Mirror Magazine
19th August 2001
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  • Indians model better 
  • Good old days: then and now
  • Stolen innocence 
  • Indians model better 

    My dear Nilu,

    This is regarding the comment on Indian models which was published in the Mirror Magazine of July 15, 2001.

    I think that you have forgotten the main purpose of advertising. It is only to promote the item on sale and not the model. And the advertisers are not interested in giving business for the models but to promote their items with less cost.

    Indian models are much better than Sri Lankan models. They are famous and popular in India and they do not have to come to Sri Lanka to find a career. It is the Sri Lankans who beg them to come to Sri Lanka and help them promote their items.

    Almost half the products that Sri Lanka imports is from India (refer the middle paragraph of page 11 of the Grade 11 Social Studies Book (Govt. publication).)

    So if there is a product of India imported to Sri Lanka, I don't find anything wrong in the dubbing of an Indian advertisement. A lot of money is saved by the people who import these items and sell it because they do not have to create an advertisement.

    You mentioned that, sometimes you feel if you have migrated to India it is not that you have migrated to India but just that Sri Lankan models lack the flair and beauty that the Indian models have. So it's only natural that Sri Lankan products are promoted by Indian models. After all almost everything you are consuming is from India - so what harm in seeing the Indian models promoting the Sri Lankan products to make them sell better!!!

    I hope you understand that Indian models play a bigger role than the Sri Lankan models in the advertising sector in Sri Lanka. The most important thing is that I have nothing against you!

    V. Vithyashager

    Good old days: then and now

    I remember the first few years of marriage. They were fun-filled, full of care and love. Everything sailed smoothly between us. There were hardly any misunderstandings, raised voices or fault finding. Both of us were very young and I should say a bit immature, too. We spent time together, went out a lot. We saw whatever the film that was screened and we didn't care about the time. I got late to come home but did we care? No! because no one was waiting for us... for us to bring anything that was needed for the house.

    Then we had children and with them came a bundle of responsibilities. We were busy all the time not with each other but with our children. They took all our time for themselves. We hardly saw a film... seldom went out on fun-filled tours... we were all the time bringing things for them. Going shopping for them. We started finding fault with each other if the children had any problems with their homework. We always thought it was the other person's duty to sit with the children to solve their mathematical problems or to find little little things for their environmental studies.

    Things were misplaced by the children and we shouted at each other raising our voices... We hardly had the time to sit next to each other to exchange sweet nothings. We didn't know what films were on and off.

    The children grew up and started choosing their own paths. They started looking for jobs and partners. We did both for them. They got employed and went away to distant lands and found their own partners. They sought happiness and ultimately found it.

    Both of us are back to square one. We have all the time to sit and chat peacefully. And retirement allows us to go out whenever we wish to and simply browse through magazines at the libraries.

    This my friend is life!

    Manel Chandrasena

    Stolen innocence 

    In my opinion, the most depraved act ever carried out is the act of child abuse. Mental and physical abuse, especially sexual abuse, of a child can only be the work of a monster. 

    What rape can do to a child is horrific; so horrific, in fact, that whatever the duration of the act, the scars remain for a lifetime. Fortunately for me, I have not experienced any kind of abuse in my short life, but I have the pleasure, and grief, of being friends with a wonderful person who sadly was not as lucky as I.

    She encountered sexual abuse at the tender age of seven, not from a stranger but from a cousin several years older than herself. Her pain has been so great that now, at the age of eighteen, she has only confided in one person so far: me. It is with her permission and on her behalf that I am writing this.

    One particularly awful aspect of child molestation is that most young victims, who are naturally naîve, do not know whom to turn to for help - mainly because they feel that perhaps they are to blame in some way. This unfair guilt, combined with the inability to share the problem with someone else makes their burden even harder to bear. After all, if the shame borne by adult victims of rape is so severe that the majority do not report it to the authorities because they feel responsible, how can children be expected to know that it is not their fault? Also, some victims are so young that they do not realize exactly what is being done to them - all that they know is that what is happening is something bad, but they seldom understand until they are more mature, and by then, they have begun to feel insecure and ashamed and hence do not confide in anyone. 

    Another reason victims do not confide in others is because, shockingly often, the molester is a family member. Especially in the case of abusive parents, whom can they turn to for help? And at such a young age, who will believe them? Especially when it is their word against that of their parent?

