Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Girls Gone Stupid or Jimmy Stewart, Where Are You?

A lot of you might think that I’ve been living under a rock, but I had seriously never heard of Girls Gone Wild until I saw the bus pass us on the New York State Thruway back in April. Well, actually, I might have heard of it, but I really didn’t know what it was all about. My wife knew what it was because she’s up in the middle of the night, when the commercials are on. But I was totally unaware of the entire phenomenon.

So I decided to check out the website.

HOLY CRAP! This was not at all what I was expecting.

I mean, from the brief glimpse I got of the bus as it passed us in the opposite direction, I assumed it had something to do with girls in bathing suits doing crazy things. But like I said, I was not expecting what I saw when I got there.

It was like a train wreck…it was terrible, but I just couldn’t stop watching. I clicked on link after link, fascinated, and horrified, at what these girls were willing to do on camera for a t-shirt.

Yes…for a t-shirt.

And then I thought about Jessie Logan, who I mentioned a few weeks ago. She was the beautiful 18-year-old girl who committed suicide after intimate photographs, meant only for her boyfriend, were spread all over town.

On the one hand we have a girl so mortified over her small town seeing intimate pictures of herself that she killed herself. On the other hand we have girls just a few years older (and sometimes the exact same age) willing to do more than just expose themselves for an estimated 100,000 men -- both on the Internet and on home video.

Just for a t-shirt.

How on earth do some people get there?

I'm thinking that a false sense of sophistication, or a misguided desire to be considered sophisticated is involved. Let me just give you two names here: Lindsay Lohan and Brittney Spears.

But alcohol also has a lot to do with it, since the GGW crews seem to tend to show up at places where a lot of drinking will be going on. I can’t possibly imagine any of the young women in these videos agreeing to be filmed doing these things if they were stone cold sober. And apparently there has been quite a bit of “next day remorse,” resulting in quite a few lawsuits.

And as I think about the role that alcohol plays in getting young women to agree to be filmed by these people, I keep coming back to a line from the classic movie The Philadelphia Story where Jimmy Stewart’s character explains to Katherine Hepburn the reason he didn’t take advantage of her the night before, saying “You were a little the worse…or better for wine…and there are rules about that.”

“There are rules about that.” What a concept. What ever happened to the ideal of not taking advantage of a girl…or anyone…who’s had too much to drink? There may not be rules out there with the force of law about situations like this, but Jimmy Stewart will tell you that a gentleman knows that you don’t do that.

And yet, I have to admit that, unless they’ve been living under the same rock that I was under, people who go to events sponsored by Girls Gone Wild know why the crew is there. So there is some personal responsibility.

But come on…doing all that for…a t-shirt? Honestly, with what GGW will eventually make from those images, they can afford to give those girls a lot more than that.

Or would that somehow cross some sort of psychological line? Is there a difference between taking off your clothes in exchange for a GGW t-shirt…for “fun,” and doing the same thing for $1000? Would the crews attract “the wrong kind of girls” if they were offering money? Would offering money somehow run them afoul of the law?

Who knows.

But still…a t-shirt?

The other day, while we were in the car, I heard Brad Paisley singing his song I’m Still A Guy, and was struck by the following lyrics:
You see a priceless French painting
And I see a drunk naked girl
Hmm…maybe the phenomenon is older than we think. Could it be that Renoir was a painter for Mademoiselles déchaînées?


  1. Unsurprisingly, the guy who owns GGW (can't remember his name offhand) has been accused of rape myriad times. As far as I know, the allegations mysteriously disappear before they get to court...

  2. Hmm…maybe he offered everyone extra shirts.