The Capitol are the enemy: its citizens are vapid, selfish, exploitative, narcissistic and worst of all apathetic..The only time anyone from the Districts looks anything like something in that lookbook is when children are brought to the Capitol and dolled up to be paraded around on live TV as though they were props instead of humans (because of course, to the Capitol, they are props)
The Capitol are the enemy: its citizens are vapid, selfish, exploitative, narcissistic and worst of all apathetic; they don’t care about where their new dress comes from or who is making their dinner or how many children died making their new emerald necklace; they live in such excess that they purge between meals at parties while the people who sourced that food are starving in the fields; they literally place bets on the deaths of children! We really feel like we can’t drive that one home enough. Like, they just make kids kill each other on live TV and then the kids who survive grow up to be sold into sex slavery or to abuse alcohol as a coping mechanism or to be so PTSD-stricken that they can’t even talk anymore. We know what you’re thinking right now: “damn, that sounds sweet, I want to be just like the people in the Captiol.” Right? No? Yeah, us either. But that’s what CoverGirl and Lionsgate seem to think.
At its core, The Hunger Games is a book about the trauma of hyper-consumption–but when it comes to traumatizer vs. traumatized, CoverGirl’s Capitol Collection falls squarely on the side of “traumatizer.” The makeup line comes with a lookbook that will help you “get the looks of the Districts” and is so unaware and self-absorbed that it kind of feels like it has to be a joke. The only time anyone from the Districts looks anything like something in that lookbook is when children are brought to the Capitol and dolled up to be paraded around on live TV as though they were props instead of humans (because of course, to the Capitol, they are props). Then two days later they take the makeup off and kill each other and probably die themselves while their families look on, horrified and defeated. FASHION!!!
But of course, the reason that this line even exists is because we, as a culture, are actually pretty close (metaphorically anyway) to the Capitol. Consumption at any expense is pretty par for the course here, and the people who grow our food and make our clothes aren’t really in much better shape than the people of the Districts. Our culture really, really values outward appearance and it insists that girls about Katniss’s age should be less into leading a revolution and more into getting the right look. The Capitol Collection encourages girls to identify not with rebellion and justice, but with superficiality and self-interest. We think that is not only ridiculous, but scary and super dangerous.
our new project, Capitol Cuties, is a response to CoverGirl’s Capitol Collection line and we are really, really excited about it.
As a member of the Capitol, I was deeply troubled at the start of this years Hunger Games. I mean, how could I look fabulous AND watch a bunch of people be forced to fight to the death? Then Covergirl came to my rescue! The new Capitol Collection reminds us what’s important: physical appearance. Thanks www.covergirl.com!
Olive skinned is a broad term: it can describe the skin color of a range of people, from the Mediterranean and some other parts of Europe, to the Middle East, to regions of South Asia, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, and Latin America. The playing field for Katniss was so broad, but what do the casting directors and directors decide to do? Choose to tan up a white woman and actively exclude anyone who doesn’t fit into the white actresses category.
…This is not about Jennifer Lawrence’s acting abilities at all. She’s a fantastic actress and did a wonderful job. What it is about is the sad fact that the casting pool was so narrowed and discriminatory. Whitewashing is a really dangerous thing that occurs not only in Hollywood, but in every form of media. White people do NOT have to worry about seeing themselves represented in the media, it’s commonplace. But what about the fact that many children always see people who don’t look like them? That isn’t fair and it isn’t right.
President Snow picks up on this tool, and he lets Katniss know that the act must continue. The spark of rebellion she showed in the arena has caught in other places, and he lets her know that if she does not contain it, the consequences will be dire; it as a result of this threat that Katniss is forced into an engagement with Peeta. The metaphor cannot be missed: Women’s strength is, in the right situations, an enormous threat to the existing authority. Oppression cannot hold if women come into their own power, and therefore men demand – either for women’s “protection,” or for the sake of holding on to that power – that we dress up in demure outfits, twirl in our gorgeous dresses, and mask our power behind a silly smile.
And, indeed, a Fox health blogger is absolutely terrified that reading and watching The Hunger Games will make “females” more likely to “be further distanced from their traditional feminine characteristics that … suggested they were not being ‘real girls’ if they were extremely physically violent.” Thanks for proving the thesis, middle-aged white man. Strong women, confident in their own abilities, who don’t adhere to “traditional feminine characteristics,” are a threat to the existing power structure, and must be reminded that our job is to appease that structure. The threat of an un-sexualized, self-confident woman is every bit as powerful in our own society as Katniss is to hers.
It’s traditional to make fun of this particular species of mass hyperventilation, mainly because anything that gets so many women excited is automatically assumed to be beneath the consideration of real critics — but there’s power there, as well as passion, repressed sexual and social energy fighting for an outlet.
It’s about goddamn time I found an actually thoughtful review of The Hunger Games. She makes some interesting comparisons to Twilight and says all the right things about teen girls’ passions, fantasies and concerns. Thank god someone actually gets it. Critics’ habit of shitting all over young women and the things they are interested in is really quite tiresome.
It has actually shocked me how dismissive several reviews have been. When I read the books I was pulled right in to a world of Serious Thoughts and a pretty intense personal identification. It makes me want to punch things when critics take the lazy route of scoffing at things like this.
This is a great piece, highly recommended.