AJ Lee: Is the Diva's Overt Sexuality Pushing the Limits of PG Television?
WWE Divas are attractive. This is probably a fact that the WWE is proud of, especially given their previous hiring practice under the guidance of John Laurinaitis, who claimed that "when it comes to hiring women, the standard is if they aren't pretty enough to be in Playboy, then the company wouldn't want them" (via Diva Dirt).
As "pretty girls," the role of the Divas in the company, perhaps sadly, is in many ways to stand there and look pretty.
Some Divas such as Eve, and now Kaitlyn, have found a balance between being attractive and gathering a following for their in-ring performances, but others still remain stuck behind the scenes, only popping up when a male member of the roster needs a female to boost his appearance.
Most women in the WWE are treated like accessories, mannequin-like and mostly useless.
AJ Lee, however, has found a surge in her popularity, rising not only to the top of the WWE's roster, but also making herself relevant in a company that largely ignores women.
2012 has been a great year in AJ's career. Not only has the Diva found a spot in the WWE's limelight, but she has managed to break away from the "wrestler's girlfriend" role that many female wrestlers are often typecast in, even managing to, at least for a short period of time, be the general manager of the WWE's flagship program, Monday Night Raw.
AJ's success, however, has come at a price.
Despite being established as a on-screen authority figure, AJ's rise to prominence has come as the result of her love-sick, crazed, teenage-girl character.
In many ways, AJ's rise to the top has been dependent on the men that she has "dated." In under a year, AJ has been romantically involved with Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, Kane, John Cena and now Dolph Ziggler.
AJ's actions have garnered her the reputation of being a "hoeski" among members of the WWE Universe, but is this reaction accurate?
It is clear that the men that AJ has been romantically linked to are simply stepping stones toward her goals. As such, then, how is this different than male figures such as Edge (in his relationship with Vickie Guerrero) and Triple H (who literally is in cahoots with the boss's daughter)?
Perhaps one can judge AJ's character because of the amount of men she has been with. One, two, maybe three tops seems to be acceptable, but five?
But again, this is a hypocritical reaction. If AJ was a male character, her actions would be glorified. Being linked to five attractive women would earn a male-equivalent AJ the sort of admiration that is reserved for fictional rakes such as James Bond and Don Juan.
This situation begs the question: Is AJ Lee's character a champion of feminism, giving female members of the WWE roster an equal ground on which to stand? Or is her Lolita-like character a perpetuation of the gender inequalities found throughout the WWE?
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