A New York Times magazine profile on bombshell actress Megan Fox, the so-called "next Angelina [Jolie]" appears to be falling strangely flat. The profile begins with the arresting "Megan Fox is a fox"and goes on to relate how Fox now finds her self-cultivated "sexy bitch" image confining. Pundits are cocking an eyebrow at this and plenty of other lines from the profile, particularly Fox's claim that women hate her because they envy her looks.
- Other Girls Are Just Jealous? Jezebel's Irin Carmon doesn't buy Fox's assertion--which the profile's author doesn't question--that her unpopularity with women has to do with jealousy. Is it jealousy, asks Carmon, or is it that women hate how Fox reinforces "high school notions of what sexiness is"? Moreover, Carmon admits, "if every woman was truly turned off by the 'Cosmo brand of sex,' that magazine wouldn't still be selling 1.6 million copies a month." She's interested to find Fox "herself ... chafing against this cartoonish image of her, even as she's participated in building it, one self-consciously raunchy men's magazine quote at a time.
- That Whole Sacrificial Lamb Thing Chris Dierkes at the League of Ordinary Gentlemen dissects all the religious images Fox uses to describe herself in the profile, which, he points out, are rather mixed up. Here's his take on her juxtaposition of "sacrificial lamb" and "pedestal" and the "self-conscious" sort of "sexual-religious interplay" it implies:
She becomes a kind of Lilith-figure, a screen on which to project male lurid fantasies of both self-immolation and boundary-breaking terrain intertwining both sexuality and violence. By breaking the worldspace into pure and impure (holy and profane), the repressed/held back becomes instantly that much more attractive and seductive ... A sacrificial lamb isn’t put on a pedestal. The pedestal refers more to a fetish object–in both the religious and, in Fox’s case, certainly sexual sense. A pedestalized being is one that is turned essentially into an angel or god-like figure so that they can descend to demonic status, which in her case fits with the profile of Fox being possessed by a demon and cannibalistic-style eating men while getting it on with girls.
- This Profile Misses Conor Friedersdorf crystallizes the general reaction, writing that he felt "as though [he'd] read what just missed being the rare worthwhile celebrity profile. What is the genre for if not something more than just telling us about some celebrity?" What he feels is missing is "the writer's insights ... The subject provides all sorts of opportunities to suggest a theory," but Hirschberg appears to leave everything at face value, he says.
- A Poem to Distill the Important Parts The Awl's Alex Balk channels James Thurber in a poem covering all the key components of the Fox piece, including the banal suggestion at the end that beauty doesn't last forever:
Quite clearly rocks
She’s fun and self-aware
She plays the game and knows the rules:
Boys like it when girls swear
Lives in a box
Where all the men behold her
But not forever; watch the clocks:
All pretty girls grow older