Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Mika's table dance

Cue the bump-and-grind music. I had a hunch that MSNBC "Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski was, well, smokin' hot. I'd say this Vanity Fair photo puts to rest any lingering doubts. As the Bard would put it, "Zounds!"

Needless to say, the pic has gone viral. I'm of two minds about Mika's table dance. First, I'm no prude. So part of me says: Hey, if you've got it, work it, baby. I admire strong, unblushing women who are comfortable in their own skins. On the other hand, as Slate's Alyssa Rosenberg asks, "Do We Really Need To See Sexy Mika?" Probably not. Brzezinski is, after all, a serious broadcast journalist. But her Vanity turn has added an upwardly thrust leg to the menu of my male mind -- a steamy image that will now compete with whatever she says next on US-Russia bilateral relations.

Rosenberg writes: "My jaw literally dropped when a friend sent me the link to Vanity Fair's new joint profile of Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski ... It was the picture that did it: Scarborough in a blue suit and blue, open-collared shirt lounging comfortably in a chair next to a butcher block table. On which is perched Brzezinski, his Morning Joe co-anchor, posed with her left leg skyward, ass just barely covered, balanced on one spindly black high heel. The takeaway: A man is a man and a woman is a table-top ornament."

Rosenberg is spot on, of course. Brzezinski's boldness plays right into the tenacious conceit that women are decorative eye-candy not to be taken seriously.

That said, if a beautiful woman wants to showcase her physical attributes, then she has every right to do so. Moreover, there's no escaping the fact that the female body can be a glorious objet d'art. Just ask Renoir, Degas, and the legion of other artists down the millennium. And Mika is drop-dead gorgeous from bow to stern. But as I've argued before in these pages, I remain mystified why more women -- especially those positioned as role models -- do not at least pause to consider the full consequences of gratuitously sexing it up like Mika.

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