    As I said before, the scars remain forever. This is painfully obvious to me in the case of my friend, who is withdrawn, hypersensitive, afraid of getting emotionally close to anyone, and terribly insecure and unsure of herself, as is to be expected. Even now, she thinks that maybe it was her fault that she was abused. The thought may seem ridiculous to those of us who are untouched, but this is the extent of the damage caused by that one solitary incident so many years ago. 

    She continues to be afraid of many things - she puts on a brave face to most people, but knowing her innermost secret, I also know that inside, she is still hurting. And I am glad to be able to share some of the burden. It pains me to know what I know, but I am happy to be able to understand her completely, which is something others seldom do. Incidentally, she did not tell me because I am the best friend she's ever had, (maybe I am now but I certainly wasn't then), but simply because I asked her this question once in jest, when I first met her: "are you as innocent as you seem?" My question took her completely by surprise, but she felt the need to answer me honestly, and she did. Needless to say, her response took me completely by surprise. Even ten or eleven years later, the mere thought of it brought tears to her eyes. What really astounded me was that, after relating the story to me, she asked me "do you think I'm a horrible person?" It was then that she told me that she felt responsible.

    From that day on, I have felt nothing but sympathy, love and respect for her. Sympathy for what she has been through (I know better than to pity her, because I know she is as strong as she is weak). I love her for who she is, for she is wonderful despite everything, and I respect her because, more than anything else, she has pulled herself together and carried on with her life - a truly remarkable feat, considering the weight of the cross she bears.

    What saddens me more than anything is that she has never been able to tell anyone about this up to now. I know that she has definitely had more than her fair share of grief throughout her life, and I wish she could share this with someone who could help her more than I can, perhaps a counselor, so that maybe she can eventually put her past behind her, which is where it belongs.

    It is important that victims of child abuse remain silent no more, if only to prevent others from falling prey to these monsters. These monsters belong behind bars, for they have committed the most despicable crime ever, possibly even worse than murder; they have stolen the innocence of a child.

    - Ruwanie

    Demi and Karate beau to tie the knot

    A smile's back on her face

    Delighted Demi Moore is getting ready to walk down the aisle with her karate instructor boyfriend nearly a year after her divorce from Bruce Willis - and her Die Hard ex is all for it! "Bruce isn't the least bit jealous," says a pal. "In fact, he's given them his blessing. He told me: 'I just want her to be happy. She and I will always have a special relationship. She's the mother of my children, and nothing can alter that.' The actress' fiance, Oliver Whitcomb, surprised the G.I. Jane star with a sudden, simple proposal, say pals, and now the couple are planning an autumn wedding at her secluded Hailey, Idaho, estate!

    "It all happened so quickly," a friend said. "Ollie shocked Demi by proposing out of the blue. He got down on bended knee over a candlelit dinner at their home, and produced a stunning three carat diamond ring."

    Whitcomb, 31, then watched nervously as a tear rolled down Moore's cheek. "He asked if there was anything wrong," the friend says. "Demi paused, then cracked up laughing. She assured him: 'I've never been so happy!" The entire Moore/Willis clan celebrated the good news recently at a big July 4th bash in Idaho. "Demi showed up with Oliver. Bruce turned up with a new galpal, and they all hung out on the balcony of Bruce's building, The Mint. "They were obviously having a great time," says one observer. "Bruce and Demi's daughter Tallulah was in the town parade, and everyone cheered her on. They all got along really well. Bruce and Demi were very comfortable with one another. Demi chatted amicably with Bruce and his date, a slender, short-haired blonde, and Bruce was acting buddy-buddy with Oliver."

    The group continued to party after the parade, jumping in Moore's and 'Willis' identical black Cadillac sport utility vehicles and meeting up at the family compound, where laughter and music could be heard for hours.

    Now, it looks like the next big party will be a wedding reception. And Moore is wasting no time getting ready.

    She was recently spotted in Las Vegas shopping for a wedding veil. "Demi looked like she was walking on air," says a source. "She was so down to earth and friendly, chatting with sales assistants, including one who told her she'd been married 30 years." But the Striptease beauty , 38, wasn't letting the cat out of the bag about when her big day might be.

    Insiders say that when Moore and Willis split, the last thing on the actress' mind was finding a new man. Her 11-year marriage to Willis crashed in June 1998. She met Whitcomb around that time when she took her daughters Rumer, 13, Scout, 10, and Tallulah, 7, to karate classes at his school.

    But she didn't rush into things. The devoted mom withdrew from the Hollywood spotlight at the height of her fame and earning power to give her daughters the stability her own childhood lacked, say sources. 

    She waited until October 2000 to file for a divorce, which was finalized the same month. 

