I’ve never been a Kardashian fan, or any reality show for that matter. I spend my work days writing, reading, developing and producing scripts. If the dialogue in any of my projects is lacking, it’s not from lack of effort. So the last thing I want to do with my free time is spend time listening the inane musings of vacuous and spoiled non-talents, who are being lauded for…well, for what exactly?
But it didn’t occur to me until Wednesday of this week that reality shows were anything worse than abysmal forms of entertainment, sort of like Michael Bay movies, when two things happened: The first was an internet interview with an actress, who stated that she didn’t see the point of recognizing gender inequity in the film business. As far as she was concerned, “hot chicks have it good.” Essentially, if one is presumably hot enough, one can easily walk into a meeting and demand/receive financing for films. Any woman who thinks otherwise is probably just jealous or clearly, not hot enough.
The second was that I finally saw the documentary “Miss Representation.” See extended trailer here. The premise is that women have lost their voice in mass media. Working writers and directors in North America account for approximately 5% of the total. [By comparison to the Middle East, where it’s 25% female. Who’s liberating whom here?] Reality shows portray women as sex objects who will fight, claw and sleep their way to fortune and fame. All conversations are histrionic or ridiculous, and ultimately, the prettiest girl “wins.” Alternatively, female politicians on both sides of the equation are ridiculed to the point of hate speech.
So why on earth would a young woman choose such a terrible career path? Why would anyone? It seems much safer to go the route of the hyped-up sex object without any talent or brains. Release a sex tape, you get money, fame for pretty well nothing, and if you’re crazy enough, you might even get your own clothing line.
Which leads me back to my earlier musings on personal brand, and how I want to be portrayed in the media. Do I need to appear like a sexed-up Goth chick, who purports to sleep in a coffin while harvesting bat guano for her black-flowered garden? Or is the real brand in the films I write, produce and distribute? And after Wednesday, I know the answer.