Friday, 14 January 2011

Changing The World One Cake At A Time

So you're all doubtless aware of the most exciting celebrity gossip of the week. I do not refer to Justin Bieber's allergic reaction to something or other (which excitingly saw him rushed to the children's ward after filming an episode of CSI); nor the fact that Mr Darcy is getting a star on Hollywood's walk of fame because he made a film about a monarch swearing his tits off.

No, I'm on about a story revolving around the so-famous-it's-almost-as-if-nobody-knows-who-he-is Kenneth Tong, who went to summer camp with the Triads and was once on Celebrity Big Brother for a whole five days. He is controversial mainly because he endorses fun things like anorexia and getting away with sexual assault, then claims he was only joking.

Well, who hasn't been there...?

You can read an interview with him here in which journalist Johann Hari inadvertently sparks off the whole 'it was only a joke' thing by bluntly informing him that he is very probably a prosecutable sociopath; or alternatively a slightly shorter comment piece by Alexis Petridis in the graun that highlights, a touch ironically, the fact that drawing attention to this man only encourages him.

It's all quite interesting, in a deeply depressing kind of way. At least now I know how to get 22, 962 twitter followers - develop a weight loss pill and market it to impressionable younglings; maybe the odd supermodel. Although telling them to "get thin or die trying" probably won't sound too convincing coming from me.

To expand on what Petridis says, the problem with Twitter's explosive reaction is that it could well be giving Tong exactly what he was aiming for - fame. Remember when Jade Goody was a racist? She said something 'controversial', everyone hated her, she apologised and was given a documentary off the back of the whole thing. Don't be surprised if you see Tong presenting his insights on the darker side of anorexia before the year is out.

Meanwhile, Simon Cowell telling the internet that Tong is disgusting doesn't detract from the fact that all the women on his record label are size zero or thereabouts - excluding SuBo who, bless her, is mainly there to fill every conceivable 'exception to prove the rule' possibility.

Mostly everyone has heard the 'anorexia is bad' argument, but those who suffer from it clearly need more information to drive the message home. Perhaps the beautiful slebs (and Cowell) should consider being more proactive in raising awareness - why not dedicate a five minute slot on X-Factor to explaining exactly what it does to your insides, frinstance? Show devastating images of girls in the final stages of emaciation? It would shock people, it would make them pay attention, and it would be mentioned by aaaall the talking heads on '2011 TV highlights' shows, including the ones you've heard of.

Just a thought.

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