Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Fug the READ poster - Christina Ricci

Everything about this poster scares me. First and foremost, there's the book. That's The Fountainhead, in case you left your magnifying glass in your other bag. I checked, and there's no professional reason why Christina Ricci should be holding onto this punishing screed of a novel, which has persuaded generations of callow, overprivileged undergraduates that their self-centeredness is justified. It's pretty close to an evil book. I think it's interesting that ALA responded to her choice by airbrushing up a gritty, airless-looking canyon of commerce as a backdrop.

Then you have that outfit. The skirt screams "hooker" and the sweater protests, "student." The shoes are the tie-breaker. Either tuition is expensive enough to make a girl compromise her morals, or the book is a prop to catch the eye of the fetish-y businessman looking to kill time before he catches the Metro North.

As if little Christina isn't attractive enough on her own. A talented, versatile actress with perfect skin, a beautiful face, and terrifying eyes, the girl has nonetheless experimented with every moderately-to-excessively slutty look under the sun. It's mystifying. At her best, she looks like a Blythe doll, wee, coy, and adorable. At her worst... well, it gets pretty bad.

This poster is no longer available, says the ALA website. Luckily, the same can be said for this version of Christina Ricci. Nobody outside of Japan, where it has become so integral to the culture that it has lost its meaning - should attempt this look.

I suggest an alternate city scene for our grown-up Wednesday Addams -
sitting on a bench in Bryant Park on a sunny afternoon, smoking, surreptitiously drinking vodka and cranberry out of a thermos, and making mean comments about the fratty media kids eating their lunches and discussing their handbags - the kind of people who read The Fountainhead in college and bought Ayn Rand's bullshit.