How to write a Vanity Fair "Hollywood It Girls" profile

Posted at 8:30 AM Feb 04, 2010

By Andrea Grimes

cover-girls-1003-02.jpg

The worshipful celebrity profile has been a staple of magazine journalism since the dawn of glossy--heck, probably before. And while these things are always already horrible in their mere concept, some are worse than others. A 2007 Esquire profile of Angelina Jolie comes to mind. But the March 2010 issue of Vanity Fair has taken the genre to a whole new level. After reading this whirlwind profile of nine Hollywood "It Girls," though surely author Evgenia Peretz would prefer the term "ingenues," a reader could be forgiven for wondering if any of these women might be the second coming of the Virgin Herself.

Have you heard of, for example, Abbie Cornish? I haven't, but now I'm going to run out and rent all her films because clearly kittens, rainbows and unicorns look to her for inspiration:

The Cupid's-bow lips, the downy-soft cheeks, the button nose: 27-year-old Abbie Cornish has those Ivory-soap-girl features we're so familiar with, and yet hers is a face it's hard to stop staring at--testament to the intelligence, vulnerability, and sensuality she brings to her characters. Her breakthrough for American audiences came with fellow Australian Heath Ledger, as a junkie in 2006's Candy, free-falling from invincible heroin highs to soul-seizing anguish. Kimberly Peirce's Stop-Loss saw her fleeing the law with Ryan Phillippe's character. (Enter some real-life drama: Phillippe, then the husband of Reese Witherspoon, would soon become her boyfriend.) She may have been her loveliest in Jane Campion's Bright Star, playing John Keats's muse, the flirty and forthright Fanny Brawne.

Swoooooon! The whole thing is borderline hilarious in its unabashed hyper-fawning. Peretz, are you joking? If you are joking, this is the best joke ever. If you're not joking, I'll make it into a joke for you. Behind the cut, I've created our own Heartless Doll Vanity Fair Mad Lib so that you, too, can insert yourself into the awed gaze of VF.

vfprofile.jpg

Click the image to enlarge my super awesome Photoshop skillz. (Edit: inspired by a very smart commenter's observation: Do not actually attempt this Mad Lib if your skin is brown, black, tan-ish, off-white ... really any color besides shimmering ivory. You are unsexy and destined for sassy, supporting roles. But you already knew that, probably. Quit being uppity.)

Do please, post your interpretations in the comments!


Comments

RachelB said:

Gee, awful lot of skinny white women in that Vanity Fair picture. I guess it's too much to hope that the horny old white dudes who rule Hollywood will be offering Gabourey Sidibe the roles she deserves, even after the success of "Precious," but seriously--not even a nod for Zoe Saldana? Does anyone else hear the silent screech of racism in this article?

Andrea said:

You're right, Rachel - I should have put a disclaimer before my Mad Lib: "Do not attempt if black, brown ... really any color besides shimmering ivory."

BorgQueen said:

THANK YOU RachelB! I mean it isn't like Zoe Saldana hasn't been in the 2 BIGGEST movies of the year (one of them the biggest ever, apparently) and Gabourey Sidibe is on every celebrity news site as well as nominated for a freakin Oscar for her first role ever. I don't think that screech was so silent...

Taffy said:

Zoe Saladana was in the Hollywood issue in 2008 but naturally, since she's not white, she was seen in the fold out part of the cover that wasn't on the front of the magazine. But yeah, no love for Gabourey Sidibe or Frida Pinto.

Adri said:

I've known who Abbie Cornish is for years... not as if she's a newcomer to the acting scene.
And where the hell IS Zoe Saldana anyway? Talented, classy, beautiful, hello?

The Admiral said:

As a big silent movie fan I really resent people using the term It Girl for anybody. Clara Bow was the It Girl. End of story. And Kristen Stewart? There's a girl who sets your loins afire, right? Um, no.

That being said, I get stared at quite a bit too. That doesn't mean it's a good thing.

liliane doris said:

by what i see i think even though people say that racism is over it is not and we all can see that by the cover of this issue of vanity fair " Hollywood it girls" honestly not a single black head on the cover and they didn't even talk about GABOUREY SIDIBE even though she is a raising star and much more talented than so many girls in the cover and just because SHE is black and it is not just vanity fair even with other magazines, it's really difficult for them to talk about black people it's always about white and i am sick of it. why should people be treated different just because they do not have the same color? it's time to change everything and be more fair, we have a black president so it's time to wake up

liliane doris said:

I AM WITH YOU ON THIS GIRLS I THINK IT'S NOT FOR THE OTHER TALENTED ACTRESSES LIKE ZOE SALDENA AND GABOUREY SIDIBE TO BE LEFT OUT JUST BECAUSE THEIR SKIN IS DARKER. I THINK IT'S TIME TO STOP THE RACISM IT HAS GONE TO FAR NOW

Uncle Rosy said:

It was straight up racist and loud,Peretz knew what she was saying,that white girls are better and everybody else suck,

© 2014 Village Voice Media Holdings, LLC. All Rights Reserved. | Privacy Policy