Monday, December 5, 2011

A Switcheroo: Zooey, I Got Your Back

Well here's something you never thought you'd see around here: I'm going to stand up for Zooey Deschanel. And that's a particularly big feat seeing as how Mr. Nerdy Feminist has been playing She & Him's Christmas album lately--and above all things I find hard to tolerate about Ms. Deschanel, is her singing voice. And someone recently sent me this.

But anyhoo, here goes.

I was just reading through Shakesville and came across Melissa McEwan's coverage of a piece that Buzzfeed did called "10 Scary Celebrity Close Ups" which featured this picture of Zooey.


Like McEwan, I'm pretty disgusted that this is considered "scary." As she wrote,

...I don't see something "scary." What I see is proof of Zooey Deschanel's humanity. (Not that I needed any.) What I see is a tear in the page of the fairy tale of the Impossibly Beautiful. What I see is permission for women to give themselves a fucking break. 
I also, for the record, see a beautiful woman. But my opinion of Zooey Deschanel is irrelevant. What matters is that there's no such thing as an objective beauty standard.

And then there's this: It's incomprehensibly fucked up that evidence of a woman's humanity is considered "scary," by any means of observation. But this contempt for visible humanness in close-up reveals something extremely ugly about the nature of objectification: People who want to fuck Zooey Deschanel express repulsion at seeing her face up close. "Eww—you got intimacy all up in my remote objectification! Gross!"

Yes, yes, yes! I might have many a gripe about Deschanel, but not one of them is about her attractiveness...except maybe that's she's too cute.

But while I find labeling her as "scary" to be bull, I have to admit I'm not surprised. It is so very in keeping with the MPDG thing to discard someone when they become real, or as McEwan said, human. The function of MPDGs is, after all, to make life grand for a boy. They're not supposed to have their own shit going on, like aging, which might have, I don't know, left them with one or two wrinkles. NOPE! They're supposed to be perfect, doting, endlessly inspirational muses to the art of life.

This is so annoying. We live in a culture where everything is so highly Photoshopped that we actually now consider a woman--who is widely regarded as attractive--as scary when we get up close to her. You might think that someone who has written about Deschanel in the way I have to get some sick, secret pleasure from this situation. But trust me, I'm not. All it does is serves to remind me that we, as women, are never, ever, ever good enough. I'm so over it!

So yeah, Zooey doesn't deserve this and neither do the other celebrities on the list. (And for the record that list is 9/10 women. I think that pretty much puts a nail in the coffin of the argument that this isn't gendered.)

You and I don't deserve it.

Now, you wanna see something really fucking scary?


  1. I think the scariness comes from the unnecessarily copious amount of makeup she is wearing! To me spider eyelashes will always be scary!

  2. Yeah, but if she wasn't wearing that much, she'd take shit in point:


This blog has strict comment moderation intended to preserve a safe space. Moderation is managed solely by the blog author. As such, even comments made in good faith will be on a short delay, so please do not attempt to resubmit your comment if it does not immediately appear. Discussion and thoughtful participation are encouraged, but abusive comments of any type will never be published. The blog author reserves the right to publish/delete any comments for any reason, at her sole discretion.

TL;DR Troll comments are never published, so don't waste your time.