bra size (after a series of augmentations, she grew from an estimated 32B to a mind-boggling, 34 FF). When questioned, she was typically philosophical: "Some people may be famous for inventing the pencil sharpener. I'm famous for my tits." She entered into a series of surprisingly high-profile relationships with footballers and TV gladiators, and perhaps most famously singer Dane Bowers of the British boy-band Another Level. Their relationship ended with a highly publicized abortion, and a suicide attempt she later admitted to…

Her son Harvey, from her volatile relationship with footballer Dwight Yorke, was not only biracial, but blind and autistic (take that, Angelina!) She was diagnosed with finger cancer. She resumed using her given name, Katie Price. She married the Australian singer Peter Andre after they fell in love on the U.K. version of I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! (during which she also irreversibly alienated John Lydon, a.k.a. Johnny Rotten — ah, how the mighty have fallen!) She gave birth to their son, Junior, via televised C-section on their subsequent reality show, When Jordan Met Peter, and sure, while that sounds tacky, it was actually kind of sweet.

NEXT: Nock, Nock. Albert Jay's Here.

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  1. Celebutante? I prefer the Gawker-coined “Celebutard” myself.

  2. Being famous in Britain is like being famous in Cleveland, not that impressive given the options are you, bad teeth, the river and dirt flavored food.

    Paris Hilton managed to get herself famous from sea to shining sea, no mean feat. And across the pond, she’s at least known by more than a few. How many folks here know this Katie bird is?

    Bonus points to the first idiot to remark how dumb Americans are for not knowing the whore-of-the-day in Britain and how smart the British are because they study Nicole Richie’s carpet cleaner in school.

  3. Well Europeans have been interested in useless famous people for a lot longer time than Americans have. The Sun and the Bild-Zeitung are the biggest selling newspapers in their countries (UK and Germany). How? Sports, gossip, and boobs.

  4. FinFangFoom- Last I heard, the Enquirer was the biggest selling periodical in the US. There are dolts everywhere.

    Also-Finger cancer? WTF?

  5. I second number 6. Finger cancer?

  6. Pics? Although if they look like Paris, maybe not.

    Finger cancer. Huh. Didn’t toe cancer send Bob Marley to his reward?

  7. Gosh, Americans are dumb! Don’t you all know who Jordan is?

    Where do I pick up my bonus points?

  8. Why isn’t Nicole Richie or Anna Nicole Smith on the list?

  9. Here are your pics:

    http://www.myspace.com/katie_2005

    Probably not safe for work.

  10. Doing a google on them, all I can say is that jade Goody is pretty ugly, rather fugly in fact.

    For a celeb, that is.

  11. FinFangFoom is correct. The Brits have us beat on the vicarious-living magazines. The Enquirer, if you recall, used to run the “Alien Baby Jesus-Elvis” stories until the British tabloids started making state-side money from celeb gossip.

  12. Actually it was the Australians who perfected the tabloid form and exported it.

    If you follow the ownership trails that’s where almost all of them end.

  13. Jordan isn’t completely unknown here in the land of the conversationally challenged.

    She had an, ummm, spread in Playboy a couple years back.

  14. An interesting difference between the two cultures is that Jordan had “a well-publicized abortion.” I would not be shocked in the least to learn that Paris Hilton or someone else of that ilk had had an abortion privately, but I think a public abortion even today would disgust rather than fascinate the masses. Occasionally a B-list actress will discuss her abortion years after the fact (as several did in the recent Ms. magazine campaign), but I don’t know of any American star who made a public show of her abortion at the time that it happened.

  15. The difference between Brit and Yank tabloids is that the Brit tabloids are taken seriously.

    Listen to BBC Radio 5 or SkyNews and the editors of the tabloids are regular guests on “serious” news and talk programs where they are asked serious questions about the latest political scandal in addition to the celebrity gossip…imagine Terry Gross on NPR having a serious conversation with the editor of the National Enquierer about the Valerie Plame scandal or Abramoff, etc.

  16. “She gave birth to their son, Junior, via televised C-section”

    Paging Mel Gibson. We’ve got a scene for your next movie!

  17. I know of Jordan. She’s way hotter than Paris Hilton. I didn’t know all that crap about her not-so-private private life though, just that she has huge tits.

  18. Of course Europeans are going to like people who are famous for nothing. That is pretty much the definition of royalty.

  19. Of course Europeans are going to like people who are famous for nothing. That is pretty much the definition of royalty.

    Nail, meet hammer.

  20. And here’s a jugtastic French and Saunders takedown of Jodie and Jordan. I can’t ever look at potatoes in the same way again.

  21. The world’s most famous Page 3 girl has matured into a talented and dynamic supermodel and an accomplished TV personality.

    What has “matured” got to do with either option?

  22. Some people may be famous for inventing the pencil sharpener:

    Specifically, Bernard Lassimone. Or, arguably, Therry des Estwaux. John Lee Love often appears on lists of famous African-American inventors as the inventor of the pencil sharpener, but he actually created a new type of pencil sharpener.

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