21 September, 2011

What A Vampire Ought To Look Like; No Sparkles


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those only of the author and may only coincidentally reflect those of Mystic Metals, its employees, or associates. All responses should be posted as comments here, or mailed directly to the author, A. Robert Basile, at ihatebasile@gmail.com.
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What A Vampire Ought To Look Like; No Sparkles
9.21.11
So I’ve gotten into this habit of sitting at the mall food court alone in the corner as far away from any living person as I can, eating Chinese food with chopsticks and reading horror literature on my Nook. I’m thinking that this behavior is one that I ought to talk to my therapist about. I’ve read some quality books, though. I’m scratching on the surface of “Majica” by Clive Barker, I finished “John Dies At The End” by David Wong, and I just broke into “Red Dragon” by Thomas Harris. Anyone with some good horror literature suggestions, please pass them along. This Nook thing is the greatest invention ever. Feel free to pay me, Nook.
So we all know the Vampire Woman, right? Maria Hose Cristerna? No? Well, visitors to the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! museums around the country will. Maria “The Vampire Woman” Hose Cristerna is being immortalized in wax and displayed (the wax sculpture, not her) in the museums for all to see and gawk. Maria, a tattoo artist in Mexico, has the vast majority of her skin tattooed, dental fanged teeth implants, and titanium protrusions in her scalp. Of course she has the more pedestrian piercings as well including very large gauge lobes, septum, labrets, and to complete the look, pale blue eyes and makeup the likes of which only the most vampirey vampires would vampire. Wear. I mean would wear. She is the woman version of the great celebrity mod artists such as Erik “The Lizardman” Sprauge and Paul “The Enigma” Lawrence. Not to belittle the role of women in body art, of course, but it seems a bit less frequent. And I’m not talking about that loon “Bombshell” McGee. I mean full on artistic performers. Katzen the Tiger Lady, the Enigma’s wife, is the only other one I can think of off the top of my bald and slightly unattractive head.
Back to the point. Maria “The Vampire Woman” Hose Cristerna will achieve that lost and impossible goal for all aspiring vampires: immortality. In wax, anyway. Which, I suppose can melt. So it doesn’t, you know. Last forever. Ask Vincent Price about immortality through wax. But I’ll save my praise and congratulations for later on in the blog. First, I ought to harsh the buzz by talking about some of the comments that were added to the article I read. Yeah, I know; I seem to do this a lot, but I never claimed to be motivated.
One comment on the article about the Mexican tattoo artist had a wit to it that I appreciated. Louise from London commented, “Now that's what you need to fight the Mexican drug cartels. Scary Mexican vampire women.” I had to laugh at that one. Imagine a drug lord trying to smuggle heroine across the border and Maria shows up and says something very innocuous like, ‘Hey guys.’ That one was a good comment. Let’s not get too, too serious. But, let me get too, too serious for a second. Within the article, Maria, in talking about more implants in her arms and having her floating ribs removed, was quoted as saying, “It’s a woman’s vanity to want to look better.” A fine and honest quote. A commenter, Karen whose location is listed as Lost In Space, replied, “This is better??” Let’s talk about this. Also, the Lost In Space location is dumb.
I am not going to mention how the article mentioned that Maria’s mods are a reaction to years of marital abuse. I’m also not going to mention the beautification idea. Well, I will later because that’s what I do, but what I will mention right now is the subjective judgement which is often patented as objective fact of what femininity is. Better is an interesting word. What is better? And more accurately, what is better in terms of one’s aesthetic? Is it better for you to be thinner? Have more hair? Be tanner or taller or have makeup done just so? Is it better to be fatter or bald or short or pale? Is it better to not shave your armpits, wear a one piece bathing suit, paint your fingernails, wear those plastic pants that are probably a size too small? What is better?
Maria introduces the idea as a part of a woman’s vanity. Are women vain? Well, vanity is kind of a four lettered word. We tend to think that vanity is a negative quality, and it does indeed have the propensity to be just that. But it is also a thing that makes us want to look a certain way, act in a certain way, behave in a way that we think is fitting to what we’d like to accomplish. What is the goal, then? Is the goal to be the prettiest dame walking down the road? Is the goal to belittle the people who do not meet your aesthetic requirements? Is it to be comfortable in the skin you live in? I don’t see how being vain to one’s own comfort is that bad of a thing. It is a difference between getting a nose job to look like [popular celebrity with nice nose] and getting the nose job because it will bolster your comfort, happiness, and confidence. I would like to believe that Maria “The Vampire Woman” Hose Cristerna lives more in the ladder. How is anyone outside of Maria’s own psyche (which is everyone) to define for her what her own individual femininity is?
There is an old world idea of what femininity is. And though femininity is an irritating word to type, I’m going to weather that irritation for you kids. You’re welcome. Femininity is such an awkwardly amorphous idea. It has changed very much over time. There was an apron, dinner on the table, mother at PTA meeting femininity. Then a no bra, hairy pit, filthy hair, getting out to vote femininity. Then there was a no glass ceiling, pants suit, wife works and has a house husband femininity. She pays now, but still appreciates the opening of a car door. She marries later in life now, but still appreciates the romantic proposal. The femininity of women is an odd thing. Who is to say what the correct flavor is? The commenter who questions if Maria’s modification transformation is better or worse as a process by which to achieve her womanhood must have a specific sense of femininity. Which is it? The modern woman? The 1950s woman? The Spartan woman? The cave woman? Isn’t that an important point of reference before assessing better or worse? Maybe there’s a specific type of woman in Lost In Space, where the commenter is apparently from.
Maria “The Vampire Woman” Hose Christerna has an unconventional feminine aesthetic. No one is saying she doesn’t. At least, by no one, I mean me. What she also has is a concept of her own beauty, a goal of her own comfort, a big set of balls to strive after it, and a peace that she is doing things the way she wants to do them and not within the socially accepted rules as to how she is supposed to look or behave. Some of us just won’t get cast in a perfume commercial, and there is nothing wrong with that. The commenter who questions what is better or worse for Maria and her aesthetic ought to probably recognize that.
I celebrate Maria, congratulate her on her immortalization in wax, laud her self actualization, and support her quest toward beauty and comfort as defined by her own commandments and not society’s. You kids know I’m not one of those ‘schmeh, society is always wrong, blergle blah…’ assholes. Some sociological commandments are good things. Like we should wear pants in public. That’s a good one. But in terms of beauty, we ought to take a moment to realize that our beauty is as unique as the mind that devises it. We each have a small, quiet, and fragile egg that we keep and nurture. That is our beauty, and we must do what we feel is appropriate to nurture and raise it so that when it hatches, we can look at it and see its singularly unique beauty. And even though singularly unique is kind of redundant, I think you get the point. Maria “The Vampire Woman” Hose Christerna is a beautiful woman, and I celebrate her. Now, the real point is, what do I have to do to be committed to wax? Someone get Vincent Price on the phone. Stay beautiful, kids.
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