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Posts Tagged ‘Hollywood’

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Have you ever waked through a mall and felt either insanely targeted or extremely ignored by retailers? Does it ever feel like the 21st century is a mess of physical & “psychological warfare in the form of advertising” (Esmail, 14)?

If so, that’s usually a valid reality that is not only encouraged by managers within stores, but also executives and shareholders at the top of many film studio corporations and companies. (more…)

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Last week, the Internet exploded with people commenting on actress Renee Zellweger’s face. She appeared at an event in Hollywood, and it was reportedly her first red carpet appearance in years. Zellweger has not appeared in film for the past five years and she has not been spotted by the media since she turned 40. When she appeared at the event in Hollywood last week, people were talking about how dramatically different she looked since the last time she appeared in the public eye. Many people noted that five years out of the limelight in Hollywood is really long time, especially for a renowned and popular actress such as Zellweger.

Zellweger’s reemergence has sparked a conversation about women aging in Hollywood. Hollywood and the entertainment industry in general is notorious for being brutal towards women as they age. We as a society in general are too focused and judgmental towards women and their bodies especially as they age. People on the Internet and the media immediately jumped to the conclusion that Zellweger had gotten some kind of plastic surgery. The following day after the hysteria surrounding her new appearance, Zellweger responded by making a statement to People Magazine and said, “I’m glad folks think I look different! I’m living a different, happy, more fulfilling life, and I’m thrilled that perhaps it shows.”

Zellwegger discussed that her hectic schedule had a negative impact on her health and that she suffered greatly from exhaustion. She noted that living a happier, more slow-paced lifestyle, and being in a happy relationship with her boyfriend helped her tremendously. Zellweger also said, “People don’t know me in my 40’s, people dont know me as healthy for a while,” “Perhaps I look different. Who doesn’t as they get older!? Ha. But I am different. I am happy.” Did Zellweger get plastic surgery? Did she change her appearance so that she could get more acting roles in Hollywood due to the pressures that exist? Is Zellweger’s new look just a result of aging? I’m not really sure. I personally think that hectic schedules and fast-paced lifestyles can take a toll on the body. I think that if a person makes certain changes to their lifestyle that their appearance can change.

After looking at some photos of her from a few years ago, I do think that she somewhat looks different but I can’t say for sure that she got plastic surgery. It amazed me how the media blew this up and how long people kept talking about it. I think its funny how Hollywood is harshly criticized by conservatives for being “feminist” when clearly it isn’t. Women in Hollywood are constantly being judged by their appearances. Hollywood is in fact a culture that is dominated by primarily men and repeatedly puts women down.

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Viola Davis, an award winning black actress, recently starred in the movie The Help. At the 2012 Oscars, Viola appeared on the Red Carpet glowing and debuting her natural hair. The media, of course, made this a into a huge story. When asked what made her decide to wear her natural hair to the Oscars, she stated that h

er husband encouraged her to do so.

I believe that Viola Davis was radiant and confident that night. She was absolutely beautiful. Many black women and young girls appreciated seeing natural hair on the red carpet. Wendy Williams, radio talk show host turned television host, did not feel the same way. On her self titled talk show, Wendy Williams insinuated that the Davis’ TWA (teeny weeny afro) made her look mannish, like the history teacher in the 70’s sitcom “Room 222”. At another time, Williams stated that Davis’ hair was just not professional. Many black women were appalled at her statements. They felt that Williams was attacking black women. As you can see in the picture on the left, Davis display of natural beauty was inspirational to black women and girls; and, Williams blatantly shot it down on national television to an audience who probably does not understand natural black hair to begin with.

Black hair has so much politics attached to it. In the past, black women have felt restricted by white beauty standards of straight or wavy hair that is often unnatural to them. I, like many others, am appalled that a black woman would scorn another black woman for displaying her natural beauty. “Natural” hair is our hair. Kinky, curly, wavy, coarse, whatever, it is our hair. I am encouraged by the fact that so many black women have decided to transgress white beauty standards and free themselves from chemical relaxers, letting their own unique beauty shine. Viola Davis certainly took a stand at the Oscars and became even more of an inspiration to black women.

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Baby, oh, baby, show us a woman who still thinks style has to suffer during pregnancy, and it’s a pretty safe bet that she hasn’t been keeping an eye on red carpet mamas.

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Best Dressed Baby Bumps

The quotation above was taken from this slideshow over at youbeauty.com. When I stumbled upon this slideshow, I was pretty shocked. Hollywood portrays its pregnant celebrities in interesting ways. Hollywood is constantly checking female celebrity’s bodies for “baby bumps” at the slightest appearance of a bulge. That one extra cupcake at a party or that extra french fry could potentially be a baby bump. After a celebrity has finally announced an official pregnancy, before or after they are actually ready to announce it, eyes are constantly on the tummy.

Of course, pregnant superstars cannot let their bodies or their fashion sense slide during pregnancy. Their body is still supposed to look like one of a superstar. The only piece of the body allowed to grow is the belly. The rest of the body is still as sexualized as it was before. Red carpet commentators drool over that motherly glow and growing tummy. Even with the growing bump, these women are supposed to dress to make the public comfortable, not themselves. Instead of maternity sweatpants, pregnant stars instead wear maternity gowns that accentuate the bump for all of the world to take part in her pregnancy.

Superstar bodies are constantly on display, even during pregnancy. Talk about the laboring body! I can only imagine how uncomfortable pregnancy is by itself. Adding on paparazzi cameras, heels, a drapey gown, and keeping a stellar body is way too much! Having a body that is constantly on public display, being praised and criticized, must be a big stress on famous women. What do you think?

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After reading this article in Huffington Post and seeing many, many commercials with a svelte, toned Jennifer Hudson, I wondered how she managed to lose so much weight. Weight Watchers and exercise helped Hudson loose a huge eighty pounds in a healthy manner. The  formerly “larger than life” singer and actress is now a glowing size zero. Hollywood could not be happier.

Plus sized women in Hollywood are not easy to come by, especially when these women are black. Hollywood’s black female superstars are sexy like Halle Berry or extremely curvaceous like Beyonce. Where does a plus sized black woman like Jennifer Hudson fit in? Does out singing Beyonce in Dreamgirls mean nothing?

In my opinion, Jennifer Hudson had not been portrayed as other black women before she dropped eighty pounds. Yes, she was talented and award winning, but not beautiful. Her beauty has only come from her weight loss. Now, we can marvel over her thin waist and curvy hips along with her amazing singing voice.

But, which is better? Should a black female celebrity have to choose between being famous for her talent or her body? Of course, some celebrities like Beyonce have both covered while others like Nicki Minaj are lacking. What does this mean for little black girls? Can they feel comfortable in their bodies and accept not being beautiful but talented instead? Or do their bodies have to be the cause of their beauty? Should they  have to choose? I do not know the answers to these questions, although I have some ideas. The good news is that Jennifer Hudson’s voice is still big and beautiful!

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