I am a Latin American woman in a field that is primarily based on the female physique. I am a dancer. It is my body that is viewed moving across the stage and the only thing that converts my dancing from something just kinesthetic into an art form, is my expression, my intention behind the movement. So it is from this perspective that I approach the Emmy Awards segment with Sofia Vergara and the President of the Academy. What was the intention behind having Sofia Vergara on display like a shiny new object at a Department Store? What was that scene attempting to express?
Huff Post reported that the Emmy’s were trying to use Sofia’s body as:
evidence that TV throughout the years has known howto present viewers with “something compelling to look at.”
Upon watching this segment, with Sofia in that beautiful white dress, letting her self be the punch line to the President of the Academy’s oh so witty commentary, all I could think of was, this reminds me of another Hollywood star who was objectified throughout the entirety of her career. Of course I speak of Marilyn Monroe; iconic and tragic, just like this segment will be remembered. I get the humor behind “our academy is more diverse than ever before, both in front of and behind the camera,” (as Sofia Vergara spins on a box), but I am not laughing.
How the Emmys thought they were going to get away with this on a night that #Askhermore was getting women from all over the world riled up, and demanding that the media treat female actresses as professionals, rather than walking and talking advertisements for dress designers, is beyond me. Or perhaps they wanted the controversy. As the old cliché goes, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.”
I admire the female form and applaud anytime that a woman with a very womanly body, is celebrated in the media. I give a standing ovation, when that woman is a Latin woman who has succeeded in Hollywood despite the curves, the accent and the limited range of roles she is offered. I can even congratulate Hollywood for believing that they have made sufficient strides towards diversifying, and actually presenting programming that features actors and stories that reflect current society. But blatant sexism and the propagation of the Latin woman in Television stereotype, (all T & A), negates any of the positive intentions the Academy may have had when they conceptualized this scene. All I can say to the Emmys is, consult with the women in your staff more often. You know, ask her more.
By: W. Castellanos-Wolf
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