The PJ Tatler

Spare Me the Vergara Defense

vergaraoldschool

The conservative right wing has risen to the defense of actress Sofia Vergara’s Emmys pun. I’m pretty sure they’re only doing this to annoy liberal feminists, which is a stupid reason to defend anyone’s bad joke. What conservatives fail to realize is that, by defending Vergara’s vapid display of beauty on the altar, they’re putting themselves in the same camp as those feminist liberals they claim to hate.

What made Vergara’s 360 on prime time acceptable? Her beauty and the fact that she was fairly modest in her presentation. Vergara’s is the safe, 1940’s glamour style that conservatives love, equal parts nostalgic, respectable, and most importantly, tantalizing tease for those strapping young American boys in bluchers and madras ties. Beyonce, villified by conservatives for her lascivious performance at the VMA’s, is everything right wing men loathe, despise and even fear from the feminist left. She is dangerous, grotesquely sexual, and lusts after deviance. Instead of addressing this, conservatives simply sought an alternative goddess to fit their metaphorical and sexual needs. In truth, there is nothing different from Beyonce and Vergara’s respective performances, except for the fact that Vergara kept her legs closed, abiding by that age-old Bible belt bit of advice: Who’s going to buy the cow when you give the milk away for free?

Even the strongest of conservative analyses of the Beyonce/Vergara dispute includes:

As for the examples being set for young women: if you have a choice between wearing a tasteful, expensive dress and standing on a turntable to make a joke, or doing whatever Beyonce is singing about, I believe most American mothers would join me in strongly urging their daughters to choose the turntable.

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Teasingly clad in the kitchen… I bet she’s making you pie!

That commentary is by John Hayward at Human Events, who goes on to explain:

What this is really all about is tribalism, gesture politics, signifying cultural identity by making the “approved” choice.

Said “tribalism” exists on both sides of the aisle. Vergara is being held up by conservatives as a goddess strictly for her willingness to embrace her beauty in a modest fashion on live television. Forget that she’s a woman who didn’t get her big break in the notoriously age-driven entertainment industry until she was in her late 30’s, started her own clothing line, survived thyroid cancer, or is the highest paid woman in American television. Heck, let’s even forget the machine gun bra of Machete.  Instead, let’s just talk about how pretty she is and how well she takes a joke, as opposed to those…what? Hairy-pitted feminazis? By the way, American entertainment execs (mainly men) require Vergara to dye her naturally blonde hair brown so that she appears more “ethnic”. That little ironic tidbit didn’t come up in all those “she’s so hot” (or “hott” as Mollie Hemingway likes to spell it) comments, either.

Let’s face it: Vergara isn’t dumb. She knows, as do all actresses, that her body will make or break her career. Compare the earlier seasons of Modern Family to the later ones and its obvious how much time she (along with the other women on the show) spend at the gym and counting carbs. But, that does matter, and it won’t matter as long as conservatives participate in goddess worship. When an entire industry enthrones a woman before a live international audience, we shouldn’t be cheering on her objectification – legs open or closed. Tacit acceptance is bad enough, but when we go so far as to praise Vergara at the expense of those “ugly liberal feminists” we play into the same warped thinking that allows said feminists to glorify Beyonce as Queen Bey. The conservative metaphor is so simplistic it’s mind blowing: Vergara is pretty, therefore we are beautious, as opposed to Beyonce who is virulent, just like those ugly feminists who support her. Way to think outside the box.

Vergara’s tease and Beyonce’s show both work to illustrate the idea that women are valued for their physical appearance, and are expected to sacrifice their intellect, talent, and personal history at the altar of public adoration. So, dear fellow conservatives, stop thinking that you’ve taken the higher ground for bowing in awe of Ms. Vergara. Your admiration is as long-lasting and meaningful as incense burning on the altar. Quit trying to console yourselves with the idea that you are better than your leftist counterparts because your goddess looks prettier, has a better sense of humor, and knows how to cross her legs in public. On the contrary, your idolization of Vergara does nothing but defend and encourage the gross goddess worship among the feminist left.