'Jane The Virgin' Flips The Script On Objectification
Beyond the fact that I'm happy for Jane that she is finally allowing herself to date after Michael's death, there's another reason I'm so thrilled about Jane's relationship with Fabian on Jane the Virgin. And it has less to do with Fabian — who, while very nice, doesn't seem like long-term relationship material for Jane — and more to do with Jane the Virgin's portrayal of female lust. While you could argue that any sexual objectification is not good, it is extremely embedded in pop culture — particularly when it comes to females being sexually objectified in television and movies — and so Jane the Virgin switching that up by having Jane lust after Fabian during "Chapter 60" helps even the playing field a bit.
Although Alba and Jane had (and have) strict rules about sex, the Villanueva women do embrace their sexuality. OK, Xo far more than the rest of them — but still, they have had many frank discussions about sex and desire throughout the series. And the April 24 episode is no exception since Jane is very clear in what she wants from Fabian — a sexually-fueled fling. Knowing Jane and how the episode ends, feelings are inevitably going to get involved, but that didn't stop her from imagining Fabian and his abs in a series of sexual situations — all involving plenty of water. (Fabian sure loves his waterfall scenes!) And even Alba gets in on the action by picturing Jorge in his own wet shirt moment.
As the media is flooded with images of women being sexualized, it is refreshing to watch Jane the Virgin flip the script and fixate on Fabian's abs. (I promise, that's the end of the water puns.) Of course, even with these men's bodies being highlighted, the telenovela world isn't immune to objectifying women as well. So while Jane the Virgin fans got Fabian's abs, Los Viajes de Guillermoas fans also got prominent cleavage in the poster for Rogelio's latest show. Yet, if the entertainment industry is going to continue to present actors as sexual objects, I can at least respect the attempt to make it equal as the telenovelas in Jane the Virgin seem to do.
And that's what kind of comes to pass in the episode as Jane has her own sexy water moment in Fabian's eyes — but only after he realizes how intelligent she is during the book fair. In this way, Jane the Virgin subtlety gives an alternative to female objectification. Rather than Fabian immediately wanting Jane for her body or looks, he becomes sexually attracted to her after he recognizes her other qualities.
So while I am usually all about speaking out against objectification in any form, Jane the Virgin uses male objectification to help make the genders equal and subvert what's normally shown on TV — all while leaving viewers with a pretty great message: That it's OK to find a person sexy, but you have to acknowledge that he or she is in fact a person first.