Tag Archives: Robin Thicke

Don’t be a Halloweiner: The Costume Edition

HalloweenPumpkinOwl-GraphicsFairy1-602x395

WORDS M.K Smith

That special, most spiritual time of year is back again. Halloween is here, so don a rudimentary costume, buy some plastic skulls from The Reject Shop and get ready to have some drunken fun. But, and there is always a but, make sure you’re doing Halloween the right way. Heed my advice, and have the best end of October ever.

Watch out for cultural appropriation.

“Mexican person” is not a costume. “Native American” is not a costume. “Muslim” is not a costume. These are all outfits I saw at the same party last year, and each one has consequences.

Throwing some stereotypes together and slapping on a traditional headpiece of some kind is not clever or subversive, it’s cultural appropriation and it’s not all right. Cast your memory all the way back to last week when an Australian woman (of COURSE she was Australian) got in trouble for having an African themed party. Everybody in attendance sloppily applied what appeared to be shoe polish to their skin and played up the tribal history of Africa. Sounds harmless, right? Except for the fact that Africa is an entire continent with a myriad of different countries and cultures, both cosmopolitan and customary. Cultures are multifaceted entities, so when socially privileged white kids decide that they’ll dress up as something, like, totally wild and hilarious, why do they choose “costumes” from societies that are usually downtrodden or discriminated against?

Halloween is one of the only glorious days of the year that you get to dress up as something completely out of character. So when white dudes think “how WEIRD and FUNNY would it be if I dressed up like a Muslim and tied a tea towel around my head?!” they’re basically saying, “being a Muslim is WEIRD and FUNNY! It’s hilarious to dress like one, because I’m totally not one!” You’re lampooning people that don’t have as much social esteem as you do. While the xenophobia and discrimination in this country doesn’t rest on your shoulders alone, there’s no need to propagate inequity through an ill-conceived, jokey outfit.

If you’re shaking your head at my argument right now, then I strongly encourage you to read this article. There is so much more to cultural appropriation than the PC police breaking down your door and stealing your cool costume ideas away from you.

“Sluts”*

In segue news; let’s talk about “slutty” costumes. There is a quote from Mean Girls which is so obvious, so eternally relevant, that I don’t even know why I’m typing it out.

“Halloween is the one night a year when girls can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it”.

Apt. Well, except for the fact that girls (and some boys) do judge the sexed up party patrons. I know this, because I used to do it.
“For real?” I’d say, “You two are going to a party as a Sexy Mario and a Sexy Luigi? In what universe do two people decide that they want to go as digitized, mustachioed plumbers? As digitized, mustachioed plumbers with their boobs out?”

I know now that people should feel free to dress however sexually they want on Halloween. If that’s the only day that you can express yourself and feel confident in showing off your body, then go for it. Just make sure you’re doing it for yourself. Dress like a sexy old piece of floss if you feel the need, but do it because you think it looks banging, not because everybody else is  going for the boobs angle.

I don’t like to dress in “sexy” Halloween costumes because it feels so expected, like a tradition so weirdly internalized we’re not even sure why we’re doing it, except for the fact that we get to look unapologetically sexualized. I dressed as a scantily clad black cat for Halloween when I was 16 because I wanted to feel like a grown up. Instead of feeling mature, I just felt uncomfortable in my tight clothes. Also I don’t think a “sexy cat” would just wear a black singlet, three pairs of stockings, ears, face paint and have no fur. Then again, I don’t actually know what a “sexy cat” would look like, it’s probably best if we don’t find out. I haven’t worn such an exposing costume since. But if I wanted to dress sexy, I’m glad that Halloween would afford me that luxury. Don’t judge.

Why do we wait for the end of October to go as “Sexy (insert any costume)?” And why is any banal, everyday thing ripe for sexualisation?  Imagine if we dressed like a “Sexy Chess Piece” for Christmas or “Sexy Grapeshot Reader” (that’s everyone who clicked on this article, thanks guys) for New Year’s Eve. Picture a world in which any occasion could call for Halloween-like clothing:

“Hey girl, you feel like dressing up like a Sensual Enema with me?”
“Of course, what’s the occasion?”
“Friday!”
*Girls high five & car peels out*

*I don’t really like that word, just because your boobs are out on one specific night, it doesn’t mean you’re a slut*.
** Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

 

Pop culture costumes

Halloween costumes are the best part of the whole darn holiday. If you’re going down the TV/Movie/Film route, you can’t really go wrong. Here are the dos and don’ts.

