Pop Rocks

Pop Rocks: Jenny McCarthy in Playboy? Jessica Simpson on Twitter? Our Cup(s) Runneth Over

Yesterday was quite an occasion for fans of bodacious blonds. First, there was the news that Jenny McCarthy, Playboy's Playmate of the Year for 1994, would be appearing on the cover a sixth time:

The 39-year-old told People magazine that this particular photo shoot was particularly special because of the classy factor.

"I'm really proud of it," McCarthy told the magazine. "The pictures are really gorgeous and classy. They could be out of W magazine. They're really elegant. It's probably a lot more sophisticated than a lot of the stuff you'd see of people with their clothes on."

"Sophisticated" is certainly the word I'd use to describe the star of Dirty Love, but good on her anyway...I guess. Anything to fill the hours now that she's no longer dating Jim Carrey.

Second, of course, was that Jessica Simpson picture that confirmed what anyone who follows a porn star or two has known for years: Twitter's a lot more relaxed about letting people post their boobs.

I've followed McCarthy's "career" off and on since her first pictorial, back in the days when I actually had a subscription to Playboy (thanks, Uncle Mark!). What always struck me about her trajectory was how quickly she morphed from the fresh-faced field hockey player of that original appearance to the girl who bludgeoned us with how "wacky" she was on shows like Singled Out and Jenny (She's just like you! She farts and makes pig noises!). She's been more famous in recent years for her repeated claims that vaccines cause autism and her continued support for disgraced doctor Andrew Wakefield, whose paper linking the MMR vaccine to autism and the subsequent vaccine-related panic has been largely responsible for the resurgence of diseases like measles in areas of the world where it was all but eradicated.

But hey, who cares about that when McCarthy's going to get her kit off again? As someone getting on in years myself, I can't decide what's more comforting: that Playboy is running a pictorial of someone old enough that I won't feel like a creeper when I, uh, read the articles; or that the magazine still exists at all. My generation knows it as the invaluable transition between Sears catalogs/Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Issue and actual pornography, and our disposable income must still be formidable, since I can't imagine anyone under the age of 30 bothering with it anymore.

And why would they, what with the embarrassment of riches (or simple embarrassments) offered by the likes of Twitter? It's true, Facebook frowns on nudity and even a pic like McCarthy's cover photo would likely earn a few flags from the more prudish set, but Twitter doesn't have a problem with it, as I myself figured out when I unsuspectingly clicked a RT from somebody I follow. To quote Randal from Clerks, I think I could see her tonsils.

The reaction to Simpson's curvaceousness is hardly surprising, though the apparent ignorance of biology is. Simply put, when a woman with large breasts gets pregnant, those breasts tend to get larger. Even so, the posting of the pic comes across as an attempt to regain some of her old sex symbol cred, which seems even more depressing in light of comments made by one of Simpson's "friends" to InTouch magazine:

Setting herself a task on losing 50 pounds in five months, the star is said to be "stressed out" by the task on top of being a first time mum.
"She's so emotional," a friend told InTouch magazine.
"She wants her body back so badly, but it's beyond hard. But she wants to set a good example for Maxi. She wants to teach her daughter to have a healthy lifestyle."

I don't usually stick my snoot into discussions of people raising their kids, but for some reason, freaking out about losing weight and possibly endangering yourself to get your pre-pregnancy body back might not be the best way to go about boosting your kids' self-esteem.

And neither is letting them watch The Dukes of Hazzard, while we're on the subject.

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Peter Vonder Haar writes movie reviews for the Houston Press and the occasional book. The first three novels in the "Clarke & Clarke Mysteries" - Lucky Town, Point Blank, and Empty Sky - are out now.
Contact: Pete Vonder Haar