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#1231

Colonel Green

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Posted May 4, 2012 @ 9:59 PM

guys getting The Avengers (with the lone female firmly ensconced in supporting position)

I'd disagree with that, having seen the movie. It's a pretty balanced ensemble piece - I would say Black Widow has as much or more than Thor and Hawkeye, in particular.
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#1232

MaggieElizabeth

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Posted May 5, 2012 @ 7:49 AM

That's good to hear, Colonel Green. It's always good to hear something is better than you thought it would be.

I've done some research on the Internet Movie Database and have seen that there are some interesting-looking female-centered movies coming out this summer. Most of them are limited release and/or foreign-language, but that's nothing new. One that looks particularly interesting to me is Beasts of the Southern Wild, a little girl's journey.

Good movies about girls and women can be found; one just often has to look under the radar. My main interest is to see female characters do different things than they are usually given to do, and occasionally deal with major situations that do not involve love, sex, parenting, or some combination of them. As Hawkeye Pierce might say, "I want something else!"
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#1233

Wiendish Fitch

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Posted May 5, 2012 @ 8:19 AM

Just a vent here: it's bad enough that they're adapting What to Expect When You're Expecting to the big screen, and that it looks like garbage to boot, but from the trailers I've seen... it's told primarily from the men's point of view!

What?!

Need I remind everyone that women do the heavy lifting during pregnancy, but we can't even get a lousy movie told from their POV? I never expected WtEWYE to be good, or even mediocre, but, as a woman, I'm offended the primary focus is how pregnancy affects men!
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#1234

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Posted May 5, 2012 @ 12:01 PM

I saw the trailer for WTEWYE, and it looks absolutely vile. Not even Dennis Quaid can draw me in. And I agree that adapting that book - which is admittedly a non-fiction guide, but one that revolutionized the pre-natal experience for many women - into a broad comedy about goofy men - basically another example of 'overgrown frat boy' humor - offends me.
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#1235

lastdaughterfk

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Posted May 5, 2012 @ 12:09 PM

Need I remind everyone that women do the heavy lifting during pregnancy, but we can't even get a lousy movie told from their POV? I never expected WtEWYE to be good, or even mediocre, but, as a woman, I'm offended the primary focus is how pregnancy affects men!


I'm pretty sure they were thinking of the opposite, given that some women opt out of pregnancy having it be a pure female endeavor will offend them (and you should probably had read endless articles pointing out to this every time a female character gets pregnant or if in a group of women all of them want to be mothers in fiction) not that they will succeed since I'm sure pregnancy is one of those things that modernly no one is happy no matter how is presented but I'm sure they were aiming for the opposite effect, YMMV.
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#1236

tuco6

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Posted May 5, 2012 @ 2:15 PM

I saw that trailer for What To Expect before Hunger Games. Is it really meant to be an adaptation of the book, or did they just take the book's title and stick it on a different story? As for telling a pregnancy story from the man's POV, I suspect it's a response to and inversion of the recent slew of pregnancy stories told from the woman's POV - Juno, Baby Mama, several other bad romcoms that I can't quite remember right now.
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#1237

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Posted May 5, 2012 @ 3:27 PM

Just a vent here: it's bad enough that they're adapting What to Expect When You're Expecting to the big screen, and that it looks like garbage to boot, but from the trailers I've seen... it's told primarily from the men's point of view!

I've seen at least one trailer for it and TV ads. The TV ads had a lot more of the guys than the longer trailer I saw. I don't think the movie is mostly about the guys at all, but they had the funnier parts in the longer trailers so that's what the TV spots have.

Is it really meant to be an adaptation of the book, or did they just take the book's title and stick it on a different story?

I think it is one of those Valentine's Day/New Year's Eve movies with a lot of big stars with interconnected stories.
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#1238

Limbonaut

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Posted May 5, 2012 @ 8:10 PM

guys getting The Avengers (with the lone female firmly ensconced in supporting position)

I'd disagree with that, having seen the movie. It's a pretty balanced ensemble piece - I would say Black Widow has as much or more than Thor and Hawkeye, in particular.


