Friday, February 19, 2010

Where in the world is Elin Woods?

Where's Elin? Can you find her at the press conference?

Tiger Woods gave his official public apology today for his marital infidelity with no less than a dozen women including various cocktail waitresses and an adult film industry actress. The cheating is alleged to have happened over the course of several years including while his wife was pregnant. The press conference was held in front of a group of close friends and a few selected reporters. There were no questions allowed.

I could write volumes on my thoughts on cheating. I also have my share of thoughts on politicians / celebrities / athletes who cheat, whether there is such thing as 'sex addiction', whether companies should continue to endorse Woods, whether today's 'press conference' was a sham, and whether the whole thing is the public's business.

Instead, I'm more interested in the only redeeming facet of Woods' press conference today and, indeed, of the whole scandal. It isn't about what viewers saw, but what, or rather who, we didn't. Elin Woods, former model, Woods' wife, and mother of their two children was not in attendance today.

Cheating scandals have playbooks. There are ways these things are supposed to go. They end with a public figure giving a public apology for his indiscretions as his little wife stands dutifully beside him. Today, an exception to the rule, Elin did not stand by Tiger. Tiger stood alone.

I, for one, am sick and tired of hearing about the "strength" of the woman who stands, stoically, hands clasped in front of her, loyally by her man, as he stands and tells the world about his failure (often repeated...) to do the same: stand by his wife and be loyal. True strength isn't something many probably expected from the beautiful, smiling blonde always faithfully at Tiger's side. Celebrating his victories. Taking care of his children. Cheering on his achievements. Supporting his dream.

The public has never heard about Elin as anything other than Tiger's wife or the mother of his children. Oh and that she looks good in a bikini; not exactly a sign of strength, but obviously a valuable asset in any trophy wife.

Today, Elin showed that she is more than that. She isn't his toy or trophy or an extension of him and his image. She is not someone to be cast aside and used at his disposal or for his convenience. She isn't a nobody because no one knew Elin before Tiger. She is a real person; capable of thinking, feeling, being, acting, and living independently of him. She has been photographed out lately sans wedding band and today, she wasn't present to be photographed at all.

While Tiger stood in front of the world, it was Elin who was truly taking a stand. Elin showed that true strength isn't standing by your man at the podium, but standing on your own two feet.