News broke Thursday of a torrid affair between Michelle ‘Bombshell’ McGee, a tattooed model who also happens to work for a porn site, and Jesse James, reality show star of “Monster Garage” and husband to celebrated actress Sandra Bullock.Â Pictures and videos of the model began appearing everywhere.Â The story was all over the worldwide web and on television within hours and became the story of the day.Â The outrage of fans and viewers unleashed against Jesse James in this matter was quick and immense as a quick run through the comment section of any celebrity news websites will reveal.Â Much of the ire, of course, is directed not only atÂ Jesse James, but also atÂ the messenger, the “other woman,” Michelle ‘Bombshell’ McGee.Â Â And many are focusing their angerÂ at what is revealed in the many pictures of her circulating the internet:Â Her most noticeable superficial attributes — her tattoos.Â
It hasn’t beenÂ uncommon toÂ read and/or hear comments about Michelle ‘Bombshell’ McGee’s tattoos.Â People are talking about them as if they somehow make the model dirtier or ‘less than’ another person who does not sport body art.Â Of course, it isn’t every day that one of the world’s most popular female actors is allegedly cheated on by her husband, who, until recently, had been seen as a hard-working, talented guy — mostly through hisÂ show “Monster Garage” and Sandra Bullock’s ceaseless support and positiveÂ descriptions of their relationship.Â She told Barbara Walters recently that she had always felt insecure until she met Jesse James and that there was a comfort in knowing thatÂ you were in a relationship where youÂ knew the other had your back.Â
Unfortunately, Sandra Bullock had no idea that Jesse James had allegedly been carrying onÂ an affair for 11 months, had allegedlyÂ had sex with MichelleÂ ‘Bombshell’ McGee in his office in California, and had engaged in the affair up until recently.Â The revelations came in an interview bombshell delivered by Michelle McGee via In Touch magazine.Â And then there were the pictures.Â
Fox News and other news outlets reported that Sandra Bullock had moved out of the home she shared with Jesse James earlier in the week, already apprised of what was coming.Â She also issued a public statement canceling her appearance at the London premiere of “The Blind Side,” her blockbuster hit movie for which she won the Best Actress Oscar just two weeks previous to the news of the alleged affair.Â
But do the tattoos that leap out at the viewer from the internet pictures make Michelle McGee a lesser person than someone without, like Sandra Bullock, for example?Â Not in the least.Â But it is a viable public perception.Â Add to this that people are defined by their actions.Â Although tattoos are somewhat acceptable (in limited size and quantity), they are seen as part of a taboo subculture of miscreants, rebels, and social misfits.Â Â But they do not define the person.Â Neither does the fact that Michelle McGee works for a porn site.Â
However, these less than savory reminders of society’s fringes, coupled with the model’s revelations of infidelity with the husband of one of the most loved actresses in Hollywood, a woman whose image is as “girl next door” as it can get, relegated Michelle ‘Bombshell’ McGee toÂ a ‘less than’Â characterization from the very beginning.Â And those pictures…
Would it have mattered had the tattoos been, say, more artistic, less amateurishly strewn across her body, more strategically placed?Â Doubtful.Â There is an overall social stigma against tattoos, just as there are against being associated with porn, and that is not to mention the stigma of extramarital affairs.Â
Although pictures of Michelle “Bombshell” McGee might say a thousand words, those pictures do not paint the entire portrait of the relationship between the tattooed model and Jesse James (to whatever extent it might have been).Â They’re just pictures of a tattooed model.Â It is what the public has learned from and about that tattooed model that has caused the backlash and uproar, not to mention the overwhelming support for Sandra Bullock.Â And if public perception is as strong and negative at the outset against this alleged affair, image what it will be as time and details make the pictures just that much more clearer.