View Full Version : Rosario Dawson: ''It's a form of violence''

26th July 2011, 15:29
Actress Rosario Dawson has some pointed words about expectations of women and their bodies.

"It's a form of violence in the way that we look at women and the way we expect them to look and be for what sake? Not for health, survival, not for enjoyment of life, but just so you could look pretty."
In the context of the rest of the interview, "pretty" seems to mean "conforming to the current insane standard" and not "truly beautiful." Ms. Dawson's assessment of the starvation standard as "a form of violence" is exactly right. What is starvation and torturous exercise designed to reduce the amount of one's flesh, if not violence?

The most horrifying part of the interview concerns Ms. Dawson's experience playing an AIDS-afflicted drug addict in the film version of Rent.

After losing weight to play a drug addict dying of HIV/AIDS in the 2005 film Rent, she was stunned to hear compliments about her figure. “I remember everyone asking what did you do to get so thin? You looked great,” Dawson recalled. “I looked emaciated.”
Can there be any doubt that the thin-supremacist aesthetic is in fact a violent one, an aesthetic of death? How sick has our society grown when an actress is complimented for resembling an AIDS victim -- for looking terminally ill? It's beyond outrageous.

One of my colleagues at Vanderbilt was from Zimbabwe, and she said HIV/AIDS is known as "the thin sickness" there. How insane is it that Dawson dropped weight to play an AIDS victim and got compliments.

Fortunately, Ms. Dawson herself works to combat this life-hating imagery, counteracting the pernicious messages that impressionable young girls get from Madison Avenue by telling them how pervasive retouching is.

“I’m constantly telling girls all the time everything is airbrushed, everything is retouched to the point it’s not even asked,” she told the magazine. “None of us look like that."
In another part of the interview, the actress sings the praises of delicious food -- and confesses that she enjoys up to five meals per day, eating whatever she wants.

“Whether [my body] craves fresh vegetables or foie gras, nothing makes me feel better than having something I really enjoy,” she says. Rosario eats three to five meals a day, depending on her schedule—most made from scratch at home... “I also enjoy making dishes like lasagna and coconut rice with pork chops.” And when she wants a glass of wine or dessert, no problem.
May more actresses follow Ms. Dawson's example in speaking out against the aesthetics of death.