The pictures are, in fact, kinda sexy. There, I said it. Rielle Hunter, the woman behind the man who might give the National Enquirer its first Pulitzer, has finally come out of her shell. In a big way. Her interview with GQ is all over the place (in more ways than one), but it’s the accompanying photo spread that’s getting all the attention. The revealing shots have drawn near-universal condemnation (even from Hunter) for their odd mixture of stuffed animals and a seemingly fresh-from-sexytime Hunter. I’m here to tell Rielle not to be so hard on herself.
The spread’s signature shot is, without question, in poor taste, but it’s in comically poor taste. If you pan right-to-left, things start out fine. Hunter basks in the backlit afterglow of some recent adventure that has resulted in the wearing of a pearl necklace, staring wearily and provocatively at the camera. Things go horribly wrong, though, when you get to Barney and Kermit, who seem to be climbing over each other to get to Hunter. It’s disturbing, as evidenced by the wide-eyed pink plush toy who’s trying to hide behind Dora the Explorer. Let’s not even mention the unicorn, ok?
There is a great shot of Hunter alone on a bed, looking hungrily out of frame, that’s undeniably sexy if you remove the John Edwards subtext. Hunter herself is presented far more flatteringly than the grainy, glam-less tabloid shots we’ve seen so far. However, the aggregate effect of the shoot is definitely somewhat nauseating.
On the other hand, the underlying recklessness and poor judgement Hunter shows here are very sexy. Haven’t we all had a boyfriend or girlfriend like Rielle? You know, the one who’s a handful in everyday life, but a blast everywhere else? The one whose edgy dirty talk was usually awesome, but sometimes jumped the track and ruined the mood?
Think back to the first time you had sex on the beach, nervously looking out for cops the whole time while your partner obliviously enjoyed the experience. That was your Rielle.
If the cops showed up, you might not be so thrilled with this analogy. If the cops didn’t show, I guarantee the second time you had sex on the beach, you were the Rielle.
In this case, that impulsiveness didn’t really pay off, and good taste (the metaphoric cops) showed up to ruin the fun.
The key difference between having some great stories to tell and having your life ruined is, of course, that this kind of adventurous highwire act doesn’t work when you’ve already got a life and a family that can come crashing down with you.
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