Lady Problems is a weekly column that looks at how the entertainment industry — and its corresponding culture and constituents — is treating women in a given week. (Hint: It will almost always be “poorly.”) Every Friday, we’ll review the week’s most significant woman-centric conflicts, then provide a brilliant solution to each problem that nobody in Hollywood will ever listen to or enforce.
The Lady Problem: This week brought a few particularly horrific developments in the never-ending nightmare saga that is Kesha-versus-Real-Life-Dementor-Dr.-Luke. First off, earlier in the week, Kesha posted the below Instagram, explaining that she'd been offered "freedom" from her Sony contract, but only if she were to "apologize publicly and say that I never got raped." Obviously, she said no to this deal, which was clearly dreamed up by Satan himself while he was laying down some dated tracks with Dr. Luke.
On Wednesday, Justice Shirley Kornreich threw out Kesha's claims that Luke violated hate crime laws by physically, sexually, and verbally abusing her. “Insults about her value as an artist, her looks, and her weight are insufficient to constitute extreme, outrageous conduct intolerable in civilized society,” wrote Kornreich, adding that Kesha's rape accusations have passed their five-year statute of limitations and are thus invalid in a court of law. Most terribly, Kornreich added, "Every rape is not a gender-motivated hate crime." Oh! I get it now, Justice Shirley Kornreich. Rapists are inscrutable monsters, so we can't ever pinpoint exactly why they rape, so let's just call the whole thing off! Should we go get burgers or something?
The Solution: Justice Shirley Kornreich, who is apparently as bad at being a judge as I am at telling white men apart in action movies, is not really the main party at fault here (though I will absolutely eat her burger when she is not looking). Let us not forget that the actual (alleged) demon here is (allegedly) Dr. Luke. First, we'll banish Dr. Luke to that part of Florida where everybody is snorting bath salts and eating one another's faces all the time. Obsessed by the preservation of his own face, Luke will stay permanently indoors. His walls will be painted in Kesha lyrics that he didn't write. His ceilings will be wallpapered with a very close-up photo of Kesha's eyeball. Every time he flushes the toilet, his bank account will transfer $1 million to Kesha. He will be deprived of all recording equipment except for that shitty recording app that comes pre-downloaded on your iPhone. The only songs we will allow him to make are those filled with words that rhyme with "Kornreich."
The Lady Problem: Glamour and Amy Schumer, who've heretofore enjoyed a very lovely relationship, got into it this week after the magazine put Schumer's name on the cover of a "plus-size" issue sponsored by Lane Bryant. This upset Schumer, who said she was never asked nor told about being included in the issue. As Schumer explained on social media, she (a) is a size 6-8, which she doesn't believe to be "plus-size," and (b) doesn't think the outdated label has any place in today's culture.
The response to Schumer's response (oy) varied, with some random Twitter users accusing her of being hypocritical (she's regularly championed her own unconventional-for-Hollywood body), others insulted by proxy that Schumer found the term "plus-size" insulting, and still others applauding her for calling out the inherent bullshit in labels like "plus-size." Glamour's editor-in-chief, Cindi Leive, entered the fray as well, explaining in a series of tweets that Glamour "never called Schumer plus-size" and was merely inspired by her body positivity.
In my humble, mysteriously sized opinion, everyone involved in this mess is right, and everyone is wrong. Glamour shouldn't have included Schumer without asking her; that's just, like, Basic Humanity 101, or at the very least, Dealing With Famous People 101. Schumer makes a really good point about doing away with the idiotic notion of breaking women into categories based on the size of their asses. That said, though, I can see why this might've smarted a bit for Schumer's so-called plus-size fans, many of whom adore Schumer for her irreverent takes on body image and weight and felt slighted by her anger at/vehement rejection of being grouped in with them. And ultimately, of course, this is the fault of the patriarchy, which invented ludicrous sizing and whose upholders deserves to live in Meth Florida with Dr. Luke.
Honestly, this whole thing is grayer than an elephant's bum in a rainstorm; there are only two ways to respond to it without getting lost and never finding your way out and dying alone inside of it (the elephant bum). With humor:
Or with righteous anger at the general concept, rather than at the specific parties involved:
The Solution: All of us women will look like and eat and wear whatever the fuck we want, and nobody will say shit about it. Especially not you, Chris Harrison. I see your bleached grin hurtling toward me like a very tacky meteor.
The Lady Problem: Kerry Washington, who is so perfect that sometimes I just think about her and walk straight off a cliff into the roiling sea, graces the most recent cover of Adweek. Sort of. More accurately, it's somebody who looks sort of like Kerry Washington, if Kerry Washington were cloned by a drunk teen who was playing Halo with one hand and chugging Malibu with the other while cloning her. In her typically classy way, Kerry responded to the brazen, unnecessary, and patently insulting Photoshop job with a thoughtful, carefully worded Instagram post.
"It felt strange to look at a picture of myself that is so different from what I look like when I look in the mirror," wrote Washington. "It's an unfortunate feeling." It's also a feeling Washington is quite familiar with, having been Photoshopped straight into the Uncanny Valley on many a magazine cover in the past. Part of this has to do with the fact that Washington is black in an industry that lives to whitewash; part of it is the fact that she's a woman in an industry that loves dicks. All of it is unconscionable. What's worse is that Washington had to address the whole thing in a painstaking way, tiptoeing over hot coals so as not to appear ungrateful or angry or whatever the fuck other qualifiers this garbage can of a world would hurl at her. For their part, Adweek's editorial director claims that all the mag did was "added volume to [Washington's] hair for dramatic effect." OK, Adweek's editorial director.
The Solution: Everyone on Adweek's staff will sport a massive bouffant for the rest of their lives. They will shower in their bouffant. They will sleep in their bouffant. They will cook in their bouffant, i.e., they will literally bake eggs inside of it because it's so huge and hot. Whenever they dare to complain about their bouffant, we will say, "Added volume to hair for dramatic effect."