premiere of her film The Sessions
Helen Hunt got reasonably famous in the sitcom Mad About You, about a New York couple. She fits right in with modern liberal women who have an ambiguous relationship with beauty.
She is one of those Hollywood liberals who regularly voice their opinions on politics, mostly by supporting the running Democrat. She made campaign contributions in 2011 and 2012 to "Obama For America," and she has contributed to Democratic candidates since 1998.
She is wearing the required glamor dress, a Chagoury couture, at the 2012 premier for the film The Sessions, but her face is that of an older woman who cannot (will not) make the extra effort to beautify herself. She has pretty, girlish curls (most likely dyed blonde), but her forty-nine-year-old face is pale and sallow and with no make-up. Her battle with her appearance is layered with curly girlishness and a stubborn avoidance of beauty aids, as though she is channeling some inner-child-puritan. Her mature designer dress is lost in her half-finished get-up.
The film she's starring in is morbid and pornographic:
The Sessions (originally titled The Surrogate) is a 2012 American independent drama film written and directed by Ben Lewin. It is based on the true story of Mark O'Brien, a poet paralyzed from neck down due to polio who hired a sex surrogate to lose his virginity. John Hawkes and Helen Hunt star as O'Brien and sex surrogate Cheryl Cohen Greene respectively [Source: Wikipedia].Hunt says about the film, and her role:
I read the script for this beautiful movie and I didn't realize what a great part it was at first, I just knew that the story was great.This is typical of current movies, where extreme grotesqueness is the script. And Hollywood actors, rather than rebelling en masse, are simply accepting these roles.
Then I met the woman that I play, who is still working as a sex surrogate and she has devoted her life to helping men and women realize their sexual potential in a positive, non-judgmental, non-shamey kind of way. I just couldn't believe it existed in real life, or that I would get to embody it for a few months
Below is a photo of much younger Hunt, which I cannot date. Hunt was never a beauty, but she was reasonably attractive and even pretty in a homely sort of way. But youth is much kinder than middle age, and Hunt can no longer get away with the bare face of her twenties,
or the cute innocence of her childhood.
Her battle with beauty is palpable in her forty-nine-year-old expression.
Perhaps if she had been more attractive rather than homely, she might have also been more rigorous about her demands, and would not have accepted her leading role in this horror film. Her current film, The Session, looks like a cry out for attention, and if she cannot grab it with beauty, she may as well do so with ugliness.
Her previous film roles are not as grotesquely demeaning as this one, but they are bland and dreary. Her more memorable roles are as an over-worked waitress alongside a misanthrope in As Good As It Gets, an overworked careerist woman in What Women Want, and a secondary role as an abandoned wife in Castaway. Actresses chose their roles (or more commonly, at can least refuse roles they don't want). Either Hunt felt she couldn't get anything better, so she settled for less, or she felt these parts really embodied her ability and personality. I can't imagine Elizabeth Taylor, Ava Gardner, Ingrid Bergman or any others of that ilk accepting, let alone campaigning for, such roles.
But Hollywood is still Hollywood, and still feeds off it glamorous history. It requires glamor from its movie stars at the Oscars and Golden Globes. But when away from the Hollywood studios, contemporary actresses bringing out their drab and dreary clothes as though it is their entitlement. Hunt is no different.
But the paparazzi is always there.
Below I respond to a correspondent who sent me a link to:
Study: Female GOP politicians are better looking than liberal politicians
I think this carries over to ordinary people (or at least non-politicians like Hunt). Conservative women, in general, are much more attractive than liberal women. I think this is not just superficially due to their clothing choices, but because they are fundamentally more attractive.
This is a very interesting idea.
I don't know if it is that conservative women groom themselves to be more attractive, and that leftist liberal women don't care (or are conditioned not to care) about how they look. Or if being more beautiful makes one more conservative (and exclusive, as in being beautiful makes one aware that there are hierarchies in life, as in wealth, intelligence, physical prowess, and why not beauty), and that conservative women are indeed more beautiful.
I think it is probably a mixture of both.
One thing I've blogged about is that leftist women are envious of anything that is beautiful, and want to bring this ephemeral thing called beauty down several notches. I think their aim is "equality," but equality with ugliness as the common denominator. And this notion equality is based on envy.
It is much easier to look ugly than to look beautiful.
I think, more than an altruistic, "common woman" solidarity, it is based on envy.
Here are a couple of blogs I've written:
Elimination of beauty
Adept attackers of beauty
Flinging dirt at beauty
Beauty vs. Expression
He who seeks beauty will find it
Below is from my post Pretty Hip[py]:
Modern people have a visceral, negative, reaction to beauty...They hate it. I see it every day in the clothes women wear in the streets: black, gray, formless coats, ugly boots. And in what fashion magazines prescribe for us...
Ugliness rules. In clothing, in films, in art and even in our "representatives" of beauty. I don't think it is a lack of knowledge about beauty. We've developed standards and often unanimous agreement about what constitutes the beautiful...What's going on is that people are hating beauty. It is a form of envy. If I cannot be beautiful, then why is she beautiful." It is like wealth, or intelligence or a sense of entitlement to live anywhere one pleases.