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5.22.2017

Letting Yourself Go in Hollywood

I just watched the 2006 movie The Break Up.  It's definitely a stretch to call this a B- movie.  It has some alluring thread that made me want to watch it to the end.  Maybe that thread was boredom.

Anyway, what really struck me about this movie is how much Vince Vaughn had let himself go since Swingers just ten years before.  And how much Aniston, in the same amount of time, well, really hadn't.

Look at that strapping young man on the left (Vaughn in Swingers, '96)---and can you talk about about BLOAT? (The Break -Up, '06)

Looking, well, pretty damn good in 1996
as well as 2006.
In the movie The Break-Up we have 'hot couple with issues'.  Except that the male half of this hot couple is debatably not-so very-hot in that he's about 20 pounds overweight.  He spends his time laying on the couch playing video games and eating and watching sports and his hot, skinny girlfriend (thigh gap, zero loose tricep skin) works her ass off putting together dinner parties and doting on him, which includes laying out his outfits at night before he goes to bed.  (Are you sure this is a couple and not a mother-son situation?).  Granted they do break up, but the movie causes one to wonder what even brought them together in the first place--given that she had such a hard time leaving him it seems to be some sort of a "she settled in order to receive the security and respect a relationship gives a woman and he wanted a hot woman to fuck" situation.

In addition to the unbelievable message that the movie sends about relationships, the juxtaposition of the bodies of Aniston and Vaughn makes me examine their Hollywood careers.

They both have been hugely successful in both the 90s and the first decade of the 2000s.  Also in this time Vaughn put on tons of weight and Aniston did not.  Aniston must have had to work her ass off, in fact, to keep her body over their period of time, as you can see from the arm muscle in the picture to the left.

Hollywood, according to this example anyway, is a world in which men get to lay on the couch binging on flank steak and then STAR IN BLOCKBUSTER FILMS, while the women need to hit the gym, perpetually diet and essentially reverse the aging process in order to perform at the same level.

The only rationale for such a double standard is that, of course, in the movies, it's all about what men want to be seeing (while they're sitting on the couch like beached whales).  Ugh.

Um, yeah.  Look at the 18 year decline in Mr. Jon Favreau between Swingers (left, '96) and Chef (2014)
And since Jon Favreau was also in The Break-Up, I will continue with my rant to say that he's another prime example.  

His career over the past 20 years since Swingers has fleshed out to the same extent that his body has.  And his enormous weight gain has in no way impeded his career in an industry that's all about appearance!  

The photograph on the right of Favreau and his love interest in the 2014 movie Chef (which he directed) is particularly appaling since we can see that Favreau, despite himself looking like a bloated whale, has cast a hot skinny woman to be his partner.  Would a woman who's let herself go ever, ever, be cast as the partner/spouse to a hot, svelte man?  Unless it's in a situation like Circle of Friend's where the woman's drab-ish appearance IS the central issue of the movie, no, this would never happen.  

Wow.  W-O-W.  I've gotten myself worked up here.  Again, the above paragraph clearly demonstrates the extent to which we're consuming culture through the eyes of men.

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