April 10, 2012

Courtney Stodden Is A Feminist Crusader

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What is the issue?

Hey kids, let’s pretend it’s last summer and talk about Courtney Stodden. Blow a layer of ADHD off your brain and remember with me: she was that creepy, plastic, child bride of some 50-something E-list actor. We all spent a few weeks gagging about the implied sex they were conducting, and a few more weeks throwing our best side-eyes at their staged photo shoots that capitalized on Stodden’s abs of airbrushed glory, her jacked-to-Jesus bleached hair, and barely legal amounts of clothing. Also, none of us had ever seen a teenager who came in that shade of “aged leather purse,” so it was all pretty fascinating.

I woke up this morning and before the caffeine had even hit (read: I was not at all prepared), my eyeballs got raped by images of Christianity’s favorite adolescent lucite lizard doing some immaculate Easter bunny business. God, hos do love Easter.

As I was gazing at stunning images of her twerking her way to an Easter egg bounty, it occurred to me that while we’ve spent years lamenting the media validation of these specimens of watered-down, collagen-filled, cartoonish femaleness, we’ve been overlooking how really, really good they make the rest of us look. It’s true. Girls like Courtney Stodden, Heidi Montag, every chick who’s licked on Hef’s peen for E!’s cameras, those Jersey Shore tricks, their equally loathe-able “nice girl” counterparts on The Bachelor, and their venerable predecessors-in-plasticity (Google “Shauna Sand” and thank me later) are actually good for feminism.

Just hear me out.

By taking what started out as perfectly young, adorable (or at least human) bodies and pinching, dying, filling, bleaching, tanning, lifting and waxing themselves into weird, giggling, posing monsters, they’ve turned themselves into retch-worthy caricatures of a post-millennial ideal of female beauty. In other words, they took all the “correct” components of superficial appeal and executed them to such an extreme as to make men everywhere scream, “Oh jesus god, no. NO. This is not what we want!” Suddenly, real women are looking pretty damn good. Body hair, non-surgically scarred nipples, their uneven boobs and knobby knees and thoughts and opinions and post-graduated degrees, and absolutely nothing in their closet made of lucite — men are turning from the bleached-out beach bunny with a whole new respect and appreciation for the rest of us in all our soft, intelligent, gritty, genuine, carbon-based realness.

Outside of the approval of men (who needs it?), the presence of these pop culturally celebrated painted shells of women is good for the rest of us in all walks of life. With the absolutely lowest-grade variety of female eating each other alive to get in front of a camera (or under a rich douche — whatever), we are free to run the world on every other front. I don’t know where these girls sleep off their hangovers or apply their bunny ears, but I don’t encounter them in my daily ascent to awesomeness, and I’m thankful for that.

The issue of these girls’ usefulness cannot be discussed without noting one important fact: the TV shows, tabloid articles, and gossip blogs that are the lifeblood of relevance for this breed of, ahem, woman, have recently experienced an important shift. Largely, the media that was once accused of “celebrating” their empty, debauched, cheap lives is now unquestioningly mocking them. Way to go being 10 years behind everyone else in the world, MTV. Anyway, arguably the greatest damage that the Courtney Stoddens of the world could do was to convince impressionable young things that their intelligence was a hindrance to their sexiness, and that being vapid, dramatic, and bland as possible was the route to popularity, love, adoration, and fame. No doubt, a dangerous message for lady-babies to hear. But — thank god — we appear to be rounding a crucial corner where we go from rewarding these women for being sh-tty, to blatantly holding them up as entertaining examples of how to have no self-respect, nor be able to earn it from anyone else.

By relegating the dumbest women to tabloids and casting calls, the overarching state of feminism gets the benefit of having them out of our way as we conduct ourselves mightily and gracefully in the real world, and we get to hold them up as bimbolicious beacons of unbridled wrongness for the next generation to reject entirely. So go get it, Courtney Stodden, hunt those eggs; work those over-cooked chicken legs you got. Feminists everywhere thank you. TC mark

image – Courtney Stodden
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