Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Beauty Industrial Complex and the War on Women

Every once in a while, I read something which makes me feel all crabby and stabby. Today's rage inducer was an article in the local free daily which makes for perfect subway reading. The article in question was an entertainment section feature on pop singer Marina Diamandis, about whom I have posted before. Here is the appalling part of the article:


Also getting a big whatever was her label's decision in September to delay the release of the "Heartbreaker" video because, well, they didn't think she looked attractive enough.

She got a call from her manager saying the label didn't like it, she explains: "'They think you need some beauty work
,' he said. 'I said, 'I don't care if they think I'm ugly or not, they need to give me a budget if they want me to look botoxed within an inch of my life.'"

Not that she has a problem with that, she says. "I really don't mind. Everything on the album has been in the spirit of that plastic pop element."



The bolded text is what inspires this "stabby" feeling in me... if this woman isn't attractive enough, what hope does an ordinary looking woman have? Mind you, the entertainment industry also pressured a 25-year old who looks like this to get botox. What the fuck is wrong with these people?

Back in college, I remember telling my freshman "little sister" and her roommates, all nice normal girls, to dump all the "Cosmos"... these magazines only served to tell them that they was inadequate, but could spend tons of money trying to look like the made-up, airbrushed models who graced the glossy pages of the magazine.

It's gotten worse since then, of course... I mean, you can look like this and it's still not good enough.

I'm a little miffed that Ms. Diamandis didn't put her foot down about this. While she doesn't have a problem with this nonsense, she's not doing any favors to her fans. I think the first question that any female pop star facing this "attractiveness" dilemma should ask herself is, "What would Poly have done?" Alternately, what would Polly do?

Here's a video by the "insufficiently attractive" Marina Diamandis:





Here's the late, great Poly Styrene offering her take on the pressure to look good, living in a consumer society:


18 comments:

mikey said...

Worth noting that the often derided (but not by me!) Courtney Love has been making this point through her music for a long time now, and especially effectively on the Celebrity Skin album...

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Great post, B^4.

P.S. Poly Styrene deserves more shoutouts.
~

Dr.KennethNoisewater said...

Yeah, it's ridiculous bullshit. She's cute, but even if she weren't, who fucking cares? I hope she never caves gets her nose worked on (which is the obvious thing that stands out to me). There's gonna have to come a time when we we start appreciating "as is" beauty. That time can't come fast enough for me.

Oh, and it'd be great if women were judged on something besides their looks, too. kthankxbai.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Worth noting that the often derided (but not by me!) Courtney Love has been making this point through her music for a long time now, and especially effectively on the Celebrity Skin album...

I really haven't been a fan of hers, although there is one song of hers I like a lot (can't be arsed right now...).

P.S. Poly Styrene deserves more shoutouts.

I've always sung her praises- she needs more exposure.

Oh, and it'd be great if women were judged on something besides their looks, too. kthankxbai.

Yeah, I think the "rise" of Adele is a much needed breath of fresh air in this regard.

Dr.KennethNoisewater said...

Really? Cuz I think Adele is really really pretty.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Really? Cuz I think Adele is really really pretty.

That's because you're a normal human being- I imagine record company execs in the U.S. wouldn't have given her a chance because of her weight.

mikey said...

Oh, and it'd be great if women were judged on something besides their looks, too.

My primary criterion was their willingness to sleep with me. Of course, this led to some hilarious hijinx, but I think is a pretty good basis on which to judge the quality of any given woman...

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Really? Cuz I think Adele is really really pretty.

That's because you're a normal human being- I imagine record company execs in the U.S. wouldn't have given her a chance because of her weight.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Really? Cuz I think Adele is really really pretty.

That's because you're a normal human being- I imagine record company execs in the U.S. wouldn't have given her a chance because of her weight.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Uh, sorry 'bout the double post- ignore the man behind the cretin!

Aunt Snow said...

Nice linkage BBB!!!

And yes to all this - what kind of insanity runs rampant in the now moribund music industry? Or should I say, "celebrity industry" because that's what it is.

mikey said...

Indeed. One wonders how the screeners and preliminary judges of American Idol might have reacted to Janis Joplin...

Smut Clyde said...

As always, men are the true victims of society's expectations.

bbkf said...

Oh, and it'd be great if women were judged on something besides their looks, too. kthankxbai.

yeah, this is exactly what i was going to say except with a couple of f bombs...

and go adele! it would be awesome though if her weight were not ever mentioned again...

also, too b-boy...you show great restraint or something if you only read get that crabby and stabby feeling only once in a while...

Laura said...

People are stupid. We buy magazines that tell us to be "natural beauties" yet advertise all kinds of crap to inject into our faces. Diets that will help us loose 25 pounds in 2 weeks and recipes for "To Die For, Chocolate Cake".

It's interesting to me that for the most part, men don't judge women nearly as harshly as we judge ourselves. We are so hard on ourselves. :(

((hugs))
Laura

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

And yes to all this - what kind of insanity runs rampant in the now moribund music industry? Or should I say, "celebrity industry" because that's what it is.

"Now moribund"... the industry cannot die quickly enough.

Indeed. One wonders how the screeners and preliminary judges of American Idol might have reacted to Janis Joplin...

Yeah, that's a perfect example of a unique talent that would have been scorned by these yutzes.

As always, men are the true victims of society's expectations.

Guys got it tough!

People are stupid. We buy magazines that tell us to be "natural beauties" yet advertise all kinds of crap to inject into our faces. Diets that will help us loose 25 pounds in 2 weeks and recipes for "To Die For, Chocolate Cake".

One of my favorite Billy Bragg tunes is The Busy Girl Buys Beauty. CRANK IT!!!

It's interesting to me that for the most part, men don't judge women nearly as harshly as we judge ourselves. We are so hard on ourselves. :(

I think you're right about this- most guys don't buy into the unrealistic standards of the glossy magazines.

Smut Clyde said...

We do not ask for much, BBBB.

Fenwick said...

Poly Styrene deserves more shoutouts.

I was initially puzzled whenI read Ibn Thundra' postscript as 'Poly Styrene needs more shutouts.' Even in winter, I have baseball on my mind.

Congrats to BBBB for having yer blog highlighted in C&L!