by Oana-Maria Moldovan
The male gaze is irrelevant, didn’t Twitter get the memo?
She's taken many forms from the smoking hot wife of a Wallstreet Douchebag to the Tonya Harding to a nerds wet-dream aka Harley Quinn to now being the literal embodiment of perfect as Greta Gerwig’s Barbie.
But, according to Twitter, she’s the most "mid" woman of the year.
If you haven't caught on yet it's Margot Robbie, the Australian award-winning actress and women's rights activist.
It’s a tale as old as time, one young actress considered conventionally attractive ends up being called titled as "mid" (or worse) by mostly cisgender, straight men on the internet.
The idea of being "mid" most often refers to women who are considered to be in the middle of the attractiveness rating system (we're thinking 5 out of 10).
Typically, Margot Robbie is described as a bombshell. Today, she's the subject of a bad joke on grounds rooted in toxic masculinity.
But perhaps we shouldn't be surprised, given that just a few months ago Games of Thrones star Emilia Clarke was called, also on Twitter, “mid" - thanks to a photo in which it is obvious that she is aging naturally (something a man is typically praised for, ever heard of a silverfox?).
This debate all stemmed from a series of comments on Twitter suggesting that Margot Robbie is "just a 7", again utilising this grading system that literally labels people based on looks.
Even better, there were actually comments expressing that the actress would be "far too old for the role of Barbie" - Robbie being only 33, an age which to a man would represent youth.
And, best of all, the comment that Margot "was cast in the role of Barbie for this very reason, she's not attractive enough, so she's not intimidating to other women" - completely contrasting complaints that Margot Robbie actually represents the very Eurocentric ideal that has been in placed on women for so many centuries.
While being rude is never acceptable, this is where our argument comes in; the Twitter incels making these comments know that Margot Robbie is conventionally attractive - and that’s why these comments are dangerous.
The fact is, she is so attractive to them that they feel they have to downplay her beauty precisely in order to feel they might have a chance with her.
There's a Romanian saying, “when the fox can't reach the grapes it says they're sour", which is an exact embodiment of this situation.
Men often disregard women, whether its their good looks or their achievements, when it makes them feel emasculated.
It could be because they know they don’t have a chance at getting in their pants, or it could simply be that they feel inferior generally.
As a matter of fact, anything feminine is often laughed at - boy bands, “chick flicks”, makeup, or even simply the colour pink.
Anyone else infuriated by Piers Morgan scoffing at the idea of a female Nobel Prize winner (ever heard of Marie Curie?) whilst claiming the Barbie movie was “and assault on not just Ken but all men”? That’s another example of toxic masculinity, fearing a film that flips our gender roles.
We talk about toxic masculinity in classic contexts when we hear a remark about how "women should stay in the kitchen", but not when a woman's whole life is belittled by how attractive she seems to a number of men on Twitter, or the fact that she's considered old at only 30.
Margot Robbie is not “mid”, she is the exact image of what in the Western world is considered the highest form of attractiveness, and these people are more than well aware of that.
This is precisely what their toxic masculinity is all about, the fact that they know she is the ideal. Any woman they can't reach must be taken down a peg because, after all, these kinds of men prefer women without self-confidence - how else can they control them?
Margot Robbie really is Barbie. This fictional character has regularly been disregarded by men, seen as just a silly hobby of little girls or something that represents shallowness.
It's dumb to play with barbies, right? But it's not, because Barbie is everything, Margot Robbie can do anything, you can do anything.
Twitter incels can’t diminish anyones worth, no matter if that anyone is an A-Lister or you.
Edited by Emily Duff