Category Archives: Body Image

De-Mo For the Day

No Shave November: It’s Not Just For Dudes

Come one, come all, ladies, and join in this festive sharing of furry overgrowth and joy!! No Shave November (sometimes referred to as “Movember” or “Noshember”) has come once again! Take pictures and fend off the itchies as we take the plunge together in a fight against clean-shavenry. (Ok, you caught me; I’m totally making up some of these words.)

When I first heard of it, I was on Twitter. #NoShaveNovember was trending, so I got curious. I thought, “Oh, ‘No Shave November,’ huh? I might try to do that. Could be fun. Wonder what it’s about.” I then noticed a tweet in my feed from the lovely ladies of Ms. Magazine; they claimed that Twitter was going absolute batshit with misogynistic crap on the topic. I thought, ‘Nah, really? It doesn’t seem like something an entire internet community would get up in arms about. Sometimes these gals are sensitive. Maybe there were three or four things they didn’t like and now they’re pissed off. Best to check for myself.’ I clicked on the trend, and this is what I found:

Aaaand so. The message was clear. Women who do not shave their leg/armpit/pubic hair are seriously disturbing the order of the universe and should be punished thusly.

Interesting, I thought. While men can choose whether or not to sport a face-full of wool (meanwhile cultivating lengthy leg/pubic/arm hair all year round with no complaints from outsiders), women are relegated to the “undesirable” discard pile of life if they do not conform to the social demands of the mandatory depilatory duties.

Even on Noshember.com’s website, they encourage men and women alike to “unite in the height of laziness,” but still refer to body hair as something horrid that one wouldn’t want to reveal to the general public:

“Plus, it is cold enough to wear scarves or jeans (respectively) to cover that unsightly hair.”

Why is body hair so scary? We were born with it; it is a natural, normal part of our bodies, like our eyelashes or our earlobes. And yet… it horrifies so many people. I’ve never heard anyone protest that if a guy walked in the room with a beard they’d  literally run the other way, but I have heard that said about female body hair. Female leg hair, facial hair, pubic hair and armpit hair is apparently inappropriate in all situations at all times.

Yeahh, ummm… I don’t think so. I say fuck em. You can’t simply decide for me whether or not I will grow hair on my body.

Yes, but no one will EVER want to have sex with you in your entire life if you never shave!

Well… #1. That’s bullshit and #2. We’ll never get anywhere with that attitude. If everyone simply complies with the status quo and shaves their body hair all the time (or becomes embarrassed when they are caught unshaven, or brands the women who don’t shave as “unkempt” or unattractive), why would anyone else bother to reconsider their narrow viewpoint of beauty? If, once in a while, people bumped into beautiful women with body hair, they might reconsider their “hairless-only” policy. So let’s fight this where it lives! No Shave November for all!! One of our biggest obstacles as a gender is that we allow ourselves to be shamed into submission. There are few who dare cross the line, since the social ramifications are swift and harsh.

In fact, I recently saw a scathing article about Mo’Nique, who was on the red carpet, showing off her unshaven stems. The article began like this:

She may have won a Golden Globe to Best Supporting Actress this week, but larger-than-life actress Mo’Nique won’t be winning any awards for her personal grooming.

Fortunately, fans flooded the comment section, rushing to her defense. If there were more celebrities like her who refused to be shamed into compliance, maybe more people would open their eyes to the ridiculous nature of these social demands.

Now, don’t misquote me or twist my words. If you don’t want to shave, don’t shave. (Don’t worry; you will still get laid!) But if you do enjoy shaving, please do. Just know that, regardless of your level of hair growth, someone will screw you and someone will love you. And you are not, in fact, disturbing the balance of the universe.

On a more personal note: I’m a pretty hot, fun, sexy chick and I guaran-fucking-tee that I’d be able to get 50 guys to fuck me despite my body hair within 20 minutes. And… Gimme a break, ladies. You’re really going the extra mile when you’re chiming in with the misogynistic bullshit these guys are piling on. Feel superior for five seconds, enslave your gender for another century. Whatever floats your boat, I guess… but I’d really appreciate it if you stopped helping. Thanks.

