Mariah Carey’s recent announcement that her ex-husband was her only sexual partner was merely the latest in a string of such revelations from famous and worldly women. It may not have much traction in real life anymore, but “virginity” is turning into an extremely useful tool of celebrity P.R. Here’s how it’s done.
NAME, WORK, AGE WHEN ANNOUNCED HOW THE NEWS WAS PHRASED WHAT IT DID FOR IMAGE OF VIRGINITYWHAT IT DID FOR IMAGE OF VIRGINMariah Carey
27 (retroactive)“I probably looked like a vixen, but Tommy is the first person I was really with.”Showed that just because you talk the talk doesn’t mean you walk the walk. Worked against her image as an opportunistic gangster moll.Brooke Shields
19“I’ve felt that physical attraction. But … love is what I want to wait for.”First fully modern girl to make virginity seem sexy.Proved nothing did come between her and her Calvins.Tara McCarthy
Author, Been There, Haven’t Done That; 26“When I do have sex it will be the biggest gift I’ve ever given anyone.”Claimed virginity as a Gen-X lifestyle choice.Got her a massive book advance, contingent on her continued purity.A.C. Green
34“I was curious about sex at first … but curiosity is not going to kill this cat.”Invented the term “secondary virgins.”Provided lots of pent-up energy to channel into dirty play. Juliana Hatfield
24“I’ve never gone all the way.”Showed that virgins have girl power, too. Distinguished her from all the other sensitive middle-class girls with guitars.Donna Martin
Beverly Hills 90210
College seniorForever saying no to insistent college boys.Showed that virgins have breast implants, too.Distinguished her from all the other curvaceous airheads on the show.Sarah And Elliot
Party of Five
18“I’m an honest virgin and you’re a lying, stinking creepo virgin.”Showed that virgins have double standards, too.Raised more questions than it answered. Tune in next week for more revelations.