“Everybody is setting out to write a full character. It’s just that some people are limited in their imagination of a girl. [A character in "Ruby Sparks" named] Cal’s brother says that in the film: “You’ve written a girl, not a person.” I think defining a girl and making her lovable because of her music taste or because she wears cute clothes is a really superficial way of looking at women. I did want to address that. … I am definitely not interested in adding to the genre of Manic Pixie Dream Girl. I’m very happy to have this movie read as a critique of that, if that’s how you want to read it. It’s not how I wrote it — that was not my primary goal. But I really, really think it’s dangerous to reduce a person to an idea.”
– I had no opinion on Zoe Kazan before I saw a screening of her new movie “Ruby Sparks” last week but now I’m in love — in loooooove — with the actress and screenwriter. “Ruby Sparks” is the thinking woman’s summer must-see film for sure. Without giving too much of the plot away, it is about a writer named Calvin (played by Kazan’s real-life boyfriend Paul Dano) who pens a novel about a lovely young woman named Ruby, who magically appears in real life. “Ruby Sparks” fantastically critiques the manic pixie dream girl trope in way that’s satirical but not in-your-face. I love what Zoe Kazan says in this interview here, especially in the full context of the interview where she talks about how reducing a person to an idea is dangerous to a relationship, as well as a film. [Huffington Post]
Last week we learned that Marissa Mayer, former VP of Google, would be heading to Yahoo as its new CEO. She’s be the company’s first female CEO and probably the first-ever pregnant CEO of a Fortune 500 tech company. Even if you couldn’t care less about Yahoo, you probably thought to yourself “yay for the ladies!” even just a smidge.
Interestingly, now a statement that Mayer made while participating in PBS’s “Makers” series have come under scrutiny: how she does not label herself a feminist in part because she implies the term means a “militant drive” and a “chip on the shoulder.” Keep reading »
“I think it’s great that these girls are taking action. I don’t know, however, that Photoshop makes a huge difference with the kind of models they use, or that there aren’t other parts of the magazine that contribute to the same issue. I’m sure most people don’t think as obsessively about stuff like the wording of a headline as I do, but the effects of headlines under the “health” section about your back-to-school body are still there. It took me a little bit once middle school started to realize that if I didn’t read Seventeen, I didn’t feel obligated to watch what I eat. Language is powerful, along with photos. … [T]t’s not just about Photoshop — all kinds of components of a magazine help contribute to the feelings that might leave a reader with a negative body image.”
– Racked called up Tavi Gevinson of Rookie Mag to chat about Seventeen and how the mag’s website has seemingly stole Rookie’s “Ask A Grown Man” idea with a not-even-trying-to-be-different feature, “Ask An A-Lister.” Tavi ended up talking about Seventeen‘s recent pledge, following a petition with 84,000 signatures, to stop using Photoshop. (Teen Vogue followed suit soon after.) I’m somewhat less cynical than Tavi about Seventeen‘s Body Peace Treaty, but I also think she makes a fantastic point that images are only part of the problem. Language matters, too, and the way that magazines and other media outlets tell stories pertaining to women/girls and body image are equally important. Elsewhere in the interview Tavi says, “ Sometimes [Seventeen's] ‘embarrassing’ stories are literally about boys finding out that you have your period. I’m just tired of stigmatizing totally normal body stuff like that, which is already a little scary and weird to some girls.” Co-sign times 1000! [Racked]