How To Use Your Inner Duct Tape: Why EVERYONE Has Prejudice and Why We MUST Silence Its Voice

A detective gathers clues in order to form conclusions about a mystery or crime in order to solve it. In this same way, humans (and animals) gather visual clues in order to form conclusions about the world around them. For instance, if you are in a courthouse and you observe a man with a modern, neat hairstyle wearing glasses, a sharp, black suit, expensive shoes and carrying a briefcase, what do you conclude? Likely, you assume that he’s a young attorney. However, this is merely an assumption, based on his appearance and nothing else.

Everyone has the compulsion to form immediate conclusions about their environment – that’s how we survive. We use knowledge that we have accumulated from things we’ve observed, experienced or “heard about” and apply them to our lives with the intent to avoid conflict and pursue future positive and beneficial experiences. However, at a certain point, this hasty tendency becomes worthless – even detrimental.

When people assume that black women are “sassy,” or that fat people have low self-esteem, or that girls love the color pink, or that gay guys are feminine, they begin to lose their ability to know the individual. Fortunately, there is a way to fight these automatic assumptions: PRACTICE.

For instance, I was sitting irritably at a stoplight one day and a heavyset woman was crossing. She was walking with some difficulty. I suddenly said aloud, “Wow, she is fat.” As soon as I heard myself make such an out-of-character statement, I furiously chastised myself. What made me say that?? Yes, the woman was fat. Why would I mention it or even take note of it? I hadn’t said, “Wow, she is blonde,” or “Wow, she’s wearing purple.” So what was it that prompted this inappropriate outburst? As I searched my feelings, I realized that it was my own discomfort with the difficulty she seemed to be having getting across the street. The fact is that some people have more difficulty doing certain things than others. There is no reason for that to make me uncomfortable. Well, on top of that, I felt that she was unfashionably dressed, which subconsciously indicated laziness to me. I feel great frustration when I perceive laziness, and that affected my judgment in this case as well. However, there was no possible way for me to know what type of person this woman was. She might simply not have enough money to buy clothing that I considerable fashionable or, worse yet – gasp! – she might fucking like the clothes that she’s wearing; perhaps she didn’t dress herself solely to meet my approval today. In all reality, I was becoming frustrated because what I saw in front of me was unattractive, and this prompted a disgusted reaction instead of merely an indifferent one. We are taught by the media to loudly judge and reject those who don’t meet our personal criteria for attraction. I’d executed their programming flawlessly, I thought. Sickened by my own behavior, I admonished myself for being rude and inwardly talked out my true feelings about the woman until I had isolated my true motivations and examined them carefully. That was one of several battles I’ve had with my inner prejudice and I’m certain these battles won’t end any time soon. Personal motivations can be extremely complicated and varied, and that’s what makes this particular inner conflict a long-term, ongoing one.

Many factors can affect our reactions to a person’s appearance. Aside from preconceived notions borne of personal experiences, many times when we think we have a problem with someone personally, the root of the discomfort is that we’re looking at someone we’re not attracted to. For some reason, there is a human tendency to dislike (or, at the least, avoid) people we’re not attracted to. That’s why “attractive” people are treated better than “unattractive” people. Unfortunately, whether or not a person appeals to us visually or sexually should have nothing to do with whether or not we assign them worth. It’s just another form of prejudice, but it typically goes unrealized since we humans have the uncanny ability to justify things in our own minds so we don’t look like monsters to ourselves. It’s essential to try to break down this wall as well.

Part of the problem is that we forget that the person in front of us isn’t a product to be bought or approved by us; they are human beings with feelings and thoughts, just like we are. Often, we fail to give credence to the perspectives of others, and we fail to acknowledge that WE CANNOT POSSIBLY KNOW WHAT IT’S LIKE to be them. Sometimes that’s a fact we must face and be left without answers in order to see things more clearly. For instance, I will never know what it’s like to be a black or Mexican person living here in America. All I can do is listen to these individuals and hear what they have to say, and attempt to piece together an inkling, but I must admit to myself that I will never understand life through their eyes. All I can do is try to be empathetic, find common ground in the human experience where I can, accept the fact that my perceptions may be wrong… and care.

