The aftermath: Returning to MTV, P orn emails and other digressions
It was more than simply a challenge to get back into life after such a tremendous amount of excitement followed by my own tumultuous reaction to the lack of news coverage. It’s enough to make a girl want to completely give up on what she believes in. But I am no girl. I am a woman. I have made a commitment to this movement, to myself and to the other women of the world to try and make this better for all of us. Even w/ the media’s slap in the face after our event I feel more strongly than ever that I must never tire in my efforts.
Yes…I must never tire! Never! Really -I must never tire when I return to work to find my email box littered w/ spam titled “Sexually Explicit –p 0rn for you!” And “teenage farm girl virgins fuck horses –watch it live.” I will never rest, even when I turn on the TV and flip through the channels, stopping at MTV only to find Beyonce’ gyrating in next to nothing on a man’s lap, who is wearing exactly opposite of next to nothing; a 3 piece suit plus an overcoat and hat. But it just keeps getting worse. I must constantly remind myself…to…just…keep…going.
The television holds so much analyze when it comes to representations and messages about women and men. Returning to my domicile, my sanctuary I ached for the comfort and familiarity of home. I was emotionally, physically and spiritually pooped out. So what did I do? I did what so many Americans of my generation do when there is nothing else to do. I watched the idiot box to behold the litany of reality shows that have sprung up. And because I must keep going I explore in my mind the deeper messages they send beyond the usual “this is really reality” concept.
What I discovered was something other than interesting. It was simultaneously boring and trite while something like a car accident in that I just couldn’t look away. ARGH! A class of programming has emerged which covertly says to all who watch….you need to be more, do more, have more and look better while you’re at it. This specific breed includes shows like the Swan geared directly towards changing ugly women into beautiful ones (they did not do this to any men). The premise is undoubtedly insulting: if you are a woman who was ever an “ugly duckling” or made fun of EVER for the way look. The show offers to help get back at those fuckers who teased you with a total plastic surgery makeover. I watched, awestruck as they took perfectly pretty noses and change them around because somebody in the past once made so much fun of it that it absolutely positively MUST be fixed. Fixed is the operative word, because obviously there is something terribly wrong!
A second show called Average Joe attacks things from a slightly different angle but is interesting nonetheless. In this case, a gorgeous, white, single, large breasted, tall woman with legs ‘til Tuesday gets to meet with/get to know and otherwise date something like 15 average looking, white, beer-bellied, non-athletic, low self esteem guys and pick the one she wants. The premise is NEVER turned around –i.e. a gorgeous man w/ homely, round women. The woman is never unattractive, average or even a little overweight. One could conclude then that it’s okay for men to be average in body size and looks but certainly NOT for women.
The idea being marketed by these programs and broadcast media is that if you are not white, great looking, in some cases just average looking and super thin that you are definitely NOT good enough. Further, the only way anyone can truly be happy is if they actually become pretty and skinny –otherwise your life is total shit. These are healthy messages aren’t’ they? It’s as though the advertisers, marketing firms, diet supplement/program peddlers, pharmaceutical companies, plastic surgeons, health clubs and cosmetic conglomerates have decided to conspire to make every last one of us women feel we are not good enough as we are so we will invest in their products/ideas (Margaret Cho references the “turn around cream that never turns anything around”) and make the white men at the top rich mother fuckers. Hmmm…was that articulate? No –especially the mother fucker part, huh? But I meant what I said and I said what I meant, a lumpy girl’s truthful one hundred percent!