Close Listen: Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” Glorifies Rape Culture, Is also Catchy

Oh, Robin Thicke.

Oh, “Blurred Lines.”

“Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke (who, I will admit, is super sexy) is everywhere these days.  The song, upon first and somewhat-distracted listening, is another generic pop song about sex or dancing or something…  It’s really catchy and it’s got some sonic soul.  The aesthetics of the song itself are groovy and cool.  If I hadn’t listened closely, I would probably like this song.

However, taking the time to listen to the lyrics provided me with the sadly not-so-shocking truth: “Blurred Lines” glorifies rape culture, portrays women as objects without agency, knowledge, or power, and suggests a problematic passage of women from one man to another.

Take a listen for yourself.

Wait… Before you do that, we need to talk about the video too.

THE VIDEO

The unrated version is below – very NSFW.  The video features three disaffected models wearing flesh-colored thongs…  As in, ONLY THONGS.  The boobies are out.  The models are sort of dancing.  It’s really rather weird.  Imagine what it was like to film that video.

Oh, so I just walk from side to side not really doing anything while these guys sing?  Okay.  Oh, and I’m naked.  Oh, I get a thong.  Great…

Awkward…

They let her wear clothes (sort of) but turned her into a road, on which they could drive their toys.

These very pretty, young women are strutting around while fully dressed men – all in suits –  perform a smarmy song around them.  It’s uncomfortable and everyone looks uncomfortable.  The women are making an effort to cover themselves some of the time, other times enjoying the bouncing… I guess.

At one point, one of the girls is holding a goat.  They’re wearing 90s shoes, plastic, and other weird stuff.  The men are all being horrible.

Ugh… Here it is.

BLURRED LINES – UNRATED – ROBIN THICKE, PHARRELL WILLIAMS, T.I.

THE LYRICS

The problem continues.

While the song is largely, well, stupid.  It’s a poorly written song about wanting to bang a hot chick.  We’ve all heard a lot of songs about this and many of them are offensive, reinforce stereotypes, and the objectification of women.  Even female artists participate in this a fair amount of the time.  Women often sing about how hot and desirable they are…  Men sing about their dicks.

The thing is, it’s a real problem to talk about women’s behavior meaning they want or need sex.  Consent is what’s sexy.  A girl dancing in a sexy way doesn’t mean she wants or needs to suck some dudes wiener. 

Women are allowed to be sexy, sensual, hot, attractive, pretty, and alluring without sex.  Nothing but consent is consent.  That’s just how it is.  Seeing a woman from across a room and having a feeling that she might “want it” doesn’t mean she really does.

Writing a song that repeats “I know you want it” six times per chorus sends a bad message.  It teaches young men and women that  seeming like they want sex is enough to consent actual sex.  But that’s not okay.  Sex should be something all participants agree to USING WORDS.  Not using eye movements or nods.  Telling men that they can tell when a woman wants sex by the way she dances isn’t helping anyone.  That’s teaching men that they know better.  They know something women don’t know.  Women need men telling them when sex should and will happen.

Except… WRONG.

The Chorus
And that’s why I’m gon’ take a good girl
I know you want it
I know you want it
I know you want it
You’re a good girl
Can’t let it get past me
You’re far from plastic
Talk about getting blasted
I hate these blurred lines
I know you want it
I know you want it
I know you want it
But you’re a good girl
The way you grab me
Must wanna get nasty
Go ahead, get at me

 

“Plus” what, exactly?

ImageThe woman to the far right is Jennie Runk, pictured here in a Glamour spread circa 2009. The intarwebs have been a-buzz because she’s H&M’s new “plus size” swimwear model.

Let’s take another look. Here she is in H&M’s new swimwear shots:

ImageYes, apparently this size 12 woman is “plus-sized.” Excuse me? She looks HEALTHY. AND NORMAL. And pardon me, but I believe one finds size 12 in the “misses” (that is, the NOT plus-sized) section. Since when is this plus-sized? Certainly it’s not the size 0 we normally see, but should we really be calling this “plus”? Plus what? A normal amount of body fat and muscle?

