dith.er

I don't know which way to go. Any advice?

Posts Tagged ‘emotions

Oh, the Whismy

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Coinciding rather aptly with the release of Tim Burton’s version, I just read Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland  for school. The book is even more insane than Disney’s animated movie — the version that I grew up on — but awe-inspriring imagery aside, I found myself increasingly annoyed with Alice.  I’m sure it has much to do with my adult perspective — though I don’t remember thinking Alice was all that great when I as a child either, not in the way I related to Ariel of The Little Mermaid who actually had to make hard decisions* — but in reading, Alice struck me as pretty dim. Of course, Alice is a child, and she’s supposed to be naive and trusting and accepting and confused all at once, which is why I am so concerned that so many women seem to worship her. 

Alice is a child; if she weren’t a child, she’d be an idiot. So why oh why are grown women so enchanted by her?  The desire for fantasy, to be able to traipse, or at least dream so, through a wonderland where cats smile wildly and decks of card play croquet with flamingo mallets, I get. It’s the obsession with being the naive, whimsical, girl-woman, I can’t grasp. And I’m sick of it. I am tired of grown women being showcased and marketing themselves as lithe fairies with nothing to impart on the world but a sense of wonder and sweet giggles.

Take Garden State. In college this was one of my favorites — I actually own the DVD — but Natalie Portman’s character is just ridiculous. She’s just so darn interesting and crazy, but in a totally innocent way. Her flaws are so sickeningly sweet, she might as well be perfect. Except, you know, she’s not (if you count an unhealthy obsession with hamsters), which somehow makes her even more endearing. She never gets angry or irrational; she only gets sad and thoughtful. She collects tears in Dixie cups and perpetually lies, but for some reason, that’s cute, too. She’s just so damn adorable.

There is no grown woman that I know like this. Thank god.

Real women are complex. They live in the real world, which like Alice’s wonderland is filled with inexplicable characters and moments, yet unlike wonderland, the strangeness of real-life requires rational thought and a range of emotional responses, some of which are pretty ugly.  There are very few actual princesses. For the rest of us, it’s our imperfections that make us extraordinary, so can we stop pretending that they don’t exist now?

 Even Alice (whom Carroll based on the daughter of a neighbor with the same name) grew into an adult woman with adult problems.

*At six years old I cried my way through the end of that particular Disney movie because I was so disappointed that Ariel chose the Prince over her dad and her sea friends. Later, when I read the Hans Christian Andersen version, I felt secretly satisfied that she turned into sea foam.

Written by ditheringmiss

February 12, 2010 at 1:36 pm

Posted in Life

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