This holiday weekend I’m sparing you my deep and profound thoughts about the Barbie Dreamhouse exhibit that opened this week in downtown Berlin and the protest that accompanied it. Instead, I’ll let the issues and problems of beauty standards and femininity and sexuality and body image and fashion and pink and sparkles be summed up by a little story I discovered this year:
In 1999, Jon Stewart was invited to be featured in People magazine’s annual list of 50 Most Beautiful People. (I’ve written about the List before in The Body Image Series, highlighting Michael Chabon’s excellent reaction to it.) Stewart agreed to be featured but insisted on wearing a pink prom dress and a tiara for the photo shoot. Why?