Wednesday, February 4, 2009

"We don't show our bottoms to people"

One of the new lessons in our house is that we don't show our bottoms to people. Privacy issues and public display were becoming too loose. Now this gets sketchy when my three year barges into the bathroom while I'm in the shower; then she reminds me of the rule. I don't know how to explain that if YOU walk in on ME through a closed door, you can't then fuss at me for showing my bottom. But this isn't actally my point right now. It's this "bikini girl" on American Idol and how she is getting on my last good nerve. It began with her audition, in which she responded to criticism from the new judge, Kara, by criticizing the judge's correction. This reminds me of students who just have to tell me how fabulous their writing is and how misguided my feedback is, even though I have three degrees and they have some credit hours. First, can we have an ounce of humility here? You showed up to be judged. Why are you complaining and getting defensive when people judge you?

Oh, did I forget to mention that the reason this girl is being identified as "bikini girl" instead of her name is that she auditioned in a bikini?

Yes, the girl can sing, and she's cute enough, but she's middle-of-the-road good. In other owrds, don't write checks that your "bottom" can't cash. On this week's show, she said that Kara must have felt "insecure" because she got up from the judge's table to show her what the song should sound like. Chick, why would a woman with credentials like hers feel insecure around you? She's had a lucrative career--you're just naked.

Secondly, if you need to get (practically) naked, then even you don't believe your voice is exceptional.

Women who consciously and purposely use their bodies to upgrade their skills is damaging to women in general. If you want to use your body to advance yourself, fine; be a shoe model (read: stripper) I don't have (many) judgements about that. But if you have other skills that you want to use in an appropriate industry, rely on those skills. There's a fairness issue here, and batting your eyes (which she did) and switching your hips (which she did) is distracting in ways that diminish your character and call into question every other woman's skill. But more importantly, you should demonstrate excellence and then make your "sparkling personality" a bonus instead of a bone for drooling men to chase. Her singing? Not quite excellent.

Thirdly, while I generally believe in the use-what-you-got-to-get-what-you-want philosophy, looks fade. Screaming "I'm half-naked, listen to me!" won't work for very long. I mean, really. Nearly every woman's got a pair of those things, so yours aren't that special. Heck, I've made food with mine!

So, why is it that we "don't show our bottoms"? One reason is because it's much harder to hear what you say when your body is screaming so loudly. Any professional knows that you have to show up with the goods--and then you won't have to show them.

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