Ask Alexandra – March 2003
I’ve been a big fan throughout your career and regularly read your Web site. Vietly does a fantastic job. I enjoyed your Baywatch reunion diary and hope to see another. I don’t think the show ever was the same after you left. I understand your activism for population control — maybe you and Ian will adopt some day and give a needy child or children a real start on life and to perhaps carry on your campaigns in the future — and against any war on Iraq. I was wondering, though, what your thoughts are on the Columbia disaster and space exploration?
p.s. How are Caroline and Trish doing?
| Dear Alex,
I was very sad about the Columbia disaster, and it brought back the horror of the Challenger accident, which was really devastating too. I am not really sure on my feelings about our space program – I guess because we Americans know so little about what goes on with it. For example, NASA spends millions of dollars to launch a shuttle and we only hear of two experiments on the flight being done. You’d think they would make the most of each flight and do dozens of different scientific tests, which I am sure they do, but why dont we hear about that? I am amazed at the space station, though, and I realized after the Columbia accident how little I know about what it is like up there, but wow! to build stuff up there piece by piece where people can live is soooo impressive.
Overall, I approach our space program with suspicion and awe. Part of me wishes they would take that money being spent and take care of the problems on our earth. The other part respects human curiosity and ingenuity, and knows that alot of our space program does improve everyday life here on planet Earth.
Caroline and Trish are doing very well, thank you. Caroline is finishing up her second book – a great story – and Trish is busy with firefighting in San Francisco.
American Flyers has always been one of my favorite movies and you were definitely on my “hot list” as a teenager because of that movie. Recently during a discussion about American Flyers on an internet cycling forum your name came up. As a cyclist and triathlete myself, I was interested and surpised to find out that you’re a cyclist, actually an Ironman triathlete, and that you are married to Ian Murray. I actually briefly met Ian at the Catalina Triathlon in November of last year when he was giving a pre-race speech on the course. I was curious how you got started in cycling and triathlons? Was the movie American Flyers a catalyst in any way or was it your husband Ian Murray? One of my goals is to someday finish an Ironman – any words of encouragement or advice?
Although I loved shooting American Flyers in 1984, it wasnt until 1997 that I got back on a bike to start training for triathlons. My character didnt ride in the film, so the last time I was on a bike was in my teens! Ian and I actually started training for triathlons together, and now I no longer race triathlons, but Ian is now a very successful and wonderful triathlon coach. I credit my friend Jim Garfield with getting me into triathlons, because he asked me to swim a leg at the Malibu Triathlon in 1996 and then encouraged me to participate in the Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii the following year.
I think it is great that you will be doing an Ironman triathlon at some point (for readers who are not familiar with triathlon, the Ironman distance is a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike and a 26.2 mile run). If you have the time to dedicate to the training, then you can do it! I advise you to follow a coaching program of some sort, and to hook up with folks who are training for the same race to train with sometimes. As you are a cyclist that is probably your strongest sport of the three, so concentrate more on the swim or the run – whatever is your most challenging. We usually do more training in the sport we are most comfortable in (because, let’s face it, that is more fun) but we should actually do the opposite. Lastly, treat your body well with proper food and sleep, and ice when necessary. Going to a physical therapist at the first hint of pain is very important to get you through the rigorous training.
I hope that helps. Good luck!!! And be sure to write to this site when you finish your Ironman!
Dear Ms. Paul,
As a woman who finds the so-called “lad mags” (Maxim, Stuff, Blender, FHM) offensive and disrespectful to women I was surprised to see you posing in the latest issue of FHM. Take away the T&A photos and read the content of these magazines and one finds misogynistic and stereotypical attitudes about women, not to mention a healthy dose of stereotypical information that is printed about men and the way men supposedly feel about women in general. I see these magazines lying around my workplace (I am a firefighter) because certain co-workers see these periodicals as an acceptable alternative to Playboy and Penthouse since they do not feature full frontal nudity. However, the shots in these magazines are just as offensive and the poses and positions the women strike are just as degrading as those featured in any “nudie magazine”. I am not sure what your take on this topic is, but I would be surprised if you found the content of these magazines to be anything more than what I’ve described above. Do you support these magazines and their content? And, if not, why did you choose to be featured in FHM? Thanks for you time.
Firstly, I dont like magazines like Maxim and Stuff and FHM, because I feel they lack substance and they are for men who still have high school mentality about sex. I havent read any thoroughly, but those magazines seem like an extended Howard Stern show. When I read the FHM in which the Baywatch women were featured, I was disgusted at, not only the article on David Hasselhoff which was so mean and silly, but the fact that there was nothing serious in the magazine at all. I actually prefer Playboy, I think, because it is a less sarcastic and more grown up periodical, and I do not find pornography in itself offensive. What I dont like is juvenile attitudes about sex and trivializing sex through kitsch, and that is what Maxim, Stuff, FHM etc. do.
Secondly, I did not want to pose in FHM, because I think the magazine is trashy. However, it was in my Baywatch reunion movie contract that I had to agree to it, or the deal would fall through. I argued about it (“FHM readers dont want to see me, they want to see the other women” etc.) and finally, because I did not want to lose the job over that one point, I acquiesced. I was very surprised that the producers were so adamant that I do the shoot, because I KNOW that I do not have the body type for that magazine, but a deal is a deal. To protect myself, I inserted into my contract that there could be no enhancing of my breasts in any photos taken of me. I am a fish out of water in that shoot, that is for sure!
Since my sister is a firefighter, I understand how having those magazines around can undermine your position in the department. I suspect your coworkers would not be happy if you left a Playgirl type magazine around the firehouse (hmmm, maybe you should try it…). Interestingly, there are some women’s magazines (Cosmo comes to mind) that my husband hates because they have articles like “How to Cheat and Not Get Caught”, and “Is He a Bad Lover?”, that are the female counterpart to FHM.
Thank you for writing. I can see how it seems, for several reasons, incongruous for me to be in FHM. I hope you have a better understanding of why I participated in the shoot.
Stay safe, Alexandra