Friday, 30 May 2008

Sarah Jessica Parker! Do as I say, not as I do!

Being a female A-Lister is hard. Much harder than if you were male. We the public (with the help of the media) speculate, judge and criticise celebrities like Nicole Kidman, Meg Ryan, and Victoria Beckham for going under the knife. Allegedly, they are contributing factors to the unattainable ideal of modern beauty.

And yet in spite of this, when a famous woman bucks against this trend and ages as mother nature intended it, she is subject to the most venomous abuse.

Hadley Freeman brought this to my attention in yesterday's Guardian where she wrote:

'In yesterday's Daily Telegraph, a film critic decreed that Parker "looks like a skeletal transvestite". Maxim in the US recently named her "the unsexiest woman in the world", while Piers Morgan, that great arbiter of beauty, called her "ghastly ... I've seen better looking winos underneath the arches at Charing Cross".'
Sarah Jessica Parker aka Carrie Bradshaw is 43. And yes, she probably looks her age. But what is wrong with that? George Clooney is 47 and he also looks his age, but he is not villainized for it. In fact it's CELEBRATED, people commonly acknowledge that 'he just keep getting better'.

And I can't help but wonder, why the double standard?

I don't have the answer, but I would like you to chew on this thought. Cast your mind back to school. Then, not bowing to peer pressure was considered a good thing, it demonstrated strength of character. Saying 'NO' to smoking, drinking, drugs, sex was the right thing to do. Flash-forward to the present and its equivalent peer pressure: looking slim, youthful and pert. Sarah Jessica Parker has dared to be that individual at school who says 'NO'. She has ignored this ridiculous 'eternal youth' demand that society has created for women. And what do we do? Do we congratulate her on her bravery? Admire her confidence and praise the example she has set? No. In true schoolyard style, we attack her for it like a pack of adolescent bullies. And quite frankly, it makes me sick.



Anonymous said...

very surprised that there are no comments to this post, but i think you did a wonderful job stating the reality of today. i would say i am an equal contributer to the problem - on one level, i hate that we let celebrities set our standard for unattainable beauty, and yet i am guilty of making quick critical judgement calls with each shot that gets posted or printed of them [flattering or not].

thanks for reminding us to be thoughtful of this issue.

Edith Purdy said...

I think we all contribute, I do exactly the same of you. I quickly remark when a celeb is looking less than perfect, and yet I would be gutted if someone said the same to me. I used to defend it by saying, 'it is their job to look like great'. But, are they not subject to the same laws of nature as us? I think it is a tricky subject, I'm trying to re-train the way I think about this. I'm not there yet, but will be soon I hope!

Miss3va said...

you sounded like carrie bradshaw for a minute there
but yes i do agree.
she has a kid for christ sakes.
but i also have to agree i do it too... i guess its because they are celebrities that's why we expect so much out of them

Anonymous said...

well, before I noticed the unflatering photo of SJP (who I usually think is very photogenic), I noticed the oh man that thing is hilarious!!!...I like the fact that she was willing to wear it. Kudos. The press needs to focus on the environment more and less on SJP's aging physique, which I think she wants to do! Nobody can look perfect all the time.

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