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Vintage Punk

I just read a great book that stated that punk was partially inspired by Dr. Frankenfurter from the Rocky Horror Picture Show. How I loved him.

I was a punk/mod from the 8th grade to 12th before I moved on to a Bohemian look. I also wear men’s clothes too. It all depends on what available in my size season to season. Being Black and the product of fortified labor slaves, I am 20% larger than the fashion industry’s mid-Atlantic target market . I wear a size 12 shoe and I have the shoulders of a line backer. Another problem, like most African-American women, I have short hair that cant grow longer than a foot and a half.
When it’s curly its only 6 inches long. Of course, there are straighteners, but relaxers fry hair to nothingness after a while and then Black hair is only 6 inches-straight. So, going punk was the perfect fashion direction for me as a kid. Hair didn’t have to be 2 feet long like a princess and the higher it towered above the head, the better. Gravitating towards the sun is what Black hair does best. I also bleached it as I got older.
Tri-Hawk anyone?


Nami’s Apartment

The next In Between Days story was going to feature Nami’s struggle to buy property in San Francisco, but now it’s going to be a part of KlashkaTse. This is the property I envision she settle on. Cute little building in Union Square amidst all the shopping!

When Does the Guy Conform?

Matthew McConaughey once said: “Sometimes when a woman falls for a guy, she [asks him to change], and he changes so much that she loses her Huck Finn, the rascal in the man she fell in love with. Men are willing to change to make you happy–because when you’re happy, we’re happy. But don’t completely take the boy out of the man. You’re gonna miss him.”
Courtesy of Women’s Health magazine.

When does the guy conform? Not a popular subject in Western media. Male character do undergo a change, but only on the inside.

Despite the stretch, I managed to find three films

George of the Jungle

George behaved very much like Ariel in this live action adaptation of the classic 60’s cartoon. George gives up his identity for his city girl and looks goo in Armani. To be honest, I forgot the end of the story, but George definitely changes his appearance to gain acceptance.

Not true! George will do exactly what Ursula says!

Narrator: Is that so?


…for a while!

Narrator: George discovers he looks good in Amani!

George:”Pretty darn good!”

One of the biggest criticisms of Grease is how Sandy went from a nice girl to a questionable one for Danny’s sake. Yet another case of a women giving up her identity for a man. However, what no one seemed to notice is that Danny became a jock and lettered in track and field for Sandy in order to compete with the meat-head she dated after leaving him–and Danny never moved on! To tell you the truth, the entire film was about Danny conforming to Sandy while still retaining his friendship the T-Birds, but the effort was eclipsed by Sandy’s sudden transformation.

What will they say Monday at school?
Danny’s character arc was a non-musical sequence of the film, so that may be the reason why so many people missed it. It’s tricky to realize what actions resonate with an audience to use as plot points. The filmmakers decided to fore go another song sequence in favor of a running gag sequence as Danny’s temper fouls every attempt to adapt to a sport that will win back Sandy’s affections and trump the meat-head rival .The sequence is very funny, but I remember ignoring it as a kid. I guess a story editor would say that the jock sequence in-cohesive to the story and obstructed the pace of the film. Therefore, Danny’s character arc which had a great musical foreshadow ended up with a muddled pay off that the audience missed when he showed up in a newly won letter jacket at the climax of the film. Perhaps a better solution would be if there a track meet that Danny own in place the Grease Lightin subplot or at least have Kenickie drive his own damn car that Danny was instrumental in buliding and win the race. That would upset a lot of fans but the payoff Danny’s character arc would’ve been more dynamic and clear.

Now that Sandy has conformed, OFF goes the letter sweater. Ah well, at least we know that Danny is capable of change and therefore employable!

Howl’s Moving Castle

Howl had a make-under. His pretty-boy exterior reflected his insecurities and his co-dependence on his former mentor, Sullivan, who still had power over him. All of her pages and pupils were blonde with the same eponymous haircut. Once his heart was willfully given to the story’s heroine, Howl went back to his natural color. The change occured in the midpoint of the film and did not solve all problems. However, Howl’s decent into his psychological void brought the heroine Sophie, out of her shell to face life’s challenges instead of excepting a life as the selfless plain Jane of an elder sister.
Sophie and Howl are both androgynous characters, each possessing masculine and feminine qualities. Very much like Artemis and Apollo archetypes, Sophie’s masculine world view eclipses the feminine in Howl and in turn Howl’s anima influences Sophies animus by the end of the story. The theme of story being that despite giving up on her hope of a social life, someone extraordinary and flamboyant admired Sophie’s courage and tenacity and found Sophie’s plainess beautiful.

Then again, Howl was more excited about Sophie once her hair color changed to starlight. The moon blonde wins again….

The Girl Always Conforms

This is from my old blog. It was popular so I thought it was worth re-posting and should support a controversial series of posts I shall inflict upon the cyber world in the near future.

The Girl Always Conforms

There is an issue a friend of mine in the animation industry has noticed: in boys stories the protagonist gets to stay his dumpy self and realize potential, a girl however, is always coerced out of her geeky exterior and transformed into a something that is easier on the eyes. Her concern goes as follows:

“I just want to see a movie about how computer engineer Barbie can’t fit in with the other girl computer engineers and has to have a Nerd Makeover to win friends.”
-Lauren Faust

Personally, I always liked the transformation and wished the same for male characters. However, it does raise the important issue of how historically it is believed that a woman’s beauty is her greatest asset. Yet, shouldn’t enlightened society look beyond beauty and seek the soul? It worked for Cleopatra and Elizabeth I, why not our cartoon heroines?

I’ve highlighted a few of my favorite girl transformations from two cartoons.

Galaxy High

A guy friend of commented that he could not relate to this cartoon because who’s ever seen such a cute girl nerd? He’s used to boy stories where the underdog slob saves the day and never undergoes a makeover. Galaxy High is a “different” kind of cartoon. It’s very Japanese in story. I’ve noticed in contrast to Westerners, they have no problem giving their studly yet whining protagonist a kick in the butt as Doyle deserved.This redemption theme is pulled off more successfully in Spirited Away and Cowboy bebop.

Ouran Host Club
What can I say. This is my favorite current anime. It really solidified the now popular
“reverse harem” genre. Haruhi wasn’t really transformed. She was just in a transition stage in her style because some kid in her neighborhood got gum in her hair, she lost her contact lenses her first day at Ouron Academy and the new school uniforms were way too expensive at $3500 a piece!

The Devil Wears Prada, Clueless and Grease are the live action equivalent of such a metamorphosis.

In Superficial, Soleil Smile will go through such a transformation, but only on a special occasion. Tommy Turquiose will attempt to transform Soleil into something she is not at the party and Sakura will come to Soleil’s rescue. Nami provides the incentive: there are guys actually worth dressing up for at this party. That has always been a pet peeve of mine; dumpy looking guys expecting glamorous girlfriends just because they have money. It’s about time a writer reversed that trend started by the Seinfeld series. It might as well be me.

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