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I know it’s a waste of energy to have any feelings at all with dumb comedy franchises, but Zoolander has annoyed me on an ideological level for a long time. When it came out when I was in high school, everyone I knew loved it while I just didn’t get why it was supposed to be so funny.

But the more I think about it, the more it makes me kind of angry. It basically has one joke to it, the absurdity of male models. Yes, when I was a little older I saw that there was SOME commentary on the constant-need-machine of the fashion industry with the whole Derelict thing. But mostly you’re supposed to laugh because you recognize how dumb and frivolous any man who models is, not to mention how silly the whole idea of a man modeling.

First of all, they hammer that stupid, unnecessary term, "male model." Why would you need to specify that a man is a male model, unless you think it's weird that a man even is a model? Secondly, Ben Stiller and Luke Wilson do not look like models. I mean, people might find them attractive, but they’re not beautiful or even of the unusually extreme features your average female model is. The fact that they could be passed off as models speaks to the much lower bar men have to be considered attractive. Men don’t have to be beautiful! In fact, men AREN’T beautiful! The idea that you could be invested in the beauty of men is silly! And look what idiots they are. Any dude who would want to model would have to be a moron, right? Also, I’ll admit, there is one actually funny thing about the movie— Blue Steel and its variants —but it ties into the notion of how absurd it is that dudes even would model. Look how silly dudes are when they try to present themselves so as to be aesthetic!

I don’t mind people poking fun at the modeling or fashion industries. But I wish they were aiming for the INDUSTRY rather than basically JUST the idea of aesthetic men. Even the new one’s marketing campaign ties into this. I mean, thanks to a marketing tie-in, those actors are making appearances as their characters in actual, real Valentino couture. What’s the joke there, if they’re basically just doing what actual models do— that is, wear and demonstrate high-end clothes? It’s only funny if you think it’s funny that they’re BEING MODELS. I get really, really irritated at anything that feeds into the myth of Men Not Being Hot, and that’s basically all I see in those films.

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 8th, 2016 07:58 pm (UTC)
I don't know why they made all the decisions they did, but I feel like had they targeted female models rather than male ones, it would have fed into the "we tell women how they should look and we always tell them they're wrong" narrative, which is less than great.

Also, by virtue of being multimillion dollar actors, Stiller and Wilson *are* professionally interesting-looking. They're not, for sure, the sort of people you'd expect in high fashion, but part of the reason they have careers is that millions of people like looking at them.

How do you feel about the rivalry between hand models and face/body models? In the movie, I mean.
Feb. 9th, 2016 12:47 pm (UTC)
To be honest, I don't see much point in targeting models at all, since they're usually at the mercy of industry and standards. But making fun of the people who set those standards and profit by them could be really funny and clever, punching up instead of down.

That rivalry didn't bother me particularly, but I also didn't find it particularly hilarious.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

About Me

My name is Phoebe. I'm Boston area theater professional and English professor focused in writing, acting, directing, and modeling. I'm known for having lots of interests, lots of opinions about those interests, and a very high estimation of the value thereof. This blog is for talking about whatever's on my mind, from my daily life to my activities to musing on any number of abstract topics. Thanks for taking the time to read.

My productions:

Upcoming Productions:

MRS. HAWKING part 2 and 3

at the Watch City Steampunk Festival 2016

presented by The Chameleon's Dish

Vivat Regina
by Phoebe Roberts

at 2PM


Base Instruments
by Phoebe Roberts

at 6PM

Saturday, May 13th 2017
at 274 Moody Street, Waltham, MA

Other Achievements:

"The Tailor at Loring's End" screenplay
Quarter Finalist in the Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Competition 2013

"Adonis" screenplay
Top Ten Percent in the Bluecat Screenwriting Contest 2015

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