  • Don’t go as Miley Cyrus/ Robin Thicke. Please. It doesn’t matter if the dude is Miley and the girl is Robin, or if it’s the two dudes/ two girls gender swap schtick. It’s not clever, and nobody needs to see that much beige latex. Speaking of the Cyrus, no more Wrecking Ball inspired outfits. It’s done. It’s over. Kaput. The only wrecking ball related imagery I need to see is this. If you have to do Miley, at least do Hannah Montana. Think of the bejeweled jeans you’ll get to wear!
  • Do go as Walter White/ Jesse/ meth if you must, but know that half the dudes at your chosen party are going to be rocking the fedora and moustache combo. A Breaking Bad costume is the new Clockwork Orange.
  • Don’t go as a ghost and just cut some holes in a sheet. Everybody knows that you’re just lazy. Commitment is EVERYTHING. If you do want to be a ghost, you should go as Patrick Swayze. This works best if you look exactly like Patrick Swayze, if not then everybody is just going to wonder why your hands are covered in clay.
  • Don’t go as Zombie Celebrity That’s Just Died. It’s tacky.
  • Most importantly, DO have fun. It’s not fun unless there are a bunch of arbitrary rules handed down to you in blog form, kay?

Enjoy your yearly dose of Americanization everyone! Don’t be a Halloweiner this time around.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Features, Questionable Advice

Robin Thicke is a Big D

Blurred Lines

M.K Smith

‘Blurred Lines’ by Robin Thicke features T.I, Pharrell and, if you believe the media, a lot of problematic imagery. Feminist deconstructions of the song, its NSFW (not safe for work) hypersexual video and Robin Thicke’s contentious comments on the drama have already been done effectively elsewhere on the internet, including a recent article on Mamamia. Comments on Mamamia’s article ranged from feminist outrage, to outrage at feminists. A myriad of comments whined to the effect of, ‘why are they making such a big deal about a sexy, catchy song on the radio?’

I’m not particularly interested in Robin Thicke, nor is ‘Blurred Lines’ on high rotation for me. So I decided to put on my Totally Serious Objective Critic hat and go through this funky mess, reacting to it as if it was said out loud, line by line. Let’s see if it’s as offensive as it’s made out to be.

(The SFW video, for reference purposes)

Pharrell
Everybody get up
Everybody get up
Hey, hey, hey
Hey, hey, hey
Hey, hey, hey
Hello Pharrell, I’ll get up, because I always nursed a little bit of a crush on you. I can’t believe you’re 40! Anyway, I digress. You look very dashing and shiny. The sock-less, naked ankle look is pretty bold. All these internet people keep saying that this video clip is sexist because it has half naked models writhing around painfully in it, but you’ve dared to bare too! If you were a Victorian woman, you’d be practically unmarriageable.

Robin Thicke
If you can’t hear what I’m trying to say
If you can’t read from the same page
I am both of sound hearing AND literate. Jesus, Robin, I’m just an average woman, not Helen Keller.

Maybe I’m going deaf,
Maybe I’m going blind
Is this health related? Are you okay? Or is this like that trick that serial killers use, where they pretend they’re injured and ask you to help them take groceries to their van?

Maybe I’m out of my mind
That’s a bold thing to say to someone you’ve just met. I’m glad you’re unafraid of the stigma that surrounds mental illness.

OK now he was close, tried to domesticate you
But you’re an animal, baby it’s in your nature

I don’t know who you’re talking about. Did you see someone following me with the intention to kidnap me? Shit man, that should’ve been the first thing you said to me, instead of assuming that my lady brain can’t read and my lady ears aren’t capable of hearing. That wasn’t very nice. Did you call the police?
Also, you’re correct! Homo Sapiens are indeed animals, even though we have a superiority complex over the rest of the animal kingdom. What a jerk-around species we are.

