My Week in Pictures.

Ma new hair.

This is when I’ve just styled it after washing, so it’s not sitting exactly how I want it, but this is my new hair, courtesy of Kerrie from Renik hair in Bendigo. Paging Dr. Lexie Grey.

 

Sunny days.

My sister came over and it was like we were kids again, playing at a playground near my place.

Movies.

This week was jammed packed with movies, including Magic Mike (review to come soon) and The Dark Knight Rises. While I loved the twist ending, I didn’t care for the rest of the movie and don’t think it warranted a review from an Early Bird perspective. I did think that the representation of ethnic minorities and women were dismal, and those that the movie did portray were token roles: the black football players and prisoners, a police officer’s wife and Catwoman’s sidekick, who had about three lines. My favourite part of the movie was Anne Hathaway’s inclusion, but even then, she reeked of the male gaze. For once can a female action hero do her thang in flat shoes? And what was with the horizontal straddling of the Batcycle? Megan Fox in Transformers 2, much?

The stack.

New books.

I was in Bendigo late last week and had a chance to stop off at my favourite book store, Bendigo Book Mark. I picked up Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall, which I’ve been eyeing off for over a year, Cosmopolis by Don DeLillo and Truman Capote’s Music for Chameleons, for the fact that it includes a short story about Marilyn Monroe!

Related: “With a Gun Between Her Legs”: Why “Strong” (AKA “Sexy” Whilst Being “Strong”) Female Characters Are Bad for Women.

Was Kristen Stewart’s Public Apology Really Necessary?

My Week in Pictures April 5th, 2012.

Movies: (Men & Women Can’t Just Be) Friends with (Biological) Kids*.

I had high hopes for Friends with Kids. Not knowing much about the premise aside from the fact that the movie centred around two friends who decide to have a baby together without the romantic attachment, and the fact that Megan Fox and the cast of Bridesmaids was in it, I was looking forward to it.

But it failed to live up to the hype I’d created in my mind. Don’t get me wrong, ruminating on it, I thought the characters were real, gritty, likable and infuriating at the same time; much like Bridesmaids. I applaud Jennifer Westfeldt for writing such human characters (she also starred in, produced and directed the flick. Go girl!), but I just couldn’t get behind their motivations.

The story begins with Julie (Westfeldt) and Jason, two besties who see the affect children have on their friends’ marriages, and decide to have a baby together whilst still seeing other people, so they have the best of both worlds. What troubled me about this scenario was that alternative means of baby-having were never discussed. In America, it’s easy (in comparison to other countries, like Australia) to adopt a baby as a well-off, single woman. I can’t imagine it would be hard to add Jason’s name to the birth certificate as the father. Or how about surrogacy? Unbelievably, IVF isn’t discussed at all and Julie and Jason actually have intercourse to conceive their child. A woman of Julie’s age wouldn’t likely get pregnant on the first try, but low and behold, nine months later out pops baby Joe.

For what it’s worth, I think the whole idea of raising a baby with a friend is a great idea! It’s not for me, but who’s to say how they’ll feel when their biological clock is ticking and they’re without a partner? But—inevitably, as the trope goes—hormones and jealously over Megan Fox and Ed Burns, who play Jason and Julie’s lovers, respectively, get in the way, and Julie confesses her love for Jason about a year after Joe’s birth. Jason has just moved in with Fox’s Mary Jane and doesn’t feel the same way. Julie moves out of the apartment building she and Jason both live in (in different apartments) in Manhattan and relocates to Brooklyn, “two trains and a $70 cab fare away”, to escape the pain of seeing him. A year later, Jason comes to the same realisation Julie had—that they’d be perfect together—but Julie’s having none of it. Eventually, she succumbs and they live happily ever after, proving that men and women can’t be friends!

One other pet peeve I had with the movie was the sheer luxury the characters lived in. For a film set in New York, it’s highly unlikely that everyone in a friendship circle would have immaculate rent-controlled apartments they live in alone and dine at “$100 a plate” restaurants (sound like another Manhattan-set story you know…?), especially when Julie’s job is “deciding who to give [a rich man’s] money to”: charity work, essentially. When she laments that she can’t afford to send Joe to a $20,000 a year private school in Manhattan, it really doesn’t mesh with her characters’ story which has, up to then, been a yuppie existence of the abovementioned $70 taxi rides, ski trips and $1400 worth of baby blankets…

*Blanket spoiler alert.

Related: Bridesmaids Review.

Image via IMDb.

On the (Rest of the) Net Comes a Day Early—Easter Edition.

