Her ‘hideosity’ is my regular day at work

Posted in blog post on November 5th, 2009 by Merrill Markoe

I was trying to figure out what to write here. I always think I should be weighing in on topics of importance. Like how much I am for the public option, or how much I hate the Sarah Palin/Glenn Beck/Rush Limbaugh edge of the Republican party. Etc. Etc. Instead, here is what I spent a lot of the morning fretting about: Mariah Carey and her transformation from theoretically gorgeous and glamorous to theoretically “hideous” and “dowdy” in her new role in the theoretically fabulous new movie “Precious.” Of course, I haven’t seen the movie yet so I can’t speak to its quality. The clips on-line certainly look compelling. But in a big feature article in today’s L.A. Times Mariah tells us that, to create the character of “a dowdy welfare caseworker”,the “drab but deeply empathetic soul” named Ms. Weiss she had to “lose all vanityHideous Mariah.”

‘Hideosity” she exclaimed raising her hands in mock horror” when she viewed a picture of her other self.

And this is precisely why I hate most Hollywood movies. And Mariah Carey. Because Mariah’s transformation in to hideous looks to me like me and plenty of people I know on an average work day. Okay, not a day where we put on mascara and  false eyelashes and then got so preoccupied by holding a gauzy translucent wrap at just the right level so it revealed the flirtacious outline that our pearls were making on our succulent sumptuous cleavage that we decided it was too much work to hold our heads up straight so we kind of let them list to one side, and eventually just leaned them on a door jamb… But rather a day at work, where we were pre-occupied by our thoughts. Yes, thoughts. Those things that don’t seem to bother the glorious version of Mariah on the other side of the line where she can only keep her eyes and her glossy lips half open because she decided, after she spent hour upon hour staring in to the mirror, that it was totally the most photogenic look. Yes, yes, I know how thoughts can get in the way of a nice empty stare. You start to let that happen and then the next thing you know you are saying layered complex things, and you sound like Barack Obama does. And no one wants that. That’s when the the trouble really begins.

Regular women have had a series of these creepy show biz side swipes lately. The other was Glamour magazine’s big break through running the photo of the theoretically  fat model. Except the model wasn’t fat. She was gorgeous and in great shape and just forgot for a minute that you’re not supposed to take your clothes off if you’re not a size two. Oops! She must have been drinking or something! And the next thing you know, everyone was all congratulatory about this amazing game changing photo and saying ” Look! She’s naked and she’s a size 8!! Can you believe that Glamour magazine has started running Diane Arbus freak show photos? ” Meanwhile, I was sitting quietly , staring at the photo wondering “Is there some other part of the solar system that is recruiting new comers? Because I think I might need to move to another planet.”

I guess my general theme here falls in to the same category as the ongoing insanity used when they cast “the frumpy best friend” in everything. And I mean EVERYTHING. Even “reality shows.” Its the same mental illness that wants to pretend that Courtney Cox , an extremely beautiful and unbelievably skinny woman by any set of standards is a reasonable stand in for a character coping with a weight problem (Friends) or  difficult symptoms of aging (Cougar Town.)  I once had a teensy part on Friends (Episode 2! I was Marcia, the irritable museum curator!) and I saw Courtney Cox in person. I kept staring at her and thinking to myself “Where does she keep her intestines and her spleen? There’s not enough room in that body for internal organs.”

So apparently the point of this little diatribe is  that  I’m seriously  fed up with a culture that only values vacant beauty . Oddly enough, it sounds like this  may be one of the main underlying points of “Precious”, the movie in which Mariah Carey had to stoop to abject hideosity. I know its not a very original thought for me to be railing about. Every shallow superficial woman’s magazine espouses some version of the same thing,( then quickly undermines it with before and after make-over photos that show a nice looking woman transformed in to someone who may look a little more trendy but is now actually less attractive.). But in my opinion it is this grotesque attitude that is as much behind the rise of the horrible Ms. Palin as anything else. Because although I have yet to hear her say anything moderately intelligent, and despite the fact that she is out selling “a book” that she and her ghostwriter cranked out in a couple of months (while it takes me a  year to get a rough draft…and that is before I even start all the tedious rewrites) I do  give her this: The woman can’t take a bad picture. She always looks very pretty. I hate that this can somehow be a factor in how seriously she is taken.

So there. I vented AND I almost hit one of the topics of importance from my first paragraph. Now I better get back to writing my real book if I want to get paid anytime this decade.

PS: I wanted to tell the person who was kind enough to buy that foot frame from Ebay (see 2 blogs ago for explanation) that I donated the money to  a dog rescue organization, and then I also donated MORE money to an elephant sanctuary. So somewhere in all of that is YOUR money. And thus the dogs, elephants and I all thank you very much.

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15 Responses to “Her ‘hideosity’ is my regular day at work”

  1. Alyssa Rushmore says:

    AMEN, sister! Amen Amen. I thought the same thing about the Glamour hooplah around that gorgeous, young, normal-sized blonde model who happened to show a bit of stomach fat because she was leaning forward. She appeared on The Today Show with her stomach roll–that’s how much press that got. Also re: Mariah, it’s NOT THAT HARD to look incredible when you have millions of dollars and a stylist.

  2. andrea says:

    I hope it keeps Mariah up at night that the only things standing between her and “hideosity” are makeup and some bangs. I mean it’s not like she’s wearing a prosthetic face in that “ugly” shot, am I right?

    Your blog is quickly becoming my favorite thing in my feed reader thingy. That’s one of those sentences that even as I write it I’m not entirely sure what it means. But it’s good.

