Magazines: Elle—One of These Things is Not Like the Others…

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As New Girl, The Mindy Project and Parks and Recreation return to air from their winter breaks and Girls premiers its third season in the U.S. on Sunday (fasttracked to Showcase on Monday night in Australia), ELLE celebrates their female stars by giving them each a cover of their TV issue.

New Girl‘s Zooey Deschanel heads up the series of covers, followed by Parks and Rec‘s Amy Poehler, Allison Williams who plays Marnie on Girls, and Mindy Kaling for The Mindy Project. All the covers are stunning, but it’s hard not to be visually jarred by the final cover, that of Kaling’s. Whereas all the other women, whose body types tend to fit into the standard Hollywould mould, get the 3/4 length portrait shot that ELLE is known for, Kaling has a close-up beauty shot à la Adele for Vogue. And black and white to boot! Sure, the image in stunning and Kaling herself tweeted in defence of it, but held up against the other three traditional covers, there does seem to be something amiss. You’ll forgive us, ELLE, if we conclude it’s because of Kaling’s skin colour and body shape.

Image via Batch Please.

On the (Rest of the) Net.

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Think many rapes are reported falsely and the few actual rapists are punished for their crime? As this graph shows, you can think again. [Daily Life]

Interested in Melbourne’s gay culture and history? Go on this walking tour of Melbourne’s beats as part of Midsumma next weekend.

And while you’re at it, book tickets for Women Say Something‘s “Should We Destroy the Joint”, as Alan Jones so misogynistically termed women’s involvement in public life, panel featuring Gretel Killeen, Tara Moss and Catherine Deveny, on Saturday 19th January. [Midsumma]

Yay! Finally a famous female who identifies as a feminist. Although I wish it was someone I actually liked, beggars can’t be choosers… [Daily Life]

Where did all the African American rom-coms go? As a lover of black rom-coms like Two Can Play That Game and The Wood, I can certainly empathise with this author’s plight… [HuffPo]

Here’s a smorgasboard of articles attempting to unpack the now-defunct Nice Guys of OKCupid. [Jezebel, The Pursuit of Harpyness, The Atlantic, Daily Life]

What the modern incarnations of Sherlock Holmes get wrong about Irene Adler. [io9]

Abortion facts infographics. [Jezebel]

For those of you unfamiliar with the Steubenville High School Big Red football team rape and cover-up scandal, here’s a history of the town’s corrupt ways. [The Atlantic Wire]

Boycotting Chris Brown’s music is all well and good, but are we at a point where Rihanna’s blatant disregard for the impact her very public decision to get back with her abuser has on her impressionable fans and fellow battered partners alike means shunning her, too? Or is it just victim-blaming? Interesting piece. [The Peach]

Why does Tony Abbott keep ducking the “MamaMia crowd”? [MamaMia]

Is Gina Rinehart a feminist? [Daily Life]

A breakdown of exactly what you can afford when you live on $35 a week as a family of four on the Newstart Allowance, as Families Minister Jenny Macklin asserted last week. [MamaMia]

Is Les Mis anti-feminist? [Daily Life]

Image via Daily Life.

TV: New Girl—Manic Pixie Dream Girly Girls & Not-So-Girly Girls.

 

I was pleasantly surprised to see New Girl seemingly dealing with the hullabaloo surrounding Zooey Deschanel’s manic pixie dream girl status and the feminist media uproar that occurred late last year.

Now, New Girl has touched on some pertinent issues in its past episodes, but I’m wondering if this was done intentionally. Writer Liz Meriwether is part of the feminist writing “fempire”, so who knows if this was something she incorporated into the show consciously, or if it’s just a meditation on “how girls can be”.

Nick’s new girlfriend Julia, played by Mean Girls alum Lizzy Caplan, can’t stand Jess and makes it very clear when she criticises her “blankie”, the (manic pixie dream girl) “thing” Jess has going on, and the cupcakes Jess bakes, saying she’s “not a dessert person”. Jess takes issue with this, finding it hard to believe that anyone (much less a woman!) “isn’t a dessert person” and doesn’t like her ribbon hats. I have to say I don’t find it that hard to believe…

When Jess brings up Julia’s dislike of her to Nick, he rationalises it by saying Julia’s never had many girl friends and she’s not really a “girly girl”. Jess’ girl friends, CeCe and June, whom we’ve never met up til now, get on the defensive, marveling at how she couldn’t like Jess (again, not that hard to believe…).

By episode’s end, Julia has come around (both literally and figuratively) and joins Jess et al in a yarn group, lamenting how she’s never been good with girls. CeCe says her and Jess used to hide in the bathroom throughout high school because “girls can be so mean to each other”. Um, wasn’t it CeCe who just five minutes before was saying Julia was a bitch for not liking Jess?

Just because someone doesn’t like someone else doesn’t make them a bitch. It makes the two non-compatible. Isn’t it bitchier of CeCe to say things behind Julia’s back and then welcome her into the fold when Julia changes her opinion of Jess? I’m all for loyalty, but…

So, did you watch New Girl? What did you think about Jess’ struggle to find acceptance from Julia as a metaphor for Deschanel to find acceptance in the feminist blogosphere? Or don’t you think that’s what the episode was trying to get across?

Related: Manic Pixie Dream Girl Bitch.

New Girl Should Attend a SlutWalk Sometime…

Body Acceptance on New Girl.

