UPDATE (Feb. 11): After some reflection and input from friends, I’ve changed my choice of Tina Fey to Tatiana Maslany for the role of Robyn Doolittle. As much as I love Fey, she is considerably older than Doolittle. And Maslany does kick ass on Orphan Black.
The film rights to Robyn Doolittle’s exposé of Rob Ford, Crazy Town, were snapped up recently, prompting a guessing game on social media as to who would be cast in the adaptation. As I read the book I’m starting to assemble my own dream cast for the soon-to-be CBC miniseries, Crazy Town: The Rob Ford Story, sponsored by Iceberg Vodka, Steak Queen and cocaine.
Lizzie is a 20-year-old model who appears in the current September issue of Glamour magazine. Lizzie has created a buzzstorm on the Interweb because she LOOKS LIKE EVERY WOMAN YOU KNOW. A size 12-14, she is described in the accompanying article as “curvy”, “plus-size” and “normal”.
The mag’s website has been inundated with readers’ comments praising Glamour for (briefly) veering away from the supermodels that usually grace their pages. I, myself, posted a Jezebel.com article about this rare occurance on Facebook and Twitter and the reaction was pretty huge.
It was all great – the sun was shining, the weekend is near and there is a beautiful woman with a belly in the pages of a lady mag.
I wanted to show my support and buy the issue, breaking my two-years-and-counting moratorium on lady mags. I wanted to help boost Glamour’s revenue for the issue to reinforce the notion that real women like seeing other real women in print.
When I went to the local newsstand and picked up the issue, to what did my disbelieving eyes should appear?
It wasn’t Jessica Simpson on the cover, the former pop/reality star who has her own weight issues to contend with and seems to be in her “photoshopped skinny” phase.
It was the headline on the right: 3 FLAT BELLY SECRETS.
I didn’t buy the magazine. I put it back on the rack and walked away, slowly shaking my head.
Bettie Page, fifties pinup queen and sexual pioneer, passed away yesterday at the age of 85. She wasn’t as hugely popular as Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield or other sex symbols of her generation, but still managed to develop a huge cult-like following, despite giving up the business in 1959 to devote herself to God.
I’ve been a fan of Bettie since my early 20s. My admiration and devotion to her wasn’t as manic as what I felt for Marilyn in my teens. Perhaps it was because I was older and could better appreciate what Bettie stood for. Unlike Marilyn, Bettie represented a strong, potent female sexuality – unbridled, unabashed and fun. Looking at her cheesy pinup photos or bondage shots, it was clear she enjoyed her work and took great pride in it.
“I never thought it was shameful. I felt normal. It’s just that it was much better than pounding a typewriter eight hours a day, which gets monotonous.” – Bettie Page, Playboy interview, 1998
If Marilyn was the fragile, bruised child, Bettie was the aggressive, confident woman. Marilyn was the woman men wanted to take care of and protect. Page was the one they were slightly afraid of; she knew how to wield a riding crop.
I’ve always aspired to be a Bettie, rather than a Marilyn.
Celebrity deaths tend to attract a new group of followers, curious about this now-faded icon they are too young to remember. I hope a lot of these new admirers are young women who see in Bettie what they want to see in themselves – a confident woman, comfortable with her body. In this age where Barbie doll starlets with plastic breasts and body dysmorphia are held up as standards of attractiveness (hey Hollywood – since when is a size 2 “curvy”?), Bettie (and even Marilyn, for that matter) represents a time when an hourglass figure was something to be admired and drooled over.
Bettie, we’ll miss you. I think God’s view just got a whole lot better.