Content Section

From Newsweek

Attack of the Phony Lesbians

Girl-on-girl kissing used to be shocking. Now it’s just tired.

So, we get it: girl-on-girl Frenching is, like, so superhot. Especially when it’s between movie stars, hot movie stars, and, apparently, straight movie stars. So when a recently separated Sandra Bullock, recovering from a very public breakup, stuck her tongue down newly wed Scarlett Johansson’s throat at the MTV Movie Awards on Sunday, nobody was particularly surprised. What better way to take the spotlight off Sandra’s breakup than to put it on her new Sapphic tendencies?

But come on. Can we please say enough already to the whole girl-on-girl obsession? We’ve been fawning over straight chicks kissing since Neve Campbell and Denise Richards got it on in Wild Things, in 1998. We’ve gone on to see the gals go three-way with Christina and Britney and Madonna, on MTV in 2003, and we’ve spent the last two weeks obsessing about former good girl Miley Cyrus’s lip lock with a female backup dancer. We’ve got Lindsay and Katy Perry and Kristen and Dakota, kissing, groping, singing about it all. Hot? Sure, if you get off on the awkward faux-lesbian script. But isn’t the whole thing just a tad played out?

It’s one thing when a girl-on-girl kiss is actually, you know, political. (Willow and Tara, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, shared the first lesbian kiss in TV history.) But the straight-girl lip lock isn’t even shocking anymore. It’s cheap, it’s staged, it’s boring—a sad attempt to please the men who are watching. It’s the modern-day version of the low-cut dress, but taking the cleavage one step further to please the boys.

In Bullock’s case—that of a 45-year-old woman trying to get out of the public eye, trying to prove she’s still got sex appeal—the whole display is also kind of humiliating. (When did this become the best way to recover from a breakup? To stage a comeback? To prove one’s hotness?) “Now that we’ve done that,” Bullock said, beaming, after the smooch, “can we please go back to normal?” Uh, sure. And the next time MTV wants to be “shocking,” maybe it should try hooking up Dwayne Johnson and Mark Wahlberg.

View As Single Page