Just a few points. Choosing to harm yourself in order to be a "star" does seem a rather asinine choice. On the other hand, acting is an art form in which you have to attain the approval of others in order to participate in your chosen art. To choose to not meet the cultural standard of beauty is to choose to not "do" your art.

Second, please don't assume that I am painting Ms. Murphy as a helpless victim. You make your choices and you live or die with them. However, the cultural imperative to be and look a certain way is extremely powerful and to just brush this force aside lightly is too careless. Being an accepted part of the pack is a core force driving the human psyche, not just an outgrowth of excessive narcissism. It doesn't make it any easier to ignore that force if what the pack wants is bad for us.

Third I could not agree more with you on the intertwined nature of the masculine and the feminine which is WHY in a story such as this it leaves out half the tale to not look at the role that our accepted images of what IS masculine and what is feminine play in our ability to ultimately grow into our own skins, both as a culture and as individuals.

And on that note, perhaps I should go eat some chocolate.

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