Megan Fox: Hate Her Because She's Beautiful?

Illustration for article titled Megan Fox: Hate Her Because She's Beautiful?

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?

Earlier: Megan Fox's Minders Are Worried Women Don't Like Her



Well the patriarchy tells us that our only value is our looks and that our only measure of worth is men's attention, so saying that groups of women compete to be the prettiest and tear down the reigning beauty queen in order to position themselves closer to the top of the ranking is pretty much the opposite of groundbreaking for me.

But as feminists we're supposed to be aware of these patriarchal influences on our behavior, how they make us smaller than we could be individually, and use a divide and conqer technique on our entire gender. We don't always succeed, but we should always try.

Coming to Megan Fox: I've never seen one of her movies (actually I think I've only heard of one). I think she's really really ridiculously goodlooking, but since the first I ever heard of her was a couple of years (?) ago when she was mostly naked on the cover of every single men's magazine in publication within a three month span and at the time her only accomplishment was dating Brian Austin Green, I will admit to thinking that she relies on her looks rather than talent to get ahead. Given the career she's chosen, that might not be a bad idea. I will say that when very beautiful people say very thoughtful things (Ashley Judd, anyone?) I am thrilled to pieces to claim them, because their beauty does help to tear down the old stereotype of ugly manhating apeleaders. I'm aware that this is problematic.

So basically what I'm saying is that if Megan Fox said smart and thoughtful things, or even publically examined her privilege, I'd be on her team. I fully believe that beautiful women get shit for it, just as I fully believe that ugly women get shit for it, because we're all competing on someone else's terms and it's foolish to pretend we can win. But Megan Fox only addresses her beauty when she can say that women are jealous of her, which isn't quite thoughtful enough for me.

I blame the patriarchy. #meganfoxhate