Well SOMEONE has to defend her.
Now that Shear Genius is done, we wanted to get back to the kinds of posts we envisioned for this blog when we first started out: bitchy, judgmental screeds about whatever pops into our heads. We’re a couple weeks late on this topic, but that’s fine by us. We never did like being on the bandwagon at the same time as everyone else. What topic are we referring to? Rosie.
Here’s the thing: we don’t get why she engenders such rage in people. Actually, we’ll amend that: we get why; we just don’t like what it says about our culture.
Look, she’s no saint and as spokespeople for causes go, she often does more harm than good. There never seems to be anyone willing to support her. Everyone has an opinion about her and no one seems to have a good one, not even the people who are ostensibly on the same side of whatever issue she’s mouthing off about.
But we like Rosie. Not enough to fantasize about being BFFs, because even we have to admit, she’s a handful and she doesn’t exactly come off as stable most of the time. No, she’s not someone we’d enjoy being stuck with in an elevator, but that’s not the point.
The point (well, one of them) is, in an age of increasingly packaged, plastic celebrities, she is blessedly, refreshingly real. She says whatever pops into her head and she says what she really thinks, consequences be damned. That means of course, that she’s going to say some really stupid and offensive things every now and then, like the infamous “ching-chong.” The crime is not that she says offensive or inflammatory things; the crime (if you can call it that) is that she stubbornly digs in her heels and refuses to back down from them, even when it’s clear that she inadvertantly offended some group of people. Any one of us have had thoughts that, if we expressed them to millions of people, would naturally offend some of them.
But even that’s not our main point. As trite as it sounds, if she were a man, not only would her behavior not be controversial, it would almost certainly be lauded and virtually no one would respond to “his” points by pointing out how unattractive or fat “he” is. THAT’s the point. And that bothers the shit out of us. It is the 21st fucking century, people, and we should be far, FAR beyond the point where women are held to different rhetorical standards than men.
To be honest, we admire her just for getting out of bed some mornings. We can’t imagine what it must be like to constantly have the press and the public calling for your head or making nasty comments about your appearance simply because you had the nerve to have an opinion and the courage to express it. Don’t get us wrong, we’re not trying to pass off a “poor little Rosie” argument here. As with so many multi-millionaire celebrities, our sympathy has its limits because she can always cry herself to sleep on her bags of money, secure in the knowledge that no matter what, she can always get her name in the papers and get people talking about her.
But as we said, we like Rosie for being totally who she is in a time and place where who she is – an overweight, non-heterosexual woman – is still considered fair game for open ridicule. As much as she sticks her foot in her mouth and says things that make us cringe, we’ll take her over so-desperate-to-be-loved-it’s-nauseating Ellen any day of the week.
Ro, you keep mouthing off. We may not always like what you say or how you say it, but the fact that you say it at all is a testament to your bravery and your convictions.