MONICA LEWINSKY'S glamour shots in Vanity Fair are pornography.

Not because she poses like a fan dancer with bare shoulders, fuchsia feathers, a huge diamond rock and scarlet lipstick and nail polish. Not because she rolls around in grass, as in "Leaves of," aping Marilyn in a snug gingham shirt and jeans.No, these glossies of Monica in Malibu are pornography because of what they tell us about our dizzy society, that in pursuit of a moment of fame, people take leave of their senses. There's something sickening about a young woman who vamps with an American flag, mocking her role as the silent center of a case that could bring down a president.

Getting your own photo shoot in Vanity Fair has become the premier achievement in our celebrity-mad culture. (Lewinsky's first choice for a photographer was Annie Leibovitz, but she had to settle for another iconographer of glitz, Herb Ritts.) She was so eager to get her scandal trophy that she didn't stop to consider that these photographs shriek "I'm not a serious person" and brag "I was the president's sex kitten."

The weird thing about the shot of Monica clutching the feathers is that it's not sultry. It's saddening. Stubby and white, her hand looks disturbingly childlike. Her short nails are painted red, like a little girl who has put on her mother's polish. Shades of JonBenet Ramsey.

And when you see it, you wonder all over again what the president of the United States could have been thinking when, focusing only on himself, he decided to overload all the circuits in the brain of a 21-year-old White House intern who idolized him and is still, according to Newsweek, infatuated.

We know William Ginsburg was dumb and dumber, a starstruck L.A. malpractice lawyer suffering from Judge Ito disease, TV poisoning. But his most bonehead move was signing the Vanity Fair release, and happily hanging out on the Malibu beach - near where "Baywatch" is filmed - as the alleged victim in his care was tarted up by Ritts.

The layout followed months of Ginsburg's painting the 24-year-old former intern as a vulnerable, tortured young "girl," caught in a vendetta between two powerful men. He told reporters she needed to do it to assuage her ego and her "libido."

The caption that goes with a photograph of Monica barefoot in a backless black chiffon cocktail dress feeds her warped fantasy that she and Bill Clinton, pudgy teenagers, were destined for a transforming romance that turned her into "the prom queen" and him into "the beefy quarterback."

It appears that there's one thing Monica has immunity from: brains. Her new lawyers and public relations advisers have been frantically spinning, trying to counteract the effects of the exhibitionist photos and graft on a new, more sober persona. No more Material Girl. No more Beverly Hills mall-rat. The new Monica is deep. Her team told U.S. News & World Report that she loves "antique bookstores," is a "fanatic" for Shakespeare, and treated herself to a complete set of Dickens. In a real stunner, the news magazine reports, "Sources close to Monica reveal that she has even taken up knitting."

There was also a new working-girl resume for Marcia Lewis, the glam mom who coached her daughter in the ways of the world. We learn from U.S. News that Monica's divorced parents were the children of "struggling immigrants" and that the young couple once lived in a "gritty" section of Los Angeles. Glamour begone: Early in her marriage, it turns out, Lewis worked at the Los Angeles County sewer department.

But now that Monica's in feathers and diamonds, it is clear: You can take the girl out of Beverly Hills, but you can't take Beverly Hills out of the girl.