It's shocking - stars are keeping their clothes on
Modesty is the conscience of the body, wrote Honoré de Balzac.
But it is clear that most of today's starlets missed that particular memo. Here's Lady Gaga, scrubbed up for the occasion in a pair of leather knickers and some nipple tassels; there's Katy Perry, not a hair out of place as she squirts whipped cream out of a sequinned bra.
And look! It's our old friend Rihanna, never knowingly overdressed, thrusting forth a leather-covered crotch. You can always count on her not to hide her light under a bushel . or a dress, or a pair of trousers, or even a vest.
But what is this peculiar specimen? Could it be a picture of the singer wearing clothes? Graciously, elegantly, as if she has been taking style tips from Grace Kelly as opposed to Grace Jones?
Yes, yes it is.
Last weekend, the 24-year-old arrived for the Grammy Awards wearing a flowing red gown by designer Azzedine Alaïa, a dress made up of more material than all of her recent outfits put together. She was followed down the red carpet by Beyoncé, no stranger to flesh-revealing frocks herself, who on this occasion chose to wear trousers. Trousers! At an awards ceremony!
What, exactly, brought about this outbreak of modesty? Could it be that, finally, we have all become exhausted with naked bits and bobs, that a tipping point has been reached (and no, that is not a euphemism) in public nudity?
Are we tired of worrying that young dears wearing little more than their birthday suits are going to catch a cold as they totter down the red carpet? Certainly the bosses at CBS, who broadcast the Grammy Awards, thought so.
Such was the worry that we'd see repeats of Pink spinning around a trapeze in a flesh-coloured body suit or Lady Gaga arriving wearing nothing but an egg, that the network were forced to issue a "decency code" to performers attending the ceremony.
As Balzac would probably have said had he been around today: just put it away, love.