Beauty and Hollywood

I recently scoffed at a friend’s Facebook post which touted the utter sexiness of pop-tart Rihanna. I claimed that RiRi was a dime a dozen in the Caribbean and I knew so many other women who were far more beautiful without an army of stylists and make up artists at their disposal. While, I do think Rihanna has lovely eyes, she is in large, entirely overrated as a performer and her looks are merely average, save her pretty eyes.

When I mentioned this to another friend of mine and her sister, my friend immediately agreed. However, her younger sister sputtered with disbelief, saying that Rihanna had it ‘natural’!

I realised, unbelievably, is that many people are ignorant when it comes to the Hollywood glamour machine. It’s a superficially driven beast that seeks to annihilate a starlet’s individual look, in order to propel said starlet into the cruel fashion world which in turn can make or break any budding starlet’s entertainment career.

What a starlet wears is almost more important than her talent, as is most apparent in Rihanna, Britney Spears, Taylor Swift et al- I’d mention Miley, but she’s still got her own horse teeth so she discounts herself there-. Taylor has a mediocre singing voice even after it’s been digitally enhanced for public consumption. But can she really sing? No, but she can play a few instruments, something I do admire genuinely, but even then, it’s nothing spectacular in comparison to real talent like Alicia Keys. Taylor is the current media darling for two reasons ; Kanye West, ’nuff  said; and her fabulous wardrobe. Whomever is tearing her own hair out in order to make this tall, skinny, odd duck is a genuis, as he/she’s managed to package Swifty in properly fitting gowns somewhat older, but at least appropriately proportioned to her less than desirable frame.

What these ladies do have though, is a ‘look’ that’s got that ‘something’ about them. Neither of them are overly talented or unique in any sense, but they have the ‘right people’ to sort them out with ‘the right style’.

My concern is that young girls and women believe that these startart’s (starlet/tart together, get it?) look as they do on stage/in music videos/at awards ceremonies/red carpet events. It sets up a young girl for failure if her skin isn’t as sheer and dewy and her her body as tight and toned as the half starved startarts they so admire.

There is nothing wrong with a bit of HERo (get it? :)) – my girl crush happens to be Kate Winslet, an utter beauty awash in natural talent – but there has to be balance and the unchallenged truth that most of them don’t look like that in ‘real life’.

My friend postured still and asked me to name the other 10. My main point is that I have so many friends, both from the Caribbean and elsewhere, who are so unbelievably good looking without a beauty machine to help crank out a highly superficial persona. It’s those women whom I admire. The mothers and career women who manage to turn not only men’s heads, but whomever else happens to be nearby. I put my admiration stock into my friends rather than undeserving startarts who are merely fabricated dolls with very little personal substance.

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Comments
10 Responses to “Beauty and Hollywood”
  1. taiyed says:

    So true. The poor kids can’t even say two words without it being scripted.

  2. Tamara says:

    Must admit, I have posted comments about Rihanna on my Facebook page, as I have been impressed with just how sexy she is, on a pure woman to woman level and I would go so far as to say that I think she has that indescribable ‘it’. So, just to give another perspective:

    a) Saying someone is super sexy is very different from saying that they are gorgeous. Or, is it that in your view, they are one and the same? Of course there are beautiful women in the Caribbean, the most beautiful women in the world – no opinion voiced by anyone could change that. I think it was BC Pires that said Trinidad was the only country in the world you could see the beauty of 4 continents on one face…I of course, must agree.

    b) Saying someone is sexy (in my humble opinion) is not saying that anyone else is less sexy. Since when sexy could only have one title holder?

    c) Saying that I find someone talented also, does not discount anyone else’s talent in any way, shape or form. Also, talent being what talent is, it’s not a race anyway. I like me some RiRi, some Beyonce, some Alicia Keys, some Chaka Khan, some Tina Turner, some Kanye. Again, one title holder? Really?

    d) Because she’s on my list, doesn’t mean that other lists don’t exist, doesn’t mean there’s no one else on the list and certainly doesn’t mean that I would be upset to hear another’s opinion. I just find it a little amazing (a little) that my opinion could cause so much emotion…(for want of another word). But of course…everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, everyone’s entitled to their style of communication and everyone’s certainly entitled to express themselves – freedom of speech, democracy and Facebook being what the are.

    Noted your other points about impressionable young people, glamour being contrived and image being so surface oriented.

    Also, wouldn’t be able to comment on any celebrity’s personal substance or star-tart status as I know not ah one……

  3. Let me clear one thing up first, your opinion merely raised an eyebrow, it was my friend’s younger sister’s reaction that really got me thinking. So you can be less amazed (actually not at all), that your opinion caused such ’emotion’.

    I agree that we all have our different opinions and as you said, you have yours and I have mine. Nothing wrong in expressing either. I decided to blog about the more disturbing issues which came out of that. Honestly, it was a ‘hmmm’ moment and I figured, why not just expound on the larger issue while it was rolling around in my brain.