The best we can do is try to eliminate most of our knee-jerk reactions through self-imposed behavioral modification. The media inundates our brains with suggestions that judgmental reactions and thoughts are normal, even “cool.” We are taught that judging others elevates us and proves our belief in our own status – that belief in our own superiority might someday make it true. Unfortunately, this lie has consumed the personalities of men and women everywhere and caused cattiness and backbiting where no cause for it previously existed. Fighting this indoctrination takes years of practice and it may never be mastered, but it’s definitely worth a try.

Step one is to LISTEN CLOSELY to yourself. Listen to what you think and to what you say. Hear your inner thoughts and try hard to recognize the ones that are judgmental, superficial and rude.

Step two is to GET MAD AT YOURSELF. You cannot skip this step. When you feel angry at yourself for a behavior, you are less likely to repeat it – or at least more likely to be acutely aware of your mistake, once it’s made. It’s like a mental spanking – when you start thinking judgmental thoughts, you suddenly recall how sore your butt was last time.

Step three is to ANALYZE YOUR MOTIVES. Where did this thought come from? Dig deep. Don’t shy away from this self-exploration. Discover the root of the problem through brutal excavation. For this to work, you have to be brutally honest with yourself.

Step four is to COUNSEL YOURSELF. Explain to yourself why your reaction was unacceptable and force yourself to take another look at that person, this time without preconceived notions or unnecessary animosity. See them as a person, a human being. Pretend you’re psychic and try to put yourself in their shoes for five minutes and see through their eyes. (Your analysis of their thoughts will obviously be inaccurate, but I find this to be an effective practice, regardless. The idea is to get yourself to care enough to try.)

These steps are not fool-proof and I can’t guarantee eventual mastery over your inner Catty Bitch, but I can promise progress and awareness. And that’s one giant leap for humankind.

Photo courtesy of Not Bad For me, Not Good For You

The Depravity of the Pedicure

J. Crew’s recent ad for the latest $65 Coastline-Stripe Pullover and $8 Essie Nail Polish has gotten Fox in a frenzy. In the ad, Jenna Lyons and her son, Beckett, are shown laughing together with his pink-toed foot in her hand.  Clearly, Essie looks smashing, even on a rough-and-tumble toddler; the ad evokes warm feelings of family togetherness and the playful abandon that your children can inspire within you. But according to the ominous paranoid ramblings of Dr. Keith Ablow, boys who play with pink might as well chop off their weenies now to save on doctor bills later: “Yeah, well, it may be fun and games now, Jenna, but at least put some money aside for psychotherapy for the kid—and maybe a little for others who’ll be affected by your ‘innocent’ pleasure.” In his conspiracy-theorist tangent, he links Beckett’s playtime pedicure to “assaults on genuine emotion and genuine relationships,” the sexualization of young girls, “split-second Prozac prescriptions,” and — the old Fox standby: ethnic self-hate — making false claims to African-American heritage and, inversely, bleaching African-American skin in order to appear Caucasian.

He further claims that the fallout of this $8 Essie Nail Polish will include: the abandonment of all gender identity, the psychological turmoil of our entire species, a mass compulsion to “grotesquely amputate body parts” (an obnoxious and outrageous contortion of the sex-change operation procedure), female-on-female violence, a society that tosses out family in exchange for sexual gratification and refuses to serve in the armed forces, and, finally, the downfall of the entire human race.

So my question is this… what about all those girls who wear pants and baseball caps? Should we worry about the girls who aren’t painting their toenails, since they’re clearly just denying who they really are? Does it take just one pedicure to destroy a boy child’s psyche, or does this irreversible damage only occur after several instances? Can boys avoid psychological destruction if they use blue nail polish?

