Friday, December 18, 2009

Don't Make Me Over: the Animated Edition

First off, just want to remind everyone to check out this awesome contest at my friend Ali's blog, Travel Ramblings. You could win a PEPPERMINT PIG! Or a book on traveling. Okay, on with the post.

In our culture, everything has to be made pretty, and in the Ooh Oohs, this has been taken to an extreme. Everything and anything, from heterosexual men to dolls to household pets gets made over. And yes, that includes cartoon characters.

I decided to recreate some of the interviews that must have taken place behind the scenes of these makeovers.

The Sun Maid Raisin Girl.

Executive: "Okay, well, what we want to do here is make you a little sexier without getting rid of your girl next door charm. We're thinking less Kimmy Gibbler and more season five Joey Potter. Now, hon, your arms are a little meaty--"

Sun Maid Raisin Girl: "But I pick grapes all day."

Executive: " offense but our surveys found that the one thing holding back Michelle Obama is her arms. Amazons are out. We're going to skinny up your arms, tuck in your waist, broaden the chest, tighten your t-shirt, and lighten your hair color."

Goodbye, Apollonia Corleone. Hello, Uncanny Valley!

Rainbow Brite

Executive: "I've got one word for you: plastics. Let's smooth out those wrinkles and get Starlite into lipo at the equine clinic this Saturday. Oh, and I want you wearing those new knee high stiletto boots at all times to get you to look a little leggier. Let's get the 38% of kindergartners who hate their thighs up to an even 40% by next quarter!"

Strawberry Shortcake.

Executive: "Have a seat, Strawberry. Hope you received the Dexedrine laced shortcakes--just our way of saying welcome to the team. First order, how do we justify the tighter skirt to parents?"

Image consultant: "If anyone asks, we'll say that Strawberry's original outfit shows her frilly bloomers and we don't want to send the wrong message to pedophiles."

Executive: "Great cover. Now where are we on making Strawberry the gal that the 6-10 male demographic goes wild for?"

Image consultant: "Blake Lively's stylist is coming up to do the hair extensions this afternoon and the face lift is tomorrow morning. As for the photo shoot, Strawberry, open your mouth when you smile to evoke sexy face--think Megan Fox! The Pussycat Dolls! And show us a little shoulder as you toss your head. Perfect! She's so Farrah for the fruit roll ups set!"

Dora the Explorer.

Executive: "We love the cuteness factor. We love that we want to give you a hug and tickle your belly till you giggle. But you're in danger of becoming the ethnic Pillsbury Doughboy.

"So we're going to give you hair extensions and get rid of the baby fat. Now let's hear from our fashion consultant."

Naomi Wolf: "High heels might get protest from the feminist groups and Converse high tops would be a little counter cultural. Let's keep her stylish but practical in ballet flats. Let her sport a tunic and leggings so she can climb trees but still look flirty and feminine."

Executive: "How do we feel about the blue contact lenses?"

Namoi Wolf: "Bad idea--we don't want people to think Dora's ashamed of her heritage. We need to fall back on her Mexican background in case anyone complains about a girl her age wearing earrings--we'll say it's a Hispanic tradition. Oh, and we got the go ahead to release the Isaac Mizrahi designed Boots by Boots at Target this fall."


Executive: "We love the message of this book, Arthur, we do. We love that you can be yourself. It's just that big noses aren't in anymore. Do you think that after we publish the feel good, it's what's on the inside book, you could stop by Tom's Rhinoplasty?

From his interview Living with Arthur Read several years later with Martin Bashir: "No, that's ignorant. I've had one minor operation so I could speak more clearly. If you want to know why I look like I do, you gotta ask God and Marc Brown. It's got nothing to do with me."

Makeovers to come.

Troll dolls.

Actually, I think this one's already been done. Good-bye, adorable tummy, ethnic hair, and winsome smile. Hello relaxed locks and kohl eyes!



My Little Pony Dolls.

Executive: "I love that you guys have the ability and willingness to apply eyeliner and fake lashes every single day despite a severe lack of opposable thumbs. And I do adore the sexual playfulness, that whimsical fusion of JonBenet and Shirley Temple. Now, what needs work?"

Tyra Banks: "Ponies, I'll tell you what I tell my shorter models. You've really gotta work it. I tell my girls on America's Next Top Model about the secret of Barbie Toe and Manolo Tips--point those hooves so far out that no one can even tell in photographs that you're a pony and not a horse. Also, David Kirsch's Victoria's Secret boot camp--ponies, those asses and thighs are sagging faster than my mama's face when I stumbled at my first Yves Saint Laurent show."

All I can say, guys, is if you touch Blossom, Bubbles, or Buttercup, you're so dead.