Tag Archives: celebrities

On Wrinkles and Love Your Body Day

Today is National Love Your Body Day, which is fitting because I was going to write about wrinkles anyway! Hoorah for convergence! Use the hashtag #lybd on Twitter to participate in the conversation.

Last week, Sociological Images pulled an awesome example of “wrinkle washing” of female celebrities:

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Smooth vs. wrinkly, right? I think it’s particularly stark when you annotate like this:

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SocImages pairs this image with an excellent Susan Sontag quote:

The great advantage men have is that our culture allows two standards of male beauty: the boy and the man. The beauty of a boy resembles the beauty of a girl. In both sexes it is a fragile kind of beauty and flourishes naturally only in the early part of the life-cycle. Happily, men are able to accept themselves under another standard of good looks — heavier, rougher, more thickly built…

There is no equivalent of this second standard for women. The single standard of beauty for women dictates that they must go on having clear skin. Every wrinkle, every line, every gray hair, is a defeat.

A few other examples:

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That is not to say you shouldn’t attempt to take care of your skin. For the love of God please wear sun block. Moisturize. Drink a lot of water. But, you know, but don’t let a laugh line or crow’s foot be a defeat. The men certainly don’t. On the other hand, it’s not just a question of internally changing perceptions of self, is it? Here’s something by Gloria Steinem re miley Cyrus that seems relevant:

“I wish we didn’t have to be nude to be noticed … But given the game as it exists, women make decisions. For instance, the Miss America contest is in all of its states … the single greatest source of scholarship money for women in the United States. If a contest based only on appearance was the single greatest source of scholarship money for men, we would be saying, “This is why China wins.” You know? It’s ridiculous. But that’s the way the culture is. I think that we need to change the culture, not blame the people that are playing the only game that exists.”

This stuff is damaging for so many reasons. The pursuit of youth (and beauty, if you’re already young) is distracting us, literally, from all the other things we could be doing with our minds and hearts. It’s part of the reason that we’re behind, because “they” (and by “they,” I mean the “industry,” the advertisers, the media, our friends and family too, sometimes) have convinced us that how we look is related to what we can do. And to Ms. Steinem’s point, playing along isn’t weakness or vanity; in its own way, it’s smart. The appearance game is the only game in town so what the fuck else are we supposed to do?

So… yeah… sorry for the bummer, but it’s a bummer kind of day. Go do something nice for yourself. Buy a book. Take a walk. Eat something delicious. Call someone you love. Write a nice note. Make plans to look forward to. Listen to good music. Look at yourself in the mirror and be like, Yeah, it’s pretty cool that I get to have this body, because this body enables me to do all this other stuff that makes being human pretty fucking cool.

Related Post: Love Your Body Day in years past

Related Post: Why I will not be joining your gym

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Filed under Body Image, Hollywood, Media

Why don’t we talk about Charlie Sheen being a bad role model?

This week on Role/Reboot I wrote about the the term “role model.” I realized that, in my own head, I have a tendency to hold successful women to a higher standard, expecting them to be on “good behavior” and set the “right example” all the time, and for everyone. There are so many bad-behaving male celebrities, and we never talk abou them as being bad role models. I think in some ways it’s as simple as the fact that there are many more men in the limelight, and so the need for “role models” is not so dire.

We assume that women who seek fame or success should also be moral role models as well. We don’t hold men to that standard. Some of them just want to be rich and famous and don’t give two shits about who they influence along the way. I’m not suggesting that’s a great attitude, only that it’s one we accept from men. Maybe Rihanna just wants to be rich and famous? Being a “role model” has never seemed to be her priority, so we do keep trying to drape her in that mantle?

Screenshot_4_4_13_1_06_PMRelated Post: You guessed it, I’m a privileged white girl

Related Post: Sometimes, though, people are actually kind of cool

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Filed under Gender, Hollywood, Media, Republished!

Why I Want a Kardashian to Wink at Me

Like every other unfortunate soul in the internet-connected world, my screens have seen more Kardashian Koverage than normal with the announcement of Kim’s divorce. I’ve watched bits and pieces of Channel Kardashian (aka E!), but only enough to know that I can’t actually handle a full dose of the blown-out, bedazzled, bandage-dressed ridiculosity.

