Hollywood, CA - Joining an elite but ever-growing list of "paparazzi-prey," Jessica Alba's nipple posed for a brief but effective first-ever photo-op on the red carpet of the 2005 MTV Movie Awards. "I'm really proud of my nipple for stepping up like this-- "The Fantastic Four" opens soon, and we really needed the type of press buzz staged public nudity can provide," said Alba.
Alba's nipple is just the latest example of orchestrated celebrity exhibitionism, which has included Elizabeth Hurley's 1995 "safety pin" Versace gown in the midst of boyfriend Hugh Grant's solicitation arrest; Jennifer Lopez's V-shaped green dress (also Versace) at the 2000 Grammy awards; Rose McGowan's "barely-there" attire for the 1998 MTV Video Awards; and finally culminating in Janet Jackson's infamous 2004 Superbowl XXXVIII "wardrobe malfunction."
"Janet hurt us," admits Hollywood publicist Gurn Blanston. " Up to that point we had a good run of 'accidental' events, from Courtney Cox, Shannon Elizabeth, Anne Hathaway, Jewel... there was always plausible deniability that they didn't know the dress was see-through. But Janet got greedy, she didn't play the game. That hurt us. I see Jessica's nipple as a fresh start in celebrity pandering."
The impact of Alba's public display remains to be seen. Since the Superbowl incident and subsequent government "decency" crackdown, publicity stunts from Lindsay Lohan and Tara Reid have been viewed as more embarrassing bids for attention than calculated strategies designed to boost their respective careers. "We all felt bad for Lindsay, she was clearly made a cog in the machine just as she became legal," adds Blanston. "As for Tara... well, what can I say, she's an idiot."
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