Calendar Girl (May) Chapter 7: What an Empowering Campaign for Women! Of All Sizes!

the rules of feminism mean girls

Calendar Girl (May) Chapter 7:

Mia is, yet again, working with an artist that is a genius, a master of his craft.

He had a unique perspective on how to take a huge issue like women and their body image to a new plane of existence. This campaign was cutting edge. There was no other way to describe it.

Mia mentions the “lighting” and the way he has her and Tai acting “as if we were a couple that had been together for years”. I’m not entirely this sure how this translates to a cutting edge approach to “women and their body image”, nor am I sure why the photographer couldn’t have been a woman who was choosing to tackle this issue.

I served as the smallest model, somewhere between a size eight and a ten. The rest were anywhere from ten to eighteen, maybe even a size twenty. All beautiful women with buxom shapes they were proud of and should be. They were real women with real bodies.

It’s great that this is the message, but the protagonist makes a point to tell us she’s the smallest of them. So she’s plus sized but not too plus sized.

“Come, girls. Gather ’round the hunk, eh?” Angel said, his Italian accent still thick and cultured. “Now, Tai, you will place a hand on Taylor’s bum and the other on MiChelle’s hip. Mia, you will stand off to the side here looking very… um… how you say this… Pissed?”

Yes, this sounds so cutting-edge and empowering for women! Of all sizes! Watch as they battle one another for one man’s attention while as a celebration of their bodies.

the rules of feminism mean girls

Angel and Rosa call the sixteen-year-old twins over to be part of the scene as well:

“Now, Tai, you have got your hand caught in the cookie jar.” He laughed. “But you are looking at the young girls, too, and your true love, Ms. Mia, catches you. Okay?”

“Your hand is caught in the cookie jar…AND now you’re  also openly lusting after underage women. Oopsie daisy! Empowering for women of all sizes! And all ages!”

I pulled from my frustration over Tai giving me ten lovely bruises to contend with, the feeling of hopelessness about not knowing if my dad was going to pull out of his coma, and my irritation at seeing yet another magazine with a kissy-face picture of Wes and Gina.

This is such a weird assortment of things. Mia’s father’s coma is thrown in between Mia’s frustration over sexual bruises and jealousy over Wes’ relationship with another woman. This book is doing nothing to whip up any concern over Mia’s father for me.

Also, is it raising alarm bells for anyone else how often Mia is annoyed by the bruises Tai gives her when they have sex? And ten seems like a lot of bruises to me.

Mia enjoys the rest of the shoot, and then we jump ahead to the following day when Maddy and Gin show up. I mean, it’s about time. A chapter without Gin is like a day without sunshine.

Ginelle looked from me to the feet and up, and up, and up. “Holy mother of all things fuckable. Where on God’s green earth did you come from, you sexy beast. Jesus.” Gin looked down at me. “Is this your client?” Her eyes turned hard, and I shook my head. She looked up again. “You better be fucking this hotness.”

[…]

“No chance I can take a ride on the Samoan side?”

I understand that to live in an exciting and surprising world we can’t all say the same things all the time. However, I think we could all agree that this is a pretty fucked-up way to greet someone. Gin is definitely portrayed as someone that’s supposed to be hilarious and loveable, but she’s vile!

They head inside the house for drinks, and they spare a minute for Maddy to give Mia an update about their father.

“The docs told us that he’ll wake when his body wants to wake. With the level of head trauma he received, they keep telling us not to be too hopeful.”

“The docs told us that he’ll wake up when it’s convenient for the plot.” Hmmm this is tricky, but I’m going to play my bet on July. 

Gin and Tai flirt a bit, and I’m getting a little worried that Gin is the blonde/green-eyed girl the prophecy spoke of. I’m in two minds about whether this would be interesting or horrific to see unfold.

Tonight, though, Tai was taking us all to a luau, where he and his family performed. I’d been here almost three weeks and hadn’t seen him perform. Surf and model, yes, but not his fire-knife routine. I could not wait. I didn’t have a clue what fire-knife dancing was, but it sounded exotic and exciting. Two of my very favorite things.

We know, Mia, we know.

Anyway, everyone absolutely loves the luau. At one point, Gin and Mia even volunteer Maddy to go on stage and dance with Tai’s family:

Gin and I held up Maddy’s thin arm, much to her disagreement, and they picked her and a handful of other women. Masina stood next to my girl and winked at me. I held my hands in a prayer position and tipped my head, saying thank you. Having my girl with Tai’s mother was exactly as I would have hoped.

I have two comments here. One, the way Mia talks about Maddy is really creepy to me. She sounds like a Maddox bro talking about his girlfriend.

My second comment is…what the fuck is Mia talking about when she says “Having my girl with Tai’s mother was exactly as I would have hoped.” Mia met Tai’s mother for like ten minutes and Mia has made it clear she won’t have a relationship with Tai beyond this month, so why would she have had any hopes pertaining to Maddy and Tai’s mother meeting? And nothing has even happened! These two characters are just on stage together dancing!

Tai and his brothers perform the fire knife dance, and Mia is both terrified and very impressed.

“Your May boyfriend is crazy talented,” Ginelle offered while hugging me against her side.

My May boyfriend.

I guess if I thought about it, that’s what he was. And Alec had been my February boyfriend and Wes my January.

Hi, yes, welcome to Calendar Girl and months and the most obvious statement ever.

After the show, they meet up with Tai and his brothers:

Tao, his eldest brother, looked at Gin as if she was a nice hearty steak and he was starved. Watching her eyes, the feeling was absolutely mutual.

So maybe she isn’t the woman Tai is going to end up with. Unless this is a classic misdirect!

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6 comments

  1. Jennifer Layton Reply

    As a large sized woman, I am constantly frustrated by pop culture’s attempts to include me. Yes, I appreciate that they are trying, and I don’t mean to sound ungrateful. I appreciate that their hearts are in the right place. But the attempts are usually being done by someone like Mia, who completely misses the point.

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  2. Rebecca Reply

    I’m starting to find it disheartening just how much potential a story like this had–until Mia was the protagonist. She misses the point, completely, about everything that could have been empowering or feminist or even interesting.

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  3. Pip Reply

    I can’t be the only one who finds it disturbing how badly modern women write about feminism and female characters, right? I mean, you’re an actual woman, who’s experienced feminism. How are you this shit at writing about your own fucking gender?

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      • Pip Reply

        Oh I did, but when I was young and naive. I’m shocked I didn’t turn out a total basket case, seeing as I thought the Bella/Edward relationship was sooooo romantic

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  4. Madeline Reply

    I’m sorry, what the fuck is this campaign? Size 8 women are plus size? Gawking at 16 year olds? Competition in the ad between women? SHUT IT DOWN.

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