Friday, February 7, 2014

What I learned this week about writing a column

The main thing I learned is that if you write a column about Christie Brinkley and then post it online with photos of her, you will get a BOATLOAD of page views.  And I do mean a BOATLOAD.  So the takeaway here is that I should figure out how to mention her name every week and also substitute her headshot for mine.


I also learned (again) that people's reactions are hugely varied.  And even surprising.  What surprised me the most were the spirited defenses of Brinkley from other women--how she's so much more than a swimsuit model.  And I agree.  I remember reading an article in Seventeen Magazine about her a million years ago, which talked about how she's an artist who went to a French immersion school, and even then I was impressed with her intelligence and drive.   But it wasn't Brinkley's art that appeared on the cover of People Magazine.  It was herself, Christie Brinkley.  In a swimming suit.  And so I think addressing the subject of appearances and expectations of appearances is fair game.

The other reactions didn't surprise me much.  I knew a lot of people would accuse me of being all sour grapes and other people would tell me to lighten up and other people would tell me I'm a prude.  And they did.  But plenty of people--women mostly over the age of 50--were enormously happy with the column because they find it unbelievable that at even THIS age there's pressure to aspire to a stereotypical notion of beauty.

It's a lot of fun when a column gets this kind of traction.


Jeanna Stay said...

When I read some of those comments on your column, I just sighed. Really? What they're going to get out of this column is that Ann Cannon has jealousy issues? Or is a prude? Or whatever? Sigh. And then maybe an extra sigh. People. Can't live with them, can't get restaurant food without them.

Louise Plummer said...

As you know, I can't read the comments. I take them very personally, even if you've learned not to.

It's been Christie Brinkley's JOB for years to look better than the rest of us. She continues to do her job well.

Bryan Wilde, LCSW said...

I liked it because it was honest. You had the courage to tackle appearance and expectation pressures head-on rather than dance around them. Among the list of reasons why I follow A.E. Cannon is an admiration for her courage and authenticity. And the older I get the more I appreciate these qualities because they are rare. (I better quit now before this turns into a full-blown blog post.)

Julie DeMille said...

I had the EXACT same reaction when I saw that cover. Yep, she looks great. No, I shouldn't have that kind of pressure at this or any age.