Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Latest Obsessions #4

I've been leaning into the binge - the satisfaction of knowing full well that you are over-consuming, and grabbing the soft roundness of your belly like the prosperous fat woman you are. The gluttony of resting Ferrero Rochers, one by one, across the surface that is your abdomen, and the dichotomy between the fullness of your stomach and the sweetness on your taste buds... and being totally okay with it. Lean into the binge.

I feel that lately I have been consuming only the world's finest creations - the culture-forming, the most iconic, the ones that are inescapably on my newsfeeds...


Keeping Up With the Kardashians
Beginning with season one: Kim is on the brink of fame, Rob Kardashian is my age and sublimely somehow both cute and hot, little Kylie Jenner is an absolute crackhead, and Bruce Jenner is unfortunately born a conservative with an obvious discomfort towards his own identity. Everything about the Kardashians warms my heart. Throughout all their ups and downs and endearing stupidity, each episode ends with the ultimate lesson that family comes first, always, which is perhaps the feel-good feeling that makes the show so addictive.

While episodes are filled with sisterly yelling and valley girl accents, accompanied by a questionable trashy version of 2000's fashion, there is something very realistic about this reality TV show. Sure some events seem to be exacerbated for the sake of drama, but everything has a sense of uncensored realness, as if the Kardashians are saying, "Watch me. I'm all yours." I am fascinated by how this family came into fame at the brink of widespread social media. The stars were aligning just for them. The world wanted to watch real people in all their realness and people-ness. 

I am fascinated by how this family singlehandedly managed to change beauty standards and culture as we know it. Season one is filled with Khloe's snide comments towards Kim's butt, and come season two Kim's butt is suddenly something to be envied?, and come 2020 the majority of people who seek plastic surgery in Hollywood refer to a photo of Kim Kardashian? Keeping Up With the Kardashians, in all honesty, is a show in which Kim and her family run around just being them. They have no message, they are unpolitical, they do not critically think about their cultural influence... They simply run around being pretty and famous, only they redefined both prettiness and fame. It's the Kardashians' world and we're just living in it.



Hamilton
I never thought that the day I'd ask for my sister's DisneyPlus password would be to sit down for three hours to watch a political musical. Hamilton is pure genius. It somehow consists political rap battles and all the complexity and nuance of history, while retaining that classic over-expressive, thematic dynamic of musical theatre. Alexander Hamilton is rich with words and perspectives, with the recurring inability to just 'speak less, smile more', as people look at him in envy. "How does he write like he's always running out of time?" Oh, what an ode to passionate people with one-track minds who want to live a life bigger than themselves. And his wife is kind and loving and feminine, and while I was never rooting for her, I see power in softness with the show's conclusion. And the one song from this musical - there's always one song from a musical - is Satisfied. I mean... just listen to those lyrics.



Portrait of a Lady on Fire
To me, this film portrays everything it is to be feminine. It is not a Matisse 'paint me like one of your French girls' because the painter is a woman. The film illustrates how a woman perceives a woman, in all of her fiery personality, in her laughter, in her sadness, in the things that move her. To be loved is to truly be seen, to feel understood, and to still feel beautiful in spite of this vulnerability. To love is to be hurt by how another imagines you. To play the role of a poet rather than a lover is to truly see a person in this present moment, in all their breathtaking glory, and to want to remember them this way for the rest of your life, even if you never see them again.



Flesh Without Blood - Grimes
When a friend told me that Elon Musk courted Grimes because he saw this music video and thought she was smart, I knew I had to watch it. Grimes is interesting in that she is the imagining of a small blonde Canadian girl who talks like a nerdy teenager. She is an otherworldly character with no inhibitions; with coloured hair and massive sunglasses; a masochistic Marie Antoinette, a menacing angel, a dark basement gamer girl. Claire Boucher says that Grimes is not sweet. She is not cute and she is not pop. She is meant to be scary, and she is fun, and I love that.

Love,
M


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