Posted by: emjb | February 9, 2007

When I can’t top ‘em, I link ‘em

I was having a hard time figuring out what to say about Anna Nicole Smith’s death; not because I followed her career, but because her life was short, sad, and severely messed up even though she had a face and body that got her the kind of male attention most women think they would love to have.

But then I went over to Twisty’s blog only to find she’d summed up what bothered me about Smith’s death in one graceful angry bit of prose:

…the entire beauty industry’s primary a pernicious, often debilitating insecurity. This neurosis is as brilliantly marketed as the “cure”: the obsessive purchase of absurd clothing, “scientifically formulated” toxic glop, devices that torment, and harrowing surgeries the sole purpose of which is to advertise one’s status as a receptacle for male incontinence.

If any doubts linger as to the sinister essence of the feminine directive marketed by the beauty industry, I urge you to consider the painful case of poor Anna Nicole Smith, dead of femininity at age 39. Blonde bombshells are disturbingly disposable.

Feminimity* kills, especially if you’re really really good at it.

*Feminism 101 definition: “Feminimity” is something feminists define not as being a woman, but as playing a role, acting and living the way you think “feminine” women are supposed to. As opposed to just actual women, who are women regardless of whether they wear pink, skirts, makeup, or heels. Any drag queen can be feminine. Which might lead us to ask, what is the reason for believing women need to be “feminine” to be real women? Susan Brownmiller wrote an excellent book about just that.


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