Legacies Aren’t What They Used To Be

| Feb 10, 2007
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Today, Saturday, 2/10/2007 is two days after the death of Anna Nicole Smith. Already there is speculation – unconfirmed by the initial autopsy – about the cause of her death at age 39. Also unconfirmed – after five months – is the paternity of her young daughter.

Today, none other than Zsa Zsa Gabor’s current husband (number eight) is claiming that he might be the father. Price von Anhalt is somewhere in his 70’s, his ailing, formerly glamorous wife is in her 90’s, and the Anna Nicole Smith circus goes on beyond her grave. Actually, by court order, her body is unburied and preserved for further DNA testing to settle ongoing paternity suits over the sole infant heir to the multimillion dollar, inherited fortune Ms. Smith won last year after years of legal wrangling.

At one time, Anna Nicole Smith was the very essence of ultra-feminine hotness. Playboy covergirl and centerfold, and designer jeans model (remember designer jeans?). At some point, she became a tabloid joke, marrying a 90 year old multi-millionaire, battling in court for the inevitable gazillion dollar inheritance, a fat reality TV show star (star, or pathetic icon of all that is wrong with modern culture?), and then a trimmed down hottie again – only to have tragedy befall her twice in quick succession after the birth of a daughter and the death of a 20 year old son just several months ago.

It was interesting to read some of the headlines of her death from online sources – and even some legitimate news websites. It was as if Anna Nicole – long the butt of jokes – had become the heir to Princess Diana in the American tabloid heart by virtue of her untimely death. We just went through a similar exercise with the death of Gerald Ford, whose obits were far more flowery than anything his living deeds ever gave birth to. I liked Jerry Ford, I voted for Jerry Ford in my first presidential election eligibility – but he was hardly Lincoln. And so, too, we must bring ourselves back to earth and admit that Anna Nicole – dead or alive – was no Marilyn Monroe, or even Jayne Mansfield, the other befallen blonde icon, whom she more closely resembled.

Crossdressers adore female icons, whether real or conjured in our own minds. The glamorous existence may not be all that it seems, particularly for those without a firm center in their heads or their hearts. The untimely death of another female icon (defined however you wish) should be a reality check for all of us as we deal with our own dreams of femininity.

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Category: All TGForum Posts, Transgender Opinion


About the Author ()

I started crossdressing and going out publicly in 1988. I joined the Renaissance group in the Philadelphia area that year and later became chapter leader for two years in the '90s. I always enjoyed writing and wrote for the Renaissance newsletter and magazine throughout my membership years. I've been writing for TGForum for several years now. I also contributed items to LadyLike magazine and other TG publications before the advent of the internet. My hobby-within-a-hobby is singing live as my alter-ego Dina Sinatra and I have had the opportunity to do that with several accommodating performers and in a number of venues over the years since the mid-1990s. In the Diner column items here, I try to relate crossdressing or transgender themes (and my own pet peeves and fetishes) to the larger world -- and vice versa.

Comments (2)

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  1. dina dina says:

    Ronnie, I think you have it about right. One wonders where we will be in another few years with this celebrity worship/tear-down cycle we are in now. Of course celebrities nowadays seem drawn to tearing themsleves down as much as we enjoy wathching them disintegreate. The cynical person sees the cycle…hero worship, paprazzi trouble, a DUI, a messy divorce, a stint in rehab, only to be re-born again as celebrity-angel-saint…and the cycle repeats endlessly.
    I’m just so grateful I am not a celebrity….I mean I wannabe a celebrity…..was i really that bad on American Idol? I’m checking into rehab…. watch for my comeback tour. Dina

  2. ronnierho ronnierho says:

    Faster & cheaper: the watch words for American business, and let’s face it; celebrity culture is a business. Once her estate is settled and the child is placed in a home, the tabloids will find someone else to elevate, and then destroy. The cycle will repeat until Anna Nicole daughter reaches 16. Then she’ll be fed into the machine.

    Do I sound cynical? 😉

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