< Seraphim >
Wednesday - September 4, 2002
(quick note: part two of my interview with the pulse. is up. The Megatokyo store over at Think Geek should be opening today, so be sure to check back to see when. - piro)
The inspiration for this "Seraphim Check" was a news show about how fashion photographs of supermodels are digitally altered to create the perfect image. I was astounded. First the clothes are pinned, glued, and stapled so they actually fit over the girdles and padded bras used to perfect the model's figure. Then the images are sent to a special facility where inches are taken off of thighs and arms (to correct 'bad' camera angles, don't we all suffer from that?) and any wrinkles, crease lines or pregnancy stretch marks are erased. Super models are gorgeous people, and even they are not gorgeous enough 'au natural'. Does that mess with their minds? So in the end, it isn't enough that real women should look like super models - we're supposed to look like digitally enhanced super models. No wonder so many teenagers have poor self image perceptions and eating disorders.
There was a great deal of controversy regarding the "Angelic Body Attack". Yes, it was my idea. But don't worry, I use a body double. What was underneath the coat? The mass marketing machine that forces the perfect female image on society and makes half of it bow down before it, and the other half try to emulate it, was under the trench coat. The marketing machine that feeds the multi-billion dollar cosmetics, diet supplement, and cosmetic surgery industries. Trust me, even Asmodeus, the evil demon, didn't stand a chance against that. What chance then does the average person have against the media? The greatest irony is that it is all smoke and mirrors. The only people who fit the stereotypical image are 12 and the rest are digitally altered and erased. Whenever I think about it I can't help remembering Mike Teevee from "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" and all his atoms being blown apart and then reassembled elsewhere. I could afford to lose a few atoms in that kind of process.
As for stereotypes, I am really getting tired of the 'librarian' image that is flaunted all over. From the reference in Frasier that the only women one meets through dating agencies are "librarians who want help bathing their mother" to the King of Queens show about Carrie wearing a her hair in a bun and the only way to make her stop was to show a picture of the school librarian wearing a bun pulled so tight it had the added benefit of acting like a facelift. King of Queens ragged on librarians in another episode where Doug and Carrie donate money to the library and hilarity ensues when the old lady librarian can't seem to count. I also expected George Lucas to be more open minded. Even a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, the librarian is a sourpuss old lady in a bun. Of course in LOTR the librarian was a male and he let Gandalf drink in the reading room. What was that? It was a freaking archives and he's bringing in his Starbucks. Obviously, only female librarians 'shhhush' and don't let food or drink in. Let me tell you, if Legolas came in wanting an answer I'd be letting my hair down out of that bun. That elfin look is hot. Mmmmmm. But I digress.
Piro brought back some really nice fan art of Seraphim from Otakon. Vaz did an excellent watercolor. Piro never puts Seraphim in such stylish clothes. And the plushie Seraphim doll by Ramothre-chan was so very clever. The turtleneck tank top was made out of a cut off nylon knee sock that really hugs the curves. Kawaii! I also saw in the photos from the con that the doll was greatly abused throughout and she came to me with only one boot. I also have to say many of the Seraphim cosplayers look more like Seraphim than I do. Although, one observant fan did recognize us driving behind her one evening this past summer in Ann Arbor. I ran across her blog while searching the internet. A perfect stranger recognizes me in a car through her rearview mirror while Mr. Poor who goes to my college and has come into my office sends me an email wondering if I am truly at the 'U' or if it is fiction. I was probably the one that spoke with him! We never run into anyone wearing MT swag but my former coworker Merrie would come in and tell me about her and Dan, her fiance, meeting someone in an MT shirt. Even Tanya at work has a friend who is a reader. If it wasn't for being in grad school, the comic, the book... maybe we would get out more.
Alas, I have some images to digitally alter...