Much Ado About Nothing

Celebrities live out their lives in upon the lighted stage, and are frequently inclined do things that might get ordinary civilians shamed or fired.  So it’s always entertaining when one these gilded Icaruses veers into the scorching rays of hypocrisy, as in the matter of 22-year-old Paulina Gretzky’s suddenly redacted Twitter feed.

Many responsible news organs (Globe & Mail, National Post, CBC, CTV—all of whom really ought to know better) repeated the speculation that this was somehow engineered by paterfamilias Wayne Gretzky, who was allegedly displeased by the racy photos made public by his daughter.  To be fair, this supposition and the subsequent media frenzy was initiated by the young lady’s own tweeted revelation: “Having a nice sit down dinner with my dad about social media..haha #SIKEEE [sic]”

If this is in fact the truth of the matter, then I will not stop laughing for a week.  Here for your own examination are a selection of photos culled from Ms. Gretzky’s feed; I have deliberately selected the most revealing—which for our purposes might be called the most “racy”.

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I grant that none of these poses would be commonplace amongst the Ursuline Sisters of the Roman Union, but neither is Ms. Gretzky displaying more of herself than one would for sunbathing in the presence of families at Kew Beach.

No father is bound to greet his daughter’s blossoming sexuality with anything like cheer, but Paulina is 22 after all, and by law, an adult.  Whatever she chooses to put out there is, for better or worse, her own decision.

The supposed displeasure of Paulina’s famous dad is all the richer because of the ah, road to fame taken by her mother, Janet Gretzky—or as the readers of the March 1987 edition of Playboy would know her, Janet Jones.  Here, for purposes of comparison, is a brief selection of photos of the then-26-year-old Ms. Jones.

NOTE: Links to these images will be deprecated after 15 days to protect the copyright of the original publisher.

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I leave it to you, the discerning reader, to determine which is the more prurient in nature.

1987 was also the year that Wayne Gretzky ended a seven-year relationship with Canadian singer Vikki Moss.  Details are a little hazy as to whether things with Moss had officially ended before or after the fateful Gretzky-Jones meeting at an L.A. Lakers game.  According to the 19 February 1997 episode of Howard Stern’s radio show, Gretzky and Jones hit it off right away, and consummated the relationship that very night.  Author Stephen Brunt has chronicled the essential elements:

It happened fast—as he would confess to radio DJ Howard Stern a few years later, everything happened very fast.  (“That’s why they call you The Great One,” Stern said.)  There was a post-game dinner at a restaurant in the San Fernando Valley with Thicke and a few of his friends.  (Two years later, when Jones and Gretzky were married in Edmonton, Thicke brought the chairs from the restaurant where they had sat that first night, and gave them as a wedding present.)  The next morning, Gretzky phoned one of his buddies.  “You’re not going to believe this,” he said.  “You know that chick from The Flamingo Kid?”  Soon enough, Moss was history, and at the training camp for the Canada Cup tournament the following September, Gretzky went public with the fact that there was a new woman in his life (which, in Edmonton at least, was treated as very big news).

— Brunt, Stephen.  Gretzky’s Tears: Hockey, Canada, and the Day Everything Changed.  Toronto: Random House of Canada, 2010. Print.  p. 100.

We may surmise, then, that Gretzky pater did not find it objectionable that his future bride disrobed for a men’s magazine—to say nothing of getting intimate on the first date.  I would also like to enter into evidence Janet Jones’ 1998 interview with Sports Illustrated‘s Jeff Pearlman:

Right before the nuptials, newspapers asked Wayne about the March 1987 issue of Playboy, the cover of which was graced by his nearly naked bride-to-be. (“You can’t see anything,” he said at the time. “I showed it to my mother; she loved it.”) That wasn’t good enough for the press. What was she thinking, they cried? Where were her morals’?

— Pearlman, Jeff.  “A Tough Post-nup.”  Sports Illustrated, 20 February 1998.

As something of a curmudgeon, I lean toward the cynic’s view that Paulina Gretzky’s Twitter shutdown was a calculated effort to gain attention for the lacklustre offspring of a famous parent.  Otherwise, one would have to conclude that Wayne Gretzky is a patronising hypocrite, lecturing his adult daughter about the very liberties that he and his wife were happy to exploit for their own benefit.

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