Friday, October 29, 2010

THE EVOLUTION AND DOWNFALL OF THE "GRENADE"



Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino: "I splash water over my eyes, and then I realize - we got grenades! So, I'm gunna get them out real quick." Dictionary definition of "grenade": "A small bomb or explosive missile that is detonated by a fuse and thrown by hand or shot from a rifle or launcher." Jersey Shore definition of "grenade": "really ugly chick." How can you compare a human being's looks - which appears to represent their societal worth - to an objective bomb or missile with no feelings? I guess this isn't surprising; the world has been discriminating and ostracizing so-called "unattractive" human "grenades" for centuries, even so far as to the point that they can't live normal lives or be treated like people. Not only does someone's DNA land them in a pool of negative comments i.e. "fat", "lard," etc., but it spills into other areas of their life: career, relationships, body image. All this just because they were born the way others didn't want them to be.

Here's some proof. Unless you were born into a wealthy family and inherit some major everlasting dough, you need a job or some source of income to survive, to put food on the table and a roof over your head. And while job websites have gotten bad raps for unprofessionalism and incredibility, the numerous ads on Craigslist that might offer the slightest chance of a job for the "less qualified" asks for pictures along with resumes. Even if certain jobs require their employees to maintain well-groomed appearances while selling their products to protect their company's business reputation, looks shouldn't always precede over communication or technical skills, even if the applicant requires opportunity for more experience to move up. Obviously, some jobs that call for you to stay in the office and out of other people's eyes may not encourage that same level of personal appearance (unless it's one of those sketchy ads from a "CEO" seeking an "attractive, intelligent female to fulfill his business and personal needs" - ew). However, I've noticed while glancing across these ads, the types of companies that recommend pictures along with resumes are restaurants and sales, especially if the job descriptions fall under job titles like "shootergirl," "bartender," "waitress," and "promotional model."


Of course, any type of model needs to fit under a certain "look," but certain companies have attempted to make the "model" and "server" synonymous (i.e. the " hot model/waitress" prototype), in order to sell their products more effectively. Hooters and Moxie's render perfect examples of brands implementing girls to sell sex along with the product. Hooters is famous for their thin, busty employees in tight, white, low-cut wife beaters and unforgiving orange booty shorts. A recent story about a Hooters girl made headlines. A Hooters girl - who was a healthy and "curvy" 132 lbs - was bombarded by her manager to lose weight, which inevitably provoked her to quit. What, do 132 lbs girls not get hit on? Is there something wrong with being 132 lbs? Not at all! But, by telling her to lose weight, this is what Hooters is implying. Perhaps this respective ex-Hooters girl could not squeeze into the XS (maybe S) uniforms they provided her to wear, but hey! Kim Kardashian's butt cheeks would probably runneth under those bum-enhancing shorts shorts, and while those shorts shorts would not flatter Kim's already bootylicious derriere, I think most men would still consent to Kim's smokin' allure. And I have never once in my life seen a girl with sturdy or short legs work in an LBD at Moxie's, even if those legs boasted strong, muscular stems. Back in the day, flight attendants were expected to be female model-types not exceeding over a particular height or weight. According to these companies, anyone who is over 130 lbs or less than a C cup is considered too much of a grenade to work there.

In general, society makes anyone over a size 2, less than a D cup, or a small nose a "grenade" joke against the "hot" friend or cockblocker. These days, people - like The Situation - are calling girls who wear a size 6/8 (perhaps, Angelina) "fat" and are half-descent looking "grenades." Stereotypes assume the "grenade" must be fat, lazy, mean - much like the historical depictions of ugly, evil characters in Disney fairy tales and kids' cartoons. Most of us are - or should be - reasonable people that understand (or don't make missions) to call other girls "grenades." But what's confusing is separating superficial people who are phobic (or do not associate themselves with) "grenades" (as if they have a contagious disease) from the people who appreciate the strengths and imperfect quirks of all creation's beauty. Models like Crystal Renn and Christina Hendricks are deemed more successful now that they're fuller-figured. Crystal Renn had to learn that the hard way through an excruciating journey of battling anorexia as a model, going from a skeletal size 00 to a voluptuous size 12. And Christina Hendricks was announced to being crowned the "sexiest woman" for guys and gals alike in - where else - Esquire magazine. Yet despite all this change in model and celebrity body diversity, the media still has to catch up with their multiple airbrushed advertisements and weight loss articles, not to mention designers pretentiously turning their noses away from any models over a size 2.

Is this all intentional, or are we inclined, conditioned by society to discriminate against those of different race, sizes, or appearances? Here's something you probably don't know. Considerably "attractive" and slim women are statistically proven to acquire more job promotions and employment than their respective other (less attractive and slender) XX chromosome opponents. They say it's because of hair, makeup, and wardrobe, but does that really make all the difference? Looks may be the first thing people see to judge you on - because they can't see your amazing personality first - but how does that justify hurtful generalizations about your identity and the purpose in life you worked so diligently for? This is especially offensive, when as a woman, your beauty is perceived to exude a means of sex, prominsciuty - if you will. Something else you probably don't know: Engaging in a "relationship" with the boss has been statistically linked to promotions and hires. i.e. many bosses must have affairs with their co-workers. "Sleeping your way to the top" isn't just for escorts or porn stars anymore, especially if you feel you can only be sexy in terms of your "performance" skills (not looks) and you are desperate enough to use sex. Grey- area "companies" (dominated by men) include - but are not limited to - paid dating, go go dancing, and net modelling, which can inadvertently lure women into the moola-showering worlds of porn, escorting, and stripping. Despite the fact that women have become more independent - working outside of the home or even for themselves at home - men still hold on to the traditional double standards nominating themselves to be the "stronger" sex. And while women may think they're twisting men around their perfectly manicured fingers - along with their come-hither cleavage and leg-crossing - men are setting those sexual expectations to twist women around their - well, something else. So, really, who has the power here - the men or the women (or both)?

Or is this just the way life is? Are we doomed to the pros and cons of "grenade-ness" or "beauty" for the remainder of our existences? Nowadays, we need to look good to survive - to uphold the most promising job, family, home - it's all a competition. But, perhaps, it's a competition no one really wins in the end. To the men who crave silicone instead of human flesh - "surgically enhanced" Heidis over "curvy and fit" Penelopes, plastic 80s-present Playboy models over 50s natural Marilyn Monroe-like Playboy centerfolds, photo shopped laminate paper fantasies over untouched, mammal realities - and the women who want to aspire to be that, ending the life they're trying to save, in a material world they're striving to survive in, perhaps beauty is more pain that waxing, sweating, and tweezing. So painful that we don't even know what's real anymore.

1 comment:

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