(Spoiler alert: Beware of Guacamole loogies and leather-clad push-overs)
- I like America’s Next Top Model, but mostly because the industry fascinates me. I know that many models have eating problems—once I heard a common trick they use is swallowing an orange juice soaked cotton ball, which, if you could get past the idea of eating a cotton ball soaked in citrus, it allegedly curbs the appetite for days. Seeing these on the big screen is sickly captivating. And even though it’s been preached to me in a million ways that the models “don’t really look like that”, seeing models with dark circles under their eyes and snaggle teeth still has shock value to me. I’m like “Whoa. They really don’t look ‘beautiful’ all the time.” Maybe you should judge me based on how naïve I am.
- I hate Harry Potter. The predictability makes me crazy. I read the first few books back in my early 20’s and I remember being on the last page of book four and thinking, I just read the same book 4 times, such is the cookie cutterness of HP. Everyone assures me that book 5 will change my perspective, that the story really kicks off there, but I’m am too jaded at this point. So my HP prose-spective remains unimpressed. However, I fully support my students’ obsession with YA literature. I say “Go for it. I don’t really care what you read, as long as you’re reading.”
- I wear ridiculously tall heels. I do. I wear heels so tall that when I walk down the stairs, I have to grip the handrail with white knuckles and take the staircase one step at a time. Heels aren’t always comfortable, but I have new legs. I used to be 60 lbs heavier and now I have new athletic, limber legs which deserve to be put celebrated. I’m proud of them. You don’t put your wedding photos in a shoe box or a trophy in a closet, do you? No, you put your pics up on the wall in a fancy frame and your trophies in a display case or the mantel. Legs = trophy. Shoes = mantel.
- The lyrics may be catchy, clothes retro, and sideburns of one John Travolta dreamy, but Grease is a feminist nightmare. Sandy is glorified for changing her core beliefs for a man and mistakes sexual dominance for independence. In the beginning, the audience traipses through the film witnessing Sandy stand her ground about her beliefs and refusing to change for her summer love, Danny. Perhaps this doesn’t serve the sexual revolution, but as a feminist, I was proud of Sandy’s resolve all the way until the final scene; the scene in which Sandy transforms herself…for a man. It’s not as if she swapped out bad habits for good, which might be an acceptable transformation even if it was for a man, but no. Sandy demoralizes herself into a sex kitten with a smoking habit to appease Danny’s burning loins. You can tell by the way he devours her with his eyes while crooning:
I got chills.
And I'm losin' control.
'Cause the power
And I'm losin' control.
'Cause the power
What power is Danny referring to? The tangible sexual vibe Sandy now emanates with sewn-on leather pants and an off the shoulder top? Even if Danny and Sandy’s relationship did result in a marriage, an institution that should foster equality, Sandy submissively caved at the pleading, manipulation, and peer pressure of her “friends” and boyfriend. The foundation of that hypothetical marriage would be built on Danny’s ideal of “if I push you the right way, I’ll get what I want. And what I want is you to be sexually appealing at all times”. Sex shouldn’t be the compass with which women use to navigate through life. It can be harbor on the journey (that’s up to you), but not the very compass. I suppose if I could change one thing about Sandy’s character, it would be that I wanted to see her voice become more powerful. I wanted her to be dynamic by breaking up with Danny, rattling off a Martin Luther King Jr. type speech on the acceptance of differences to Rizzo (maybe throw in some startling statistics about STD’s and a visual presentation of genital warts), and then removing herself from the toxic situation. Sandy could’ve been the epitome of an independent woman. Instead, she morphed into a sexual icon who will not be remembered for her hard work, intellect, aspirations, and sincerity. Sandy is remembered for her sexual prowess.
5. I hate guacamole. It’s deceptive. It starts out a pleasant green, the kind of green that if it were craft paint it might be called, “baby cartoon frog”, but if you leave it out for a Mexican minute (this is a new term I invented that means for a short period of time. I don’t mean this derogatorily. It only refers to the way the Spanish language is quick and fluid to the ear…eh? Eh?) it turns into swamp monster green. And the texture! Guacamole slides across the tongue like a chunky loogie, invoking an involuntary retch. So next time you buy me Mexican food, order extra sour cream and no guac.