|28th May 2006||#1|
Join Date: July 2005
''Ideal,'' ''better than,'' and ''gorgeous''
If Hollywood will not help the cause of size celebration, it would be nice if it would at least stay out of the way, and not actively sabotage the movement to restore the timeless ideal of full-figured feminine beauty.
But that is not likely to happen.
In fact, just as the gulf is widening between the moral values of Hollywood, and those of society at large, so is the gap growing between its aesthetic values, and those of the general public. Even as the populace is exhibiting increased acceptance of--even enthusiasm for--womanly curves, the media world's attacks on full-figured women are growing increasingly hostile.
All it takes is a glance at the titles of several recent movie or television projects involving curvaceous actresses to discern the collective Hollywood mindset with regard to plus-size beauty.
A few years ago, Real Women Have Curves emerged as a film that was remarkably size-positive, considering its HBO origins. However, the use of the word "real" in the title still tacitly acknowledged that the lead actress fell short of being "ideal." But this was an unnecessary concession on the filmmakers' part, and altogether misleading, since throughout Western aesthetic history, the generously-proportioned figure was universally regarded as the epitome of womanly beauty. Therefore, a more accurate version of the title would have read, Ideal Women Have Curves.
Not long afterwards, a television series debuted featuring a plus-size actress in the lead role, and Hollywood once again made its feelings about full-figured women abundantly clear in the program's title . . . Less than Perfect (*choke*). Of course, the flaw in the show's name is all too obvious. The waif actresses are the ones who are actually less than beautiful, less than goddesses, less than womanly, and appear--at their worst--less than human. A show with a plus-size actress as the lead should have been called More than Perfect, or Better than Perfect, given how "perfect" is defined in modern culture (i.e., in a way that falls far short of the timeless definition of feminine perfection).
More recently, Hollywood created a true atrocity of a program, an episodic infomercial for the diet industry masquerading as a television series, which even had the word "f**" right in the name of the show. (The other word in the title was "actress.") And of course, the appearance of the actress in question never warranted the use of the f-word, since she had simply acquired normal proportions in a city full of walking skeletons. But there will soon come a day when society looks back and judges the creators of such programs to be as ignorant and hateful as if they had created shows with "the 'n' word" in the title. (And don't think for a minute that this isn't part of the media's strategy in giving these programs such insulting names--to sanction and popularize the use of size-negative slurs.)
And finally--as if to cap this escalation of prejudice--a program is set to debut this fall which actually has the word "ugly" in the title. That's right: "ugly." (We couldn't make this up.) And predictably, the word is meant to apply to the show's star, a popular Hispanic actress who is . . . (as you might have guessed) . . . plus-size.
In just a few short years, full-figured women in planet Hollywood have gone from "real" to "ugly," while conversely, on planet Earth, they have gone from "victims" to "vixens"--and have had their beauty acknowledged.
But the fact that Hollywood is capable of making such hateful attacks on curvaceous women should surprise no one. This is an industry that has devoted itself to tearing down any values that have ever contributed to a healthy culture, so why should it restrain itself from demeaning over half of the women in America (to say nothing of the men who love them)?
But no matter how contemptuous Hollywood's attitude is towards curvaceous women, its anti-plus propaganda campaign would founder if the stars of the aforementioned programs were attractive enough to belie their shows' titles.
Even a film with a titular reference to "Real Women" would be genuinely subversive if it starred an actress whose beauty qualified her as an ideal (i.e., the timeless ideal). Viewers would reject the size-negative myth that is perpetuated by the phrase "Less than Perfect" if the lead actress of such a program were more perfectly beautiful than any tanorexic waif. And the public would laugh in Hollywood's face at a show with the word "ugly" in the title, if the beauty of the show's lead actress compelled every viewer to realize, "She's not 'ugly'--she's gorgeous."
The media is still desperately suppressing the emergence of genuinely beautiful plus-size actresses, out of a legitimate fear of their subversive potential. But this suppression can only last for so long, and the day will soon dawn when planet Hollywood comes into alignment with planet Earth, and reflects the truth that society has already discovered--i.e., that plus-size beauty represents the true ideal of feminine beauty.
Here is the formula for casting tomorrow's plus-size starlets (and for creating projects that are worthy of them):
Not "real" . . . or "less than" . . . or "ugly" . . .
but ideal . . . and better than . . . and gorgeous.
Christina Schmidt's Young Cuts film-festival win, as announced in Tribute magazine, December 2005:
|29th May 2006||#2|
Join Date: August 2005
Re: ''Ideal,'' ''better than,'' and ''gorgeous''
Yes, I remember all of the fuss that was made about the "F-- Actress" show when it premiered. It was never broadcast in my area, but from what I heard, it was utterly ghastly. And I don't think the "infomercial" comment is a joke at all. I sincerely believe that it WAS funded by the diet industry. Why not? They have billions to spend.
The joke is that if most TV programs actually were named according to the appearance of their stars, they would have to be given titles like: "Starving Actress," "Emaciated Actress," "Malnourished Actress," "Anorexic Actress," "Androgynous Actress," "Desperately Skinny Actresses," etc.
I only wish the plus-size fashion, restaurant, etc. industries would band together and bankroll a TV series that would undo the damage that Hollywood otherwise inflicts on full-figured women - a series that would present youthful and attractive plus-size actresses in roles that show them as actually being happy with themselves, and with their own appearance. No, more than happy - delighted, to use a word that recently came up on this forum.
And if it starred someone like Christina Schmidt, then it could justifiably use the word "Beautiful" in the title. What a refreshing change that would be!
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