“The prettiest prettiest girl”: Complex Beauty in Gia

Michael Cristofer’s Gia (1998) opens with a tight shot of makeup brushes accentuating an impossibly beautiful face. The features are those of Angelina Jolie in the role of 1980s supermodel Gia Carangi. The face is unnaturally still, perhaps foreshadowing the well documented fate of the model. Gia lived a life of toxic glamour—she is remembered […]

“It can be like grace”: Enlightened Political Possibility

Amy: I don’t want the same old sad story. I want a new story. Levi: It will be new. It’ll be brand new. You know? That’s the beauty of it. It can be like grace. Amy: Grace? Levi: Yeah, life is beautiful. In her essay “In Praise of Vulgar Feminism,” Agata Pyzik considers the star […]

Thin skinned

“So be it. This is what I really want. This is the one thing I want. I want to be thin.” – Alisa It’s pizza day at Renfrew, a Florida-based inpatient eating disorder clinic, and no one is happy. A group of women sit around a table silently, eyeing the greasy slices and picking at their […]