Okay folks, after a hiatus dedicated to moving and friends’ weddings, I’m back and hoping to post at least once a week. I’m sure you were all desperately lost without my rants.
“Rosie Huntington-Whiteley Stuns In Perfect Revenge Magazine Cover” announced HuffPo’s Style section on Friday. Apparently, the model and actor Jason Statham recently split, so this was obviously all about him/that somehow. It’s not that I have high standards for articles like this and feel let down; it’s that magazines pretend to empower women by running articles like this about making your ex jealous by being “hot,” or about “embracing your curves” (backhanded encouragement at its finest) or getting ahead at work. Why bother? We’re apparently only as valuable as our visual brands and very few of us look like “perfect” Rosie. Or maybe only aesthetically imperfect women need “empowering” because they have to cultivate other qualities to make up for their physical failings. [Eyeroll.] Below are a few of my enraged reactions.
Rosie does her job well only to spite men and not because she has, ya know, any self-respect or ambition.
Hey, maybe she doesn’t; I don’t know. I clicked on this article from something that was much less drivel-y and don’t normally read these things, so I admit to knowing almost nothing about Rosie. I’m guessing, though, genetics and other blessings aside, she’s probably had to do at least some work for her success. Perhaps she’s emotionally stuck at age 13 and her whole career has been motivated at every stage by her desire for revenge against one dude or another. Or maybe she’s motivated by absolutely anything else and we should pause before defining women—especially the beautiful ones we’re all supposed to envy and attempt to emulate—by their relationship to men. “She fulfills a societal ideal of beauty and thus is defined only in relation to people whom we expect to objectify her. I want that, too!”
She looks “perfect” in this photo because she wanted revenge.
Not because it’s airbrushed specifically to look “perfect,” obviously.
Also, I’ve always maintained that if I were a dude, I’d want a woman who didn’t look like I could accidentally break her in bed, so the use of “perfect” and the general esteeming of these photos as some sort of aesthetic pinnacle of womankind is annoying. My partner doesn’t have a six-pack or a recently waxed and oiled chest… and I don’t want him to, in part because it’s just not my cup of tea and in part because I’m never going to look like much like a cover girl and I don’t want to feel self-conscious, which articles like this have taught me I should. I also just plain don’t want the qualities associated with those men/people in a partner. Preening narcissists need not apply, thanks. In fact, I used to say that I’d never date someone who spent more time on his hair than I do. (I’ve relaxed the rules a little because any amount of time is more than I typically spend.) Which brings me to the next point, raised by a fair number of commenters…
Pretty people can suck, too.
I don’t know if you guys know this or not, but beautiful people are sometimes also shallow, stupid, mean, unstable, unfaithful, and/or deeply troubled people. I know, right?! I’m guessing that if Jason dumped Rosie (which I am assuming is what happened, based solely on this article) because she wasn’t a good person or wasn’t a good fit for him, her “perfect” body isn’t going to make him change his mind. (Unless he’s also a shallow idiot, which I won’t rule out, not knowing him either.) Taking gorgeous photos is only “revenge” if you’ve been dumped because your ex just wasn’t attracted to you anymore. And even then, I’m guessing that an airbrushed cover wouldn’t fix the problem in her case. If he’d not been feelin’ it in person with a very lanky lady with a moderate bust line, I doubt that his pants will dance at the probably even slimmer (thanks to Photoshop), tanner, sneeze-faced version. But, as my grandmother used to say, “There’s no accounting for taste.”
There’s no denying that beauty is a kind of power, but focusing on attaining beauty is an excellent way to end up with self-esteem and other problems. I’d bet my bottom buck that a “sexy” photoshoot was not the variety of empowerment that Rosie actually needed post-break-up, whether it made her feel better about her singledom or not.
Rosie clearly couldn’t have made herself a more generally attractive person/S.O. by investing less in her appearance than she likely does at present and more in other people or interesting pursuits. There’s no way that she could be any more appealing for going on a spiritual journey, advancing her education formally or otherwise, volunteering for a good cause, publishing a scholarly article, donating her “sexy tousled beach waves” to cancer patients, seeing a therapist about any issues she might need to confront in order to be a happier, healthier person, etc. Oh, and just choosing not to give any shits what Jason Statham (or anyone else) thinks of her would just be ridiculous. Because, ya know, all her worth is tied up in “Rosie Huntington-Whiteley: body, beauty and the brand.” Sigh.