As two women who are not size zeroes, we object. We object first because calling this woman anything other than normal is a gross misstatement. To imply that this woman is somehow heavier than she should be is nonsense. She looks beautiful as-is. I don’t just say this because when I look at most retailers’ models, I want to feed them giant Katz deli sandwiches by the fistful, but because this is the same kind of nonsensical distortion we get with the size zero model. Girls who are Ms. Runk’s size and one higher (14) are shopping in the section that advertises with size zeroes. Women who are size 16 and over are shopping for the clothes Ms. Runk is modeling. Isn’t it time we have just a bit of truth in advertising? If you’re going to sell “plus size” clothing, you need to use a plus size model. A model, that is, who wears size 16 or higher.

Additionally, there needs to be some parity across sizing. I give you the following anecdote: In December, I went looking for a New Year’s Eve dress. I headed to the predictable spots: Forever 21, H&M, etc. H&M was my first stop. My dress size, 95% of the time, is a 6 or 8. I do have a bit of trouble finding dresses that fit because I’ve got a lot of booty and not a lot of booby. But, I digress. I went looking for a black sequin number I saw on the website, and found they only had a size 4 left. I thought to myself, I might as well try this on. It’s realistically only one–maybe two–sizes below me. Maybe it will fit.

And what do you think happened?

Not only did this “dress” not fit over my ass, it hardly fit over my boobs! My tiny boobs! Most women who are my size or a bit smaller have bigger boobs than me! And, on top of that, the notion that this thing was a dress was a joke. Even if I had gotten it to begin fitting over my hips, it wouldn’t have made it much farther because there just wasn’t any more fabric! The damn thing was shirt for a 10 year old being passed off as a dress.

My call, therefore, is for parity in sizing as well as in advertising. I should be looking at models smack dab in the middle of the spectrum of “misses” (that’s a size six, by the way) and smack dab in the middle of “women’s.” And I should be able to reasonably enter a store and try on one or two sizes of clothing and find items that are at least close to fitting. I shouldn’t have to shop at store A as an 8 and then go over to store B and have to buy a 13/14. If we could actually get some real sense of what size we were and stick to it, and saw real humans modeling the clothes we’re buying, we’d significantly reduce the amount of body-hating that goes on.

Bitch’s Guide to New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve can be bad or great, but it’s probably going to be bad.  If you are a bitch, or you like bitches, or you think bitches are funny… here are some tips.  Enjoy!

1.  Shoes.  Wear shoes that you feel comfortable in all night.  You have to spend all of the hours up to midnight and beyond in shoes.  People will be drunk and there will be broken glass.  You cannot walk around barefoot.  You cannot walk home barefoot.  You must wear your shoes.  Don’t be “that girl” who spends the whole night whining about her friggin’ feet.  Don’t be the girl who can’t walk in her shoes.  You know the one.  The one who scuttles from place to place and must perch wherever she lands.  The one cannot actually walk without tripping.  The one who topples into the bathroom to re-apply her lipgloss.  Don’t be that girl.

2.  Booze.  Remember, you will be drinking for a long time on this Eve of the New Year.  Your body will be exposed to so much.  You should invest in mid-level liquor – at least.

3.  Shots, specifically.  Keep count.  Even if it means you have to take a sharpie to your arm (a mark for each drink), you must track your drinking.  You are in for a long night, so you gotta have a plan.

4.  Food.  Bitch, you gotta eat!  If you eat nothing, you will pass out.

5.  Cleavage.  This really depends on what kind of bitch you are.  It’s New Year’s Eve, so go nuts.  Show off your boobies.  Get slutty.  Do whatever.  As a really bitchy bitch, I really don’t care what other bitches are wearing on New Year’s Eve.  It’s like Halloween… Free pass.

SO MUCH CLEAVAGE.

6.  Dates.  If you bring a date to a New Year’s Eve party, make sure he/she isn’t a dumbass, can hold his/her liquor, and that your date can dance.  There will be WOO-WOOs.  Make sure they are ready.  Don’t be the girl with a lame-ass date.  Go solo if it comes to that.

7.  Boyfriends.  If you bring your boyfriend or girlfriend, they SHALL NOT GET SHITTY.  They shall bring mints and make out with you at midnight.  They shall bring you drinks.  They shall dance appropriately.  THE BOYFRIENDS SHALL BE FUN.

8.  Dancing.  Please do as little grinding as possible.  Please whip your hair.  Please shake it good.  Please do some work out there.  Sweat it up.  Do yo’ thang.

9.  Tampons.  Someone will need a tampon – it might be you.  Just bring a damn tampon.  You’ll be someone’s hero and it will feel great.  Good for you.

