The Dawn Chorus

Fresh Australian Feminism

The Daily Mail‘s Giant Leap For Teen Body Image

Posted by Clem Bastow on July 17, 2008

File this one under “and they wonder why young girls have so many issues with their body image and self-esteem”: The Daily Mail has decided to chastise Rumer Willis (aka daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore) for her apparent “fashion faux pas” on the red carpet. Here’s their spin:

The 19-year-old daughter of actors Bruce Willis and Demi Moore left little to the imagination as she posed in an unflattering gown at the Power Of Paws launch party at the Helen Mills Gallery in New York.

The aspiring actress was clearly missing a bra as her skimpy dress just covered her youthful breasts.

Her overexposed chest wasn’t the only fashion mistake Rumer made last night – she also teamed her dress with garish yellow patent ballet pumps.

Yes, you read that all correctly. Here’s a photo of the brazen young hussy, included in the story:

Am I the only person who thinks a) she looks beautiful, fresh and young and, b) hardly “overexposed”?

Actually, the whole Rumer Willis blogger hate campaign seriously disturbs me. Gossip bloggers like Perez Hilton (no surprise there) have been attacking her for ages now, criticising her hairstyles, her fashion choices, and her apparently “huge” chin – and now, thanks to the curious trickle-up effect that high profile blogs are having on the mainstream media, it seems the newspapers (etc) are joining the party.

Putting aside the fact that there is absolutely nothing wrong with her face/body/life, do they not see how incredibly damaging it is to wage this sort of a reign of critical terror on a young girl (who has only recently turned 19) when you consider what other normal-looking teenage girls must think when they see Rumer attacked for the way she looks?

Fortunately Rumer herself is miles more mature than most of the gossip bloggers and trash magazine editors out there (from the Mail article):

Recently, the teenager hit back at internet gossips who criticised her prominent chin, which she inherited from her famous father.

At a press conference for The House Bunny, Rumer told US TV network E!: ‘Everybody has an opinion, and we live in America so you’re allowed to.

‘As long as you are comfortable with who you really are and your friends, and the people that are around you know that, that’s all that really matters.

‘Hopefully, young girls will watch this and feel confident about themselves and go, “OK, that girl’s not entirely the ideal of what a perfect picture is supposed to be and she feels confident and beautiful, then I can too”. If we can have the ability to do that, I’m very excited about that.’

Sometimes keeping a watchful eye on the celebrity/gossip/”entertainment news” machine leaves me feeling decidedly depressed, but the fact that there are smart young women like Rumer Willis starting to make themselves heard means there’s hope for the future.

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