Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Sophie Heawood: A pillowcase is not posterity, Ms Minogue

Another week, another tragic story about Brave Kylie. No, not the cancer, which is firmly in remission, and it is nothing to do with mean, malingering ex-boyfriends either.

This story is much more tragic, because it finally proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that one of our biggest stars is the human equivalent of Hello Kitty – that vile cartoon cat with a huge pretty head but no mouth, no language, no thoughts.

Because this week, Brave Kylie changed her life by launching a range of bed linen.

She didn't exactly design it herself, of course, just took the designers for a pootle around her house, showed them her clothes and wallpaper and chatted about what she likes to lie down on, as she explained at the launch event.

And this design process seems to have been the most exciting experience of her whole existence. "I have a creative spirit and I love new challenges. I thought it would be amazing," Ms Minogue announced. "But this exceeded my expectations. It was fantastic."

Jesus wept: you must be severely starved of creativity when you have to turn to empty duvet covers for excitement. But then that's what will happen when you turn a 20-year pop career into an extended dollybird dream sequence, dressing as a nice pretty lady for the cameras and never actually saying anything about anything to anyone.

"I like to think I have kept some of my personality in reserve," she also added, presumably believing that to show some designers your interior decor is akin to asking Dr Faustus to dispatch your bleeding, throbbing, immortal soul.

It is no coincidence that Kylie's pop videos often feature robots: she is one. It's one thing being a bit mysterious, a bit sexy. And it is understandable that somebody so famous wouldn't want to reveal too much about her private life.

But the Kylie brand is all about being all things for all people, which is, of course, akin to being nothing for nobody, as any popularity-hungry teenage girl will discover soon enough.

If you don't stand for something you'll fall for anything, as we saw when Tony Blair, divorced from Old Labour but lacking a fixed sense of New Labour, fell for the lure of the neo-con Americans. Being without opinions is not only dull, it is dangerous.

Of course, Kylie is not in a position of power such as Blair's, but her dumb-waitress act puts feminism back 50 years.

As Miki Berenyi of the Britpop group Lush has said of the Brave one: "I have a massive problem with her because she epitomises the acceptable role. It's a shame she gets so much credibility when there are so many women worth a hundred times that. It's war – you shouldn't stick up for Kylie, she should be fought at every turn."

Her fans will protest: "Oh, but she's a blank canvas on which we can paint our own desires."

I don't want my desires to be painted on to somebody else's face, thanks. It is other people who ignite my desires in the first place. Real people, with real faces, with lines on them, not canvases. She is not Dorian bloody Gray.

And if there is one thing more annoying than an intelligent person pretending to be stupid, then it is a stupid person pretending to be an intelligent person pretending to be stupid.

Ah, but is this Kylie?

How would we know?

Her "never complain, never explain" modus operandi means we won't ever be able to guess what lies behind her pearly-white smile and those endlessly blushing cheeks.

Clever, huh?

No, just uniquely depressing.