Just let me liberate you
Hey, hey, hey
This is a strange thing to say to someone whose gender automatically aligns them with the plight of feminism. Go home feminists! We don’t need equal pay or our reproductive rights to stop being constantly threatened worldwide, because Robin Thicke is going to truly liberate us through sex! Thanks Robin Thicke!

You don’t need no papers
Hey, hey, hey
Phew, I was worried I’d need to sign some kind of release promising not to publicise this interaction.

That man is not your maker
Like, Jesus, or? That’s so very secular of you.

And that’s why I’m gon’ take a good girl
You’re going to “take” a little girl? I’m pretty sure abduction is illegal, bro.

I know you want it
What do I want?!

I know you want it
If you’re talking about nachos, yes. If you’re talking about consensual sexual relations with you, then no thank you.

I know you want it
Oh, you’re talking about sex again. I admire your tenacity but it’s still a no.

You’re a good girl
You don’t even know me!

Can’t let it get past me
Well… don’t physically prevent me from leaving. That’s not cool.

You’re far from plastic
Yes, real women are different from the fleshlights that you’ve clearly practiced these lines on.

Talk about getting blasted
I’ve literally never said this in my life. I don’t even know what this means.

I hate these blurred lines
Is your vision still playing up? Because if you’re talking about the ambiguity in our exchange, there is none. I’m finding you a little creepy and I’d like you to stop speaking to me.

I know you want it
I know you want it
I know you want it
But you’re a good girl
Okay, I’m beginning to understand what’s happening here. You’re assuming that I’m a chained-up sex monster who just needs a man to inform her that it’s fine to have sex without worrying about the confines of social judgement. It’s so nice of you to take sexual imbalance into consideration, Robz. Because YOU know that I just want to be plowed, and this is a service you will provide without even ASKING first. “Girls” who are “good” can’t just have sex, can they? Because broken hymens and autonomy really fuck up that Madonna/whore dichotomy that’s serving our gender so well.

You know, It’s very arrogant to assume that I will want to have sex with you because you’re a physically attractive recipient of nepotism, one with no social qualms at that. You do not get consent through osmosis.

P.S It’s not generally acceptable to use the phrase “I know you want it” to tell women you’re going to sex them real good, especially when it’s so ubiquitous in cases of sexual assault.

The way you grab me
Must wanna get nasty
Go ahead, get at me
If by “grab” you mean put in a preventative headlock out of self defence, I do think it would be pretty unpleasant. I’m glad I have permission to physically restrain you.

What do they make dreams for
When you got them jeans on
The verdict is still out on the purposes of dreaming, with little empirical data to back up current assumptions on their function for the human brain. But thanks for noticing my jeans. I got them from Glassons. I feel both comfortable and confident enough to fight patriarchal values when I wear them.

What do we need steam for
Nothing? Is this a statement or a question?

You the hottest bitch in this place
I bet this line KILLS at the Westminster Dog Show.

I feel so lucky
Hey, hey, hey
You wanna hug me
Hey, hey, hey
What rhymes with hug me?
Drug me??? You’re not very good at reading social cues and body language because I really would prefer if I never had to embrace you, ever.

Hey, hey, hey
Yeah, hi again. Don’t pretend that we haven’t been speaking all this time.

OK now he was close, tried to domesticate you
But you’re an animal, baby it’s in your nature
Just let me liberate you
Hey, hey, hey
You don’t need no papers
Hey, hey, hey
That man is not your maker
Hey, hey, hey
Bit repetitive there, mate. You’re the deaf one, not me.

And that’s why I’m gon’ take a good girl
I know you want it
I know you want it
I know you want it
You’re a good girl
Can’t let it get past me
You’re far from plastic
Talk about getting blasted
I hate these blurred lines
I know you want it
I hate them lines
I know you want it
I hate them lines
I know you want it
You sound like a men’s rights activist with a poor grasp on grammar. Please stop.

But you’re a good girl
The way you grab me
Must wanna get nasty
Go ahead, get at me
I just… yeah. Okay.

T.I.
One thing I ask of you
Let me be the one you back that ass to

I don’t even know what this means. You’re not making a good first impression T.I.

Yo, from Malibu, to Paribu
Yeah, had a bitch, but she ain’t bad as you
Yo. Wait, am I a good girl or a bad bitch? Are there only two options? All this policing of my virtuousness is getting tired, you guys.

