Oh, HuffPo, weren’t you supposed to be better than this? Considering that San Diego Comic-Con is one of the largest entertainment conventions in America, and that geekdom is turning into a pop-culture phenomenon, maybe it’s time to shed some nasty stereotypes. I don’t know what else this headline is supposed to evoke except the pimpled nerd who never even gets to see attractive women: Megan Fox’s Crop Top Was Likely a Hit at Comic-Con. That plenty of nerds and geeks grew up awkward is undeniable, but maybe jibes in headlines are a little worn out. Most of us have grown up into perfectly functional adults unafraid to show our enthusiasm for things.
All I can imagine is Cavan Sieczkowski finding this picture of Megan Fox doing her hot on the red carpet thing and saying, “Hurr, hurr, I bet those nerds loved that bare midriff! Bet they haven’t ever seen an inch wide strip of abs that sexy.” Yup, she is doing how a Megan Fox do and looking hot. So why the weird vocabulary when dealing with this particular outfit at this particular event?
It’s that word, “likely.” Why was that chosen? The first sentence of the article, “Mix a crop top, some leather and Megan Fox and you’ve got quite the sizzling combination,” doesn’t seem to betray any ambivalence about the quality of the outfit or its public reception. Never is the look criticized. The odds of probability are never invoked. Why wasn’t a more strongly positive word chosen? “Likely” is not a fashion word. The fashion world doesn’t run on likely. Outfits either dazzle or they bomb.
Earlier in the year Ms. Sieczkowski even wrote another article that led with Megan Fox’s outfit. Its headline? “Megan Fox Wows At The Kid’s Choice Sports Awards.” Ms. Sieczkowski wasn’t at either event personally, so it doesn’t seem like she’s hedging her bets against getting called out for not accurately reporting the reaction of attendees.
Both of these articles follow nearly identical formats. There’s a one sentence opener followed by a paragraph describing her reason for appearing at the event. These paragraphs in both articles lead with a link to another story. In the case of the Kid’s Choice Sports awards it’s an article about her dress. In the Comic-Con article it’s a SheKnows.com article that doesn’t even mention her oufit. In fact, it’s more about which turtle April clicks with and the tantalizing chance at some interspecies romance. There are other articles that do specifically mention how she looks. She could have chosen one of those to link if the crop top was to be the main topic of discussion. It’s also completely acceptable to just give your opinion in an article or headline focused on fashion. It’s completely subjective.
What I’m driving at here is that the word “likely,” which adds a sarcastic twist to the headline, is out of the ordinary for this writer, the format she follows and the broad subject the headline covers.
Could we describe the attendees at Comic-Con as nerds and geeks? Most certainly. Is Megan Fox hot? Yup. That’s kind of her thing. But the rest of the article isn’t about her clothing, it’s about how she feels a kinship with the attendees. The article linked in the post doesn’t talk about what she’s wearing either. It talks about how April O’Neil gets along with the different turtles and how their personalities could be based on the four Greek temperaments, which is a perfectly valid fan theory. In fact, considering the Turtle’s classical names, it makes perfect sense, even if it’s not true.
So the Huffington Post chose a headline that objectified Megan Fox, mocked the audience and failed to reflect the far more interesting story contained in the article. That’s pretty bad even by celebrity news standards.