Sunday, March 4, 2012

Why Do I Care Project X?

In spite of my age, in spite of having a very satisfying job and life, and in spite of feeling successful and what one could call 'attractive' somewhere in the middle on a scale of the elephant man to Gisele B√ľndchen, I still find myself sometimes sad and downtrodden about my body image.  The recent movie, Project X, is a childish celebration of teenage debauchery apparently, and movie critics rate it as less sophisticated than the hangover series... I guess it got a few points above the Jackass series for featuring more aesthetically pleasing flesh art in the background.  Even though I can make an effort and get dolled up for an evening, I feel like in the day I return to being the average-bodied and far from glamorous though decent looking girl at work.  So I feel a vast disconnect with the movie, me personally.  Therefore looking up images from the movie, I think:
 Project X girls partying
 Me at a Small Fourth of July Party

But even though I feel like I don't measure up, Project X is not reality, and I didn't go see the movie... so why is it bothering me?  Because my boyfriend went to see it, and before he did so, when we saw the previews for it he clearly got excited, and afterwards he was extolling its 'virtues' (okay really he just said it was "pretty good").  And sure, it's just a movies thing, but it honestly haunts my psyche... I did not go to very many high school or college parties, and it becomes easy to let Hollywood tell you how those parties were.

I may have not gone because of my relatively later in life involvement with alcohol, and my early pretty much self-imposed curfew that I followed without much of a fight or many attempts to sneak out, but through the lens of movies like Project X, I didn't go to these parties because I didn't associate with the right people and wasn't invited to do so because I didn't have a drop dead gorgeous face, or the right hip to waist ratio... Looking up the movie reviews, Project X is "pure hedonism without consequences" - Melissa Anderson of The Village Voice - and even on some sad levels mixed in with misogyny-cultivating behaviors... so why would I be happy my boyfriend enjoyed this movie?

I suppose it's just a sad reflection of the fragility of some parts of my self confidence also.  I mean, it's not like he's leaving me on the curb to go chase this stupid dream.  He even told me that's all it is, just Hollywood.  But that isn't really any consolation.  When Hollywood panders to women it's for them to get married or be self-satisfied career women and when Hollywood panders to men it's with not one, but multiple hot "babes" all apparently size 0 or generously endowed and between the ages of 18 and 24.

Women?  We get to appreciate the value of the 'funny guy' and the endearment of the guy we banished to the friend zone who turns out to be 'the one.'  It's not like I could go indulge my sorrows in a movie of some geeky or goofy looking women I could relate to enjoying all sorts of muscular, athletic men vying for their attention. Men?  They can watch any action flick and see hot women in strappy tanks, v-necks, with mini-skirts, boob brushes, asses outlined, a full body camera pan, and a sultry voice tell our hero (whether he is attractive or not) how important he is to the plot, and then they turn an action packed corner and get it again from a barely distinguishable girl.  How could I not love mainstream media?  I need to take a film class.

And I don't know if I'm angry or if I'm just insecure... either way, those images from the movie aren't me and I'm not going to desperate lengths to mold myself to that image, but I think I am just terrified of judging myself by those standards.  If it's all in good fun, why does it matter so much?  First, in my reaction, why is it so strong?  Second, in the effort the producers:  I mean why spend so much money on women to portray those roles in movies?  And beyond movies, why does a book like "The Game:  Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists" have so many avid readers?  Why is it acceptable for these men to play on the insecurities of women, to ply back possibly hard-earned self-esteem to get what they want?  There might be such thing as a gold digger, but I can assure you she didn't make the rich snob feel like he couldn't get another hot young thing.  I'm sure he didn't feel insecure in his ability to attract another money-sniffing playboy bunny.  And when you hear about male exotic dancers, no one says they are out there doing it because of mommy issues, like they do about strippers and daddy issues.  I don't know what I'm accomplishing by writing this post, except trying to analyze and vent my very real if very uncalled for reaction.

1 comment:

  1. You're HOT, but you haven't realize it, yet...