I am way behind on reading posts, so I just yesterday saw this one at Shakesville about the gross dichotomy between our disapproval of and voyeuristic appetite for/facilitation of “misbehavior” on the part of female celebrities, and the typical immediate recasting of the same “bad girls” as wholesome, settled, compliant moms as soon as they get pregnant. Naturally, Melissa McEwan observes in the post, male celebrities seem to have many more “characters” to “choose” from when their lives are recast as storylines by the gossip mags, and these “characters” are typically not as predictable, extreme, inflexible, or negative as those (basically “madonna” and “whore”) applied to famous young women.

Of course, what should I see while I was out shopping today than this Life & Style cover story entitled “From Party Girls to Moms,” which–at least judging from the web site excerpt, since I didn’t read the article itself–handily encapsulates the phenomenon Melissa described.

If there’s one thing Jamie Lynn Spears needs right now, it’s help. But the 17-year-old actress, who gave birth to her first child, daughter Maddie Briann, on June 19, is already refusing it. According to a family insider, Lynne Spears wanted to take her daughter and newborn granddaughter home with her after the delivery. But instead of going to Serenity, Lynne’s estate in Kentwood, Jamie Lynn insisted on going to her house.

I’m not saying a 17-year-old girl is well-equipped to handle motherhood completely alone. But I’m not sure getting sucked into the family compound is necessarily the best idea either. But regardless, she’s just a silly young mom–how can she know what’s best for her and her child? Clearly Life & Style–and this anonymous family friend who’s willing to dish dirt to a tabloid–know much better.

[…] at Hollywood hot spot Hyde on the night of June 17, an onlooker claims that after having some champagne, Christina began to dirty dance with her pals. Less thrilled was Christina’s music-executive husband, Jordan Bratman, who, concludes another clubgoer, usually has to be the one to keep the pop singer under control. But while new mom Christina been spotted clubbing up a storm on a weekly basis lately, she insists she can handle the dual roles of mom and party girl.

This one has it all: Tut-tutting at a young woman who dares to dance “dirty,” admiration for an upright, responsible hubby who has the onerous job of keeping his silly slut wife in line, and eye-rolling dismissal of Christina’s claim that she can both have a life and be a parent. (I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if this part were actually easier for a celebrity; after all, many contract out cleaning, lawn care, home maintenance, day care, etc., so why not spend some of your free time clubbing if that’s what you enjoy? It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re spending quantitatively less time actually with your child than, say, I would–since for me much of the time I spent at home would be spent doing the abovementioned tasks–even if this were any of anyone else’s business in the first place.)

Now, I recognize that Life & Style is hardly a paragon of journalism, and it’s not something I would normally read. (This is not to say I didn’t devour and thoroughly enjoy several issues of US Weekly that a friend considerately left on the bedside table when I was visiting recently. Stars: They’re Just Like Us! “They buy books!”) But in some ways publications like this make it easier to see which way the wind blows–kind of like how Star has no problem whatsoever with hand-wringing about skeletal celebrities right on the same cover with close-ups of Courtney Love’s cellulite. Other publications have at least some inkling that this is asinine, so they separate the two “stories” by issue or use euphemisms to disguise the weirdness. (Though they still haven’t quite gotten the hang of separating “Summer’s Best Cakes” from the new diet every month that tells you that for best results, you really probably should never eat carbs, or more than 1,200 calories a day, again.) But Star and Life & Style–boy, they just lay our entire misogynistic, fatphobic culture out there for all to see. Which is in some ways kind of handy. People can deny subtext, but when the inconsistency is right in your face, it’s pretty hard to ignore.

(I apologize that my first post on the fatosphere feed is only partially related to fat, but I felt like it ended up applying, so here goes. If you think I’m spamming up the feed, let me know.)

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