Maxim recently released a list of what they termed to be the unsexiest women in Hollywood. Among those listed are Britney Spears, Madonna, Sandra Oh and perhaps surprisingly, Sarah Jessica Parker of Sex and the City fame. While no one can accuse Maxim of ever being tactful before, it does seem that they had rather hurtful reasons for naming the women in this unflattering category. Parker is one of the women who has spoken out the most about the hurt of this label saying that it also offended her husband Matthew Broderick because it called his judgment into question. We can look at the reasons that these women were named some of the unsexiest women in Hollywood and decide on their fairness. Is Maxim just being the chauvinistic magazine that it does have the tendency to occasionally be and upholding these women to unreachable standards? Are the women being oversensitive? Or was the magazine just following society’s idea of what beauty is of a women and doing what most publications do and catering to their audience.
Parker is one of the older stars in Hollywood. She is also a family woman, having had a child. Coincidentally, Madonna and Britney Spears also have children (in point of fact, MSNBC.com comments on how the magazine made it a point to say this is the reason Ms. Spears was on the list). Does this mean that when a woman has a child she is automatically moved from “sexy” to “unsexy”? What kind of message does that send? It could be argued that some of the subscribers to Maxim are dads and could still be married. It seems to be an insult not only to the ladies but to the readers if being a mom goes hand in hand with being considered unsexy. And why should a woman who has children be thought of to be unsexy? Motherhood is one of the most natural things in the world; why should a woman feel she has to give up her sex appeal when she wants to have a child? Whether intentional or not, that was the the message Maxim was sending when it gave the reason it termed Britney as an unsexy woman.
Maxim likened Parker’s features to that of a horse and questioned how such a homely woman could star in a show called Sex and the City. It said Oh had a boyish figure, and made fun of Madonna’s head shape. Why is such attention being called to small imperfections? Haven’t we been taught all our lives that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that our imperfections is what makes us beautiful? What exactly is Maxim’s standard of beauty anyways? Notice how most of these women are over the age of thirty. So are women suppose to stay perpetually in their mid-twenties to seem sexy? If that is the case where are we suppose to find this fountain of youth to appease the men of the world since it would be chaos were we as women to suddenly age? Apparently the magazine finds motherhood and aging to be marks in the unsexy checklist. How many of us women out there already have one mark against us by that criteria?
If Parker was hurt by this title of being the number one woman who can blame her? Names do hurt no matter what the playground chant would have you believe. But more hurtful still is the idea that our society still accepts this idea of what the “perfect” beauty is. Instead of accepting everyone as beautiful in their own way, women are still upheld to an almost impossible standard where any minor imperfection could land them in the “ugly” box. It’s not right and it’s not fair; how would the world take it were Glamour or Cosmo to come up with their own list of the unsexiest men? Surely there would be a different reaction than what was received with Maxim’s list. It’s sad that our society is still this wrapped up in appearances; instead of teaching our children that everyone is beautiful in their own way, we are mocking women aren’t conventional beauties and giving them such ugly titles as “Unsexiest Woman Alive”. Jeers to Maxim and their insensitivity. Hopefully one day women will not be upheld to these impossible standards of beauty that this magazine has laid out for them and hopefully one day we as a country will rise up above typical beauty and learn that to each their own and you can’t judge everyone by the same standard. To the women who were on this list know you are beautiful in your own way and ignore this sexist magazine. In twenty years the magazine might no longer be around while you as actresses will live on.
1) ANI, “Sarah Jessica Parker hurt by ‘World’s Unsexiest Woman’ title”, newKerala.com
2)” Sarah Jessica Parker named Unsexiest Woman”, zap2it.com