I agree. Joss Whedon gives the Black Widow a lot more depth than she had in Iron Man 2 and bits of an intriguing backstory. Her relationship with Clint Barton(Hawkeye) isn't strictly romantic either, but more comrades. Her scene with Loki in particular is great.

I also like Cobie Smaulders as SHIELD Maria Hill and Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts in her brief scenes.

Edited by Limbonaut, May 5, 2012 @ 8:12 PM.

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#1239

akg

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Posted May 7, 2012 @ 10:26 AM

I agree. Joss Whedon gives the Black Widow a lot more depth than she had in Iron Man 2 and bits of an intriguing backstory. Her relationship with Clint Barton(Hawkeye) isn't strictly romantic either, but more comrades. Her scene with Loki in particular is great.

I also like Cobie Smaulders as SHIELD Maria Hill and Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts in her brief scenes.


I was a bit concerned during Black Widow's initial scene but it quickly became clear that she is awesome and I loved the rest of her screentime. Which I was not expecting after IM2 (and I'm not a big fan of ScarJo's). I also really liked that Pepper seems to still be CEO of Stark Industries. I hated that she fell apart after a (admittedly really bad) week.

I do wish there had been more women in the Avengers but I have no complaints on the ones we did get.
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#1240

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Posted May 7, 2012 @ 2:50 PM

It doesn't surprise me that Joss would make Black Widow a kickass, smart, and resourceful character capable of holding her own with the boys' club of super-powered heroes. It only amazes me that he was able to get the performance of same out of Scarlet Johansson.
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#1241

OptimisticCynic

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Posted May 7, 2012 @ 3:05 PM

Has anyone seen the trailer for Mansome?

I like Morgan Sperlock and some of the other men involved with the movie. It just urks me that there's an entire documentary talking about the hardships of males in terms of appearance and masculine identity. It almost comes off condescending to me, especially when the expectations and pressure of gender stereotypes and beauty are MUCH more female focused. Already these men have the advantages of male privilege, and so much of what is considered appropriate "feminine" and "femininely attractive" are determined by the male gender. (Not all the time, but overwhelmingly so). These male actors also can have leading characters and lengthy careers without the focus being strictly on their appearance, while "plain" or "unconventionally attractive" actresses have a much more difficult time with it. It makes me want to shake them and say, "you think you have it bad?!" Perhaps that's the film's ultimate point, but it makes me very reluctant to spend money on it.

Edited by OptimisticCynic, May 7, 2012 @ 3:11 PM.

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#1242

Wiendish Fitch

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Posted May 7, 2012 @ 5:06 PM

That bothers me too, OptimisticCynic. I think women are under way more pressure and scrutiny for their appearance than men. Every actress in Hollywood is bleached, groomed, tanned, styled, and altered into homogenized oblivion. How often do you see actor's photos in magazines that are re-touched? They're allowed to have lines and wrinkles, but women? For God's sake, it's considered revolutionary when Jessica Simpson, at the ripe age of 32 years old, agrees to be on a magazine cover that hasn't been airbrushed within an inch of its life. Come to think of it, I saw Jennifer Lawrence on the cover of Seventeen, and even that looked airbrushed, and she's 22! And God help the actress who weighs more than a hundred pounds soaking wet! Remember several years ago when Jamie Lee Curtis was ridiculed for a having a "flabby, bulging belly" (which I never would have noticed had they not pointed it out)? I could bore everyone to tears about all the actors who are allowed to be as chubby as can be and still get film roles!


Several years ago, I heard somewhere that Tracey Ullman wanted to make a documentary about women who have plastic surgery, and I don't think it ever came to fruition. Too bad, because it's an issue that needs to be addressed.

Edited by Wiendish Fitch, May 7, 2012 @ 5:11 PM.

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#1243

MaggieElizabeth

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Posted May 7, 2012 @ 7:19 PM

I realize this diverts the discussion from movies, but it has long troubled me that men who are by no means anyone's idea of Adonis -- who aren't even anyone's idea of Hephaestus -- still feel entitled to criticize girls and women on the basis of looks. The most infamous example of this is Rush Limbaugh, the Pillsbury Doughboy himself, calling thirteen-year-old Chelsea Clinton "the White House dog." Despite who her parents were, he had no ammunition to use against Chelsea herself other than her appearance. How could anyone want to slide down the slippery slope of attacking young teenagers for not living up to illusory standards of beauty??