Keith… come on, now. Put your eyeballs back into your head and get a grip.

Why did they ever get rid of Glenn Beck? At least he would’ve made a frenetic flow chart for us to follow. Perhaps Mr. Ablow’s aversion to medication is rooted in the fear of his self-diagnosis… maybe a healthy dose of Prozac is just what this doctor needs.

There’s Something About Janeway

I realize that I might be accused of being a decade too late for this discussion, but looking back at 1995, the Star Trek writers did a truly phenomenal job of painting a flawless portrait of our first female captain, (Elizabeth) Kathryn Janeway.

In my teens, I’d skipped the Star Trek Voyager series entirely. I took the attitude, as devoted TNG Trekkie, that nothing could ever be like The Next Generation, so why bother? Now, at age 2*, as I finally embark on a journey of self-discovery and feminist theory, I find that I am eager to discover strong, female role models to admire. Loneliness frequently haunts my voyage and sometimes the weight of despair about the state of our world and its ingrained sexism engulfs me. But if I can find evidence of egalitarianism and show proof that sexism needn’t be present in all fictional depictions of women, it becomes easier to revitalize my hope and faith in a positive future.

Janeway very much revitalizes my optimism. I’ve watched the complete first season (I’m partway through Season 2) and I am utterly satisfied that her character was invented and executed with incomparable equity and sensitivity. She conducts herself professionally while retaining charm and personality. Her mind – and wit – is sharp at all times. She exudes strength and perseveres heartily through adversity. The other characters relate to her in a respectful manner (or else they learn to do so in short order) and she even has a sense of humor. Neither too harsh nor too soft, she stands up for herself and others when injustice or disrespect rears its head. She speaks for those who have lesser voices and maintains high standards of personal integrity.

There are millions of unwanted stereotypes that could’ve crept onscreen, such as:

  • A complete absence of sexuality
  • Overdone harshness
  • Overdone sexuality
  • Exaggerated youthful appearance
  • Heavy makeup
  • Skimpy or cleavage-accentuating uniform
  • Obsession with her body image
  • Emotional vulnerability (not to say she lacks sensitivity, but she consistently conducts herself as Captain.)
  • Obsession with her age
  • Competitive attitude toward other women
  • Subservience toward the second-in-command male
  • Control issues

and much more… but these things haven’t surfaced. And as I continue my journey into the great unknown, I am comforted with Janeway by my side. If she can do it, maybe all of us can.

Janeway out.

<END TRANSMISSION>

If Men And Women Are Equal, Howcome I Can’t Take Off My Shirt?

To those who claim that men and women are “already” equal, I pose this query: Why can’t I take my shirt off on a hot, summer day? Seems a perfectly rational question; however, some people launch themselves straight into lunatic ravings and bug-eyed convulsions when posed with this particular dilemma. Why? Well, it’s the same old reason every time: questioning gender roles is oftentimes like questioning someone’s religious beliefs. It’s just too uncomfortable for some people. Boys are blue, girls are pink. Boys are tough, girls are weak. Boys are hunters, girls are moms. That’s how it’s always been. That’s how it has to be, or we’ll all explode.

Today, we will discuss the most common arguments against female toplessness. (If you have any arguments against female toplessness to add, please feel free to put them in the comments section and I will answer to them.)

1. Female breasts are sexual; male breasts are not.

Obviously, this is a fallacious argument, as it is entirely dependent on whom you consult. As far as gay men and straight women are concerned, breasts are non-sexual (and sometimes utterly icky.) In addition to that, I’m sure most straight women and gay men would find a bare, male chest to hold similar seductive value (see picture left.) Tell me that ain’t a sexy pair of pillows.

2. If women walked around with their tits hanging out all the time, there would be all kinds of car accidents.

If a man was walking around topless, he wouldn’t be blamed for a car accident had by some poor woman; she’d be faulted for not paying attention. Please place the blame where it lies.

