Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Away from the visions of Barbie & Ken (NFTD #17)

We are so obsessed with external ideas of attraction and beauty. Almost every media story line about relationships focus on shallow and surface elements of what draws one to another, yet in the end of most of these films it is not those things that create connection between the two characters. In fact many times the characters who we are rooting for at the end of the story don't seem to be good matches at the beginning. How many times at the end of a film, when the characters finally get together it is because they are connected in deeper ways than just physical attraction. More often than not it is because they have "fallen in love" with this person for all of who they are. It is the Bridget Jones echo of " No I like you very much. Just as you are", when it comes down to it aren't there various elements that make up attraction and in the end the looks are very little of what keeps two people together. It is those little sparks of connection and connectivity that happens between two people. I have often found the more time I spend with someone, the deeper I get to know who they are at their core, the deeper the attraction I have.

I think that we don't really seek for our idealized version of "hot", rather we meet someone who may very well be the opposite of that ideal and yet they in reality are exactly right for us. One of my favorite moments in "500 days of Summer" is during the interview section when Michael Gray Gubler's character Paul is talking about his girlfriend he says something like "my ideal is nothing like Robin (his girlfriend) but you know Robin is better, because she's real". In the end aren't we all looking for someone who loves us, who we can love, who loves us for who we are stars , warts and all and who can encourage and inspire the greatness that already exists. It is only that person who we can be real and naked (in all forms) before who is worth all the trouble and energy and love and care. And this has very little to do with whether or not we thought they were f**kable at the first meeting. To risk one's heart calls for more than just "hi I think you're hot", it asks for another heart willing to risk.

If I ever get the chance to write a love story or film I want it to reflect a reality of relationships and the diversity of beauty with in people. Some of the most powerful and challenging films for me as a viewer have been those that risked showing real people in their stories not (no offense to all my beautiful and talented actor friends) the pretty plastic people we usually see in media. Two examples of these types of films are "disFIGURED" and "How the Garcia Girls Spent their Summer", each were brave enough to tell a true story that included sexuality and sex scenes between real people so often not seen in film. When directors and writers take the risk of telling stories like these, they choose to chip away at our pristine image machine of media. They empower not only our seeing life as more diverse but also the broadening of life in the day to day. I am tired of seeing perfect and narrow visions of people, relationships and beauty. Not only should our media be diverse in racial and gendered representation but also in body and concepts of attraction and beauty.

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