Why Cameron Diaz Is Wrong: Being Objectified Is Never A Compliment

I’d like to begin this piece with something of a caveat: I have always liked Cameron Diaz. From her interviews and performances, she comes across as warm, smart and aware of her own worth, while also having the ability to laugh at herself, which is a perilous tightrope to walk in any profession but especially so in the egomaniac world of cinema.

So, you can imagine my disappointment when I read the comments from her recent interview with the Sunday Times, in which she says, “I think every woman does want to be objectified. There’s a little part of you at all times that hopes to be somewhat objectified, and I think it’s healthy… ”

Oh, Cameron. To begin with, the minute you try to speak for ‘every’ of anything, you’re trodding on dangerous ground. Throw the objectification of women into the mix, a process that reduces half the human race from the status of a person to that of dead-eyed objects, then you’re royally in the soup.

The simple truth is this: objectification hurts women. It silences our voices, paints over our thoughts, stamps out our souls, leaving a mute, blank canvas onto which our culture can project some of its darkest stereotypes and myths. When we raise women to see themselves only as things to be desired by men and to judge themselves accordingly, as if nothing else about them truly matters, we are committing a terrible wrong.

In the interview, Cameron claims she feels “empowered” by photoshoots and isn’t bothered about stripping off. She says, “I’m not some young girl with the photographer going, ‘Will you take your clothes off?’ I’m like [mimes stripping], ‘How does this look?’ They’re like, ‘Today we’re not going to put anything other than bras and heels on you,’ and I’m like, ‘These heels are not high enough.'”

What of that hypothetical young girl Cameron mentions and the countless young girls who read or will read these quotes? Being objectified is not a compliment. No one ever changed the world because they learned to walk in heels that require a pilot’s licence. Jumping up and down to participate in your own objectivation is generally not a good look.

As a woman who has achieved so much and generated enormous revenues for her chosen industry, Cameron Diaz should have nothing to prove. At 40, she is among the last remaining box office super stars and is one of the best comedic actresses of her generation, which makes her remarks all the more depressing. Despite all our advances, for women in the public eye and beyond, it still comes back to our bodies and what men think of them, a fact that is as tragic as it tedious.

This article originally appeared in the Huffington Post

Emergency! Do You Suffer From Celebrity Fatigue Syndrome (C.F.S.)?

Blame Celebrity Big Brother. Blame super babies with odd names and celebrity chefs getting caught in compromising positions. Blame the post-Christmas fug as more and more innocent people of normal intelligence fall victim to a very mysterious ailment. Some claim it is a direct result of the star saturated world we are all marinating in. Sounds like a joke, you cry. Read on, dear sceptic, read on!

Experts (none of whom were available for a direct quote, sadly) are calling it ‘…an epidemic of global proportions’, one that crosses borders and oceans with shocking ease. While doctors struggle to develop treatment (apparently they have better things to be doing, which is a tad uncaring) millions are infected by this potentially irritating, mind-altering disease that has invaded all corners of human life.

No matter where Mary Anne went, the sludgy hand of celebrity was sure to follow...

The name: Celebrity Fatigue Syndrome or C.F.S. whereby the patient develops an acute, sometimes violent aversion to all things ‘celebrity’ with troubling implications for them, those close to them and indeed the world.

Wondering how to spot a C.F.S sufferer? Thankfully it isn’t hard to do. While most people are sanguine and accepting of the ever more prevalent celebrity forces in our societies, C.F.S. patients grow moody and increasing irritated. They claim celebrity culture is indicative of a society that is vomiting up its own excesses and then parading them around as ‘entertainment’.

Patients become emotional, even angry, demanding to know how in the name of Napoleon’s left bollock certain celebrities became famous in the first place, without having any discernable talent, except for a bodged boob job, poorly produced sex tape or reality TV show ‘career’. No answers offered by friends or family are ever enough to allay their concerns. They also foam from the mouth whenever anyone produces a copy of Heat magazine.

It is natural to assume you are or could be a potential sufferer of C.F.S. The good news is self-diagnosis is relatively simple. If you’ve experienced any of the following, chances are – deep breath – you have succumbed to the scourge:

Do you find yourself shouting at the television, threatening to stab your eyes out with the remote because you are sick to the very pit of your being of the same sorry faces fronting and starring in mind-numbing repetitive cookery, reality or ‘fun’ game shows? “Make it stop,” you cry, “‘it’s like Ground Hog day in hell” while your family – gathered around you in a zombified state – keep stuffing their faces, wondering what all the fuss is about. Why can’t you just shut up and watch X Factor In A Jungle On Ice With Some Dancing, just like everybody else?

Do you find yourself rolling your eyes in open disgust at the news that people have christened their offspring Britney, Rihanna, Beyonce or Paris? Do you shrivel up in self-loathing when you realise that despite never watching single episode of Jersey ShoreKeeping Up With the Kardashians etc, you have a more than vague knowledge of their ‘stars’ and ‘plotlines’? The resulting shame makes your blood thicken.

A trip to the supermarket is pure torture, as you lurch from aisle to aisle seeking out products that are not endorsed by a celebrity, whose shit-eating smiles beam at you from the labels of everything from baked beans to tampons. Do you mutter to yourself, “can I not just buy a few groceries in peace anymore?” even though the answer is quiet obviously a blimp-sized “no”?

Finally, and most crucially, does just glancing at the Daily Mail homepage bring you out in scores of oozing sores, leaving you jabbering like a lobotomised ferret, trying to banish the images of ill-fitting bikinis, staged love affairs and weight loss speculation from your mind? Alas, once such mind rot is seen, it can never be unseen as sufferers of C.F.S. know only too well.

Treatment for C.F.S. is relatively straightforward: throw out your TV, bin all newspapers and magazines, unplug the Internet, smash up your phone, sell the house and move to a small Scandinavian village with a population of 52 and no mobile connection. Failing all that, moving into a nuclear bunker might be an idea.

A bit excessive? Definitely. Probably futile? Yes; after all, it is only a matter of time before celebrities start projecting images of their plastic surgery adventures onto the surface of the moon – the ultimate billboard campaign, if you will. In the meantime, stay strong C.F.S. suffers. I know it isn’t easy – having healthy levels of common sense rarely is in this daft world of ours – but keep muddling along together until such a time as you can’t sit on the loo of your local pub without a picture of a celeb staring back at… oh, wait, nevermind.

This article originally appeared on the Huffington Post.