Did the sexualization of Megan Fox in ‘Transformers’ derail her career?
Ever since activist movements like #MeToo, women’s rights issues have started to resurface in full force. Unacceptable treatment of women is being exposed by some of the voices that have the power to shape what the future looks like for women. Harvey Weinstein’s reign of sexual abuse has been put to rest and movies like Bombshell are starting to shed light on issues that have been around forever.
The latest woman to come forward about her experience of oppressive sexualization in Hollywood is Megan Fox. A stream of tweets has called for a reassessment of how she was treated as a raging sex symbol in the mid-00s. Fox made her acting debut at the young age of fifteen and has been consistently objectified ever since.
Michael Bay’s crippling perversion
Megan Fox first hit the scene in her breakthrough role in Transformers. Starring beside Shia LaBeouf, Fox instantly became a star as the movie raked in a whopping $ 709.7 million in box office revenue. However, Fox’s newfound popularity was tarnished by overwhelming over-sexualization, largely due to disgusting Transformers director Michael Bay.
Transformers isn’t just a terrible movie due to his hilariously bad product placement & atrocious writing, it excels at having gross depictions of women. Transformers and its sequel Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen capitalize off of Michael Bay’s incredibly sexist content such as endless ass & panty-shots and skimpy costume design.
Not only was objectification of women evident in Michael Bay’s movies, his perversion towards Megan Fox extended off-screen as well. In 2007, Bay allegedly had Fox audition for her role in Transformers by having her dress in a bikini and wash his Ferrari in his driveway.
Recently, a clip of Megan Fox on Jimmy Kimmel has been circulating, where Fox shares her experience with Michael Bay’s pedophilic sexualization of her. At barely fifteen-years-old, Fox says she was playing an extra in Bad Boys II, wearing a bikini and six-inch heels when Bay made her dance “underneath a waterfall getting soaking wet” because she was too young to sit at the bar with a drink in her hand.
Fox says, “At 15, I was in 10th grade. That’s kind of a microcosm of how Bay’s mind works.” In response, Kimmel laughs and delivers a vulgar punchline, “Yeah, well that’s really a microcosm of how all our minds work. Some of us have the decency to repress those thoughts and pretend that they don’t exist.”
After Michael Bay’s perverted treatment of Megan Fox, the industry wanted Fox for all the wrong reasons and the roles that were given to her reflected their criminally perverted intentions.
Fox’s short appearance in Two and a Half Men casts her as a sixteen-year-old girl who is supposed to be “too sexy for her age.” The whole skit revolves around the two middle-aged leads lusting over her, wishing they could get into her pants despite her being underaged.
Megan Fox’ roles following Transformers
Seriously underrated, Jennifer’s Body is an example of Fox’s tremendous talent as an actress. However, while filming Jennifer’s Body “nude” scene (she was actually wearing nude underwear & nipple covers), a paparazzi photographer snuck on set and took photos of Fox.
Megan explains how this felt, saying, “The last thing I had that was mine, the last bit of privacy that I had was my body and I didn’t want to show it. I felt so violated . . . I wanted to keep that for myself and it was taken from me and so I was really devastated. I broke down, I cried.”
Speaking out about the impact
All of this malicious attention on Fox, understandably, had severe impacts on Fox’s ability to stay in the game. Describing a “psychological breakdown, Fox shared her experience with Entertainment Tonight, saying, “It wasn’t just that movie, it was every day of my life, all the time, with every project I worked on and every producer I worked with. It preceded a breaking point for me.” Detailing what that meant for her Fox says:
“I didn’t want to be seen, I didn’t want to have to take a photo, do a magazine, walk a carpet, I didn’t want to be seen in public at all because of the fear, and the belief, and the absolute certainty that I was going to be mocked, or spat at, or someone was going to yell at me, or people would stone me or savage me for just being out .”
Even though Megan Fox did speak out about how the sexualization of her was “not ok”, she felt exceedingly overlooked – it was before the #MeToo movement and many expressed that they didn’t care and that she deserved it. After all of the harassment, Fox’s career took a toll, nearly disappearing from the scene for years. However, hopes are high Fox’s career will make a comeback, many projects of hers on the way.