We got an interesting letter from a reader today in response to yesterday's Megan Fox post. She wrote that Fox-bashing for unsisterly sentiments is unfair, because the actress "has largely spoken the truth regarding women and extreme jealousy over looks."
She went on,
Saying that women always simply appreciate another woman's looks without jealousy is a big lie. A HUGE one. Women can be extremely rude, mean, and cutting if they sense another woman may threaten their place in the attractiveness department. This applies especially if that woman is younger. Talk to women who have lost weight amongst a group of friends, and what the reaction was. Talk to women who had childhood friends where someone was a "late bloomer", and ask what the reaction was, and how the group dynamic changed. Talk to women who were called "sluts" in high school, just for being considered beautiful. Talk to women who really are just naturally stunning, and how many other women treat them. Or, go to some rough neighborhoods and talk to young ladies (middle school, high school), who have been physically ATTACKED for being "too cute".
Now, I'd argue that in the case of Fox, my own irritation is as much the public version of that guys'-girl-with-no-girl-friends-because-girls-are-jealous-of-her attitude, that guys always take at face value, as with the actress specifically. After all, I think we all know plenty of stunning women who have no trouble keeping, and maintaining, the friendship of other women. And others, whatever their physical appearance, who've used this line. But she's definitely touched on something we should discuss. Are we, as women, harder on those we perceive as more attractive? And are we dishonest about it? The reader went on,
With all of the discussion on weight, unrealistic standards of beauty, Photoshopping, etc. that are regularly covered, is it REALLY honest at all to pretend that a lot of the "hateration" towards Megan Fox is not attributed to how reader's boyfriends and husbands, male acquaintances would/do react to her? What she represents? Implying that women aren't that insecure, is a fallacy. Otherwise, why the aging creams, Botox, and plastic surgery? The diet threads, the magazine influence on reader's personal perceptions? There are regular commenters on the site who have written about the "shank eye" other women have given them in public spaces.
Are we all hating on Fox because she's beautiful? No. At least, I'm not — for one thing, she's a level of conventional physical perfection that I for one don't even think to compete with. But the reader's larger point is one I really want to hear your takes on. Frankly, I think she's overestimating our collective pettiness, but that doesn't mean there isn't some there. Thoughts?