Archive for March, 2013

March 20, 2013

Oh my genitals! (During Women’s History Month, it’s ok to objectify men)

Jon Hamm trades his "Mad Men" suit for shorts as he runs errands in New York CIty

I stopped watching Mad Men somewhere around season 3,  for reasons I can’t remember, but probably having something to do with getting addicted to a different show, which is weird because I really got into the subtleties of the story arc and complexities of the characters. (I should probably blame Netflix.)  Something tells me, however, that it may be time to tune back in. Something being leading man Jon Hamm’s (Don Draper), umm, rather large wardrobe issues.

It seems that Season 6, the next season to air, takes place in the sixties when it became fashionable for men to wear tighter fitting slacks. Under normal circumstances, this wouldn’t be a problem but apparently the situation beneath Hamm’s belt is far from normal.

So rather than risk viewers being distracted (read: offended) by Hamm’s meat, they’ve asked him to keep his privates in check, which translates to, at the very least, wearing underclothes. But by all means, let Christina Hendricks’ (Joan Harris) juicy jugs spill out all over the place.

So why the double standard? It’s cable TV after all. Anything goes, right? Why is male anatomy so protected in entertainment while female anatomy is openly exploited? I suppose I’ll never know the answer, and male frontal nudity will be a perfectly ordinary occurrence in television and film when I’m too old to appreciate it. For now, let me enjoy Jon’s hunky Hamm however it’s deemed acceptable within the confines of bun huggers and worsted wool dress pants.

March 12, 2013

It’s still Women’s History Month…

iggy pop

March 8, 2013

Let’s celebrate Women’s History Month some more

March 7, 2013

Grading on a curve: Mama Cass and the politics of shape

MamaCass

Recently I was watching one of those PBS nostalgia specials featuring performances by hit makers during the 1960s. I’ve never been a big fan of the Mamas and the Papas, but I’ll listen when a song comes on the radio. (Yes, I listen to oldies in my car.)

I remember being a kid when “Mama” Cass Elliot died and the news media mistakenly reported  that she choked on a ham sandwich. Unfortunately the public’s fixation on her weight overshadowed a much bigger phenomenon: her enormous pipes.  Even worse was how much attention her svelte and listless bandmate Michelle Phillips received, her tepid style often eclipsing Elliot’s superior vocals.

As I watched the old footage of the group performing, I was struck not only by Elliot’s technical prowess as a singer but also by her mojo. The woman had moves. Big, sexy moves. She basically blew away the waif like Phillips in every way.

But we live in a superficial world. And it was much worse back then. For all our pining (boomers, I’m talking to you) for that era, the truth is it was an unkind one in so many ways. I can’t help but wonder how different it might have been were Cass a young performer today.  Not only are curvy women more accepted than ever (BBW is the most searched porn term and no, it’s not considered a fetish) the talented ones are finding success without prejudice. Adele and Brittany Howard are great examples, but there are many others.

And had she been born into a more forgiving era, she wouldn’t have been forced to hide her body under those hideous muumuus. I like to think of Ms. Cass rockin’ an A-line dress with a thin, shiny belt and a pair of heels. I like to think of her belting it out, shaking her stuff and spreading all that delicious soul like butter on toast.

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