Nicole Kidman’s on the cover of November’s Elle gripping her head like she’s got a vicious migraine, and after reading this month’s “Editor’s Letter,” I know just how she feels.
Even the most hermetic of us (and if you’re reading Elle, I seriously doubt you qualify)…
Why, yes! Because I read Elle, I am far from insulated! I’m exposed to all sorts of points of view, most of which involve clothes I can’t afford, privileges I will never have access to, and lives I don’t care to lead. But whatever, my horizons are broad!
Oh, the irony. The rest of Roberta Myers’ missive explains precisely how hermetic the magazine’s viewpoint is.
But if you take away the actors and celebrities—and the film characters they play so memorably—it’s really hard to point to more than a handful of female public figures whose stories are well enough known to us that they present as archetypes to emulate.
Indeed! There must be a shortage of adulation-worthy women! That’s why the Olsen twins appear in every issue, right?
There’s Hillary Clinton, and Nancy Pelosi (quick: name one thing you know about her personal life), and Michelle Obama, and Cindy McCain, I guess. Sarah Palin??
Is Nancy Pelosi’s personal life critical to her “archetype”? Since she’s the Speaker of the House and not a reality show star, I think not.
Which is to say that the narratives about women (and sadly, for women—quick: try to name one female military figure) belong to the imagemakers and movie stars.
Because there are more prominent female movie stars than military figures, the latter aren’t worth writing about? If Elle thinks its readers can’t name women in the service (and I’d bet most of us can), isn’t that even
more reason to cover the many, many women who’ve enlisted in the Armed
Because let’s face it, power in Hollywood reaches beyond its fabled zip codes into politics, the economy, culture both high and low—to hear some foreign policy wonks tell it, even national security!—in short, every aspect of our lives today.
If the entertainment industry affects our national security, explain to me again why we’re only reading about actresses and not those women in the military who are, by Elle’s own postulation, indisputably affected by Nicole Kidman’s next film?
Never mind! Let’s talk about men!
…Anderson Cooper, who is, sorry to objectify, just the most beautiful human on television.
Um, apologizing for objectifying him is pretty much contradicted by the very act of printing that objectification in a national magazine, but go on.
I am sure he loathes any description of himself that starts with his looks as opposed to his hard-won journalistic chops, but perhaps he gets some of the same kind of pleasure that constantly underestimated, beautiful women receive when they succeed at something other than just being good-looking.
Perhaps. Or, you know, perhaps he doesn’t find it pleasurable when people are surprised to discover that he’s competent.
Mercifully, the letter ends shortly thereafter—with, what do you know, an Olsen mention. After tackling that page, I completely understand why Nicole’s head might be throbbing. Good news, though: Botox alleviates headaches!
On second thought, Nicole? Forget I mentioned it.