Thursday, February 3, 2011

Inside the Mind of a Jezebel Reader

There's nothing I love to snark on more than Jezebel. For those not in the know, Jezebel is the self proclaimed feminist blog of Gawker. It stands for, "Celebrity, Sex, Fashion For Women. Without Airbrushing."

What does looking at Jezebel comments tell us about the users of Gawker's distaff site? Well, let's take a look!

In an environment ill suited for one's sighs and well timed eye rolls, why bother with anything Dorothy Parker-esque? Short, succinct sentences like, "Um? The point? You missed it" are enough. An "Uh?" or a "Seriously?" will also suffice. Sometimes, sentences prove to be too much for the Jezebel commenter. At times like this, she'll seek to show her approval with a gif of Orson Wells clapping or the single but potent word, "Hearted."

And as always, the words, "Why don't you have a seat over there," or the ever subtle inclusion of Chris Hansen's face work wonders in a way that an thoughtful analysis never could.

In the Jezebel world, a celebrity is like a good friend. And a good friend is there for you. As we learned from Judy Blume, a true friend doesn't lie about her menstrual cycle, and she certainly doesn't commit the faux pas of looking prettier than you, especially when you're not feeling at your loveliest. Megan Fox, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Laura Danker--the ladies at Jezebel are on to you.

But there's nothing like a woman who falls outside of patriarchal norms--usually due to weight or skin color. Mindy Kaling, Gabourey Sidibe, Crystal Renn, and Christina Hendricks are, thus, acceptable celebrities to love. Attention must be taken, though--at times, even the above mentioned celebs are considered attractive by a heterosexual man.

When that happens--when Crystal Renn sheds a dress size or two, or when Christina Hendricks appears looking scantily clad and ethereal on the cover of a men's magazine--careful measures must be taken. A good Jezebel commenter must affect just the right amount of concern and dismay for her idol inching closer towards mainstream appeal. Concern for the evils of anorexia or Photoshop must be invoked.

And at all costs: remember to rail against the evil that is sexyface. (Jezebel's odes against attractive women looking sexy in photographs rivals only Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God for pure vitriol.)

What else can we glean? The Jezebel reader is a busy gal. Jezebel lets her multitask. Posts about American Apparel's sexism, anti-fat policies, and propensity for dayglo unitards allow her to both exercise her outrage and find a cute outfit.

Righteous anger at the fact that most clothing stores cater to the non-overweight women are another way that the Jezebel commenter can get in her daily dose of outrage while finding an outlet for the angst created when she has to create another notch in her cute (but reprehensibly straight sized) Forever 21 belt to get it to fit.

Reading Vogue, looking at a billboard, or browsing through model memoirs are a convenient way to work up anger about The State of the World These Days. The best part? Railing against the proliferation of eating disorders and supermodel abuse means you don't even have to break out anything as complicated as Thomas Friedman for dummies (also known as Nicholas Kristoff).

When it comes to not fitting into the mainstream beauty ideal--whether it's due to not being white enough or thin enough, Jezebel's got you covered. Didn't feel like going for a run this weekend? Blame it on patriarchy 'n privilage [sic] and you're good to go.

Finally, if you're trying to get a Jezebel user to like someone, try slut shaming her. Kathie Lee Gifford found out the hard way that when you gently suggest that Snooki replace the Velcro keeping her legs together with say, super glue, even the most anti-Guido of the Jezebelles will leap to the defense of the Jersey Shore gals.