Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Aging In Absentia

Had she lived, Princess Diana would have celebrated her 50th birthday last Friday, but even in death, she can't escape reporters and the post-mortem version of paparazzi. Newsweek's Tina Brown spins a yarn of what Diana's life could have been like if she'd lived, after she'd broken up with Dodi Al-Fayed (as Ms. Brown assumes that she would have). Brown's conjectures about the middle-aged Diana's taste in men, what cosmetic procedures she'd have used, and whether she'd have forgiven those who wronged her could serve as the outline for a romance novel. They'd have to find a better cover picture for the novel than the "age progressed" and "updated" photo that accompanied the Newsweek article, though.

One of the minor—perhaps only—consolations of losing someone who died much too young is that in your memory, they'll always be young. Thanks, Newsweek, for screwing with my memories. The periodical's motive for publishing the article and the modified photograph is, I'm sure, to titillate readers and sell as many magazines as possible. I think they chickened out, though. Given the popularity of television dramas like "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," why not just go whole hawg and print a projection of what Diana's actual remains look like today?

N.B. I thought about including a copy of the doctored photo with this post, then decided it's not an image that I want to perpetuate. If you want to see it, go check out the article and photo on Newsweek's site. I couldn't find the original of the modified photo, but did find one that could serve as a reasonable comparison. Here's how I'd prefer to remember Diana:

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