Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Making strides towards gender equity when it comes to narrow, stupid beauty standards

I just got around to looking at this week's Entertainment Weekly, which features a cover story on the men of Lost. On the cover, you have most of the male cast, looking all rugged and manly and sexy. But three adult male cast members are conspicuously absent. They are the actors who play Hurley (too fat), Locke (too old) and Jin (too Korean. I honestly can't figure out any other explanation.) This disparity continues inside the magazine. Each actor gets a profile, but the three non-cover actors have smaller profiles and much smaller pictures than the rest of the cast. This despite the fact that the characters are as central to the plot as any of the guys who made it on the cover.

How fucked up is that?

Of course, the core female cast of the show is all young, thin, and conventionally sexy, so the female equivilents of Hurley, Locke or Jin would never get on island, much less on the cover of EW. (I'm taking for granted that a Korean woman is differently positioned in American pop culture than a Korean man.) So I guess we haven't reached complete parity when it comes to the entertainment industry's narrow-mindedness. But it still depresses the hell out of me that no one seems to realize that there are people out there who find fat, middle-aged, or Asian men not just fun to watch but also attractive.

Incidentally, in his little tiny profile (accompanied by his little tiny picture), Jorge Garcia, the actor who plays Hurley, says that he hopes his character will get to have a romantic plotline. How about it, folks? Maybe Hurley can hook up with Jin.

Comments:
This is a really good essay:

http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/MRC/Amydoc.html

a chinese friend of mine in college was really impacted by the vanishing son series (I was evidently the only non-Asian he'd met who saw it or had any memory of it), in how he was pretty much forced to identify with the "ugly" brother.
 
Thanks for the link. Interesting article!

I was kind of shocked that they didn't put Daniel Dae Kim on the cover, because EW is generally reasonably sensitive to racial stuff, and he's pretty hot. You'd think they'd recognize that the only reason they were leaving him off was racism. I guess he's also a little older than the other guys in the cast, so maybe that's how they justified it.
 
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