November 1, 2008

"There's something about the Olsens that makes them seem like trinkets...."

Robin Givhan on the Olsen twins:
Ashley Olsen... appeared on "Good Morning America" and spoke with Diane Sawyer. The morning host insisted that they stand next to each other so the audience could take note of just how teeny-tiny the millionaire author is compared with the statuesque journalist. We couldn't help but wonder: Would Sawyer have been so inclined to treat the equally diminutive actress Jada Pinkett Smith or former labor secretary Robert Reich like a Travelocity gnome?...

Assembling [their new] book took more than a year and was daunting, one of them said. It might have been Mary-Kate. But it could just as easily could have been Ashley. It was impossible to tell them apart....

As individuals, they do not seem fully realized. As adults, they are a blur. When we see Ashley solo in the middle of a cocktail party, we wonder: Where is her other half? What is she doing? And who left this child alone in a room crowded with adults?
Soooo.... wow... twins are freaky....

I mean, I thought Givhan was critical of Diane Sawyer, but then, she just went on infantalizing and dehumanizing them.

Hey, big news: Twins are human. Short people are human.


Peter V. Bella said...

"Hey, big news: Twins are human. Short people are human."

Robert Reich is not human.

Rachel said...

In my experience... women do not want to seem large.

Not any more than most want to seem small.

Palladian said...

They are freaky, Althouse. You even noticed this once. It's not because they're twins, it's not because they're small. It's because they're freaky.

Ann Althouse said...

Well, Mary-Kate was freaky at the time. Nothing freaky about Ashley there.

Ann Althouse said...

See! I can tell them apart.

1jpb said...

One of them (I don't know which one, maybe it was both of them switching places) played an odd character on Weeds. It seemed like an overly transparent way of breaking away from her existing image as a kid role model, or something.

Her character was one of the few on Weeds who maintained some likability, from my perspective.

Palladian said...

"See! I can tell them apart."

Now that's freaky!

Kirby Olson said...

Twins are inherently dramatic. Shakespeare used them in most of his plays. Tininess is also very dramatic. Tininess is often used in clown shows, just as giganticness is.

Maybe this is what TV needs, and Sawyer knows it?

I wish McCain was a little more dramatic, my friends.

Obama is quite striking and dramatic.

I'm just blathering.

Next time around the Republicans will forego public financing and maybe they can buy a pair of twins like the Olsens to stump for them, putting them under microscopes so that everybody can see them.

Chris Wren said...

Just as all Native American elders can transform themselves into animals, it's a well-known and documented fact that twins possess all sorts of fascinating psychic abilities, frequently appearing in each other's dreams. Ergo, freaky.

Albatross said...

Sometimes twins -- through their behavior -- invite people to be suspicious of them.

jdeeripper said...

Althouse - Hey, big news: Twins are human. Short people are human.

reader_iam said...

Narrators require tools, and I ain't talkin' grammar. Hammer, nail.

reader_iam said...

To be clear: My previous comment was NOT one on the Olsens, nor an expression of my view on them. Its targets lie elsewhere.

SGT Ted said...

I thought Robert Reich was the Travelocity Gnome.

My bad.

vbspurs said...


John McCain was very funny on SNL's opening skit. It was the better of the two skits, and exactly the reverse of Sarah Palin's Weekend Update Moose Rap one, which rocked harder than the opener.

Video below, but still hunting down the full versions. Keep clicking!

John McCain on QVC

BTW, did you hear that Sarah Palin got prank-called by "Nicolas Sarkozy?"

It's a doozy! ;)

Pranking Sarah


Lawgiver said...

I dunno about the Olsens. They emit a non-human vibe. I think a Kirilian photograph of them would reveal that they aren't what they seem to be. They have an Obama-like Vulcan quality that makes me queasy. I can imagine them alone in a room with Barak having a three way mind meld plotting the downfall of the human race.

wael said...


هيمة القلوب
منتدى هيمة القلوب
برامج كمبيوتر

EnigmatiCore said...

They've got beady hands. Beady eyes. Walk around telling big big lies.

Short people got no reason to live.

Don't want no short people 'round here.

Shawn Levasseur said...

I think that the reason the Olsen girls are infantilized is the strange sub-category of celebrity that is "Child Star".

No matter how old they actually get. Parts of the public views them as the children they used to be, and treat them as such.

former law student said...

I thought Givhan was critical of Diane Sawyer, but then, she just went on infantalizing and dehumanizing them.

Robin Givhan established her weirdo-ness when she made an issue of Hillary Clinton's nonexistent cleavage. She has a certain number of column-inches to fill each week whether rational thought or glossolalia.