The 'Fawn Phenomenon/
an Unknown Becomes Famous
By Jan Ziegler
UPI Science Writer
WASHINGTON (UPI)—It has become
a familiar phenomenon—pretty but
unknown female caught up in national
scandal is noticed by national media,
receives modeling, nude photo and
That's what happened to Fawn Hall,
Lt. Col. Oliver North's personal secretary, as it did to a number of other
women including Rita Jenrette, former
wife of former Rep. John Jenrette of
South Carolina, convicted in the Abs-
A former model on the local scene described by her friends as a "straight
arrow," Hall toiled in obscurity and now
finds the same organizations that may
have been uninterested in her services
before willing to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for the privilege of publishing or promoting pictures of her.
Psychologists attuned to media
trends find nothing surprising about it
at all and point out several ingredients
that lead to such instant celebrity.
"First of all, beauty is an important
factor," said Dr. Stuart Fischoff, a psychology professor at California State
University at Los Angeles and a screen
writer. "It determines whether you get
convicted of crimes, whether you get
sentenced. It sells papers."
Research has also shown what may
seem obvious: attractiveness attracts.
For instance, one study showed attractive women in cars stopped because of
flat tires on the West Side Highway in
New York received many more offers of
help than would a homely woman or one
who otherwise does not fit the current
Up a $5,000
OAKLAND, Calif. (UPI)—A chef who
took up two extra jobs to pay for more
than $5,000 in telephone charges from
calls to pornographic and other 976 service numbers by his "bored" teenage
son was eventually let off the hook.
Clester Jones, a chef for a San Jose
airport restaurant, received bills totaling $5,313.44 that accrued from Dec. 5 to
Dec. 24 when his son Kevin, 15, made
hundreds of calls, some for up to 10
hours, to about 20 different pornographic and other service numbers with a
Although Pacific Bell has a policy not
to charge families for first-time abuse of
976 services by an unsupervised minor,
the company disconnected Clester
Jones's phone and gave him three
months to pay the bill. Jones took two
part-time jobs, working 90 hours a week,
to make the payments.
When one of Jones's checks bounced,
Pacific Bell cut off service to his sister,
who had co-signed for his telephone.
The family complained to the Public
Utilities Commission and service was
restored to his sister.
The company, recognizing it had held
Jones accountable against its own policy in this case, gave him an apology
and cleared his account.
"I'm very sorry to say this, but evidently this particular case fell through
the cracks," Pacific Bell spokeswoman
Lynn Jiminez said Tuesday, acknowledging the $5,313.44 mistake.
Kevin Jones, who said he was
unaware the calls carried fees of $2 each
plus toll charges, explained why he
placed the calls: "I was bored."
definition of attractiveness, Fischoff
Witness Rosemary Woods, mature
and a bit stout, who melted into the
background while everyone concentrated on the 23 minutes missing from
"It could play to men's fantasies
about attractive women," Dr. David
Sears of Los Angeles,head ofthe American Psychological Association's mass
communications division, said of the
Fawn Phenomenon. "There's a market
for appealing to men's fantasies, just as
there are markets for other things."
Fischoff said men tend to be in posi
tions of power and decision-making
jobs, so women are more likely to be
targets. If women were in power, he
said, men could find themselves in
Hall's position more often.
But why is she suddenly so interesting to, say, the big modeling agencies.
"Attractive women are a dime a dozen
in the modeling field," Fischoff said. "If
you're going to sell someone, you have
to have a little sizzle with the steak."
The Iran arms scandal, he said,
"gives her a distinction she didn't have
In addition, said Dr. Michael Broder,
president of the American Psychologi-
MARCH 20, 1987 / MONTROSE VOICE 21
cal Association's media psychology division, "the press loves people with some
kind of double identity."
Not just any identity, Sears said "It
has to be big-league."
"It would apply to athletes who are
quite accomplished in some other area,
a mixture ofthe physical skill with some
other more intellectual skill. What's
interesting about Bill Bradley (the
Democratic senator from New Jersey) is
that he was an accomplished basketball
player and is also a politician."
"If you're a steam fitter, am I interested." said Fischoff. "No."
For Sears, who admits to being a bit of
a cynic, it's all a matter of feeding the
media's "voracious appetite."
"It doesn't seem very complicated
here. You have a big scandal and a
good-looking woman. Put the two
together and you've got a good story for
a few days," he said.
A Message from the Society of J.O.E.
A PRIVATE ORGANIZATION
MEMBERSHIP INQUIRIES may be made Tuesday & Thursday 8-9pm. Friday & Saturday 11pm-
1:30am. Sunday 6-9pm. Memberships are limited to reasonably-attractive out-of-the-closet
liberated adult gay men who are secure with their sexuality Yes, we discriminate—on the basis
that you must be in reasonable condition for your body type and (even more important) that you
possess a mental attitude that will contribute to the overall atmosphere at JOE
J.O.E. meets at the COTTAGE PLAYHOUSE at 611 PACIFIC (Look for the Play Safe Flag).