Eye Candy




    Welcome to Hotel Satire where gals of all ages come to stay for a week
or month or year in order to learn to be the visual equivalent of a Snickers
snack. 



For years, we have been teaching gals the importance of being delect- ables
rather than actual human beings. We were recently confirmed in this endeavor
by the New York Times Style Magazine, Fall 2007, where actress Abby Cornish
appears on the cover with the descriptor “Eye Candy” (Cornish starred in
the movie Candy). Finally the Newspaper of Record realizes what we’ve been
saying all along: that gals are Mars bars for men. Style Magazine offered
some interesting candy choices, by the way—our favorite being the cadaverous
gal or Twizzler, in eye-candy- speak. 



Further confirmation of gals as the equivalent of a box of Raisinettes
came from an article about gals in politics that appeared— where else?—in
the same eye candy NYT Style Magazine. The article “The Politics of Appearance”
says that when running for office (gals that is), appearance does matter.
Author Daphne Merkin writes that “Appearance, whether we like it or not,
has become the coin of the realm, the locus of our conversation…whether
we are talking of Victoria Beckham or Hillary Clin- ton….” Daphne then
asks, “Why hasn’t she [Hillary] landed upon a signature style other than
her fallback position of mix- and-match jackets or trousers?…” Why indeed?
Sarah Easley, a co-owner of Kirna Zabete, remarks, “Nebulous fashion [Hillary’s]
equals nebulous convictions equals nebulous origin/home. That is, where
is she from?” (Hey, we’re not making this up.) 



We think what Daphne and Sarah are trying to say is that Hillary is no
box of Goobers. They don’t go on to speculate as to whether, if Hillary
were, in fact, visually edible (i.e., akin to a Kit Kat), she could get
elected president. They do remark that her “aubergine eyeliner” has been
softened and that she has added a “hint of coral lip gloss” and they speculate
whether these changes will “play” in Dubuque, Iowa. But no matter—the answer
is obvious: gals were created to be visually chomped. That’s it, nuff said. 



How do we teach gals to taste like a box of Hot Tamales to the eye of the
beholder? Well, there is no better way to get your gals on the road to
becoming interchangeable with a Zagnut or Nestles Crunch than to introduce
them at birth to the two P’s: Pageants and Princesses. 



Last summer, we were in Atlanta, Georgia to observe the Miss Pre-Teen pageant.
(The pageant process can start as early as birth, by the way.) The hotel
was crowded with Moms eager to confirm their daughters’ ability to create
the same cravings in viewers as a Payday bar. We were also delighted to
see that there are still Mom’s out there who realize the importance of
teaching the “T-position” to their 9- to 11-year-olds and to keeping close
tabs on any breaches of lady- like behavior, including such horrors as
not keeping knees pressed tightly together, not holding the T-position,
not refraining from talking or moving face muscles—except to smile. These
things are important on the road to becoming a Junior Mint. (We were a
bit concerned, however, when searching for pageant information on the Internet.
Two random clicks on a pageant dresses page took us to a graphic pornography
site where we saw more than visual candy being nib- bled.) 


Another way that Mom gals can help raise their daughter gals to be Skittles
is by inculcating them into the Princess culture—including clothes, accessories,
and the confectionary colors of pink and purply- pink. 



Princessing helps gals learn the important goals of waiting (as in “someday
my prince will come”) and getting a much needed makeover (by a fairy godmother),
confirming that it’s not who you are;  it’s whether you can be a Wunderbar
for a handsome Prince to munch. 



And Gals, there is no end to the princess material available for the estimated
19.5 million 5- to 12-year-olds and 10 million 13- to 17-year-old gals,
with an estimated buying power of about $85 billion (according to USA Today,
2004). 



So, it’s no surprise that, in one year, Disney introduced 69 princess books
and three direct-to-video princess movies. Or that Disney has a Princess

Magazine, a bimonthly that sells 10 million copies annually in 42 countries.
Princess Magazine, according to their website, is an “early-learning magazine,
which brings together such Disney favorites as Ariel, Belle, Aurora, Snow
White, and Cinderella.” 


Disney also has mother- daughter Princess Academies, which consists of
a day of exclusive screening of Disney’s Little Mermaid DVD, a chance to
meet Asha—the Academy host— and to be involved in hours of Disney Princess
activities, from creation of your own keepsake to a princess make-over.
 



The Disney Princess make-over at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at the Magic
Kingdom Park gives “aspiring Princesses the make-over of their dreams,
using some Fairy Dust and the skilled magic of Fairy Godmothers-in-Training….
Turn your child’s sneakers into glass slippers and make her wishes come
true at the…enchanted salon…. Gals as young as three- years-old can choose
from three hair styles—Fairytale Princess, Disney Diva, and Pop Princess—and
three make-over packages” that include hair style and shimmering make-up,
nails PLUS photos PLUS a host of accessories, including faux hair and tiaras
(prices range from $49.95 to $179.95). 



Meanwhile, writer Gary Strauss tells us in a USA Today article about “Me-
gan Huffer [eight] who has just had her hair freshly sprayed with blue
glitter. Her lips shine with sparkly silver gloss. Prancing to a driving
hip-hop beat, she smiles broadly…. ‘This is awesome,’ the 8-year-old says
of Club Libby Lu, a makeover/ shopping emporium for 5 to 12-year-old ‘tween-age’
girls. She’s dazzlingly resplendent as a Club Libby Lu Rock Pampered Pop
Princess, preening in a midriff-baring dance costume, pink feather boa
and mirrored sunglasses…. 



“‘This is what being a little girl is all about,’ beams Megan’s mom, Pam
Huffer, who has driven 100 miles from their Glengary, West Virginia home
for her third-grader to cavort at a suburban Washington mall store.” 



Parents Magazine editor Sally Lee says (according to Strauss) that her
daughters Pearl, 3, and Grace, 6, “are so obsessed by princess paraphernalia
that Lee often relents to princess-style activities. ‘There’s something
in the genetic imprint of girls that makes them want to be princesses’,”

says Lee. 



Yikes! A Parents Magazine editor now confirms what we’ve been teaching
for years, i.e., that gals should get back to being the Reese’s Pieces
that God (with help from Disney and Hershey) intended them to be. It’s
GENETIC, right? 



Z 






Lydia Sargent is co-founder of South End Press and Z Communications, where
she has been a staff member since 1987. She is also an actor, director,
and playwright who has played her share of princesses .