Happy Easter to all Early Bird readers. See you on the flipside (that’s Tuesday!).

On Megan Fox’s old nose. [Jezebel]

Gala Darling is going without TV for a month. Could you do it?

Kate Spencer responds to an insulting op-ed in the New York Post about women who move to New York City only being interested in an image-based, money-obsessed Sex & the City lifestyle. But it’s the Post, what do we expect? [The Frisky]

Still with SATC, five things Carrie Bradshaw failed to mention about NYC. [Bailey Powell]

Is the blowjob dead? [Jezebel]

Sharing your miscarriage on Facebook: do or don’t? [Jezebel]

The racist reactions to The Hunger Games. [Jezebel]

How to be a woman girl. [Jezebel]

Rachel Hills on asexuality. [The Atlantic]

Queensland’s new Premier, Campbell Newman, vetoes the state’s Literary Awards, in the Year of Reading and in a time when 1 in 5 Indigenous children are illiterate. This is why you don’t vote Liberal. [Courier Mail]

How an article about how hard it is to be a beautiful-looking woman written by an average-looking woman entices readers to hate troll. [Jezebel]

Fat-shaming Jessica Simpson for gaining weight during pregnancy. [Jezebel]

Clementine Ford unpacks the widespread need for other people to tell women what they should and shouldn’t be wearing. [Daily Life]

Image via Ask Men.

Movies: Megan Fox Starting to Gain Some Traction in Hollywood.

I was glad to hear that whilst filming the upcoming Judd Apatow sequel to Knocked Up, This is Forty, Chris O’Dowd (Kristen Wiig’s cop love interest in Bridesmaids) had this to say about Megan Fox:

“She was a sweetheart on set. I don’t get the whole Michael Bay thing. I hate his fucking films. They are bad. I don’t think she got enough respect.”

No do I, Chris, nor do I.

Related: Megan Fox May Be Trying to Step Away from Marilyn Monroe, But They Might Be More Similar Than She Knows.

Is Robert Pattinson the Male Version of Megan Fox?

Megan Fox Transforms from “Android Ice Queen” to Relatable Person.

Megan Fox Too “Spicy” for Transformers?

“She Just Wants Attention.”

The Beautiful, Bigmouthed Backlash Against Katherine Heigl & Megan Fox.

Image via FilmOFilia.

The Growing Appeal of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.

I’ve always been a fierce Megan Fox fan so, when it was revealed that Victoria’s Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley would replace her in the third Transformers movie, Dark of the Moon, I was livid.

While no one could accuse Fox of having irreplaceable acting chops, Huntington-Whiteley’s only credited “acting” role prior to Carly Spencer, Shia LaBeouf’s girlfriend in the film, was as a Victoria’s Secret Angel in their fashion shows, catalogues and videos.

To begin with, I couldn’t stand her. How dare she muscle in on Fox’s role as LabBeouf’s girlfriend, with her pouty lips and Jason Statham by her side?

But then I saw an interview with her on Ellen and I didn’t hate her. In fact, I quite liked her. Her accent, her personality and, yes, those lips.

So in preparation for writing this post, I watched Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Now, that’s two and a half hours of my life I’ll never get back, and Michael Bay’s continued objectification of his female lead was sickening. When Patrick Dempsey’s character introduces Sam Witwicky to a vintage sports car, describing how it was designed to mimic the curves of a woman’s body as the camera pans Huntington-Whiteley’s equally impressive body, it made me throw up in my mouth a little bit.

Rosie’s probably no different than any other good looking female action star who’s graduated from modeling, but there’s something about her that doesn’t make me hate her.

How do you feel about Rosie Huntington-Whiteley?

Related: [The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Megan Fox Too Spicy for Transformers?

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] “She Just Wants Attention.”

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] The Beautiful, Bigmouthed Backlash Against Katherine Heigl & Megan Fox.

Image via PicPiggy.

On the Net: Megan Fox May Be Trying To Step Away from Marilyn Monroe, But They Might Be More Similar Than She Knows.

From “Eternal Flame” by Liza Power for The Age/Sydney Morning Herald:

“… [Marilyn] was also a trickster, a person who satirised herself at the same time that she was putting over this intensely feminine image.”

Sound a little like someone else we know? Even as Megan Fox tries to distance herself from the legendary screen siren by removing her Marilyn tattoo, they seem more similar than ever.

Related: [The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Is Robert Pattinson the Male Version of Megan Fox?

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Megan Fox Transforms from “Android ice Queen” to Relatable Person.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Megan Fox Too Spicy for Transformers?

