RANGER AGAINST WAR: Everyday Housewife <

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Everyday Housewife

20-year-old model Lizzie Miller

She's a brick----house
She's the one, the only one,

who's built like a amazon

--Brick House
, The Commodores

She was a fast machine. She kept her motor clean.

She was the best damn woman that I ever seen.

She had the sightless eyes, telling me no lies.

Knocking me out with those American thighs

--You Shook Me All Night Long
, AC/DC

Girl, u got an ass like I never seen

And the ride…

I say the ride is so smooth

U must be a limousine

--Little Red Corvette
, Prince


Wanna pull up tough

Cause you notice that butt was stuffed

Deep in the jeans she’s wearing.

I’m hooked and I can’t stop staring.

--Baby Got Back
, Sir Mix-A-Lot

These hips are magic hips.

i have known them

to put a spell on a man

and spin him like a top

--Homage to My Hips
, Lucille Clifton

________________

Today is International Women's Day (IWD), so it is only right to consider the status of the fairer sex.

Sometimes you have a day where everything coalesces into an answer you didn't know you were seeking. I recently had such a day. It may seem a disparate welter, but I promise I'll tie all this into the U.S. military policy at the end -- we have our editorial standards here at RAW.

I recently opened my AOL mail last week to find this breathy exaltation:

Finally -- a Model Who Looks Like Us! the report cooed (this was actually from an issue last fall, so I don't know why it was back in the news). But Glamour magazine is getting with it!

"
Wow, that girl looks real ... she looks like we look in our undies." A thousand readers readers exulted: "I wanted to shout from the rooftops!" Others wrote, "the most amazing photograph I've ever seen in any women's magazine," and "Finally a woman who looks like most American women."

Well, if you are a 20-year-old, 5'11" professional model who spends the rest of her day playing soccer, then, yeah. Otherwise, not really. This "now-famous page 194 photo" of the woman with buffed skin, beautiful hair and nary a blemish is leaning forward, displaying an ever so-slight belly pooch which would be unnoticeable in clothes, or if she sat upright. Why the rave? Why the "joy at seeing a woman's body with all the curves and quirks and rolls found in nature" -- are our bodies "quirky"?
Is that a healthy point of view?

I've seen my mother naked; I belong to community pool where naked women of every age, size and shape share their encouragement in the locker room. I've seen my nekkid body! Real women have stretch marks and cellulite, skin tags and discolorations, bumps and scars. Ms. Miller is not your average woman, and undoubtedly her flawless presentation was airbrushed, anyway.

Why are women (people) so easily swept along on the bandwagon? I would protest Glamour's effort to show a "real woman" as a disingenuous sop to their readers. Any woman who looks like Ms. Miller would be quite pleased; she is definitely not your average.

We are a culture that dines at "Hooters". Sex sells everything from car parts to liquor. Yet, we believe we have achieved parity, and some people say in good faith that we are in Afghanistan to better the plight of women by exporting our western understanding of respectfulness.

Take a look at this photo from an ad selling re-manufactured engine parts from a boating trade magazine (Trade Only):


Graffiti covers her body, and she wears only a chain -- a choke collar for her waist. Even more interesting was the text facing that ad concerning the fate of the luxury yacht trade today:

Writer Michel Weisz sadly notes, "I don't think there are going to be that many Rolex buyers for boats, meaning people are not going to buy boats anymore, especially large boats,
which they simply dock and tell people they own. I think we are regressing to the point where people who buy these products actually use them and want them, and that's a much smaller segment than the group that had been buying these boats for the last eight to 10 years."

Tell me that's not sad -- the thought of actually
only buying yachts that you use?

And from here, I took another leap, into the realm of film.


Now we have award nominees like the film "Precious," about a barely verbal 15-year-old incest survivor with two children by her father, who has given her the AIDS virus. This film earned a 15-minute standing ovation at Cannes. Then we have Jeff Bridges as Bad Blake in "Crazy Heart," an alcoholic down-and-outer who plays at dives you probably don't frequent.


These are depictions of two characters who do inhabit our world, but with whom most of the movie-going audience choose not to fraternize. This is not a new phenomenon -- it is the same genre as Mickey Rourke's "The Wrestler," Nicholas Cage's "Leaving Las Vegas," Jon Voight's "Midnight Cowboy" and Al Pacino's "Cruising". Most of us don't swim with these people, though they can be found in every town, yet we watch them with voyeuristic curiosity from afar, on screen.

