She’s from West Hollywood.
He’s from Atwater Village.
Two native Angelenos respond to the popular “Women of LA” video.
SHE SAID (by Ella Ceron):
3.8 million people live in Los Angeles. 50.4 of those people are female. And this guy and his friends just can’t seem to get laid by any of them. What are the odds of that?
Granted, even if the video is meant to be a parody of the dating scene in the city of Angels, it makes some pretty sweeping generalizations about the female population here. No, not every woman who lives in the Valley is fat and not every Persian woman in Beverly Hills is plagued with hair. By propagating stereotypes — and the most pervasive of them all: that of the money-hungry, gold-digging, fake-breasted, opportunistic bimbo — DJ Lubel & Co. are turning their supreme lack of game with these women into a punch line. And so, in order to understand any average-looking, average-working, average-earning straight male’s odds with the Hollywood stereotype of a Los Angeles woman, we have to define what a “Woman of L.A.” actually is.
At a basic level, a “woman of L.A.” is one of two kinds of women: those who were born there, and those who move there.
At first, you might not be able to tell them apart because the ones who were born here probably grew up with parents who took Tae Bo in Billy Blanks’ personal classroom and have tans cultivated from years of perfect weather that their skin will always be the color of a Coffee Bean non-fat latte. For these reasons among so many others, they often bear striking resemblance to the women who bought a one-way ticket to LAX with dreams, hopes, and an ass you could bounce a quarter off of. And not every woman who moves to Los Angeles does so with the intention of becoming famous, or at least marrying somebody famous.
Of course, it stands to reason that there is a certain level of nature versus nurture at stake. If actresses are told that the only actresses winning roles are the ones who possess 25″ waists, most will, more than likely, follow suit to up their own odds. And if average women are told that actresses possess some universal standard of beauty, they will invariably follow suit. And if the single women of Los Angeles are told that the men of Los Angeles are all lusting after these actresses like horny teenagers, it stands to reason that instead of bucking trend, the vast majority of people will see the demand and attempt to supply it themselves. People everywhere — men and women alike — are often looking to trends and to culture to tell them how to act, how to look, how to think, what to say, and how to behave. The pervasive culture of Los Angeles is no different.
But regardless of whether they sip green juice because they genuinely like it or because they know it’s the cool thing to do, one thing rings true for the women who were born in Los Angeles and the women who move to Los Angeles: both have to learn about weeding out bullshit very, very quickly.
- FACT: If you’re upset at her for constantly being on the prowl for somebody sexier, richer, more famous, and more powerful than you, chances are you’re playing the exact same game. Or at least, you’re keeping one eye open when you kiss her at the valet at Little Dom’s because you think that Rosie Huntington-Whiteley will leave Jason Statham for you.
- FACT: If you think she’s just loitering around for you to mention either CAA or William Morris, isn’t that going to become your go-to ice breaker? And isn’t that going to be the ice-breaker every other guy uses, too? And if women talk to a lot of men in Los Angeles, how many employees do you really think William Morris has? They’re not Google, y’all. Get creative with your resume padding.
- FACT: It’s all bullshit. And we know it. Because the whole nature-versus-nurture debate? The x quotient women see in the supply and demand equation? It works for men, too, and more often than not, you’re playing into it. If you demand a bimbo, a bimbo you will get. If you dream of hooking up with somebody who is “out of your league,” chances are, you’ll be rejected by somebody out of your league. Life is not Superbad. Jonah Hill gave men everywhere hope to hit it with Emma Stone (Jonah Hill is also not Spiderman).
Since the dawn of time, men have been doing things for women. Eating the apple because a woman suggested it? Going to war, camping out in a horse, and burning down an entire city to earn a woman back? “Discovering” America? (A king wasn’t exactly the main proponent of funding that little trip, you know.) How many men have written screenplays as vehicles for their aspiring actress girlfriends? How many men have written songs about women? Guys, we understand that we inspire you and we’re super flattered. But if you’re going to tailor all of your creative endeavors to coincidentally feature us every time, we’re going to begin to think that maybe, just maybe, you want in our pants. And if you mold your identity to become the dream guy you think we want, we as the women of Los Angeles will be able to tell that the Audi is really just a rental and your IMDB credit was only “contestant on The Price is Right”. And so we women learn to weed out the bullshit.
There are, of course, the women who give bullshit right back. There are the women actively looking for that guy who has courtside Laker season tickets and that bought that ridiculous showcase house because it’s kind of his job to throw crazy parties. These are the girls who are posing at the gym between reps, whose ex-boyfriend bought their boobs, and who have little dogs that ride around in purses that cost more than your rent. And whether they’re from Los Angeles or move to Los Angeles, women are equally susceptible to falling prey to stereotypes. But if you know that these women are feeding into propaganda, wouldn’t you want to read the warning signs and stay away?
Not every woman is out to advance her career by sleeping with somebody, and not every guy needs notoriety to get laid. The women of Silver Lake and the women of Beverly Hills and the women of Culver City and the women of Westchester aren’t looking for the same guy.
Trend setters — both male and female — in Los Angeles don’t make trends so much as they latch onto them en masse. And everyone siphons off of the trend until it permeates their identity and warps it into something it’s not. And being fake is no basis to any relationship, or even most one night stands. But even if you buck trends, and you pessimistically think we’ll reject you in favor of something you’re not, chances are, we’ll just reject you, period. Don’t put that negative vibe out there in the universe to begin with bro. And maybe, if you’re positive, you’ll get some action. Or maybe that optimism is just the endorphins from my 11 a.m. Barry’s Bootcamp session talking.
To read my response to the “Women of LA video” check out Ella’s blog here.
[Ella Ceron is a Los Angeles-born, New York City-based writer. She blogs about kale, gym brat problems, cookies, relationships, and how to otherwise be a functioning hot mess at EllaCeron.com. Follow her on twitter @ellapalooza.]
[Photo: Three palm trees in Downtown Los Angeles.]