Monday, February 13, 2012

A couple makes love; TV recappers recoil: On beauty standards and male actors

Scene in question begins at 4:56.


Women are disproportionately judged by narrow beauty standards. Witness how in Sunday night's pre-Grammy profile of Adele, 60 Minutes felt obliged to mention that the singer doesn't have "runway model looks." The show made clear its belief that fat women cannot also be beautiful and that beauty is as much an element of female celebrity as talent. As I tweeted during the segment, no one would think to mention that Bon Iver or Chris Martin or Jack White or Kanye West do not fit the fairly narrow and rare physical qualifications of a runway model. Many of us are used to pushing back against the constant unfair evaluation of women's looks. Sometimes, though, we can connect the idea of judging physical appearance so closely to sexism and bias against women, we forget that it is destructive full stop--no matter the gender of the target.


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