I arrived in beautiful sunny London at six o' clock in the morning on August 30th. The temperature was a blistering ten degrees centigrade and my cheeks and nose were frozen, and little needles of cold were insinuating their way under my fingernails. Upon arrival at my aunt's house, I fell unconscious and did not wake up until almost twelve hours later.
But I'm sure that the few people who read this blog don't do it for updates on my life. So I shall get to the point, in my roundabout way. The room I am currently staying in belongs to a male step-cousin of mine, around my age. Taking a little maco, I discovered the July 2009 edition of British Gentlemen's Quarterly magazine, with Megan Fox on the cover. "Classy," I said.
Of course, we are all aware of Megan Fox. She has, at 23 years of age, apparently become one of the most fantasised-about female celebrities ev0r due to her role in 2007's Transformers, directed by Michael "'Splosion Man" Bay. I happened to see it just last month, and for a robot movie, it really needed moar robots. And fewer irritating and stereotyped human characters that were impossible to like or even sympathise with. Case in point: Mikaela Banes, midriff-baring arm-candy girlfriend of a complete asshole for the sole reason that she can't resist "tight abs and big arms". Always manages to look really good, even while running for dear life from gargantuan destruction-mad robots. She possesses extensive knowledge about automobile engines, which is supposed to "surprise" us and make women go, "How feminist!" and men go, "How sexy!" She also keeps this part of her secret because "guys don't like it when you know more about cars than they do", and acts like a vapid popular girl around others. Recipe for instant male-fantasy object.
The cover of this issue of GQ stated loudly, "America's most outspoken starlet, MEGAN FOX, will not be censored." Obvious double-entendre is obvious. NOW you've got my interest, GQ. So I cracked open the magazine and decided to see what she had to say. After reading this article (yes, all of it), I can now say that I have a lot more respect and a lot more sympathy for Megan Fox as an actress and human being. And I am willing to bet anything that this is not what GQ set out to achieve.
The preamble stated that Fox is "a bracing antidote to media-trained robo-celebs. And she looks pretty good in a bikini, too". This is coupled with a close-up low-angle photograph of Fox suggestively licking her lips with her hands in her hair. Immediately one begins to wonder, "What is this article trying to sell us on?" Well, it begins with a good few paragraphs about how awesomely intimidatingly hawt she is and how if you try to talk to her you'll be reduced to a gibbering schoolboy. However, the rest of the article reveals a lot (in more ways than one, actually) about her. We learn that she's quite an intelligent yet reclusive person who suffers from episodes of depression, once went through a rebellious bulldyke phase (during which I suspect she must have looked adorable), gets called a whore for speaking openly about her sex life, seems disillusioned with her life of fame and recognition, and guilelessly and honestly fields questions from her interviewer. She even called Transformers director Michael Bay "such a dick".
However, this article is interspersed with pin-up shots of her in a swimsuit or taking off a dress shirt, with bits of copy extracted from the article's context that make me think they chose those particular lines just for titillation value. "Actors are kind of prostitutes"? "I'd rather have a wild and promiscuous image than go out of my way to be proper all the time"? "My only job is to get up, take a shower, do my hair and look attractive"? Fucking patriarchal gold! Honestly, this magazine has 'gentlemen' as its target demographic. How many of these readers are going to scan this article because they're genuinely interested in what Megan Fox has to say? And how many are going to look because they want to see skin?
That's what I'm wondering. Is it that no other magazine would print her opinions? Is it a philosophy of "say whatever you want as long as you look sexy"? A somewhat more refined way of saying "tits or GTFO"?
Now the disclaimer. No, I'm not a sex-negative prude. No, I'm not hating on Megan Fox. No, I'm not a lesbian either. My problem is that this spread can only be described as 'belittling'. We're not really meant to care about her intelligence or her frankness. It's nominally supposed to be an article about how controversially opinionated she is, but it all boils down to a big slab of Megan-Fox-flavoured cheesecake.
Which might look extremely tasty, but is still insulting.