The New Aesthetic
by Saab Lofton
"It's not funny, Bart! Millions of girls will grow up thinking that this is the right way to act -- that they can never be more than vacuous ninnies whose only goal is to look pretty, land a rich husband and spend all day on the phone with their equally vacuous friends talking about how damn terrific it is to look pretty and have a rich husband!"
--Lisa Simpson, The Simpsons
I wrote a short story called I, Miss Peace -- about a beautiful white woman (I modeled the protagonist after Tina Fey) who regularly dresses as a superheroine called Mistress Peace and uses her feminine wiles (i.e., how irresistible a Tina Fey lookalike would be in head-to-toe spandex) to coax men into donating massive amounts of money to the Peace Movement. The mission I've sworn myself to has many facets, but the main one is to base a movie on this story so that women will emulate the character. It's a long shot (to say the least), but then again, that's why I NEVER gamble -- life is enough of a coin toss as it is ...
... so in case I, Miss Peace never reaches the silver screen, ladies, I give you the New Aesthetic!
1) Master the deadliest of martial arts by the time y'all graduate from high school (fuck ballet and fuck horseback riding). Not only to defend yourselves against rapists, which is obviously necessary, but also to further empower a historically oppressed gender.
2) Women respond to what they hear, but men respond to what they see, which means makeovers are clearly for YOUR benefit, NOT ours. In other words, Natalie Portman or Reese Witherspoon could be as funky as Pig-Pen from Charlie Brown and guys would STILL lust after their asses! This is important because I shudder to think of how much money has been WASTED over the ages on makeup, fashion and jewelry. Donate all that money to worthy charities such as Amnesty International instead. I REPEAT: Donate all that money to worthy charities such as Amnesty International instead. In terms of beauty, either you got it or you don't, and if you don't, remember that the Thing from the Fantastic Four is a powerful force for good DESPITE his ugliness (likewise, Doctor Helen Caldicott is the world's premiere anti-nuclear activist, a Nobel Peace Prize nominee and she was named by the Smithsonian Institute as one of the most influential women of the 20th century -- while I'd gladly take a bullet for the good doctor, I wouldN'T sleep with her if I was stranded in a blizzard and needed the warmth).
3) Alter the ideals you strive for. As it stands, when women talk amongst themselves, they get "catty" over whether someone wore white after Labor Day. Fuck that shit! Here's how "girl talk" SHOULD sound ...
Ashley: I raised a hundred bucks for the United Negro College Fund.
Brittany: Well, I raised five hundred.
Courtney: That's nothing, honey, I just raised a thousand!
... and so forth.
4) Mood swings are NOT messages from God. Being dainty, pretending to be as fragile as Faberge eggs and overreacting to even the slightest provocation is NOT an acceptable way to conduct yourself. As labor organizer extraordinaire, Mary "Mother" Jones (1837 - 1930), once put it: "Don't be ladylike! God almighty made women and the Rockefeller gang of thieves made the ladies."
5) Raise your daughters or nieces on Xena, Supergirl, Wonder Woman, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Captain Janeway from Star Trek: Voyager (fuck Barbie, fuck Hello Kitty and fuck My Little Pony).
6) Geeks, NOT jocks. Be honest, who's most statistically likely to commit an act of domestic violence? Someone as colossal as Shaquille O'Neal or someone as small as Urkel? I'm NOT saying y'all should get married and have children -- Earth is already overpopulated -- but IF you do, choose a man one can stand toe-to-toe with in case worse comes to worse.
7) Ralph Nader said it best: "Young wives are the leading asset of corporate power. They want the suburbs, a house, a settled life and respectability. They want society to see that they have exchanged themselves for something of value." Therefore, to keep from being an asset of corporate power, change what you value; define yourself by your good deeds. Ever hear of Sabiye Tenberken? Probably not, given the extent to which trivial bread and circuses dominate American culture, but Tenberken is a blind woman who ventured alone to Tibet upon learning that blind children there were either neglected or ostracized. So what did she do? Singlehandedly open a school for the blind (read the book, My Path Leads to Tibet)! THAT'S more valuable than a house in the suburbs!
I'm sure the New Aesthetic will alienate as many women as it intrigues, but I don't care. As Alfred wisely advised Bruce Wayne in The Dark Knight: "They'll hate you for it, but that's the point of Batman, he can be the outcast. He can make the choice that no one else can make, the right choice."