Monday, 3 November 2008

I just noticed that Tavi, of Style Rookie fame, featured some photos on her blog from the November 2001 US Vogue editorial of models posing as iconic music stars from the past and present. Some of the models included in the shoot were Devon Aoki (as Yoko Ono, with a male model as John Lennon), Karolina Kurkova (as Marilyn Manson, REALLY weird) and Karen Elson (as Janis Joplin). The general consensus on Tavi's blog was that most people didn't really like the pictures, they're a bit ANTM-esque and, to be frank, just aren't very good. The majority of the musicians featured were legendary artists and such mediocre images almost do them a disservice in some way. That being said, I do think that this one with Sophie Dahl as Debbie Harry is rather uncanny;

Although it's not quite the same thing, the idea of celebs posing as other celebs got me thinking about the Marilyn Monroe shoot Lindsay Lohan did where she recreated the famous nude "Last Sitting" photos shot by Bert Stern (Stern actually shot the Lohan version as well).

When I first read about this, it really, really pissed me off, mainly because I hate it when comparisons are made between Marilyn Monroe and anyone else ("Scarlett Johansson is the new Marilyn!" No, no she isn't), but also because Lindsay Lohan doesn't even remotely resemble Marilyn Monroe and could never in a million years hope to look as gorgeous as she did in the originals. Not only that, but to recreate this particular shoot is, I think, kind of insensitive, as it was the last one that Marilyn did before she died. And it's not as if they're just trying to do something similar to the "Last Sitting" photographs; they were recreated shot for shot, same props, same poses, same hair and makeup. I know imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and all that, but it just seems a bit conceited to me, as if she thought, "Hey I could so look like Marilyn!"
Come off it Lindsay...

I just looked online, and unsurprisingly, there are countless examples of celebrities recreating famous Marilyn images. The website has three whole pages dedicated to 'Mirrored Celebs' from Jessica Alba to Christina Aguilera, to the biggest Monroe impersonator of them all; Madonna. However, none of them are quite as extreme as Miss Lohan. Obviously, Madonna's Material Girl video was based on the Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend sequence in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes;

But for some reason, that doesn't seem quite as offensive, as it's not as if she's actually singing the same song or even doing the same choreography (unlike Kylie Minogue - - ick), it's her own version and is really more of a parody, considering the context of the rest of the video and the lyrics to Material Girl.

Maybe I'm just being biased because I like Madonna and don't particularly like Lindsay. And Madonna looks like she's having a good ol' time in her video while Lindsay just looks awkward and uncomfortable in the photos.

I don't really understand what is gained by posing as a legend such as Marilyn, sure it might be good fun to play dress up, but it's not as if you're proving anything about yourself except that you may or may not have some resemblance to the star you're emulating. When asked about the Lohan shoot, Bert Stern said that he suspected Lohan had 'hidden depths'...Well Mr Stern, that remains to be seen really doesn't it? As far as I can tell, a nude photoshoot doesn't actually aid a person in revealing their "hidden depths"...unless that's actually just a euphemism for "boobies" nowadays...

In conclusion, I would say Marilyn is sacred, don't dress up (or get undressed) as her. Ever.

Unless you're Madonna...

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