Shallowness in Hollywood

It’s a strange thing that a man has to wear a fat suit to be a love interest for Chrissy Metz’ characters. OK, a little background: The man who plays Kate Pearson’s love interest has a fat suit. It does not take away from the person’s authenticity, but it reveals an ugly truth about the state of Hollywood and Television execs: Those people believe a man cannot accept a woman with a perceived flaw unless they have that flaw themselves, and in a worse manner. It turns out, men in Hollywood are Shallow Hals. Does anybody remember Shallow Hal? It was a movie done in 2001 in which a man has to overcome his defining trait to find true love. I think all of Hollywood should watch it, as a lesson to themselves. This leads me to a sad conclusion: If a man is so shallow that they have to date somebody skinny, the standard of beauty these days, where does that leave a fat girl like me? Alone.

Here’s the trouble with losing weight: I am not a skinny little broomstick. I never was, even at my skinniest. When I weighed 125 pounds, I still had curves. So, there are two choices when dealing with men’s shallowness: Accept loneliness and hate myself, or find a man who is not so shallow. But where is a man who is not as shallow? How far away from the media must I roam to find this golden man?

No More Self Hate 

Recently, I’ve been going over some of my posts. I’ve noticed a pattern of pity and self-loathing. Will I die alone? Am I pretty enough for love? Am I too fat for love? It has come to me what I have been doing, and what drives these posts. I have been listening to what the haters say, and not what the people who love me say. It’s a vicious cycle. The haters scream and shout, while those who love you are drowned out. It’s vicious what I’ve been listening to. Well, it’s time to make a definite change. I’ve come here to say NO MORE. It’s time I reverse my ears and listen to those who really love me – those who say that love is there, even if it’s not in a partner.

Autistic people find love. I have known a chemist/inventor who has been in Time Magazine, and she has been married for years. Of course, no one has to marry their partner, but isn’t that sweet? I have decided this: If I am bound to find a soul mate, they will come at the right time. If not, oh well. Maybe I can look at the other ways people can be loved – you know, without partners.

I’m going to go off script and talk about this – it’s related: Ashley Graham – yes, the plus-size Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover model – says she’s not ashamed of her body. Why should she be ashamed of it? She’s a Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover model! Even now, I can hear the cracking and crumbling of the plaster statue of broomstick beauty dictatorship. I’m not a broomstick, but why does that have to shut me out of love and acceptance? It’s sickening.

The worst part of it is this: It recurs almost every now and then. It’s like a pain that flares up with this trigger or that trigger, and I want it to stop. I want to stop feeling like I am inadequate to find and give/receive love. I’m tired of being disqualified because of things I can barely control, let alone things I can NOT control. I can’t control that I’m autistic. I can’t control that I’m short and stocky. I can’t control your attitude, either. So why lament about it?

Blonde Dolls Everywhere 

Now, let’s talk about real systemic racism. The systemic racism that exists in your toy box. I am writing from a position of privilege, so bear with me while I tell you what I see.

When I was a child, the lead character in any given cartoon was always blonde-and she still often is today. Let me give you a few examples from my era: Rainbow Brite, She-Ra, Jem (You KNOW she’s blonde under that pink dye!), Barbie and Skipper, Sailor Moon…need I go on? It was easy for me to find a doll that looked like me. You see, I was a blonde. The trouble is, I don’t think I had a lot of dolls that looked like my friends. That, to me, was troubling.

You see, I grew up in Southern California, among a group of friends that did not look like each other at all – and that was life. People looked different, people acted different, people even spoke different languages! But then and there, it was all acceptable, because it was life. I actually miss that part of Southern California. It’s the part I miss most, the diversity. I like learning about different things, and different people. Fascination and curiosity are great things.

Trouble is, there was not a lot of diversity in the toy box. If you were a brunette or a redhead, for example, you were relegated to sidekick. I had to specifically ask for redhead dolls to include my redhead friend. I even got blowback and freakish looks from my parents for asking for diversity in my doll kingdom. I mean, all my real friends are different, so why not have all my imaginary friends be different too?

What really hit me hard, though, was going into a store with Spanish-speaking owners, in my twenties, and seeing blonde dolls in Spanish-language boxes. At the time, I had just learned about various kinds of Eurocentric beauty standards, including Asian eyelid surgeries made to look more Western-which seems to be an Asian code word for European. Coming from my position, it still baffles me that they want to look like me, and not their beautiful selves. Anyway, back to the dolls. They looked nothing like the dark-haired beauties I normally came across with Hispanics. Blonde Hispanics do exist, even in natural states, but they are literally praised for “passing” as white somehow. I find all of this disturbing, that a person could hate their genetics so much. Of course, I am currently a size 18 in my clothing when the average model is a size…what is it now? Zero? So I can relate somewhat. Don’t even get me started on dolls in wheelchairs. Maybe they ought to exist, too?