    In Whitcomb, she has opted for an ordinary guy instead of another movie star. "Ollie maybe a nobody compared to Bruce, but he's a superstar in Demi's eyes," says a friend. "He's put a smile back on her face - and in her heart."

    It doesn't hurt that Moore's daughters adore their stepfather-to-be, too.

    A source says. "This is the life Demi always wanted." 

    "With Bruce, it was all ups and downs. She said: 'One day he adored me, the next it was like I didn't exist.' 

    "She was on edge before, almost insecure. But with Oliver, the love is constant. Demi is content. She says: 'I know where I stand' and that's crucial to her." 

    Moore and her paramour have even discussed having a child of their own. "Ollie admires her as a mother," says one friend. "He thinks the world of those girls, and they know he's good for their mom." 

    While Moore has been steady with Whitcomb for the past three years, Willis has dated a series of women. 

    The Sixth Sense star, 46, flipped for 17-years-younger Latin sexpot Maria Bravo. When that romance crashed he turned to porn queen Alisha Klass. That torrid fling fizzled, too, say sources, after Moore told him to cool it for the sake of their kids..

    Willis is going along with his ex-wife's wedding plans because he's convinced it's the best thing for their daughters.

    "Bruce knows if Demi's happy, the kids are happy," a friend says. "He's already told Ollie: 'When the invitations go out, make sure my name's at the top of the list! 

    "'Oliver's a great guy, and my girls like him. That's very important to me."' Although Moore officially denies she has plans to marry Whitcomb, pals are eagerly awaiting the big wedding day. 

    World's most expensive shoes

    You can really take a shine to Olga Berluti's shoes - they run from $2,000 to $85,000 a pair and are the most expensive in the world.

    Despite the price, wealthy guys are tripping all over each other to get the handmade creations of the legendary Parisian shoe designer.

    "I love men's feet and I want to create the most beautiful shoes in the world for them," Berluti said.

    "The world's best craftsmen make and sign them, and the best leather is used."

    The shoes are so precious that Berluti recommends buffing her masterpieces with champagne.

    Berluti footwear has encased the feet of John F. Kennedy, billionaire Aristotle Onassis and artists Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali. Actors Ben Kingsley and Yul Brynner fell for their Berlutis' heart and sole.

    For his coronation in 1977, the late Emperor Bokassa of the Central African Republic was fitted with a pair of Berluti's pearl-encrusted boots costing a staggering $85,000.

    "John Kennedy's shoes were made by my father and were classically styled, black and laced," said the designer.

    Onassis, who was usually in a hurry, wanted slip-ons that were supple, easy to slip into, and could be worn comfortably without socks.

    Berluti, the grand-daughter of the founder, operates out of a 70-year-old shop. She cradles each client's feet in her hands when fitting them and discussing their needs.

    She caters entirely to men, who often have special requests. "Some want platinum buckles encrusted with diamonds, and brooches covered in emeralds and rubies on their shoes," Berluti said.

    The designer's craftsmen are like fine surgeons, cutting the leather with scalpels and sewing together the pieces with extremely fine threads. They are polished until they glow like a diamond. 

    Some 120 devotees, known as the Swann Club, gather once a year in a Paris restaurant to smoke fine cigars and polish their Berlutis with champagne.

    "Sometimes I use a good Cognac on them as well," says Berluti.

    Not one to rest on her laurels, the shoe designer is currently at work on a new feat of footwear - a universal shoe that can be worn "from the snows of the Himalayas to the streets of Paris."

    Matrix Reloaded delayed until 2003

    Fans of The Matrix will have to wait even longer than expected for the film's first sequel, The Matrix Reloaded. The sci-fi sequel is now unofficially set for May 2003, more than four years after the original debuted. Warner Bros. won't officially confirm the tentative 2003 plans, with sources noting that shooting has yet to start, although early effects work is going well. 

    The Sci-Fi Channel's Website quotes producer Joel Silver about the delay: "It's a staggering project. There's so much dealing with it, it's unbelievable." He says the next two instalments in the series are being filmed together, further delaying the process. "It's not back to back. It's one movie, so they'll finish shooting it, and then they'll take the time to finish the movies," said Silver. 

    Some sequences of the top-secret sequel were filmed in Oakland, California, before the crew had to go on hiatus to wait out the writers' and actors' guild contract negotiations. With both potential strikes averted, production resumed in Australia, where the first film was shot. 

