Real Girls Need Love Too

This is a reprint of a previous blog post. WHAT?!! I hear you cry (yes, I hear you crying – here’s a tissue), why are you rehashing an old post instead of working on new material? I have many, many excuses – pick whichever one you like:

1. The Santa Ana winds caused an asthma flare up and lack of oxygen destroyed any new idea.
2. The Santa Ana winds blew all ideas out of my head.
3. The Santa Ana winds gave me a headache, making it impossible for me to think of anything new.

Hmmmmm. I’m sensing some sort of trend. The winds have stopped (and rain is on the way), so I promise I will have something new “soon”. In the meantime, please enjoy an oldie but a goldie (well, I think so, anyway).
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Last night was movie night, and I let my eleven-year-old daughter choose. Hundreds of movies to choose from, and she picked Gulliver’s Travels. I think she picked it because she fell in love with Jack Black as Po in the Kung Fu Panda movies. I didn’t. Don’t get me wrong–I loved the Po character, but it didn’t make me want to run out and rent all of Jack’s movies. It’s not that I hate Jack Black (School of Rock anyone?); it’s just that there are so many other movies I’d rather see.

But it wasn’t my turn to choose, so we popped our corn, poured our beverages and sat back to enjoy. I didn’t. I didn’t hate the movie, but something about it bothered me (something other than the fact that the little people seemed to keep changing sizes).

This morning I realized what was bothering me. Gulliver’s Travels is yet another movie where a pudgy, sloppy, less than attractive (sorry Jack), slacker male gets to woo and win the funny, smart, gorgeous female. I don’t know if this storyline is becoming more prevalent because the writers are reliving their high school fantasies–hey, dream big, captain of the math club!–or if I’m just becoming more aware of it, but it seems to be everywhere lately.

I have no problem with the idea that looks are less important than “inner beauty.” I am proud of the fact that both of my daughter’s “boyfriends” are boys she likes “because they’re funny” (Yes, she has boyfriends – don’t tell her dad). Of course, her idea of having a boyfriend is liking a boy who likes her back. And yes, she has two: one of them at school and one who lives in her neighborhood. But I digress. I don’t have a problem with funny guys winning the girl; I do have a problem that there aren’t many stories where a pudgy, sloppy, less than attractive slacker girl gets the gorgeous guy.

There are plenty of movies where the girl gets the guy after an amazing transformation. This story has been around since the beginning of cinema. The spinster/librarian/schoolmarm takes off her glasses, shakes out her hair, and voila, men throw themselves at her feet. The Princess Diaries and Miss Congeniality come immediately to mind, but even Julia Robert’s hooker had to be transformed into a lady before the man loved her. OK, these movies aren’t very recent, but I’ve been busy raising a kid, and it’s been a while since I’ve seen anything that isn’t made by Disney/Pixar.

Granted, we had Ugly Betty, but that’s just one television show. How many TV shows star a funny guy who marries/dates way out of his league? Yes, we live in a society where appearance is everything, especially if you live in Los Angeles.

My daughter is a beautiful girl who will never grow up to be a blue-eyed blonde (without the use of contacts and peroxide). It would be nice if (before she’s old enough to have a “real” boyfriend) Hollywood realizes that not all math club presidents are boys and that there are plenty of funny, smart, less than gorgeous girls who dream of winning Prince Charming’s heart.

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