Back in 2008, when Alaska Governor Sarah Palin hit the international media scene as John McCain’s photogenic running mate, I was a brave, lonely voice among feminists and Democrats. I went on the Today Show to explain, rather heroically I thought, that there was a lot to like about Palin.
I respected that the woman had become more ambitious and successful with every one of the five babies she’d had. Usually the opposite occurs.
I loved her public speaking skills. She was as telegenic as Ronald Reagan. If Hillary had some of that, she’d be president now.
I found Palin unpretentious and I liked that too.
I admired how open she was about her daughter’s unplanned pregnancy.
If only Sarah Palin could have had a teleprompter every time she spoke! History has proven me misguided. I’m not sure if I still respect or admire Sarah Palin. But I’m hoping my early support bolsters the claim that I’m unbiased about her daughter’s approach to motherhood and earning a living. Because I’m pretty clear on this: I cannot stand Bristol.
She is my personal last straw in a parade of famous young women with nothing to be famous for and nothing to be proud of. Paris Hilton. Nicole Richie. The Kardashians. Snooki. At least Bristol’s competitors work their OWN unearned fame. These girls manipulate their own profiles — they don’t piggyback on their mother’s or their kids’. And some of them did make tapes of their unprotected sex. There is that.
It takes only .15 seconds for Google to pull up nearly 30 million entries about Bristol Palin, her cute son, their move to Los Angeles, her memoir Not Afraid of Life: My Journey So Far and her Lifetime reality show Life’s a Tripp (her son’s name is Tripp – get it?).
I can think of a few better uses for Google, newsprint, glossy magazine paper and iPad screens.
What purpose do talent-less, self-absorbed, pathologically insecure women like Bristol Palin serve? Is their role to validate sexism and male dominance? Do they boost our society’s collective male and female egos? (Because anyone can feel smart compared to Snooki.) I fear for my teenaged daughters, growing up in such a vacuous world. Has feminism utterly failed?
Bristol Palin has done nothing in her life besides have sex at 16 without using birth control. Since the moment the world saw her pretty, plump face on the stage of the Republican National Convention, all Bristol has accomplished is to exploit her mother’s fame and use her toddler to earn money, sell books, and land on magazine covers. And she hasn’t even done that particularly well.
Fortunately, Bristol Palin has failed to carry a reality show or sell books. Lifetime’s “Life’s a Tripp” bombed, with only 726,00 viewers. Ratings were especially dismal among women 18 to 34 and 25 to 54. Her memoir is #40,000 on Amazon and the reviews were lousy.
Perhaps we are all catching on. And now I LIKE Bristol Palin, because I can use her as a model for my two daughters: a cautionary tale of how NOT to live your life.