Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Twofer, interrupted

OK, so either I don’t understand men at all or the female writer of the new W cover story was sniffing glue. And I quote:
“It’s not easy to find a man whose celebrity crush list includes both Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson. Both actresses are gorgeous, sure, but in such different ways that they seem almost of separate species.”

Uhm, what? Separate species? Seriously, what? OK, granted, I may not be privy to the inner-workings of the straight-male mind but this is some crazy, crazy talk. What man wouldn’t want Scarlett and Natalie on his list? Heck, what human wouldn’t find them both attractive, period? The whole premise of their new film, “The Other Boleyn Girl,” is that King Henry VIII found them both so hot, he did them both. Have we learned nothing from history?

I had a hell of a time getting past the ridiculousness of the lede, but I soldiered on to read the rest of the article. But instead of being rewarded for my efforts, I had to stop, several times, to keep my blood pressure in check. Could the descriptions of the two be a more perfect illustration of the old Madonna-whore cliché that Natalie herself bemoaned quite rightly? But wait, in the movie they’re apparently playing against type! Utter madness, I tell you.

Did the editors all have their bullshit meters turned off? Or perhaps they were just too distracted by the two incredibly hot women in the photos to notice. Oh, sorry, according to the writer’s thesis, they’d have to be distracted by only one of the hot women.

The constant juxtaposing of Scarlett as the voluptuous fun-loving girl and Natalie as the reserved serious-minded girl was grating. But the idea that it was somehow shocking that women with differing personalities could actually get along was downright insulting. Oh, and then there’s this last few lines of the article where Scarlett talks about the press calling her promiscuous because of her twice-annual AIDS tests:

“That’s totally responsible,” Portman says. “A great role-model thing to talk about.”

Of course, coming from Portman, an endorsement of safe sex doesn’t sound scandalous. Perhaps it’s her Harvard degree or—let’s be honest—her smaller cup size.

Oh, of course, because we can only take women with small breasts seriously. To further prove this, let’s conduct a little experiment.

Test One
Scarlett says: “Always be sure to recycle.”

What? Sorry, busty girl, I saw boobies and everything went blank.

Test Two
Natalie says: “Always be sure to recycle.”

You’re right, flat-chested girl, let’s save the earth together!

Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue.


jennifer from pittsburgh said...

-let's be honest- I can't believe the angle on this article. Yes, there's the whole Madonna-whore thing in all of its male-centric shame. But to actually say that somehow Portman's POV is more valid NOT because of her education but because she has smaller breasts is beyond insulting.
Dammit, now I'm going to have to write to W. I'll try to be nice.

Ida said...

I actually find Natalie Portman incredibly cute, but Scarlett is just... bland to me. Yeah, she's got boobs and she was cute in Lost in Translation but... I think "meh" is the word I'm looking for. It might be the constant hype, or the horrible bronzer-cream adverts, but she just doesn't do it for me.

Still, the Madonna/whore stereotype is OUTDATED. AND ANNOYING. IT EVEN MAKES ME BREAK OUT TEH FEARSOME CAPS. And honestly? Since fucking when is endorsing safe sex scandalous?

MissAkilahC said...

the stereotype works for the the premise of the film: no doubt about it. I read the book, I know the story inside and out, as it is one of my favorite eras in history, (no idea why: I'm a black female lez... go figure).

But to promote this sort of thinking in journalism is absurd. The fact that this woman's editors okayed the piece is mind boggling.

While I'm not impressed with either of their acting skills, I am not blind enough to say I prefer one over the other.

ON THE OTHER HAND: I'm VERY happy that they support getting tested and are vocal about it, and I'm happy the ignoramus didn't exclude it from her final piece.

Amanda said...

OMG I love you. Way to rock the Airplane reference. Heck yes

gypsywee said...

I think you'd have to be sniffing glue, inhaling spray paint out of a bag, shooting heroin, and swallowing some little pills in order for this woman's article to make sense or be palatable. Not only is she a complete ass, she's also irresponsible--and that's unforgivable.

sphygmo said...

I agree with ida. Scarlett is a definite "meh." She doesn't radiate a genuine sex appeal, and her acting is appalling (check our her inability to force out tears in A Song for Bobby Long--I almost cried because I felt sorry for her--all that mustering and forcing and NOT ONE SINGLE TEAR). She should've sniffed onions before the shoot.

Natalie's breast size does NOT have anything to do with her being different. What a ridiculous article. Are we sure the author wasn't making fun of his readers? This is surreal.

Anonymous said...

That film looks so shockingly crap from the trailer (and early reviews seem to confirm that theory). I swear the only thing that will get me to buy a cinema ticket is Kristin Scott Thomas, and I'm even wavering on that as it looks like her part is tiny.

Pyewacket said...

"But the idea that it was somehow shocking that women with differing personalities could actually get along was downright insulting."

Funny, I ran across this in business a few years ago when another woman and I were assigned to travel together to rollout a new software program across the country for a Fortune 500 company.

We never gave it a thought but found out halfway into our travel schedule that everyone else in our office were giving it plenty of thought...practically placing bets to which one of us would end up killing the other and when.

Our life experiences were completely opposite. Our physical appearances were completely opposite. Our personalities were completely opposite. Our sexualities were completely opposite.

But what we had in common was complete respect for each other and appreciation for each other's strengths. We learned from each other and supported each other.

Instead of killing each other during the trip as our male and female co-workers had expected...we became each other's best friend. What a gift.

So you are right, it is insulting to think that women with differences cannot get along and would end up in some sort of catfight. Yet, is not just a male perspective on women...other women have this poor perception as well.

Anonymous said...

what human wouldn’t find them both attractive, period?

Me, period.

I find Natalie Portman attractive, while Scarlett is just so damn overrated and NOT attractive at all.

The Hollywood PR machine worked really well on ScarJo. I mean, tell the world over and over and over again that the girl is hot, and eventually there are enough male monkies out there who'd believe it, especially if the boobs are big enough, and the girl seems a bit dumb.

Catriona said...

A-friggin-men. The sentence about Natalie's cup size in particular is breathtaking. What is she on?

Also, I don't find either of them attractive. There's only one picture of ScarJo in existence (in Karman's piece about the Victoria's Secret list on AE) where she actually looks hot, and that's the only time I've either looked at either of them and felt anything.

Anonymous said...

actually, i really find scarlett attractive at all... ergh. yuck. bleh. blah.

Anonymous said...

Wow...I thought I was the only one. Sorry, I'm having an "Emperor's New Clothes" moment. I have never understood the Scarlett thing. She has the sex appeal of a wad of wet Kleenex. I was floored when I saw that she had been voted Sexiest Woman Alive in 2006.

Natalie Portman, on the other hand, can eat crackers in my bed anytime.