10.  Bi-Curiousness.  You gotta kiss somebody at midnight.  I’m not here to judge that part of you.

11.  Hats.  Party hats are fucking annoying.  Do not make anyone wear one.  If you want to wear one, that’s great… It tells the rest of us that you’re a dumb ass.  Seriously, suck it.  Hats are sucky.

12.  Driving.  You will be drinking.  Just get a cab.  Your only other option is to crash where you are.  The likelihood of someone staying sober enough to be the DD later on is low.

13.  Glitter.  A little glitter goes a long way.  If you’ve got a sparkly dress, maybe cool it on the bling and the white/silver eyeshadow.  Be sparkly, but don’t try to imitate the NYE Times Square ball.  You don’t need 10,000 blinking lights to be beautiful.  Also, if you do happen to over-glitter, it will get on EVERYONE.  I don’t want to wear your damn glitter, so stay the hell away, Ke$ha!

14.  Underpants.  Just wear them.  Underpants are always, always worth a panty-line.  Don’t be the girl without underpants on.  We don’t want to see your hoo-ha.  Anyone interested in your hoo-ha will happily wait to see it.  Seriously, I don’t want to see a single baby-factory on the dance floor or getting out of a cab.  We all have underwear.  Wear yours.

15.  The Midnight Kiss.  Just go for it, bitches.

Unacceptable Items of the Last Three Weeks

So, I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus, but I haven’t forgotten R&RC. In fact, some of the absurd things I’ve seen these past few weeks require some attention.

1. Flesh colored leggings. NO. NONONONONONO UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, NO! Why? Why would you possibly think this is a good idea? I thought the Wal-Mart meme lady would have convinced the world, but apparently not.

2. Tiger stripe leggings. I’m not sure what happened to the students on my campus (there must be something in the water), but apparently standard black leggings weren’t bad enough and we needed flesh colored and tiger stripe varieties. Really?

3. Peek-a-boo shapewear. Shapewear is awesome. It keeps you tucked and set where you should be to look awesome. But looking at it? Not so awesome. So, when I was walking behind a girl in a short pencil skirt and suddenly realized, oh, it doesn’t have a lace border, those are her SPANX, I had to shake my head and wonder whether she could feel a draft. You would think, right?

4. iPod in your butt. Yes. Yes, I said iPod. In. Your. Butt. I was at the gym last week on an elliptical behind a woman on a treadmill. She kept adjusting her sweatpants as she was running, and I was pretty much ignoring it when suddenly she started digging around in her pants. Slightly aghast (my mother taught me not to stick my hands down my pants in public; I don’t know about the rest of you), I watched her pull an iPod out of her sweatpants and adjust the song and shove the thing back in her pants and keep running. W. T. F. Let me count the ways this is unacceptable: one, gross. Two, unsanitary. Three, YOU’RE KEEPING YOUR iPOD IN YOUR ASS. Four, IN YOUR ASS. Five, there’s a reason clothing companies don’t put pockets in the center of the back of our pants; items stored there make you look like you’ve shit yourself. Six, IN. YOUR. BUTT?!?!??!

Christina Aguilera as a Hot, Scary, Brightly-Colored Serial Killer in “Your Body” (and she’s still not fat)

I know, I know… I write too many blog posts about Christina Aguilera.  I’m sorry, but I absolutely idolized her when I was a little girl.  I would sit in my room and stare at my stereo while I tried to figure out if I could ever get that good at singing.  Answer: nope.  I just want other people to realize that she’s pretty much the most talented singer to ever exist, and that she’s really gorgeous and not at all fat.  Once again, NOT FAT.  I also really want to like her.  I want her to be more likable.  I want to fall back in love with my idol.

Ugh.  Okay, now that I’ve done that part, let’s get on with the post.

“Your Body” is Christina Aguilera’s latest release.  It’ fun and cool.  It’s crazy and vulgar.  It’s probably just what her career needed.  Our popular culture machine is all about vulgar these days.  I mean, have you heard that damn song about “whistling” (goes something like: “Can you blow my whistle?  …  Just put your lips together and come real close…”)?  It’s terrible and it’s obviously about blow jobs.  We get it, Flo Rida, you like blow jobs.

