Monster High Dolls are the top selling fashion dolls in the world, out pacing even Barbie, Lady Gaga’s fans are “Little Monsters” and Gaga herself is “mother monster,” as I write this I am wearing a dress bedecked with purple unicorns and skulls with hearts for eyes with head bows and cupcakes…
Go read the whole thing. This is excellent commentary.
The trope of the woman-monster, beautiful from the waist up and hideous and man-eating below, is as old as the ancient Greeks and most likely older. There was a whole subgenre of poetry devoted to ‘revealing’ women in their monstrous forms, once the artifice of rouge and powder and corsetry and clothing, wigs and lashes and even false eyes and limbs and teeth, are stripped away. Femininity has always been portrayed as threatening and monstrous, even in its sweetest and most delicate and therefore most perceptibly harmless form; it is then that it looks the most deceptive and most dangerous to a patriarchal audience.
Linking the dark, macabre, and monstrous to the sweet, feminine, and frilly is an act of reclamation, a throwing-in-your-face of the monstrous with which we have always been charged. It defies anyone to dare to presume we are either submitting to the structures we have been forced to inhabit, OR to assume that we are subverting those structures in order to ‘lure’ men and destroy their masculinity. Skully cupcakes and flower crowns with spikes are a loud and violent ‘fuck you’ to both the contrary ideas that we fit into the roles we have been given, or that we are aping those roles for some hidden wickedness. They put the wickedness on full display. They say, here I am, this is what you have made of me, I will not hide it for your benefit. They are the wish that backfires upon the wisher.