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] “She Just Wants Attention.”

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] The Beautiful, Bigmouthed Backlash Against Katherine Heigl & Megan Fox.

Elsewhere: [Sydney Morning Herald] Eternal Flame.

Image via Vigilant Citizen.

On the Net: Is Robert Pattinson the Male Version of Megan Fox?

From “The Edward Cullen Underpants Conundrum” by Sady Doyle on Tiger Beatdown:

“Robert Pattinson talks shit about the projects he is in. Robert Pattinson is honest about the fact that he is not the best actor. And Robert Pattinson’s main source of employment is facilitating his own objectification, which he does, but also complains about all the time. Robert Pattinson is… Megan Fox, basically!

“But the issue of Our Cultural Discomfort With Objectifying Robert Pattinson… is perhaps best illuminated by how different it is from our generalised Cultural Discomfort with MF. Because we have no problem with objectifying Megan Fox, really! We just have a problem with everything she says, and specifically the things she says wherein she takes issue with being objectified. We just hate her. Whereas people don’t hate Robert Pattinson, really.

“Because those women [young, female Twi-Hards] are acting in a way that is typically reserved for men. And they’re treating Pattinson like a girl.

“… We are used to seeing straight men’s goofy, unrealistic sexual fantasies. They are everywhere, all the time. Beer commercials, magazines, Michael Bay movies, porn obviously. We’re used to having female characters flattened out, falsified, emptied out and filled up again with a boundless desire to satisfy men’s needs for no apparent reason. We’re used to the fact that straight male sexual fantasy scenarios (or, at least, sexual fantasies marketed to straight men: and, hey, a lot of dudes are buying them) are cartoonish, in poor taste, unsophisticated, weird.

“… It’s part of the accepted context of straight male desire—it’s tacky as all hell, aesthetically, and that’s just how they do—and so criticising it, in an aesthetic way, seems pointless… But when girls do the exact same thing—when they prove themselves capable of the exact same sort of objectification, and the exact same goofiness or tackiness or unrealistic fantasy in the name of getting off—well, it freaks people out. It’s weird. Why are they acting like this? Don’t they know that Robert Pattinson is a person? Why are they treating him like a big chunk of meat? Why doesn’t Edward Cullen act like a real guy would?

“Because Edward Cullen is porn.

“… He is an object designed for the gratification of female desire. He’s the most ridiculous person who’s so amazing at everything, and he’s so beautiful you creamed yourself. And that’s it. And we’re used to dudes writing ladies this way, we’re even used to dudes writing ladies this way and passing it off as ‘literature,’ but the idea of a female author writing a male character in this way, for the pleasure of other ladies, is profoundly disconcerting.

“… We just happen to live in a world where straight men are expected to objectify, and given lots of opportunities to do it… but the fact is that sexual fantasy… looks goofy and weird and dehumanising for a lot of people, women and men both. And probably we all need to grow up, and deal with the fact that everyone we meet in the world is a person with a complex inner life, and also be open to the fact that people are pretty in different ways and our entertainment only portrays one very limited slice of the vast spectrum that is human prettiness.”

Related: [The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Megan Fox Transforms from “Android Ice Queen” to Relatable Person.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Megan Fox Too “Spicy” for Transformers?

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] “She Just Wants Attention”.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] The Beautiful, Bigmouthed Backlash Against Katherine Heigl & Megan Fox.

Elsewhere: [Tiger Beatdown] The Edward Cullen Underpants Conundrum.

Image via OMG Celebrity News.

On the Net: Megan Fox Transforms From “Android Ice Queen” to Relatable Person.

From an interview with Megan Fox on Moviefone:

“[Interviewer] This role seems to…

“[Fox] Make me seem human?…

“I just think the idea is that because most of the way that people have seen me, it’s the glorified pin-up girl with motorcycle boots who is also fighting to save the world. It’s not necessarily someone who you connect with because they’re not real people necessarily who exist like that—the glossy lips in the middle of the desert… You don’t necessarily see the human side of whoever is playing that person. And I just think [in] the media, in general, I just don’t really get portrayed as someone who has feelings or who is sympathetic. Or I sort of am portrayed as this—I feel—like a self-absorbed ice queen.

I feel people think I’m almost like a robot—like an android. And that I’m all about me and my thoughts are all about me. That I want to be famous.”