Pop music these days is all about sex and drinking and drunk sex…  It’s not a new trend, but the crazy bright colors, upsetting patterns, and overly intense cartoon themes are all new to me.  I hate them.  That said, this video is kind of awesome.  I’m surprised I think that, but I do.  It’s like a candy-porn snuff film.

Even though I find the whole video questionable, I feel like it’s a not-sad comeback for her.  She looks sexy in a scary, trashy, dirty (maybe dirrrrty), scented-marker kind of way.  I should hate this video, but I don’t.

She’s a Crayola serial killer out to get men who’ve done her no wrong.  She’s just randomly killing.  I think it actually might be a satire of current culture’s acceptance, encouragement, and of sleeping around.  It might actually be an intellectual argument.  This could be a real, live satire.

The song itself is about screwing random people.  As she says, “So, don’t even tell me your name.  All I need to know is: who’s place?  And let’s get walking…”  She doesn’t even want to know your name, she just wants to love your body.  The song is about random sex and how great/wonderful it is.  Basically, “All [she] want[s] to do is love your body.”

But, maybe…  Just maybe…  This video is kind of making fun of that.  Christina Aguilera has always made pretty average pop music with a way-above-average voice; maybe she knows that.  Maybe she knows that she’s better than all of this.  She should be singing amazing ballads and jazz and more stuff that sounds like, “Beautiful,” instead of “Dirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrty.”  I think that this video might know that.

Why?  Well, because instead of loving all these bodies of men, she’s killing them.  Then, there exploding with glitter and blue goo.  Maybe singing that you want to love someone’s body, and then visually showing that you actually want to kill them randomly and viciously, maybe that is a joke.  Maybe it’s an acknowledgement of the absurdity of today’s pop music.

Perhaps more interestingly, Ms. Aguilera sings, “Fuck your body…” in the explicit version of the song.  Maybe she really means that she wants to “fuck up” their bodies rather than “love them sweetly.”

Okay, it’s probably just a crazy video for a crazy song.  I just really want to believe in my idol, a former “Genie in a Bottle,” and a forever bottle-blond.  She’s probably just a dirrrrrty girl.

Oh, and here’s some bonus goo:

Terrible Sex Advice from Magazines

Why are women’s magazines so bad at giving sex advice?  I would think that women who are comfortable with their sexuality, educated enough to work at a major magazine, and given these assignments would have some semblance of reasonable experience and the good sense to know what their partners enjoy to write decent and believable sex tips.  This is just not the case.  Sure, there are occasional gems in these sex advice columns; in an effort to be reasonable (unlike some people), I will give you a few examples of solidly decent advice.

REALLY BAD SEX ADVICE MAKES ME MAKE THIS FACE.

Some Decent Advice:

Be confident.  Wow, this is an actual tip that sex partners will appreciate.  Sexual and body confidence will go a long way in the bedroom (hopefully they aren’t alone on the “long” side).  I think most people will also enjoy their own bedroom experiences if they feel good about themselves, know what they want, and have the confidence to try things with their partner.  This one is good.

However, it’s not great.  If you are overconfident in bed, it can really, really backfire.  Haven’t we all heard stories about, or perhaps even experienced ourselves, people who think they’re amazing at sex, but are actually quite awful?  I recall a tale from a male friend about a lady who gave some boring-ass blowjobs that she thought were the best in the world.  Her blowjobs were even titled, “The Seven Levels of Heaven” (or some other stupid name she’d probably heard in a magazine).  This basically consisted of some limp licks followed by startlingly toothy deep-throats.  By his account, they were creepy, terrifying, and very NOT enjoyable.  Yet, this poor misled girl thought that she was SO good at them.   He later learned that she had, in fact, been instructed to do so by a fashion magazine.  Sadness ensues.

Be open.

That’s also pretty good advice.  Just discuss what you’re being open about with your partner.  None of this surprise S&M business.  Be responsible sexers, please.  You have to ask before you role play.  You should discuss putting frozen coins on your partner’s vagina before doing so (you’ll see this later).  Just talk first.

Terrible Advice.

Before we start, let me remind you to NOT DO THESE THINGS TO ANYONE.

“Give your man a sexy massage by rubbing his buttcheeks and blowing on his crack when you spread them apart.”
That is a real piece of advice I read in Cosmo roughly five years ago.  I still remember it because it is so, so bad.