Maybe celebrating differences would be better than making a uniform case that the leader is one uniform look, which could possibly be unnatural to the group of people supposedly represented. (I’m looking at you, Sailor Moon.) Perhaps make the brunette the leader, or the dark-skinned girl every once in a while?

Easter Symbols

In case you have not noticed, I am a Christian, which means I believe that the biggest event in history was a Roman execution of a carpenter and apparent political upstart. It’s kind of weird that we wear the instrument of execution on our bodies and in our homes. It’s even weirder that we consider the carpenter and upstart the greatest man in history. And the weirdest of all, the fact is, some of the symbols of this event have nothing to do with the event in particular. I mean, what do Crucifixion and Resurrection have to do with candy bunnies and colored eggs?

Let me get to the most important part-the gist of the Gospel of Easter: Everybody sins, and the judgment of sin is death. Everybody dies, too. But the trouble is, death sends people to the realm of Hell. We needed a savior to save us from that fate. Trouble is, everybody sins, so there is no one who can. An innocent had to put on the sins of others to provide a way out, so… God sent his son to die the most brutal death in history, and rise again from the grave, to provide a way to be with God. That’s it. So, why do bunnies, flowers, eggs and bugs figure into the celebration?

Growing up, I originally thought the bunny and the egg were a little silly. I mean, as a Christian, how does any of that fit into the story of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection? There were no mentions of rabbits or eggs in the Bible anywhere. Nobody told me anything as to why until I was in my teens. Then, the prevailing church came to the Easter symbols’ attack. They were originally used as fertility symbols of non-Christian gods. However, these symbols were “Christianized,” or incorporated, into the celebration, given new meanings and new places inside Christianity.

The Holiday Spot  gives a concise meaning into the various symbols associated with Easter. I am perfectly alright with these traditional symbols, given their new meanings of new life. There are even symbols I did not know were incorporated into the celebration, such as the butterfly. The butterfly represents the spiritual metamorphosis the Christian soul and spirit undergo. It is my favorite symbol of Easter and spring. From death into life, the way of God goes.

Beauty as Whiteness: From a White Girl’s Perspective

I had a vision last night: of a high fashion show with models of color standing with the models of white as friends. Many dark skin models standing together with light-skinned models. African features, Asian features, Hispanic features, all standing as one. I mean, look at this picture:

dove-real-beauty-campaign

But the current system of beauty will not let that happen. As it currently stands, whiteness is beauty, while other races’s features are ugly. I am going to use racism as a starting point to show the flaws of the beauty dictatorship.

My eyes were opened by an article in Everyday Feminism about how whiteness is still the measure of beauty in our age, and it got me thinking: Why does this racist attitude persist? I mean, look at Lupita Nyong’o, Viola Davis, and Frieda Pinto! To equate beauty with whiteness is to leave those beauties out in the cold. There are so many more examples of dark-skinned people that it drives me nuts when I hear about people trying to look white. And it still exists: take a look at this ad for skin brightener/whitener:

SkinLightenerAd

There are women who use this sort of thing all around the world. Jessica Simpson’s beauty miniseries even tracked the story of someone who ruined her skin from these skin brighteners. It appalls me that people are

It goes even further from there. I once came through a shop where the owners were Hispanic, and all I saw in the dolls were blondes. They looked nothing like the beautiful women who I noticed were Hispanic – even though they come in all colors and sizes – and it bugged me. It bugged me because it had gotten to a point where the Hispanics were exercising racism upon themselves – that they were hating themselves and making themselves less in their own eyes. The message is clear: only love yourself if you are white.

It even bothers me that people of color are lightened in advertising even to this day. Yes, I have seen this, too. Take a look at this redesign for Disney Princess Jasmine from Aladdin. On the left is Jasmine in the movie, and on the right is Jasmine in the movie, and on the right is how Jasmine looks in the Disney Princesses merchandise:

JasmineWhitening

Don’t think that real people are left out of this. Take a look at Beyonce’s L’Oreal ad:

beyonce-loreal

I wonder if Tiana from the Princess and the Frog gets similar treatment? It sickens me to no end that anyone is left out of acceptance for who they are. This is especially true for those with darker skin – also, it is true with those who undergo surgery to look beautiful.

I’m not leaving out the Asian eyelid surgery girls. The fact that they undergo surgery to look more “beautiful,” which I have established, means more white, is outrageous. I mean, you could die or go blind on the table! I first heard of this on the Oprah show, when Lisa Ling talked about it as a normal thing among Asian girls. As I said before, the message from the beauty industry is: you are ugly.

As a white woman, maybe I’m supposed to find this all flattering, but I don’t. This troubles me, as a matter of fact. It redefines beauty as reflecting those in power, and I cannot see myself as an evil emperor, especially since I am locked out of the beauty dictatorship by way of size.

The truth is, I find that all people are beautiful, even the ones who are dark skinned, who have Asian eyelids, who have curly hair, and who have bigger sizes. The beauty dictatorship is terrible, and it must be overthrown, to make way for a beauty democracy.