This video (of teen angelface sexpot Kate Upton dancing in a bikini) has been making the rounds (TMZ featured this Youtube video: 1.4M hits in two days.)

It makes many thoughts rush through my mind:
As adequately put by a colleague: “Dayummmmmmmmm, son.”
“Of course.   This is by Terry Richardson.  Such a sick freak. Who else would have thought of this sleaziness.” (At this point, I was still confusing him with Dov Chearney, American Apparel CEO. Yes, many moustached plaid-clad successful sick freaks in the world.)
“I can’t believe she’s… Well, I guess this is part of how she markets herself.”
“Wow, the thought that she’s doing this is making me wonder whether this is brilliant or sad.”
“Well, she’s the one putting herself in this position.”
Seriously, my thoughts are in a tizzy because of this hot dancing Lolita.
Because, see, I can just see and understand so many perspectives regarding this video.

The most umm…base and guttural perspective, which is: This. Video. Is. Hot.

I’m not going to deny it.  This girl has a smashing body.  Yes, I am going to get this…low and sleazy.
Objectively speaking, she has just…if I start describing it, it’ll sound like erotica, but I really don’t mean it to.  She’s well-endowed, slim, tall, smooth and has this youthfulMarilyn-Monroe-doe-eyes-and-full-lips-with-coy-mole face, and “blondes have more fun” hair.
And, she’s well… we all know what those dance moves look like.
And if we all thought that her video (featured in an earlier post) manufactured-ly casually dancing IN CLOTHES was hot —  this is her manufactured-ly raunchily dancing 98% NAKED.
Really.  Really?!? You really had to up the ante, Kate?  The first video wasn’t hot enough?

Second perspective: What kind of sick freak are you, Terry Richardson, to come up with this exploitative shit?

She’s only 19.

Ah, Terry Richardson, infamously sleazy photographer.
It, apparently, wasn’t enough to be served a sexual harassment complaint.  At least he’s…err…sharing the love.

Third response:  But, see, you can’t fully blame Richardson because, damn it, Upton, you signed up for this.

Then, it gets complicated.  Because the video is obviously consensual.  It’s not like she was drugged or unaware.
See!
This is quickly followed by:

My 4th response: Guilt.  Why am I being a part of the objectification of women?

I am fully aware myself, that by screencap-ping, blogging about this, sharing the video on facebook, the very act of ogling this woman is actually part of this whole cultural movement that sexualizes the female image.

But then, she puts herself out there.

No, this isn’t like when misguided people say women get raped because they wear short skirts, because they’re “asking for it”.
Rape is an act of power and violence, and isn’t related to whatever clothes a woman is actually wearing during the assault.
I am merely saying that this is a conscious decision to brand herself in a certain way.  Which can both be labelled as brilliant or sad.
Why?

My sissy way out: I blame culture.

I can’t turn my nose up or wag my finger at Kate Upton, and reprimand her for her objectification of her self.
Because, really, how different is this video from Spring Break and The Grind videos on MTV in the 90’s? (Yes, for some reason, these were the first things I compared the video to. I do not know why my brain made that connection.)
I can’t be mad that she’s 19, because many young girls in the media do this – Ke$ha is around the same age and sexualizes herself.
And why stop there?  From there you can look at the whole popularized-by-sex-videos set, like Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian and Pamela Anderson (or Tommy Lee).  You can look at the whole porn industry even.  The Victoria’s Secret angels.
It’s all part of the branding machine, all part of a desire for stardom.  Having a hot body doing hot things is a sure meal ticket to get you places.   Kate can’t be blamed for having a face that pretty and a…set…that nice.  She just…chooses to use it to the…best of its abilities.
And, me, I like assessing culture.
In the nature versus nurture debate, I tend to think that we can’t deny that we have needs, some not necessarily noble and quite selfish – a need to be wanted, to be validated, to feel pride.  And the way that you choose to fulfill these is largely affected by the environment you’re in.
And, well, current society says this thing, that Kate Upton’s doing, is okay.

Kate Upton was born in 1992.

She grew up in the era of 15-minute celebrity – of Big Brother, and the dawn of lonelygirl15 (link for those who may not have been around at this time).
It was never really wrong to be recognized for “who you are”.  That’s what we tell kids.  And that’s what she’s doing.  Getting attention for her God-given gifts.
So, world, I don’t even know.  Those are all my thoughts about this.

Postscript:  In related news, this tab has been open in my browser since late last year:

Will SlutWalks change the meaning of the word “slut”?

“Which leads us to an important point: Is there such a thing as a perfect movement? Is there a right way to protest? Even the angriest critics can’t deny the galvanizing effect the movement has had. Clearly SlutWalks have struck a chord. “

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2088234,00.html#ixzz1tMWNjd93 (Smart move by NYTimes.com – automating a “read more” link when copying text)

First, the facts.

The protest walk was first organized by Heather Jarvis and Sonya Barnett, as a response to Toronto constable Michael Sanguinetti’s comment (to students) that “women should stop dressing like sluts” so that they/we would not be victimized by rape.

All the opinions and controversy surrounding these walks make me love democracy, social media, freedom of speech and all the things that enable all of the differing views.

Because, like the Kate Upton video, it stirred up debate and emotion.

Some didn’t approve of the use of the word “slut”, feeling that it further contributed to the misinterpretation of women’s sexuality.  Others criticized those critics wondering whether you could actually criticize the “correctness” of a protest.

Layer upon layer.

Meta-reactions.

Welcome to the 21st century.

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