Tuesday, September 10, 2013

This Is Something That Drives Me Nuts, So I'm Throwing An Open Letter Out There...

It REALLY bothers me when someone, ANYONE, is singled out with prejudice while their contemporaries are absolved from any wrong-doing, or stupid-doing or any other doings the irascible media can come up with. One of my biggest peeves in this regard is the unmitigated, near-constant public torment of Kristen Stewart. I don't care if she can act (I will always argue that she can, because I first saw her in Speak, and I will never get over that movie. Ever.) The point is that she is a human. And she deserves to be treated like one. I know the media doesn't care about humanity. It cares about selling articles and getting hits on its websites. But WE'RE supposed to care. Yet the public also seems to delight in laughing at, and ostracizing Kristen Stewart, for no legitimate reason I have ever been able to discern. An instance that still sticks in my head, is the Oscars this year. Kristen showed up ON CRUTCHES, with STITCHES in the sole of her foot, and what does the media and public do? Make fun of her for hobbling. Anyone who tried to defend her awkward gait met with scoffing and proclamations that she just wanted to be dramatic. Meanwhile, *most* of the public (even if they didn't actually agree with what he did) managed to come up with arguably viable reasons (free speech) as to why it was okay for Seth MacFarlane to sing 'We Saw Your Boobs' while also making fun of the 'prudes' in the audience who had yet to show theirs.

Anyway, I finally had it today when I saw a 'headline' (I laughed when I typed that just now... headline my ass...) that announced 'Kristen Stewart Displays Noticeable Hair Loss' and so I went and wrote an open letter to Kristen. Yeah, I know, she'll probably never see it. I don't care. It made me feel better.

An Open Letter To Kristen Stewart,

I always seem to end up reading about you, Ms. Stewart. Every time I turn around there is another story in another magazine or online forum. You cheated on someone. You looked funny on the red carpet. You didn’t smile. You DID smile, but at the wrong moment. Everywhere I look, there is another article, another headline. Always focusing on you, and always in a demeaning way.

But here’s the thing that I’ve never seen said by anyone, anywhere, which I think needs to be said by someone, somewhere: NONE OF THESE HORRIBLE ARTICLES WRITTEN ABOUT YOU MATTER.

I’m not going to tell you to ignore them. It’s virtually impossible to ignore something hurtful that’s been publicly written about you. I’m not going to tell you not to take them personally, because it’s virtually impossible not to take something that personally attacks you, personally.

What I AM going to tell you, is that the people who write those articles cannot take your own experiences away from you. They think by writing about something that happened they can somehow lay claim to that event. To influence it after the fact. But you are the one who lived it. YOU. Not them. I do not understand the media’s fascination with trying to disarticulate you. Like some logging machine determined to strip the bark from your body and turn you into another piece of celebrity lumber, the media sets its blades at you from every angle.

Do not yield to them, Ms. Stewart. You are singular in your indomitability. A reticent introvert who manages to quietly eclipse the bold and often tawdry and narcissistic personalities of the extroverts that fill Hollywood to brimming. You are one of the bravest people I’ve ever seen. Because you put yourself out there, doing what you love. Because, time and again, you show up. And you smile. And you endure.

I don’t know if you’ll ever read this, but I hope so. I hope it makes you smile, to be reminded that all those snide commentaries floating around out there were written by people who don’t actually KNOW you. And yes, it’s true that I don’t KNOW you either. But there is something I DO know: That feeble, emotionless girl they make you out to be, doesn’t exist. The actual woman she’s based on, Ms. Stewart, is a resolute artist, who clutches her dreams and ambitions tight to her heart, and will not yield.


Artemis Grey