“Goodbye Whitney of Old”

FullSizeRender(3)Whitney and I have been living together for over 4 months now and one thing I learned pretty quick is that this girl loves her some Elton John.  So this quick ode goes out to my sweet Whitney who turned a quarter of a century yesterday.  It won’t make much sense to anyone but Whitney and it may not even make sense to her, so excuse this bit of nonsense and Happy Birthday, Whitney!

Goodbye Whitney of Old
(to the tune of “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”)

So you think that you’re getting old?
You’re still only twenty-five
You still have time to party
Still lots of time to jive

You know there’s still lots to binge
Lots of movies to see
I need you to see me through all of this viewing
You’re just too young to be singing the aging blues

So goodbye Whitney of old
Where Simba was your main man
There’s got to be someone who’s better
A Marvel Chris or a Dan

Back to the yowling Brendans in jungles
Powerline fans who love Roxannes
I think you’ll finally find your future lies
Beyond the Whitney of old

Look at how much you’ve changed now
You watch Brits who bake pavlovas
The girl who hates those Hallmark movies
Has suddenly found the love

You even like dragons and imps now
Jon Snows and Starks and Hounds
Okay so that doesn’t sound all that grown up
But I had to incorporate Thrones somehow

So goodbye Whitney of old
Where Simba was your main man
There’s got to be someone who’s better
A Marvel Chris or a Dan

Back to the yowling Brendans in jungles
Powerline fans who love Roxannes
I think you’ll finally find your future lies
Beyond the Whitney of old.

Ellen

Advertisements

An Open Thank-You Letter to DC Entertainment

Dear DC,

I don’t remember a lot about my childhood (most likely a result of all the heavy drinking and drug abuse. The 90’s, am I right?). There are however, a few memories that have followed me to adulthood, like the psychological equivalent of adult acne. For example, I vividly remember one stunningly embarrassing conversation I once had with my mother when I was ten year old.

We were driving in the car, on our way to my daily swim team practice. My mom had been uncharacteristically quiet for most of the drive while I, oblivious, bounced around in my seat, excited to see my friends and to show them my brand new modified-Anakin-Skywalker haircut.

For context, I should explain that Attack of the Clones had just been released to theaters, and I was completely captivated  by all things Jedi, bless my heart. Also, if you’re curious as to what a modified-Anakin-Skywalker haircut looks like, it’s really just a short pony-tail without the goofy little side braid. Mom had to draw the line somewhere.

We were almost to the pool, when my mom blurted out, “Whit, do you wish you were a boy?”

I was a little taken aback. “Um, yeah, sort of.”

I knew right away that I had said the wrong thing. To this day, I have never seen my mother look so crushed. I rushed to explain.

“Boys just get to do all the fun stuff, and they are always the good guy.”

My mom didn’t look any less devastated. I tried to summon all the eloquence at my ten-year-old disposal. I told her that I didn’t like princesses. That I related better to the male heroes I saw on screen. That I wanted to be like them because I just saw more of myself in them. That I’d give anything for a girl protagonist that spoke to me, but that I couldn’t find one.  To this day, I’m not sure if I ever really made my point, and mom never brought it up again.

It wasn’t until much later that I realized that my mother and I had been having two very different conversations.  Her concerns were, um, worldly in nature.  I was simply trying to explain to her that, as there weren’t many kick-ass women on screen for me to emulate, I was making do with what I had on hand. Shortly thereafter, I decided to shake my tomboy persona. I chose to hang up my lightsaber, rather than have that conversation ever again.

Maybe it’s because the pop culture landscape has changed so much, but sometimes it’s easy to forget how that little girl felt. Now girls have Hermione Granger, and Rey, and Katniss, and Peggy Carter. All she had were a handful of Disney Princesses who made her feel that a woman was only really valuable if she was beautiful, a message that became even more crushing the day she realized she would only ever be average-looking, at best.

If I could, I would go back and tell her about that not too distant future. I would tell her about the surge of on-screen female heroism that would finally help us reconcile the words femininity and feminism. I’d probably tell her about Wonder Woman‘s Diana, a character who’s ass-kicking capabilities are exceeded only by her compassion and selflessness.

So thanks, DC, for making the movie that I needed fifteen years ago. You and I haven’t always seen eye to eye, but because you and other studios are making strong women a priority, other little girls won’t have to make the choices I did. They won’t have to decide between the heroine that most closely resembles them biologically and the hero that speaks to who they are and who they want to be. Keep making movies for those little girls, and the mothers who cut their hair.

Whitney Weldon