So hit me up when you passing through
I wouldn’t mind hitting you upside the face with my fist.

I’ll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two
WHOA, WHOA SLOW DOWN THERE PAL. That is a reeeally creepy thing to offer someone you’ve just met (outside of an S&M club). This sounds incredibly painful, like an injury that could possibly require butt reconstructive surgery and a court case. I don’t understand why anyone could not take this line as lighthearted banter! It’s totally not a genuine representation of rape culture in mainstream music! This is a totally ok thing to say!

Swag on, even when you dress casual
I mean it’s almost unbearable

It really is these jeans that are giving me a serious case of the swags. I was just telling Robin that I got them from Glassons. I like to think they give me a cool, undone look for when I’m macing sexual predators like you in empty car parks.

Then, honey you’re not there when I’m
With my foresight bitch you pay me by
This is the most confusing line of slam poetry I’ve ever heard. Andrea Gibson weeps. And please stop calling me a bitch.

Nothing like your last guy, he too square for you
He don’t smack that ass and pull your hair like that
You just don’t know that. Unless… have you been watching me T.I? Are you the one Robin was talking about before? What you’re doing is called stalking. Don’t do that.

So I just watch and wait for you to salute
This kind of behaviour is not helping the stalking case that’s quickly mounting against you.

But you didn’t pick
Not many women can refuse this pimpin’
I don’t understand what any of this means. What didn’t I “pick”? You? Well I certainly wouldn’t pick you, you rapey weirdo.  Please don’t brag about controlling prostitutes through violent and menacing ways. It’s making me uncomfortable.

I’m a nice guy, but don’t get it if you get with me
A “nice guy”? Are you a men’s right activist too? You’re going to complain about bitches putting you in the friendzone when I finish rejecting you, aren’t you? It kind of sounds like you’re going to stop being nice to me if I have consensual sexual relations with you. Have you ever spoken to a woman before?

Robin Thicke
Shake the vibe, get down, get up
Do it like it hurt, like it hurt

Is shaking the vibe a euphemism that I don’t understand? I don’t want to get hurt Robin, please don’t hurt me.

What you don’t like work?
Duh. Nobody likes to work, dummy.

Baby can you breathe? I got this from Jamaica
It always works for me Dakota to Decatur, uh huh

I feel like you’re talking about a marijuana cigarette here, because the only time Jamaica comes up in pop-culture is to reference drugs and 1993 feel-good movie Cool Runnings. I was right before, you ARE trying to drug me. I see that you’re bragging about drugging and asphyxiating women in countless locations before. That doesn’t sound legal.

No more pretending
Hey, hey, hey

Yep, you got me. This vaguely horrified attitude has all been a ruse. Take me now, Robin Thicke!

Cause now you winning
I really don’t feel like there are any winners in this scenario.

Hey, hey, hey
Here’s our beginning

Yes, this could be the beginning of a lengthy and arduous lawsuit if you do not stop harassing me.

I always wanted a good girl
You do know that obedient children are not pets, right?

I know you want it
I know you want it
I know you want it
You’re a good girl
Can’t let it get past me
You’re far from plastic
Talk about getting blasted
I hate these blurred lines
There are no “blurred lines” here. You keep saying “I know you want it”, your desires are clear. You’re just confused because I keep saying no. 

I know you want it
I know you want it
I know you want it
But you’re a good girl
The way you grab me
Must wanna get nasty
Go ahead, get at me
Sigh.

Pharrell
Everybody get up
Everybody get up
Hey, hey, hey
Hey, hey, hey
Hey, hey, hey
Yes, hello Pharell. I heard you the first time. Don’t tell me what to do; I’m too exhausted being disappointed by pop music’s blasé attitude towards women’s sexuality. This is good ol’ sexism wrapped up in a catchy beat and handsome men in suits. ‘Blurred Lines’ is not the most problematic song ever released about the sexuality of women, and it’s probably not even the most objectifying music video that’s ever been released. But this song, and its acceptance by society, is pathetic. If liberation comes from men telling you that you should just sex with them, then gee fellow women, I guess we’ve been liberated since right around the beginning of time.

‘Blurred Lines’ sucks. The outrage is acceptable.

Leave a comment

Filed under Features