For years, Stephen Marche’s column has been one of my favorite parts of Esquire, often the first thing I’d read after ripping out all of the perfume inserts like an obsessive compulsive maniac. His interview this month with boner monolith Megan Fox was not one of those times.
“Deep in her house, Megan Fox and I are discussing human sacrifice,” he begins, “deep in her house” being only the first of many poon-minded euphemisms in an article full of them.
“I tell her about an Aztec ritual practiced five hundred years ago in ancient Mexico during the feast of Toxcatl, when the Aztecs picked a perfect youth to live among them as a god. He was a paragon, beautiful and fit and healthy, with ideal proportions.”
Which, okay. Who among us hasn’t found ourselves trying to impress an attractive acquaintance with all of the arcane trivia we know? I know things, we say. I’m aware of the world, we say. Wouldn’t it be a richer place, this world, to share it with someone like me, knowing, as I do, all of these things about it, we say.
“Fox has been telling me about the toll that celebrity has taken on her, how the only way to keep from bending to the outside is to bend within.” If you know what he means. ” She’s sitting on a sectional sofa in workout clothes and a sweatshirt that hide her body, her knees folded beneath her.” I bet she is, pal. I honestly would bet that she is doing that.
It goes on from there, magical flutes, virgins, constant delight, flute-smashing,
Megan Fox is not an ancient Aztec. She’s a screen saver on a teenage boy’s laptop, a middle-aged lawyer’s shower fantasy, a sexual prop used to sell movies and jeans….
The symmetry of her face, up close, is genuinely shocking. The lip on the left curves exactly the same way as the lip on the right. The eyes match exactly. The brow is in perfect balance, like a problem of logic, like a visual labyrinth. It’s not really even that beautiful. It’s closer to the sublime, a force of nature, the patterns of waves crisscrossing a lake, snow avalanching down the side of a mountain, an elaborately camouflaged butterfly. What she is is flawless. There is absolutely nothing wrong with her.
Unlike, say, Lena Dunham and Adele and Lady Gaga and Amy Adams who are, as he says, “all perfectly plain,” and yet, still, somehow, despite their Aztecan asymmetry, “at the top of their field.”
In order to be respected, he goes on, a woman needs to disfigure her image, to strap sandbags, Harrison Bergeron-like, to one’s jowls, one supposes? And aren’t we losing something in this democratizing of creativity? This welcoming to the top of the sacrificial pyramid the imperfect, the comparatively easy-to-solve-puzzle of their flattened facial maps?
Something about the antichrist and the holy land. The internet. Protection. Masculinity. Anger. Motherhood.
Fox, surprisingly, didn’t feel as empowered by the various roles of wish-fulfillment semen-target she spent the majority of her career portraying.
“I felt powerless in that image,” she says. “I didn’t feel powerful. It ate every other part of my personality, not for me but for how people saw me, because there was nothing else to see or know. That devalued me. Because I wasn’t anything. I was an image. I was a picture. I was a pose.”
Speaking of images: Tattoo removal. Control over one’s body, one’s career. Speaking in tongues? “We should all believe in leprechauns. I’m a believer….” she says. “What distracts me from my reality is bigfoot. They are my celebrities,” she says.
Her son. “His name is Noah,” Marche reminds us, walking out the door, presumably with an uncomfortable boner—a boner of knowledge, yes, but also the regular meat-based kind of boner. “In the ancient story of the flood, Noah and his family are the only ones who escape the general destruction of the corrupt world.”
Fox, once more: “You and I are humans, this is not all of it. This cannot be, because we are so disappointing….”
Some of us are humans, yes. Others are something more special. Others still only have information to convey, even if it’s bad news. Look at me, we say, I’ve brought you this sacrifice of my thoughts. Kill it for me. Beautifully.