I’ve been thinking about the ways teenage fantasies can be non-offensive (non-sexist, if you wish). And I recalled a lot of fanfics about students making out with professor Snape. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Compared to, say, computer games, where player is put into position of power, free to win his sexual interest if he plays well or just figures out the game mechanics. The characters to be rescued/seduced are typically just a combination of gender markers, and are rendered powerless to change their own fate. The Snape’s character, on the contrary, possesses another set markers: absolute power, evil on the outside, deeply disfunctional on the inside. In no way is this character more realistic than the side love quests in the Witcher. Yet it manages to excite audiences to no end. Also played by an attractive actor.
Still, I suppose there is a sort of constructive answer to the whole “objectifying” problem in this. When you’re a fan of a celebrity, you don’t really “objectify” that celebrity. Instead, you may actually look into their bio, or think of how beautiful their eyes are. It is fun to rewrite the conversation my college friends had about Megan Fox etc., so that those conversation actually mention her acting) Or personality, at least.