Later, we had Glenn Beck call Meghan McCain an "eyesore" for being a little plump. This coming from Glenn Beck?? If Limbaugh is the Pillsbury Doughboy, Beck is Jabba the bleepin' Hutt! Yet how often do we hear commentators rake these guys over the coals because of their appearance? How many wiseacres snark that they should "lay off the doughnuts?

Women in the public eye are by no means immune to criticism, nor should they be. But can we please attack them on the basis of something they actually do and or say, rather than for not being pretty enough?

Back to movies: The Avengers seems to be doing very well with critics and with audiences, and nearly all the movie's fans go out of their way to mention Black Widow at least once. This is, as far as I'm aware, the first live-action superhero film to do right by its superheroine. Most of such films focus exclusively on male heroes, and in the ones that do include female heroes -- the first three X-Men films, the Fantastic Four films -- those superheroines suffer badly from miscasting (e.g. Halle Berry making a wimp out of the shoulda-been-awesome Storm, Jessica Alba being her usual wooden, colorless self as Sue Storm) as well as weak writing and direction. Evidently we needed Joss Whedon to show Hollywood that yes, it can be done right. So, if The Hunger Games leads to better adaptations of girl-centric YA books, can we justly hope that The Avengers will lead to higher-quality showcases of superheroines? Maybe movies about Wasp or Moondragon?
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#1244

FoolishWanderer

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Posted May 7, 2012 @ 7:28 PM

This is, as far as I'm aware, the first live-action superhero film to do right by its superheroine.

How about Kick-Ass? Chloe Morez as Hit-Girl absolutely stole the show. She was far more interesting than Kick-Ass himself.
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#1245

lastdaughterfk

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Posted May 7, 2012 @ 7:28 PM

This is a list of documentaries about beauty and society.

Youth Knows No Pain (2009)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1111233/

America the Beautiful (2007)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1040007/

The Famine Within (1990)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104229/

Never Perfect (2007)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1103165/

The Human Face (2001 TV miniseries)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0280262/

Kickstarter just finishing funding a project for a new one so coming soon
http://www.kickstart...nsecurity-sells
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#1246

Wiendish Fitch

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Posted May 7, 2012 @ 8:07 PM

Since I don't think a Wonder Woman movie will come in our lifetimes, there are plenty of other super heroines to choose from. I for one wouldn't say no to a movie with Zatanna, Big Barda, Power Girl, or Mary Marvel (I'm a DC girl, so YMMV).

I was excited to hear that X-Men: First Class (a movie I loved in spite of its flaws) was getting a sequel (Jennifer Lawrence will be returning as Mystique), and I hope we'll see origins of some of the badass X-girls such as Storm, Jean Grey (whom I never liked, but maybe they can improve her), or Dazzler. After all, the previous movie left much to be desired in terms of female characters: Emma Frost was a deadly dull villainess, Angel was dumb and superfluous, as was Moira MacTaggert (who's a spitfire in the comics, not to mention Scottish). Lawrence, at least, made Mystique compelling and sympathetic, despite the irritating knowledge that she'll become a genocidal bitch later on.
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#1247

MaggieElizabeth

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Posted May 7, 2012 @ 8:48 PM

A good movie about Scott Free and Big Barda would just about make my year. A good Zatanna film might make my decade.
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#1248

Bruinsfan

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Posted May 8, 2012 @ 12:55 PM

I do think that Anna Paquin's Rogue and Famke Janssen's Jean Grey were well-rounded and admirable characters in the X-Men movies, so the field of decent screen heroines wasn't totally barren before Black Widow.
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#1249

tuco6

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Posted May 8, 2012 @ 1:10 PM

And although technically not a superhero movie, Serenity by Joss Whedon had River and Zoe. River was much less a damsel in distress than in the Firefly TV show, and Zoe was kickass, authoritative and intelligent and extremely competent. It's really a shame that Whedon abandoned the Wonder Woman movie.
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#1250

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Posted May 8, 2012 @ 4:51 PM

I liked Moira in X-Men First Class. I don't see how she was 'dumb' at all. Moira was brave (without some flashy superpower to hide behind), hard-working, and understanding, being able to accept the mutants when the bulk of the human cast hated them. Okay, she wasn't the best character in the film, and there may have been a problematic scene here or there, but for the love interest of the main character she was pretty competent. And...well, I can't not love Rose Byrne. From Damages to Bridesmaids to The Dead Girl to Get Him to the Greek, I always walk away enjoying her performance. All of those in very different roles - even in the comedies, Jackie Q is an outlandish popstar and Helen is incredibly uptight, but both performances were hilarious.

