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Dangerous Cupcake Goddex @KivaBay
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Hey friendos, poll time, do you want me to watch and livetweet the HEATHERS pilot with some fat studies stuff thrown in?
Whatever happens, David wants to watch some sailor moon first lmao
I kinda figured this would be a yes, but I'll go ahead and give you a time so you can mute me
Alright. You get five minutes. Mute me if for some reason you don't want to read about the new HEATHERS
Mute me it's HEATHERS time
Wait so this is a sequel?
Oh this is a mess. Let me watch this shit and then I'll break it down
Oh boy.

This is

Uh

Wow
Christ
This is likely the worst show I've ever seen lmao
Amusingly it keeps doing these callbacks to the original movie without really understanding it lmao
"what if the next truly revolutionary thing is to just be normal"

LOOOOOOOOL
This is the worst show ever
LMAO WHAT KIND OF FUCKIN FANTASY WORLD WHERE PEOPLE GIVE A SHIT IF SOMEONE FAT SHAMES SOMEONE
Oh my god there's twenty four minutes left of this, it's like pulling off my own fingernails with tweezers
I need a cigarette break.

I'd say I'm interested in the possibility of doing a movie about toxic callout culture, but this is definitely not it. No wonder IMC likes this lmao
Note to self for later parts of this thread: The Carnivalesque
Actually, fuck it, I need to continue breaking from watching this. I'm about halfway through and it is MONUMENTALLY bad. But how about I explain about the carnivalesque to you, and how it's being utilized here.
Turning to Angela Stukator's observations, first, on the unruly woman and Miss Piggy, we can see how the Main Heather, who is fat, is constructed by the writers.
"On the one hand, Miss Piggy can be read as consistent with one of the dominant paradigms of the representation of women in contemporary mainstream cinema. Large, audacious women are often constructed as comic spectacles, the target of our laughter and the butt of the joke.
"...On the other hand, the energy expended on constructing Miss Piggy as a joke can be read symptomatically.
"From a feminist perspective we might examining Miss Piggy as an unruly woman who acquires oppositional power from her ambivalence:
"she is the object of disgust and desire, being both repellent and attractive, strong and delicate, friendly and hostile, and, most significantly, woman and animal." (Bodies Out of Bounds p 197)
The construction of Heather C. also fits this framework of the unruly woman, gaining oppositional power from her ambivalence. She is fat and popular. She dresses and acts provocatively with the intent of stifling oppositional provocation from the "normal" students.
My use of the word "normal" here in quotation marks is entirely intentional. Indeed, HEATHERS has a thesis statement, the quote I shared with you earlier. "What if the next truly revolutionary thing is to just be normal?"
The unruly woman can be a powerful force for good when cast as a protagonist, but Heather C. is, in fact, the antagonist of this episode.
As with many fat femmes (she uses she/her pronouns but is genderqueer as I understand it, put a pin in that, we'll return to it) she is positioned as a voracious and greedy force, hoarding resources and punishing those without them, in this case social media capital.
Stukator, working from Rowe, explains "For these reasons, the obese woman is an unruly woman, a paragon of outrageousness and transgression.
"Rowe observes that unruliness 'reverberates whenever bodies, especially women's bodies, are considered excessive—too fat, too mouthy, too old, too dirty, too pregnant, too sexual (or not sexual enough) for the norms of gender representation.'
"Such a definition gives unruliness an implicit oppositional power: woman as defiant, wild, rebellious, undisciplined, trouble. Yes this radical quality is balanced by the various ways in which the unruly woman sanctions traditional structures and categories.
"She is a product of the bourgeois imagination and the politics of patriarchal relations.
"Within a network of interrelating and dependent hierarchies, unruliness gains its meaning from that which it is not: ordered, rule-bound, and restrained, attributes associated with normative masculinity and femininity.
"In short, the transgressions of the unruly are neither intrinsically radical nor conservative; instead, they are contradictory, conflicted, and paradoxical." (p 199)
This paradoxical construction literally only works within the alt-right fantasies like that of the HEATHERS reboot, one where "normal" (a trait that does not actually exist but rather a signifier attached to traits that are seen as reifying existing power structures) is abnormal.
This is how Heather C. is positioned as the antagonist in the pilot of the HEATHERS reboot. There, I just saved you forty minutes and it only took me twenty.
"But Kiva," I hear in the distance, "what about the carnivalesque? That's a cool word."

okay, okay, okay hold on.
So, confession time: I really like Heather C.

