lundi, mars 27, 2006

Is Lindsay Lohan who we see as our Wonder Woman???

I love Joss Whedon's Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I love the episodes he wrote for Roseanne, but now, Whedon might have hit a greedy low. He has been said to be putting together 'Wonder Woman' for some time now. And the question has always been, who will play her? In 2002, the debate was over Jessica Connelly, Monica Belluci and Catherine Zeta Jones, all of whom would be good choices in my opinion. They all certainely look the part and they're the right age. I would suggest myself since WW is supposed to be a beautiful Greek woman, but unfortunately, I have no way to get in contact with Whedon. This morning I was very disappointed to see a Yahoo article about the potential of Lindsay Lohan playing Wonder Woman.

Oh God, what has our country come to?

Well, not that Wonder Woman was always the best role model for women - she was however, a female superheroine and a 'strong' woman character. Although Lynda Carter was a supermodel, she did have a fair amount of muscle on her to allow us to assume she wasn't using pills or anorexia to keep her slim figure. Joss Whedon gets praise from 'geeky' feminists all over the globe on how his 'Buffy' was a feminist piece of work, and his WW could of done the same, but I have to say...Lindsay Lohan is no way to get that praise. Its just a cheap way to sell out tickets, and frankly - Whedon would be selling out his reputation, as well.

samedi, mars 25, 2006

"Feminine Beauty is a load of pornographic crap"

I was reading I Blame The Patriarchy and came across the blog, "Hot Mama".

The writer found an interesting blog called, Morphing into Mama (MIM). The MIM discusses how she thinks its incorrect to assume that she should feel love for her infant - which is a liberating idea for some women, but I'm not even going to get into this right now - and yet she also discusses how she feels it is her duty to keep her self looking good for her husband...otherwise he could say it was, "false advertising" before they were married. Her husband, no I'm sorry - she refers to him just as "husband" - doesn't want her to cut her hair or gain weight. God forbid a woman's figure change after carrying around another human being inside of her.

OK - now 'Patriarchy's' writer went on to say that 'feminine beauty is a load of pornographic crap.' I like this. I don't even know where to begin describing why I like this statement.

On a somewhat related note...The other night I was in Dominicks buying some beer and snacks with my boyfriend and our friend. We passed by the 'best selling' beauty magazines adorning the racks near the register (how much more obvious could it be that they're SELLING to us the products on and within those magazines as they're surrounded by impulse buys). Now, I hate going to the register. Every time I do I see these magazines encircling me in brainwashing, disturbing madness.

The proof of the stupidy: So I made some comment on how Oprah looked so thin (first mistake) - I was simply poking fun on the constant topic of Oprah's fluctuating weight - just be a full figured woman Oprah, please stop giving in. And our friend goes, "I'm sure she's airbrushed." Ok - so this is a constructive comment. Good, good...And then, I mentioned how I'm not a fan of Eva Longoria (Desperate Housewives is good enough reason why) and he said, "but she's hot."

Just kill me. If I here one more person refer to anyone as HOT ever again...

OK - So I took a deep breath and muttered some of my disgust for this comment, but it was the guys birthday, so I let it go.

Everyone seems to think that its OK how we think. That it is OK that our society praises unhealthy, fake, made-up ideal images (feminine beauty). Friend, Oprah's airbrushed, and this 'hot' Eva Longoria is not? Where is your logic? Do you actually believe that Eva Longoria is hot? Or is it that you believe that picture on the cover of that specific magazine is hot? If you married Ms. Longoria, then you would probably expect her to keep her polished coiffeured hair and skinny figure, right? Because I wouldn't believe you if you said otherwise. (Sorry friend, this isn't all about you - you just gave me an example).

This blatent obliviousness occurs everyday by the masses.

And the worst part is that I'm already tired of explaining to some people why their thinking is harmful. Why their way of believing the media and this patriarchies obsession with superficiality leads to destruction.

It was my boyfriends own comments regarding Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton that really made me hate the word 'hot' and opened my eyes even wider to the absolute...disgustingness (is that a word) of what men find attractive. If 'good' men find these girls 'hot', then how are little girls going to feel? Little girls who are trained in a society that upholds the belief that women should do their best to keep the men happy, that men rule, that men decide what's attractive. They're going to grow up thinking they should look like (should I add - dress and act like) Lindsay Lohan and if they don't, they're not pretty enough.