    In the highly anticipated sequels, Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Laurence Fishburne reprise their respective roles of Neo, Trinity, and Morpheus, while Hugo Weaving, whose Agent Smith character was destroyed by Neo in the first film, reportedly returns as Agent Smith 2.0. Newcomers to the futuristic franchise include Jada Pinkett Smith, Romeo Must Die's Aaliyah, Malèna's Monica Bellucci, and Titus' Harry J. Lennix. 

    Mel B: juggling careers

    Love obviously agrees with Melanie Brown. She has never looked more relaxed or radiant. One reason is watching her beloved daughter Phoenix-Chi grow from a baby into a beautiful little girl, now two. But perhaps the main reason for her bliss is her blossoming romance with Max Beesley, which is growing by the day so much so that she calls him "the one" and even hints at having children with the actor, who made his name in the BBC period drama Tom Jones. 

    The Spice Girl has had much to occupy her time lately. She recently returned from Romania, where she helped raise awareness about the plight of children with AIDS in her role as patron of the charity Blackliners. 

    In this very special interview, she reveals what motivates her. 

    Mel, now you're a mother, has your relationship with your own parents changed? 

    "Phoenix is their first grandchild, so she's brought us all closer together. My relationship with my parents has matured and we're more respectful of one another now - partly because I've realised how hard it is to be a parent. It's all about getting things right, having a certain amount of routine and a sense of responsibility. 

    "I wasn't that rebellious when I was younger, just hyperactive. I was cute-naughty like Phoenix, not bratty-naughty. My dad was a disciplinarian, my mum fancy-free." 

    What are the qualities you find appealing about Max? 

    "He's a Northern, down-to-earth worker with a brilliant sense of humour - and a fantastic body!" 

    Have you any plans to marry? 

    "You can never say never, but getting married isn't something we're in a hurry to do. We already feel spiritually married. We've got a good, happy relationship and we're really good friends." 

    How did you fall in love? 

    "We met four years ago and became friends immediately, but things didn't blossom until January or February 2000. That's when we got a twinkle in our eye for each other. I realised how truly genuine and open and friendly he was when he came to a Spice Girls book launch. Now I often have moments when it hits me that this is it and he's the one. He really is the love of my life." 

    If Max was offered a big Hollywood role, would you pack in your career and go with him to the States? 

    "No! We've been apart before, when Max worked in LA and New York for months at a time, and we managed well - it just becomes a long-distance relationship. You see each other when you can and you phone every day and that's that. Anyway, Max and I have a pact never to be apart for longer than two weeks and we stick to it." 

    What are your plans for your daughter Phoenix-Chi? 

    "She already goes to nursery twice a week and really enjoys it. Later I want to find the right multicultural school for her, either here or abroad. It needs a lot of thought and I'd have to discuss it with her father [Jimmy Gulzar]." 

    Would you like more children? 

    "Definitely! But who knows when? Probably not for a couple of years." 

    Any plans for an acting career? 

    "For the rest of this year I'm concentrating on TV. Next year I'll record a second album. I'd like to start studying acting in the middle of next year, schedule permitting." 

    You've kept a diary since you were 13. What do you think you at that age would have thought of the person that you are now? 

    "That on the outside I'm still a kid but on the inside I'm very old and wise and clued-up! I'd like to think that the person I was then would be pleased with the way I've turned out." 

    What are your thoughts on the other Spice Girls? 

    "We're still the best of mates and whenever we get together we have a good laugh about the way the press goes on about how the Spice bubble has burst. It's a complete joke. No other group in history has done what we've done. We've gone on to have successful solo careers and there isn't another band that's been able to do that." 

    If there was one thing you could change from your period in the Spice Girls, what would it be? 

    "Probably not having my family around me enough, due to the management we had at the time. My mum, dad and sister came on tour a few times but it would have been good to have them there more. If I could do it again, I'd find a way to spend more time with my family and, just as importantly my friends, like Charlotte and Rebecca." 

    How did you get involved with Blackliners? 

    "They invited me to see the work they'd been doing for the past 11 years and things went from there. I got especially involved with their campaign to help prevent pregnant mothers with HIV and AIDS from passing it on to their children. A few weeks ago I went to Romania to help raise the profile of the hundreds of children who are dying from AIDS. I'm hoping to do the same in Africa, China and the Caribbean." 

    Why Romania? 

    "There was a huge cry for help coming from that country, where there are 10,000 HIV-positive children, money is needed to buy anti-AIDS drugs and its people need educating about the disease - some doctors are even turning away AIDS patients because of the stigma attached to it. 

    Finally are the Spice Girls over? 

    "No, we're not! We'll do some more stuff at some point but we're not sure when. We're all really busy doing our own stuff at the moment." 

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