Intimate Partner Violence Doesn’t Just “Happen”

February 11, 2009

Unfortunately for famous people, what happens in their lives becomes the topic of public attention and scrutiny. I have mixed feelings about this. Feministing touches on it. I won’t try to deal with it here. But, I thought it important to point out this terrible quote from the friend of the (apparently) famous man (Chris Brown) who recently assaulted his girlfriend, a famous singer.

“Chris is all right. He’s a good kid. He feels very bad that something like this has happened.”

I’m sorry, but “something like this” doesn’t “happen”. When you say “something like this has happened” typically you would be referring to an accident, or something that just sort of “happens.” Like in a passive or unintentional sense. For instance, a tree falls on your neighbor’s fence. Or you accidentally trip someone or you meant to throw the ball across the yard and you instead throw it through a window. When you send your girlfriend to the hospital after beating her, it does not fall into the category of being able to say “he feels very bad that something like this has happened.”

I wish, but will not hold my breath, that everyone involved with this would be able to make this a teachable moment for all the people watching and looking up to famous people. The above quote, of course, does not bode well for how this is likely to play out in the media.


Britney Spears

September 13, 2007

So Ms. Britney Spears was all about having a comeback performance at the Video Music Awards. I watched the You Tube version of it and she didn’t do so well.  Fine. I think there are more important things to worry about in the world. BUT, what is driving me CRAZY is all this talk that she had a beer belly or looked fat or out of shape. I have heard this on the radio and rumor has it that places like People or Us Magazine are saying such things (of course, ahem, I wouldn’t know because I would not read those things, even if I was procrastinating on studying for a German exam…). But, HELLO? Look at her picture below. I think she looks GREAT. Just because someone goes from a size 2 to a size 6 does not mean they are fat.  Anyway, I thought that was important to say. Even if only 12 people read it as compared to the millions who read People.


Mostly Naked Skeleton-Like Women Looking Almost Dead in Some Sand

February 14, 2007


I saw an ad/video clip thing about the new Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition that is about to come out. I didn’t watch the video, but based on the picture that you see here (which was the “cover” to the video clip), I thought that maybe Sports Illustrated would like some help thinking of creative subtitles for the swimsuit edition. If the whole “Mostly Naked…” one doesn’t work for you, please feel free to suggest others. I was also thinking that “Mostly Naked Starved Sickly Women Who Have Collapsed from Hunger In the Sand” might work too…

While I am being sarcastic, I do mean to be quite serious about the issues that such sickly (not to mention drugged-looking) models bring up about body image, sexuality, and women. I find pictures such as the one below simply irresponsible. Magazines, companies, models, Hollywood, beauty companies, etc. are not somehow immune to the moral responsibility that comes with distributing anything to the public or being in the public eye, particularly when it influences younger people who often do not have the ability or will to be able to sort out the messages that something like the below picture c

onveys. I know that I, raised as a feminist, was still deeply impacted by the images of women and beauty like the one below and I know of no women in my culture who was not similarly impacted. But, as with so many things, I can’t think of a good way to legislate moral responsibility when it comes to bodies, body image, and perceptions of beauty. So I am just left to blog about it and do my little part. Which feels so little sometime. Sigh.

Now This is an Image of Beauty that Makes Me Happier

January 10, 2007

This was on and I thought it was a great follow-up to the sickly looking picture of Kiera Knightly two posts ago. You can read the full feministing post here.

Healthy Bodies

January 9, 2007

Periodically, I post pictures of celebrities here with some commentary. I feel as though I hardly need to include my commentary here, but I’ll do the work that People magazine would do if they were not falling down on the job: this is just too skinny. I don’t even know who Keira Knightley is, but she is so skinny she doesn’t look good. I know. I know. We should all know this, right? Yet, I know of ZERO women my age that do not struggle with body image and wish to be at least one or two sizes smaller if not 6 sizes smaller. And it is because pictures like this are in People magazine as if it is the most normal thing to be splashing around in the ocean looking like this. It is not normal and this needs to be said more. And internalized (the hard part, of course).

More substantive posts come when rough draft of thesis is done on Friday. But I will post some lovely pictures from our German adventure soon.

Remember – exercise, eat healthily, and love your body the way it was made to look – with some bumps and curves.

Angelina Jolie, Bono, and Friends: Aren’t they just AMAZING?

October 19, 2006

…because it must be so hard to give away money and stand up for justice in between your world travels and the Oscars and making new albums or movies AND raising your very own family all at once. I wonder how they do it?

