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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Alyssa Milano, "Teen Steam" and the Male Gaze


Ugh. F*ckin' guys. Too much of this video is thinly veiled, soft-core exploitation. Too much of it is also a boring workout that she doesn't even do. Skip to 4:05 to see the former.


And for the latter, check out 2:30 in this clip:


Since the makers of the video didn't spend much time developing the actual workout, I'll do the same and spend a minute (predictably) kvetching about the (predictable) teen sexifying going on. She was only 15 when this was made!

I guess I shouldn't be surprised, based on some of Milano's mid-'90s movie titles:




Somewhere in her child-star journey, someone convinced her that having dudes want to wank to you is a strong foundation for a career. So build on that she did, shaping the non-mint-chocolate Milano brand into   perky underage sexual availability. 

And I swear, I don't come to all this tsk-tsking lightly. I was pretty excited to slap this video up and be all, "Hey! The '90s! Alyssa Milano working out with her girlfriends in bicycle shorts! She's so kewt." And she is so cute. She's kind and competent, explaining the moves well (even if she uses the word "diagonally" incorrectly and often) and addressing the viewer like a friend. But the ulterior motives of her corporate masters are just too visible, and they're distracting. The title says it all: who names a workout video Teen Steam and isn't appealing more to horny males than the girls who might actually exercise to it?

Blah blah patriarchy blah. I'm boring myself with this post. Let's forget the whole video ever existed except for the end, when she snaps her fingers to make a boy disappear -- symbolically rejecting all the male-gaze b.s. heaped upon her -- and gets sassy in the studio bobbing her head and singing her theme song. Doing her thang in the booth, "teen steam" is healthily worked-out adolescent angst, not some lunkhead studio exec's wet dream. Let's remember her this way. 

4 comments:

  1. Just want to request that you never stop posting. Please. Thank you.

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  3. Why does she keep lamely trying to pull the bottom of her bike shorts down over her knees? They're supposed to be tight and short. They're not going any lower, Alyssa. You chose to wear these. Now suddenly you're being modest?

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