Rogue from the X-Men trilogy is a great heroine. Even though she is a reluctant heroine, there was a lot of time spent with the character and I personally felt she was given more depth than the majority of the cast, alongside Wolverine, Magneto, and Prof. X. Take the scene on Bobby's porch, when she
Spoiler
.

I'm not big on the comics (have never read any of them, but love the movies, a few of the games, and the X-Men Evolution cartoon) but I have always liked Kitty Pryde. It would have been nice to see her get more screentime in the original trilogy, but she stood out for me in the third film (again, partly because I love Ellen Page). Kitty has a cool ability, but she isn't so overpowered that you would assume she'll make it out alive. Particularly love the scene where she outsmarts Juggernaut, and gets a nice quip.

Black Widow was easily my favourite character in The Avengers overall, although there was plenty to love, with Tony and Hulk coming pretty close for me. Black Widow was intelligent, capable, funny, with a hint of a pretty interesting past. Not surprising, with Joss Whedon writing and directing. I'm hoping she pops up in more Marvel films.

edit; Elektra tanked, but the character herself is a pretty good heroine, from what I can remember of that movie.

Edited by manbearpig, May 8, 2012 @ 4:59 PM.

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#1251

akg

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 8:54 AM

Discussion with Joss Whedon and the Avengers cast on female superheroes. I've never really liked Scarlett Johansson but she's winning me over.

In EWs exclusive roundtable interview with Whedon and his hero cast, we discussed why there are so few female action heroes in the movies, and why they hope that will change in the next movie


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#1252

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Posted May 11, 2012 @ 3:44 AM

Has anybody here seen the movie Party Girl (1995) starring Parker Posey?

I just watched this last night for the first time and I actually kind of enjoyed it. Her character is kind of a 23 (going on 24) ne-er do well party girl (of course), who ends up working as a clerk in a library in order to pay back her godmother (who bailed her out of jail). As with all movies like this she has her struggles, but she eventually ends up studying to be a librarian.

There's a lot I missed, because I'm just awful at summarizing movies like this, but I could kind of relate to her character and just not having any idea what to do with your life at that point and finding your passion through a chance opportunity, sort of. I also loved that she kind of had a really ridiculous personality (certainly not noble or perfect). I mean, it's not the greatest most feminist film ever or anything at all, but I found it to be really refreshing. I guess the closest comparison for it I can think of is Sunshine Cleaning, but that movie was much darker and less enjoyable for me than this.
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#1253

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Posted May 11, 2012 @ 10:51 AM

Virginia Plain, Party Girl was a great movie. I was working in a music store when I watched it so the part where she goes off on a customer who just randomly puts a book he no longer wants on the closest shelf brought me a lot of joy.

Edited by Rockstar99435, May 11, 2012 @ 10:54 AM.

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#1254

Limbonaut

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Posted May 12, 2012 @ 9:25 AM

I like Scarlett's quote in an interview when they asked her if there was going to be any romance between Black Widow and Hawkeye in the movie and she said: "Theres no time for romance, we have shit to avenge.
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#1255

Colonel Green

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Posted May 12, 2012 @ 1:39 PM

I like Morgan Sperlock and some of the other men involved with the movie. It just urks me that there's an entire documentary talking about the hardships of males in terms of appearance and masculine identity

I don't see why that's an issue. There's tons of discussion about these kinds of issues relating to women, and making a documentary about the other side of the coin doesn't interfere with that; addressing specific issues relating to men's physical appearance is a worthwhile project on its own.

