Thursday, November 8, 2007

Really pissed off



I didn't always loathe Mazim magazine they way I do now. I used to ignore the pictures of airbrushed, plastic hookers and enjoy the frank attitude of the articles and reviews.

Then one day the photos started to really bug me. Eventually I came to believe that these magazines that feature these fake women as ideals are not just annoying, they're harmful. They are doing voilence to women in 2 ways;
  1. Perpetuating an impossible beauty ideal hurts women physically and emotionally. Because of the sheer impossibility of these bodies, even very beautiful girls feel a pang of inadequacy. How can one be expected to feel good about herself if she can't airbrush away her so-called imperfections?
  2. Not only are women subconsciously comparing themselves to these fucking cartoons, so are men. And who can begrudge them looking for perfect dolls when these magazines insist that they're out there? They're not. They exist in photo editing software.

My distaste for the magazine has currently come to an all-time high; http://www.maxim.com/Entertainment/5Britneyspears/slideshow/7318/435.aspx

They've gone to the next level; rather than just promoting fake women, they're bashing real ones. Score 1 for patriarchy! The disgraceful list of the "5 most un-sexiest women alive" is comprised of Britney Spears, Madonna, Sandra Oh, Amy Winehouse and Sarah Jessica Parker at the top.

How surprising that they target five women who subvert the androcentric mold of how women should look/behave. Madonna- too old. Women are no longer sexy after 30, right? Britney Spears- five years ago you were jizzing all over her, and now she's crap? Admittedly, she's in pretty poor shape these days, but she's only fucked up because her sense of self-worth was hypersexualized since she was 16 years old. Giver her a fucking break, please. Drugs and tattoos are cool if you're a male rocker like Tommy Lee, but not for women like Amy Winehouse. And Sandra Oh's presence on the list is blatant racism. We Westerners like our Asians skanky and submissive, not educated and assertive. Fook-yu!

When interviewed about the matter, Sarah Jessica Parker shrugged it off. She is quoted as saying "I believe in the old 'sticks and stones' philosophy, so frankly their words don't come close to hurting. I don't think I am (sexy) either." Undaunted, Maxim continues to kick her while she's down, making fun of her dismissal of the magazine, citing that she took it in "gallop—er, stride" http://www.maximonline.com/SarahJessicaParkerHasSenseofHumorStillGroadie/articles/9396.aspx

I am literally enraged by this. I wish I could do more than simply boycott the magazine. Sending an angry letter to the editor would undoubtedly submit myself to allegations of being a fat, ugly, man-hating dyke-feminist. So what can I do? I write this rant to let out some steam.

Next time I buy Maxim magazine, it will be because the store was out of toilet paper.

3 comments:

Lisie said...

well said... uh, written.

Judge Rufus Peckham said...

Wait, wait, wait. You're turning it into a gender issue when it's really an issue of affording others with the dignity and respect they deserve as human beings. Women do it, too, to lesser degrees (women aren't as visual as men, men DO become involuntarily aroused at the site of a woman they consider beautiful). But ask young women what their ideal mate is and most invariably mention good looks. The words "nerd" and "geek" are shorthand for the way women describe shy or quiet guys who aren't "hunky" looking and who are less desirable, especially to young women. But men judge women on looks more, because they are wired to do that, culturally or biologically. But women are much worse in judging men on their earning ability -- and that objectifies men as nothing more than piggy banks.

living dead girl said...

I take your point JRP, and I agree that men are also objectified in our culture.

If Cosmopolitan magazine featured a "5 most un-attractive-due-to-their-subpar-earning-ability men alive" article, I'd be pretty offended.

That being said, this kind of objectification is not really commensurable with the kind that Maxim is promulgating; do men literally starve themselves to achieve the unattainable ideal women put on them? Do they undergo unecessary and intrusive surgery? At best, they work harder. At worst, they... What? Turn to crime? Cry themselves to sleep at night? You tell me.

I think your response to my rant is a knee-jerk reaction many men have in the face of feminism, largely because they feel attacked. I maintain that my reaction to this particular Maxim article is very much a gender issue.