Olivia Munn is punching down.
Earlier this week, the actress took to social media to share her thoughts on the authors of Go Fug Yourself, a celebrity fashion blog which Munn deemed as “vitriol.”
In an essay shared to Twitter, Munn slams bloggers Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan for perpetuating the belief that a woman’s worth hinges on her appearance.
“Their blatant hypocrisy is nauseating,” Munn wrote. “They claim to employ some sort of subjective barometer for goodness and beauty even though what they do and write is neither good nor beautiful.”
“Blogs like theirs have been around for awhile, with their snarkiness and hypocrisy on full display,” she continued. “And we’ve accepted it because as women we’ve been conditioned to believe that being publicly chastised for our weight, our looks, or our choice in clothing is an acceptable part of our existence.”
While Munn’s crusade to take down internalized misogyny and call out the objectification of women is admirable, using Go Fug Yourself as the lynchpin of her rant is weak.
Go Fug Yourself (GFY) began as a fashion gossip blog in the early 2000s and has maintained a cult-like following for its irreverent take on celebrity style for both women and men. Munn’s separation of GFY from “legitimate critics,” entirely misses the point of what made blogs like this so popular.
Blogs like GFY, D-Listed and Lainey Gossip have rivalled and continue to rival pop culture commentary and entertainment reporting that have the not-so-hidden agenda to promote films, music and celebrities to ultimately help line the pockets of studios and executives. Although these sites have become businesses in themselves, they exist outside of the star-system, and maintain their accessible appeal their audience is drawn to. This brand of celebrity gossip, although not for everyone (especially not Munn) blur the lines between high-brow and low-brow culture by disrupting traditional media practices.
The blogosphere allowed the sharing of opinions and curating of content from the everyday user, eager to reclaim power from “legitimate critics” of what media outlets and fashion brands had previously sold as the narrow definition of aspirational living.
While Munn believes the association of celebrities to fashion is akin to the sexual objectification of high school girls or systemic oppression of women, she fails to acknowledge that she benefits from an image-driven industry which shares an intimate, and mutually beneficial relationship with clothes.
By employing stylists and glam squads to sport designer clothes to events, celebrities like Munn ensure exposure for all parties- including themselves. It’s similar to why royals like the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, frequently change their wardrobe between events. A new outfit means another chance for photographs, which means another chance to be picked up by media outlets which will report on details fitting for their area of focus.
While I agree that diet culture and the emphasis on women’s appearance has long been a way to preoccupy and distract women from seeking equality and justice, it’s irresponsible for Munn to deny that fashion plays a key role in her profession and assert herself above anyone who has an interest in fashion.
Pop culture commentary, like the kind GFY provides, doesn’t operate on the premise that clothing should dictate how a person should be treated or ascribe to rape culture beliefs that women invite male attention. It’s simply about the clothes, from two women who wanted to write about celebrity fashion from their point of view.
Munn will inevitably receive attention and even praise for taking on this “toxic” content, but keep in mind this is a person with immense influence and celebrity privilege who’s relevance requires people to look and write about her.
GFY isn’t holding the Infinity Stones in this fight. Instead of punching down to two bloggers because they don’t like her outfit, Munn should find herself a worthy opponent. This is yet another distraction from the real issues that healthcare, education and the legal systems oppress women and minorities to varying degrees.