Ladies to Love

Thanks to this essay (read it, it’s hilarious), I found myself watching Teen Wolf  in the wee hours of this morning.  I’m only sort of embarrassed to admit that because even though it was pretty much what you’d expect from MTV (melodramatic music, twinks with disturbingly few facial expressions, lots of bare skin), there was one serious bright spot: her name is Holland Roden, she’s a 25-year-old TV actress, and I’m nursing a serious crush.  I mean, just look at her:

Not only is she an (okay, allegedly) natural redhead, but the girl is rocking some seriously sexy curves.  She’s smart too: she first came to L.A. to study molecular biology at UCLA but, be still my heart, graduated with a major in women’s studies.  I’ve checked out some of her interviews and she seems like an intelligent, thoughtful, and genuinely grounded individual.  As with any Hollywood/celebrity culture output, I try to take them with a grain of salt, but regardless, I love that someone is putting out messages like these (I was going to post some quotes from that one, but realized I would end up quoting the entire thing, so I’ll leave it for people to read on their own and just say I strongly encourage you to do so).

I like her character too.  She may be “the popular girl” dating the lacrosse captain, but she’s great at science and math, and my introduction to her was a conversation in which she reminded a friend to have safe sex.  In and out of character, she seems like my kind of woman.

Ratings in David Tennant “oh yes”s: show 2/5, lady 5/5

My Hero

“I heard police or ambulancemen, standing in our house, say, “She must have provoked him,” or, “Mrs Stewart, it takes two to make a fight.” They had no idea. The truth is my mother did nothing to deserve the violence she endured. She did not provoke my father, and even if she had, violence is an unacceptable way of dealing with conflict. Violence is a choice a man makes and he alone is responsible for it.”

-Patrick Stewart (via Shevilfempire)

Kate Middleton’s Nipples

Okay, I admit it – I couldn’t resist a peak at the Kate Middleton photos. You know the ones I mean. Even though it was out of curiosity more than anything else (really!), I’m definitely not proud and a little embarrassed (not enough not to write this though, apparently).  Anyway, I have to say my reaction was somewhat less than scandalized.  The invasion of privacy and all that, yes, definitely scandalizing, but the pictures themselves? Left me wondering A) what’s the big deal about nipples? Because pretty much everything else is visible in a bikini, so they must be what all the shock-and-awe is about, yet, unlike some body parts, literally all of us have them (for further reference, see “nipplegate”), and B) don’t people ever get tired of looking at identical female bodies? From the neck down, Kate Middleton could be pretty much any white female celebrity or model.  She has a fine body, an attractive one even, but looking at it I couldn’t help but feel like I’d seen it a million times before, even though this was technically the first time.  You’ve seen one uber-thin, long-limbed woman, you’ve seen ‘em all.  Of course, it’s different when it’s an actual person rather than a media construct imposed upon one; affection transforms many things, among them the beloved’s body, which becomes something precious and fascinatingly unique no matter its contours.  Without that though, the constant parade of indistinguishable female flesh becomes just…tiresome.  Looking at those photos really brought that home to me.

I suppose that’s not why the pictures were taken or why the photographer was able to sell them for however much they were though: it was about the shiver of surprise people get from seeing an icon in the flesh and realizing she’s actually human and in the grand scheme of things not all that different from themselves, just as hostage to her physicality.  Or maybe it was about an illicit thrill of seeing someone who’d been so carefully packaged and presented to the world without all the trimmings (debatable as that is: is she really free of them in the images in question? Can she ever be?).  Whatever it was, it was definitely more complicated than a simple hunger for more female nudity.  It’s not like anyone is starved for that in this day and age.  What people are hungry for, what I was hungry for, was something else.  The question I’m still mulling over is what.