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October 13, 1999 - Image 11

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-10-13

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

The Michigan flaih; - Wpelnp el-v. Oct nhpr 1 . 1000 -

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JULUL)UT -L,), -LZ7U--7 - 4..L

Witchy Hart spreads more tan controversy in photos

The Baltimore Sun 11
For anyone who grew up watching
'80s prime-time sitcoms, using zit
cream and believing in the purity of
Sabrina the Teenage Witch, a glance
t the magazine racks recently was
rnEh to provoke some deep soul-
se ing.
On the cover of Stuff magazine,
Alyssa Milano, formerly the sweet
amantha Micelli of "Who's The
Boss?" made sultry in a drenched
hite tank top. Nearby, Rebecca
ayheart, the former "Noxzema
irl," appeared (airbrushed to death)
opless in leather pants on the cover
f Details.
Most wicked of all, though, was
h age of Melissa Joan Hart, star
if WBC's uber-wholesome "Sabrina
he Teenage Witch," flaunting herself
n boy magazines Maxim (the "bare
itch" in black lingerie) and Bikini
the wet witch in, well, a bikini).
The startling images alone elicited
inces. But in her pinup-accompa-
iying "interviews," Hart also offered
p some disturbing dish, like an
pisode of Tequila-induced vomiting
nme difference between good and
Treat sex.
You could hardly think back on her
ld Nickelodeon kiddie sitcom,
'Clarissa Explains It All," without
'ecling dirty.
Nubile starlets appearing semi-
ude on magazine covers is nothing
;hocking - or new. And any leap
rom ingenue to sex kitten is a calcu-
ated risk, something Hart seemed to
la in mind when she declared on
' s "Showbiz Today": "You
now, it's something I just decided to
do. I'm 23, is the bottom line. I'm
23. I can do what I want. It's my
career."
But this little witch has got more at
stake.
Like, Melissa, you're the center-
piece of ABC's saccharine "TGIF"'
lineup - the birthplace of "Family
M*rs," "Step By Step," and "Boy
Meets World."
And there's a reason most of your
fans - with the exception of those
who, play drinking games to your
show before going out - are home
watching TV Friday nights. They're 8
years old!
Sabrina's a good witch. Hart
seemed like a good girl. Why go bad
- even if you do have a new movie,
thten flick "Drive Me Crazy" -

no 11

to promote?
"This is a game of publicity. It just
elevates her status even more," says
Neil Alperstein, associate professor
of popular culture at Loyola
University.
He says stirring up the controversy
caldron has perks for everyone. Hart
herself is luxuriating in the buzz and
copies of Maxim are flying off the
shelves.
Regardkles of her new fan base of
hungry young males, Hart does stand
to lose some less lusty Sabrinaphiles.
"Sometimes people will reject the
celebrity when they do something so
antithetical to their value system,"
says Loyola's Alperstein.
After all, Hart has two audiences
to satisfy: the kids who watch her
and their parents.
"If she rode Sabrina to success,
she owes something to that per-
sona," says Sheri Parks, co-host of
WJHU's "Media Matters" and a
University of Maryland, College
Park, professor.
Is it unfair to sliackle the young
witch- to this pristine image? Jim
Kaminsky, co-editor of Maxim,
thinks so.
"It's a good thing to let everyone

know she's an adult," he says. "That':
a difficult thing to do"
Kaminsky added that offering his
readers "your favorite witch without
a stitch" wasn't a random decision.
Maxim, he says, has a vocal reader-
ship, and had received thousands of
letters suggesting Hart grace the
cover, he says.
Not that his magazine would pan-
der to every kinky reader demand,
Kaminsky assures. Maxim would
never feature an under-18 starlet on
its cover, he says, as Details did ear-
lier this year when "Eyes Wide Shut"
ingenue Leelee Sobieski displayed
cleavage on its cover.
"It's not like we're pulling a fast
one on any of these actresses," he
says. When Maxim approached Hart,
there was no arm-twisting involved,
Kaminsky says. Hart and her mom,
Paula, "Sabrina's" executive produc-
er, seemed eager to do some high-
profile image tweaking.
Whatever Hart's fans (and busi-
ness partners) think of her abrupt
image shift, it illustrates that heels,
push-up bras and smoldering glances
may just be the most reliable tickets
to starlet success.
There are exceptions to the rule

(see Jodie Foster and Claire Danes).
But there are far more tales of
squeaky-clean sweethearts doing
some serious re-vamping, some trag-
ically (Dana Plato), others tri-
umphantly (Drew Barrymore).
Take actresses like Milano and
Shannen Doherty, whose Brenda
Walsh on "Beverly Hills, 90210"
basked in her Beverly Hills Virgin
identity. (Doherty was in "Our
House" with Wilford Brimley before
that. Wilford Brimley! He does
Quaker Oats commercials!)
These two formerly wholesome
hotties have since become notorious
for their bad-girl power. Maybe it's a
witch thing. The two are now on the
same show, "Charmed," playing sis-
ter witches.
Empowered, exploited ... whatever.
For an actress facing this almost
inevitable rite of passage, this is how
it goes: Girl gets popular in whole-
some role. Girl develops secondary
sexual characteristics. Girl appears
on cover of testosterone-fueled 'zine
with only a sheet and a G-string cov-
ering secondary sexual characteris-
tics.
Think the Olsen twins in leather.
It's just a matter of time.

'',,;

I

Courtesygofsy1'C
Melissa Joan Hart is driving parents crazy w-ith her recent men's magazine photos.

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ALL SCREENS DIGITAL STEREO
ALLTHEATERS STADIUM SEATING
6 SUPERSTAR (PG-13)
1:30,3:30. 5:30,7:25,9:10
ORANDOM HEARTS (R)
11:30, 12:30, 2:00,3:05,4:30, 5:45,
05, 8:45, 9:45
THREE KINGS (R)
12:00, 12:25, 2:20,2:55,4:40, 5:10,
7:00, 7:30, 9:25, 9:55
o ELMO IN GROUCHLAND (G)
4:00, 3:00, 5:00, 7:00
O DRIVE ME CRAZY (PG-13)
1:20, 1:40, 3:20, 3:40, 5:20, 5:40, 7:20,
7:40, 9:20, 9:35
OMYSTERY ALASKA (R)
11;45, 2:05, 4:25, 6:55, 9:25
OPLUNKETT & MACLEANE (R)
2:45, 7:25
LUMINATA (R) 11:50, 4:35, 7:05
UMFORD (R) 2:15,9:30
DOUBLE JEOPARDY (R)
~1:55, 12:20, 2:10, 2:40, 4:30, 4:55,
650, 7:15, 9:15, 9:40
JAKOB THE LIAR (PG-13) 9:00
BLUE STREAK (PG-13)
12:15, 2:35, 5:00, 7:10, 9:20
FOR LOVE OF THE GAME (PG-13)
'11:45.2:15. 4:45.7:15. 9:40

Mu

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