Well, hold the front page, Scarlett Johannson is a real woman. Real, in the sense that – like most other women on the planet – she has a tummy. Nothing monstrous or grotesque, just a teeny weeny bump of fat around the middle. But evidence that, OMG, she eats more than an occasional lettuce leaf and a single runner bean.
How do we know she has a tummy. Because this week she was photographed out jogging with her current squeeze, Sean Penn, and was papped. And the resulting images sent shockwaves through the blogosphere. The internet and print media went wild speculating that this teensy hint of flesh was possible evidence that she is PREGNANT. Because, God forbid, no celeb should ever be possessed of an ounce (literally, one ounce) of excess flesh. A female celeb – unless she is “funny” like Miranda Hart or Dawn French – has an obligation to the blogosphere and the celeb magazines to maintain an impossible ideal: a body as smooth, lean, fat-free and concave as a 10-year-old or a plastic Barbie. Even if, like Johansson, you are one of the most beautiful women on earth, no normality is permitted.
Ironically, if you check the web, the identical speculation about a possible pregnancy was provoked a year ago when, once again a photo showed that Johansson has a little bit of flesh round her middle. And what condemnation and criticism this “revelation” brings; what opprobrium is rained on her head for having the temerity to be like other, real women and have a real body that occasionally gains a little bit of fat, that isn’t as smooth and flawlessly slender as a Tussaud’s waxwork.
The body fascism and the hypocrisy of much print media and much of the blogosphere is vomit-inducing in these instances. On the one hand there are pious stories/blogs about the malign influence of ultra-thin models and celebs on impressionable young girls, and the next day, they are laying out spreads or posting images highlighting Johansson’s minute quantity of tummy-fat or Kate Moss’s cellulite and ridiculing and humiliating them for, essentially, being real women with real bodies.
Does this body fascism make you angry, or do you think the celebs bring it on themselves by being so body focused?