What to do about Joanna Krupa? Just when it seemed safe to support her on Dancing With the Stars (she and Derek totally ruled Team Tango, after all) she goes and does an interview with Fox News and starts trash-talking feminism.
You see, Krupa (a swimsuit model by trade) will be featured on the cover of next month's Playboy and she doesn't want feminists to say a word about it.
I think they [women who don't support the magazine] suffer from lack of knowledge and tunnel vision. How many of those self-important, so-called 'feminists' have been on the set when a celebrity shot a Playboy spread? There you go. What is feminist about discriminating a photo shoot just because it involves female (partial) nudity that happens to give men pleasure? Pathetic.
Aha. So we're pathetic now, because we don't want to praise her decision to pose for a magazine that trades in objectifying women. And, you know, we "so-called feminists" should just go to the set and see the gender equality for ourselves, because it's not like just a privileged few young, conventionally beautiful, able-bodied, mostly white women are invited to participate. All women could be in Playboy if they weren't so darned uptight, right?
For the record, here is Krupa's December cover:
Apparently Krupa chose the photographer for her shoot (Rankin) and argued with Hugh Hefner over the artistic and modern edginess of the pics (Hef wanted something more traditional). And hey, that's great. No one here's against artsy photos, or even artsy photos of nude women, but that's not all that this is. When it comes to publications like Playboy, Hustler, or even Maxim, let's call a spade a spade. Those magazines run nude photographs of a certain type of woman in order to appeal to a certain type of man (and his erection). To pretend that this is a purely artistic endeavor is almost as ludicrous as Krupa's claim that posing in Playboy is akin to going topless on the beach in St. Tropez (a claim she does make in the interview, btw).
But wait! There's more! Apparently, posing nude for a men's magazine is feminist because you get paid a lot! Who knew?
There are several great reasons why female celebs line up to shoot Playboy: finally a woman gets paid more than a man for comparable work, she gets to set the rules, gets to be in a real team work with other women, as many key positions at Playboy are in fact held by women!
Phew! Some people might say that a publication that exploits women's bodies and reifies a harmful beauty myth for the pleasures of men is inherently anti-women, but if women work there then that can't be true! And what, pray tell, is the "comparable work" to which Krupa is referring here? What man has posed nude for the cover of Playboy? (And if that has occurred, why didn't said man get paid more?) To play the "teamwork" card seems especially bogus here. Again, Krupa is implying that Playboy photo shoots are opportunities available to all women who have a mind for teamwork and who respect and want to work with other women. She is so blind to her own privilege (gained at least somewhat at the expense of other women due to her cashing in on her conventional "hotness" – how's that for teamwork?) that she can't even see why that statement is so offensive and, frankly, ridiculous.
The bottom line here is that if Krupa wants to pose for Playboy she certainly has every right to do so. In fact, she has done so already (in July of 2005), and she is a swimsuit model, so it's not as if being semi-nude in a sexual way in public is new territory for her. But let's don't lash out at feminists for not supporting her decisions, and let's not pretend that this is anything other than what it is: The exploitation a woman's body for the pleasure of men. Sorry Krups, but them's the facts.
Also, I for one will be throwing my Dancing With the Stars support to Donny Osmond from now on, and I invite other feminists to join me. I think he finds us less pathetic (and he probably won't be on the cover of Playboy any time soon, either).