3. It’s immoral. What about modesty?

If your religion or beliefs prevents you from walking around topless, don’t do it. Next.

4. There would be more sexual assaults if women were walking around everywhere naked.

I’m sure the puritans were spewing the same crap when bikini bathing suits first came out. Does anyone realize what bathing suits used to look like? Well… they used to be actual dresses that covered a woman’s entire body, from head to toe. (Obviously, there wasn’t much swimming happening in those things.) However, if sexual assault were A) related to sexual interest and B) the victim’s fault, I would agree – but it’s neither. Men don’t lose control and attack women because they are wearing bikini tops – it doesn’t even happen routinely in strip clubs, where women are fully nude. Men are human too and able to control their sexual urges, just as women are. If a sexual assault occurs, it is due to the defective mentality of the perpetrator – NOT EVER the fault of the victim.

5. Women’s breasts won’t be as sexually interesting or powerful anymore if they become “equal” with men’s chests.

I beg to differ. It will become more routine to see them exposed, but they certainly won’t lose any of their charm. (See LEGAL male breasts, top.)

6. What about the children?

This is pretty much the last argument people make when they run out of things to say. Well, if everyone is concerned about the children, why aren’t they forcing men to cover their nipples as well? You’d think that female breasts would be more acceptable to be seen in the open, as they are utilized for feeding… and, if men and women are equal, what’s the difference between male and female breasts?

7. Women’s breasts “stick out.”

So do fat men’s breasts. But they never get arrested.

8. It’s just not realistic. It’ll just never happen. People aren’t ready for it. Old people would have heart attacks.

This is pointless, defeatist thinking. Period.

9. You can’t have everyone walking around naked! You don’t see guys with their dicks out, do you?

Genitals are sex organs. If breasts shouldn’t be exposed, then get men to cover them up. If they’re okay, then make it equal. That is all.

Anyone else got something to say? Say it! I want to hear from you!!

(BTW, the only organization I found when I searched for Topless Rights was this one: TERA. It is, of course, a Canadian organization. If anyone knows of any other ones – that aren’t headed up by crazies or just plain nudists – that promote EQUAL rights, not NAKED rights, please comment below and direct me to them! Thanks!)

Confessions of a Chubby Chaser

Collectively, as a society, we decide what is culturally “beautiful” based on what we see depicted as sensual, sexual and beautiful on a regular basis. Maybe if there were more fat girls depicted within the sexual, sensual arena, it would help our culture accept fat sexiness as fact.

The problem doesn’t lie solely in the fact that women are emphatically encouraged to feel shame about their bodies and to “fix” them if they are not the required size or proportion; the fact is, people who are attracted to fat women (and men!) are shamed as well. If people aren’t allowed to speak up about their attraction to fat women and men, how are the “skinny slickers,” the “toothpick tappers,” the “bone bumpers” ever going to realize that not everyone sees it their way.

I have finally come out of the closet after battling with myself for YEARS… my name is Nikita Blue and I am a “chubby chaser.” I myself have wished I had softer curves and a gentler physique all my life. Even as a young girl, when I thought of sensuality, I imagined a voluptuous goddess with a soft face, tender eyes and a pouting smile. I dreamed that I’d be with a girl like that someday… or maybe even be a girl like that someday. However, my body was destined to be scrawny and diminutive my entire life.

As you might guess, I was never one to be particularly swayed by the media (largely because I grew up in a restrictive, Baptist home and we weren’t exposed to much media) or by my peers (I also had few friends, partially due to my lack of desire to “blend”). However, this desire – my sexual interest in fat girls and boys – was one that I immediately learned held great shame. Powerful shame. I still dated the boys and girls I liked – and I typically dealt with the discrimination through fights, defending my lovers’ body weight to insecure, often stick-bodied bullies of both sexes – but I never truly ‘fessed up about my preference for full-figured gals and barrel-chested men. I knew it was forbidden. When friends were gathered, divulging the dirtiest details about their sex lives and fantasies, I knew that my secret crushes and lusty daydreams would be scoffed at. So I kept my mouth shut and simply nodded enthusiastically, agreeing with whatever they said and whomever they admired, even if I could find no angle of interest.

