Sunday, January 4, 2009

The dress isn't too small're just too big.

Ahh...cable has exposed me to a slew of adverts for new movies coming out and none have been shoved down my throat (I blame me watching too much TLC and Bravo) more than Bride Wars, yet another evil cinematic installment in the cultural pantheon of women as soulless harpies.

The media's architecture of New York womanhood is killing me. First Sex in the City normalized Botox-laden, chain smoking, hideous shoe fetishizing, money and man obsessed hags. That series ruined a piece of this city's soul. And now we have to endure two spoiled rich brats obsessing over wedding dates at the Plaza (which by the way, the Grand Ballroom is available for $80-100,000 plus catering which runs up to $400/person) and Vera Wang dresses. Hearing the words, "You don't alter Vera, you alter yourself to fit into Vera" (not an exact quote, spare me) on television kills me. These are the models of glamorous womanhood we get to look up to. Spare me.

My relationship with my body is complex enough as it is, thank you. And I can't blame the media for it entirely although that would be convenient. It is an issue I am particularly sensitive to (having written about it on this blog before.) Frankly I find movies like Bride Wars and Sex in the City far more offensive than anything that has ever come out of Howard Stern's mouth. Why? These entirely unlikable models for femininity are marketed directly towards women. Even though they are directed and produced (to an extent) by men, they are presented as about women, by women, and for women.

I will admit that my outrage may be somewhat of a folly since I haven't seen either movie (although I have seen almost every episode of Sex in the City thanks to dorm life) however, I do think I have a right to respond to the way these films are marketed and I bet my guess that their content can be garnered from their trailers and promotional television specials is correct.

I know I am bouncing back and forth, at one point embracing certain aspects of traditional concepts of womanhood and at another freaking out about cinematic representations of women I just feel seem awful. And lordy lordy, I have no idea what to make of He's Just Not That Into You which comes from the writers of Sex in the City (a collaboration of writers who are both male and female, just like the other two movies I mentioned interestingly enough.) All I know is that I won't see it in the theaters and for some reason according to it's IMDB page Kris Kristofferson is in it...AND it's set in Baltimore at least, instead of NYC.

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