It's like when we leer at the fatal luge accident at the Olympics, or car crashes at the Daytona 500. We get some kind of a kick out of it. Is it the vicarious adrenaline rush or the expiation of a collective sin?

T
his country was founded on guilt-producing behavior ("Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God") and injustice for many (Native Americans, slaves, women.) So we watch in awe, applaud for 15 minutes and feel the catharsis wash over us. We've rolled in the mud for a few minutes and feel much better, thanks. My church friends do a yearly mission and return with photos of smiling natives and some happy trinkets, grumbling about all the vaccinations they needed and why can't the people learn to get clean water after all these years.

Perhaps we watch as expiation of our collective guilt, and tell ourselves we go to war to impose our better way of life, starting them out anew, thereby "doing it right" this time. But the problem is we don't honestly know who we are, or the genesis of our actions. We are, therefore, disingenuous.


The nexus of these topics (models, excess buying, viewing on-screen crash-ups, missions) is, The Lie. The lie that we are honest and accepting, reasonable and compassionate. These are all ersatz representations of said qualities. We are deluded into thinking we are better, more compassionate, than we really are.


If we don't know who we are, if we can't reach out and touch someone here, why project our force across the miles and pretend we will touch someone there? A people, a nation, must be authentic and clear in their intention. Our posture towards women, and charity cases and the damaged and those who don't fit into the paradigm is ambiguous, at best.

Who are we to claim solidarity and the morality to export what we don't know? We don't call a spade a spade. We are deluded, and if we don't know who we are, how dare we think to export that which we don't understand?

As logician and mathematician Ludwig Wittgenstein said, "whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.
" He also said, "Nothing is so difficult as not deceiving oneself." Both are pertinent to the discussion.

I'll bring it all together next week in a big roundup in a re-visitation of Susan Boyle mania. There's a connection, I promise.

[Cross-posted at Big Brass Blog.]

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7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFowNFvmUxw

This always comes to mind, it's the liberal media that the problem I'm sure. Sad but if you can't see through the hype you are doomed to play their game. We only have to look at the last $$$$$ on ws and know that they are coming for every women, child, and man until they are the serfs of the nation Amerika.

Iceland did a very brave thing the yesterday and said No but can they stop the machine? I hope so and may be others will wake up and say no to everything you talked about and whats really wrong with the world and what blinds us all $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. Shock Doctrine
jo6pac

Sunday, March 7, 2010 at 11:40:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous RangerHazen said...

The Kindred spirits among us find inspiration here:https://www.adbusters.org/ I have been a Culture Jammer for many years and I hope you enjoy the link Lisa.

Monday, March 8, 2010 at 1:53:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

RangerHazen,

Thanks for the great link.

Monday, March 8, 2010 at 11:21:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous sheerahkahn said...

But Lisa...without self deception we're left with the wreckage of our reality...why upset the carefully crafted world we've managed when we can live a splendid life in a numb stupor?

Monday, March 8, 2010 at 12:29:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

sheerah,

My mother says, "People work hard to put on their blinders. They don't like it when you rip them off. It hurts."

Monday, March 8, 2010 at 1:05:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

Lisa, Sheerah: Exactly. Often our own misperception of ourselves as kind, loving, honest, decent people (or whatever - you fill in the blanks) is all that keeps us from leaping off the nearest bridge.

I read something recently about the seeming contradiction between the actual performance of U.S. schoolkids over the past 20-some years (maintaining the average of 1990 or slightly declining) and their self-reported self-image (higher than ever). We seem to have managed to reach a higher plane of self-deception, from our personal lives to our politics.

Thus the explosive self-congratulation surrounding every tiny moment when we convince ourselves that we've finally breached the Great Wall of Hype, Vanity and Self-Delusion. We try and convince ourselves that this time we're really real, truly true, and that the surrounding blare of commercial and rhetorical nonsense somehow involves everyone but "us"...

Not sure which is more honest - the openly unreality of the glossy adverts or the fake reality of convincing ourselves that these pretty people are "just like us"...

Monday, March 8, 2010 at 6:12:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

FDC says,

"Not sure which is more honest - the openly unreality of the glossy adverts or the fake reality of convincing ourselves that these pretty people are "just like us"... "

The glossy adverts are honestly phony; they are what they are. Self-delusion is not honest, save if we were all totally Id-identified. Then we're all the best thing since sliced bread.

Monday, March 8, 2010 at 7:27:00 PM GMT-5  

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