Months ago I wanted to blog about high heels. In the past few weeks we've been discussing representation. More recently, we've looked at different examples "in the spotlight" such as Penelope Cruz and Jennifer Lopez. I would like to just throw out some thoughts, randomly, perhaps linking these things together.
We discussed the relevance of choice, which I believe pertains to all of these matters. So are high heels a symbol which may be seen as oppressive and which then may be reclaimed to offer a feminist agency? Can a personal choice simply be chalked up to just that, choice? I think they're pretty, therefore, the choice that I have made shatters any argument one would have regarding oppression becuase I took ownership over my choice? Which leads me to...
Jennifer Lopez and Penelope Cruz and their "choices" in hollywood regarding representation. What are their allegiances "supposed" to be toward? Should either be making decisions upon what brand to endorse or what roles to play based upon a larger audience that they may or may not choose to represent? If by the "HEELS" argument, it should be more important that they may choose the things that may give themselves the most mobility (which seems to turn these issues into more class-based)? I realize that J. Lo's and Penelope's decisions are not being formed in the classroom, but with the heels argument it was difficult for me not to argue the full spectrum of choice when it comes to representation.
I don't quite HAVE representation yet. Or maybe I'm making it more complicated than it needs to be. My first semester at the U I jumped into a CSCL class at the 3000 level and I didn't learn what "DISCOURSE" really was until the end of the semester. I feel that two years later I still am grappling with representation. Especially in terms of film. For this I will return to J. Lo.
So we have
J. Lo's personal life (which few can claim to know).
J. Lo's career (biography, if you will).
J. Lo's individual jobs (some of which may be a part of the personal life or the career).
J. Lo's films (which would be the most arguable as NOT having anything to do with her personal life).
When we discuss representation, I have no idea (STILL) how we can even get our heads around this. I would understand more if we talked only about someone's political activism, or about only someone's writing, as it comes from within, right? I don't understand representation when someone has all of these layers that could have NOTHING to do with them.
What are the choices in J. Lo's personal life, as opposed to career choice, as opposed to acting roles? My point is with Maid in Manhattan or Selena, I find it very difficult to have these discussions because they are not her. Are we discussing that she is Nuyorican and made the DECISION to play a Mexican American and the subsequent problematics? Or are we discussing how someone else framed this "star" and how WELL she is portraying or representing someone? It's like a tornado for me, really.
Anyway, I could probably zone in and choose a side and argue it, but first i need to get over "representation." I still have questions about representation regarding sexuality...