For a while, I thought I was a lesbian altogether, since men with their musculatory systems hanging out at me held NO interest whatsoever. But I finally came to the conclusion that I just didn’t like those types of men. I wanted something more.

Once I finally came to terms with what I really wanted, I still kind of had a problem with the word “fat.” Why? Well, it’s obvious: people use the word as an insult, not a statement of fact. “Yeah? Well… you’re fat!” (It also seemed to be a word which “naturally” coupled itself with “ugly.” You don’t want to date Sarah’s sister; she’s fat and ugly. Fat-and-ugly. Fat-and-ugly.) Sooner or later, everyone gets the point.

But “fat” is not – and should not – be an insult. Some people are fat, some people are skinny… most people have fat – and, no, it doesn’t mean that those people should be terrified of diabetes or heart disease or whatever, for God’s sake. Breathe, and relinquish all concern for a person’s health to that person… and breathe… okay… now, some people are fat, some people are skinny, and most people have fat. (Also, lots of people smoke cigarettes and drink, but they don’t get dragged onto talk shows with family members who are “concerned” for their health.)

But because of the fact that I’d been fed the huge LIE that beautiful = thin for so long… and the equally-as-damaging lie that people who get turned on by soft curves or meatier muscles have something wrong with them, I have been in the closet with my secret for over 20 years.

I love ALL of the fat on my boyfriend’s body. I also love every follicle of hair, every square inch of skin and every powerful muscle.

And I’m not ashamed to tell you that I think fat women are HOT.

Barbie is the Old Pink

A hard-hitting, investigative report on Barbies.

First Lady Fails as Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model and Therefore Fails as First Lady

What makes you a worthwhile First Lady? The obvious answer is looking good in a swimsuit. Rush Limbaugh recently pointed out Michelle Obama’s failure to catch the eye of prominent sports figures. This clearly denotes enormous inadequacy in her capacity as First Lady. Here are his hard-hitting comments:

I’m trying to say that our First Lady does not project the image of women that you might see on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, or of a woman [professional baseball player] Alex Rodriguez might date every six months or what have you. I mean, women are under constant pressure to look lithe, and Michelle My Belle is out there saying if you eat the roots and tree bark and the berries and all this cardboard stuff you will live longer, be healthier and you won’t be obese. Okay, fine, show us.

And even the dullest among us would conclude that Ms. Obama cannot carry out her mission to help decrease childhood obesity as long as she does not grace the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine. We shall wait and see if Ms. Obama decides to get her act together and pose for a chauvinistic sports rag or not… but one thing is for certain: the fate of the children hang in the balance.

Doctored image of Rush Limbaugh Courtesy of Hilarious Raisins blog

I’d Offer to Carry Something For You, But I Wouldn’t Want to Mess With Your Empowerment

As I perused the aisles of blockbuster for a decent action flick conducive to adrenaline-pumping romance with my boyfriend, my guts were suddenly clutched by the sight of this pink-framed, psychotic barbie staring at me from the shelves. With one mischievously-raised eyebrow, she held a fork near her mouth where a tiny, helpless groom was impaled on the tines. The title, accompanied by her maniacal grin, could only mean one thing: this movie would definitely piss me off. Instead of merely rolling my eyes, I plucked it from the display and read the back.

Clarissa has every detail of her wedding planned. She has the dress tailored, the invitations labeled, and the due date set. Now all she needs is a groom! A Hollywood “it” girl who knows all the players, Clarissa finds herself turning 32 and realizes that although she can get any hot celebrity on the phone, at home, she’s all alone. She decides it’s time to get hitched, and starts planning her own wedding with the confidence that she can hook a husband using the same cunning and guile she uses to navigate the Hollywood social scene. Sarah Chalke stars along with Judy Greer, Gregory Harrison, and Maria Conchita Alonso. Based on the best-selling novel by real-life Hollywood player Gigi Levangie Grazer, Maneater recounts the hilarious adventures of one woman’s search for true love in the land of fake boobs.

