They say a picture is worth a thousand words. In a recent post, I relied on this principle but I think it did not work for a lot of readers. So I want to try this again but using additional words to augment the pictures. This is about the sex-appeal of the skepchicks.
I actually have nothing to say to you about the sex-appeal or the sexuality or the sexiosity or the sexiness or the sex of the Skepchicks. That would be a personal matter between each Skepchick and her or his … whatever. What I want to talk about is this idea that the Skepchicks are using sex to sell skepticism.
Nothing could be farther from the truth. Or maybe, I’m just strange, but really…. I think I’ve got this right and YOU are the one that is wrong.
Now, I happen to know a handful of skepchicks, some better than others, and for each and every one of them I can totally see why they are loved by their mates and admired by their friends, for all sorts of qualities. I remember getting to the point of knowing Car2D2 and Tim3Po that it was obvious and overtly acknowledged that we were friends, and thinking that I was really glad about that, that I felt lucky to know them. And to the extent that I know some of the others, I really can’t say enough good stuff about each and every one. What a great group of people.
But this sex-appeal thing, I mean really, you’ve got to be kidding. As individually sexy, warm and friendly, smart and snarky, thoughtful and caring any one of the skeptics may be in real life, as real people, the skepchicks themselves are not sexy. Or, if you think they are, you need to get your meter checked.
They were lab coats, people. They drink Tang! They give away test tubes as party favors. I mean, come on, really. This is not sexy. This is a parody of sexy. A parody.
That is not to say that test tubes and lab coats can’t be sexy. They can be. So can Tang, I suppose. But that is not what the Skepchicks are doing. They are making fun of sexy. They are not making fun of sexy like Jenny McCarrthy makes fun of sexy. They are making fun of sexy like Phyllis Diller makes fun of sexy.
(And now that I have gotten The Skepchicks, Jenny McCarthy and Phyllis Diller in the same paragrph, I think I get some kind of award, right?)
If there is really any question in your mind about this, look again at this picture I showed in that earlier post, the one that was supposed to be worth a thousand words:
This is two skepchicks licking a stuffed beaver.
If you find that sexy, then you are probably demented. If you think that this photograph, which is absolutely representative of what the skepchicks are all about, is a demand for female skeptics to be all Christina Aguilera, Christina Milian and Kerry Katona (whom I understand are hawt sexy babes based on an informal survey I just did) then you need some sort of adjustment. If you think this photograph is not a joke then you need a sense of humor. And this photograph is not the Skepchicks making fun of themselves. It is the Skepchicks making fun of you. And everybody.
Come on … look at the photograph again.
Do you see the beaver? It is a funny toy beaver like you get in a toy shop. “Beaver” is a crude term for female sexual anatomy. But it is not the actual female sexual anatomy, and it is not even a sexually charged and erotic reference to female sexual anatomy. Now, if these Skepchicks were licking a Georgia O’Keefe painting or something that would be different. But they are not. They are licking a goofy toy beaver.
A goofy toy beaver, people.
But wait, there’s more. Look again at the picture. This time I’ve enlarged it a bit:
What do you see here? The Skepchicks are NOT EVEN LICKING IT!!!11!! They are faking it!!!11!! They are pretending to lick a fake toy beaver. OMG. If you think this is sexualizing anything, if you think this is making everybody feel bad that they can’t be them, if you think this is anything other than people making fun of people exploiting sex to sell something … then … well … then I think someone should lock all the stuffed animals that are in your house in a secure container. Where they will be left alone. Where you can’t get at them.
Initially, it did not occur to me that people were not getting this. I assumed that people understood what was going on here. But no, some people are not getting this. There seem to be a couple of things standing in people’s way of understanding what the Skepchicks are up to. One could be that people arrive at this sort of issue with their presumptions in one hand and the usual slings and arrows in the other and don’t really think about what they are doing. Another possibility is that this whole thing is too meta. Parody is by definition meta, and maybe the Skepchicks are too meta for some people to understand. (A parody of a parody is even harder to understand. See comments below.) A third possibility, and I think the one that is most important, is that the Skepchicks are guilty of improper labeling. They are doing things that are supposed to be funny, supposed to be a parody, but they are not telling us. So, I recommend that they do a better job at labeling what they are doing. Like this:
That is all.