“Bite his nipples.”
What the what?  You should discuss this first.  Also, they should specify that you shouldn’t bite hard.  I can imagine this going so wrong…

“Text your man racy one-word messages that, when strung together, hint at what you want him to do to you that night.”
Why not just send a complete sentence?  For example, “I want you.”  Another example, “I’m gonna bleep your bleep so bleepy.”

“Build momentum by keying in to an ocean legend that the seventh in a series of sea waves is the strongest. Lie on your back on a bench and have your man make every seventh thrust his most powerful.”
This is impressively specific and ultimately weird.  What happens if you lose count?  Who taught them this?  How does this conversation start, “So, I know you’re really into sailing and screwing… I have a great way to combine your loves, and it’s not sex on a boat.”

“Pop an erotic film into the DVD player, and let the noises serve as inspiration — you’ll feel like you’re in the midst of an orgy.”
Obviously the person who wrote this piece of advise has never seen “an erotic film” because there is nothing realistic or romantic about them.  Watching two actors perform exaggerated sounds of pleasure while a camera crew watches them… That’s not sexy.  Also, do you really want to see a lady with the biggest boobs of all time right before you take off your own top?  I just think this one could end poorly.  You gotta really do some research.  Lots of research.

“Put a frozen grape in your mouth and warm it up a bit. Then hold it between your teeth and glide it down his neck, around his nipples, and over his lips. Finally, use your tongue to slip the grape into his mouth.”
This is really, really detailed.

“Pick up a couple of sushi rolls, lie down on your couch, and invite your man to enjoy a meal off your naked body. If he’s not a fan of raw fish, use Gummi bears instead.”  
Why Gummi Bears?  I just don’t understand why they went to Gummi Bears if sushi wasn’t acceptable.

“Try light choking.”
Again, this needs to be discussed ahead of time.  This is not a quick change.  Oy.

“Surprise him with anal.”
This should not be a surprise unless previously discussed and agreed upon.

“Put a bunch of very clean (seriously, wash them first) coins in the freezer.  Then, have your man use the coldness of the coins to toy with you while he uses his tongue.  The mix of hot and cold will drive you wild.”
Coins?  Do not put coins on your hooha.  I don’t care how long you wash them.  If you really want to try hot vs. cold, use ice or the grapes from earlier.  Don’t use money.  That’s so weird.  Plus, copper has that strange smell…  I just don’t think this is sexy at all.

I’m sure I’ll write a follow-up to this.  There’s a lot of weird stuff out there.

10 Ways to Test Your Relationship

Relationships are hard, weird, and hopefully great.  Every relationship will be tested naturally, but if you’re looking for ways to see just how strong, or good, or whatever your relationship is, here are some ideas.

  1. Ask about porn.  When you do this, make sure to ask about the frequency, type, subject, and any other details you can imagine.  The more you push for details, the more of a test it really will be.  Once you’ve completed asking about this wonderful subject, make  certain you share your interests and preferences just as openly.
  2. Road Trip!  Being trapped in a car for hours and hours and hours is a sure-fire way to see if you secretly hate each other.  Plus, if your partner doesn’t shoot you when you scream and startle them upon seeing a spider…  You’re golden.
  3. Fart in front of your partner while maintaining eye contact.  I haven’t tried this, but it seems like it would work.
  4. Have a really awful day.  Then, hang out.  While it’s hot.  And you’re tired.  Experiment away!
  5. Go hiking.  You will quickly learn if you or your partner are whiny, lazy, weepy, weak, annoying, or cool.
  6. Debate who is weirder.  This will get ugly fast.  You will see what your partner finds odd and possibly annoying about you.  If you can withstand this, you’ll be alright.
  7. Have weird sex.  I don’t care if it’s role play, bondage, blindfolded, exhibitionist, group, or just different – try something a little out of your comfort zone together.  When you do this, you will either build trust and see that you already have a great deal.  OR it will be an awkward mess and perhaps a sign that you should avoid each other forever.  OR maybe it’s bad, but you can both laugh.  It’s a test.  You be the judge.
  8. Meet the parents.  What could be more telling than that?  Do you hate your partner’s parents?  Do they hate yours?  Are they creepy together?  Do you feel judged?  It will be awkward, but you can do it… and if you can’t, maybe you’ve failed.
  9. Meet the friends.  You will be judged so damn hard.  Get ready.  Get set.  Get to impressing.  Friends will tell it like it is.  You have to impress each other’s friends, or you will ruin each other’s lives.
  10. Throw up on your partner’s bedroom floor.  Trust me, this will test you both. Big time.  If your partner simply begins to take care of you, cleans your barf, and then refuses to sleep to maintain surveillance of you and your illness for the night, then they are awesome, and they deserve major rewards.  If they get mad at you and tell you to clean it up, they might be a real dick.  The lover that holds your hair deserve high praise and hella love.