It's a terrible show. Just fucking terrible. But how can I *not* like a fabulously dressed fat genderqueer bitch?
I like her because she's constructed as carnivalesque. Let's get into what that means returning to Stukator.
"The carnivalesque abolishes hierarchies, prohibitions, and regulations in favor of a view of the world from below, a view that privileges the marginal and excluded over that which is considered sacred and authoritative.
"it thus seems, like comedy, to be a progressive critical category. but the carnival is no more intrinsically radical than is comedy." And, perhaps most importantly:
"Carnival culture can be appropriated to sustain marginality or it can be used to subvert and challenge the dominant official culture and its representations." (201)
Turning to Robert Stam, we must ask "who is carnivalizing whom, for what reasons, by which means and in what circumstances."
Here we see how the creators of HEATHERS have appropriated the carnivalesque to present a world in which a false category of "normalcy" has been marginalized, where marginalization has become not just normalized but valorized.
This could actually be a very interesting premise, but instead it is mired in tired transmisia, fat hate, and racism, couched in a basic critique of callout culture that does not, actually, offer meaningful radical solutions beyond "just let the normies norm and be bigots."
The carnivalesque is used in this premise to cast the marginal as powerful, and the coding of unruly fat woman is used to paint Heather C. as paradoxically oversexualized and desexualized, unpoliced and policing, unique and demanding assimilation to her uniqueness.
Here in this space of contradiction, a conservative fantasy of victimhood can be properly represented.
It's a VERY ugly little show so far.
Returning to Heather C.'s gender, genderqueer, in this conservative fantasy of appropriated carnivalesque, is representative of her status as a failed woman next to cis Veronica's "revolutionary" normalcy.
Indeed, the show is rife with transmisia that has been better deconstructed by others already I believe, but suffice to say there's a 'joke' about 'no girls in the girls room' that is like... wow.
To this end, we see that the carnivalizing within the HEATHERS reboot is used to reify dominant cishet white patriarchal norms, literally casting these norms as "revolutionary" in its thesis statement.
If you like this and want to buy me a coffee, I have a coffee link here, thank you <3

ko-fi.com/kivabay
Let's actually return to Heather C.'s first appearance in the show because I feel it will be edifying to look at it from the viewpoint of an appropriated carnivalesque, the unruly woman.
Heather C. enters the cafeteria followed by the two other Heathers where she goes to confront one of the jocks, Ramm, who is wearing a shirt with the local university mascot, the Remington "Squaws". The logo is clearly a reference to the racist Chief Wahoo.
Heather confronts Ramm. Framing is important here. Heather is standing, powerful and tall, over Ramm, who is sitting, in a position of subjugation to her position of power. Her voice is strong when she asks what his shirt says, his voice weak when he answers.
He stands at Heather's command, looking frightened and dejected. She holds up her phone and snaps a picture of him wearing the shirt, then asks "Squaws? Don't you think that's a bit offensive? Dylan Lux is 1/16th First Nations peoples."

