Rose McGowan takes it off & says she’s tired of being ‘sexualized’

Rose McGowan

Not many people will care about this story or Rose McGowan’s chartreuse pumps and newly short hair as she shopped on Melrose this weekend. I simply felt like reliving some Rose McGowan gossip from days past. Mostly because Rose is revising her past in a new interview with Flatt magazine. I’m not including the photos because her girls are on display, but you can see them here.

Rose is preparing to debut her first directorial effort, Dawn, which draws from Flannery O’Connor’s A Good Man is Hard to Find. The story is about a serial killer, and the New York Times praised the film and said Rose had “the makings of a talented director.” Huh.

Serious Rose is pumped about being a director, and she wants to reframe her sexpot past. I don’t know why this is a problem for her. Rose played up her vampy ways for decades. But she’s complaining about her semi-NSFW Rolling Stone cover from 2007. The shot featured Rose and Rosario Dawson promoting Grindhouse. Both women are wearing a few strings of bullets and nothing else. Rose says that was the moment she refused to be sexualized ever again. Even though she takes it off for this magazine too. Oh well, let’s do these excerpts:

She’s done with being sexualized: “I just grew up with not just an appreciation, but the desire to break down the study of film. Okay Rose, let’s study the Lumiere Brothers, who invented the moving camera. Let’s now study and focus on this. So when I was discovered for acting I thought, oh, this must be what I’m meant to do. But I was never comfortable in the role of basically being voiceless. I worked with some seriously misogynistic directors. And people get a pass because they’re directors — but you don’t get a pass for being a bad person, you just don’t. I don’t think any job. I got really tired of being sexualized. There was a moment, I was on the cover of Rolling Stone, with a fake tan and gun belt around me and breasts, they gave me some big bouffant hair and glossy lips, and I just was like, I’ve had it, I have just had it. I’m like sick of being sexualized, I’m sick of this. So I just checked out and I ran around and I had the most fabulous time. I figured out finally what was wrong. It was not that I wasn’t meant to be an actress, it was just that I was meant to be in film, and I just was literally cast in the wrong role in life. And I’m good at acting, I like exploring different worlds and I like disappearing, but I spent 15 years disappearing into other people’s bodies, into other people’s minds, other people’s clothes, eating what other people would eat. It wasn’t that I didn’t have amazing moments or got to do amazing things, absolutely. I’m an artist, but I never felt like I was an artist as an actor. Not because of how I was treated, because that’s not how artists are treated, or should be treated, or people should be treated.”

On female directors: “I think it’s a great time for women filmmakers. Women are being afforded greater roles in their destiny, or roles in art, or roles as directors, but why should women be ‘afforded’ anything? I shouldn’t just be allowed to have something — it is my right. It is my right to create as much as it’s another human being’s right, and I think that comes first. Somebody asked if I thought a man would have made Dawn, and I don’t know if they could have. I don’t know if it would have occurred to them.

“The Seattle International Film Festival put me and dawn was in the festival, which was an honor, but then under genre, they put ‘woman director.’ I feel bad because then of course I go on Twitter and I was like, ‘Dear Friends on Twitter, please explain to the Seattle International Film Festival why a woman director is not a genre.’ I got a letter back from them saying we can assure you: we are neither sexist nor racist. I was very confused by that one, and I said no. It’s a passive sexism and that’s dangerous. All the people that looked at that to go into the program, nobody waved a flag at that one, because it’s normal. And that’s what has to change, I think.”

Her philanthropic efforts: “I support Children of The Night, they are who I earmark for things and anybody who’s going to donate on my behalf, they work to support children and teen runaways. I’m involved in are working at Walter Reed Hospital. I’ve been working with the military in the USO for years. I’ve been to Afghanistan and Kuwait, and I’ve done a lot of stuff in the last seven years military. I’m very, very close to that world. I have the utmost respect for them, and it’s beyond that. I think I would have been a really good soldier or officer, frankly. Except for I probably would have gotten kicked out for some reason or another, I’m sure. But I’m a fighter, I’m a born fighter, and I respect fighters, in any capacity.”

