Nov 14, 2014

On The Rocks: Plath, Curves & Comets

AT&T Ad from 1967
A collection of curiosities, irks, and thoughts, shaken, stirred, and served...

I haz opinions, and yet, I don't always want to dedicate a full post to these thoughts and findings. This is where the 'On The Rocks' series comes in as it aims to fill in the blanks and give me ample room to share links and air out the words rattling in my brain about various topics. I have a similar post series for my Audio Diva blog where I pool five recent songs and/or music trends and talk about them, and welly wells, I just decided to do it here. For now there isn't a set number of items or a set word length, and I'm pretty sure it will turn into personal ramblings, but for now, just dive into the mix....



Finding Word Nourishment With...

"Black Girls Don't Read Sylvia Plath" -- A misleading (yet attention-grabbing) essay title leads into quite an excellent and heartfelt piece about Hairpin's Vanessa Willoughby finding solace in the writings of Sylvia Plath. I super connected with this considering how much I do adore me some Plath, and how important other people's words --- even those outside of your racial and cultural spectrum --- can aid in the process of healing and search of self. I feel everyone should have a special author or two (or more!) that speaks to them directly, that makes them not feel "alone", and this essay poignantly expresses that sentiment.


Binge-Watching On...

Jane The Virgin -- CW's Jane The Virgin just jumped out at me from all the swarms of new shows that came out this Fall season. I mean dig this --- the plotline is about a headstrong and religious woman who has her life turned upside down when she is accidentally artificially inseminated. Oh, and it's a comedy. Sure you jest. Yet it took only one episode, and I was hooked, line and catfish. Days later and I'm loving it more and more, and I once even found myself skipping my beloved Sleepy Hollow for it (since it infuriatingly comes on at the same time...but season 2 has been kinda sucky lately so whatevs).

There are a just a lot of things to love about this show, from its hilarious narrator to the magic realism touches that remind me of the wonderful Pushing Daisies, it also sports witty chyrons that type on-screen to poke fun at the characters, and is loaded with well-drawn characters that have interesting back stories and whose motives --- whether good or bad --- are believable. It's just a real down-to-earth satirical delight, oh and hooray for people of color in leading roles!

In it's odd way, Jane The Virgin intelligently works as it skillfully handles its characters in social/class settings, most importantly highlighting key cultural aspects of what it's like being in a Mexican-American Catholic family. Also if you're worried about how they deal with the tricky pro-life/pro-choice dichotomy, you can breathe a bit easy as the show interjects salient opposing opinions while still allowing space for Jane to form her own choices. Just good stuff all around.


Applauding & Co-Signing...

Vogue's gorgeous plus-sized bra shoot -- So....Kim Kardashian showed her (highly photoshopped) Turtle Waxed body and 'broke the Internet' this week. Good for her. She looks pretty great, and I see that she's taken a much-needed break from her usual BRF (bitchy-resting face) --- so kudos. Still, um, yeah, consider me b-o-r-e-d. Bored because Kim K isn't doing anything out of the ordinary with her PAPER mag editorial. She's known for shuck and shock, and her being nakey and popping her rotund rump out is just well...another day on the calendar. She also isn't the only woman on the face of this planet who possesses a curvaceous body. A lot of Normal Normas like myself rock shapely bods, with all the love lines, angles, and rhymes in-between. So special snowflake she is not. Sure, us ordinaries don't have famous photographers documenting our assets or taking laborious use to nip tuck at every skin cushion to make our curves look more "presentable". Still what Kim K sports isn't phenomenon, and why I'm quite listless over it.

Most of us know the drill. Knows how the fashion industry holds back throwing the confetti up when it comes to everyday curviness. How public consumption views double digits sizes with disgust and cherry pick their 'more tolerable' (aka fetish hotties or funny fat chick) curve allies. How the conveyor belt still rolls out mismatched body campaign after mismatched body campaign that gets everyone feeling some kind of negative way about their bodies. Recently Victoria's Secret got in trouble for their "Perfect 'Body'" campaign, and just this week ELLE magazine landed in hot water when folks grumbled about model Myla Dalbesio being profiled and labeled as 'plus-sized'. Stop the world, I want to get off...

In a similar vibe as Aerie Lingerie's campaignVogue decided to throw a wrench into the cogs by premiering their refreshing editorial spread, "The Best Lingerie Comes In All Sizes". Photographed by Cass Bird, and featuring famed 'plus-sized' models like Ashley Graham and Marquita Pring, this spread holds the baby oil and the vacant Barbie look for something a bit more down-to-earth. For big chichi and curvy girls like moi who've wrestled with their shame in dressing rooms, and rolled their eyes at that lying tape measure at the bra fitters, this spread also sports lingerie from high and low brands, so snobbish shopper it ain't. While this spread isn't not going to swiftly change minds about curves and the consumption of them, it's just one starting point at celebrating all body types in their natural state, and why be salty about that?

Marveling Over... 

Rosetta's Philae landing. -- YOU GUYS THEY LANDED A FREAKING ROBOT ON A COMET THIS WEEK.  A ROBOT. ON A COMET. SOMETHING THAT WOOSHES AROUND THEY LANDED SOME MECHANICAL STUFF ON IT. SCIENCE, YA BE BLINDING ME!


Ugly Loud Laughing At...

#CosbyMeme -- Bill Cosby probably went on Twitter to have a good time on Monday, but when he asked his Twitter followers to "meme him" --- they delivered. Or more so roasted him and left him for charred. Ever since comedian Hannibal Burress' recently called out Cosby on his hypocrisy and purported decades-long abuse record, people have been side-eyeing the Cos ever since. Sadly, it had to take another man (and a semi-famous one at that), to bring these issues out, as so pointedly stated by one of Cosby's alleged rape victims --- but that's rape culture for ya. As for me, I knew about these allegations against Cosby for years as well as the settlements, and it has tainted my nostalgic viewing of The Cosby Show ever since. Still, whoever thought it was a good idea to get a meme going about Cosby at this time really stepped in the pudding pop.

Whether you believe Cosby to be innocent or an arrogant shitheel who has skirted around the law for decades, you have to admit that some of these memes are pretty hilarious. Though for a more level-headed response to the Cosby controversy, I would advise anyone to read Stacia L. Brown's piece about the Cosby controversy to gain a little perspective on how we view our childhood idols in less-than-stellar-lights when we reach adulthood.

Might Scope Out...


Beyond The Lights --  When I saw the first batch of trailers for this I couldn't get over how straight-to-DVD it looked. Not that that's horrible or anything, just that romantic dramas today have become so eye-roll inducing to points where I sort of shrivel away from them. Plus the plot-line felt so...overused...I've read Bling, I've sat through Glitter --- do we really need that again? Writer and director, Gina Prince-Blythewood believes we do, and well, I've believed in her since she made Love & Basketball a treat, so I sort of trust her to give some depth to such a predictable Romeo & Juliet scenario.

Jezebel's piece about this film also piqued my interest, as it seems Beyond The Lights will tackle what it truly means to be a woman in a man's run music world, with a scoop of honest romantic relationship building to boot...we shall see. Bonus: I have never noticed Nate Parker before, but consider me fully aware...meeeeooow.

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