But its the women's fault, right? Women are supposed to make up their own minds - we should be who we are and not worry about what men want? Can you really blame us for wanting to be found attractive by someone when that's what we're told is important? Or its the woman's fault for not listening to men when they say, "No, really...I want a girl with curves." What that means is they want Salma Hayek or Jessica Simpson. A size two with large breasts, a tiny waist line and hips (the infamous hour glass)...

Or guys will say, "We just like women. We wanna have sex with everything." Sure guys, that's why you said that the airbrushing on Oprah isn't enough to make her hot? That a strong, intelligent, curvy, beautiful woman cannot be 'hot' next to a tiny, tan woman who portrays a slut on a sexist tv show?

C'mon, Men...Out with it: What say you?

jeudi, mars 23, 2006

Women want to be...what men want?

If money is the root of all evil, then most advertising is its spawn.

The media and advertising are really one in the same. We've all heard this before...that what you see on the cover of magazines is a product, celebrity gossip is false, everything we see is made up to get us to consume, CONSUME, CONSUME.

The other day at work I noticed a third GIANT advertisement sweep by on the side of a commuter bus. The first one I noticed was an AD for the new show, "Pepper Dennis," which stars former supermodel Rebecca Romijn (however you spell her name...I don't really care to look in up). The AD shows her in a (not particularly revealing) red dress, she has heels on and pearls around her ankles (Don't get that), and she's twisted up in the cord of her mic. Of course she is sprawled across the AD in a typical 'model' pose...lest we forget she's a former model. The show, however, is about a reporter.

The second AD I saw was for GUESS. Need I say more? Their ADs are always filled with tiny, skinny, girls with dark makeup around their eyes, they usually have tan skin, and they're wearing barely any clothing -- all of them are in provocative positions. Now for a clothing line, wouldn't you want to showcase the clothing??

The third AD I saw was for...well, this shows how ineffective the AD was...I don't know. But it said 'STYLE' next to two supermodel sized women in bikinis fighting -- surrounding them were men in suits.

OK. At this point I spoke up to my co-worker Pet. "Why are ADs, even those trying to sell to WOMEN, smeared with negative images of women?" Pet laughed and I continued, "Its like women want to be what men want now...and that's it. That's all they need to know to buy something - that men will like them for it."
"And its probably a woman who's leading the AD campaign," she replied.
"GENIUS!" I thought. OF COURSE. Not all the campaigns, but how much do you want to bet that women are the ones throwing these pitches.

Now, no one is forgetting that we live in a patriarchal society to begin with and that it has thus far brainwashed most of the people within...but nonetheless, women have probably given in to wanting to be what men want them to be - even when it comes to their careers and intentions.

So lets see who the people in charge of the sleazy, unhealthy, negative ADs are. Are they women? Are they strong women? Are they money-hungry (Duh)? Do they know what they're doing? That they're influencing 80% of women to feel poorly about the way they look - telling little girls, they aren't beautiful the way they are??

I'm on a mission! I'm going to research who it is that is leading these campaigns and I'm going to start with the women I find who are. I'm going to contact the women I find who are heading these campaigns, see who replies and see if they know what they're doing. And I'm going to report to you my results. Maybe no one will respond, but it will be interesting just to see how many women are leading these ugly campaigns.

mardi, mars 21, 2006

Retouching: An invisible lie

We have all heard that magazine covers, movies, television -- whatever media you choose -- uses 'retouching' to make their 'stars', models, objects...look flawless. Well, the 'Swedish Campaign' has come out with the truth.

We can now see exactly what is being retouched. And I, who was already aware of retouching, am astonished to find how very much is actually changed and...to what degree.

They have developed a before and after photo of a model on a magazine. This is all in hopes to interfere with the negative brainwash forced upon children everyday. Maybe our future will look brighter...and a little more natural.


dimanche, mars 19, 2006

Honesty - the key to revolution?

I briefly mentioned Jane Fonda in my blog, When did we decide "girly" was "weak"? And I'm going to use Fonda and her interview with Ms. magazine's Robin Morgan as a springboard for another discussion: Is Honesty the Key to a new woman's movement?

