Friday, May 10, 2013

Femmespiration Friday: Ursula the Sea Witch

I'm baaaaaack! And this time, I'm not talking about Meg's clothes: I'm talking about me, my style, and my femmespiration. 

You may, justly, be wondering... "why?" What, after all, does a hater like me have to contribute to Femmespiration Friday? Am I even femme enough -- or inspired enough -- to have a femmespiration? 
While it is true that I generally walk through the valley of the shadow of femme in sensible shoes looking slightly uncomfortable, I believe in the fluidity of gender performance/in doing whatever the fuck I want. In fact, I have a long, fraught history with the word "femme," but it's mostly a feelings-y snoozefest, so I'll save the comitragic epic of my life with a billion feet of glorious flowing renaissance locks for never. 

Anyway, it may not surprise you to learn that my ultimate femmespiration is Ursula, the fat, sadistic sea witch from Disney's feminist nightmare The Little Mermaid.  That movie gets a lot of flack for its weak-willed, dick-chasing female protagonist, but deserves some points for nuance: Ursula is not only the baddest bitch under the sea, but also a body-positive, entrepreneurial genius. I've organized my feelings about Ursula into the following bullet points, designed to convince you, dear reader, to honor her as a high holy figure in the canon of femme.

  • She has one outfit, and it's black. You may know by now that I'm not a huge fan of "things," so I respect that Ursula keeps it simple and elegant by only wearing one black outfit that may or may not be a part of her person. It's form-fitting, unapologetically showing off her voluptuous curves, and it appears to move with her every action, suggesting that it's very soft and comfortable (two of my favorite qualifications for clothing). She offsets this black, sleeve-like situation with heavy makeup, for which I have an admitted soft spot. While I have become more of a makeup minimalist in my old age, I will never forget the transformation that took place when my cousin Nina descended from on high (aka moved from Italy to the US for college), ripped the black eyeliner from my angsty 14-year-old fist and taught me how to apply makeup properly -- essentially, with a garden trowel. Every basic bitch should know how to do a decent drag eye, and the sea witch is second only to the crown jewel of Vicenza (hi Nina) in her immaculate application of night makeup. 

  • She believes in functional accessories. As I mentioned in my last post, I endorse belts largely because they can be used as tourniquets in an emergency situation. With this spirit in mind, I appreciate Ursula's skirt tentacles -- both a flowing, beautiful culmination of her bodysuit and fully functional body parts. They look great, plus they can grab things, harm others, and propel Ursula through the water.

  • She has a bitchin' haircut. It's short, it's edgy, it's a weird purple-white color... Need we speculate further as to which team Ursula is playing for, here? I think not. 

  • She's fat femme royalty. When Ursula is introduced to us, she almost immediately starts to reminisce about the feasts she once had when she lived in the palace (clearly a happier time for the undersea community) and laments having withered "almost to nothing." She has no hangups when it comes to talking about food: Bitch is hungry, and she wants you to know it. Furthermore, she's not ashamed of her full figure -- in fact, she WANTS IT to be fuller, as it apparently was in the golden era of her reign. At some point, she even reveals how she helped a fat mermaid get slim to attract a lover... and then STOLE HER SOUL. She's not fucking around with diets, and knows that those who go to great lengths to alter their bodies according to bullshit standards of beauty are courting a lifetime of unhappiness. She transforms into a slimmer person ("Vanessa") only begrudgingly and temporarily, and not out of a desire to be prettier; she is only motivated by a desire to overthrow the undersea patriarch, King Triton, by seriously fucking with his daughter. 

  • She lives in a vagina. If the haircut wasn't enough, just look at her cave. She actually lives in a fucking vagina.

  • She's Divine. Literally, the character was modeled after Divine, who as we all know reigns over femme queendom from a glittery throne in heaven. Her femme greatness isn't just any femme greatness, it's drag greatness inspired by the very best in the business. It can't get any more compelling, guys. She's a deep-sea Divine. Game over: Ursula takes all.