Friday, April 11, 2008

Sex and Politics

A nude photograph of France's first lady, Carla Bruni, has been auctioned for $91,000 (£46,098) - more than 20 times the expected price.

That's an amazing sentence. I'll begin with this...there was an expected price? So, before the sale even went down, there were people guessing how much this image would go for. The whole situation, the way it is being handled is interesting to me, at least in respect to my more (selectively) conservative nature; a result of my being raised here in the US. American morality is very wrapped up in image. There's a big fear of being interpreted the wrong way, and strict rules about expected conduct for people who want to be taken seriously (and even more so for women who must command respect).

I'm unsure how the US would respond to having a nude image of First Lady Barbara B. up for auction. Could we, as a country, handle this type of reality as well as the French? Outside of the obvious issues of nudity and how (selectively) uncomfortable we are with it, would we be able to accept the fact that the First Lady had a life before her husband occupied the Oval Office?

Naturally, the office of French President Nicolas Sarkozy has declined to comment. I mean, what would his response be? "What can I say? I got like that."

Christie's, where the acution took place, said money from the sale of the photograph will go to Swiss charity Sodis, which provides clean drinking water to developing countries. That's respectable.

The auction also included nude photos of models Lauren Hutton, Gisele Bundchen and Kate Moss, and an image of actress Brigitte Bardot by American photographer Richard Avedon which sold for $181,000 (£91,600).

-Ashleigh Rae


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