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Cultural Reckonings/Reappraisals We're Due For


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I almost included this is the Harry and Meghan thread, which inspired me:

Thirsting after royalty/the Prince Charming fantasy -- My teen-into-young-adult years coincided with the period when Prince William, and later Prince Harry, was presented by pop culture as the world's most eligible bachelor/gold standard for a catch/etc. With all the discussion about sexualizing Britney Spears and/or fitting her into one specific narrative or fantasy, I think we should also acknowledge that it was going on with those two guys in particular.

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For sure, I think we are overdue for a reappraisal of how we treated Whitney Houston during her gradual, personal decline.  Although "Nippy" was a grown woman and no one forced her to marry Bobby Brown or take up drugs, in retrospect, I think the media and the public should have done more to empathize with and encourage Whitney to seek help rather than reduce her to a bunch of cheap internet memes.

 

I also think we need to take another look at our relationship with Jennifer Lopez.  There was a time in the late '90's and early '00's when J-Lo's career was white-hot.  Yet, the media was so laser-focused on her relationships -- with her first two husbands, with Sean "Puffy" Combs, and especially with Ben Affleck -- that I think all the attention only served to stall her career momentum.  (By contrast, her one-time co-star, George Clooney, was bangin' practically all the available ladies in Hollywood, yet all the media seemed to want to talk about was his ugly haircut and pet pig.)  J-Lo's career rebounded somewhat with her brief stint on "American Idol," but I think it has yet to hit its' previous heights; and sadly, I also think too much time has passed for her to recoup what she lost in the meantime.

Edited by Khan
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The closet and a history of abuse - all of which her family forced her to hide away - killed Whitney Houston, IMO. Period.

 

 

I thought J-Lo should've been nominated for Hustlers in Best Supporting. Not every choice she's made has exactly been gold, but she's always worked hard and people don't give her enough credit.

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But don't you think the tabloid media and the general public should have respected her privacy and backed away from those aspects of her personal life, rather than turn them into fodder for gossip and innuendo?  The rumors about Whitney's sexuality in particular had been around almost since the start of her career.  It was unfortunate that Whitney felt the need (both for her family's sake and for the sake of her career) to keep such things hidden from the public, but that was still her right and the media needed to respect that.  If anything, I think her private shame (over being gay or bisexual, over being a victim of sexual abuse) is what led Whitney, at least in part, to make the foolish choices that contributed to the decline of her career and end of her life; choices that, in turn, should have elicited a public response other than mocking derision or scorn.

 

Let me put it this way: on the one hand, Debra Wilson's imitation of Whitney in the throes of drug addiction and paranoia on "MadTV" is spot-on funny; but, on the other hand, I look at performances such as hers today and I wonder whether we weren't just kicking Whitney when she was most down; and frankly, that makes me feel more than a little uncomfortable.

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Yup.  I can't recall whether Meg was still married to Dennis Quaid when she had the affair -- but, then again, her marital status at the time shouldn't matter, anymore than Russell's marital status at that time should matter.  Their affair might not have been appropriate, but they were adults, and the media should have minded its' own business.

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Of course. But those are two different factors. I don't believe Whitney hid/ended her relationship with Robyn Crawford or her trauma for any reason but her family's pride, her label's demands and the sociocultural mores of the time. My point is, I think if Whitney had felt free to pursue her relationships and her career in the ways that were the most healthy for her she'd probably still be alive today.

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In years past, Meg Ryan has disparaged her ATWT character's intelligence, or lack thereof.  But, who could blame her?  I mean, Betsy was awfully naive at times, lol.

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