[From Flatt]

Most of what Rose says about female directors is spot on. But Rose acts like she was promoting a wholesome project when she got her kit off for Rolling stone. Please. She was working on Grindhouse, which was full of innuendo and featured Rose rolling around in the tiniest skirt imaginable. She had sexy times in that movie, you know. And she hooked up with the married director, Robert Rodriguez. (They later got engaged and broke up). Rose was proud of the project. I remember hearing stories about how she considered that premiere to be her star moment, and she forbade the other actresses from wearing red that evening. Only one red dress allowed, I guess. Then Rose pushed Robbie Rod to remake Barbarella. Thank goodness that never happened. Poor Rose would have had to sexualize herself again.

These photos of Rose and Jamie King doing fashion week duck face are so weird.

Rose McGowan

Rose McGowan

Photos courtesy of WENN

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43 Responses to “Rose McGowan takes it off & says she’s tired of being ‘sexualized’”

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  1. Lindy79 says:

    Sigh, the thing that bothers me about her comments is she sounds a little like it was against her will…So who was sexualising her when she turned up at the MTV Awards wearing nothing but some floss and a string thong

    • Christo says:

      I know, right? All she needs to do now is grow her dark hair out, adopt a southern accent, and play Julia Sugarbaker in a Designing Women reboot. Her surgeries make her look like a sophisticated woman in our early 50’s. God Bless Her.

      • wiffie says:

        I used to poke fun at her surgeries until I learned she got in a really bad car wreck and her face got seriously lacerated. She’s had a lot of reconstruction to try to get back her looks but if course can never be the same. I lay off the bad surgery jokes now. That’s sad.

    • CTgirl says:

      The sexualizing of Rose McGowan was self-inflicted.

  2. perplexed says:

    If she doesn’t want to sexualize herself in the same way that she did for Rolling Stone magazine, regardless of the subject matter of that movie, I think that’s her right.

    I haven’t seen what she’s done for this magazine, but the Rolling Stone magazine cover does seem….more tacky-looking ? in comparison to other nude-type shots.

    Her comments sound okay to me. I take issue with her plastic surgery. She may have ruined what made her beautiful…

    • perplexed says:

      Oh, weird, she does really take things off for the new magazine. Just found the photo. Ok, I can see why she comes across as hypocritical.

      Oh wait, I just remembered she wore a really odd outfit once on the red carpet with Marilyn Manson.

    • meh says:

      Her first surgery on her face was actually reconstructive surgery after a bad accident not plastic surgery. Although it looks like she may have done more since then, idk.

  3. Jules says:

    So she sexualizes herself on a photo shoot to promote her movie. It didn’t work in 2007 I doubt it will work now.

    • CTgirl says:

      Especially with her new plastic face that would put Norma Desmond to shame. How exactly does one get their complexion so waxy???

  4. Nick says:

    She looks completely different, no?

    • Lola says:

      She was in a car accident, her glasses shattered part of her face, ever since she has been trying hard to reconstruct it.

      • Someonestolemyname says:

        Oh that’s terrible.
        I wondered what happened to her, she was so beautiful before. She still looks ok considering, but the work is somewhat obvious.

      • Nick says:

        Didn’t know that. Thanks

      • Sugar says:

        I think that was just her cover story. If you read her account of it, she only talks about a “flap” of skin hanging near her eye, yet she’s obviously had a nose job, messed around with her lips and eyes, and had tons of filler.

      • Bridget says:

        The car accident story is used as cover for the fact that she’s had extensive work done on her face over the years. She had an accident, and she needed something done to fix it, but this is well beyond reconstructive at this point.

      • Isadora says:

        She had one cut under her eye after the car accident and that was the result of broken sunglasses, yes. It’s not like she crashed through the windshield or got second degree burns from an exploding vehicle, however the extent of her surgeries would imply such a massive injury, if this story were the real explanation.

  5. Al says:

    Her hair looks amazing! Everything she says is so spot on. She acted in a particular way and then became tired of it and now ants to be different. She doesn’t want to be sexualized on film anymore. Why the f- does everyone have to turn around and try to call her out for that? I must have missed the part where she blamed some man for her feelings. Please someone point it out to me. She’s basically saying it’s a go-along to get-along industry and to change that she has to change. Good for her!!

