My mom informs me that Fox News tv is reporting the sudden death of Anna Nicole Smith.
She was 39.
In some ways, I'm not at all surprised, and in a lot of other ways, I'm quite shocked.
I really seldom thought about Anna Nicole. After all, her life never actually touched mine, except via the media. But what I saw of her, through the camera's eye, was a woman of contradictory forces. She seemed to be both incredibly strong and intensely vulnerable, savvy about getting the attention of men and wholly naive about their nature beyond that point (not that I can blame her. Men still bemuse and perplex me, and I live amid all sorts of them).
All in all, though, I think the most intriguing aspect of Anna Nicole was her ability to be a nonconformist while following the most traditional way of life for a woman -- marriage (and the aim of marrying upward of one's station). She did what feminists worldwide say they want us women to do, there: she used her power as a woman. Of course, having big breasts and bottle-blond hair means that she cheated, didn't she?
She stood up for herself, though, when her departed hubby's offspring from previous marriages contested the will leaving a huge chunk of his estate to her -- she showed them that she wasn't the complete piece of dim trailer trash they thought she was. Unfortunately, she also went on television and showed the world that she wasn't the brightest bulb on Broadway, either. In other words, she had guts, but lacked a lot of basic protect-your-hindquarters common sense.
Suspicion is that she may have died from some drug-related problem. I don't honestly care about that. She chose a hellish path to walk, in the public eye. Ultimately, that's what cost her.
It can't be easy rocking boats. Eventually, they tend to capsize.
Note: I've taken a quick look at the various reports of her death, and the pictures which accompany the articles seem to present Anna in just such a diverse fashion: serious courtroom warrior, bimbo, embattled model... she was certainly an unusual person.