Okay, here is the thing. I think it is GREAT that celebrities such as Pitt and Jolie and Bono are doing good things for important causes, adopting children in need, raising the profile of important issues, and so on…

But, what I really am not so much a fan of is the lack of perspective that media and the general public seem to have on this. I mean, I am very happy that Angelina Jolie apparently gives away 1/3 of her income. But she still has money to live in a mansion, rent out a freaking entire complex in Africa to have her baby, buy designer very very over-priced clothes, jet around the world, and live better than, not only almost all the people alive in the world right now, but better than most people throughout the entire existence of humanity. It is great that she (and now apparently Madonna) adopt children who need homes. But, let us not forget that plenty of nannies are helping out here. I could go on, but you get the point. Celebrities are not really doing much hard work in terms of making things better. And I think, generally, they know this and it is only when people (like Anderson Cooper in the Angelina Jolie interview a while back) and media make them seem oh-so-giving-and-loving-and-just does the problem come along.

I do not doubt that the celebrities who have made do-gooding a hobby and their “thing” are amazingly well-intentioned and do make actual differences in people’s lives. I suppose I just want to get away from this whole “Wow, isn’t that great of them” sense that I get from the media. They are not living a difficult life. Not even a little itsty bit difficult based on their do-gooding. It is not hard to tour around the world and visit struggling countries or to set up funds or contests or even to give away A LOT of money when you have so much money you have no need of it all and generally live a VERY luxurious life.

This goes to the heart of one of my life-long struggles: how much “stuff” and “comfort” is okay to have? My gut tells me very little – my $1000 spent on vacation (or clothes or whatever I might spend it on) could go to something way more helpful to people who are suffering greatly. I don’t “deserve” a vacation or nice clothes or fun stuff anymore than people who don’t have such things “deserve” what they have. I live this out very poorly. I have accepted this. It improves, but not to the extent to which I think it really should. I just can’t think of a justification for the sort of unneeded stuff that we all have when that money could go to buy food for children who are hungry, housing for those without shelter, healthcare for those who are sick and in need. So you can see why I am not that impressed with celebrity do-gooding, until they really actually sacrifice something that they want. If a celebrity lives in a 2000 sq. ft. home and rides coach on the airplane and doesn’t have fancy cars or full-time nannies or extravagant vacations – that is the point where I might start to be impressed.

Just general rambling…. I’ve had bronchitis this week, which instead of getting better each day as I envisioned it when it was a little cough, has instead gotten progressively and substantially worse each day. And not only will I give a sermon on my favorite topic ever on Sunday (feminism) but I am scheduled to take the GRE on Monday which I cannot reschedule because not until today did I realize that I am getting substantially MORE sick each day rather than less and I would have had to cancel it yesterday in order to get a refund. So what do I do in response to all of this? I write about celebrity charity. Such GREAT time management Elizabeth.

Loving those curves?

September 20, 2006

Okay. This is Scarlett Johansson. An actress. I saw a headline today that said:

Despite Media’s Efforts to Crush Her Confidence, Scarlett Still Likes Her Curvy Body

The first line of the blurb reads, “After having spent the last few years being plopped on magazine covers with headlines like, “Look Great at ANY Size!” Scarlett Johansson still loves her curves.”

Not knowing exactly what she looked like, I assumed she was a bigger actress. Clearly (see photo) she is not “bigger.” I mean, okay, she has curves, but she has probably size 6 curves. This is the person whom the media portrays as big(ish)? I just hate it that when you look like Ms. J. here, this somehow equals curvy which used to mean slightly rounder. Or just rounder, period. This is still skinny to me. Not sickly skinny, but still pretty darn small. The articles that quote Johansson as “loving her curves” essentially are saying, “Wow, that is so great that she has the confidence to still like her body the way it is,” as if it should somehow look different in order to be really worthy of self-confidence. Someone this size should not be “plopped on magazine covers that say ‘Look great at any size!'” Wow, you can even look great if you are a size 6. Now I feel much better. How ’bout you all?

Goddess save us.

Thank you Reese Witherspoon

June 21, 2006

I know it is a sad day when this picture of Reese Witherspoon makes me happy (ignore the bottom one – I couldn’t detach them). She looks, well, not starved or sickly which seems to be so rare these days for famous women. I hope bodies like this come back into style or even maybe bodies like the painting below. I hate to think of all the girls and women who think they are big or too big or not little enough because they aren’t a size 1. Yay for Venus and Reese.

And You Thought You Were Messed Up

April 22, 2006

I’m sorry to venture into celebrity news here, but when taking a break from sermon writing I browse the internet and today I just happened upon People and saw this picture of Donald Trump and his new wife and a poor child. I’m sorry, but does this look like a new happy family? They aren’t smiling. It looks like DT is sort of snarling a little, but that does not count. Cut DT and the baby out and she looks like she could be in a Victoria’s Secret ad. We haven’t had a TV for about five years so I haven’t seen this show with Trump firing people, but I’ve been shocked by its popularity. I mean, he seems so creepy. And I think he looks just as creepy. Just like this weirdo family picture. This poor child could never ever turn out normal. Okay, back to writing on healing. I just had to share that.