Jane Fonda, Oscar winner for roles in Klute and Coming Home (maybe even better known for her slew of successful exercise tapes), is "coming clean." More recently her name is in the air for her new novel, My Life So Far, which is to be available in April 2006. Fonda, after years of failed marriages, admits she suffered from the "disease to please." She said, "Meaning I'm not good enough for someone to love, I must hide parts of me I think aren't 'acceptable'."

Some might not find these words surprising, or even very confessional; I, however, find them very liberating. A bit liberating for me, and I imagine, plenty liberating for many others (male and female).

What I mean is, not that I necessarily feel like a "people pleaser" or a "pushover", but that I, at times, have felt not entirely ideal in whole. That being my intellect, my thighs, my ability to show affection...whatever it is any certain day that I am feeling "insecure."

For women though, I might go as far to say that we always feel "insecure." In that we do search for a sense of security, but rarely do we search within ourselves. Instead of accepting that we are "ok", or "acceptable", we assume we are not and that we should do as someone else says we should.

Even writing that, I am afraid it is a false statement because it seems so...feeble minded - which is not usually something I use to describe myself. Yet I know it is true at times. When I am honest with myself.

For the oppressed, life is a constant struggle. The oppressed is already described to be less, to be flawed. And the battle to come eye to eye with the truth is a long one. If you can imagine, someone who is told they are less must always fight this thought, while never fully knowing if they are in the right - since it is very possible they are less.

Jane Fonda was honest...so honest she admitted to having 'threesomes' with her husband in order to keep him happy. She wondered what was wrong with her until she read other women's work where they were honest about their own lows and "Not in a salacious way, but a way showing how even intelligent, strong women can betray [their] bodies and minds." This was liberating for Fonda. And now Fonda's honesty is liberating others.

I wonder, if we do all follow in their lead...if we all open up and accept ourselves for everything that we are - the "good" and the "bad" - maybe we will all become what we truly are.

We might never be able to stop the oppressors from trying to oppress, but we can stop oppressing ourselves.

mardi, mars 14, 2006

When did we decide "girly" was "weak"?

The other day my long awaited relationship with Ms. magazine finally commenced. I had ordered the magazine in September, but delivery failed for months until finally Jane Fonda and Charlize Theron landed on my doorstep - along with an extension of my subscription.

My sweetheart, Tim, had clued me in on a recent conversation he read reqarding the cover of Ms. magazine - the winter issue with Jane Fonda. Let me describe the cover: Her hair is perfectly frosted and curled, her makeup by most 'magazine' standards is flawless and her top is frilly and pink. Her nails match her blouse and her (adorable) dog is perched on her lap. Quite similarly to the Good Housekeeping issue that adorns Laura Bush.

Now I looked the two covers over and the conversations at both Salon.com's broadsheet and Feministing.com and I get the confusion. But that's all it is. Confusion. Are we (women/feminists) supposed to all look like 'strong women'? Do we all need to wear bandanas, cut our hair, wear pants? Do we all need to stop wearing bras, painting our nails, or 'styling' our hair? Now I'm not saying what we wear should be a total free for all with no consideration and that we should dress like Erin Brokovich, but even if we do - should we be objectified, ridiculed and ignored regardless of our convictions?

Jane Fonda might be wearing a little too much makeup even for my 'openminded' standards, but hey, the lady is using her profits from her latest film (and first in the last 15 years) for G-CAPP -- the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention -- which she founded. Not to mention all else she has done in the name of human rights (Which I discussed in Honesty - the key to revolution?)

And furthermore, I love pink. I love "pretty things" (flowers, cakes, dresses)...I thought being "girly" was empowering. I thought being who I am is strong. When did we decide "girly" was "weak"? And why would we ever want to?

samedi, mars 11, 2006


Hopefully most read the title of this blog and think of the popular new genre taking our country by subtle storm...and not the tasty, crispy mint gum.

Typically, when I heard the term "chick-lit" I tossed my head back and slightly rolled my eyes in both condescenion and minor disgust. "'Chick-lit?' You mean that 'Sex & The City' spawned collection of novels that seem like they were written for a more sexually mature Seventeen magazine?" Obviously, I didn't know what I was thinking and I am ashamed. When it comes down to it, "chick-lit" is a genre of opportunity for women writers. And with that and that alone - I should be praising it's very existence.

