Everyone can agree that girls who kick ass are awesome. When a heroine in a film knocks out a gang of men or saves her boyfriend from the monster-of-the-week on television, I always get an awe-filled, giddy thrill. These women are empowering and exhilarating, symbolic of the strength and control women can have over their own lives and destinies in real life.
However, I’ve noticed that female machismo has become more and more rigidly confined to women who fit a stereotypical mold of female attractiveness, especially in regards to slenderness. Women who are extremely muscular or heavier set are represented less in the horror/action/sci-fi entertainment circuit than the waif thin, and women who are both heavy and muscular are nonexistent. This provides a very narrow image of what female strength looks like in real life, and sends a conflicting message than can reinforce unrealistic standards.
After watching Asylum’s A Woman’s Perspective on ‘Lord of the Rings’, I think it should have been titled “A Non-Fan who Happens to be a Woman Thinks The ‘LotR’ Movies are Stupid.” It was a half-hearted attempt to make fun of the Peter Jackson series, but there’s a lot more to laugh about in this 55 year old book trilogy than the box art. To celebrate the end of Tolkien Week, I have reviewed the much reviled 1978 version of The Lord of the Rings by Ralph Bakshi. Just to make things clear, I am both a fan of the books and the Peter Jackson movies: I’ve read the books, including most of the appendices, and for women who are into romance novels rather than fantasy, the story of Aragorn and Arwen in Appendix A is really touching. I’ve seen the extended versions of all three movies, all of the extras, and I treasure those gigantic box sets with foldout flow charts that navigate the 4 DVDs per box (yes, I have no life).
Darn, I missed Hobbit Day! At least I’ve caught up in time to round out the end of Tolkien Week. For non-Tolkien fans, Hobbit Day is on September 22nd, which is the date of Bilbo and Frodo’s birthday, celebrated by the Long Awaited Party at the beginning of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.
In honor of The Lord of the Rings series, I’ve put together an outfit based on the elves in The Lord of the Rings movie by Peter Jackson. It’s elegant, sumptuous, and won’t make you look like you’re reenacting elf cosplay. One word of warning is that the ensemble is not cheap, but it is fit for a Queen of Gondor:
If I could describe FlashForward in one word, it would be: AWESOME. I had little knowledge of it except from glimpses on recent commercials. My only thoughts were “Wow, where has Joseph Fiennes been all this time?” and “Wow, that’s such a flagrant plot device.” However, after some good reviews I decided to give FlashForward a try. It did not disappoint.
Is Jennifer’s Body, the girl-centric horror film written by Diablo Cody and directed by Karen Kusama, a feminist movie? The issue has been tossed around on a variety of different feminist blogs: some say yes, some say no, with some good arguments from both sides. The film centers around two friends, Jennifer (Megan Fox) and Needy (Amanda Siegfried). Jennifer is as sexy and confident as Needy is nerdy and dull, but once Jennifer becomes a demon who devours men, their friendship is sent into a tailspin.
Not all works of art and literature have to be feminist. Feminism itself is comprised of many different ideas and viewpoints, so even if you tried to create the “most feminist work evar,” you could never please everyone. As long as the female characters feel like real people, with hearts, minds, motivations and weaknesses, I can enjoy it. However, I take issue with works that wear a veneer of empowerment and girl power, but in the end serve up the same old stereotypical view of how men see women: that we’re fickle, emotional creatures who don’t know what we really want, who use our looks to manipulate but get offended when men judge us on our appearance, and who need a strong patriarch to survive in the world.
Eastwick is a major offender, not because it pushes these viewpoints, but because it pushes them as empowerment. You should be proud when a character releases her inhibitions and becomes a sexy, powerful woman, even when she’s abusing that power to steal from her boss. Putting your dignity up for auction is perfectly acceptable, as long it’s for a guy with a big dick so you and your girlfriends can fantasize about it in a girl power-y way. I have presented the evidence but readers beware: be ready for boobs, double entendres, drunkenness, and girls talking about sex! Because that’s what women like, right?
It’s safe to say that memes are not the intellectual highlights of online culture. Internet memes are often frivolous, humorous wastes of time and bandwidth, little more than inside jokes to share and enjoy with friends. On the rare occasion however, they can be masters of inadvertent meaning, shedding light on cultural and gender issues. So it goes with the meme of the Three Wolf Moon T-Shirt, which sent hordes of people to The Mountain’s amazon.com store to purchase a screen-printed wolf shirt of their very own.
The meme spawned from a humorous comment on amazon.com by Brian Govern. He wrote a review of the shirt, creating a Walmart-roaming-trailer-park-living character that credits his success with women to the wolf shirt. If taken on face value, it’s a mockery of the American lower class and hick culture, a class evidently peopled by fat men riding courtesy-scooters and meth-addled women with no teeth. It’s a jab at the stereotypical redneck, a staple of the comic routines of Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy. Yet how did the shirt, the store and the story all combine to create something unique and worthy of Internet furor?
Style and Pushing Daisies go together like an alive-again Mom and apple pie. The visuals of this fantasy-comedy wonderland were superb: the show created a unique world that combined vintage with modern, and dressed noir drama in neon colors and eccentric patterns. Their Emmy wins in makeup, art direction and costume design were definitely well-deserved, as was Kristin Chenoweth’s win for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. Congratulations all around!
In honor of Ms. Chenoweth’s award, I’ve put together a look inspired by her character, Olive Snook. Even a feisty waitress at the Pie Hole could afford these clothes: