Friday, August 15, 2008

Malingering Doubts

Oh, how I love Malingering. By that, I mean I love a female psychiatrist who goes by that pseudonym in her flickr photostream and blog that skewers some of the ridiculous fashion choices she finds in her daily life. (I can't abide malingering, however. Well, malingering in others.) And since she lives on the west side of Los Angeles, she does find some pretty ridiculous fashion choices.

At first glance, it might appear that she is simply the "mean-spirited, heartless wench" she facetiously claims to be, and that she hates Los Angeles, but I feel there's something a lot deeper going on in her explorations. She focuses on subjects who don't seem to be making their fashion choices on their own, but rather taking cues from media stereotypes of LA style - the attitude of "Paris Hilton is the ultimate blonde-haired, blue-eyed Angeleno*, and I see
from these pictures in the Enquirer that she shops at Kitson. Therefore, I should shop at Kitson." It's a very odd self-reflexivity that is sad to contemplate, but Malingering allows us to laugh at it. She's not stereotyping Los Angeles as much as she is mocking the stereotype of Los Angeles that many of our citizens have bought into.

"I don't think this is about any person in particular. I think this is about people laughing at themselves and their own perceptions of what an image projects. I don't think it matters even if this these are real people, because it has much less to do with the people in the photos themselves and more to do with our reflections on them or what they represent to a particular person."
She is also tough as nails; just reading the sampling of scathing emails sent her way makes my bobbed hair curl. So brava, Dr. Malingering, and keep up the good work. You can fill my Prozac prescription any time.

*Of course, Paris Hilton is naturally a brown-eyed brunette from New York, but let's not quibble.

1 comment:

Mabel Normand said...

I totally thought this would be about this guy.