Friday, February 09, 2007

Anna Nicole Smith: "An American Story"

Thursday the tragic news went out that suddenly and unexpectedly Anna Nicole Smith died. At this writing the exact cause of death is still not known. She was 39 years old and is survived by her 5-month-old daughter. Her 20-year-old son preceded Smith in death.

For those visiting from another planet and wonder why every news network gave significant air time to her passing and why her picture has been prominently placed in all the American print media, Smith was a former Playboy Playmate, reality TV star, model and widow of an eighty-something rich tycoon. Her resume still doesn’t explain why she receives so much attention.

In a Seattle Times article Jocelyn Noveck writes a brief reflection on why many may be fascinated with Smith and near the end of her piece she quotes UCLA film professor, Richard Walter. “She came from humble origins and achieved celebrity and wealth, one way or another,” Walter said. “And that is an American story.”

Wow. “An American story” used to describe the journey from humble origins to significant impact on American history. Abraham Lincoln was an American story. Booker T. Washington was an American story. Even Bill Clinton is an American story.

But in this iconic, post-Marilyn Monroe/Jerry Springer day in which we live, Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan and Anna Nicole Smith are the new American story.

I’m not slamming or putting down any of these women. I believe that they are women about whom God cares deeply and in some way are trying to find or declare their significance by living such public dysfunctional lives for all the voyeurs that will watch.

The “story” that each of them stars in is a tragedy. They reflect the reality of a culture that no longer finds inherit worth because the God of the universe has created them the unique and special women that they are, but rather chase a delusion of significance shrouded in glitz and glamour.

The American fascination with the life and passing of an Anna Nicole Smith is a telling commentary on the dysfunctional freefall that our country is in.


Anonymous said...

It’s definitely a story that’s been told over and over again, from one celebrity to the next, a rags to riches story that brings tragedy, not just to the individuals life but to the entire family. In this photo of Anna Nicole she wears a cross around her neck. If she had known the true message behind this piece of jewelry, her life and that of her children could have had a different ending. I like what you said about women in your article, they are special in God’s eyes, and they have so much worth to Him. Perhaps through “her story” some women will walk away from the lure of fame and fortune and realize it brings more pain not less and realize they are more than just a “commodity”. Unfortunately history shows that no matter how often the story is told, people will ignore the warnings and continue walking down a destructive path. And it doesn’t just happen to the bold and the beautiful, it happens to people from all walks of life…desperately seeking a solution to their problems or seeking “happiness” in all the wrong places. I can only hope that God will somehow rescue her daughter from a life that could end in tragedy as well.

R C said...

It is heart breaking to see her life played out and end in such a tragic way. We forget that she was a real person who had real feelings, family who loved and depended on her and a purpose in life. God didn't forget her. I only hope she had a personal relationship with Him.