Location: Santa Ana, California, United States

Virginia Bola operated a rehabilitation company for 20 years, developing innovative job search techniques for disabled workers, while serving as a Vocational Expert in Administrative, Civil and Workers' Compensation Courts. She is a licensed clinical psychologist with deep interests in Social Psychology and politics and an admitted diet fanatic. She has performed therapeutic services for more than 20 years and has studied the effects of cultural forces and employment on the individual. The author of two interactive workbooks, The Wolf at the Door: An Unemployment Survival Manual and Diet With An Attitude: A Weight Loss Workbook, she also publishes a monthly ezine, The Worker's Edge and various weight loss mini-courses. She can be reached at,, or

Thursday, June 02, 2005

A Blonde, A Burger, And A Bentley

At first glance, Paris Hilton's commercial for the Carl's Jr. fast food chain could be advertising any item, like those rap-strewn bluejean montages none of us over 21 understand. Finally, you notice the huge sloppy burger she's downing between the gyrations, the water hose, and the suds.

Brilliant marketing or ho-hum soft porn?

If the object of the spot is to attract attention, surely the goal of all commercials, it is a resounding success. If it seeks to engage the product's primary audience, young males 16 to 24 years of age, it is phenomenally on target.

How many television commercials ever get mainline media coverage? Very few. But this one has been featured on the news, the morning shows, even the sports outlets. It almost hit a grand slam when rumors of a pending lawsuit (since denied) by a conservative watchdog group surfaced.

As a middle-aged, professional, modern woman who fought hard in the 1960s and 1970s to gain a foothold in a man's world, should I be outraged that an empty-headed, talent-free, unaccomplished bimbo should garner such attention? Should we seek to curtail this glorification of tabloid mentality?

Actually, no. The concept of feminism embraces the right of women to access the same opportunities enjoyed by men. The goals chosen by individual women are personal and unique. Ms. Hilton is merely the female equivalent of the gigolo, the professional resort beach boy, the young lover of an old, rich widow. Her aspirations appear to be limited to celebrity and notoriety, not the most stable of environments.

I would suggest that there is room in our society for all tastes, even if impoverished or overtly vulgar. Besides, the more flighty, celluloid-bound competitors there are, the easier it is for the rest of us to get ahead in the real world. Do your thing, Paris!


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