''A carefully-watched media monster''

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Posted by HSG on May 16, 2005 at 23:26:19:

An article in FWD notes that Maxim magazine has just released its annual list of the 100 Most Malnourished Actresses in Hollywood (a.k.a., the "Hot 100 List").

This news item would hardly be worth noting at all, except that the raised-eyebrow tone that permeates the FWD article about this silly ritual is most refreshing.

The writer says that the list "depends on your suspension of disbelief," and deems it "good for a laugh."

Could this mean that some members of the entertainment media are finally realizing the absurdity of their own aesthetic standards?

The article slyly intimates that the rankings depend largely on whatever media projects the candidates have in current or forthcoming release. This would tally with one of the revelations offered in Spin Sisters, i.e., that the celebrities who earn magazine covers and stories do so simply through their efforts of their all-powerful managers.

The bottom line is that this kind of list is in no way, shape, or form "a measurement of the culture's collective male gaze," as the article claims. It is, at best, a measurement of the gaze of a tiny cadre of entertainment writers--and, at worst, merely a competition for publicists.

Real men do not need Maxim to tell them who is "hot," and who is not. Indeed, real men do not spend their precious time reading magazines like Maxim in the first place--when the wealth of world literature, and the accumulated knowledge of human history, offers itself up to them, for their perusal.

Real men feel no greater need to conform to society's supposed aesthetic values than they do to its moral or philosophical values. And the word "collective" is anathema to them--in any context.

Real men have the image of true Beauty locked in their hearts. It lives there, burning brightly, an archetype that accompanies them throughout their lives, and to which they are unfailingly loyal--as real men are to all great Ideals.

Pierce ("James Bond") Brosnan, and curvaceous wife, Keely Shaye Smith. Real-life "Bond girls" are plus-size goddesses, and their spouses consider them unquestionably "hot," for that very reason.

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