Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Pro-Lifers Pop Out Pregnant Princess to Prove Parenthood Point

Almost lost my breakfast over this one: an idealized sculpture of the pregnant Britney Spears giving birth...


Apparently, the pro-life movment is also pro-exploitation and assumes a heck of a lot on Spear's part:
Dedication of the life-sized statue celebrates the recent birth of Spears' baby boy, Sean, and applauds her decision of placing family before career. "A superstar at Britney's young age having a child is rare in today's celebrity culture. This dedication honors Britney for the rarity of her choice and bravery of her decision," said gallery co-director, Lincoln Capla. The dedication includes materials provided by Manhattan Right To Life Committee.

Britney placing family before career? Perhaps these guys forgot that she's in an upcoming episode of Will and Grace, and doesn't seem to be slowing down any time soon...that's hardly putting family before career. Or is the ability to hire nannies somehow a way of putting family before career?

Then again, the pro-life movement seems to have a skewed idea of what family is--as it rarely supports any sort of services for young women after they have given birth. The pro-life movement's ideals about motherhood, like the statue, are frozen in the moment of childbirth. Everything afterward is subject to imagination and the good will of others.

Perhaps, though, if more young women actually see what happens in childbirth, they might think twice about getting pregnant. If young women look at the statue, and see another young women, at her most vulnerable, alone, with nothing other than the bearskin rug she may have got pregnant on, they might think twice about getting pregnant in the first place.

Or, was the intention of the artist Daniel Edwards, in showing what the Catholic Church would probably feel is a very private moment, thinking to create a secular Madonna icon?

And that, to some degree is my fear. That, in its zeal to push the idea of the glories of motherhood further into the Ameircan psyche, the pro-life movement will capitalize on pop culture's creation of paper gods and promote this vulgar piece as some sort of new religious iconography.

Rarely am I shocked or sickened by pop culture. Mostly, I'm just bored because I've seen it all before. But the vulgarity of this piece, which is perhaps more sickening and degrading than Andres Serrano's Piss Christ ever could be*, has me wondering what pathetic and exploitative level those that are pro-life will sink to in order to make a point.

*and I strongly doubt that there will be any serious art/theology discussions on the Spears sculpture--but there should be, given the propaganda context in which it was conceived and will be implemented. Freudian slip intended.

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Ethan said...

Behold the power of alliteration! Aaiiieeee!

Tish Grier said...

lol! thanks, buddy! yeah, I know I should be writing headlines for Variety...;-)

I figured, too, that the absurity of the headline would help point out the vulgar absurity of the sculpture itself....but there's def. a serious iconograpy discussion in all this that I'm not sure anybody's going to pick up and run with. that's a shame.