“I always thought Barbie was a slut”
– my mom.
“I didn’t! I totally loved Barbie!”
The truth is, I’m lying. I knew something was up with Barbie’s overt sexuality – that no women I’d seen or met looked like her – but I didn’t know what a slut was. I wrote a thing a year or two ago about how Ariel and Pretty Woman were released dangerously close to one another for characters who shared so many similarities.
At this point in kidhood, we’re not that ensconced in our egos yet that we feel apt to point out disparities every five seconds as we do in adulthood. Rather, we’re still looking for similarities. In fact, I think I went back to playing the match-card game after my mom decided that letting me watch Roberts get poon pillaged on a piano might be a bit much.
Then recently, I thought about it more. My Barbie chicks had huge tits, long necks, and the sorta faces that usually require plastic surgery. Tink is any dude’s wet dream with her micro-dress, gymnast thighs (seriously how’s she get that from flying?) and her silent saunter. She was just a little tart with wings.
And goddammit I wanted to be her.
Then there’s Ariel – the reason I demanded my first training bra be purple (“I don’t CARE if there’s nothing to put in it!”). And, of course, Jasmine was the reason I spent every summer since fifth grade wearing crop tops with jeans.
It wasn’t until later that I graduated to run of the mill Hollywood objectification.
But something interesting happened then. I started to identify with the villains-in-princesses bodies. Cher’s sorta snotty side (in Clueless). The bitchy chicks in The Craft (love Faruza Balk). Even later on when I was supposed to be an adult, I couldn’t even pay attention to anyone else if Jenny Schecter graced the screen on “The L Word” in all her bitchy lezzy goodness. There’s just something about being a bitch Princess that appealed to me to no end.
Is it because I wanted to be adored and sexy while remaining on a pedestal?
And the best way to do all three was layer on a cloak of snark for an arm’s length zone of inhibition?
Definitely not. My culture’s not to blame for grooming me. I’m sure I requested the mean streak sleaze gene when they were doling out DNA.
Seriously, though. I try my hardest to nix my nefarious inclinations before they pour outta me. And all femi-nazism aside, it’d be nice for classic characters to have more evenness. This “bad guy” “good guy” shit is useless preparation for the real world. Everyone I know and love and avoid (and me, obv) alike have all displayed the capacity for awesomeness and asshole-ism. It all happens in the same person. When we try to be perfect protagonists and fail at being the sexy star of our own story before we even hit puberty, villainous vixen becomes the wicked witch for which we settle.
So on the count of three, let’s all draw Belle in her boxers, acne cream, and astigmatism glasses. Then Tink after delivering twins. And, finally, Ariel in her alma mater sweatshirt stained with – what?! Sushi and soy sauce??!
Fccking cannibal slut.