If you didn’t know the name Don Gentile before today, you’re not alone — but the National Enquirer writer who makes a living saying cruel things about female celebrities and their appearances has been outed by Jezebel, and in the process, the whole industry of trashing women’s appearances is cast in a deservedly suspect light.
Jezebel’s Tracie Egan Morrissey says she was curious about Don Gentile after years of exposes targeting every female celeb and her weight gain, possible plastic surgery, fashion choices and suspected cellulite.
It’s not news that women are held under a microscope should they choose to pursue a career in Hollywood, but the advent of the internet has worsened the scrutiny that not only (horribly) affects female stars, but also creates a stringent standard for everyday people who don’t have access to a Pilates trainer, a personal chef, and a nanny to do all that expensive and time consuming stuff.
Morrissey quotes Don Gentile’s work targeting female celebrities and their bodies, in a brief sampling of his National Enquirer celebrity coverage:
“Demi Moore, 50, might want to schedule another visit to her plastic surgeon. The actress wasn’t so wrinkle-free at a Hollywood theater event in April … A visit to a plastic surgeon would do wonders for Sarah Jessica Parker … Katie Couric, 56, looked haggard last August as she stepped out for lunch in Manhattan.”
So, as she surmises, the guy who makes these harsh judgments day in and day out is probably a perfectly toned, young male model with a tan and lots of thick hair?
Not quite. Having worked for the New York Daily News for nearly four decades prior to his Enquirer stint, Morrissey notes he can’t be that young — and digging up his Facebook profile reveals a bald and aging dude who she rags on in saying:
“Perhaps it speaks to his age that he wouldn’t think that people would read such nasty sentiments about women’s physical appearances and turn to social media to check out what kind of Adonis he is. If he had, he probably would never have worn that SpongeBob shirt in those selfies he posted to his Facebook page.”
Do you think individual writers like Don Gentile should be held to account for body shaming and criticizing women’s looks in the media, or do readers play a part in driving this sort of content?