The Skinny on Lindsay Lohan

This article was meant to be posted a month later, but I thought it was a nice add-on to sbg’s Save All Starving Starlets:

I was talking to a guy about Lindsay Lohan, and he said she was much sexier as the curvy redhead from Mean Girls than the skinny blonde tabloid princess. He was the last of dozens of men who had expressed such a sentiment, and the last of hundreds who had expressed such a sentiment about non-blondes such as Nicole Kidman and Ashlee Simpson who were a lot less sexy and unique after they slimmed down and went platinum. I am yet to find a guy who thinks skinny, blond Lindsay is sexier than curvy, redhead Lindsay.

I find such a sentiment odd given that the profiles of all three women have risen since losing weight and going blonde, although how much of these raised profiles are to do with their private lives as opposed to their box-office grosses and CD sales, I don’t know.

Which leads me to think one of three possibilities have come into play:

  1. These men are a small minority, or are the kind of people who see non-mainstream movies and don’t represent the mainstream cinema going population.
  2. These men are lying to impress a woman by pretending to be PC.
  3. Women are undermining the feminist movement by only wanting to see skinny, blonde women.

I suspect it’s mostly a combination of 2) and 3). I’ve met plenty of girls and women who were critical of big women (and not big men) – and by big, I mean an Australian size 12* and up. I wonder how many of these girls/women are the ones who pay to see Lindsay’s movies, buy her albums, copy her look etc, all the while bemoaning the influence of skinny blondes who all look like one another.

Meanwhile, there seem to be plenty of men who would much rather see a curvy redhead then the skinny blonde that women are attempting to emulate.

I wonder how much happier we’d all be if we aimed for Kirstey Alley’s toned, healthy (size-14) look instead.

* I can’t convert Aus-US sizes exactly, but I know a size 8 is model-size, and to be size 6 and still remotely healthy to you have to be about five-foot-even and ninety pounds. (rough conversion, again; I’m thinking one-forty cms and forty-five kilos). Lohan at the skinniest I’ve seen her would be a 6, and looking damn unhealthy at that.


  1. Lex says

    I had E’s Emmy red carpet thing running in the background today, and there were very few women who would pass the ‘mistreated behind bars test’ i.e. superimpose an image of a barred door/window over their picture and you’ll more often than not be left looking at a woman who’s been malnourished and mistreated. What was worse is there seemed to be a trend for figure-hugging dresses which clearly showed the outline of ribs. It just made me wince for them all. Being so underweight is surely not a sensible goal for anyone, let alone a grown woman.

  2. Jennifer Kesler says

    I don’t think people realize how unhealthy being underweight is. We hear so much about the dangers of being overweight, but in reality the body handles extra pounds much better than it handles malnutrition.

  3. sbg says

    I used to work with a girl who would be absolutely repulsed at the thought of eating regular food. All I ever saw her eat was corn or green beans. Not that those aren’t regular foods, and she clearly had some kind of eating disorder…

    What was my point? Oh, this girl also used to go on and on about how she was eating so healthily, all the while crinkling her nose at my turkey on whole wheat with spinach and tomato until I couldn’t take it one day and told her that I had no doubt in my mind that when we were both 50-60, I would be far healthier than she.

    A body needs a little fat. Not a lot of fat, but enough, because people were not meant to look like bobble-head dolls.

  4. scarlett says

    well, I’ve found that men DON’T find such women attractive – and yet, we’re hearing male producers saying ‘that’s what men want’. I think something is getting lost in translation. I also think women are putting much more pressure on each other to be skinny then men are.

  5. Jennifer Kesler says

    In person, yes. But it’s mostly men in the industry who are putting out this enormous message when they refuse to employ actresses who aren’t underweight.

  6. scarlett says

    Which gets me wondering about that ‘lost in translation thing’. I don’t think the women we see onscreen are representative of what men find attractive. So we are we seeing so many women finding such a narrow profile? I have two theories:
    1) either the men who produce movies DO find such women attractive, and keep promoting such beaty ideals, and keep bringing like-minded men on board to continue the cycle – a never-ending boys club o2
    2)These men have no clue that there are different standards of beauty beyond the status quo, are too lazy to find out, let alone find a solution, and so retain the status quo out of laziness.

  7. Jennifer Kesler says

    I think #2 is likely. Skinny was trendy back when the obsession with demographics really took over the film/tv industries here in the US – late 70’s to early 80’s. It may be that the first stats declared skinny women hot (because, hello, that was the only choice being offered), and it actually becomes difficult to prove a “standard” like that wrong once it crystallizes.

    Another possibility is that it’s just a form of misogyny, plain and simple. It’s Bigotry 201: if the system won’t let you post a “No women need apply” notice, set a standard that’s unhealthy, unreasonable and demoralizing, and say, “But gosh, we didn’t say NO women could apply… we just set a standard. If you cows are too lazy to reach it, don’t blame us.” And then to be really safe, you swear, “But that’s what the audience wants to see, toots – sorry, it’s out of my hands. Gotta give ’em what they want.”

    Never mind that the same men set reasonable and healthy standards for male actors: reasonable weight and maybe some muscle tone.

  8. scarlett says

    And of course, Hollywood being one of the worst Boys Clubs to exist, they just keep promoting their own, who continue promoting those values…

  9. scarlett says

    what do you mean, both options? You weren’t really clear on that and I couldn’t make it out from the various opinions offered which you were talking about.

  10. Jennifer Kesler says

    He was responding directly to your post (I know it’s sometimes hard to tell from post nesting) in which you suggested (1) the men in the industry actually like skinny women, or (2) they have no idea there are different ideas of beauty out there.

  11. Jorgen says

    As a dude, I’ll say that anyone who finds skinny, blond Lindsay more attractive is sick. I think I have fairly conventional tastes, and I like slender women, but there’s a big difference between slender and skinny, namely whether you can see the outline of your bones through your skin. And I think that lohan’s profile has only risen in the tabloid world; back in the day she was good, and lots of people saw her movies. Mean girls was excellent. Freaky Friday was excellent. I don’t know what she’s done recently other than ruin her life.

  12. Maria says

    You know, the kind of guys I know who find blonde!Lindsay more attractive than red!Lindsay also say this new Lindsay is more trashy, which is also a judgement call about the supposed morality of her new look. New Lindsay acts more sexually available/freaky, isn’t tied to a particular man, and does all sorts of stuff good girls don’t do. Red!Lindsay was younger, and acted like it.

    I guess what I’m saying is, when some of my guys say they want the girl next door or the curvy girl or whatever, embedded in that is the idea that this is a “nice” monogamous, innocent, sexually available only to them kind of girl.

    I don’t see that as healthy or helpful or non-misogynistic at all.

  13. FM says

    Um, Jorgen? Can you stop with the skinny hate please?

    I never had body-image issues until I became a feminist and read shit like this.

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