Celebrity, Women

Fiona Apple’s Health is None of Our Business

On Thursday night, Fiona Apple was performing in Portland (OR) when a heckler decided that Apple’s set was the perfect time to air her thoughts on the singer’s health.

According to E! Online, it went down like this:

 

“Fiona! Get healthy! We want to see you in 10 years!” the female heckler yelled out, according to Stereogum. Apple was said to be visibly distraught and proceeded to yell back, “I am healthy! Who the f—k do you think you are? I want to get the f—k out of here. I want the house lights on so I watch you leave!” The lights reportedly did come on and the very vocal audience member threw out one more remark while exiting, saying, “I saw you 20 years ago and you were beautiful!”Apple subsequently began to cry and expressed her frustration to the crowd. She managed to collect herself enough to perform “Waltz (Better Than Fine),” but she sang it while slightly sobbing. She soon became very emotional again and, apologizing to the audience, walked off the stage, thereby bringing the show to an end.

 

 

This pisses me off for a myriad of reasons. Who does this heckler think she is? Is she a relative? Is she Apple’s doctor? Is she just trying to get attention? From any stand point, that’s just wrong. Going to a Fiona Apple show is not the same as going to say, a One Direction concert–Apple plays small venues, 1D plays arenas and stadiums, where if you scream anything, they will most likely not hear it as 20,000 other people are screaming things at the same time. Also, this was a personal attack under the guise of concern. It was not the time nor the place for this heckler to say anything to Apple.

 

Fiona Apple performing

 

 

While we have published posts that do talk about body types and health of women in the media, they were never to shame, they were written to critique the gossip blogs that were spinning these stories into national concern. This piece is written to critique the person who heckled a performer to the point of tears because she feels they don’t appear to be her definition of healthy. Yes, her appearance has changed over the years, but that’s still no reason to heckle someone when they are onstage in front of an audience. Even people commenting on the story on other blogs/social media sites share the sentiment of, “oh, that sucks, but Apple obviously has an eating disorder and/or heroin problem. She was skinny when she was in the “Criminal” video in ’97, but she had a youthful glow about her, so the heckler kind of has a point.”

 

 

What point? To call out someone’s appearance and then decide that they may or may not have a serious addiction/disorder? To make a singer/songwriter cry in the middle of her set? To shame her for being what they feel is too thin? To point out that her appearance has changed over the years?  It’s bullshit. It’s so rude, and unnecessary. Apple’s health is none of our concern as she has not chosen to disclose any details in regard to the matter. Was she endangering herself at the concert? Was she endangering her audience? No? Then this heckler is just being mean to get some attention (which sadly, she has succeeded in doing.) And also, I would like to point out that just because someone “looks” like they may have an eating disorder or drug addiction doesn’t always mean that they do.

 

So what’s your take? Was the heckler right to call out Apple, or is this just more shaming?

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Celebrity, Sex, Women

Lena Dunham Hates The Girls XXX Parody

Yesterday, it was announced that Hustler is releasing This Ain’t Girls XXX, a porn parody of the controversial HBO comedy. Lena Dunham is not thrilled. At all. Creator/star/writer/director/producer Dunham took to Twitter to explain why she wasn’t happy with Hustler:

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It’s refreshing to see someone take a stand against something they find offensive. In this day and age, it seems like female celebrities are just expected to follow the “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” way of life, especially in regard to sexuality. Rather than be offended, laugh it off! Be like the boys! Uh, no. If you’re not comfortable, there’s a reason you’re not comfortable.

 

While I’m proud of Dunham’s response (and surprised, I thought she’d be all for it, to be honest,) I can’t help but have so many mixed feelings on the subject of porn itself. It’s odd how porn has gone from trying to be on par with mainstream films (please watch Inside Deep Throat, the documentary about the controversy behind 1972’s Deep Throat, if you can. Linda Lovelace’s story is so heartbreaking and the whole hoopla was so…odd. You just have to watch it) to protested to “empowering” and now it seems to be back again.

 

Is porn itself sexist? No. The core of porn is that it’s two (and sometimes more) people engaging in sexual acts. That is not sexist. What is sexist, however, is the porn industry. I remember watching a porn clip with some of my guy friends in college, and while they were all for it, I looked at and thought–really? This is what gets you guys going? I found myself very uncomfortable with an often “faceless” penis going at a very busty young woman, who looked like she was having an orgasm just looking at a bald middle aged man. It irritated me then and it irritates me now.

 

While you do hear the stories of people from broken lives entering the business, you also seem to hear stories of people doing it just to do it. While Farrah Abraham denies that her “sex tape” was actually a porno, you have to admit that it’s kind of awesome that she took control, hiring her co-star (James Deen, who is something of a teen idol despite his profession) and using a professional studio to create the scene. Jenna Jameson made a pretty penny with making her own line of sex toys and being one of the first to start a pay site. And there is the rise of feminist porn, porn made for and by women.

 

But that doesn’t really change that porn is still problematic for many, and it’s not just about the way women are presented. Even in gay porn, there’s still issues, especially when it comes to barebacking and the question of whether or not it objectifies men–I can’t help but notice that some gay porn studios like to take risks with scenes–coaches and baseball players that look disturbingly young, for example.  And there are some scenes from certain studios that look very close to non-consensual, presenting one performer as being intoxicated and the popular jailbird and security guard scenario. That isn’t all pornography, but there seems to be a lot of it.

 

But if you indulge in porn, should you be ashamed? Isn’t shame part of the reason pornography exists, as our society is so backwards when it comes to sexuality? What’s your take on this very loaded issue, LivLunatics?

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