Is the Outrage over Mo’Nique’s Hairy Legs Covering for Something Else?
I have a confession. I hate awards shows. The Oscars make me cringe. The only reason I peeked at the Tony’s was because of Neil Patrick Harris (I died a little inside when Doogie came out. It was like losing a huge chunk of my childhood fantasies…). The shows get longer and longer, the outfits and parties more extravagent, and in the end, I’m always pretty lost, since I can’t remember the last time I even saw a movie in the movie theater.
Pre-award red carpets always made me laugh a little, though, at what a microcosm of the world they can be. The more important you are, the less you need to struggle: you can arrive later, the crowds part for you, the press gathers quickly to talk to you as you rush into your seat. It’s social hierachy at it’s best.
So it comes as no shock that the big story of the Golden Globes last week then should be an actress’s leg hair.
Mo’Nique may have taken home a Golden Globe on Sunday night for her moving performance as an abusive mother in the motion picture “Precious: Based on the novel PUSH by Sapphire,” but it’s Mo’Nique’s hairy legs that are getting all of the attention.
The issue isn’t really the leg hair, though. It’s the media’s reaction to the hair that is out of line.
“Is it empowering (or disgusting) for a woman to show off body hair?” asks AOL, when commenting on the story.
News.com.au calls it a “hairy moment” and “fashion faux pas,” wondering if she was so busy writing her speech she just forgot. “Everyone knows how a hairy leg looks. It is the reason we all shave. So next time if you are going on the red carpet remember that Gilette is not only the best a man can get, but it may be good for you as well Mo’,” chastises the Celebrity Cafe. “Mo’Nique won’t be winning any awards for her personal grooming,” declares the Daily Mail.
She’s not the only star to have attention drawn to her hair. Drew Barrymore, Julia Roberts and many other female stars have been seen without a recent razor visit. But although there was definite chatter, there doesn’t seem to be the all out need to declare it “gross,” “disgusting,” or imply this level of dirtiness.
So what is the difference? Why did Mo’Nique’s legs cause so much more stir?
Are more people are “disgusted” by the act because Mo’Nique is overweight? The lack of shaving plays on the stereotypes so many people have about those who are obese: they are lazy, they don’t care about how they look, they have no self esteem, etc. So many people who feel that they can’t comment on weight itself now find they have a free outlet to voice their opinions on her looks in a “safe” way, and they are letting it rip.
It wouldn’t be the first time that an actresses in this movie were chastized for being too comfortable in her own skin. The actress who starred was attacked for having “no shortage of self esteem” by one writer, who said audiences should stop celebrating her talent due to her unhealthy size.
There is a new breed of award winning actresses who are comfortable with not fitting the Hollywood mold. Confident and happy with who they are and how they look, they make some people uncomfortable.
The only really disgusting thing here are the people who can only see one side of beauty.
(Story via Feministing)