Bungling Being Lara Bingle
There is something about exquisite beauty that can really bring out the ugly in people and these past few years, we’ve seen a whole lotta ugly dumped at beauty’s door. Since Lara Bingle emerged like Aphrodite from the moist breath of the sea, some have made it their most urgent work to shove her in a hessian sack and drown her for her crime of incandescent beauty.
I mean. Seriously. As we saw last night on the debut of her soft-scripted reality program, Bingle is mad good-looking. She has the face of a Caravaggio Madonna and the body of an Ab King Pro infomercial. Frankly, if I looked like that, I’d take to a chaise-longue and do nothing but allow the world’s greatest poets to gaze upon my loveliness. As they wrote odes to my charm, I would do little but smile and try to avoid fried foods. If I looked like that, I’d feel my civic duty was done.
But, Miss Bingle did more than that. She dared to make a television show and she has dared to live a life. If she had forever remained the bikini Goddess on a golden Aussie beach, we would probably remember her warmly. But, she mixed with mortals and was punished. Rather badly, I think.
Most of us remember THAT candid photograph where Bingle was pictured topless and in obvious distress. It was reproduced a zillion times by traditional media outlets that seemed to have no problem whatsoever in compounding what must have been crushing humiliation. The rationale always was “If you’re a public figure you really have to expect that sort of thing”. Well, bollocks, frankly. News outlets elected not to reproduce photographs of footballers cavorting naked with pink ribbons on their gonads when they had the chance. Instead, they charged the young woman who had reproduced the photographs on social media with being “mentally unstable”. Hello Pot. Meet your young friend, Kettle.
This is all a bit beside the point, isn’t it? You were hoping to read an amusing recap of a reality show about a model and what you are getting instead is a got-up-on-the-wrong-side-of-the-bed Cranky Lady railing against the Oppressive Media Machine. But, I guess the thing is, we can’t really talk about Being Lara Bingle without talking a little about the lady herself. So, I guess, let it suffice to say that the chick has had one rough ride. And, as a consequence, a lot of us were hoping for the best from her television show.
Oh, dear. It didn’t happen.
I’m trying to think of good things to say about this show as I desperately want Bingle to have a success to balance out her many defeats. But, I’m struggling. I guess we can say that (a) Lara seems like a sweet thing and (b) she has eyes so luminous as to make Helena Christensen seem dim by contrast. Oh, and we can also say that now, Kourtney & Kim Take New York looks like it was written by Bertolt Brecht. This show was not epic theatre. What it was, in fact, was a very poorly conceived waste of time which would have been much better spent with some Real Housewives.
This stuff just seemed so stilted. This wasn’t Bingle’s fault, I’m sure. Despite several years as the target of pure, ravenous, hate, she still seems like a nice, natural girl from the suburbs who would probably be an AWESOME karaoke date. It wasn’t her that sucked. It was the lifelike-as-dust format.
I don’t personally have a problem with manufactured “reality”. I love the Housewives and I do understand the lure of the Kardashians. Engineered drama is absolutely fine; most especially if it means there’s a chance that Ramona will get that mad Robot look in her eyes and mistake Jill for a bottle of Pinot Grigio. The drama that comes from contrivance is cool with me. So long as it’s actually good fun.
But, this wasn’t good fun. The “whoops I dropped my dignity, can you help me find it?” boob-baring scene was a disgrace. It felt to me that Bingle, who must truly want to shift the idea that she is a plaything for cruel media, was a plaything for cruel producers. Seriously. Eff that noise.
Of course, accidental neighbour boob-baring does happen from time to time. Once, Con at Number 7 saw my Girls when they were helping me fold the laundry at the dining room table and I still cringe to think that I did not shield this man, from whose camellia bush I have taken cuttings, from my shame with a curtain.
This is a matter between me, Con and my therapist, though, and has nothing to do with Bingle on whom we mustn’t blame this shocker of a show. Any more than we must blame Con for looking at my norks. The fact that nothing happens is not testimony to her own emptiness; again, she seems like a really nice sort with whom I one day hope to sing “Bad Medicine” by Bon Jovi at a Cocktails and Karaoke hour. Rather, we must assign blame to a network too gutless and uninspired to give us anything but the vision of a ditz.
Lara Bungle herself remains as fresh, bouncy and golden as a newly baked sponge cake and I wish her every personal success. Her production team, however, can suck it. They wasted a half hour of my time and gave me that “Bop Girl” ear-worm.
Helen Razer is an occasional broadcaster, frequent writer and incessant yabber-pants. Follow her on twitter at @HelenRazer or read her blog Bad Hostess
All images via Network Ten