The Fairytale Image

Gender Epiphany!! I am listening to The Boyfriend (a musical) and realized that THIS song helped to train (or teach) me about gender!

For anyone who know’s musicals they know that many are incredibly gendered, especially those performed in middle and high school (Unfortunately I did not grow up with Glee inspired directors). So as an attractive young “lady” with a good voice I got placed in the lead role of Sleeping Beauty, Polly (The Boyfriend), Marian (The Music Man). My first love loved to watch me sing. On top of that I was obsessed with disney movies – especially Mulan!

Ani Difranco’s song Not A Pretty Girl really helped me turn that bull shit around.

Also, I’d like to share an intimate poem I wrote a few months ago on the topic. Not having connected it fully to the musical experience.

The Fairytale Image

Once upon a time there lived a pretty girl.
She loved skimpy clothes with decorative patterns,
off the shoulder tops in a 70’s theme,
and rocking hair for every adolescent phase –
Long and flowing for the seductress,
Short and messy for the lesbian,
And jagged angles for the rebel –
All strive for perfection.

Without a doubt,
Stares lean in her direction
Leaving her with sensations of
Victory and glory.
She plays the part well,
So well she fools herself,
Believing her doubts
Only ungrateful indulgencies.

It’s a compliment.
You are supposed to say
Thank you!

They say girls would kill
To be beautiful,
For that fairytale image.

When this pretty girl realizes that
Her intuition was right,
And the guilt only a trick,
She screams out:
Fuck Expectations!
My slender body and thick hair –
Raised and groomed to affirm a
make-believe world –
Can no longer deceive me.

Even while hating any taste of
That female perfection.
It continues to flavor
The caring voices of loved ones
And her own rebellious song
Humming the tunes of Sleeping Beauty.
She still wants that ending.

Can it be? I’m not meant to play this part.
Even Mulan marries a straight man in the end.

Yet again she reaffirms to herself:
My body is mine alone.
My happiness is not,
Cannot be dependent on
Finding a man,
Or even finding love.

Propelled with a new confidence,
her choices start to rattle,
for they surely fit no
family picture I’ve seen. With
her chest pressed in,
and a sag in her crotch.
Imagination flourishes.

This Pretty girl.
The one you may have stared at
And fantasized about.
The one tossed aside
after conquest achieved.
Is not the princess in a
Distant kingdom,
But a gay boy
Singing on a NYC subway.

She is a bare chested man
With bouncy breasts.
She is a wanna be hermaphrodite
With a vibrator for a dick.
Are you offended to see your
Pretty girl become a man?

She embodies tarnished perfection.
A feminine nightmare
Who’s on the perfect path for
Happily Ever After
By following her,
Now his,
Own yellow brick road.