To say Lily Allen made an appearance at Cannes is perhaps the understatement of the blogo-century.
Not only did the UK’s Internet-made pop singer turn up during the French film festival, but so did her bare breasts and Brazilian wax (pictured!).
Allen was photographed swimming in bikini bottoms only, and then later lounging, legs apart, in a see-through party dress minus underwear.
Her flaunted parts didn’t receive the reaction she might have been after. Online commentators slapped photos of Allen’s unmentionables with a NSFL (Not Safe For Lunch) tag along with the usual NSFW (Not Safe For Work).
Outside of the more starved gossip circles, though, bloggers were unaroused. Only 300 or so blogs (out of Technorati’s 112.8 million) opted to comment, and they were unanimously hyper-negative.
Why was that? Could it be that Allen is simply unspectacular in the flesh? Or maybe she’s too all-natural for the Web’s full-frontal standards? Or is it that, in this post-TMZ era, there’s a shrinking audience for anything as straightforward as a vagina?
Interest was weak, but Allen’s damage control certainly wasn’t. Last Friday she issued a near-genius but grammatically challenged rebuttal to the photographers (and specifically celebrity blogger Perez Hilton) on her MySpace page.
“I wish digital camera hadn’t been invented. If these photographers had to pay for film, it wouldn’t be worth their time. On the other hand, digital pictures are easier to retouch, so I shouldn’t complain,” the 23-year-old wrote, carefully blasting modern technology yet mindful that it has made her famous.
She also positioned herself as young and free-spirited as opposed to smutty and out-of-control: “Occasionally I drink wine with lunch and yes I swim topless. This, in my book, is not embarrassing behaviour.”
Allen then went on to address rumours that she and her ex-boyfriend (father of the baby she recently miscarried) are reuniting. “I am not some failed baby making machine desperately trying to win my man back,” she wrote, eliciting sympathy from notoriously vicious commentators.
After that, the already paltry number of blogs writing about her exploits/exposures quickly fell by more than half. And Allen, whose Internet savvy made her a star, proved she can manage her image better online than in person.
Joshua Errett is Online Editor for nowtoronto.com