    • Merrill Markoe says:

      I love the idea of a prosthetic face. But I gotta know: What is a ” feed reader thingy”?

      • andrea says:

        Oh, you know, it’s um… a thingy that lets me read a bunch of content from websites (such as yours!) without actually typing http://www.merrillmarkoe.com/blog into my browser. It reads your RSS feed and pulls in the content of your new posts whenever there are new posts. I have no idea what RSS stands for, but maybe we can make something up. Like, Reading Stuff Somewhereelse.

        So, via the magic of RSS, whatever that means, I have your blog in a widget (see? there I go again with the sentences that make my head hurt) on my custom Google home page (http://www.google.com/ig), where it displays the most recent three entries. AND also in my Google reader (http://reader.google.com), although I seldom use the reader because the homepage lets me see my email and the weather and other similar items of equal or lesser import to your blog, alongside it. So, there you go.

        PS – It’s okay to admit that I lost you when I first mentioned RSS. I’ll still like you.

        PPS – And don’t even get me started on Twitter. You should really be tweeting. Why aren’t you?

      • Merrill Markoe says:

        You’re right. I see “RSS feed” everywhere and have never looked in to what it means. Also I have never customized my Google home page, so I didn’t know those things were possible, even though a sign shows up 4 times an hour insisting that I identify myself and sign in to my Google home page. For what reason I can not say. And I have not done these things for the same reason that I haven’t played along with Facebook and Twitter. I know myself. I would get obsessed thinking I should be writing more and better one liners (or else, punishing myself for not having written a good one recently) and never again get a single thing of actual value to me, artistically, commercially, financially or personally, done. That would be the end. I would definitely never finish this book I am writing. I would be lost in a world of preoccupation with one liners for Face Book and Twitter. (So instead, I spend hour upon hour trying to learn Maya…a 3 D program that is so complicated that I should be able to make some very cool stuff just in time for my 81st. birthday.)

  3. I was thinking the same thing as Andrea, that “the hideosity” is likely what she looks like when she gets up in the morning — before the 3 hours of hair and makeup.

    Now, you’ll think I have a lot of nerve commenting on this particular post with my blog name and the Jane Birkin photo but, well, I have a lot of nerve, what can I say?

    Now can we talk about how much we hate the Sarah Palin/Glenn Beck/Rush Limbaugh edge of the Republican party?

  4. becky says:

    I caught a press screening of Precious and was much more taken in by watching Mo’Nique morph into a monster. I also didn’t recognize Lenny Kravitz as a male nurse. What also blew me away was the arrival of Gabby Sidibe in the title role and Lee Daniels’ ability to convey the essence of the violence done to Precious without giving us a screen by screen shot of the horrors that would have given this film an NC-17 rating.

    Mariah played a relatively minor role of compassionate social worker and in fact, I didn’t realize that was her until the credits. The director was able to draw out a warmth in her that lit up her face and made her glow. So the character came across as much more engaging than she does in this photo. This proves my theory that what the media deems “average” becomes beautiful depending on the person’s inner beauty whereas physical beauty can often look extremely unattractive in the person is a narcissist at their core.

    • Merrill Markoe says:

      Of course you are right. Which reminds me of the other thing I am sick of : The idea that there are two kinds of women: Drop Dead Gorgeous and Hideous.

      • SusanM says:

        I’m also sick of gorgeous celebrities who claim they used to be ugly ducklings. They then flash a picture from “then”, where the only difference is the cat’s eyes glasses and a dumb look.
        And don’t me going on Palin. I wonder what a love child of Cheney and Palin would look like.

    • SusanM says:

      I wonder if any of those women realize what it’s like living on “the other side”.
      A zit, or a bad hair day brings them to their knees and they wonder about the unfairness of life.

  5. Susan says:

    Thanks, Becky, for making a Great tie-in between beauty and narcissism — inner beauty is real and must have Some value, or I’d never attract anybody but a blind man, being a Short & Fat Anti-Narcissist (a SaFAN??). There are plenty of overweight women out there who’ve found love, so there has to be some hope for me. And 80 yr. olds who still find love. So there must be some kind of blindness caused by love.

    • becky says:

      Glad I could be of assistance.

      Fat is pretty much meaningless as a word when faced with say Glamour’s infamous plus size model photo shoot featuring women who are size 8 to 12 when the average women is a size 12-14. What matters is not the size of your body but doing what you can to keep yourself healthy. I had an OB-GYN who was a size 16 tell me that she could kick any model’s ass because she worked out like crazy and kept things like her cholesterol in check. The more I focus on me and doing what makes me healthy and happy the less I care if I have a dude around AND the less likely I am to put up with the narcissistic behavior I tolerated in the past because I needed to have a guy in my life.

      • Susan says:

        I want to see Merrill write about that size 16 ob-gyn kicking Sarah Palin’s ass!!! Got that Merrill?

  6. andrea says:

    You say “never again get a single thing of actual value to me, artistically, commercially, financially or personally, done” as if that’s a bad thing!

    Unless you want to be quickly drawn into an entire strange little subculture of people who are completely obsessed with the perfect one-liner, you should definitely never look at http://www.favstar.fm, and ABSOLUTELY not http://favstar.fm/users/fireland, or http://favstar.fm/users/badbanana, for example.

    And that’s all I’ll say on that topic. Off now to go Google what “Maya” is! KREMER OUT.

  7. Lairbo says:

    Somebody bring back those Dove gals from a couple of years back. They were hot. And some of them were truly “average” size here in the real world.

    On the theme of Hollywood’s cluelessness about, well, reality and what it looks like, you might find this amusing.