If people see you sweat, they know you’re working hard; if people see you cry, they know you’re sensitive. But when people hear you “defend” yourself, they think you are whiny and defensive. My Us Weekly e-mail alert this morning shouts, “Charlize Theron Defends Her Oscar Dress.” The article describes the dress, “amethyst and lilac bustier gown with rose and draped detail” which was “created specially for her by John Galliano for Dior.” There is commentary from various critics including the illustrious fashion rag, The Star Ledger, the voice of glamorous fashion capital Newark, New Jersey. Believe me if your look doesn’t fly in Newark, it doesn’t have wings.
As a semi-prolific blogger, I, too, have dealt with negative criticism. To my sister-under-the-skin Charlize, I say “Don’t defend yourself!” Or your designer and stylist. Or your dress. I am a “dumb ass” who is “detestable,” “confused,” and “don’t know what [I’m] talking about.” I’ve had a critic begin “I completely disagree with your story…” regarding a mixed review—did he disagree with the good things I said about his favorite performer as well as the negative? (Apparently he did. He “completely” disagreed with the “story,” both fact and opinion.) That’s okay, I’ve even been accused of encouraging hateful, bigoted behavior; I think that’s worse than being a dumb ass.
Whenever someone attacks me personally (in print), I have a very clever response. I not only cast aspersions on my attacker’s intellect, but I also showcase gaping holes in the (lack of) logic presented. However, I don’t comment. No matter how clever my rejoinder may be, I know that to many people it will appear I am being defensive. I’ve been a parent for a long time, I’m accustomed to having my ideas questioned and criticized. Civilized people, though, attack (through disagreement) ideas, not the people who have them. I try to respond to those who want clarification or who have honestly misunderstood a point. When it comes to character assassination, I take the high road (no, I don’t mean I get on a roof with my pink AK-47). There’s an upside to being hated—my detractors invariably get others to read me.
Charlize Theron, in her controversial dress, knows what every celebrity knows, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity,” to which Brendan Behan added “except your own obituary.” After all, Charlize is in a much better position than the stars that wore “okay” or “ho-hum” dresses; she’s the topic of conversation. Let’s face it, if you need publicity (and celebrities do), then the abominable, horrendous and vile dress is always a better choice than the safe, boring dress. You won’t get your picture in People or Entertainment Weekly unless you’re wearing the best or the worst.
As for Theron’s dress… it’s sort of a nightmare in purple with a train and hats for the twins. Just kidding (except about the hats for the twins). The dress is weird; if there were three roses, though, few would have commented. (Personally, I dislike everything in the lilac/lavender/purple family and she could sport a copy of my wedding dress in amethyst and lilac and I’d hate it.) Another thing about that particular dress, Theron looks magnificent wearing it. What more do we demand?
Charlize did a magnificent job of “defending,” I must admit. According to USMagazine.com when “asked on the red carpet about her gown, she [said] ‘I just loved this dress.’” Really, USMagazine.com? You got a whole story out of that? I wish I had your editors.