I wonder if Clay Aiken ever contemplates his navel? In Style Magazine's "Sexiest Singer" probably doesn't have the time to sit around and engage in such things these days, but it seems he doesn't have to. There are plenty of ladies out there who are doing it for him.
How do I know? Well, I've been lurking on the Clay websites of late, trying to obtain appropriate subject matter for a column I write for Mr. Aiken's fans ( http://clayaikentheidealidol.com). No breaking news or anything. I'm not part of that journalistic club that stalks him or garners press passes at various venues. There is more to be learned from the message boards about what Clay Aiken is about than any of the paparazzi could possibly be attuned to.
And what is their latest obsession, these ladies that are hung up on the skinny, still-a-little-geeky balladeer that has been known to get a bit edgy now and then with his songs, and perhaps just a smidge in the attitude department too?
Well, it might sound absurd, but I think it's his belly button.
"Abs" in general are THE body part of choice to admire for both men and women today. Think about it. It's not only evident in the styles and fashion of today's celebrity women. Navels are also flashed frequently by celebrity men during photo shoots for feature articles.
Tom Cruise just showed a little bit of belly button on the cover of Entertainment Weekly recently, while jumping in the air with his latest co-star from Collateral, Jamie Fox.
Even in the area of sports for men, the midriff is making a splash. While tuning in to various televised events at the Olympics this week, I notice that the swimmers and some divers are wearing suits that are particularly low on the hip, and because of this, the navel cannot easily be ignored.
Other times have had other attractions. In the forties it was a lady's legs--Betty Grable and all of that. And during that time, it had to be the pecs and chest on a man. I remember watching many a Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster classic where they filmed the scene shirtless. The fifties and early sixties definitely favored big breasts for women and once again, the chest for men (but maybe now, more of a smooth, hairless look - Paul Newman, Marlon Brando, etc.) The seventies saw smaller chests for women with not such an emphasis on cup size anymore - you just had to be skinny - sort of Twiggy-ish, in order to be considered sexy. Then the eighties went with an upswing in "buff" and muscular men with larger biceps than before. People like Arnold and Stallone come to mind. The nineties gave way to a lot of interest in "butts", and I don't mean as in "cigarette". Yes, rear ends were definitely in fashion in the nineties. I think Jennifer Lopez single handedly was responsible for that trend-- and it seemed to affect both genders!
But right now, for the 2000's, there is definitely an obsession with one area of the human anatomy; between the pelvis, navel, and exposed midriff, everyone wants to see that belly button!
And, much to the chagrin of his Claymates, Clay Aiken won't show his. Not that anyone ever expected he would. After all, just look at the guy. He doesn't understand what all the hoopla is about. When he recently was named the sexiest male singer of 2004 in a landslide poll winning out over the likes of Justin Timberlake and Enrique Iglesias, he just laughed about it for a very long time. He has never exposed his chest either; in fact, he has been known to wear layers upon layers of upper body clothing, so the likelihood of seeing one copper-colored hair peeking through the buttons of his shirt is practically nil.
But Aiken has been getting very risqué lately by exposing his forearms to his public! It has been reported that he actually PUSHES UP his shirt sleeves to the elbow from time to time when he does a live concert. And, lately there have been a few photos of Clay at the buses after a concert in SHORT SLEEVE "T" AND POLO SHIRTS! What's up with THAT Mr. Aiken? It used to be that lots of Claymates would complain that the object of their affection was withholding his forearms from public view. But lately, everyone seems to be satisfied, having finally caught a glimpse of the flaxen hair going up to the elbow.
We've seen the legs, and I've gotta tell you, no one's ever been that interested in men's legs in the past, and I still think the same sentiment holds for today. Oh, there are some that purport to have an interest in the thigh when admiring the male form in close fitting jeans. But who ever claims to really be attracted to the lower leg that protrudes from the cargo shorts that so many men wear these days? We've seen Clay in his baggy shorts with the white, skinny, blonde-haired legs sticking out, and I'm here to tell you, those are not what his fans are looking for.
Just for the record, I plead the "fifth" on all of this. I'm just reporting the facts as I read 'em on the boards. Far be it from me to claim to have an expert's opinion on any of a man's body parts. And besides, I'm kind of a "hand" and "eyes" girl myself, if that makes any sense at all.
OK, you might exclaim, what about the tail end? Well, yes, there has been some interest in that department, I believe. It seems that most of the ladies didn't think a lot was goin' on there at first, but lately, due to a few photo shoots in tighter pants and some candid pics taken when he was bending all the way over on stage, there is agreement that Mr. Aiken's derriere is probably just perfect; not too big, not too small. The consensus is it's just the right shape and size for a young man--so the ladies are satisfied and ready to leave that alone.
Nope, it's definitely the belly button. And why? Two reasons: first, like I said before, it's that time in history for America's obsession with the abdominal area, and second, Clay will not reveal it. He's doing it on purpose. Not that he's expected to appear shirtless on stage, or sign on to do a Hanes commercial or something. But you know, he could have let them make that shirt blow just a tad more to the side when posing for Rolling Stone, with one more button unbuttoned. But he didn't; he wouldn't. Its just like his refusal to let everyone know his favorite color. The more you run into "sorry no access", the more you want to go there. C'mon Clay, we know its green!
An e-mailed blow-up of his cover shot on RS was recently making the rounds to various in-boxes just zeroing in on that infamous pelvic area of Mr. Aiken’s, posing the question, "Is that a hint of his navel we can see there?" Wow--now that's interest! There was quite a bit of debate over whether the shadow and tiny line one can barely make out at the center of the page could actually be determined to be the beginning of the desired depression. (Oooh, I don’t know--I think it may just be an ink smudge--what do you think?)
I’ve got to tell you, as modest as he sometimes appears to be about his mode of dress, Clay has been known to stir things up from time to time in other areas of presentation by doing something unexpected. Go download the video from his latest concert in Clio where he sings a new rendition of “Chain of Fools” with his backup singer Quiana. Tell me, after Quiana sings the first couple of verses, does it sound like Clay Aiken singing to you?! If I hadn’t been watching it, I wouldn’t have believed it myself. What I heard was the voice of a heavy, soulful, somewhat stylistically-raspy rock singer! Go listen. The man certainly can hit us up at times with an element of surprise! I loved this new sound!
But while it is true that Clay has been “breaking out” a little on stage lately, especially during his live concerts, with some notable moves and a more confident, sexy style, it is not likely that he will start to shed his layers of clothing sometime soon. I do believe the modesty will remain and the belly button will stay covered up. Sorry ladies!
Unless of course this next time, he signs on to do the cover of GQ Magazine with WOMEN posing him and a FEMALE photographer taking the pictures. If that were the case, you can be sure that a very LARGE blower fan will be brought to the shoot, plugged into the wall, and the last two bottom buttons of his shirt will be mysteriously missing. We would then have to wonder if he'd just go with the flow and ok the picture they took with his navel showing, for the cover.
Actually, that would be pretty cool. After getting so much attention on the first one with really nothing showing except a little patch of skin, he could do a cover shoot a year or two later with maybe just a hint of his navel exposed to show everyone how far he's come, or how low he's sunk, depending on how you look at it.
I don't know. He does seem so innocent, don't you think? But, I think he'd be on to the women posing him and taking the pictures. He'd notice that the two buttons were missing, right?
And I think his ultimate comment on their whole attempt would be similar to a line he gave Jay Leno awhile back when Jay joked about him being so skinny, he may just go down the drain of the tub! He made us all laugh when he said, "I'm skinny, but I ain't THAT skinny!"
This time it would be something like, "I may be naive, but I ain't THAT naive!."