Friday, September 18, 2009

No boobs for you!

Hey, have you heard that Megan Fox has a new movie coming out?! Yeah, it's called Jennifer's Body, but you probably won't go see it because Fox doesn't show her boobs in it, so forget I said anything.

That's pretty much the gist of this (oldish) Cinema Blend article that I came across last night:

According to FilmGecko the latest rumor surrounding the movie is that this topless scene, the only real selling point of the movie unless you are a die-hard Diablo Cody fan (Are you? Really??), has been cut from the final print. Are the producers attempting actual live movie hari-kiri? Has Megan Fox suddenly come over all shy? This move makes no sense from a marketing point of view because at worst it's better to be known as “the movie where Megan Fox shows the goods” than to be “the Diablo Cody vampire flick nobody saw”. Presumably on a more practical plain they're aiming for that predictable and, to be frank tiresome, PG-13-theatrical/Unrated-DVD switch-back to boost sales.

Stop editing for content Hollywood in your slimy manipulative attempts to boost sales. Boobs sell too! Keep them in! Or... should that be, keep them out, so to speak.
Note to this guy: You don't have any actual right to see Megan Fox's boobs, okay? So stop acting like you do, and poor Hollywood has stifled this "right" of yours. (And note that it's bad to take boobs out of a movie and add them back in on the DVD to boost sales, but it is not bad to put boobs in a movie to make money on the movie.) I'm surprised Fox's kiss with Amanda Seyfried isn't enough for this guy, to be honest.

And then there's this absolutely horrendous headline (and story) in the New York Post a couple weeks ago:

Megan Fox's nipples
sadly still underwraps

The first sentence:
"Last May it looked like foxhounds all across this great globe would finally be able to lay their eyes on the prize: Megan Fox's bare breasts."
Hey Jarett Wieselman, Fox's boobs, or any other woman's boobs for that matter, are not a "prize" you get to win. Ugh.

Nudity can add a whole other, meaningful layer to movies. I think we can all agree on that. But this is a scenario I have never, ever EVER understood, and I suppose I never will: the fascination with gratuitous nudity in movies or TV shows. But it's not just any nudity; no one talks about some no-name actress who shows her boobs in an indie movie. It's celebrity nudity. It's Megan Fox nude, or Halle Berry nude (Swordish, anyone?), or Angelina Jolie nude (remember all the buzz about her nude scene in Beowulf, which wasn't true, and makes no sense anyway since she's been nude in movies a number of times before that), or Anna Paquin nude in True Blood, or whichever Star of the Day is exposing, especially if it's the first time she has done so. I understand people are curious, but the countless online discussions about whether Megan Fox will show her goods in Jennifer's Body go way beyond curiosity and reach a certain feverishly obsessed level that isn't healthy for anyone involved.

Plus, are you really going to a movie just to see someone's boobs? Even if you hate everything else you know about the movie, you're still going? As in, no way would you see the movie unless it had SoandSo's boobs in it? If you are so desperate or excited (both?) to see someone's boobs that you have said yes to this -- and are, in fact, a grown man -- may I suggest counseling? Or, you know, waiting a day or two when said boobs will be available for viewing online? And would you mind keeping your fascination to yourself, while you're at it?

I don't know if Jennifer's Body will be good, okay, bad, whatever. Maybe Bust's review is right: "this film is so radically and refreshingly both funny and scary from a female perspective, the boys simply don’t know what to do with it.
" I haven't seen the movie, and probably won't until it's on DVD or cable. I know a lot of people will go solely because Megan Fox is in it. That's fine, I get that. What I wonder is how many people would have gone if only her boobs were in it, too. (I probably don't really want to know the answer to that question.)

For the record, Fox has said she won't do a nude scene on film. And judging by how many people are demanding she do, I can't blame her. But if she ever does do a nude scene, I hope it's her choice, and not pressure to do so. She certainly doesn't owe her fans a glimpse at her naked body, that's for sure.


Anonymous said...

