In 2016, stand-up comedian Marcia Belsky launched “The Headless Women of Hollywood” Tumblr page. Since its inception, Belsky has been tirelessly cataloging each and every movie, television and advertising poster that features a woman’s headless body as the main art. According to her
In a new, now viral, thread posted to Twitter, Belsky re-shared a few of her all-time favorite (read: most egregious) examples of headless women in Hollywood.
And honestly, some of the posters are so blatantly outlandish that really all you can do is laugh.
“Happy anniversary to truly the most impressive example of @HlywoodHeadless I ever found,” Belsky tweeted along with a promo poster for Ashton Kutcher’s show, Beauty and the Geek.
As a few of her favorite runner-up posters show, the headless woman motif is a Hollywood favorite. In a tweet Belsky included posters from Youth starring Michael Caine, Zac Efron’s Dirty Grandpa, and perennial sexist favorite, Hot Tub Time Machine.
And Belsky didn’t stop there. Instead, she continued her thread, showing off dozens of examples of the headless female phenomenon.
“To constantly take women’s heads out of sexualized images of our bodies does so many things,” Belsky tweeted. “It signifies to us that not only are our desires not important, they don’t even exist. It teaches us to strive for an ideal body whose reward, if achieved, is becoming interchangeable.”
She further shared a few classic examples from movies like The Graduate and Porky’s to illustrate that little has changed over the years in just how objectified women are in Hollywood.
“Yes, I know The Graduate is a classic cover. Even if Bancroft had already won an Oscar & Hoffman was relatively unknown,” she tweeted. “This is not about how ‘offensive’ the posters are. It’s about the trope. Also, get the fuck away from her, Baio.”
While much of the conversation around women in the industry has rightfully centered on sexual assault and the highly erroneous pay gaps, perhaps Belsky’s resurfaced headless posters will also start a new conversation about how women are still so poorly represented in film, television and advertising as objects to be gazed upon by men rather than, you know, being treated as human beings.
By the way, Belsky needs your help. If you spot a headless woman somewhere in the world make sure to share it with her so she can continue to put people on blast.
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