by Steven M.L. Aronson ‧ RELEASE DATE: May 19, 1983
In this gossipy, sarcastic, largely tedious pseudo-exposÃ‰, Aronson apparently equates the making of Cheryl Tiegs with the careerism of Philip Johnson--which gives you a pretty good idea of the crude, sloppy thinking at work here. ""How does a movie get to be a box-office hit? How does an ad campaign completely rejuvenate an industry? . . .How does a hairdresser get to be as famous as the high-status people he serves? There's work involved. And hype is that work."" After this shrill preface, the end, less Tiegs piece leads off--with grimy (but thoroughly unsurprising) details on her media-wise marriages, her mass-product linkups, her sleazy life but wholesome image. (""But we. know that, once again, cheesecake has been passed around America's coffee tables--and been passed off as apple pie."") Next: an attack on--yawn--the Blackglama fur ad campaign, a true example of hype breeding hype breeding (Aronson's) hype; a visit to the opulent Salon of super-hairdresser Kenneth (who himself is unhyper); a tirade about plastic surgery, seemingly reducing the large socio-cultural phenomenon of youth-obsession to ""hype"" (lots of famous, semi-secret facelifts and such are identified), with a plastic surgeon interviewed about his press-agent problems. Then: the transcript of a conference call with eight showbiz/PR types--including Swifty Lazar, Joseph E. Levine, and Herb Schmertz. And, finally, after a passing remark that inanely pairs John Russell with John Simon (they both ""subvert the purpose of criticism""), it's on to interview-profiles of columnist Suzy, restaurateur Elaine, and Mimi Sheraton (an anti-hype force)--plus the Johnson hatchet-job (He ""epitomizes the architect as a hearty, party-going, self-appreciating personality""), twitting of Dr. Denton Cooley for engaging in a publicity stunt, and a rundown on Barbara Cartland. (""As Empress of Hype, she rules all the rules of self-promoting, self-aggrandizing, self-marketing, self-merchandising, and self-franchising."") More an example of hype than a analysis of it--but there'll be some N.Y./L.A. interest in the gossip. . .at least until the juicier morsels are picked up and defused by the gossip/tattle press.
Pub Date: May 19, 1983
Page Count: -
Review Posted Online: N/A
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1983
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