This is my favorite emoticon, by far. When I am very happy, or if I’ve done something sneaky, I smile showing all of my teeth. This proclivity (great word, huh?!) is responsible for a multitude of pictures in which I appear sharky. It’s not the best look, but it is better than my usual photo, which shows me looking decidedly Dobermanny, or like Geddy Lee (same look). Worse still, this is just the overall impression of me that one gets from my photo image. If you examine my parts separately – and, let’s be honest, who among us doesn’t enjoy examining the parts every now and again – it’s even worse. My various parts resemble food or animals. I got the turkey neck, chicken legs and sparrow ankles (so small, so narrow; is it any wonder I’m always falling down?). I have Mickey Mouse hands (but with linguine veins), Camembert breasts (it will happen to you some day, too, little missy!) and cottage curd ass. I sport the fruit bat triceps, Sharpei chin, and sometimes, the crazy horse nostril flare. I have bunny teeth, peanut smile and Beagle eye. My figure is reminiscent of a Dairy Queen ice cream cone. Since I stare at myself an awful lot, I find this somewhat distressing, because really, I am cute – you just can’t tell by looking at me!

Because of this, I am always on the look out for products and practices to make myself appear better. Recently, my friend Denichiwa, who alerts and advises me regarding all things Japanese*, told me that Dove Body Wash now comes with Nutrium. *Asians, for centuries, have had some interesting ideas about physical beauty, as evidenced by making men look soft, smooth and sexy for Japanese Kabuki theater, women look like gorgeous, dead clowns in their white geisha makeup, teeth look like licorice nubs in traditional Vietnamese tooth blackening, and feet look like gnarled stumps with the Chinese trend of foot binding.

But I digress….

Imagine my HORROR when I find out that Dove soap, purveyor of purity, innocence and cleanliness, is using the essence of the vile, destructive, repulsive NUTRIA (media, medium; nutria, nutrium) in their product, and then having the AUDACITY to market it as a GOOD thing! Anyone who knows me knows that nutria hold a place of honor in the Top Ten Things that I Hate, sub-category Things that Evolve:Freakish Animals and Robots. For those of you still in the dark about nutria, I suggest you stay in your state of ignorant bliss; once you know about them, you are doomed to live in fear. Even your dreams will be haunted by their horrific, lurking presence. However, if you must know, here are some quick facts: nutria are an aquatic rodent, so specifically revolting that they are the only members of their animal family, Myocastoridae. Even their closest cousins, the disgusting water rats, won’t claim them.They can get up to 25 pounds, and are an average two feet long, with an additional foot and a half tail. That’s almost four feet of fast-swimming, baby-making, large-pooping, big-assed RAT, my friends, and that’s not even the half of it! They have a double row of nipples up their back so that their rat bastard babies can suckle while they swim and they are voracious eaters, destroying so much land in Louisiana that the state began a program that paid hunters to shoot them on sight. They play host to a parasite that infests humans and causes a type of dermatitis called “nutria-itch”, and their teeth are huge, constantly growing, and the color of Cheetos. What? You don’t believe me? Would I lie to you? OK, you asked for it….

Indeed, this is the stuff of which nightmares are made. Don’t even get me started on the snakehead fish, the common cockroach, gars, the Nile Monitor, pigeons, or the Burmese python explosion going on in the Everglades (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IckkZVwShd4 , http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/04/20/090420fa_fact_bilger) – it’s just too much.

But I digress.

How we view ourselves, our ideas of the boundaries and specificity of beauty, and what we will do to obtain what we consider to be beautiful are all concepts that are interesting to me. There are obvious examples of those who will defy nature, good sense and the laws of gravity (see Micheal Jackson, that cat-lady, and the Texas lady who has had her breasts blown up to a size KKK to break the world’s record for implants this year, even though numerous doctors refused to do the operation because it was feared her breasts would explode.) It is common practice to inject ourselves with poisons and dyes, break bones, and starve ourselves in the quest of physical perfection. We have 9 year old anorexics and bulimics, a multi-million dollar beauty industry, clothes designed to make us appear anatomically different than we really are (Spanxx, push-up bras, Speedos), tiny tots in tiaras and tube tops, and on and on, ad infinitum. We don’t even know what we really think beauty is anymore; we are just sold images to emulate, and then we feel badly about ourselves when we can’t live up to some ridiculously distorted advertisement. Ladies and gentlemen, I am here to tell you what is truly beautiful…

and that is….


Bunny teeth, camembreast, and turkey neck! SEXY!!!!!