Breaking up with Joan
By Kim Tackett on April 30, 2014
That would be Joan Rivers. I will admit it to you, because I know you won’t tell anyone. But for the past few years, I have been living on the dark side. That would be the side where Fashion Police is on TV every Friday night. I know it doesn’t make any sense, and you are probably wondering whose blog you’re on right now. I don’t understand it either.
I even dragged Steve into my mess (and really, if you tell him I told you, he will kill me). We all know I don’t give two hoots, or even half-a-hoot, about fashion. I am not sure why I went there, or why I stayed. I like Kelly Osborne and love seeing how long she can pull off the purple hair. And I like George, because he wears no socks with panache and he’s pretty and positive. Guiliana still puzzles me. But this was really about Joan.
I think I loved how she said ANYTHING. And that she’s been doing this for so long, and keeps reinventing herself, with and without plastic surgery. And the show segments, like Rate that Rack, Starlet or Streetwalker, B*tch Stole My Look, gave women equal time with the men in the juvenile humor department. Which was fun for a moment.
Kate was home at Christmas and I had the show on. I believe her response was, “It’s clear the people working for her get paid to laugh at her jokes. What’s your excuse?” She may not have said the last part with her outside voice, but I got the message.
But the truth is, it’s mean. Cringe-worthy mean.
But I kept at it, with a glass of wine and a tiny bit of guilt.
I watched her documentary, A Piece of Work and mustered up some respect for her role in the evolution of female comedians. I was impressed with her file cabinet wall of jokes…both the amount of material and her organization system. I followed her on Twitter. I defended her, at least in my own brain.
But then she went over the edge. She’s been engaged in fat shaming for a long time, but she recently took on Lena Dunham, and that was it for me. I didn’t even listen to the interview, and I have never seen an episode of Girls. But this was the boundary, and for me, it was crossed. She did it earlier with Adele, and I don’t know why it bothered me more this time.
Maybe it’s because I am watching my daughters climb and claw into the world, one that needs all the compassion it can get. Maybe it’s because I know how much confidence it takes to walk out the door each morning when you’re NOT a single digit size, and I don’t think celebrity changes it all that much. I had a conversation with a friend the other day who said bullying words were actually a form of violence. And you know, I think he’s right.
I deleted the show from my DVR settings. I unfollowed her on Twitter. I didn’t even watch her on the Tonight Show. She will never know and I am certain she doesn’t care.
But I know, and I care. And at fifty-six, I think I am mature enough to recognize that bullying isn’t ok, even if it’s for a laugh.
Sorry (not sorry) Joan, we’re done. I’m over it, and you.
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