Here it starts.
The racist conservative fantasy of the HEATHERS reboot is that marginalized identities are "made up" or "chosen" or otherwise so slight and small as to be discounted. Dylan Lux also quickly stands to say he wasn't offended, but Heather rolls over him.
Now, I don't know about you, but I actually follow some Indigenous folks here on twitter of various tribes who were understandably offended by the racist Chief Wahoo design, and protested it vocally in the public sphere.
Through parallels, this scene recasts those Indigenous voices of protest to defang the argument. But, again, this is a fantasy. It has no correlation to the actual events it is referencing.
After browbeating Ramm, Heather then makes him remove his shirt. Here, Heather is presented as power-mad, literally stripping students of their clothing (and rights?) in her tyrannical big for political correctness.
Ramm's punishment, Heather decrees, will be to approach the incredibly Christian girl and ask her for anal, or she will post the photo of him, labeling him a racist, to her 200k followers or whatever it was.
What's important here is that Heather, the unruly woman, is attacking both manhood AND traditional femininity by thus INSTRUCTING Ramm to sexually harass the "good" Christian girl.
This is her first appearance in the show. Just, y'know, so you're aware.
It should be noted that the HEATHERS reboot is especially transmisic, antagonistically clinging to a fiction that trans people endanger or otherwise shut out cis women from spaces that should be their own.
Aside from the scene that I just described to you where Heather C., a genderqueer person, partially strips a cis man against his will and forces him to sexually harass a cis woman who is specifically said to be Christian, there is what I am calling The Bathroom Moment.
In the scene Veronica and another Heather, the white AMAB Heather who I think is also supposed to be nonbinary, are in the girl's restroom. Heather is applying lipstick and talking to Veronica when another girl enters the restroom and Heather shouts "NO GIRLS IN THE GIRLS ROOM."
The presumably cis girl flees the restroom in response.
There is an interesting saying that I cannot quite remember exactly, but it basically boils down to the idea that men think that if women gained equal power to men, they would use that power to marginalize men. HEATHERS extrapolates this fantasy to all of "social justice"
The show is excessively concerned with the well-being of people wearing racist shirts being labelled racist??? Like weirdly. A lot. It's weird.
Also distressing is the show's joking approach to consent, casting it as the province of the weak beta-male art student, not the strong alpha male JD.

And we're getting to JD. I promise, we're getting there.
But for now, I take a break. Trust me, I think we'll be talking HEATHERS all day. This show is fertile ground for criticism! That's probably the nicest thing I can say about it.
Before we get into JD, let's take a minute to talk about embodiment and neutrality as presented in HEATHERS, because this is ALSO quick interesting.
At the beginning of the pilot, following a brief scene from 8 years prior that WE WILL GET IN TO JUST WAIT, Veronica arrives at school, heading through metal detectors and offering her inner monologue a la the original film.
In her monologue, Veronica notes that yesterday's lunchtime poll question was "who are you" and then goes on to note that the weird thing is "everyone had an answer."
From here, Veronica discusses various identities conceptions of their embodiment, noting how strange it is that they ARE all embodied in perhaps less academic terms.
For Veronica is not embodied. She is normative. She is the "revolutionary normal" who seems put off by people with identities who express their embodiment.
Interestingly, Veronica's dialogue and therefor the script draws a direct parallel to neutrality and the positive. Veronica notes that it is "weird" that the "gay nerd table all said they were true" and that the jocks all said that they were "brave".
When asked to describe herself, the "revolutionary normal", Veronica attaches the floating signifier "good" to herself. She is "good". She elaborates that she's a loyal friend, though the show casts this more as a negative and considering her treatment of Betty, no she's not.
So the only signifier that sticks to this space of neutrality, this empty character meant to represent the norm, this shell of feminine invisibility, is "good".
Before you say "oh she's not good, she helps kill people," she hasn't done that yet at this point. This is, perhaps, the most important thing I want you to take away from this analysis of HEATHERS. The overriding philosophy of this show is that "normal" is "neutral" is "good".
Which means, necessarily, that the characters who are embodied, the black queer girl, the fat genderqueer person, the queer effeminate AMAB person are all read as negative, distractions from, as the thesis stated, the truly "revolutionary normal"
If you take anything else away from this thread, please make it this. Please make it the understanding of the philosophy of embodiment as negative, normativity as positive.
If I were to take this premise and do something with it perhaps more interesting, I would lean towards this quote from LeBesco's Revolting Bodies discussing the work of Wendy Chapkis.
"According to Chapkis, women's pursuit of beauty is marked by the desire for an unattainable control over identity, which causes the body to continually become Other until it finally disappears[.]" (p 51)
Veronica struggles to control and present her own identity in what seems to be the most pleasing fashion. Throughout the story, she becomes Other as she slowly eliminates her friends and classmates.
Problems: The marginalized identity would still serve as the outside to Veronica's thoughts, literal canvasses for her to express her angst over her own struggles with her identity upon. This could also be a pro, though, because it's very true to life.
As the normative identity struggles to define itself without disappearing, the individual lashes out at those it deems marginalized for their visibility without truly understanding the consequences of that visibility (such as the violence that the individual visits upon them)
For a queer writer, such as (as I have heard) one of the HEATHERS writers? Two of them? Who cares. For any queer writers working on HEATHERS, the plot reveals an interesting metanarrative of they themselves seeking normativity and assimilation by rejecting the so-called abnormal.
I could not, of course, say this for certain without armchair diagnosing them and pathologizing them, which I would not like to do, but it's interesting that there's so much trans antagonism from apparently queer writers on many different projects.
Wait, no, not interesting. The other word. Terrible.
There is some basis for this argument I'm making. Veronica identifies herself as "half Jewish" in the show, which reveals to me at least a few things:
First is that Veronica is disconnected from any Jewish identity that might be a part of her family makeup. She instead feels assimilated closer into Christian patriarchal whiteness.
Second, that Veronica is subsumed by this disconnection. Optimistically, the "half Jewish" character is half full, but more pessimistically and realistically, they are half empty of their culture, their identity slowly assimilated to normativity.
See, I t hink you can do something good with ANY premise. For real. I could probably fix anything you handed to me if I put my mind to it. But given the tone of this episode so far, I don't have high hopes for HEATHERS.
But musings about different ways to approach this premise aside and concerns I have about the presentation of Veronica's Jewish background, let's take a moment to touch on the art school scene, shall we.
If you've seen the original HEATHERS, you will, of course, remember the Remington party that Veronica attends early on with Heather. If you haven't seen the original HEATHERS, my sweet baby lamb what are you doing with your life, hurry, hurry!
Remington, revealed in this reboot to be the home of the "Squaws" is thusly labelled "revolutionary normal" and therefor within the logic of the HEATHERS reboot moved to the margins of power for the story. This power is instead replaced by a part at an art show.
The show is for art students, leading me to believe it is a local art school, whatever, it doesn't matter. What does matter is that this is the seat of power revealed and a defining moment for Veronica. Let's see how the two scenes stack up against one another comparatively.
In orig!HEATHERS, the Remington party is a hotbed of toxic masculinity. Older college aged men prey on high school girls openly. The scene is full of smoke and booze. Veronica's blind date tries to coerce her into sex despite her repeatedly telling him she isn't interested.
When she goes to Heather for help, saying she doesn't feel well, and asks if they can leave, Heather (who the scene has also revealed as a girl sexually exploited by an older man and suffering from some negative emotions connected to that) refuses.
Veronica in turn throws up on her, they head out into the alleyway to argue. "I just got peed in puke!" Heather shouts.

