Monday, June 19, 2006

Reality Check

I was talking to Jen's friend Adam last night at the Lockpick Pornography reading. However it came up, we started talking about how we see ourselves as normal, even slightly conservative, until something comes along to hip check us.

A premonition? Because today after signing out of hotmail, during what must have been a momentary lapse, I clicked through to the "Bathing Suit Shopping Tutorial." I don't like swimming much and haven't worn a bathing suit since two summers ago. But every once in a while, I get some masochistic need to find out what I must be doing wrong.

My favourite quote:

DON'T: Select a suit that flattens your breasts or makes them look even smaller -- such as floating in moulded cups.

I mean, yeah, good advice. Don't buy clothing that's too big for you. (And really, molded cups in bras are bad enough, but in a bathing suit, they creep me right the fuck out.) The implication that if you have small breasts you must fix them by BUYING THE RIGHT THING and that this is considered a normal response to something that isn't actually a problem is downright weird.

That section is set up as Big Breasts, Small Breasts. What do those of us with Medium Breasts do? We never get included. I have probably been going around wearing the wrong neckline since shortly after puberty.

I think that this is what is strangest to me. How does a catalogue of deformity masquerading as a buying guide become part of popular culture? (Heavy quotes around deformity, of course.)

Nothing new here, I know, a million other feminists have said this before and probably more eloquently than I.

But damn.

In more interesting news, the Lockpick Pornography reading was really good. I liked the section that Joey Comeau read from the book itself, it was funny and the characters well drawn over a few pages. The story before that, though? Excellent. Made more horrifying by its matter-of-factness, and his language seemed, I felt.

From a style standpoint, he could be a little more practiced: standing would help, and never apologize for falling over a word and never tell the audience how nervous you are. It seems endearing when you're thinking about saying it, but your audience isn't there to feel sorry for you. And by god, a Q&A that the audience isn't prepared for is a surefire way to get those awkward pauses you've been dreading.

Not that I mean to make that all particular to Joey by using the second person. You go to enough readings, you see that all. Except for the Q&A. I was weirded out by that.

Critique aside, I do recommend Lockpick Pornography (only 10 bucks at Venus Envy - a steal!) as well as keeping an eye out for his future publications.

No comments: