I think I may have been the last person in the Western World to have seen Bridesmaids. Naturally, I loved it. But something startled me a little bit. The women. Their faces. Their bodies. Laugh lines. Pigmentation. Freckles. Moles. It was bloody awesome but also a visual surprise. They weren’t 22. They weren’t even 35 but looking 22.
They looked like women in their 30s. And that was the surprise.
Because you just don’t see women looking like that. Not in most movies. As we left the cinema, I was talking with my girlfriend about Rose Byrne. “Was that Rose Byrne?” she exclaimed. “I didn’t realise that! She looks totally different when you see her in magazines.”
Yes she does. All women do. Because they’ve been digitally altered to look plastic. Fantastic? Nah. I think the women in Bridesmaids looked beautiful. DIFFERENT. Different to each other and different to the images we’re fed by the print media and by music videos and billboards and all the other places women are portrayed in ways that aren’t humanly possible.
And you know what? You know what I’m going to say to all those twits who say that “it’s what women want! they want the glamour and the perfection?”? I’m going to say bullshit.
Bridesmaids is one of the highest grossing films of the year. A smash hit. Women – and men but particularly women – are falling over each other to go see it. And then see it again.
Lana was listening to Sophie Monk being interviewed by Kyle and Jackie O this week and she told me that Sophie was saying she’d been offered $1m by Playboy to pose nude. ‘Are you worried about your body looking good?’ she was asked. “Oh no,” she replied. “They’ll just photoshop it all anyway, it doesn’t matter what my body looks like.”
And that, my friends, is the problem.
We’ve voted with our wallets. We’ve shown the world we will support a more realistic, authentic portrayal of women while we’ve massively reduced our consumption of magazines that depict women as fake plastic aliens.
Were you also surprised at how the women looked in Bridesmaids? Do you want to see more ‘real’ women portrayed in film? What did you think of the film generally?