I was probably going to see it when I heard that it's the same writers that wrote Juno, but reading that review from Bust sold me. That kind of snarky but sweet, Whedonesque metahumor really appeals to me.

I hear what you're saying about Megan's chesticles, but for me, I think the problem is not the pimp-media or horny fan boys, I think it's that we don't see ENOUGH boobs.

The French have nude beaches, public breastfeeding, and nude art everywhere, and they just plain don't think it's a big deal. They still appreciate the body, but don't obsess.

Even Japanese anime (which can have an unfortunate tendency to fetishize) doesn't consider it a big deal to show naked body parts, even in teen and tween cartoons, and Japanese families have been bathing together for ages, though the practice is gradually fading out as living space reduces and Western culture seeps in.

I say to Megan Fox, go ahead, take your top off if it adds to the story. It's not like your titties are some sacred, golden cow that must be hidden from our eyes until the glourious day that they are revealed, so we can lust for them from afar. They're just titties, for crying out loud. 50% of the population's got em.

Great example of good film nudity is in Borat - the hysterical naked wrestling, and FINALLY we get to see full-frontal naked men in a movie, and they're not even all porned-up and buff. It was shocking and hysterical, honest, and pitch-perfect.

I say, "More nekked ppls, please!" Maybe when Americans see more bodies (REAL ones, thank you) we can stop being so freakish and clammy and obsessed with our bodies.

Laura said...

Great post!

While I think that if Megan Fox wants to show her breasts and it is relevant and adds to the storyline, then should should do it IF SHE WANTS TO. But she should not let the media pressure her into doing so, nor should anybody. Like you said, the public does not have any right to see anybody naked...ever.

Like you, I really don't understand gratuitous nudity. I have no problem with nudity. I think it can add a lot to a story. It can be art-y. But when someone is just randomly naked in a scene for no apparent reason, that does not make any sense and you can tell that it is just for marketing and profit.

Matt Osborne said...

Another great post. I'm with bluejeanphoenix; American culture is boob-obsessed because boobs are still considered taboo. There's absolutely nothing sexual about breastfeeding infants, for instance, but every year brings another wave of stories about moms told to cover up in public. It's silly Victorianism.

That said, you're spot-on when you recognize Fox's choice as the only legitimate "right" involved here. And I'm a little perturbed at any reviewer more focused on her boobs than, y'know, her acting skills.

Razor said...

Leave it to the neanderthals that pollute internet-based media sites to make Megan Fox seem sympathetic.

My only issue with Fox saying she won't EVER go nude (which is her decision to make), is that she doesn't mind wearing jean shorts that cut off just millimeters away from her vagina in Transformers 2. A movie that could only be enjoyed by 12-year-old boys or their mental equivalent (Michael Bay).

Rosie said...

For the record, I agree, nude bodies shouldn't be so taboo. It shouldn't be a big deal, at all. That's kind of the point -- I don't get what the big deal is if you see Megan Fox's boobs vs. any other boobs. I know I'm a heterosexual girl, but my goodness, boobs are boobs, and they are everywhere. It's one thing if you're 11 and just saw boobs for the first time. It's another thing if you're a grown man who has been looking at boobs/porn since he was 11 and still clamors for some star to take it off.

And aren't we all under the impression that the old adage "don't give him what he wants, he'll just use you" would apply to Fox here? The second she appears nude, a large number of her "fans" will move on. Which is just sad.

shinynewcoin said...

This is just so strange. The comparison that springs to my mind is when celebrities voice animations - you don't need to see them in that case, it doesn't add anything and wouldn't make sense. Why are her boobs any different? Oh, yeah, right.

It suprised me when I heard friends talk about Swordfish as the scene in which you see Halle Berry's boobs. (Mind you, I really only remember the film for Jackman's performance as an elite hacker with remarkably bad typing skills.)

"Last May it looked like foxhounds all across this great globe would finally be able to lay their eyes on the prize: Megan Fox's bare breasts."

Not just a prize, don't the foxes get killed in fox hunts? Way to accidentally reveal the violent intent behind your incidental misogyny.


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