The best thing about dying a young icon is that you'll always be remembered as such. Unless, of course, you were friends with Daily Beast and Newsweek publisher Tina Brown ... then you'll be remembered as the creepy zombie wearing a fascinator and purposely ignoring your daughter-in-law's perfect brown hair and impossibly toned arms.
Nobody really knows what Tina Brown was thinking when she decided to drag 36-year-old Princess Diana from the comforts of her grave and make her 50 (actually, I do ... she wanted attention for her dying magazine. Yeah, I said it).
She says it's because she thought it would be fun to imagine what the beloved princess would be like in today's world, picturing her volunteering after Hurricane Katrina, texting on an iPhone and getting remarried twice (and becoming friends with Prince Charles? So weird). It's an imagination most normal people have when they lose someone too soon. "What would my grandmother have thought of Facebook?," "If only Uncle Harry had lived to see air-conditioned seats in cars ...," "Awww, my cat would have loved clumping litter!"
But no, Tina couldn't leave it at that (because sentimental thoughts don't sell magazines, whut!). Nope. Tina had to take it right on over the bridge to Grim Town (where an increase in single-copy sales and lots and lots of buzz will get you elected mayor).
And it is here where her lark becomes less about recasting memory and more about frightening the populace with her staff's wicked Adobe skills.
I can only imagine the instructions Tina shouted to the poor graphic artist in charge of reviving Diana: "Give the princess wrinkles ... more! More! More! Ha! Just kidding. I only wanted to see what that would look like. OK, slow your roll and put some Botox in the there and then maybe some filler around the forehead. But print me out a copy of that picture from before ... not so perfect now, are you, People's Princess?"
Liz Farrell is the editor of Lowcountry Current. Follow her at twitter.com/elizfarrell.