Sunday, February 17, 2008

Hollywood’s Top 5 Worst Feminist of 2008

As my friends know, my appetite for celebrity news began in Mozambique when my mother would send me tabloid mags for fun. Being home has only made me more interested in the freak show. Tyree tries to make me feel less guilty by telling me I’m just being a good anthropologist. And it’s true! Is the E! channel really so different from Animal Planet? You can see real social change a few steps ahead by watching celebrities, and I’m not just talking about fashion. Here’s my top 5 list of celebrities who have done the most to errode the image, self-image and respect of women everywhere:

5. Victoria Beckham Besides producing really awful music, Posh Spice has headed a very disturbing trend in motherhood. She has set the bar for post-partem bodies far beyond what most women could ever afford by combining caesarean sections with lipo-suction. A few weeks after giving birth she is seen in the papers with her pre-pregnancy body making it seem totally normal not to have an ounce of fat left. Unhealthy for her body, unhealthy for our body-image.

20% of babies in the Western world are now delivered by c-section.

4. Flavor Flav You may ask how a man could be a bad feminist, as most people don’t expect men to be feminists at all. But that’s our problem. We should expect everyone to uplift women. If Flav wants to be the center of his own minstrel show, whatever. But by encouraging the women on his show to fight, strip and involve themselves in a polygamist relationship, he has thrown them back decades.

3. Paris Hilton No explanation needed here. Paris has done about as much for women’s rights as Amy Winehouse for an anti-drug campaign.

2. Hugh Hefner Hef likes to say his magazine empowers women. His new show, the Girls Next Door, tries to normalize an industry that is full of women with low self-esteem and histories of sexual abuse. Anyone who says porm isn’t degrading is fooling themselves. The Girls Next Door aren’t degrading themselves by having to share an 80 year old man??

1. Kim Kardashian This girl doesn’t have a lot of star power, but she makes the top of my list for two reasons. She is riding a wave of fame and wealth given to her by her father, Robert Kardashian,OJ Simpson’s defense lawyer, known wife-beater and murderer. Then, after crying to the public about her sex-tape exposure, she goes and poses for Playboy. It seems she can’t decide who she wants to be.

What a confusing mess for little girls to grow up with! Doesn’t popular culture feel any responsibility at all? I know, I’m a little too naïve.

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