Your Bra Size Is NOT My Concern

Sometimes, I am a loud-mouth.  Still, I have self-control, and an awareness of myself whilst in public places.  A young lady I encountered today was lacking in the whole control area, but she was clearly an expert in loud-mouthery.  Man, oh, man…  She could talk.  LOUD.  She struck me as the kind of person who updates her facebook status at least twice a day; likely about half of those statuses are vague and emotional so that people will ask what’s wrong.  Basically, I’m saying she was really darn annoying.

We were all trapped trying on clothes in the Salvation Army, when some loud-mouthed teen decided to declare her cup-size to us all.  I was not amused.  Here are a few things she exclaimed:

  • “I’M ONLY 5’1″ AND MY BOOBS ARE D-CUPS!  D-CUPS, I TELL YOU [and everyone else].”
  • “OH MY GOD, STACY.  YOU HAVE TO COME SEE HOW HILARIOUS I LOOK.  MY TITS ARE SPILLING OUT ALL OVER THE PLACE.  IT’S RIDICULOUS.”
  • “DEFINITELY WHEN I’M DONE LOSING WEIGHT, I’LL BE ABLE TO FIT IN THIS… OF COURSE, THAT’S ONLY IF MY D-CUPS SHRINK! HAHA!  THEY’RE SO BIG!”
  • “UGH! I HATE MY D-CUPS!”
  • “MY BOOBS ARE SO HUGE.  IT’S SO AWFUL HAVING BOOBS THIS BIG.”
  • “BIG BOOBS ARE THE WORST.”
  • “NO ONE MAKES CLOTHES FOR BOOBS THIS BIG!”

I have a lot of issues with this.  First of all, don’t scream about your boobies in the middle of a store.  It’s one thing to say to your companion, “This won’t fit over my boobs,” or, “Haha! Look at this.”  It’s very different to share your cup-size like a news announcement.   I promise, no one cares as much as you do.  You can share the moment with your friend, but you don’t need to share it with everyone else.  There are kids around, and old folks, and folks who just have normal levels of privacy…  They don’t care.

Also, they do make clothes for big boobs.  As a lady with boobs EVEN BIGGER than yours, I can assure you that I wear clothing that I do not make.  Therefore, some clothing has to fit over boobs of that stature.  Yes, it is harder to find button-ups, bathing suits, dresses, and tanktops, but you learn to deal.  Big boobs happen.  Big shirts happen too.  You just have to accept that you can’t fit into anything and everything… You know, like everyone else.

Another thing, most people don’t want to hear complaints about big boobs.  Big boobs get a lot of press and a lot of love.  Maybe don’t whine in front of all the A-Cups and B-Cups of the world.  They’re hatred of you and your D-Cups could penetrate your skull and crush you at any moment.  Stop complaining.  You’ll be fine.

Maybe I’m just a cranky old lady, but I just don’t want to hear about a stranger’s boobs from across the store.

Do you think Christina Hendricks screams, “HOW WILL I FIT MY CRAZY-HUGE TITTAYS IN THIS OUTFIT?!” every time she tries to buy a tanktop?  No.  She does not.  Christina Aguilera doesn’t either.  Some ladies have big boobies.  Every single person who sees a lady with big boobies will, with a doubt, notice that she has them.  Big boobs are kind of hard to miss.  Therefore, they don’t need to be announced in the Salvation Army dressing rooms.


Christina Aguilera Won’t Let Me Like Her

I’ve got 99 problems, and her attitude is #1.

Oh, Christina…

I should warn you all that this post is largely about The Voice on NBC.  I love this show, and I’m not ashamed of it.  If you have seen any clips or episodes, you may have noticed that Christina Aguilera has been acting a little rude, a little conceited, and sometimes just completely unlikable.  I want to like her, but just won’t let me.

