Pop culture treasure, high culture trash.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

The untamed shrew

I'm waiting for the irate letters from Hüsker Dü fans asking, What about Zen Arcade?? to come rolling in, but my story on the new Mirah record is up at the Merc.

I proudly bought the NME with the nude Beth Ditto cover today. It's a grand day for punk rock, fat-positive queer feminism and not caring what other people think about you. Seriously--Germaine Greer approves. The sidebar explaining riot grrrl feels a bit forced and tossed off, as if they had to think of something to fill up column inches at the last minute and couldn't quite commit to a Dorothy Allison recommended reading list. But NME still earns innumerable pogo points for gleeful in-yr-face-and-down-yr-pants homoeroticism elsewhere in the issue. Page 18 is all I'm saying. PAGE 18. Perhaps KY Jelly adverts are to come?

Not that 120 Days needed much help to begin with.


Mariah said...

hey! just discovered your blog through the typical girls list... and i have to say, i'm absolutely in love with the NME beth ditto cover as well. we always buy NME anyhow, but this one's most def a keeper!

Lizzie said...

hi, mariah.

yeah, even i couldn't find fault with their riot grrrl summary...whoever wrote it did her research, even if the result did seem awfully whipped up at the last minute. i was having a conversation with marisa meltzer the other day about the mind-boggling popularity of beth ditto in the UK, and she asked me why i thought she was so embraced over there. i still have no idea. do you?

stormy_brow said...

I've been letting this whole thing marinate for a while, and I have to say that I'm still not comfortable with the Beth Ditto cover. Don't get me wrong, as a fat chick, I'm all for fat-positivism. What I'm not all for, however, is the continuation of the binary and the objectification and judgment of women's worth based on whether or not people approve of their body types. Does that make sense? Let's talk about this more, cos I'd love to have a discussion and share thoughts on this with you.

Lizzie said...

Marinate? Is this Kissing Jessica Stein-derived?

The way I see it, the NME cover is a big fuck you to exactly what you're criticizing: "[the] judgment of women's worth based on whether or not people approve of their body types." By posing naked, Beth was stating in no uncertain terms that she doesn't care that people don't approve of her body type, that she is going to do a nude cover anyway. Because there's obviously an unspoken rule that fat women aren't supposed to take off their clothes. The cover breaks that rule. And in fact, many readers predictably lambasted the NME for the cover, calling Beth ugly and obese and no end of other unsavory(and inaccurate) epithets.

Why do you think the cover promotes a binary? Which binary? Pretty woman/ugly woman?

stormy_brow said...

It is, indeed, a Kissing Jessica Stein reference. I've sort of co-opted it, not to sound hip, but because I like the imagery of letting thoughts marinate.

I think the cover furthers the "pretty/ugly" binary, yes.

I suppose my discomfort stems from people's comments about the cover, how their applause still seem couched in the attractiveness binary. I think you and I should have an in-person conversation about this, because I'm not good at clarifying these types of thoughts online these days.

Miss you!