Recently, Pink sat at the right hand of Oprah and chastised young Hollywood starlets for acting like “stupid girls.” Her video, appropriately titled “Stupid Girls,” was the catalyst for the interview.
In it, Pink satirizes the Mary Kate Olsens, the Lindsay Lohans, and Paris Hiltons — the entire tribe of tabloid darlings who have become household names and easy targets for lampooning — not only because of their actions, but because of their unfailingly silly accouterment: neon Mystic Tans, homeless haut couture, itty-bitty designer dogs and, according to Pink, proportionate brains.
While nothing says feminism quite like going on daytime television and instigating a good old-fashioned catfight, I think Pink missed the boat on this one. Don’t get me wrong: On her very best day, I would still turn down a peek at Paris Hilton’s Scantron sheet. To my mind, though, mocking Hollywood starlets for being vapid and out-of-control is like turning off the Miss USA pageant because it’s a bit cheesy. Frankly, what did you expect?
I’m afraid that with all this infighting over whether celebrity women are dumbing themselves down, we’re overlooking an even greater issue. Even if “American Idol’s” Kelly Pickler is an evil genius, even if young women are finding their role models in night-vision home videos, at the end of the day the question is still “Why all these stupid girls?”
It should be: “What do the stupid boys have to do to get a song around here?”
Behind every stupid girl is an equally stupid man — promoting her, dating her, interviewing her. For every Lindsay Lohan treating a Mercedes like a rental Grand Am, there is a Wilmer Valderrama creating a TV series entirely based on “Yo Momma” jokes. For every muted Katie Holmes, there is Brad Pitt, silently trailing after Angelina Jolie. For every Britney Spears, there is Kevin Federline, and a potentially limitless number of dim offspring.
Even the aforementioned Jessica Simpson, whose Chicken Of The Sea gaffe launched the much-heralded stupid chic trend, would not be possible without the leering presence of diamond-stud wearing dad and manager Joe Simpson, second only to Arnold Schwarzenegger as the most successful himbo of his generation.
The male bimbo — “himbo” or “mimbo,” as immortalized by Elaine in a now-famous “Seinfeld” — is a reality. Hollywood is full of real-life , Joey Tribbianis who seem to fly under the radar, undetected, their words and deeds never to be immortalized in pop songs.
Pink’s warning that Hollywood stupidity is slowly infecting America’s young women may be on target — but what about the hearts and minds of America’s young men? What of the boys coming of age with only Ashton Kutcher as their guide? Make no mistake: Himbos are as prolific as they are beautiful, and they control the entertainment industry, jutting out their cleft chins and beaming veneered smiles at nightly networking events, ensuring that their stupid ideas will continue to be beamed into our living rooms for years to come. I’m willing to bet that somewhere, right now, a team of himbos is creating a Broadway musical loosely based on events in the movie “Dude, Where’s My Car.”
Why did Pink pick on stupid girls when no one says boo to the stupid boys? There are a few reasons. For one: compared to their female counterparts, it’s easy for celebrity himbos to escape detection. Stupid boys don’t shop at the same stores or carry the same accessories. (You may take this as a sign of intelligence, but it isn't, really, because then they can't identify one another, and they wander, forever lost and feeling very alone.) They don’t have the pack mentality of their female counterparts, which in the end, results in fewer magazine covers, fewer drinks thrown in faces, and fewer rows over the love of Aaron Carter. (Himbos may be stupid, but they aren’t dumb.)
Himbos are also masters of disguise. When assessing a himbo it becomes difficult, even for the trained observer, to splice “lovably goofy” from “totally empty inside.” If pressed to list some male counterparts for Pink’s stupid girls, off the top of my head I come up with: Mark Wahlberg, Matthew McConaughey, “American Idol’s” Ace Young, Patrick Swayze (because that guy can dance), and that guy with the puppy in the Brawny paper towel ads (who, admittedly, might just be sensitive).
Dumb sellsYour list may be very different. It may include Mark Wahlberg’s brother Donny or Tony Danza — two men I’ve always considered to be of substance. If this were a Venn diagram, our center circle would remain empty. Everyone’s is deeply personal, and revealing it could generate considerable controversy, even between friends. Until there is a greater cultural consensus, pinning down and definitively labeling a stupid boy will remain like trying to catch a moonbeam in your hand.
There is another, quite obvious, reason why the stupid boys get something of a free pass: In attractive women, stupidity is incredibly marketable. Show me a bleached head of hair, a doe-eyed expression and a personality dominated by a childish sort of benevolent idiocy, and I will probably give you five bucks on the spot. Almost as a reflex. Call it social injustice, but this doesn’t go both ways.
In men, being an empty vessel is perceived as more of a handicap, if not outright pitiful. And Pink is a smart woman. She knows it’s far less profitable to rip on stupid boys, because stupid girls are where the money’s at. After all, Fabio segued his bodice-ripper persona into a lucrative “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” contract, but that was the end of the road. I seriously doubt anyone offered him the role of Daisy Duke.
Pink has prompted some discussion and sold some albums off the backs of stupid girls. Now, for equality’s sake, won’t someone please sing the ballad of the himbo?
Paige Ferrari is a freelance writer in New York City. She blogs at .