Part of a Whole Person: My Thoughts on Angelina Jolie’s “Starving” Right Leg

by: Khai Devon

Angelina Jolie’s right leg and left leg are talking again, according to RL’s twitter feed. Next award show, LL gets the slit—and all the attention. They’re cool. What a relief. When I clicked onto Yahoo this morning to get my headlines and see what was going on in the world, obviously my biggest concern was that a celebrity’s gams might be fighting with each other. It’s like restless leg syndrome writ large—or, I guess, writ really really small because have you seen how tiny Angie’s legs are?

I know, I know. This is the same person who wrote about never paying attention to pop culture, and now I’m writing about a celebrity. And not, actually, a whole celebrity—just a celebrity’s right leg. You know, that’s kind of my point. There’s a bill making its way through Uganda’s parliament right now that would imprison people who didn’t report homosexuals and implement the death penalty for people who had homosexual intercourse, but we’re talking about Angelina Jolie’s right leg. There’s an active sex slave trade going on in America right now this minute—but we’re parceling out a woman known as a sex symbol into the pieces she showed off on the red carpet and giving each piece of her exposed flesh its own fifteen minutes of fame.

I’m not against having fun, and I don’t think awards shows are bad—nor do I think there’s anything wrong with appreciating the sex appeal in other people. However, I do think when we’ve gotten to a point where the most talked about subject after the Academy Awards wasn’t the message in The Help, a book (yeah, it was a really good book first) about racism, love, devotion and strength but was instead the foot or two of naked leg an actress flashed at the microphone—people, we’ve got a problem. A serious one.

This goes beyond not including queer people in the narratives pop culture gives us as a guideline for how to define ourselves. This is a classic example of taking a real live human being and turning herinto an inanimate object, to be devoured by our voracious appetite for scandal, and then spit out and tossed away when we’ve finished chewing all the flavor we can. It’s what we do, in pop culture. It’s what we do, with every romantic comedy and every pop starlet we force to grow up too fast and then shun and mock because they became a grown up while they were still a child. It’s what we do, with every male star who either has to be a sweet and sensitive sappy savior or an action hero with abs of steel.

My right leg doesn’t have a Twitter feed. It has bruises, from where I ran into a table while I was carrying a duffel bag and a backpack and a latte before I sat down to write this piece. It has a scrape, from I don’t know what. It has cotton and denim covering it, and it’s jiggling because two lattes and a chai tea is an acceptable breakfast if it’s cold out. My right leg doesn’t have its own blog. My right leg, in fact, has never spoken. That’s because I’m a person, not parceled out pieces of nakedness. My right leg is connected to a body with a heart and a mind and a story all my own.

Angelina Jolie’s right leg is also part of a whole person. And hey—I just think that matters.

Khai Devon is a genderqueer pansexual in hir early twenties, about to embark on a life changing adventure, pursuing hir dream of becoming a slam poet in Portland, Oregon. Sie writes blogs at disturbinglynormal.wordpress.com and duffelbagandadream.wordpress.com, updating whenever the words overflow.

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