"Lick it up, baby, lick. it. up," Veronica shoots back furiously. She has clearly stepped over a line. Heather's expression has changed.
She tells Veronica to transfer to another school. Come Monday, nobody at Westerburg is going to let her play their reindeer games.
By contrast, let us discuss the scene in question from reboot!HEATHERS, her first, I believe, Koenig party. I'm not working with subtitles here, so I may have that spelling entirely wrong.
Koenig is set up as the literal opposite of Remington, an art school filled with effeminate men, half of which have already "been profiled in Kinfolk." The two are at an art showing where abstract pieces Veronica doesn't understand are largely ignored or mocked.
An interesting note on the metaphor of fat as uncivilized here, the way Heather C. is written. Surrounded by this art she seemed so keen to see, she is instead ignoring it, trying to catch the attention of someone important and popular.
Her fatness is shown as a metaphor for her, and by extension, social justice's nouveau riche coding. They go to art shows, but do not appreciate art, CANNOT appreciate art for their vanity, their physicality (their embodiment)
Free of Heather, Veronica finds a suitably attractive art boy with a car, where they retire so she can look at her phone while he goes down on her. No, really.
Veronica is scrolling social media as the boy goes down on her. "Any good?" he asks. She shrugs, goes back to her phone when she sees that Heather has posted the picture of Ramm in the racist shirt, thus ruining his reputation, possibly DESTROYING HIS LIFE or something like that.
"No way!' Veronica exclaims. The boy sits up out of her vajay.

"Making it very clear I stopped as soon as I heard the word no," he announces. She rolls her eyes in irritation.
Here, the sexual partner who seeks consent is coded as an ineffective and emasculated lover, which seems pretty obvious, but let's return to that Ramm with the shirt shit because hoo-boy.
I cannot help but draw a parallel to the idea that young white men who lose their scholarships for being racist are "having" their lives ruined, rather than THEY themselves are ruining their own lives by being racist.
Veronica returns to the party to confront Heather over posting the picture, as they go back and forth, Heather strips her of her Jewish identity and says to her "you're nothing" to which Veronica replies "at least I'm a good person."

