Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Kirsten O'Brien Doesn't Get Topless (Big News)

Kirsten Obrien Amii Grove Topless

Kids TV presenter Kirsten O'Brien is way more media savy than the premise of the program suggests.
She expertly has concocted an hour long conceit about showing her breasts to the world without actually doing so.
Consequently the marketing opportunities for pictures of her breasts are 10 times the size they were yesterday.
And the lads mags can start to speculate about whether she will or won't.

Its a massive TEASE!

As the wisdom from Pooh bear reminds us, although hunny is very good, the moment just before you eat the hunny is even better.

Strangely the show was titled "Kirsten's Topless Ambition" when a much more obvious and appropriate title would have been "Kirsten's Naked Ambition". I'm guessing they thought that was too blatant. But in a show that is all about being Too Blatant, while at the same that show is itself being Too Blatant, it seems to me only fitting to have a title that is equally Too Blatant.

Today the student forums and discussion sites are therefore crammed full of chat about her.
Yesterday most of us had never heard of her.

Here are just a few examples:

The buzz about Kirsten O'Brien
... and more
... and more
... and more
... and more
... and more
... and more (including completely misleading headline)
... and more
... and more
... on and on and on and on and on.

(Even I'm doing it!)

Today everyone's talking about her!
What's worse from my point of view is that she has got me talking about her.

The whole premise of this show is wrong.
You don't get your tits out because you want to be famous.
You get your tits out because you want to show people your tits.
If Vogue magazine would allow me to show my body to the nation, I personally wouldn't hesitate.
My tragedy is that there is no market for pictures of my naked body.

Flirting on the edge of questions about sexual politics, celebrity and popular culture, the show pricks at all kinds of worrying cultural currencies.

The BBC web site programme notes start with
"Kirsten O'Brien is facing a huge decision" ... and this is where the con begins.
Before the programme has even begun, we are already being sold something which is not true.
The promo is sneaking in the idea that the decision is "huge" - and notice how that line slips by without really being questioned.
Actually the decision is trivial, and makes almost no difference to anything.

A much more interesting question is: how do you get BBC 3 THREE 3 to commission you to make a program about your own media profile, which thereby massively raises your media profile?

This really is a question for all of us, and one that Kisten clearly knows the answer to. All power to her! 8-)

What was really interesting about this show, apart from that Kirsten O'Brien didn't show us her breasts, was all the other things that she didn't show us:

She didn't show us the conversations that led up to her being commissioned to produce the programme: how did she wangle that? She didn't show us all the set up that went in to filming set-pieces like when she appears to walk in unaware on Amii Grove doing a topless shoot, like as though the people in the room weren't expecting her to arrive at precisely that moment.

We did briefly get to see an agent calling up the lads mags to see if they would be interested in her doing a "shoot" for them. But only briefly. For the most part Kirsten also didn't show us the conversations wherein she negotiated "interviews" with leading lights in the UK's celebrity fame game, but I can imagine how those conversations went...

"Hello, this is Peter Stringfellow"
"Hello, this is Kirsten O'Brien. You probably have never heard of me, but I have been a children's TV presenter for 10 years, and I have wangled an hour to boost my media profile on BBC Three at 9pm on a weekday. If you are willing to have an interview with me, then it will boost both my media profile and yours. How's about it?"

Similar conversations were doubtless had with the various other celebrity movers and shakers, that she did interviews with.

With the power of having a primetime slot on BBC TV to broadcast the interviews behind her, Kirsten had just the leverage that she needed. It was just the ticket. But the ticket wasn't to a show about radically changing her career path, although it was presented as such. It was a ticket to a show about doing precisely what she was doing. It was a ticket to get interviews with a load of leading lights in the UK's celebrity fame game. Those people are precisely the contacts that she needed to be speaking to to raise her profile, and now that she had some cameras on her, they were obviously all going to be happy to talk to her - because it would boost their own profile to do so as well.

Whether or not Kirsten realised it, she had at the moment she got the contract from BBC Three, already accomplished the objective that she had set herself.

For more of an analysis of this kind of deceit, you can read the post on the Ecstatic Union blog: "How did this blog become so popular?"

If you didn't see or hear about the program you could read this to get you up to speed:
Summary of the programme
or if you are living in a place where you can watch this:
Watch the programme on IPlayer - not available in all countries
(although the first five minutes is enough).

If you really want to see Kirsten O'Brien's boobs, I'm guessing this is about as close as you are likely to get

Addenda - 16 August 2009
Well what a surprise.
Kirsten O'Brien's flagging career has (as predicted) been given a boost by her 60 Minute Tease-athon.
All of a sudden she is popping up doing stuff like this:
Kirsten O'Brien one of two presenters at World Freerun Championship from London's Trafalgar Square

Addenda - 2 September 2009
Ah whaddaya know!
Since teasing us with the prospect her breasts, Kirsten's flagging career has really started to zing.
More exposure from BBC Three... someone on the inside? think you?
Kirsten O'Brien doing yet more "presenting".