Call me a sucker (that's cool -- I am), but I'm also an unabashed lover of People Much More Famous And/Or More Rich And/Or More Attractive Than Me Who Still Manage to Give a Damn About Humans Who Aren't Themselves, Their Children, Their Moms or Their Nannies. Those US Weekly roundups that feature a pretty panel of stars who, "just like us!" (or not!) donate their hard-earned millions to orphanages, or sea turtles, or the anti-diamond movement, or whatever -- they offer me a faint, pungent hint of hope for humanity. (Especially when the star in question's cause celebre is animal-related, because, well, kitties. FOREVER AND EVER.) So naturally I love it when celebrities get behind feminist causes (as long as it doesn't feel fake, or forced, or like someone just handed them an honorary "hi you're an ambassador!" certificate and asked them to stand around and make sexy-pout for photo ops).
Take, for example, the awesome Ashley Judd, whom I've adored since her second role in a lovely, underrated little movie called "Ruby in Paradise" a zillion years ago; she seems genuinely smart and passionate about feminism and social justice, and she puts her money where her (adorable rosebud) mouth is. And Oprah, of course, because HELLO IT'S OPRAH and she's the Most Charitable Celebrity ever, pretty much, and because Business Week thinks she's "the greatest black philanthropist in a American history," and because everything she touches turns to warm, generous, fuzzy, inspirational gold. And who could forget Angelina Jolie? I was iffy about her when Jen and Brad first split, but I couldn't possibly muster up much loathing for her now, because not only do she and Pitt seem to have pretty much the Planet's Most Perfect Relationship, she also just kicks so much ass on the activism front. And there are plenty of others, too, like Margaret Cho, and Rosario Dawson, and Madonna (say what you will)...The latest non-boldfaced celebrity/athlete to support a ladies' cause is pro surfer Cori Schumacher, who recently launched a Change.org petition asking women's surf brand Roxy to cut out the sexy crap in its latest ad campaign and get back to what it's supposedly all about: SURFING, man. As Schumacher writes, "Roxy’s recent advertisement for a surf competition features [Stephanie Gilmore,] a 5-time World Champion surfer suggestively undressing [see image above] without showing us her face, and never actually shows her surfing! This tells young girls it’s more important to be sexy than to be strong or a good surfer."Schumacher amassed more than 20,000 signatures in just the first week, and she went to meet with Roxy reps on September 12 in the hopes of fighting the current trend of "male surfers [being] able to earn a living off their prowess and ... [being] easily picked up sponsorships. Female surfers, on the other hand, had to present themselves as modelesque beach babes in order to get meager sponsorships."
Good on Schumacher for standing up for healthier images of women in fashion/sports advertising. To me, the ad in question doesn't seem much more sexified than most women's clothing spots these days -- but it also clearly has, well, very little to do with surfing, as Schumacher presciently notes. It also seems to have very little to do with clothes, considering Gilmore isn't actually wearing anything except underwear. In the video version of the ad, she puts on a shirt, but ... bah. What's the point in featuring a champion surfer if you can't even see her face to NOTICE it's a champion surfer? (Apparently Roxy intended the ad to "tease" audiences before making the big reveal about who the sexy faceless surfer-chick was.)
Which charitable celebrities do you like, and which rub you the wrong way?