Remember that thing I told you earlier?
The thing about neutrality equaling good?
Anyway, Veronica stumbles back at this charge, bumps into a sculpture (of hull cleaner, another empty gesture to the original) and spills blue liquid on Heather's outfit. When Heather shouts "you ruined my new pussy shirt," Veronica replies "well then lick it up, fatty."
Here, Veronica is threatened with ostracization and the label of "fat shamer" which she feels will ruin her life much in the way she feels Ramm's life has just been ruined.
Do you see the differences here?
I'll give you a hint. Look at how power is arranged in both scenes.
We return, of course, to our conception of an appropriated carnivalesque, wherein the marginalized have gained power, and the "normal" i.e. the "nothing" (those without floating signifiers attached to their embodiment) have been pushed to the margins instead.
I hope this thread gives you some conception of what an ugly alt-right fantasy this show is.
Soooooo I went ahead and watched five minutes more of HEATHERS and I have more to say.
OK no I watched five more minutes and Jesus wept
This is an unbelievably hateful (and weirdly uninformed???) show?
But yeah, no.

We gotta talk about the Nazi hat.
So. Veronica is half Jewish. Which means, presumably, half her fuckin family is Jewish. I don't care how disconnected from your identity you are, I call bullshit on the idea she's cool with JD being like "here's a Nazi hat my dad collects Nazi memorabilia"
Further... Changing it from drinking to eating was some pretty unsubtle fatmisia.

But let me finish this god awful episode and we'll talk more I'm sure
Oh my god the fat shaming in this is just

Wow I thought I'd be fine but I actually

Need another break

And to smoke weed
Me trying to watch the fat shaming new HEATHERS
Queer hate, trans hate, and more
Identity is further revealed. Heather in the blue dress and veil there is a trans woman. Black Heather and her fight over who will eulogize Heather C. and black Heather insists that Heather C. would want to be eulogized by "an actual woman" which elicits shock and hurt.
Trans Heather, her identity under attack, thus reveals that she has footage of black Heather, who is identified as a lesbian, making out with a man, thus erasing her identity and her connection to the "LGBTQIA" community, in a moment of bi-erasure.
The two women are explicitly fighting over the power available in the platform of Heather C.'s death. Identity is framed as a petty intensifier of a need for visibility, while the norm is allows invisibility.
In case you were wondering: yeah, it's still bad.
The theatrics of small-town religious ceremony is replaced by a gay theater teacher. It seems strange to me that this show wants to valorize Christianity so much when the original HEATHERS was very uninterested in doing so.
LOOOOOOOOOL and I finished that trash fire and as I suspected the "real" enemy

is social media
But not just any social media, those TUMBLR KIDS RUINING SOCIETY FOR ALL THE NORMIES
Anyway, this has been a livetweet of the pilot of the HEATHERS reboot, a trash reboot with trash writing (and actually pretty sub par acting outside of, well, the Heathers themselves. JD is especially atrocious.) that will likely get updated with academic analysis later.
CAVEATS: this is a pilot. For all we know, the plot is going somewhere totally different. But so far?

I'm not impressed.
Oh ps because I don't think you can spoil a piece of shit, the big reveal at the end of the episode is that Veronica and JD failed to killed Heather C. so I'll likely watch more of it because, well, there's gonna be fatpol in there for critical analysis. But yeah, give it a skip.
I just saved you forty minutes of SJ vilifying, alt-right valorizing, social media bashing, fat shaming fanfiction that re-enacts scenes from the original HEATHERS but with a supernova-take, razor-edge, rather conservative spin.

Oh, and also random Nazi shit for no reason.
The funniest part, I think the writers think they've got the most nuclear take on social media and the tumblr kids ever to exist and they believe that criticism like mine and others only reveals how very smart they are! Like I said, I suppose this series could go somewhere. But.
I can only judge on what's available, and judging on what's available? Yeah. No.
Remember how I said I'd get into JD? I got into JD.
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