In nearly 100 years of film, real life women been largely misrepresented.
Earlier decades saw women as pretty faces with over dramatic reactions to everything. Tears, screams, and tripping over nonexistent obstacles were many cliches and stereotypes that media portrayed.
There is the consistent portrayal no matter the decade of the seductress, a woman who is all body. She uses her body like a currency to buy, beg, or steal whatever she wants.
The empty-headed woman, she’s beautiful and everyone wants to be with her, but she’s not that handy in a pinch. That’s okay, because she’s a good kisser and she’s a blonde, which depending upon the decade means this woman is instantly more valuable than any brunette or redhead.
The taboo on portraying older women with wrinkles, sags, gray or white hair. After all, beauty only exists in between 18-40, right?
In more recent decades Hollywood has attempted to create the strong woman. More often than not, what comes out is a kick-butt woman with incredible intelligence. She’s also totally “sexy”. It looks great at first glance, until you realize something vital is missing. She’s a robot. There is no compassion, no nurturing, no warmth, no sorrow, no love, so softness. She’s cold and unapproachable. She can rip your face off without breaking a sweat and crack an impossible code, yet she has no idea what to do when someone just needs a hug.
Where are the real women? Where are the wives, the mothers, the grandmothers, the daughters, the sisters, the nieces, the cousins, the best friends, the good neighbors? Where are the real women who are strong and soft, the women who are intelligent and also have lost moments? Where are the business women, the stay-at-home-working women, the plus sized women, the older women, the hurting women, the loving women….
….where are the imperfect women who are perfectly beautiful in their real, raw complexity?
I’m sick of it. Real women are a mix of so many things, pieces of the above and many more things that I have no mentioned. Real women are so complex, so layered, and have many qualities, good and bad. They are not all one thing, and they do so many things. They are each uniquely beautiful, regardless of age, weight, coloration, or occupation.
I think it is possible that Hollywood may finally be getting an inkling that they create fake women, but we are well past “it’s about time”. I think the journey to making real women the stars of the movies is going to be a long one. Our pop culture is built upon a concept of unreachable perfection that Hollywood has greatly contributed to.
I intend to write some posts featuring some rare exceptions to the rule that I have found sprinkled throughout various movies and TV shows. These are moments throughout the decades where someone actually understood that beautiful mystery that is a woman, and attempted to bring her to life on screen. I applaud anyone who does this, and I hope that more will attempt this accuracy in the future.
It is time for truth to appear on our screens, and I for one hope to become a part of that at some point.
What are some real women you have been inspired by on screen and in real life?
Bless you all, and a Happy 2017 to you!