The world owes Megan Fox another apology. The Transformers actress has been put through the wringer her whole career and it looks like the media vultures aren’t stopping anytime soon. Even as the world becomes ravaged by disaster after disaster, the media and the public can’t take their eyes off Megan’s personal life.
Moreover, it’s not like they’re choosing to focus on the positive side. Once again, Megan is having to face accusations about her character, whether she is a good girlfriend or wife, and her responsibilities as a mother of three. However, Megan’s response to the hate and criticism remains as self-aware and understanding as ever.
This is someone who’s learnt from her experiences and knows how to value herself. 2020 hasn’t been easy on her — on top of a global pandemic, the actress has had to deal with the pain of separating from her husband, the challenges accompanying a new relationship, being a single mother, and a media frenzy over her private choices.
Yet she remains true to herself and to the world about what she’s going through. Her lessons on double standards, self-love, and empathy should tell us a thing or two about how we can live our own lives with authenticity and kindness.
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Megan points out the double standards of her being called a “slut”
Megan and former husband Brian Austin Green began dating when Megan was only eighteen. Though they were on and off over the years, this was Megan’s only long-term relationship as an adult. For someone who was widely referred to as a sex symbol at the beginning of her career, Megan managed to maintain a monogamous relationship that lasted over fifteen years.
In May, Brian and Megan announced that they were separating for good. A few weeks later, Megan was spotted being out and about with rapper-singer Machine Gun Kelly, also known as MGK. The two packed on the PDA and were not shy about expressing their love for each other, in public and on social media.
But what was supposed to be a joyous moment for the two lovebirds turned to horror as Megan’s feed was inundated with folks chiming in about her new fling. Immediately, people started slamming her new relationship, condemning her choice to move on so quickly from Brian, bashing her for showing public displays of affection.
Once again, the word ‘slut’ got thrown around — it seems that even a worldwide pandemic couldn’t stop the public from hurling derogatory, sexist insults at the actress. It becomes all the more jarring when her husband Brian has been seen getting hot and heavy with other women in the wake of their separation but he hasn’t had to deal with any of the judgment or slut-shaming.
On the matter, Megan said:
For whatever reason, people are very trigger happy to call me stupid or call me vain or call me a slut, which is crazy. I was in the same relationship for 15 years, you know? It’s bizarre, this image that gets projected onto me that people have just accepted and that’s lived for over a decade. And that I never really did anything to earn in the first place.
She still doesn’t feel “comfortable” about speaking her truth
Megan has been largely frank about her appalling experiences of being sexualized by the industry over and over again. People forget that she was only a young adult when she was plucked from anonymity to star in the blockbuster Transformers franchise in which was continuously depicted as a sex object.
The actress shared her thoughts on the MeToo movement and how she felt like she wouldn’t be accepted in certain feminist circles — precisely because she thought a lot of people might look down upon the roles she’s played in movies. So she fought a battle behind closed doors and endured degradation, hate, and shame. The actress said that she’s still uneasy about sharing about what she was subjected to in those years.
Because honestly, some of my stories are horrific. I still don’t feel comfortable sharing my real story. And honestly, I wouldn’t anyway, because I’m not ever trying to take someone else down.
She also said she’s not too sure about the extent to which she would be supported. For all the changes the MeToo movement has introduced, there is still a significant number of people who will jump at any chance to repress or shut down women trying to find their voice. Megan referred to the current consensus of her relationship with MGK, saying the “perceptions are still very misogynistic and sexist and one-sided.”
But now she’s breaking stereotypes and “embracing life”
Despite the misogyny and derision she endures on a regular basis, Megan has made strides to break away from the old stereotypes. Moreover, she wants to take those stereotypes and turn them on their heads. Her new movie Rogue features a troop of women carrying out a covert operation in Africa.
Seeing how Megan has spent most of her career working male-dominated environment, she recalled the filming of this movie in Africa as life-changing. She had what she described a “breakthrough” in that she finally realized that she had been living a life of fear, that she had been coming from a “place of making myself small.” She added:
And I’m tired of doing that. I wanted to live a different way. I made that choice while I was [in Africa] and I’ve been making that choice every day since then. And everything has changed.
The role requires her to come off as a tough, disciplined, and commanding woman, which Megan didn’t think she would be suited to play. She didn’t think it would be “believable” for her to play a military veteran, as she is generally known for her sex appeal roles, but Megan knew that she didn’t want to approach her work with fear or hesitation. She had barriers and stereotypes to break, and she would follow through no matter what.
In MGK, she’s found her “twin flame,” in that they’re “two halves from the same soul,” as Megan described it. Not only is her love life on the up-and-up but she’s also realized that she can’t pay attention to those who constantly want to belittle her on the basis of her sexuality or her film choices. She said:
I would never fill my brain with anything trolls have to say […] My reality is obviously going to shift to fit my own belief systems. When I stopped being afraid and I started embracing life and being excited about life, then my life became more exciting.
Your voice is far more powerful than you think
Megan’s journey from a misunderstood, disgraced young actress to a wise, empathetic, and confident woman speaks volumes about the growth she’s undergone in the last fifteen years of her career. It also points to the shift that’s taken place in the public perception about women who’ve been mistreated in Hollywood. Before, they had been tossed aside and dismissed for her opinions, but it seems like the pendulum is slowly swinging in the other direction.
Megan never stopped speaking out about the misogyny that exists in our society. She knew her voice mattered, even if people didn’t necessarily believe it at the time. Even when she felt un-included by the feminism movement, she continued sticking up for them because she knew her voice was powerful, that it mattered, and that it would lead to significant outcomes one day.
You might not have gone through the same experiences that Megan did but every human being has encountered situations in which they were mistreated or wronged. Instead of being quiet and fearful, and continuing to feel sorry for ourselves, it’s worth a shot to think about speaking out and letting people know about our experiences. Sometimes it might be more comfortable to keep it to yourself and process it in your own way, but sometimes it’s really fulfilling in the long term to just find that voice and use it however you can. Circumstances change, people change — the power of your voice changes just as well.
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