Friday, May 29, 2009

Puri, Prurience, and Hypocrisy

On the upside to the raging sex scandal, I've finally seen Katrina Halili fully clothed, without makeup, and looking like a normal 23-year old woman should.

It's quite a shock to me, really, because in all my past encounters with her posters and magazine covers, she wore nothing but see-through lingerie and a come-hither-I'm-ready look. When I finally caught a glimpse of the start of her controversial video, I had to stifle a yawn. Nothing that I hadn't already seen before.

Indeed, what's with the big to-do? Isn't this what Katrina Halili has been selling all along? Three time solo cover girl for FHM Philippines (December 2005, October 2006, February 2008), four straight years in the FHM 100 Sexiest Women (gaining the top spot in 2007), and the most prestigious of all, FHM Calendar Girl in 2008.

Now comes the time to seal the deal, to close the sale, to deliver on the goods, and Katrina Halili has suddenly discovered the virtues of modesty and chastity? You mean she wasn't serious with her come-ons? I'm confused and disappointed.

Don't be so surprised that I know these things. I'm what they like to call a hypocrite. On moral grounds, I object to the overt sexuality in media. Yet deep down, I am more attracted than repelled by the display. Can I help it if the scantily-clad visions are everywhere I look? They're in the newsstands, in the billboards, and on TV, and they're all targeted at me.

But if I'm a hypocrite, so apparently are they. A hypocrite is someone who acts in a manner contrary to what he preaches. I'm a hypocrite because I like what I claim to despise, and I can't help but take a peek every now and then. But they're also hypocrites because they claim liberation in sexuality, but who can only find scandal and shame in sex.

If we're all hypocrites, the difference is that I value sex enough to want to raise my head from the trough of sexuality, whereas they've immersed themselves in the swill only to find that there are dregs that even they're not willing to swallow.

Is there, or isn't there an intrinsic and instinctive value which we associate with sex? If sex is nothing, if it's as casual as a throwaway "Hello", then why find titillation and scandal in its display? But if it's special, sacred, and private, why flaunt it and flout it in public?

Why show it if you're not willing to sell it?


  1. isnt the issue here the filming of the act without the participants consent?

    this is different from selling simulated sex/sexual attitudes.

  2. GabbyD: Yeah, that's the legal issue. But do you seriously think that everyone is going gaga over the video because it was filmed without consent? Really?

    Dom: It is hypocrisy to like what you say you don't like, sure. But I find it hard to call someone a hypocrite just because he is attracted to something that he knows is evil and wrong. That's just ordinary human concupiscence, not hypocrisy. I doubt you've ever claimed that you are not tempted to look at Katrina Halili's FHM photos. I certainly could never claim that! :-P Thankfully, we believe that while it is sometimes difficult, temptations can be rejected.

    Post-Christian Filipinos, trapped between their Catholic heritage and their pagan obsessions, have absolutely no idea how to deal with moral issues. They have become lukewarm, and this has turned them into hypocrites.

  3. concupiscence is the correct word. we're all humans. creatures of flesh, and desire. it is nature. the issue, really, is about the consent to take the video. there was no mutual consent.


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