Saturday, November 7, 2009
Getting undeserved credit in a world gone mad.
From left to right, we have Christina Hendricks and Miracle Laurie, actresses currently working on TV shows. Ms. Hendricks plays Joan on the AMC series Mad Men, and Ms. Laurie (no relation to Hugh Laurie) plays Mellie on the Fox show Dollhouse.
Whenever I read something about these actresses, or hear someone from the movie industry talk about them, it is considered a great stride forward for women everywhere that they are allowed to play young, attractive women despite the fact that they are considered "heavy" by today's standards.
Mad Men is set in the early sixties, and the male characters on the show consider Joan the pinnacle of va-va-voominess, which of course she is. Back then, Audrey Hepburn was considered a breath of fresh air, since she didn't have to conform to the ideal of beauty personified by Marilyn Monroe and Sophia Loren and the bevy of busty wannabes that movie moguls hoped might become the next Marilyn or Sophia.
Dollhouse is set in the present day, and Miracle Laurie's character isn't as sexually confident. She plays the girlfriend of one of the main characters, and she has to apologize for not meeting the current Los Angeles standard of beauty. All the other young women in the cast are much more slender, and the guys in the cast are also from the zero percent body fat set. We now have this idea that attractive women should look like thirteen year old boys on the cross country team, with breast implants as standard features, just so you can tell what gender they are from across a room.
Since I am on the high side of fifty years old, I have been looking at pictures of women with pretty faces and large breasts for the better part of four decades now. This is the first time I've gotten credit for being a feminist for doing so.