Zac Efron Round-up

23 Apr

No, I didn’t ever think I’d type those words: Zac Efron Round-up. But it has become necessary.

First, I learn that the New York Times warns parents to be cautious of bringing girls to see 17 Again (scroll down to the bottom of the review). In response, the Feministing blog is spot on (spoiler alert):

After a quick plot synopsis (a dude’s life was ruined because he turned down a basketball scholarship after his girlfriend got pregnant), reviewer Manohla Dargis notes “the story’s obnoxious implications” are that “sex, meaning girls, can ruin your life.” She makes clear that the movie’s female characters are (surprise!) little more than simple stereotypes. So presumably this is what the “special girl warning” is referring to.

But if that is the case, doesn’t sexist content merit a warning for boys AND girls? The assumption that a negative portrayal of women will only affect girls is simply crazy. Young people of both genders are deeply affected by repeated sexist portrayals of women in movies, music, and culture more generally. Yes, it can have very different effects on boys and girls. But how is it worse for a girl to think of herself as having to choose between harpy or sex object than it is for a boy to view all women as harpies or sex objects?

Then, I see that apparently Efron’s got a bit of a bobblehead disorder, from Photoshop Disasters:

And finally, I stumble upon a thought-provoking video, “Who is Zac Efron and Why Isn’t He Black?” But unfortunately, I’m distracted by the fact that the Google ad in the crawl skips quickly from “Black Women White Men” to “Fly Hawaiian Airlines”, looking like a complete sentence informing me of the demographics of this airline’s customers, and then as much as I agree with many of Zennie Abraham’s comments, I’m lost to all critical discourse.

2 Responses to “Zac Efron Round-up”

  1. Jon April 24, 2009 at 3:03 pm #

    I think Feministing is interpreting the NY Times review wrong. They’re cautioning girls because they are the main audience of the film. NY Times could have easily said “Boys and girls are particularly cautioned,” but let’s get real. Girls are seeing this movie for Zac. Please show me the theater filled with 10-14 year old boys seeing this movie. I’m not saying boys will avoid this movie…but let’s get real. The reviewer was simply addressing the core audience.

  2. Jennifer April 24, 2009 at 5:34 pm #

    Jon, by that logic I’d expect the Times to especially caution boys about movies like “Adventureland” and “Observe and Report.” Not the case.

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