I didn’t understand “Genie in a Bottle,” but I loved it. I liked it too.  Yes, when she went through her slutty phase, it was hard for me to support her, but she had empowering songs, and “Beautiful,” which is a great song, dammit.  Even when she was “Dirty,” she was likable.  She sang about how dudes can be “players,” but ladies are “sluts” and “whores.”  I think that’s a great point.  Ladies should be able to do exactly what dudes do.  We are equal, and she demanded that – even if we were just talking sex.  Also, she’s a friggin’ machine.  This girl can sing like nobody.  She is just so powerful, and skilled.  My god, she’s good.  You have to respect that.  If I was that good, I would probably have quite an ego, so I do understand hers.  She deserves to be a little cocky, but she could save it for the stage.  I miss liking her.

Basically, Christina was always a little crazy, but I liked the craziness before.  What was different about seeing her as a coach on The Voice?  I guess, I just didn’t know she was kind of mean.  Instead of being humble, kind, considerate, or normal, she’s just shown that she’s a bit too obsessed with herself to really give people the time of day, or the consideration of tact.  She is usually correct in her criticisms; I just wish she’d be nicer about it.

If I had a genie in a bottle, I would ask him to make Christina Aguilera likable again.

To Tony Lucca (aka Mr. Tries-Too-Hard), she called his ass out once.  I was happy.  When she told him that he seemed “one-dimensional” it helped him.  He stepped his game way up, and he was thankful for the comment.  That’s what good criticism does.

But… then she just wouldn’t lay off.  Sometimes, she needed to just say, “Good job,” and leave it at that.  Her final critique was fair and a good point; she complained that doing Jay-Z’s “99 Problems” was a little strange considering its derogatory lyrics and his status as a husband and father (of a daughter).  I don’t really understand why he chose to do this song.  Yes, it was cool.  Yes, it was edgy (I guess).  I think, that like many people, I was sick of how damn hard this guy was trying.  We get it. You’re cool.  Now, sing an actual blues/rock song.  Her criticism was refreshing.  She also complimented the performance and said some nice things.  The problem is that she spent the whole season being a tool to this dude and to Adam Levine (who seems like a tool anyway), so this criticism just seemed like yet another whiny, self-obsessed insult.  It didn’t come off as the rather adept industry-wide issue it is.  OY

Another issue: she was a little cold to all the guests.  Both J. Biebs and The Wanted performed this season and were allegedly “snubbed” by Ms. Aguilera.  She just could have been a little nicer, a little humbler.

Another issue: WHAT THE HELL IS SHE WEARING? WHY WON’T SHE JUST WEAR SOMETHING NORMAL WITH NORMAL HAIR AND NORMAL MAKE-UP?  Why? …. Oh, Christina…

One of many crimes. What is this atrocity?

This actually doesn’t look that bad… but still.

Choose one crazy accessory. Also, wear pants more often. Please!

Suddenly, it seemed like she had fired her crazed stylist, hair and make-up team, and actually just brushed her hair and put on a nice dress. I praised the heavens. It didn’t last.

My point is that I want to like Christina Aguilera.  She is so amazingly talented.  Why can’t she just be nicer?

I’ve got 99 problems, and her attitude is #1.

It’s Senior Portraits, Not a Centerfold.

Why have senior pictures become the new place for 18 year old girls to showcase their budding bazongas? Or young men to fantasize that they’re on the cover of GQ? Here are some things NOT to do when you’re getting your (or you know someone else who is getting their) senior pictures taken.

1. Wear make up, but don’t channel Liza Minnelli. Nobody looks good like that.

2. Wear real clothes. In fact, wear your regular clothes, or maybe one step nicer. Remember, your mom is giving copies of these to your grandparents. Do you really think they want to see your cleavage or your bare chest? Yeah, think again.

3. Don’t pose in strange, contorted ways. The idea shouldn’t be “How can we twist you so your boobs hang out?” Just stand or sit normally. Move your chin up and down the way the photographer tells you to so your face doesn’t look weird because of shadows. If he tells you to throw your head back and grab a pole, you may want to consider another photographer–dude’s obviously a perv.

4. Keep your eyes open. There is no reason you need to close your eyes, especially when you’re lying down. Hello, I don’t care how your eyeshadow looked when you were eighteen; I care how you looked. Including your eyes.

5. Smile. Don’t try to be Tyra Banks and “smile with your eyes” to look sexy. You come off looking like an amateur centerfold with your lips half-parted. If you wanna be in pornos, wait til after high school.