    On the contrary, it is a race when it comes to Hollywood. Have you ever noticed that it’s all about who’s on top and who’s got this and who’s got that? But, then again, that depends on what you take away from the Hollywood scene.

    Sexy is as sexy does. You are right and there are different views and levels of sexy. It’s just up the individual to figure out what that is, rather than take someone else’s word for it. I will happily disagree about Rihanna’s “indescribable ‘it'” factor as my opinion is different than yours. It’s as simple as that.

    Startartdom and personal substance is easy to identify since all these celebs are pretty much forced to be out in the open. It doesn’t take a scientist to draw conclusions from their public behaviour. None of them, save a few, have actually done anything remotely admirable outside of their talent arena.

    In the end, we shall agree to disagree and hopefully, you won’t be so amazed that I chanced on blogging about things that pop up into my life at times.

  4. Tamara says:

    It was quicker to respond to each paragraph:
    Let me clear one thing up first, your opinion merely raised an eyebrow, it was my friend’s younger sister’s reaction that really got me thinking. So you can be less amazed (actually not at all), that your opinion caused such ‘emotion’.

    Your style of writing is quite passionate: I clearly misunderstood. I’ll stop that ‘being amazed thing’ right now.

    I agree that we all have our different opinions and as you said, you have yours and I have mine. Nothing wrong in expressing either. I decided to blog about the more disturbing issues which came out of that. Honestly, it was a ‘hmmm’ moment and I figured, why not just expound on the larger issue while it was rolling around in my brain.

    Except my opinion seemed to illicit a pretty negative response.

    On the contrary, it is a race when it comes to Hollywood. Have you ever noticed that it’s all about who’s on top and who’s got this and who’s got that? But, then again, that depends on what you take away from the Hollywood scene.

    Just because I say someone is talented, doesn’t mean that anyone else is losing a race. There are different genres, different artistes and they all appeal to different markets. Alicia Keys is in no way hurt by my saying that I think Rihanna is talented.

    Sexy is as sexy does. You are right and there are different views and levels of sexy. It’s just up the individual to figure out what that is, rather than take someone else’s word for it. I will happily disagree about Rihanna’s “indescribable ‘it’” factor as my opinion is different than yours. It’s as simple as that.

    Simple indeed.

    Startartdom and personal substance is easy to identify since all these celebs are pretty much forced to be out in the open. It doesn’t take a scientist to draw conclusions from their public behaviour. None of them, save a few, have actually done anything remotely admirable outside of their talent arena.

    Forced to be out in the open portraying the personas their PR agents have deemed works best. We don’t know them. As far as reality is concerned they are a mystery and their public behaviour does not inform us about who they are personally. Outside of being appreciative of the entertainment that I like, I expect nothing from them. Not role model behaviour and nothing ‘outside of their talent arena’. That’s what my friends are for.

    In the end, we shall agree to disagree and hopefully, you won’t be so amazed that I chanced on blogging about things that pop up into my life at times.

    Just o be clear: my amazement had nothing to do with the fact that you ‘chanced on blogging about things’ that pop into your life, but the immediate reaction to my statement……

    Laters.

    (p.s. I know it’s not over.)

  5. Not at all Tamara, you’re an intelligent woman, it wasn’t your opinion that really had me thinking, it was my friend’s sister’s reaction. I merely used your initial post to create the theme on which I attempted to built an argument. So it’s not geared towards you or your opinion, but the larger issue that stemmed from it.

    In today’s connected world, what was once private is no more. There are many instances of meltdowns and reports of what each startart is up to. Some are quite open and some are quite fake, but get caught doing things they claim they don’t support. Again, it doesn’t take a genius to draw conclusions, as everyday people do it on a daily basis as well. It’s a part of life and that’s just how it is .

    It is over, in that, there is nothing more to discuss on the issue that it was an immediate reaction since I happened to be on my site editing. So I replied then and not today. A matter of circumstance really.

    Let’s get back to the real issue: young girls imitating something that’s not real.

  6. AD says:

    enough said…

  7. KC says:

    Hey Kamsha, I was surprised to see a post like this from you after reading your post “Women’s Role in Dating: Sit and look pretty” where it appears that you don’t like the idea of men dating women only because of the way they look. I found that you harshly criticized Taylor Swift for her looks: “Whomever is tearing her own hair out in order to make this tall, skinny, odd duck is a genuis, as he/she’s managed to package Swifty in properly fitting gowns somewhat older, but at least appropriately proportioned to her less than desirable frame.” and I don’t think that’s right especially when it’s not something she chose, she doesn’t have an average body like Kate Winslet (which is something she has possibly had to struggle with) but I don’t understand why that would make her any less beautiful though it’s best that women’s beauty is not compared as it causes insecurity and hostility.

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