My biggest issue with it, also my problem with Jersey Shore, is the complete unwillingness of the characters or the producers to throw a wink at the viewers and acknowledge the insanity and inanity of their lifestyle.

I’m reading Chuck Klosterman’s 2003 pop culture essay collection Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs. As Kate (of Smart Girls, Stupid Things) explained when she lent it to me, Klosterman was one of the first to offer up this kind of academic analysis of pop culture phenomena from the perspective of someone so deeply entrenched. The novelty of this kind of commentary has since worn off, since pretty much everyone on the internet attempts it on a regular basis (self very much included).

I just finished the essay “What Happens When People Stop Being Polite” about Klosterman’s obsession with the early seasons of The Real World. This passage is sticking with me:

“The kids talk directly into the camera every single day, but they are ceaselessly instructed to pretend as if they are not being videotaped whenever they’re outside the confessional. Most of all, they never openly recognize that they’re part of a cultural phenomenon; they never mention how weird it is that people are watching them exist.”

Imagine how different a show Keeping Up with The Kardashians would be if every now and then Kim or Khloe looked straight at the camera and said “Can you believe we get paid 15K to show up at this club opening? This shit is nuts, y’all.” What would happen if one of them acknowledged that the cost of the Kim/Kris marriage (dividing wedding expenses by days they were married) is twice the national annual income of a family of four? What happens then?

Unlike the original Real World kids, who ostensibly didn’t know what they were getting into, the Kardashians are savvy media players manipulating their image in the press on a minute-by-minute basis. It makes their refusal to cop to the absurdity of their lifestyle that much more infuriating. We can still have the glitz and the glam of Kardashians and the drunken, brawling hijinks of Jersey Shore, let’s just not pretend any of this is “normal” or “real.” The entertainment value of such programming isn’t where the danger lies. The real danger is that all involved, in front of and behind the cameras, insist on propagating the preposterous conceit that the whole kit ‘n caboodle isn’t a profit-driven entertainment juggarnaut.

Speaking of Kardashians, did you guys see the SNL clip this week?

Related Post: Does “curvy” Kim Kardashian really broaden the spectrum of “acceptable” body types?

Related Post: The Kardashians schill Kotex, and other reasons you can’t trust advertising.

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Filed under Books, Hollywood, Media

Sunday Scraps 29

1. SPORTS: If, a week ago, you had asked me whether college athletes should be paid, I would have said hell to the no. Then  I read this incredibly long but amazing piece from The Atlantic and did a total 180.

2. CELEB: What would a “burn book” look like if it were written by Suri Cruise? Here’s your answer.

3. FLIGHT: Who doesn’t love an infographic of the evolution of airlines. Split and merge, split and merge.

4. OMAR: Mother Jones interviews my favorite gay gangster, Michael K Williams. By which I mean, my favorite actor who played a gay gangster.

5. GIRLS: Is this what you’d want your daughter coloring in at the pizza parlor?

6. SHORT: Fun essay by Leah Finnegan about the lengths to which vertically challenged people can go to get bigger. If you could control your height, how tall would you be?

Related Post: Jane Lynch, red wine cake, the worst things significant others have ever said.

Related Post: Maurice Sendak, Kardshian venn diagrams, the history of reading.

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Filed under Education, Gender, Hollywood, Media, Really Good Writing by Other People, Sports

I Think It’s Time I Stop Following Coco on Twitter

This is what I woke up to on my Twitter feed this morning.

When I decided that it was time to swallow the Twitter pill (self-promotion plug: @rosiesaysblog), I tried to pick and choose from the wealth of A through F-list celebrity offerings for  a nice balance of entertainment, news, commentary and genuine humor. Not sure which category I thought Coco (Mrs. Ice-T) would fit in, but the jig is up. I can only take so many “Thong Thursday” pictures. At least I won’t have to listen to this guy tweet poetic:

In the meantime, I picked up Kristen Schaal and she’s making up for Ms. Coco in spades:

Related Post: Among people I actually enjoy following on Twitter, she’s one of my faves.

Related Post: If Coco needs more ways to reach me, now that I’ve unfollowed her, it’s not like she doesn’t have options.

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Filed under Body Image, Hollywood, Media, Sex