’ She doesn’t parade her vulnerabilities; she does not play the victim. She is not continually letting us in to the details of some battle with bulimia or weight problems or health problems or drug abuse, or the way her heart always seems to get broken (fill in likeable talented/wealthy/successful actress, musician, etc here). Nor does she complain about how hard it is to juggle work and family, or let us into photo shoots where we see the banal and recognizable rituals of grocery shopping or ferrying kids, so that we can know reassuringly that she is JUST LIKE US (fill in likeable female politician/news anchor here).’
I found this piece interesting in terms of the contrast between the typical response to Madonna in comparison to the one afforded to Kylie. There is a definite sense that the latter ‘knows her place’ and rarely has ideas above her station. She doesn’t deign to offer her thoughts on the wider world and is firmly an ‘entertainer’. However while gender is relevant here, in a wider sense the fetishism of inoffensiveness is a much broader trait in our culture. As Morrissey put it, ‘They’re so scared to show intelligence, it might smear their lovely career’.