Friday, March 30, 2007

The search for the next Pussycat Doll: Since when did showing your confidence mean dancing like a hoochie?

Saw this on David Spade's show the other night and was thrilled when my sis e-mailed me the clip. It summarizes my thoughts on the Pussy Cat show perfectly. The only problem is that I watch it religiously. I even have a TiVo season pass! Sure I laugh when the women talk about showing their "confidence" by dancing like a stripper, but at the same time I have strong opinions for who should stay and who should go. (Sisley bugged, and Asia drives me nuts!)



I need to find the clip where the girls are taught about expressing their "persona". I want to think Robin (the host and creator of the group) means "personality" but I don't think she does.

The show reminds me a bit of the search for the next Coyote Ugly girl. You may remember me questioning why a woman would go on a reality show to see if she could be a slutty bartender. Both shows beg the question: Is it empowering for a woman to put her body on a platter and act like a stripper? For that matter, are actual strippers empowered, or by the very nature of what they are doing, are they being exploited?

I would say live and let live, but I am scared for young girls who are constantly inundated with the message that dancing means rubbing your nether regions against anything you can (I call this the "heat-seeking ass dance") and being confident means having the ability to dance half naked behind a glass wall.

Not that this perfectly fits, but this topic sent me looking for a version of our conclusion that didn't make it into the book. I have had an issue with the Pussycat Dolls (even their name is all wrong) for a while now.


Stop the Girl on Girl Hate Crimes

As Shelly Ridenour’s essay “We Should’ve Seen It Coming: The Commercialization of Cattiness points out, one need only look at the T-shirts (“I stole your boyfriend” or “Do I make you look fat?”) worn by the likes of Paris Hilton for sale in the back of female-oriented magazines, or listen to songs like “Don’t Cha (wish your girlfriend was hot like me?)” to get what we mean by the girl-on-girl hate. It’s as if we have reverted to cavewoman times and are fighting to get a man, or keep one. Where would the wedding industry or reality TV be without this? Marriage is winning, and if there are winners, then there are also losers. And even if you’ve snagged a man, the size of your ring/reception/registry is going to determine your place in the pecking order.

Throughout popular culture women are seen as man-stealers, bitches who sink their claws into men and manipulate them. There was Team Angelina and Team Jennifer, but why did Brad escape culpability? Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie were extensively profiled in women’s mags as two extremes of females, with Brad as their victim. Angelina was the overt seductress and ultimate earth mother; Jennifer, the girl next door too caught up in her career to have children. One woman we spoke with had seen her brand new marriage crash and burn when her husband had an affair with her best friend. She hates her ex-BF, but has forgiven her ex-husband and maintains a friendly relationship with him. Sure, she says, he wasn’t entirely innocent, but she puts the blame on her former friend. Why do guys get a pass like this? If guys are that dumb and easily conned, why are we wasting our time wanting to marry them!?


Much is written about the difficulty of having choices. Studies show that give a consumer four types of jelly and she can easily pick one. Give that same consumer 24 choices and she’ll leave the store frustrated and empty-handed, unable to make up her mind. Today women do have more choices than ever before, at least on the surface. Recent articles have asked the question of whether choice is a good thing. Are women happier? Do too many choices lead to regrets, guilt about the path not taken and ultimately to books like The Mommy Wars and To Hell With All That? Or is the problem not that we have the choices but that our decisions are not respected by other women? When is the last time you heard a man trashing a life decision made by another man? They shrug their shoulders and move on. Why do women hate on each other so much? Do we feel bad about ourselves and find it easier to put someone else down than raise ourselves up?

Of course the media and advertisers love how unhappy women keep each other, because that’s all the more headlines they can write about the “Sex Secrets You Must Know,” and all the more “miracle” creams that they can convince you to shell out big bucks for to prevent yourself from, god forbid, aging.


When all is said and done I still sing along to their music and I still have the show TiVo'd, so I guess I am an aware hypocrite. In fact, that label could apply to me in many ways. Depressing. But the show is soooo gooood.

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