Heroically Blonde

Laurie and Debbie say:

Unfortunately, this story is true. Laurie instantly recognized, however, that it ought to be a movie starring Reese Witherspoon. Honestly, it would be much better as a movie than it is as a newspaper story.

Here’s how it goes. Plucky blonde Reese is horrified when her sorority sisters are “evicted” from the sorority house for the varying crimes of being not white, not thin, and not stylish. (If you want to cast the rest of the movie, the women of color are all played by strikingly beautiful new faces, and the “fat women” are all the size of Kate Winslet, except for the one played by Catherine Zeta-Jones in a fat suit. As the essential love interest, let’s cast the psychologist who did the original study of what people on campus think of the various sororities.)

At any rate, Reese goes on a crusade for “fairness” for her sorority sisters. She publishes leaflets. She stages demonstrations. She loses her temper to a person in authority (a dean or a stuffy national officer of the sorority). The evicted ex-members of the sorority don’t show up as angry, or as politically active; instead, we see them living sadly in the dorms, missing the exciting sorority life, losing their boyfriends to women who are still in sororities (except for Catherine, who is valiantly trying to lose weight and make herself more beautiful so she can get back into the sorority “legitimately”).

The only question is how the movie ends:

1) Reese wins her crusade, and the women are reinstated as they are.

2) Reese loses to the forces of evil, and heroically goes to live in a *gasp* dormitory with her old friends, where we are given to understand that they might actually make a life they can stand, as long as they have Reese with them.

3) After Catherine commits suicide because she just can’t stay away from the ice-cream sundaes that are her downfall, Reese convinces all of her friends, both still in the sorority and outside, to stand on their desks in support of the dead woman and Reese’s psychologist boyfriend (okay, that’s been done).

At any rate, the important points are: 1) the evicted women are not the ones working to change what happened to them; 2) only one heroine to a movie, thank you (the fact that in the real world half the remaining women quit the sorority has to be changed for the sake of the story); and 3) life without a sorority is completely unbearable, unless you have a plucky blonde to help you through it.

Oh, and by the way? When all is said and done, Catherine wins the best supporting actress Oscar. And she appears in a dress that makes it absolutely clear that she was never really fat.

Reese+Witherspoon, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Kate Winslet, sorority, body image, fat, racism, college, size acceptance, movies, Body Impolitic