Who’s That Girl? It’s The New Girl.

Image via Wet Paint.

TV: Who’s That Girl? It’s the New Girl.

 

I’m not the biggest Zooey Deschanel fan. I’ve only really seen her in Failure to Launch (she was the saving grace in that unintentional horror movie) and some of Tin Man, which I wanted to like but couldn’t bring myself to get through.

But, after reading a few different takes on Deschanel’s television leading lady debut in New Girl (especially this New York magazine cover profile), I decided to give the show a shot.

I was expecting manic pixie dream girlishness galore, which there is a lot of, but I think the three guys, a girl and a pizza place apartment format makes it a bit more palatable for the mainstream sitcom crowd.

In a bid to better understand the Deschanel obsession, I borrowed (500) Days of Summer off a friend and watched it yesterday afternoon. I have to say, I quite enjoyed it; whether that was down to Deschanel’s acting or simply the storyline and filmmaking, I can’t say.

While I feel like Dechanel’s character, the titular Summer, was portrayed as the “saviour” to Joseph Gordon Levitt’s Tom, New Girl Jess is the one that needs to be saved from her social awkwardness, bad relationship and fashion faux pas. In real life I don’t see why people would need saving from these situations, but that’s the way the plot crumbles.

So, three episodes in, I’m still not really sure what I think about New Girl, or Deschanel herself. I’ll probably stick the season out (at only 12 half-hour episodes, it’s a small commitment to make) as I have a hard time not finishing things, no matter how tedious or non-enjoyable they are.

If Jess is able to break out of the mold of quirky girly girl who shows emotion and sings publicly at inopportune times, and Deschanel is able to prove her worth as a top notch TV actress who appeals to the mainstream instead of being seen as the manic pixie dream girl du jour, the New Girl might just be one I can come to know and love.

What do you think of New Girl so far?

Related: Manic Pixie Dream Girl Bitch.

Elsewhere: [New York Magazine] The Pinup of Williamsburg.

[HuffPo] Women in Hollywood: Is “Girliness” the Real Problem?

[Jezebel] New Girl is Likeable, Though Strangely Familiar.

[Musings of an Inappropriate Woman] Elizabethtown, Garden State & the Alternative Flat Fantasy Female.

Image via New Girl Things.

On the (Rest of the) Net.

 

Oh, the horror! The least sexy “sexy” Halloween costumes. [Jezebel]

Beyonce and beauty. [Girl with a Satchel]

How to make love like a feminist. [Feminaust]

More on the Zooey Deschanel-femininity-feminism debate:

“Where are the sitcoms written by and starring women of color, lesbian and bisexual women, women whose bodies don’t fit into sample-size clothing? Where are the scripts about women who hate movies like Dirty Dancing, who attack every problem with unflagging rationality, who don’t really enjoy baking cupcakes or sewing clothes? These women are no worse or better than the kind of woman Deschanel epitomizes—but they exist, and Hollywood would be a far more interesting place if it began representing them, too.” [HuffPo]

How to be “a man”:

“I heard a woman shout, ‘Be a man!’ and I briefly wondered why it wasn’t acceptable to slap that bitch, thinking: What the fuck does she know about it? How can any woman ever tell me how to be man, when her father wasn’t there even when he was in the room, or his spine was removed vertebrae by vertebrae with the soft touch of her mother’s pointy claws? Her shout makes me realize that someone didn’t do his job, which makes us all suffer, so she calls us something she doesn’t understand and we don’t know how to be.” [The Good Men Project]

Jersey Shore’s Snooki, that punch, and male-on-female violence. [Jezebel]

In defence of J.Lo. [Jezebel]

There’s no such thing as the straight, white male underclass. [MamaMia]

You’d have to be pretty dumb as an Australian, no matter your age, to risk a “Bali high” after the Shapelle Corby/Bali nine media circuses. [Adelaide Now]

The tragic life of sex-bomb Anna Nicole Smith:

“Sex occupied an odd purpose in her life: She seemed often to give it for reasons that had little to do with her personal pleasure, and when she had it she typically demanded it take place in the dark. She wrote in her diary, ‘I hate for men to want sex all the time. I hate sex anyway.’” [New York Magazine]

Gender, politics and weight. [Washington Post]

Plastic surgery as spiritual healing. [Washington Post]

Some more on Julia Gillard and sexism. [Slate]

“Six Myths About Sex & Gender, Busted.” [Jezebel]

How to be a woman in the U.S. [Jezebel]

Images via Jezebel, New York Magazine.

Manic Pixie Dream Bitch.

 

From “The Pinup of Williamsburg” by Jada Yuan in New York Magazine, via Jezebel:

(500) Days Of Summer… told almost entirely through Tom’s perspective, was ‘actually very misunderstood,’ [Deschanel] says. ‘I can’t tell you how many guys, and girls, are like, “You did him wrong!” What, she’s a bitch because she didn’t want to date that guy? So? Are we bitches because we have our own opinions? If that makes me a bitch, or that makes women bitches, then maybe we’re all bitches.’”

Elsewhere: [New York Magazine] The Pinup of Williamsburg.

[Jezebel] Zooey Deschanel: “Maybe We’re All Biches”.

[Musings of an Inappropriate Woman] Elizabethtown, Garden State & the Alternative Flat Fantasy Female.

Image via Robray Burn.