I’m in pain right now; this is just too pretty to look at..
I wonder how she can go kiss michelangelo (or whatever her boyfriend’s name is) after Rob.
Seriously people, seriously. Or more like seriously, Jennifer Weiner, who just posted a blog entry complaining that she couldn’t see an author’s picture on her new Kindle. (Side note: my MOM has a Kindle 2, and she freaking LOVES it! This my Mom here, who calls me to ask me for instructions on how to check her voicemail and thinks that it’s perfectly normal for web pages on her old desktop to take >four minutes to load.) Anyway, Jen’s thesis is that she might have enjoyed the book less had she known the author was attractive. Particularly offensive excerpt:
“In a weird way, the omission [of the photograph] made the book a lot more suspenseful than it would have been if I’d had Ms. Gillies’ visage staring me in the face every time I glanced at the back flap. A happy ending would have been a foregone conclusion. Of course she was going to meet “the love of (her) life,” as she wrote on the very last page. Probably on the way back from the post office where she mailed in her manuscript! And she probably got proposed to twice on the way there!”
(I will note that not everything in the blog offends me so, and indeed some may even be worth reading: here)
In all my life, I have never wanted to know what an author looked like, especially not a modern one, before/during/after having read a book. (Exception: I did look up Vanessa Bell’s Bloomsbury portrait of her sister, Virginia Woolf. I hardly think this counts.) Sometimes, usually after I have finished reading, I am interested to know a bit of biography, where they grew up, what their issues were, etc. — desires I can almost always happily satiate with Wikipedia (interpret as you will). But why bother with what the author looks like?! If I wanted to express myself in society with my face, not my words, I would have been an actress, or a politician, or a news anchor. Why does the fact that a female author is attractive make the story of her broken marriage any less dismal, as experienced by best-selling author Jennifer Weiner? (Though, interesting reversal: would women resonate with the novel ‘Good In Bed’ — about learning to love yourself as a “larger woman” — feel betrayed if they knew the author were a size four, rather than fourteen?)
This has been on my mind and bothering me for a while, but the events of yesterday proved to me that I am not crazy (at least, not crazy to find this whole fascination with author photos somewhat appalling… hehehe). Having finished Dracula and thirsty for my next adventure (pun intended, ew), I wandered into Harvard Bookstore and picked up a copy of “Special Topics in Calamity Physics.” Now I have to confess that the one personal detail that does interest me about an author is their age–that’s my competitive nature coming through. I like to know what people my age can do.
In the ‘Used Section’ as I continued to browse, my eyes fall on that debut novel of Jennifer Weiner’s “Good in Bed.” I frown as I pick it up. I only read the first chapter–but I’m not frowning because I hated it. In fact, I kind of liked it, and think I would enjoy the book. But it was $7, whereas Calamity Physics was $5.99, infinitely more highbrow, longer and more appealing; plus, buying both would have meant skipping lunch. But I digress. I’m frowning at the picture on the back as I remember her infuriating blog post. These things are so airbrushed anyway, I mean seriously what’s the point? Stephenie Meyer looks about 50 pounds lighter in her Twilight photo than she does in real life (not that I was looking… uhhhh…. BUSTED!). Anyway, I flip open the back of “Calamity Physics” and lo and behold: gorgeous photo of a girl who can’t be more than two years older than me! She’s been airbrushed into oblivion, it’s obvious, but still I can feel my pure objectiveness beginning to melt, tainted by the image.
I get home, read the first chapter, and look up the author, Marisha Pessl, on Wikipedia. I’m reading with interest until something terrible catches my eye: a link to the following New York Times article:
Here’s a young girl who’s just written what most consider to be a brilliant, serious debut novel (non of this Chick-Lit-y nonsense) and this is the headline she gets??? You can’t judge her book as non-brilliant based on the attractive photo, because the normal impulse is that attractive people can’t produce brilliance? Right.
Anyway, don’t let this post fool you into thinking I’m a misanthropic old feminist… I am not old, I am not a misanthrope, and I am not a feminist (not according to my little brother’s definition, which is “someone who doesn’t shave her arms and legs”).
Buy our book because we’re blonde!!! Yaaaaay!!!
Honoring Showing off models at the Met event happened yesterday where the focus was on the models, not the fashion. The photos of the star-studded event looks spectacularly glamorous. Designers arriving with their “Muse” models and actresses flashing their “blue steel’ look are always so much fun to follow!
My impressions of the event are as follows:
Best Dressed: Kate Beckinsale. Simply fabulous. She looks to die for.
Worst Dressed: Madonna looks ridiculous with that bird-like hair piece, her pushed up/squished boobs and her boots up to her thighs. More than enough said already.
Most Interesting Dress: Love Kirsten Dunst’s eclectic dress. It’s not something I’d wear (or actually could pull of), but it suits her beautifully
Most Uncomfortable Looking: Kate Perry and Tyra Banks look like wax mummies; I bet they had an awfully hard time moving around in those mermaid dresses
Best Couple: Justin Timberlake & Jessica Biel- because you can’t form any other couples if you put a bunch of gay male designers and straight female celebrities in a room.
But for their outfit: Jessica Biel- love the back of her dress, but the short front part makes her look like a 6-year old who’s trying on her momma’s short dress with heels to look bigger. Justin, Justin.. What are you doing? The hipster look with the glasses isn’t really working for you.
Healthiest Looking: Blake Lively- love that healthy tan and glow she has going. And look at that leg- whew!
The Most Curious Case: Heidi Klum. Is she pregnant- AGAIN? The dress looks cute though; a typical let-me-hide-my-little-bump dress
RaO lives even farther away than Never Never Land; sadly, there is no Youtube in Never Land.
So, as a test, I am posting a video of my favorite song. RaO, this one’s for you! (I hope you can play it from Never Land!)
LeK- remember this song and our days spent on coordinating moves to it? I guess everybody in school must have thought we were crazy- rightfully so..