Thursday, January 27, 2005

Desperately Seeking Celebrity Workout DVDs

This was the stumbling block (everything else is downhill slalom when logic is applied) but the lovely Atom at this lovely spick and span site called Music For Torching wanted a tale about Celebrity Workout DVDs? took a while tiges...but I got there...

Desperately Seeking Celebrity Workout DVDs

Like a lot of people, I put great store in what celebrities recommend. Or at least I did, in my youth. And not even big celebrities like Soleil Moon Fyre or Alf (the alien, not Alf Stewart, although I have adopted his voice whenver I say "flamin hoons"). Pretty much anyone I had seen on TV, even the Toyworld big purple bear, was a source of great inspiration to me. And few people have had the impact on my life that Jennie Garth has. Whenever her brand of calm, considered acting came on screen throughout the peak era of Beverly Hills 90210, I was genuinely transfixed. She is the only person to inspire me to go and buy a jacket because I saw it on TV (although I must admit, I want one of Tina T/Finlay Roberts hats). She also once had her fan mail address printed in the "Ask the Editor" section of Smash Hits, and I ALMOST put pen to paper, but alas, I lost the edition of Smash Hits when my mum threw it away, and so Ms Garth never did find out the adulation a small, benny girl from Melbourne had for her and everything she did.

It was many years later, when I was much older, and wiser, and looking to Layne Beachley for guidance, that I found myself in Cash Converters. I had decided that I needed to actually do something with my day, rather than sit around half heartedly painting, and watching day time talk shows. Probably spending the day in Cash Converters, Australia's favourite 2nd hand store for poor people to get beer money by selling their fridge for 4 bucks, wasn't the most productive idea, but I did enjoy scouring through their many Formula 1 videos, and kettles with no lids. It was then that my eyes came across a thing of beauty. Someone had made an illegal copy onto DVD (at least I think it was illegal) of "Body In Progress" - the 1992 Jennie Garth workout video that inspired me every day I owned it - the video in which Jennie G talks about the joys of a low impact workout, her love of seeing fatty boombahs get skinny, tells you how to reduce your jeans size, and does some fine working out to her own husbands synth music - I was flushed with joy, and my mind spun back to the first time I owned this sacred item - Christmas, 1992...

It had been an ordinary Christmas. My parents had decided that in 1993, I was to get more serious about my studies, which lead to many heavy discussions. Worse, we had to go round to Auntie Kates, to sit with the classic "once a year" relatives, who sat in a circle talking about boats and, amazingly, ferreting. My uncle Clark announced seriously the problem with the youth of today was that the kids today, they didn't get to go ferreting. I looked deeply into my chocolate milkshake, and giggled my heart out. I couldn't stop, throughout the turkey and sprouts and whatever else we ate that day. I thought that if this my world, my mum in her spotted polka dot dress trying to be serious and parent like, my uncle talking about ferreting, people patting their stomachs and pretending that Dot's turkey was a "treat" when it was clearly a mess - if that was my world, it was ridiculous, and all I could do was laugh.

I was up in my treehouse that night, writing in my diary (for you young folk, people used to have keep a written diary with pens and paper, rather than keeping one of these things) when Claire climbed up the ladder with my Christmas present. Claire and I had a difficult first few months after she came back, mostly because Claire was still pining for Scotland, and had struck up a friendship with Lisa Davis that saw her briefly orbit in our school social elite. So we were working through, trying to work out our new place as best friends, when she came up the ladder, thrusting a brown paper parcel in my hand.

"What's this?" I said, smiling.

"It took a while to get - I hope it works..." she said. She furrowed her brow, as if getting this gift was one of the hardest things she had ever willed herself to buy.

I unwrapped it carefully, and there, in front of me, was the Jennie Garth workout Video, a mint copy of Body In Progress. I looked at Claire, and was genuinely greatful.

"I know how hard it was for you to buy this," I said, smiling.

"Fucking hard," said Claire, and when Claire swears, I know something is difficult.

"Do you...want to watch with me?"

Claire paused, at this pivotal moment in our friendship. Her love for Shannen Doherty was on the line. Would she lower herself to come down and watch Jennie Garth do a low impact aerobics workout? Would she be that good a friend?

"That's OK..." she said, pouting, "I just thought you'd like it, I didn't want to actually watch it myself..."

It was the perfect answer. Because Claire, being Claire, wouldn't actually deign to watch it. And throughout her psuedo-friendship with Lisa Davis, she was doing a lot of stuff she didn't want to do, to impress Lisa and her crew. The real Claire wouldn't care less, and if something was lame, she'd refuse to do it. I knew then, as she climbed back down the ladder, that we'd be OK...we were really back to being best friends - after all, there was no way in gods earth I'd sit and watch something as stupid as Blindfolds: Acts Of Obsession with Shannen Doherty in it...

I took home the DVD (I obviously paid for it first) and put it in for Claire, and as she came in, I pointed to the screen...

"You don't STILL watch that crap?" she said, shaking her head and putting on a mardy pout.

"Tina T would watch it," I said, smilling.

"She doesn't tell the truth, that's why I'm your best friend, I keep you right so you don't stray into benny territory - I failed in this case..."

At which point, Jennie Garth began doing some step aerobics, and Claire stormed off into her room,'s more than a workout video or DVD you's a true marker in a friendship...and that's far more than Melissa George ever managed...


Blogger Atom said...

But what about ferreting?

Were there any more outbreaks of ferreting?

Shannon, Jennie, Claire and Cash Convertors.

A recipe for fun that's for sure!

12:43 PM  

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