Katie Price started out her career as a topless model. Now, at the age of 33, she’s a successful author and businesswoman, with a near-ubiquitous presence in the British media, as well as a lingerie range, a number of reality shows, and multiple novels and autobiographies to her name.
She’s done alright for herself, you could say. But she’s also established herself in the eyes of much of the public as a certain kind of person. The kind who… well, this sums up the attitude pretty well. She’s not very bright, is the popular view, and her sex life is of continual fascination to people who don’t seem to like her very much.
Anyway, her Twitter account took a turn for the interesting yesterday:
Great news about China’s latest GDP figures!!
Chinese leaders now likely to loosen monetary policy to stimulate growth. Yay!!
OMG!! Eurozone debt problems can only be properly solved by true fiscal union!!! #comeonguys
Large scale quantitative easing in 2012 could distort liquidity of govt. bond market. #justsayin
A number of people noticed this, and considered it so out of character that they concluded her account must have been hacked. Others took an opposing view, and declared it offensive and patronising to assume that someone such as Katie Price couldn’t possibly have opinions on things like global economics simply because she has famously large breasts.
To me, the above tweets looked more like the Pricey was lightly making fun of her own image, and was deliberately playing up the contrast between global economic policy and her usual style of discourse, possibly just because it amused her. Even her detractors might credit her with enough self-awareness as to crack such a joke.
But the claim that this was just a savvy businesswoman sharing her views, and that if people can’t believe it then they’re just unfairly judging her intelligence based on her physical appearance, seems naïve.
For a start, we don’t just have her physical appearance on which to base an assessment of her mental acuity; we also have everything else she’s ever said or done, over the course of numerous books, reality TV shows, interviews, and far more down-to-earth tweets than those quoted above. It’s not degrading to Katie – as a woman or in any other sense – to have noticed that expounding on the Eurozone debt crisis is a long way from her usual style.
But it’s also a mistake to assume that someone’s capacity or inclination for using complex-sounding terminology like “fiscal union” is a useful signifier for intelligence. I consider myself a fairly intelligent person, but I have trouble operating a fucking can-opener, let alone formulating any useful opinions about the GDP of China. (I’m not even kidding. The bastards just don’t want to grip the metal in the right place and so nothing happens when I turn the twisty bit.)
(I was talking about can-openers in those last parentheses, not the Chinese.)
And finally, even if you are (I would say over-generously) willing to credit Katie Price with both intelligence and sincere, passionate opinions on this complex subject, the tweets above are a poor example of how she would demonstrate such qualities.
I mean, who’s so excited about China’s GDP that they’d use two exclamation marks and mean it? Who suffixes a comment about growth stimulation with “Yay!!” when it’s not an innuendo? Why would anyone choose to sandwich such an erudite-sounding soundbite between “OMG” and a flippant hashtag?
That’s a deliberately humourous incongruity, not someone intelligent talking straight-forwardly about the European economy. It’s much closer to how someone who’s known for their physicality but has half a brain might take the piss out of the assumption that anyone with big tits couldn’t possibly have insightful opinions.
As it turns out, it’s not even quite that. Her following tweet revealed the whole business to be an advertising stunt for a chocolate bar.
In a sense, it was tremendously successful, and rather cleverly concocted. It’s even possible that Ms Price herself was involved in crafting this scheme, which got thousands of people looking at and talking about her Twitter feed who wouldn’t usually be the slightest bit interested. She’s not an idiot, that girl.