We are all poorer for having known her

Anna Nicole Smith had large breasts. They were not real, but then again, not much about her was, including her name.

She was skinny, then fat, then somewhat less fat. She liked to take her clothes off and seemed fairly willing to sleep with any guy with either a few bucks or a willingness to hang around long enough.

Her taste in men seemed fairly indiscriminate, but being a bit of a dirtball obviously helped and being a decrepit billionaire made you a shoe-in. She had kids without knowing exactly who the father was and while she professed her love for these children, she seemed entirely incapable of caring for them.

Basically, she had the same qualifications as any other formerly attractive woman vying to be a daytime cocktail waitress at an off-strip casino yet somehow she became an international superstar. Looking at a summary of her qualifications one would be hard-pressed to guess that Anna Nicole Smith would rise any higher than featured dancer in a lower-tier strip club outside a third-rate city. But, apparently, if you're exactly the right kind of mess, the public will embrace you.

Anna Nicole Smith had absolutely nothing going for her except that she was once pretty enough that people paid her to model clothes and eventually without clothes. There are thousands of women like this and we usually don't even learn their names let alone become immersed in every detail of their wretched lives.

Smith, however, has graced the cover of magazines, been the subject of countless news stories, appeared on nearly every major talk show and in death received only slightly less coverage than the funeral of President Ronald Reagan. Except for not being friends with Elton John and thereby not having a song written in tribute to her, Anna Nicole received about as much attention as has ever been given to a person in death.

Never has anyone been quite so well-known with so few positive attributes. She wasn't smart, couldn't act, didn't sing and accomplished essentially nothing.

After her early supermodel period, Smith largely stayed famous by being a horrible wreck of a person. She had a television program that largely consisted of her slurring her words, stumbling around and being a shockingly bad parent to her then teenage, now dead, son.

The show, which her entourage produced, portrayed her as either a heavy drug user or someone who was so dumb she could barely walk. Since we never actually saw Smith take drugs, it actually seemed possible she was simply severely below average intelligence with a balance problem.

MSNBC actually ran live footage of Smith's funeral, breaking into other coverage and dubbing the event "breaking news." People have been flying to the Bahamas just to visit her gravesite and strangers lined the streets during her funeral.

Anna Nicole Smith does not deserve the public's devotion. She lacked talent, charm and pretty much all of the qualities that make a person interesting. She leaves nothing behind except a tabloid circus, a very unfortunate baby girl and too many people deluded into thinking her life somehow mattered.

Daniel B. Kline's book, "50 Things Every Guy Should Know How to Do," is available in bookstores everywhere. He can be reached at dan@notastep.com.


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