    • Joan says:

      Her hair looks fantastic, I agree. She looks really great with this style ‘do and with her clothing choices as of late. I would love to copy it but I could neither keep up with the costs of the constant trims, nor obtain her body type. 🙂

      • Al says:

        Me toooooo! except I’m not sure if it’s a body type thing or a “where am I wearing that thing?” . I would just look like the CAAAraaaziest Mom in the PTA! Plus, who am I kidding, I barely wear any make-up, I would less kick ass and more drag ass with that hair cut.

      • QQ says:

        Sign Me up on The Love the Hair Brigade Ya’ll

  6. Sara says:

    i am so sick of actresses acting certain ways for years and then when the public stops caring or starts to call them out they play the victim.

    look at Taylor Swift: “i am musician and i shouldnt be reduced to my ex boyfriends” yet she still sings about them and goes public with every relationship and only dates very famous dudes. she even abuses feminism to fit her own agenda and to shup up criticism.

    look at Jennifer Aniston: “its so unfair how i am reduced to making babies” yet she always played that angle in interviews and had a lot of stories planted. thats the only thing that keeps her relevant.

    so ladies please stop that. its annoying and exclusively your fault.

  7. serena says:

    I really wanna see Dawn, seems like a cool movie. Rose is right ‘women director’ should not be a genre, IT IS sexist! Other than that, she’s full of BS.

    • SugarMalone says:

      I get what she’s saying but I know why film festivals do that. I attend a lot of film festivals (my city has at least one running every weekend) and for people who are trying to plan their viewing schedule, they tag movies with multiple things to help you focus on what you want to see.

      For instance, I know several other people who were at TIFF this year who only wanted to see movies by women directors. Some film festivals offer upwards of 300 movies so being able to hit a tag on the website that says “woman directors” or “women’s issues” is insanely helpful.

      It actually HELPS female filmmakers get their films seen and makes sure that the right people see them (i.e. people who are looking to promote work by women).

  8. anonymous says:

    To quote Ti-Grace Atkinson: Sisterhood is Powerful. It kills. Mostly sisters.

    I applaud Rose McGowan. She is striving, trying, maturing as an individual.

    Let’s hope we all grow. It is a process. people change, develop. people gain insights. Oftentimes others will be uncomfortable with healthier choices. Some people trade on their looks because it is all they think they have, their only power. They may also have issues with body dysmorphia.

    Over time, with life experience, a person can begin to acquire more self awareness.

    While what little I know of Rose’s personal comes from tabloid fodder, this discussion brings Pamela Anderson to mind. Recently she publicly revealed her past sexual abuse. This revelation is a one of the first steps towards inner change. She writes poetry. She is in process. It is painful to see news items that she continues to engage in public ways that sexualize herself (i.e., continues to relive trauma that is familiar, sadly comfortable). I truly wish her healing, growth and positive change.

    I write this as a woman who survived childhood sexual traumas and am now working as a counselor. We don’t know Rose’s personal story, so please, show some compassion.

    • Al says:

      Totally, but let’s not forget that women don’t have to be victims to change their minds. They can just change their minds.They can just one day, all of a sudden take their life in a different direction and not owe anybody an explanation. At all. Period.

    • Anni says:

      Well, Rose grew up in a cult (Children of God, very disturbing and sad), but people often change their opinions regardless of their childhood/youth. So don’t make assumptions.

  9. JenniferJustice says:

    She sexualized herself by allowing it. Tired of women making choices they later regret and casting blame on everybody but themselves. She wasn’t forced. There may have been some persuasion or even coersion, but it’s still a choice to go against one’s grain when there are other careers and ways to support oneself. She made the decisions herself. It wasn’t just pictorials and covers that sexualized her. Come on – the roles she chose, the movies she chose, the choice of attire, and the obvious plastic surgery were all part of her desire to be a vamp, so I’m having trouble even beleiving she has a problem with her decisions and sexualizing herself. I suspect it’s more about attempting to appeal to the masses by pretending it wasn’t what she wanted…a bit late to be playing coy.

  10. Mzizkrizten says:

    I think she has just grown up and grown out of the youthful duped mindset that females should embrace their sexuality and let it all hang out because it’s empowering. Media and society makes females feel that their sexuality is the full essence of who they are and if they don’t express it and flaunt it they’re not fully female. A lot of young women fall for this line of crap and dress and act provocatively. And these same young girls eventually mature and realize they fell for it. Now Rose making all these mature statements in an article where she also is baring her body kind of lessens her message.

