A Step Ahead at the Oscars

This year’s Academy Awards were considered another marked success in the 84 year history of the awards ceremony. Penelope Cruz looked gorgeous, Rooney Mara dazzled, and Angelina Jolie was alright, or should I say all-right? One of the most tweeted, talked, and tittered about fashion moments of the night was the recurring appearance of Jolie’s right leg.

Described as Angelina’s “unruly right leg”, the extremity had a cult-following before the show was over. The media proclaimed “breakout star” of this year’s Academy Awards has exploded on social networking sites including Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

With major news outlets covering the story, it seems Lara Croft’s limb has walked off with Jolie’s dignity. News headlines such as “You stick your right leg out!” and “Angelina Jolie’s right leg: A meme is born” contribute to the fascination with the extremity and distract from the actress’s recent accomplishments.

The peek-a-boo peg provided comic relief for a glamorous occasion, but how is Jolie dealing with the criticism? Her father, renowned actor Jon Voigt, had few opinions on the matter. Voigt alluded to the pose as a tongue-in-cheek stint, as though the act were comical on purpose. “Who knows?” he says, “You can never tell about these moments that pop up out of a show like this.” What we do know is that the so-called accessory has gone viral.

In the wake of leg-gate, the National Post outlined three ways to go viral. The first step, create a fake Twitter account. Both organizations and individuals are taking advantage of this trend; just ask Bradley Cooper’s moustache or the Bronx Zoo’s loose cobra, Mia. The second step is to get photoshopping. One Google search for Angelina Jolie’s leg returns images of classic art, modern ads, and iconic photographs with the inclusion of a certain black-heeled appendage. Finally, give it a name. From this meme, the term legbombing was born.

With a rebellious past behind her, Jolie has worked hard to recreate her image as one based on family values, philanthropy, hard work and determination. With polls demonstrating a loss of credibility for the actress/director, what happens next? Could the artist’s image be burned thanks to one pose on the red carpet?

Thanks to the participatory nature of modern media, those in the limelight had better step up their game otherwise they face running the same risk of Jolie: being left behind.


Johnson, C., Magrath, A., and Gower, E. (2012, February 29). Anything Jen can do: How Angelina Jolie (and her unruly right leg) copied love rival Jennifer Aniston’s red carpet display. Mail Online, TV&Showbiz, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2107836/Angelina-Jolie-right-leg-pose-Copy-Jennifer-Anistons-red-carpet-display.html (accessed on March 1, 2012).

Magrath, A., Watkins, J., and Buckland, L. (2012, February 28). You stick your right leg out! Angelina Jolie’s attention-seeking Oscar pose goes viral. Mail Online, TV&Showbiz, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2107370/Angelina-Jolie-Oscars-2012-right-leg-pose-goes-viral.html?ito=feeds-newsxml (accessed on March 1, 2012).

National Post Staff. (2012, February 28). Angelina Jolie’s right leg: A meme is born. National Post, Arts, http://arts.nationalpost.com/2012/02/28/angelina-jolies-right-leg-a-meme-is-born/ (accessed on March 1, 2012).

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