Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Who's the Hottest?

I'm sitting here with three of my favorite trade weeklies: In Touch, Us, OK magazines. Each has a feature where two celebrities are pitted against each other in similar frocks, titled, "Who Wore it Better?" Us actually compares three stars, modifying the superlative a bit to, "Who Wore it Best?"

See, the thing with these little contests is that I always get it wrong. I cover the winner (based on staff selection or reader polls), and I try to guess who, in fact, they chose. I study the images carefully--since, we're talking about clothing, I look at how the garment is tailored, shoe and accessory selection, fit, and even at the way the item falls on the celebrity's figure.

But, I almost always get it wrong.

Let me give you an example of why I think this is. Us Weekly's version (this is the July 2nd issue), compares three stars: Sofia Vergara, America Ferrara, and Tiffani Thiessen. Who do you think received the fewest number of votes?

Enough said.

OK's (July 16th) issue weighs Naomi Campbell against Beyonce. Again, guess who won?

My hunch is that it's really not so much about the clothing here, but about the celebrity's figure. I'd have to pour over the magazines' archives for this research project, but I'm guessing that the celebrity with the better body wins, regardless of her hem line, the clutch she carries, or the height of her heels. See, I think Beyonce has a rocking body, but a lot of people don't.

Usually, in my anecdotal research, it's the thinner celebrity, but not those we judge to cross the line. So, in In Touch's version, Eva Mendes actually triumphs over Bai Ling. Admittedly, I'm relieved when stars like Nicole and Paris and Victoria are not victorious.

I really wish we weren't putting these stars' bodies up for such scrutiny and competition. The guise of whose stylist assembled the better ensemble is simply too thinly veiled.


Anonymous said...

"I really wish we weren't putting these stars' bodies up for such scrutiny and competition."

Does the media really do much else? Would we even know their names in the first place if they weren't pretty gorgeous?

Jeanne said...

You're right - these cover stories are not-so-veiled disguises to examine the stars' bodies.

It's a shame that much of the good work that many of these celebs do for various charities goes almost completely unnoticed by these mags - unless it has to do with "fashion," of course.

Anonymous said...

Wow. On the one hand, I know I'm old. On the other hand, maybe I really HAVE learned to stop paying attention to the constant chatter about everyone's figures. Because the thing that popped into my mind when I read that was... who the HELL are Sofia Vergara, America Ferrara, and Tiffani Thiessen?????

Kirsten said...

I love the concept of your blog. So glad I stumbled on it. Weight fixation and the cultural consequences it invokes are facinating.

I decided after the recent birth of my 2nd child to embark on a journey to deconstruct this concept of ideal weight and stop hating myself.


Anonymous said...

I had been thinking about this posting for awhile. I think that part of it, is about body scrutiny. Maybe it is more so than I'm willing to realize.

However, it's also about deciding what looks good on you. Lindsay clearly should have put on some fake tanner before wearing that dress. That really has nothing to do with body size, it has to do with fashion sense. Gold does not look good with pale skin.

Hope I don't sound too shallow.