Wednesday, August 16, 2006

When It's Mockery and Ridicule and When It Isn't: A Primer for the Dumb

Okay, we'll start slow:

There are many ways to make the point that Hollywood thinness standards are totally batshit crazy. You can take the direct route:

"Hollywood thinness standards are totally batshit crazy."

But that gets old and it lacks finesse. Alternately, you could show rather than tell, a picture being worth a thousand words and all that.

But celebrities are crafty creatures to stalk in this fashion, surrounded as they are by a virtual army of black-belt airbrushers and Photoshoppers. Sometimes one prefers words--biting, incisive, acidic words--to express one's outrage at the outrageous body dysmorphic bullshit Hollywood tries to lay on a woman.

It is often at this point that inspiration strikes: Satire! What if you pointed out how silly it was to call women fat who aren't actually fat, by--get this--calling them fat? Let the audience conclude how nonsensical that is; saves you a ton of work, makes your audience feel clever, and invites you comparison to the master himself!


Your courage must not fail you now, so whatever you do, do not recall that there was but one Jonathan Swift and he is dead and you are unlikely to be his intellectual heir. No! That's ridiculous. Swift didn't invent satire. Satire belongs to everyone.

Keep your chin up! You can do this. All you have to do is take a photo of a pig's ass, put the pig's rear feet in high heels as a cheeky allusion to your subject (which is, in case you've forgotten, fat actresses who are neither fat nor, in some cases, living, and how their dead bodies indicate that Hollywood is totally over its obsession with emaciation, honest, for reals), and then call your masterpiece "Why Fat is Back in Hollywood." Don't try to tie the pig into the whole business, for your porcine model is but a SYMBOL. Your readers are very intelligent. They will comprehend as much. They will recognize your intent.

And it is your satirical intent on which you must now stay focused. Be warned: People may try to distract you. They may point out that, actually, some of your subjects who make up your photographic evidence that "fat is back" are sadly deceased. They may point out that even those who are not dead are also not fat. They may further note that using the nonfat to prove the ascendance of fat affirms, rather than denigrates, the idea that what used to be considered normal in Hollywood is now considered damned porky. Also, they may not shut about that pig. Remind them that the pig is only a symbol! For while your readers are very intelligent, your critics are often quite stupid and forgetful.

Whatever you do, though, you must commit now to wasting not one minute of time listening to any of the following:

  • Feminists

  • Feminists who have eating disorders

  • Feminists who are fat

  • Women in general, because what could they possibly have to say about Hollywood's influence on them anyway?

  • If they absolutely will not shut up, however, you may dispatch a contingent of men to hush them. Instruct your male readers to reassure these fretful feminists and hysterical walking vaginas that it's okay, because men are overwhelmingly aroused by fat actresses who are not actually fat. When the fretful start up again about the photography and the captions, point out that the photography and the captions are COMPLETELY SEPARATE AND DISTINCT from the article. Remind these hysterics that you support their right to be fat-but-not-really one hundred percent, as long as they stay hawt. Remind them that you are on their side, and cheer them for their wise and womanly decisions to be neither truly fat nor truly emaciated, but rather Just Right for Porking. (Though you may wish to substitute another word for "porking," as it tends to rile them up again about the pig. "Boning" is likewise to be avoided.)

    To this end it is often helpful to find someone willing to write a "Shorter"-style piece about the debate over your masterpiece. A loose counterpart to what is known in organized crime circles as a "whack" or a "hit," the "Shorter" post essentially takes what was said, eliminates objectionable or inadvertently thought-provoking, self-critical content, and distills it down into something else entirely--something favorable to you. Thus can you take a nearly 500-length comment thread and obviate the need for anyone to read any of it. They will know what you want them to think of it (aim for something along the lines of, "You women are reading too much into this" or "You women are being unfair to men--honorable, decent, liberal men" or anything, really, that suggests women are being irrational, because I'm telling you, the bitches fucking LOVE that), and that is what matters.

    You can do this. Remember those who paved the way for the massacre of irony and satire when you do, for you are following in their footsteps now, and should rightly be proud.


    Natalia said...

    You've made more sense out of this one than I ever could. I just look at this sort of psychotic bullshit and throw my hands up in the air.

    ilyka said...

    Thanks, but I feel a little psychotic myself after sifting through some of that thread at unfogged.

    It's funny how much different, and yet how alike, sexists are on the left versus the right. A right-wing dude would title his post "Rose McGowan is F'n Hot" and then snark about how this is the first time Details has done anything worth a heterosexual guy's attention, and then maybe, maybe he'd add that feminists should blame the real problem, those nathty homothexualth, instead of picking on innocent straight guys who just like boobies, is that so wrong?

    The lefty guys are more subtle but no less clueless. They just defend it on the basis that a little progress is better than none, i.e. "Hey, at least you didn't have to see Sheryl Crow's rib cage again," and by gum, if you bitches don't settle down and quit agitatin' over trivialities, you're going to be lucky to get any progress at all, because everyone knows men don't like shrill, strident fat chicks.

    LizardBreath said...

    Hey, thanks. And, while I truly understand that no one could possibly wade through all the Unfogged comments unless they, like me, had some sort of compulsion, the 'nathy homothexuals' did, thoroughly, get blamed.

    margi said...

    Holy shit. I'm going to take out a billboard and write in five-foot high letters:


    Excellent commentary, per usual, Ilyka. I should point out that Hollywood's impossible example of losing baby "fat," too, is unnerving as hell. Heidi Klum can kiss my fat, dimpled ass.

    margi said...

    Oh, and my favorite comment by A White Bear:

    "I heard Cosmo had an article this month on how women are becoming more accepting of guys whose penises are only 8-10 inches long, rather than the 10-12 we used to demand. There's hope for all of you poorly endowed fellas yet!"