I have been in LA now for ten months. Four months ago I booked my first job as a mom on a sitcom, and the day of the audition happily shared the experience via social media. At that time, a particular acquaintance responded…(I’ll paraphrase here)
“What?!?! You auditioned for them?? I hope it wasn’t for a *Mom* role! I just don’t see you that way!”
Now, not only did this person rain on my audition parade (rude!), but with even more thoughtlessness, they criticized my opportunity. Because they didn’t see me “that way”. You know, the “Mom” way. As opposed to the “Sexy” way. The “Young” way. The “I-once-wore-thigh-highs-on-stage-and-you-really-liked-it-so-now-I-have-to-do-it-forever” way.
I commented back to him (& others that drive this industry) to stop making us (females) fit into the tiny boxes drawn by your nether regions. And that I was damn proud to get that audition. Will someday be damn proud to be a mom. And imagine at that point I’ll be even sexier - BECAUSE I HAVE BROUGHT FORTH LIFE!
Now, fast forward to today…
I read a fantastic article, by Karen Valby for Entertainment Weekly, and decided to share that with my friends. LOVED the writing, the tone, the truth - all of it.
(Here’s a tiny, delicious snippet - “The real foolishness in all this, though, is the critics’ suggestion that the person who should feel shame is not the We’re the Millers screenwriter but the woman hired to perform what’s on the page. Let me be clear: If a woman in your script is a stripper, then the problem is you — specifically, your laziness and your limp imagination.”)
Then, this SAME acquaintance decided to speak out and comment, this time criticizing the sexual expression/choice of role for some female celebrities, calling it desperation or attention grabbing. The entire point of Valby’s commentary completely escaped him. So, I said as much and told him to read it again. (Though in all honesty, he may be a lost cause.)
But after mulling things over this evening, I now find myself more outraged than ever. YOU CAN’T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS. I was criticized for auditioning for a mom role because that wasn’t sexy enough for you, and then in defense of the ridiculous choices we women in our not-20’s have to choose from in regards to work, you say choosing to take one of those “sexier” roles is desperation! MAKE UP YOUR MIND.
Or don’t. I’m done with you.
However, MY mind IS made up. I am not a desperate slut for choosing to do a sexual role or for playing a stripper or for playing a prostitute. I am doing my JOB with what is written for me. And when I am cast as a mom for a kid’s show, that doesn’t negate my sensuality or invalidate my sexuality as a woman. Certainly not because I’m wearing a cardigan instead of G-string.
But this is what we’re dealing with, people. Regular Joe and Jane Schmoes have these opinions, and twisted world-views, and unachievable standards for women they’ve never even met. And to every single one of those people I say STOP shaming me for showing every part of who we are as women. Give me something MORE to work with than being a stripper or a soccer mom.
Better yet - don’t you dare get in my way when I’ve written something better my own damn self.