Actress Lisa Kudrow recently gave an honest interview about the issues she sees with popular culture, and how she her adjusts her behavior to accommodate certain societal expectations, but pushes back against other cultural norms.
Given her remarkable level of fame, Kudrow has no expectation of privacy and reflects on society's more recent obsession with sharing on public forums. Private discourses now occur in public spaces, a phenomenon perpetuated by reality television. Kudrow believes that one result of this shifting norm is society thrives on humiliation of self and others and our standards for 'acceptable behavior' is 'much lower.'
Kudrow also talked about acting from her point of view as a mother. She refused to take her young son on set and allow him to 'experience me as someone who is not his mom and completely interested and devoted,' while she was in character. She also limits some of her son's acting interests, believing that fame without enough life experiences has proven to be a path towards 'derailment.' She blames this process on the power society grants to entertainers.
Kudrow adopts a more sombre tone when discussing current portrayals of women in relationships. Recent movies and television shows depict women as powerless and insecure, but reappropriate this passiveness as a type of 'freedom of expression' that frankly serves to forbid women from becoming equal players. We also see this type of disenfranchisement of women in real time with female actresses earning less than their male counterparts- a double standard that Kudrow vehemently opposes.
The interview is an example of a famous person using her clout to create a platform that raises awareness for deeper issues engrained in Hollywood that are often cast aside for more glossy surface level gossip. Let's hope more people of Kudrow's status will take the time to reflect on these issues and start a conversation about how society can recognize and heighten our baseline standards related to women's portrayals in the media, how society can encourage children in entertainment to seek an education, and how society can more carefully reflect on and define our rights and responsibilities regarding privacy.
[On privacy]...any of us who tweet or post personal information on social media. “You think you’re controlling the story. But when you put it out there, any individual can perceive it the way they want...relationships, family...is meant to have very private parts, and it’s worth protecting.” [On her son's interests in acting] 'Any kind of artist needs a little more life experience before that’s all you’re doing. You need a point of reference for the world you’re living in...When a very young person becomes too powerful, they become a valuable commodity that everyone’s afraid to say no to.” [On portrayals of young women's relationships] “It’s the tragedy of young girls having no self-esteem but thinking they do, and allowing themselves to be treated horribly.” She and her own college-era friends did not allow it, she says. “Standards have just dropped..."