A Brutal Look at Less than Iconic Women

The natural look is fine for women who accept what God hands them. I like passive women — nothing wrong with them. They don’t have bleeding ulcers. Other women give other people ulcers. It’s their duty. They’re women who make everything — good and very bad — happen. This type tends to kill or maim somewhere along the way, and wear a lot of makeup when she does it. She’s opinionated and finds it a bit difficult to accept nature’s idea of how her face, or any aspect of her life, should be. To follow: three real live women (and one animated one) who conquered various sized chunks of the world, including their own bodies, and whose brutality is just so much more thoughtful and glamorous than the menfolk’s.

Natasha of the Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon (1961)

Natasha is not charmed by nature. She is not nurturing, maternal, faithful, self-sacrificing, sympathetic, or inherently good. She has an accent. She pours herself into a tight dress and packs a switchblade nail file. She is not a nest builder and she doesn’t cry. She cracks jokes at the expense of others. She wears disguises. She’s a saboteur! What goes on in her private life we’ll never know for sure, but with the way she’s always blowing up lakes and mountains, you can be sure something’s happening behind closed doors. I imagine Natasha’s face was her training ground for future battles. She doesn’t accept that the mountain belongs there and it’s not her place to blow it up. She doesn’t accept the face God gave her and proceeds to pluck out the eyebrow hairs one by one and paint the peach lids brilliant blue. And I’m guessing the hair is dyed too. Natasha does not say take me as I am. She says take me as I dream myself. Natasha dominates nature. She carves out reality in a distinctly female way. Men build; women alter. We don’t create fate, we manipulate it. Whatever happened to Natasha in retribution for her defiance we will never know. But she’ll pay the price for her ambition, believe it. She’ll be sorry, but right now she’s not sorry at all.

Hungarian Countess Elizabeth Bathory (1600)


The Countess enjoyed a good hot virgins’ blood bath. It all started when she meanly hit a servant, drawing blood, and then, for whatever reason, rubbed it on her face, thereafter noticing its rejuvenating effect. Things escalated from there as they always do with these insane, violent, gobs of-makeup types. There are no records of this, but I just know she wore a ton of it. Besides, blood is so much more. . .oh I don’t know, wild than alpha-hydroxides. Of course I’m in no way suggesting you go out and murder virgins. Those poor girls were somebody’s daughter, somebody’s sister, and they were turned into squeeze tubes of makeup. It’s a little hard for me to get riled, though, since it happened in 1600; I’m just left with awe at the hateful, sociopathic devotion to beauty of the countess. And I’m so curious. Did it work? And, as it should be, our Elizabeth paid the price for the extravagance. Locked up in that tower ’til she finally died.

Tonya Harding (1994)

It is said that America is the only country in history to go from barbarism to decadence without the intervening period of culture. And what’s wrong with that? Barbarism and decadence are where it’s at! Our Tonya Harding perfectly illustrates the point. She started off dirt poor and tacky (barbaric) and through sheer will transformed herself to filthy rich and tacky (decadent). I’m so happy her wealth has only made her more Tonya. She’s a millionaire but she’ll always wear Lee press-ons that don’t even match her outfit. And gold glitter eye shadow even though it emphasizes her far-from-the-best-feature eyes. Tonya’s makeup and fashion reflect the carefree and rebellious (actually, uncouth) spirit that is our greatest strength as well as an irritant to other countries. She’s not afraid to wear the wrong shade or to bash in an opponent skater’s kneecap.

Tonya, like all heavily made-up violent females, has spawned her own legend, and creates scenes wherever she goes. My friend witnessed — or really, ended up in — one recently in a bar in Portland, Oregon. She says Tonya was hogging the karioke machine. After awhile, Tonya noticed that the men were paying attention to my friend; fired up on beer and jealousy, she flipped my friend the bird, then started winging pretzels at her, then tripped her. They got into a brawl and were going to “take it outside,” but the men broke it up. Days later, according to news reports, Tonya saved a woman’s life by giving her mouth to mouth resuscitation. When the woman came to, Tonya said, “SO, ever been kissed by a woman before?” Saucy!

Cleopatra (69 B.C.)

Cleopatra changed her face and her alliances as the situation demanded — and it did, often. She not only had a rough childhood (her father, who was also her uncle, cut up her brother and mailed him in a box to her mother), but a weak chin, a hooked nose, and a big mouth. Instead of complaining to a sympathetic shrink, Cleopatra would have 20 men jerk off on her to improve her complexion. A gay man told me that, and I believe him absolutely. If you don’t look so good, a ton of eyeliner and a semen-glistening complexion will suffice. It’s the triumph of the artifice over sad reality.

Cleopatra strew the floor of her houseboat boudoir with a foot-and-a-half deep carpet of rose petals; so when she rolled around in them with Antony you can be sure he didn’t notice her weak chin. Her country wasn’t the biggest world power. Simple, just entice the men from rival countries into wars until they all kill each other off and yours is the only country left standing. Of course, it didn’t work exactly that way with our Cleopatra. She eventually failed and had to die by self-inflicted snake-bite poison — but boy did she have fun (and a good complexion) while it lasted.

If the example of these scheming harlots has inspired you, here’s my suggestion for what to do this weekend. Follow this recipe invented by Cleopatra for making eyelashes thicker. Boil one domestic mouse, one vine-rag, one horse tooth and reedbark. Pound it, then mix with lots of honey. Melt in bear-grease and marrow. Now it’s ready to rub in your lashes! Procuring those ingredients alone would involve some interesting adventures, but the stupendously tingly feeling one must have when going out and wearing this ghastly and powerful elixir would surely elicit a night to remember forever. A night possibly involving a karaoke machine and virgin blood, one way or another. You might end up in jail, but even so you’ll probably agree with Cleopatra when she says, about the eyelash tonic and life in general, “It is wonderful.”

— Lisa Crystal Carver

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