in her role as Princess Leia in Star Wars, the then twenty-five-year old Carrie Fisher was a role model for a whole generation of young girls (yup, till they put her in a bikini! – she protested guys…as many of us knows). in 1977, feminism wasn’t exactly a care for movie directors, all male you think (more on this later? so, any surprise the character of Leia had to swoon & act as if, though the future of the universe was in fact, leaning directly on her shoulders as well as Luke’s (she’s a Jedi too, damnit!) she needed rescuing (cue the “kiss for luck” & being carried via rope on Luke across the inside of the Death Star). &, although she managed to get in a few great shots at Storm Troopers, did you know Fisher (revealing in her memoir Shockaholic,) was cast under the strict condition that she lose 10 pounds – putting her weight at the time an anorexic 95 pounds! this really should embarrass Hollywood…but it won’t.
Fisher’s memoir also reveals that since her role in Star Wars, she continued to struggle with her weight (cue a small eating disorder) & a severe mood disorder that required the last resort measure of electro-convulsive therapy. sure, depression & bipolar disorder have a DNA basis, but I have to wonder if those experiences also contributed…oh wait, I don’t actually have to wonder because it’s so OBVIOUS. it’s an industry that uses people & discards them when they’ve passed their too-brief “prime”…but it’s worse because of the lack of females in charge. I’m thinking of Maggie Gyllenhaal revealing that at age 37, she was considered too “old” to be cast as the love interest of a 55-year-old man.
some fun facts. in 1979, the later Emmy-award winning TV director Victoria Hochberg & five other female directors began collecting data on the numbers of women working in the industry. known as the “Original Six,” they found that of all the assignments in both television & motion pictures, 1/2 of one percent of all those jobs were going to women. they partnered with the DGA & the EEOC to file a gender discrimination lawsuit against the studios…quickly thrown out…things started to look a bit better, in TV anyway, from 1980-1995, where stats for female directors jumped from one-half of one percent to sixteen. but, never happened in movies, & only got up to three point five percent, where they remain this day. &…in studio diversity agreements, ethnic minority men & women of all ethnicities are clumped together in one category, meaning, when studio reps need to hire a minority for diversity’s sake, the job almost always goes to a minority male. the numbers confirm this — men of color make up 18 percent of the population & 17 percent of TV director jobs, while women make up 51 percent of the population, but make up 14 percent of TV director jobs. (me, shaking my head…)
after Twilight, which earned 400 million & was directed by Catherine Hardwicke, people were excited about Divergent as well as The Hunger Games. they show there’s an audience! you see a brave, badass girl out there…lo & behold…people will go see the movie. but, even though a female director directed the first Twilight — none of the other Twilights, or The Hunger Games, or Divergent…all books written by a woman & starring a woman…not one of them was directed by a woman.
back to Carrie Fisher’s return to the big screen…apparently the cave-dwellers at THE NEW YORK POST (!) or those lurking on her Twitter feed could only focus on the fact that the actress, at 59, was no longer the waif in the infamous bagel buns & bikini, but a distinguished & accomplished author, actress, comedian playing a military general…who by the way, looks awesome! Fischer looked by FAR & ABOVE the least weathered of all (& she went through drug & alcohol addiction & recovery, a childhood with Debbie Reynolds, dating John Belushi & being married to Paul Simon…geesh! need I continue?! I mean the woman is a warrior in real life!) &, I mean, if you are going to point out such silly, trivial things like how an actor has aged, where are the Mark Hammil posts? looking like he came off a 3-month bender & years of Krispy Kreme runs while Harrison Ford…watching the man ”run?” can we call it that(?) with jowls wobbling, was it really cute? who cares! good god & come on guys?! the very least you can do is get with the times & play it equal here! I actually liked ALL of them! I cared not at all about their age. I enjoyed seeing them again…but, while MEN criticize, women admire. women seem to have daddy issues & men have insecurities, so (& I’m talking generalities here men seemingly see only girls as sexy & girls see dads as sexy. hmmmm. on the topic, while Fischer has to deal with the nonsense of being body/age shamed online, females are now furthering their own cause so well…making the “dad look” popular…what is the “dad look”? a “kinda in shape but not too in shape guy who isn’t super cut, plus we’ve got leading feminist, Mindy Kailing leading thousands, hell maybe millions of mindless women settlers who are furthering their own cause on a personal level by decreeing the 73 year-old actor is, “still mega bangable on all planets.” are you fricking kidding me here!?
