Wednesday, May 9, 2012

...This One Reads Backward...

(But I reversed it, so you can read it forward)

There is a fine line between creative expression that proudly represents your individuality and just being …something else.

This is something else.

I saw this photo and thought, “Who did it? Where they at? Let’s go get ‘em…”

And since I am notorious for snowballing thoughts, before I knew it I was wondering if "Mommie Dearest" ever came back at the library. (Faye Dunaway looking like Heath Ledger as the Joker during that one scene.)

My mind zoomed through thoughts (and we’re walking backwards now) of Joan Crawford who allegedly disappeared from view after seeing unflattering pictures of herself in the press. Back to my great, great (great?) Aunt Auntie whose real name escapes me right now and who is notoriously known to have cut off contact with the outside world because she didn’t feel pretty anymore.

This is a rumor of course. There’s no disputing that she was astonishingly beautiful her whole life. And one day when she was older, but not old, like 40-something, she just didn’t look beautiful anymore. (But we don’t know for sure because she disappeared, right?)

Back to Cassie whom everyone has often compared to great, great (great?) Aunt Auntie for a few reasons not presently relevant, and who has also often been thought of as an amazing beauty and who will do some really ungodly things to you for suggesting otherwise and/or not complimenting her fast enough.

And who has admitted to a quiet fear of meeting the same fate as great, great (great?) Aunt Auntie and becoming the infinite butt of jokes about how she “broke hard” (old black expression for a person whose looks suddenly changed super rapid from extraordinarily beautiful to not so much).

I assure her this could never happen because the main jokers are mostly Auntie’s great, great (great?) nephews and nieces, and Cassie will never, ever have a nephew or niece unless my mom reveals a secret third sibling on her death bed forty years from now or unless I ever get that Norwegian kid I’ve been trying to adopt in the name of sociology and science.

But now we’re back to insecurities and how I’ve never really had them with my appearance. Probably because I’m not cute and I don’t care.

Except maybe when I was younger when more than a few boys would give me the most sideways “compliments” ever. You know the kind that start with “you would be really pretty if you would just…” and are usually accompanied by a very unnerving and non-descriptive stare.

Not unlike this…

I have wondered what it would be like to be so pretty that you shock a guy into silence.

Not for the pretty part, but for wishing most guys would just shut up.

Which reminded me of the time that a guy crashed his car gawking at Cassie, who then turned to see her reflection in a store window, admired herself a bit too long and somehow didn’t see the reflection of the stop sign she was approaching. She saw it later after she walked into it though.

Which made me think of my friend Mel back in high school who had this crazy habit of saying, “Watch it! Careful, Careful” after you hurt yourself. She was pretty, too.

Which made me think of the time we were having our Freestyle Friday discussion time in English class and talking about the messages of media and I said [classmate] “Suzie Q” (not her real name of course) was one of the prettiest girls I had ever seen but you never see girls that look like her on TV.

Utter silence in a room full of teenagers but an encouraging smile from my English teacher. And me over-correcting on an icy road: “I mean you’re all pretty. Everyone’s smart and good looking, but… you know what I mean.” I had to look back at my teacher to finish because the varied bewildered faces of my classmates were uncomfortable even for me.

“Yes, I know what you mean.” My teacher said, and I knew that she did, God bless her.

Which reminded me of how when I was really little, if I saw a pretty lady and said so out loud, my mother would give me the “’hush’ face.” She told me later that makes people uncomfortable.


If I say to a woman, “I love your shoes.” Or “Wow, that purse is gorgeous” she’ll receive those words warmly but if I say to a woman, “I love your eyes.” Or “Wow, your skin is gorgeous” she’s likely to give me a dirty look and run off without a word.

I always notice eyes and skin because I had eczema growing up. Still do, but when I was a kid is was pretty severe and it was mostly on my face. So it made me have eyes that always looked tired or like I had been punched, and skin that was horribly uneven in tone or just looked ill.

Women to this day have no problem with saying to me, “Eww, oh my God, you look sooooo tired!” or my other personal favorite “You have got to see someone about your allergies.”

We’re real comfortable with insults but we don’t do so well with compliments. Giving or receiving.

I wonder sometimes if we insult people as a form of bonding. Like those old broads in that horrible Malena movie where this chick walks from end to end of this small town with everyone staring at her, the men in lust, the women with envy.

To me she wasn’t all that. I kept seeing prettier girls wander around in the background.

Who determines what is beautiful? Or who is beautiful?

Lots of nice looking people out there but the most beautiful people I’ve ever seen were not on TV. They were just random strangers I passed one day in life.

Some of them were attractive, some were attractive with alluring auras.

I see good looking faces, handsome guys and pretty girls, but the really beautiful people I see I’d recognize without seeing them because it’s more of a feeling or vibration.

Like the buzz without the drink or the drug.

Anyway, that’s just my own personal abbreviated tirade-thingamajig about beauty.

Everyone is going to feel differently about it.

So now we’ve walked all the way backwards through my string of thoughts that started with the picture (which if it was meant to be provocative, bravo!).

So yes, I saw this picture the whole “Who did it?...” thought came to me, but mostly – just my initial, knee-jerk reaction, being completely honest was really quite simply, “Wow. That is so not cute.”

Focus on the music… the awesome, awesome music…

…Baby, I’m a Scorpio, I’m independent, I’m in control…
Yuna – See You Go

Frankly people don’t show enough love to 80s R&B… until now, man!!
Leah Labelle – So Hot

80s sounding and typography (although the official video should be out by the time you read this)… barring the disputable fact that less than 1% of the population under the age of 104 says “hanky-panky” anymore, I really like this
Leah Labelle – Sexify

--just a minute--

Let's all acknowledge Christina Aguilera whose bitterness at having apparently been rejected by Tony Lucca during her adolescent years still haunts her. It was obvious she had some kind of personal grudge with this guy all season long and this is the kind of behavior that will make a person forget you actually have talent, so next season…tread lightly.

 Plus, it’s hard to take “respect women” advice from a woman  who showed up to the finals in some kind of stubbly panties and a jacket as if it was a legitimate outfit. Not to mention the 20 pounds she could shed by losing half the hair, a quarter of the makeup, and any part of that funky attitude. Don’t be ugly, and you know what I mean.

You know what I find disrespectful to women? Wearing your boobs outside of your clothes and referring to “the girls” as “the fifth judge.”
Staple Singers – Respect Yourself

Gotta admit this video is pretty cool.
Jay-Z – 99 Problems

Now this is disrespectful. Another Hype Williams “classic” complete with trademark under the butt camera shots, oily women jiggling in slow motion, and the obligatory vacant-faced broad entering or exiting a body of water.
And yet it contains one of the best lines in a rap song ever: “read a book you illiterate son of b---- and step up yo’ vocab”
Jay-Z f/UGK – Big Pimpin

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