Thursday, November 15, 2007

Someone needs to ask: What Would Buffy Do?

When you're a television actor on a really popular show, there's always that possibility, I suspect, that you'll become primarily identified with the character you played. To some degree, I imagine it's hard for Sarah Michelle Gellar to break out of that role. I haven't seen much of the works she's done since then, but the popular opinion seems to be that it's not good.

And I know that Gellar doesn't identify as a feminist, but it's hard, sometimes, to see an episode of Buffy and not start to identify Gellar with Buffy. That happens.

So, it's with a grim face and heavy heart that I discover two stories involving Gellar- now Prinze- doing things that I find, from a feminist standpoint, problematic.

First of all, she's jumped on the name-change train. Apparently, as a gift for her husband, she's adopted the Prinze last name. As. A. Gift. *gag* And if that weren't enough, she's posing for Maxim, too. Because, uh... she's playing a porn star in a movie, so she has to pose for Maxim... I guess? Like Jess, my reaction was pretty much the same as Dorothy Snarker's.
Double-you, tee, eff.


Cara said...

OOOOh, this is going to be interesting. My husband is a feminist, BUT he also has a thing for Sarah Michelle Gellar. Talk about your moral dilemmas. Will he be offended, disappointed or turned on? Can you be all three at the same time? Will it come down to whether or not he thinks that the poses are hot?

Sorry, I never watched Buffy so this is kind of the only way in which I care.

But is it just me, or does her face look different? Has she lost weight? Or had cosmetic surgery done? I'm trying to put my finger on it, but she doesn't look like Buffy, and since she still looks incredibly youthful I'm not so sure if it can be an age thing.

Katy said...

Near the end of show Sarah had lost a lot of weight and it made her face look very different. I loved Buffy as a show and it is hard not to associate the cast members completely with their characters. I still find it weird that Alyson Hannigan is married to Wesley Wyndom-Price (not sure of his real name...)!

I saw the Maxim cover in the drug store the other day and her expression on the front is one of fear. It is kinda sad to look at as she looks like she's afraid she's about to be attacked or something.

Vervain said...

I suspect it's just a variation on the fear of typecasting. I think Sarah--who doesn't identify herself as feminist--is trying to distance herself from the feminist character she played, Buffy. How better to do that than to do something decidedly unfeminist like pose for Maxim?
It's the same scenario you encounter among former child/teen stars who made a name for themselves playing straightlaced "good girl" characters, where they try to escape that character by pornifying themselves up in a way that the character never would.

That's my theory, anyway. Given that Buffy as a character was NOT depicted as demure, chaste or particularly repressed (which is the sort of character depiction that usually inspires this sort of behavior following the end of the role) it's the only explanation I can think of.

That, or a really really bad agent/PR person.