    • Anni says:

      It’s called art. I’m sure Rose likes the pictures of herself and does them in an artsy way. You have to admit that they aren’t tacky but tasteful and nice to look at. It is for a Magazine, but you can’t compare Flaunt to Rolling Stone. The cover from 2007 just sexualized her and didn’t have a meaning other than showing her body off. And I think it’s a difference if she portrays a character (in Plante Terror) or if she is shown on a cover as Rose McGowan.

  11. j.eyre says:

    I am going to give her the benefit of the doubt here because I like what she said. I hope she becomes a powerful voice for females in film.

    But I am confused by those shots if she is trying to set herself apart from over-sexualization. I am fine with nudity for art, but if you want to present a relaxed, legs spread for comfort shot while promoting your stance on not being over-sexualized, a better message would have been to drape a blanket over that short skirt, or maybe wear pants.

  12. lucy2 says:

    I think it’s great she’s pursuing directing, and I’m appalled at the Seattle Film Festival for classifying her as a “woman director”. She directed a movie, she’s a director, that’s it.
    I think she’s in a tough spot with the sexualized stuff – people are always going to point towards her choices, which certainly used her sexuality for her career. I think she’d be better served to take a little responsibility for that too, but I also get what she’s saying about being done with it and wanting something else.

  13. Delilah says:

    I understand what it means to finally ‘break the silence’ at a time you achieve a certain level of independence and can afford to take on the backlash — losing income, being alienated, accused of hypocrisy or playing the victim. The ‘go along to get along’ phenomenon is real and we shouldn’t discount its’ pow’r to force people to make choices to which they object. Take for instance what a woman of color has to do to get and keep work – accept or project the image of accepting the dynamic that renders us invisible and relegates us to support roles; the only way to advance is to relinquish any pow’r to the pow’rs that be and not challenge any decisions no matter how reprehensible to the extent of just being a figure heads. The glass ceiling is real and many people and dynamics perpetuate it.

  14. Jmo says:

    There are enough examples of women actors that do not have so many regrets about their careers, that McGowan’s protests sound like sour grapes. Even Rosario Dawson has had a great career as a character actress, and there she is beside her on that “infamous” cover. But look at Rosario’s face, she owns her image, she’s showing confidence where Rose is all cheesecake and sultry eyes… You reap what you sow. All I remember of McGowan from her time in the limelight was exhibitionism, infidelity, PR stunts, I can’t remember one memorable role.

    So, if she finds a new more satisfying career, one where she can express herself honestly and with integrity, good for her. But I do not buy her absolution of responsibility for her lack of success as an actress. Girl, own that you had transgressions in your past, that you want to move on from the object that you once were, but don’t deny that you had anything to do with the path you took. It’s disingenuous, hypocritical and leaves you open now for lack of credibility.

  15. WTF says:

    So this is the Hollywood woman playbook. The only reason that anyone still even remembers her name is because of her exhibitionist antics. Now you are the victim of your own antics?
    It’s like Tyra Banks complaining about unrealistic images of beauty when you made your fortune BEING the unrealistic image of beauty.
    There are real women (even in Hollywood) with real problems and real talent and the work to back it up. If you want to be whip cream all your life, don’t get mad when you are too old to be whip cream and claim you are a victim because nobody thinks you are half and half.

  16. Hannah says:

    Rose was on nerdist podcast this year. It was the most vapid, selfish, shallow interview I have ever heard in my entire life. It’s is one of only two interviews out of over 600 where the host hasn’t introduced the interview – which basically means if you have nothing nice to say don’t say anything at all.

  17. Bridget says:

    There is a constant need for more women directors, and more power to Rose if this is something she’s good at. But it would be nice for her to also acknowledge some of her own agency when it came to her oversexualized image, especially since she certainly didn’t seem to have any problems with it until it stopped leading to jobs. She’s made a lot of choices in the public eye that have all contributed to that picture of her, and not all of them were coerced.

  18. Jewbitch says:

    She used to be so pretty :/

  19. Gilmore says:

    So late here, but I feel like Rose meant she wanted to embrace her sexuality under her own terms? The infamous g-string dress was her own decision, running around in a mini-skirt for RR was what she wanted to do, and maybe during this shoot she wasn’t comfortable and she didn’t feel in control of the situation? That’s just a wild guess here..