Friday, June 12, 2009

In Which We Discuss the (Non-Physical) Merits of Megan Fox

I've had a change of heart. It began awhile ago, with a particularly interesting celebrity interview in a glossy magazine and has continued, without my knowledge and perhaps against my better judgment, until the other day i realized that i have been sold. I'm siding with the men folk here (though not for the same reasons), dropping my initial cattyness (though getting it on on top of your robot friend is still tactless), and accepting it. Guess what guys, i think i actually like Megan Fox.
Yes, it's true. i've weighed the evidence and i've decided to give her a chance. These days, it is frowned upon in hetero female circles to approve of the pin-up actress. I'm sure there are some posturing puritanical ladies out there who would be quick to label me a traitor to my sex, though that would be absurd indeed. Ok, i'm going a little over the top, but not far. In conversation i have heard Fox referred to and criticized in many ways, all negative, for her appearance and wardrobe choices. Megan Fox is "skanky", a "bitch", and universally resented because of the hypnotic power she seems to hold over the average male.

I will own up to finding her on screen presence obnoxious initially, yes (though not nearly as painfully annoying as her Transformers co-star Shia LaBeouf (who i think should here-on be referred to as the Feminine Beef en Francais)), but will admit that for all practical purposes she does indeed look the part of vacuous hyper-sexualized celebrity bimbo, it's true.

We know a million Maxim cover girls who are her spitting image, and a fair amount of "actresses" and "performers" who have devoted their time to the cultivation of bad behavior. But where the other ladies back up a wild image with rehab and real-life indulgence, Fox is "wild" for a different reason: she has an opinion, and speaks her fucking mind seemingly without caring how she's perceived. As Maggie Bullock wrote in Elle, her mouth is "a nuclear reactor". Unlike her peers, who pose as delicate dolls, Fox has made a point of emphasising (in interviews) her bawdy, masculine traits. What's more, a fair amount of what she says actually sounds sort of, well, not entirely inaccurate.

Don't misread me. I'm not saying Megan Fox is some sort of faultless post-feminist exemplar. Nor am i inferring that the ways in which she manipulates her wiles are noteworthy. She stands amongst those who are in control of their objectification instead of the victims of it. What i am saying is that the clubbed-thumbed actress deserves more respect than anyone has, of yet, been willing to give her. She is not a corporate clone. At 23, she runs no risk of being lumped in with the rest of Young Hollywood. She is not baby Jolie, though the similarities are nothing if not obvious.

She has played games with sucker male reporters, most notably in the GQ interview in which she weaves a smooth exaggerated yarn about her teenage fascination with a stripper named Nikita, whom she felt she had to save like a hero from a Russian novel. When asked why this particular stripper, Fox answers in a way too absurd to be delivered with anything but a smug grin, "“She smelled like angels.” [GQ] All this while wandering the San Diego Comic Con as Fox searches for a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles t-shirt that strikes her fancy. She even finds time to reflect on her own franchise.
"Fox adores superhero and fantasy films. “If I get stuck doing comic-book films for the rest of my life, I’ll be really happy,” she says. “I love those types of movies. And I don’t mind being sexy—if it’s a character with a backstory and an arc and something progresses.” But of course, comic-book movies aren’t known for complex character development, and when I ask Fox if she has more of a character in Transformers 2, which is now filming in L.A., she answers by stating the obvious: “Transformers 2 is directed by Michael Bay.”
Did they at least figure out a way to make the robots seem more human this time?
“You weren’t concerned about them making the humans seem more human?”
" [Source]

Touche. No inane conversation about her craft. No nonsense about how much she relates to her character. Straight to the point. She made an action movie. What else do you want? Screenwriter Diablo Cody calls Fox a "badass", Jennifer's Body director Jason Reitman was amazed at how funny she was, co-star Amanda Seyfried stands in awe as Megan Fox says and does the things she wishes she could. All stand convinced that Fox is a loner in the Hollywood pack. While her image is that of a wild child, Fox isn't a party girl. She's not a tabloid regular falling drunk and exposing herself while entering a limo mid morning on a Wednesday. Elle claims she's more likely to be downing cheese biscuits at a Red Lobster than to be seen anywhere near LiLo or any associate of Paris Hilton. She's not a thinking man's crumpet, playing intellectual with Natalie Portman or ScarJo. And her sexed up image? Well, she just got out of a 5 year monogamous relationship with Brian Austin Green. Again, as printed in Elle,

"I talk openly about sex. I have a sense of humor about it, and I make crude jokes that people aren't used to young starlets making," she says. "But I don't like the perception of being promiscuous, because that's a totally different thing."

Megan Fox, it would seem, is "wild" because she has the personality of a teenage boy. She talks a mean game, spits out curses, is honest when she shouldn't be, makes bold sexual boasts, and drools over Batman comics. While i obviously don't know her, the sense that i get is that the cultivation of her physical image comes from that sort of outlook. She's very pretty. She knows it. She flaunts it the way a teenage boy would if given the opportunity. She's like a Freaky Friday version of Jonah Hill. In interviews, i can relate to her and believe her far more than i ever find myself buying into a textual dalliance with someone like, say, robotic Vanessa Hudgens or oblivious B. Spears.

You know that girl in high school who you hated without reason simply because the boy you have a crush on can't help but stare at her as she passed? The one who was threatening because relating to and hanging out with boys was easy for her? That's Megan Fox. High school is over. I'm through hating. I respect Megan Fox. Hopefully, she won't make me regret it.

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