There’s a little white-haired girl twirling in the surf. She’s singing at the top of her lungs, jumping and spinning around in the cold water, all salty, sandy, full of joy and confidence.
She’s unconscious of the camera, in her own world. The camera shakes a little. Perhaps mom’s laughing behind the lens. Could a child be more loved than in this moment? She’s perfect. She is absolutely perfect.
Cut to: Today A beautiful young woman strides down the sidewalk alone, head down, hands drawn into fists. She’s walking fast, darting around huge men with black cameras thrusting at her mouth and chest. “Kristen, how do you feel?” “Smile Kris!” “Hey, hey, did you get her?” “I got her. I got her!” The young woman doesn’t cry. She doesn’t look up. She’s learned. She keeps her head down, her shades on, fists in her pockets. Don’t speak. Don’t look. Don’t cry.”
Great piece of writing Jane, you’re probably saying now, you finally nailed this evocative journalism thing. Sadly, those aren’t my words, or my memories – they’re Hollywood legend Jodie Foster’s, published on a US website last week. Famous for the ferocity with which she guards her privacy, Foster rarely involves herself in public conversations. But she’s been so moved by the recent troubles of Twilight actress Kristen Stewart, whom she’s known and worked with since Stewart was 11, she felt compelled to raise her voice.
Having had the misfortune of performing enchantingly in what became one of the most successful movie franchises of all time, and arguably the teen phenomenon of its era, Stewart saw her star rise to unmanageable supernova heights when she was just 18. She’s gained a reputation for being moody and ungrateful for the success she’s worked for, mainly due to her habit of coping with the weekly mis-reporting of her private life and daily stalking by the paparazzi by sometimes lowering her head around cameras and not smiling.
Frankly, I’ve always admired her restraint. If I spent half my time swerving big fat blokes lying on the ground trying to get a photo of my knickers, I reckon I’d be up in court for GBH about every seven days. On a good week. After anger management classes.
As you might know, Stewart has dominated headlines even more than usual these past couple of weeks after the revelation of her brief fling with a 41-year-old film director. The director is married with two children, but no one’s very interested in him because he’s not 22 and gorgeous and going out with heartthrob Robert Pattinson.
Celebrity journalists — that’s grown men and women, remember, some with children — have attacked Stewart’s ‘cruel betrayal’, gleefully portraying her as a heartless scarlet women stomping on the heart of puppy dog Pattinson.
Fan sites have spilled over with Pattinson devotees queuing up to label Stewart a slut, a whore, a bitch; all the hate-filled terms of abuse we’ve got used to being hurled at imperfect young women.
Meanwhile, Stewart is said to have been curled up at home with her mum, who is terribly worried because her once happy-go-lucky daughter isn’t sleeping or eating and is ‘crying constantly’.
No children involved, No vows broken. Just a kid who made a mistake and hurt her boyfriend, like we all did when kids.
A kid who once danced and spun without a care in the word.
But hey, we made her. And we’ll break her.