March 2, 2010

Tina Fey, I love you, but....

I love Tina Fey. Well, I love most things about her. What I don't appreciate is how much she and her show downplay her physical beauty to the point of ridiculousness. Sure, Tina Fey is not Pamela Anderson, but she's undeniably sexy (and not even in a super unconventional way). When they characterize her as a hag and a slob on her show, though, that just reifies unattainable beauty standards for women rather than deconstructing them. After all, if 127 pound, alabaster-skinned and doe-eyed Tina Fey is homely, what is your average woman?

Tina Fey is a capable and attractive woman in her late 30s. She's not an old maid. In fact, she looks ridiculously good for her age. Her face and her body are both holding up super well, and so it comes off as really insincere when her character says she's going to go home and eat lots of ham and cheese and cupcakes. Tina Fey the actress might binge on these things occasionally now, and I believe her that she over-indulged in them in the past, but she currently can't believably portray a character who goes home and eats donuts all night without ever exercising. To pretend that slobby women who don't try look like Tina is to make every woman who does try and still doesn't look as good feel like shit. Let's not promote a myth that Tina Fey is some scary, sub-standard specimen of femininity.

So, Tina Fey, I love you and I love your show. Playing a flawed character is great, but one of her flaws is NOT her looks. Stop making the rest of us feel terrible when your character is supposed to be all dumpy, but can still pull off a Herve Leger!

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