In the patriarchal society we live in today, everything from cars to books are subject to sexism. The 'Virginia Woolf's' of the world's revolutionary contributions to history helped make it possible for women to not only have their books be publised, but to have their books read and well-received. But today, too few realize that the times haven't changed much since before women were allowed to write. Or rather, not as much as should have changed.

Writers like Chuck Palanhiuk have sometimes skirted around the loopholes, but in most cases, a writers gender, or lifestyle, will determine the genre in which the book is placed in the book business. Homosexuals and women, for example, will most often have their books automatically placed in the 'Gay/Lesbian Lit' or 'Chick-Lit' categories, accordingly, regardless of their subject matter. We can all easily understand the problem this conveys.

Works like Greg Benhrendt and Liz Tucillo's He's Just Not That Into You had personally ruined my interest in the "chick-lit" genre. Sure, I'm a lazy critic - I never read the book - but I heard tale. The premise alone was about snagging a guy...or how not to lose one. That is enough reason for me NOT to pick up a book. But, I shouldn't turn my nose up at the entire genre. Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones's Diary is good lit -- Regardless of where it is placed on the Barnes and Noble shelves.

A recent article I read in the March 2006 issue of Writer's Digest had an article discussing this very subject. Writer Jennifer Armstrong, better known for her work for Entertainment Weekly, spends most of her time cornered into the "chick-lit" world. She tackled the subject in, "Eh, You Write Like A Girl."

Armstrong broke the reasons good and bad down for the reader to better understand what's happening in the genre. The reasons looked like this: It Seems Like Anyone Can Do It; It Churns Out Good Stuff, Big and Small; Its Biggest Names Are Young and Glamorous; and It Sells Like Crazy.

Sure, It does seem like anyone can do it, but isn't that a skill to be mastered by any writer? To look like the work of creating a relatable, witty character is effortless? It Churns Out Good Stuff Sarah Dunn, Helen Fielding, and Darcy Cosper are a few names that have put out 'good stuff'. Its Biggest Names Are Young and Glamorous Which means it will be popular, right? What's wrong with selling the genre that is ours?? And It Sells Like Crazy Need I say more.

Maybe we can use "chick-lit" for us instead of compromising the opportunity. If we choose to accept "chick-lit" as something positive, we might be happy with the results: a new, powerful genre, just for the ladies...They do make up 70 percent of readers afterall. And it is my understanding that most writers' intention is to write for their audience. This isn't about gender, this is about the facts.

mardi, mars 07, 2006

Fiction and Politics

The January/February issue of Poets&Writers included the article The Politics of Fiction by Daniel Nester. The question at hand was simple: "Can political fiction matter?"

While most political literature you will find today is non-fiction or memoir, there is a fair-share amount of political fiction, as well. Two anthologies, the 2003 released Politically Inspired and its new follow-up Stumbling and Raging: More Politically Inspired Fiction (MacAdams/Cage) prove political fiction can have an effect on the page and off.

Contributor David Amsden tells P&W that an anthology is "an active document of writers trying to process things that are impossible to process."

What's really special about the anthologies is that they are politically inspired creatively and actively, too. Politically Inspired shares its sales with the Boston-based Oxfam America. Stumbling and Raging will donate its sales to the "progressive candidates" in the 2006 midterm elections.

Stephen Elliot, editor of Stumbling and Raging is not concerned with the best-selling "competition" (i.e. A Time to Run, Washingtonienne, Against All Enemies) because, as he told P&W, Stumbling and Raging "is so much better written than all that!"

A better comparison to the quality of the anthologies might be You Shall Know Our Velocity by the exponentially popular Dave Eggers. The ability for fiction, or more specifically, "character-driven literary fiction" - to offer further insight into the character/us/you/them. An "emotional truth" can be conveyed in fiction that can not be offered in other genres.

So good news to you politically motivated creative-types! Political fiction might have a new place in our libraries, but beware: The fine art lies in the painting. You cannot overshadow the narrative arc with your propaganda...the story should be able to stand on its own two feet.

mercredi, mars 01, 2006


Welcome to watercolorlanguage.

I do not have a narrow perspective on topic choices for my blogs. There will be blogs on music in general and music reviews, films in general and film reviews, books in general...and book reviews - you get the picture.

Also, you will find a lot of blogs where I will discuss writing. I have a degree in writing and so that explains itself. I am also a musician so you might find some geeky posts about such topics, as well.

Alright...that's all I'm going to write for now.

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