Is Smart the New Sexy?
The Sydney Morning Herald thinks so — and thanks me for my research here: http://blogs.smh.com.au/lifestyle/asksam/archives/2009/02/is_smart_the_new_sexy.html Getting the Google Alert for this piece put me on to a bit of news from last month that I’d missed:
A few weeks back, Beyoncé sparked discussions about the joys of the smart + sexy combo with her comment to ABC News that Barack Obama’s election made her wish she were smarter. Newspapers picked this up and asked:
Can America survive it if being smart suddenly becomes cool?
A fun column in the St. Louis Post Dispatch wrote (tongue-in-cheek) of Beyonce’s awakening … and the impact this might have on American society:
Beyonce, so happy she was almost in tears, told Roberts that Obama’s victory has changed her life. “He makes me want to be smarter; he makes me want to be more involved,” she said.
This was alarming. Here’s a woman who, according to Forbes magazine, made $80 million in 2007. She and her husband, the hip-hop entrepreneur Jay-Z, were ranked by the magazine as Hollywood’s richest couple. And now, after getting involved in politics for the first time, she has decided she wants to be smarter.Not richer. Not more beautiful. Not more successful. But smarter. And more involved.
What if this starts a trend? What if all the young people whose ambitions extend no further than to be like Beyonce and Jay-Z decide that they, too, want to smarter? Are schools prepared for this? Are teachers?
What happens to institutions like People magazine, the E Network, MTV and their ilk, those that cater to the vapid? What happens to the whole celebrity culture? Will all those perky anchor creatures be tossed onto the unemployment lines?
SWANS, you’ve known this all along. Smart is sexy. Now, apparently, you’re up against Beyoncé, who’s just figured it out, too. Don’t dumb yourselves down, ladies — and get involved!
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