Regarding my earlier comment about The Avengers, Vulture actually did a tally of each Avenger's screentime, and ranked Black Widow third out of six (behind only Captain America and Iron Man, and with about three times as much as Hawkeye).

Edited by Colonel Green, May 12, 2012 @ 1:39 PM.

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#1256

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Posted May 12, 2012 @ 5:10 PM

Scarlett Johansson has really turned my opinion on her around with this film. I used to roll my eyes at her interviews about her personal life, and I've actually walked out of one of her movies before. But for the past few months I've felt like cheering every time I read one of her quotes.
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#1257

lastdaughterfk

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Posted May 13, 2012 @ 3:02 AM

addressing specific issues relating to men's physical appearance is a worthwhile project on its own.


The timing is probably because there is more data that talks about how this is affecting men nowadays than in the past. Some info about it eating disorders and the rise of plastic surgery for men http://psychcentral....sorders-in-men/ and http://www.plasticsu...c-surgery-.html

Edited by lastdaughterfk, May 13, 2012 @ 3:17 AM.

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#1258

akg

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Posted May 17, 2012 @ 11:41 AM

Scarlett Johansson has really turned my opinion on her around with this film.

I haven't been a fan of hers before now either. And after Iron Man 2, I was not happy with her being the only female superhero in the gang but, after seeing the movie and reading some interviews, I kind of love her and hope the Black Widow gets her own movie and that she gets some creative input.
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#1259

Limbonaut

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Posted May 18, 2012 @ 11:03 AM

Well this op-ed piece about body image Scarlett Johansson wrote for the Huffington Post pretty much confirms she's awesome as a person too. Excerpt:

Since dedicating myself to getting into "superhero shape," several articles regarding my weight have been brought to my attention. Claims have been made that I've been on a strict workout routine regulated by co-stars, whipped into shape by trainers I've never met, eating sprouted grains I can't pronounce and ultimately losing 14 pounds off my 5'3" frame. Losing 14 pounds out of necessity in order to live a healthier life is a huge victory. I'm a petite person to begin with, so the idea of my losing this amount of weight is utter lunacy. If I were to lose 14 pounds, I'd have to part with both arms. And a foot. I'm frustrated with the irresponsibility of tabloid media who sell the public ideas about what we should look like and how we should get there.

Every time I pass a newsstand, the bold yellow font of tabloid and lifestyle magazines scream out at me: "Look Who's Lost It!" "They Were Fabby and Now They're Flabby!" "They Were Flabby and Now They're Flat!" We're all aware of the sagas these glossies create: "Look Who's Still A Sea Cow After Giving Birth to Twins!" Or the equally perverse: "Slammin' Post Baby Beach Bodies Just Four Days After Crowning!"

So why do these publications do so well? After appearing on the cover of US Weekly's "Did They or Didn't They? A Plastic Surgery Guide for Dimwits" issue and battling for a retraction, I learned that the magazine profited $1.4 million from the issue alone (money I felt should be donated to Operation Smile or an equally well-managed charity helping those in need of reconstructive surgery). The concept of 'Stars Are Just Like Us!" makes us feel connected to lifestyles that can sometime seem out of this world. Yes, celebrities are just like us. They struggle with demons and overcome obstacles and have annoying habits and battle vices. That said, I would be absolutely mortified to discover that some 15-year-old girl in Kansas City read one of these "articles" and decided she wasn't going to eat for a couple of weeks so she too could "crash diet" and look like Scarlett Johansson.


Edited by Limbonaut, May 18, 2012 @ 11:05 AM.

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#1260

ribboninthesky1

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Posted May 18, 2012 @ 4:54 PM

I only read the except as quoted above, but I strongly disagree with this:

The concept of 'Stars Are Just Like Us!" makes us feel connected to lifestyles that can sometime seem out of this world. Yes, celebrities are just like us. They struggle with demons and overcome obstacles and have annoying habits and battle vices.


They are human, but celebrities have, and never will be, "just like us." The very notion of celebrity is a counterpoint to the everyman or woman. And whether she likes it or not, it's not JUST the media giving the public ideas on how to look, it's the celebrities themselves, albeit inadvertently. Nevertheless, I get her point about the absurdity of the tabloids and the obsession with body image.
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