Friday, June 30, 2006

What is Hollywood Ugly?

You know there is something wrong in Hollywood when this is "ugly".

America FerreraAnne HathawayMajandra Delfino



This was an entry that was a long time in coming, but what was the last straw was the previews for Betty the Ugly I've been seeing lately. I know that the point of the show, much like The Devil Wears Prada(I know that picture is from the Princess Diaries) and Celeste in the City is about women who are overcoming the rigors of a publishing world that is aligned against them, but I still saddens me that a certain look has been deemed by Hollywood as their conception of ugly, especially since the characters they play are all genuinely kind and lovable people. I mean those are qualities we generally want in people we want to be around.

There is just something that rubs me the wrong way about this whole beauty standard. I mean, the actress playing the title role in Betty the Ugly also starred in the critically acclaimed film Real Women have Curves. I am trying to think of young women in the movies who were referred to as "ugly" that were in fact ugly, and I am having a hard time doing it. I even think independent movies get in on this act too.

But it seems that satirically minded people have picked up on this trend too. For example, I remember an episode of the Simpsons where Moe Sylak was auditioning for for a soap opera and he is rejected because the director wanted someone who was Hollywood ugly, not "ugly ugly".

I am just wondering if there will ever be a day in Hollywood where more normal looking people are part of the mix once again. Of course, that day will be right after allreality shows pick totally normal looking casts as well, because we all know that the people they select for those are totally representative of the population at large. *rolleyes*

9 comments:

Bluesky_Liz said...

Maybe they don't think audiences want to watch people who look plainly normal. Probably the whole point is to create a fantasy dimension for us normal looking types (hm i might just be speaking for myself here) to watch and admire, even those deemed 'ugly'.

Wendy said...

I would glady trade pretty people for smart normal good actors.

MC said...

Liz: Well, I think the problem is, because the standard of Hollywood ugly is so out of wack with what normal people look like that it is creating this false sense that "even the ugly people in Hollywood are better looking than me." Of course, many other people have expressed that thought better than I have of course.

Wendy: You and me both, you and me both.... and I would extend that to include pop music as well.

Red said...

No offence to the actress in question (she might have blossomed into a beautiful woman for all I know), but Heather Matarazzo was not exactly *pretty* in Welcome to the Dollhouse.

I also agree with Bluesky_Liz. And that is the whole logic behind models advertising anti-cellulite cream looking like perfectly toned stick insects and those advertising zit-zapping products having a perfect complexion. It’s a messed-up world...

MC said...

Red, that was one of those movies that I had in mind that broke the rule for me. Then again, it is a Todd Solondz, so it could be expected too.

I think your latter point is also valid... and I think that is why pictures of celebs without their makeup are increasingly popular with the tabloids.

The Newsbitch said...

I think that Hollywood has to have beauties due to the fact that when we watch these movies, we aspire to them - we secretly want to be that pretty princess or perfect cheerleader. I guess that's true to some extent. I suppose it's a no-win situation; if stars are beautiful, people will dislike them for this. If stars are ugly, people will wonder what's going on. Tabloid magazines are the first to pick out visible flaws in celebs - sometimes said flaws are only tiny (and the journalists who do this are no beauties themselves). It's the point of movies and TV - escapism. As Liz said - it's fantasy.

So what's right in Hollywood?

I agree with Red regarding the advertisements. Acne ones especially. You have to laugh at the models with perfect skin who have drawn-on 'spots', thinking we won't notice!

MC said...

I don't have a problem with beauty being called beauty. But if Hollywood is supposed to be the land of exaggeration, then ugly should be UUUUGGGGLY!

I may be wrong in saying this, but it does seem that European films do have a wider range of physical types and levels of beauty in their movies than over here. I could be wrong about that however, as I am fully willing to admit.

arthbard said...

I think Hollywood's just confused. Somebody stole their dictionary, so for the last twenty years they've been operating under the mistaken impression that the word "ugly" is defined as "a girl with glasses." It's nothing personal. They just don't know any better.

MC said...

And yet most of the girls who have worn glasses in the movies have been hot. Then again, I do have that predisposition as well.