I can relate to these feelings expressed by Fox, albeit on a much smaller scale. I’m often accused of being a bitchy ice queen with no feelings because I choose not to express them in public. I feel like I’m also torn between citing my opinions and ideas and being attention-seeking or, at least, I think this is how people perceive my actions. I try not to let these things get the best of me, and it seems Fox subscribes to a similar school of thought. I can’t imagine how hard it would be for her to be dragged through the mud in the tabloids and the blogs when, to me, she seems like a genuine, relatable person, especially in this interview.

What do you think? 

Related: [The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Megan Fox Too “Spicy” for Transformers?

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] “She Just Wants Attention.”

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] The Beautiful, Bigmouthed Backlash Against Katherine Heigl & Megan Fox.

Elsewhere: [Moviefone] Megan Fox on Shia LaBeouf, Her Public Image & Starting Over with Friends with Kids.

Image via Broad Recognition.

Megan Fox Too “Spicy” for Transformers?

 

A few weeks ago I caught a snippet from a Shia LaBeouf interview in the back pages of Famous, claiming that “Megan [Fox] developed this Spice Girl strength, this woman-empowerment [stuff] that made her feel awkward about her involvement with Michael [Bay] who some people think is a very lascivious filmmaker, the way he films women,” but wasn’t able to locate it again til this week.

Love her or hate her (personally, I lurrrrve her!), you’ve got to admire Fox for her outspokenness and, if that means, in this day and age, that she’s “Spice Girl”-esque, then so be it.

It’s kind of sad, actually, that to stand up to a cretinous misogynist and say “actually, no, I don’t want to be involved in a film where all my character does is lay about on a motorcycle while you direct the cameraman to get up-skirt shots of me” equates to being a caricature of pop-feminism from fifteen years ago.

I think LaBeouf was trying to remain loyal to both sides of the coin, but he has been critical of Transformers director Bay in the past. It’s just that he’s a guy and the star of the film, so they look the other way, whereas Fox is an apparently replaceable sex object who’ll never work in this town Hollywood again.

At least, that’s according to this week’s Famous, which has a somewhat-outdated story on Fox’s firing from the franchise, her replacement with Victoria’s Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, and her allegedly anti-Semitic remarks against Bay. The article references a 2009 interview with Wonderland magazine, and an open anonymous letter posted on Bay’s website, which was written at least a year ago.

When talking about the release of the latest Transformers flick with a male friend, he said Fox was an idiot for trash-talking Bay and expecting not to get fired for it. (There is no evidence to suggest Fox did think that, FYI.) I wondered why Fox is the scapegoat to illustrate not biting the hand that feeds you in standing up for herself and refusing to be objectified in such a “way that appeals to a 16-year-old’s sexuality”, while Bay is lauded for his special effects and partnership with Steven Spielberg.  He said he didn’t care; having a car with a button that you could press which turns it into your very own gigantic friend was cooler. Right: who cares how horrible the people making movies are, as long as the end product is good fulfills some boyish childhood fantasy, right?

Related: The Beautiful, Bigmouthed Backlash Against Katherine Heigl & Megan Fox.

“She Just Wants Attention.”

Gay Chicken: Latent Homophobia in “Why Would You Go Gay For?”

“With a Gun Between Her Legs”: Why “Strong” (AKA “Sexy” Whilst Being “Strong”) Female Characters Are Bad for Women.

Minus Two & a Half Men.

Elsewhere: [IndieWire] Shia LaBeouf Claims Megan Fox’s “Spice Girl Strength” Got Her Fired From New Transformers Movie.

Image via Semaj Blogeater.

Gay Chicken: Latent Homophobia in “Who Would You Go Gay For?”.

What is it with guys refusing to reveal who’d they’d go gay for?

In my experience, girls have no problem admitting who they’d turn for. Personally, I have several: Megan Fox, Christina Aguilera and Lindsay Lohan. Though the last one is probably the Mother Theresa-complex kicking in, I do love a buxom bombshell.

But when I surveyed several of my guy friends, they absolutely, point blank refused to give me a name. With the exception of my friend and soon-to-be housemate Eddie, who couldn’t choose between Hugh Jackman and Ryan Reynolds (fair call!), they all said they’d rather die than go gay.

This is a typically masculine trait, but the underlying homophobia—the fact that a straight man would rather have his life ended than simply choose someone of the same sex they would go for in a hypothetical situation—is worrisome.

Now, Eddie is one of the straightest guys I know, and he’s obviously secure enough in his manhood and accepting of homosexuals to engage in this harmless truth or dare-esque scenario. (Suck up? Me? Never!) Funnily enough, some of my less-secure male friends are the ones who refuse to partake.

What is it they say? There are no winners in gay chicken?

Image via Fanpop.