Portia De Rossi Believes “The Beauty Myth”

“The word ‘feminism’ has completely disappeared. No one wants to associate themselves with that because the culture did a fantastic job of making feminists ugly, and saying that ugly is the worst thing a woman could possibly be. So anyone associated with feminism, or anyone who willingly calls herself a feminist, is considered ugly. So everyone wound up distancing themselves from that word. It is really disappointing. Keeping reading…

“‘Ally McBeal’ was supposedly during this new era of post-feminism and Calista [Flockhart] was the poster child for that. But what is wrong with feminism? And while I’m on that topic, because I am on that topic and it is something that is so incredibly disturbing to me, Naomi Wolf in The Beauty Myth writes that the emphasis on female thinness directly correlates to the rise in female power. In the 1960s, women became a lot more self-confident and were out in the work place and very visible, but then along came Twiggy, almost instantly. So instead of concentrating on the outside world and being successful, women were chained to dieting, and this feeling of deprivation of food. Yet you need food in order to think, we all need to nourish our bodies to be strong and healthy and energetic. It is the way we stay alive. We have to be vital, and only then can we go out into the world. But you have to be properly fed to do it. We have created this culture of women who are constantly hungry, undernourished, or feeling guilty that they are not on a diet or ashamed of being curvier than this so-called ideal image of what the female form should be, which is really a very young teenage girl who has not even developed.”

— Actress Portia de Rossi, who I had kind of a “whatever” opinion on until I read this utterly kick-ass interview that half of Hollywood’s lesbian power couple gave to ChicagoPride.com about body image, feminism, the legacy of “Ally McBeal” and Naomi Wolf’s groundbreaking book, The Beauty Myth. She’s promoting her new memoir, Unbearable Lightness, about coming into her sexuality and struggling with anorexia. She also says:

“You are supposed to look like a girl, straight up and down, not this woman with breasts and hips. It is something that I think we all need to take a step back with and really look at what is being forced-fed to us. It is time we took up where Naomi Wolf left off 20 years ago, because these problems are chronic, we are really dealing with an epidemic. It is incredibly unhealthy and you can see that, because on the one hand in places like New York and Los Angeles women are starving themselves to be skinny, and yet the rest of the country has pretty much given them the finger and have become overweight. It is all because of dieting though. We need to realize that dieting is not the way to live a happy, healthy, and successful life with confidence.”

I also really love what Portia de Rossi said about how the way this country persecutes gays is teaching children that bullying is OK:

“The law says right now to treat gays and lesbians as second-class citizens, and yet we are looking at 13-year-olds in the schoolyard and saying, “You’re a mean old bully.” I mean it has to start from the top, with the law, with the adults. Until gays and lesbians have equal rights, I think we are always going to be seen as less than the rest of society, because we legally are.”

Portia, you’ve got a new fan girl!

I highly recommend y’all read the whole interview, because it’s great.

[The Beauty Myth, by Naomi Wolf]