In the spirit of guarding your energy in 2018, may I offer one quick public service announcement:
Stop inviting Joy Villa to things.
Girl, I don’t know. She “sings,” apparently. But what she’s really known for is burrowing up from the sunken place and trolling red carpets.
On Sunday night, she showed up in a white ball gown with a fetus on it. And, in case that was too subtle, there was a matching “Choose Life” bag. And a tiara, for some reason.
“I’m a pro-life woman. This year, I chose to make a statement on the red carpet like I always do,” Villa told Fox News. “I’m all about life.”
Speaking of life, I sincerely wish this woman would get one.
Yes, the woman who wanted to make America garbage again—and in a mermaid skirt to boot. Because, idiot, but make it
On the surface, this seems like a fair point. On the Grammys red carpet, artist after artist, male and female, wore white roses as a sign of solidarity for the Time’s Up initiative, which highlights sexual harassment and gender inequality across a multitude of industries.
It is an explicitly political statement.
But what Villa does is different. Let’s take her limited and short-ranging oeuvre.
This was Joy Villa in 2015, during a Barack Obama presidency:
Not much in the way of political messaging, or anything else, besides Home Depot fencing (yes, for real, that’s what it’s really made out of) here.
This was her the following year. Committing, again, to a similar theme:
What do these looks have in common with the Mermaid “MAGA” gown and her radiating rainbow embryo?
They are similarly transparent grabs for attention.
On the one hand, it’s easy to see where Villa may be coming from and extend some degree of sympathy—no artist loves toiling in obscurity, and particularly for women, the red carpet can present the sort of high-risk, high-reward opportunity to be seen and acknowledged.
But Villa, a zealous Trump supporter who has floated running for Congress, has also filed a sexual assault charge against Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, alleging that he smacked her on her backside in November of last year.
The harassment Villa says she suffered is rooted in the idea that women’s bodies are not their own, from which springs a well of cultural and political policies and beliefs, including the notion that a woman’s reproductive rights do not exist. This continuum escapes Villa, as it escapes many pro-life women of her ilk who claim the banner of empowerment without examining what the hell that really means.
Also escaping Villa: The president she loudly supports, for the sake of her cynical grab for fans, is the single best example of how little women are regarded in political life. Sexual assault may temporarily derail the career of a Hollywood exec already on the wane of his powers—so far, it will not unseat a president.
The worst part about this? This isn’t actually about politics, it’s about being pressed for press.
There’s no evidence that Villa cares about any of this save what it means for her exposure. There is nothing sincerely held about her beliefs and no reason to believe that, for all her statement gowns, she actually means any of it. Her presence ultimately distracts and detracts from the Janelle Monáes and the Keshas of the industry, artists who know what actual risk and actual convictions are.
It’s the last time you’ll see what dusty outfit Joy Villa dragged out from under her bridge on The Root? Yes. We can leave the clownery to the clowns.