well, here for you too, to become nauseated over, are some of the low points of the dialogue:
SurferJoe @surfJoeMalibu 29 Dec 2015
YOU DIDNT AGE WELL AND U SUCKED IN STAR WARS. IT WAS A REST HOME FLICK. WANT MY MONEY BACK @Variety @carrieffisher #StarWars @badrobot
Tom Roberts @TomRoberts983a 29 Dec 2015
@carrieffisher So you want the money & adulation that comes with being a famous actor but not the criticism. Whoever told you life was fair?
never beaten down, the quick-witted Fisher has been retorting since & here is one:
“Please stop debating about whether OR not [I] aged well. unfortunately it hurts all 3 of my feelings. My BODY hasn’t aged as well as I have. Blow us!”
you go woman!
Bette Midler chimed in (& so many others have as well): Brava to Carrie for standing up for the radical notion that women have the right to get older! Youth is temporary, diva is forever!
this is of course a topic close to my heart, & not just because I am a woman, not just because I am a 49-year-old woman, & not just because I am a 49-year-old woman in the skincare industry (a truly insidious industry that often longs to make women feel awful about themselves in an effort to sell products! I mean, have YOU been looking a bit “crepy” lately? a brand new word recently heard in skin “care” ads created by those awesome marketing “geniuses” to make us race out to buy the latest & greatest bullshit product that will NEVER “turn back the clock” – ahhhhhh.
yes, I make skincare products. but, I refuse to use the term “anti-aging”, I refuse to make people feel bad about themselves! it’s about nurturing HEALTHY aging, it’s about working with the underlying causes of skin problems to make us feel & look better of course, the best we can feel & find OUR TRUE SELVES, not change & plasticize & fill & alter who we are, including the smile, stress & life lines we have earned through our experiences & histories…in an effort to become more “youthful.” I wouldn’t, for all the money in the world, wish to return to my twenties, or my thirties, or actually to any age! I love who I am now & in fact, how I look & feel now more than at any time in my past & I SO wish the same for everyone out there!
we have it so backwards with regards to enjoying life & self. we work so hard for monetary gain & pick ourselves to pieces over the smallest wrinkle & blemish. I do have a mission to help people avoid toxic synthetics & get real results, solving problems that, like my lifelong struggle with whole body eczema (which landed me nicknames & bullying & loss of self-esteem – now THAT is a real goal to help solve I believe), staying off fabulous pills like Accutane which, forgive me but if you tell me you can’t take something if you are even thinking about getting pregnant, I say no thank you! I endeavor to get folks to see for themselves that a properly formulated product, with 21st century science at its core, utilizing 100% pure actives from botanicals, highly-potent yet stabilized & safe, in 100% pure formulations that penetrate the skin will actually stop a toxic cycle of imbalance in the system (the same sort of things we talk about with food & lifestyle nowadays). it’s all about systemic imbalances & treating the whole body, not symptoms. &, it’s NEVER about promising something that is impossible, such as getting rid of wrinkles, an impossibility for ANY product!
know your beauty is my philosophy & it means so many things. the foundation behind suki® skincare, it means accepting ourselves for who we really are, never punishing ourselves for being “less than perfect” or needing to live up to an outside definition of beauty, & acknowledging we must always take & own our power, including the power over our health & well-being.
I applaud Fisher for surviving addiction & depression, for writing about it so well, so comically & in such an inspiring way in one of my favorite books & movies, Postcards from the Edge. I thank her for being an awesome part, in a classic movie I waited in line with my mom to see when I was 12, & kind of saw again at 49! not only that, but for being a fabulously funny character in one of my other faves, When Harry Met Sally!
&, thanks to her & JJ Abrams, for moving Leia beyond the damsel in distress role to offer a strong role model to a new generation of fans.
@ Carrie Fisher: you are what “know your beauty” is all about. looking forward to seeing you as the badass GENERAL Leia Organa Solo again in the next episode of Star Wars!