Monday, March 31, 2008

Yahoo launches "woman-friendly" site  

4 comments
"Shine" is a new site that has been launched by Yahoo to bring women information about parenting, sex and love, healthy living, food, career and money, entertainment, fashion, beauty, home life, and astrology. After exploring Shine for a little while, I did notice some positive aspects of it; promoting healthy living, exposing sexism and beauty pressures in our society, conducting interviews with famous women. Not so bad.

Well, despite these hits, Shine is certainly not without its misses. One article that caught my eye was entitled "Jessica Alba: What was she thinking...?" It features a photo of the pregnant Jessica Alba at the Nickelodeon Kid's Choice Awards, sporting a beautiful green dress and holding a Nickelodeon award. The author of this article made a list of "thoughts" going through Alba's head, the last one being, "It's one thing to be a blimp, but do I actually have to hold one?"

Calling a pregnant woman a blimp. Nice. Please join the handful of other wonderful people who have left angry comments and voice your opinions on promoting these negative ideas on a supposed "woman-friendly" website.

Another aspect of Shine that I found particularly unacceptable is the fact that they bashed Maxim for their "Unsexiest Women" list, and commended The Phoenix for doing the same for males. I think that if Shine wants to survive as a website, exhibiting hypocrisy is a step in the wrong direction. I decided to take a look at this 100 Unsexiest Men list on The Phoenix. It is, to say the least, more than insulting.

The introduction to the list tries to outright abolish any concerns the reader might have of the list perpetuating shallow beauty pressures.

We’re not talking about mere un-handsomeness or bodily imperfection here. We’re not talking about bad-hair days or bad breath. No, compared with the characters we’re about to unleash on you, your average lump (or indeed, your average male Phoenix staffer) is a walking Michelangelo masterpiece. These are, for the most part, men whose behavior is so wretched, whose character is so flawed, that it transcends traditional definitions of attractiveness.


Now, it would have been wonderful if they had decided to stick to this an-ugly-personality-is-more-important-than-an-ugly-face mentality, but this is far from the case. I'll admit: on some parts of the list, they did employ this belief, such as when they bashed Mike Huckabee for equating homosexuality with bestiality, and reproached John Gibson for mocking Heath Ledger shortly after his death. But other parts of this list, like Yahoo's Shine, are dripping with hypocrisy. Tell me where the "unattractive personality" comes into play during their description of ESPN correspondant Tony Kornheiser:

"ESPN homunculus looks like a cocktail frank wetted and then dipped in an ice-cream-topping jar of pubes."

Or during their sexist attacks of Bruce Jenner:

"This one-time Olympian-decathlete gold medalist now sports a glistening, feminine visage that's made him the poster lady for bad plastic surgery. Put that on your Wheaties box."

Or maybe their unshallow mentality is to be found in them referring to both "Project Runway" star Christian Siriano and magic guru Criss Angel as a "trannies." Classy.


What about their articulate description of comedian Jeff Foxworthy?

"Smarter than a fifth grader? Nope. Uglier than Chewbacca? Uh, yup."

I particularly enjoyed them stating that Yahoo's Jerry Yang should "get his wang run over by a Communist tank."


Bottom line: this list is no better than Maxim's. And although this list may not be all bad, I don't agree with commending it. If you feel this way as well, please take some time to send feedback to letters@phx.com.

As for Shine? Well, I'm still deciding whether or not it truly is a "positive" site for women. The jury's still out.

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4 comments: to “ Yahoo launches "woman-friendly" site


  • March 31, 2008 at 7:21 PM  

    The one that I agreed with...

    [75] GEORGE W. BUSH
    MISSION ACCOMPLISHER

    With the presidential race in full swing, we almost forgot about Dubya, the Alfred E. Neuman-looking, Chauncey Gardiner-ass moron who got us into this mess in the first place.


  • March 31, 2008 at 9:00 PM  

    Yes. George Bush = definitely unsexy.


  • April 1, 2008 at 2:17 PM  

    I would have been all for it if they stuck to calling men "unsexy" based on personality, then maybe some teasing for looks. But when you fail to maintain that criteria and fall, once again, into the realm of judging people as "unsexy" based solely on looks, what's the point in even making the list? It's just shallow.


  • April 1, 2008 at 3:33 PM  

    I know! There are several men on that list (i.e. the creators of Google) who did absolutely nothing wrong, but solely made that list because they're "unattractive." Hypocrisy at its best.