So I’ve just read that Reese Witherspoon commands 15-20 Million dollars a picture, which makes her the top paid woman in Hollywood. I know this thanks to the Yahoo and I find it interesting enough, because anytime a woman makes a Hollywood living based more on talent than tits, I feel good. (Even if her piece of the pie is overtly disproportionate, considering the suffering caused by this world’s extreme poverty and wealth.) What interested me most about this superficial article were the comments that other woman are making in regards these actresses. It’s a whirlwind, a frenzy of babble about their weights, races, and levels of talent, but most interestingly a lot of commentary on how little they do to earn what they earn.
These women are some of the most powerful women in the world. Not only do they work hard and make a whole lot of money, but they are the top of a trickle-down chain. They’re the female role models for our children and in many ways for ourselves. My guess is they know it. I imagine that there lives are pressured and filled with question. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel sorry for them. I just think it’s worthwhile to respect what they do. Someone like Angelina uses her influence to make the world better.
Instead of being jealous of their financial success or intensifying the pressure for these women to say thin, fashionable, and young, let’s pressure them to be strong role models. Let’s comment on how powerful they are and ask them to wield that power in ways that make the world better.
So, tonight I went to see a Classicist from University of Miami speak, John Kirby. This guy is smart. He has incredibly intelligent things to say about art and questions of art. The lecture revolved around representations of the “classics,” mostly meaning that of Greece of Rome, on screen. He chooses the word screen because he wants to discuss film, television, video games, Internet and advertisements. He showed us an advertisement from the 2004 Superbowl:
His goal was to discuss the classical themes, which are fairly self explanatory but interesting all the same. However, he dropped the ball in regards to feminism. He calls this ad feminist because the women are “defiant,” which is true but the camera exploits their bodies with the same old male gaze that chains women to purely sexual identities, undermining their defiance and making them prisoners , sex slaves, once again.
Why don’t we have ads like this in the US? Why don’t the Dove ads air on TV? Why can’t we change all this body image bullshit? Every woman I know wants to be thinner or bustier or less busty… I know, I know, for the last few days I’ve been on a body image tirade, but it’s everywhere I look, women suffering so that they are willing to risk death to have their tummy tucked. Beauty isn’t flawlessness or perfection. Hokey as it may seem Beauty, with a capital B is of the mind.
I recieved and article from Women’s e-news today, which was of particular interest to the research I’m currently working on, which ponders the role of plastic surgery in our society. Apparently, the gift that keeps on giving is saline…
Rodeo Drive Plastic Surgery offers surgery gift cards.
Seems like an insult to me. Don’t corner me, but I haven’t decided my exact thoughts on plastic surgery just yet, but what I do know is that I certianly don’t want to unwrap someone else’s idea desires for my body. What do you think?
The Holidays are a wonderful time to nudge your minds in a feminist direction. Check out these nifty gifts for the girls in your life. Why not teach her to think right from the get go? Right?
So, surfing around in the blogosphere I ran into Newt in a Tea Cup who lead me to the Wed site for the Miss Landmine Pagent
I always say that the easiest way to work the system is from the inside, and that is exactly what Miss Landmine attempts to do. The women competing in this pagent do not meet the commerical beauty standards, and not only because they are disfigured by the violence of war. Instead they ask us to recognize that beauty is more than skin deep. In fact it’s greater than one person.
The proclaimed manifesto of the Miss Landmine project:
(in no particular order) Female pride and empowerment. Disabled pride and empowerment. Global and local landmine awareness and information. Challenge inferiority and/or guilt complexes that hinder creativity- historical, cultural, social, personal, African, European. Question established concepts of physical perfection. Challenge old and ingrown concepts of cultural cooperation. Celebrate true beauty. Replace the passive term ‘Victim’ with the active term ‘Survivor’
And to have a good time. How cool is that?
My friend Jo sent me me this link, which allows you to prep for the SAT/GRE and feed the world at the same time:
Originally uploaded by Laiven
Until this month I’d never heard of Beth Ditto, but then, there she was on the cover of BUST and inside Ms., congratulating the magazine on 35 years. With references like those, I needed to know.
Ditto is the frontman for the Indie band Gossip, which hails from Oregon, but seems to have gained a ton of fame in the UK. What I wanted to know was what makes this young woman important to two of the top US feminist magazines. What I’ve gathered is that she is being praised for her comfort with her body.
Of course not everyone else is comfortable with Ditto’s body because like the Dove print ads from a few years ago, people feel that those that do not match the body ideal should not brag about or throw around their unfamiliar beauty. In Ditto’s case people are also discussing issues of health cause by obesity.
I say, screw ‘em. Ditto knows that obesity is unhealthy, we all do. She gets to chose how she cares for her own body.
Be beautiful Ditto.
Oh yeah, Gossip sounds good too…
Go to Myspace and Listen:
People have pointed out that these ads are still selling us beauty products and that the whole idea is still SELL! SELL! SELL! However, I’m all for ads that sell by telling us we’re all beautiful.