Gulp. Flushed with agitation at the blatant sexism depicted in the summary, I wisely chose to put it back where I got it… until Patrick (said-boyfriend) chimed in, “Why don’t we get that one, too?”

Fierce negation electrified my gaze as I curtly replied, “No fucking way.”

“Why not?” he pursued, intrigued.

“Because it would definitely piss me off.”

He immediately snatched it from the rack and countered, “Then we’ll watch this one first.”

Okay, I thought. Fine. Maybe it will be funny. Maybe it won’t be as bad as it seems. Worst case scenario, I’ll blog about it.

So, ladies and gents, it has come to this: the worst case scenario. But here’s the problem: there was so much to barf at, I’m not sure I can make a quality post about all of it. So here are just a few things that can be found in this Lifetime Original movie:

  • Ageism – The intense emphasis on the horrors of getting older (without a man) is borderline-ridiculous. The insinuation that women are no longer cool, attractive, nor fashionable once they breach the 30-year mark is deeply embedded. (Actual quote: “Haven’t you heard? 20 is the new 9!”) However, the worst-fathomable consequence of aging is the inability to obtain a husband (Actual quote: “What I have to offer has a shelf life!”) – which is what the entire movie is about.
  • Sexism – I can’t even begin to describe every disgusting nuance and rude comment, but how about this: one of the Main Character’s friends is smeared, to her face, as a “feminazi” by a southern “gentleman” who claims to “know how to treat a lady” – a lie that the audience is made to believe, since he was offering to push in her chair for her. She later falls in love with him, offering viewers an example of a “happy ending” for a frustrated girl with “daddy issues” who typically falls for married jerk-offs. And, btw, ALL relationship issues that women experience somehow track back to their paternal intimacy.
  • Racism – I was floored to see this issue surface. The expectation of sexism was a no-brainer and the ageism was inevitable… but the racism was a bit of a shock. To begin with, Clarissa’s arch “frenemy” is a woman of color – absolutely gorgeous – and, at first, I didn’t catch on. This chick was fierce. But the running theme of the movie was that Clarissa stole every man she ever had away from her. That bugged me. I thought, Every man? Really? Not even a friendly back-and-forth? I was about to consider myself oversensitive when, suddenly, enter the pool-boy love-interest, Pablo. A lilly-white-girl with super-conservative, upper-class fam falls for gardener/pool-boy/caterer and her true love inspires her to bravely, occasionally, subtly request acceptance of other cultures. Okay… but then Pablo’s friends are all ex-cons – that he met while in prison – and not one of them is white. Adding insult to injury, when Pablo and friends arrive to cater an event, the matriarch of the palace exclaims, “You didn’t mention the house was being robbed!” Ouch.

The plot, in a nutshell, is Clarissa’s manipulation of – and eventual marriage to – an up-and-coming Hollywood star. Her father was a jerk, so she rejects intimacy (Daddy issues for everyone!) Her mother was a homemaker who considered it an honor to iron her cheating husband’s shirts, so she rejects the traditional housewife role. Clarissa is every career woman – in other words, chicks who are just waiting for the moment their life can truly contain meaning. (Meaning is another word for “husband and baby.”) Manipulation and harassment, if it leads to marriage and pregnancy, justify the means. All we women need to hear is that we’re pretty, and we know he’s The One. If we want to score a man, we must demurely accept all displays of chivalry and refrain from displaying any personal strength (Actual quote: “I’d offer to carry something for you, but I wouldn’t want to mess with your empowerment.” – Prince Redneck Charming.)

In closing…

Since all’s well that ends well, each and every single woman – AND I MEAN EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM – isn’t single anymore at the “happy” ending. And we know Clarissa is with the right guy when we hear, “I never thought anyone could tame her.” Because, after all, if chick flicks have taught us anything it’s that once you’ve been tamed and impregnated, there’s no where to go but up!