I have to be honest — I don’t watch a ton of TV. But even I am aware that on January 15, the Golden Globes were the talk of the media-inclined. Unfortunately, the articles I read are often diluted (read: polluted) by messages of sexism, attractiveness, and more often than not, body-shaming.
I’m talking, of course, about Yahoo! omg!’s annual “Let’s Rank The Attractiveness of Everyone At the Golden Globes!” Sounds like a lot of fun, right? Maybe, if your name is Charlize Theron and you can afford a “plunging Dior Haute Couture gown and vintage Cartier jewels” (she received an A).
Is it just me, or is there something innately wrong and sexist about taking the time to give these accomplished actors a report card grade based on their appearance? I’d like to point out that while there are 82 photos in the Gallery, only FIVE of those 82 feature only men. (Four feature a man alongside a woman.) But still. Nine, out of eighty-two photos?!
Not to mention the degrading comments contained therein. Even the A-grade comments have subtle hints of sexism:
“…more than $5 million worth of Harry Winston jewels…” –Sofia Vergara, A
(If you ask me, this comment promotes excessive consumerism, and indicates that Sofia Vergara’s “A” rating was based on her $5 million budget.)
“You’d never know that Jessica Alba gave birth six months ago!” — Jessica Alba, A
(As if giving birth is something from which to recover. The obsession with recently pregnant stars “getting back their bodies” is another blog post entirely.)
And of course we have the Not-So-Much celebrities, whose “bad grades” can be attributed to anything from gray hair to semi-loose clothing:
“While Freida Pinto stunned in her Prada gown … we would’ve preferred to see the ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ star show off her svelte bod in a more form-fitting dress.”
“…the monochrome, tight long-sleeve dress reminded us a little bit of a space suit.” — Julianna Marguiles, D
(…Too tight. What?)
“[Antonio Banderas] was sophisticated in a perfectly fitted dark suit, but [Melanie Griffith] was a little lackluster in an all-black ensemble. While we realize she was content to leave the spotlight for her hubby tonight, couldn’t she have worn something a little sexier?” Grade: C
(Oh, sorry. I guess Melanie Griffith forgot that the sole purpose of going to the Golden Globes is to make her main squeeze look good by wearing something “sexy.”)
“Osbourne’s got to do something about that gray hair!” — Kelly Osbourne, B+
(Newsflash. Gray hair is totally natural! And if Kelly Osbourne has the guts to rock gray hair amidst cultural norms which tell her she shouldn’t, more power to her!)
“Maria Lucia Hohan’s Spring/Summer 2012 gauzy gown showed off a little too much skin to be considered chic…” — Jenna Dewan, B-
(It’s her skin. She can do with it what she wants! Media messages constantly tell girls to cover up while simultaneously daring them to let skin show. When they pick one, they get penalized for not obtaining an impossible ideal.)
This is a small sampling of the unflattering comments Yahoo! omg! felt worthy of posting online. I’m so tired of the media obsessing over “beauty” — or a perceived lack thereof.
Now, I know it’s the new year. And especially in January, people are on a “make my body better” kick. But how about this for a New Year’s Resolution; love your body. Love it with gray hair, love it with curves, love it with wrinkles and dimples. You owe it to yourself, because your body is all yours. And don’t let anyone — especially not the media — tell you otherwise.
Thank you for pointing out all of these inappropriate comments. I have noticed the same things. I find it particularly interesting (weird) when Yahoo OMG! criticizes someone for being boring, saying they should express some of their own personal style. Then in the next breath criticizes someone else for wearing something crazy. It is the same as what you pointed out above. Melanie Griffith was not sexy enough but Maria Lucia Hohan showed too much skin.
Kelly Osbourne’s hair is dyed grey, not naturally grey, so I don’t think it’s quite the same (they’re suggesting a bad dye job, not “how dare she have her natural hair color”), but still redic.
Ashley – true, but the idea that gray is not an ‘attractive’ color for hair to either be naturally, or be dyed, is still a cultural norm!
Fab post. I loathe the way that often this shaming of celebrities is supposed to somehow help ‘ordinary’ women feel better about themselves. What it really says is “even these stunningly gorgeous and successful women aren’t good enough – what chance do YOU stand?”
Also agree entirely with loving our bodies, just written a blogpost on the matter myself 🙂
I, for one, am ALL about loving your body with all it’s lovely flaws. I absolutely love to read these sorts of blogs, forums, etc and relish the diversity of opinion and perspective. With that said Yahoo! OMG! is simply another viewpoint, regardless of how inane, ridiculous or sexist the content might be it is yet another outlet for opinions and I would not want for it to be suppressed. (you do know that I am playing devil’s advocate). Yahoo! OMG! is, in my opinion, trash and this sort of trash will, as a rule, represent the lowest, uneducated opinions. It is with blogs and forums such as about-face that we can begin to make the opinions/viewpoints of these idiots a marginalized minority. I have full faith in that!!