Thursday, November 25, 2010

Carol's musings on the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Whilst spending some quality family time watching the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, I am noticing a few things that I've never noticed before. I would also like to note that the Steele family parade-watching consists of four of the five people present frantically checking email, sending texts, or, in Carol's case, angrily blogging away about this stupid parade. No one in the room is actually interacting with another human being. This is apparently what our familial interactions have been reduced to.

Aunt Steele also just referred to "shuffle" on an iPod as "scramble." Just an amusing side note.

Anywho, after a semester of women's studies, the parade has tragically been reduced to a shell of its former glory; a depressing example of American consumerism, stereotypical gender roles, and white skin playing a dominant role in all the major acts.

How about the American Indian float, with the female singer wearing an all-white ensemble complete with lots of fringe singing an inspiring song proclaiming that this land is everyone's. While not white in terms of skin tone, this singer is extremely white in the way she is dressed and made up, except for the fringe. Nothing says traditional Native American culture like fringe. Below her the Oneida dancers, dressed in traditional garb, dance traditional dances, light years away from ever achieving that elite position atop the float. We support Native Americans, so long as they act like white people.

The Rockett dancers get me every year; voiceless, perfectly made-up dancers with the same build and measurements, the same cheesy smile, and movements that are perfectly choreographed and coordinated. There's no individual identity, just that perfect ideal of beautiful women who keep their mouths shut and look pretty.

Other highlights: the pirate boat, directed towards children, with a Victoria's Secret billboard in the background, complete with a blond model in a push-up bra giving that seductive look that seemingly no man can resist. Another of my favorites was the "new princess" float, with about thirty little girls in matching pink princess dresses and a flirtatious female singer serenading the crowd at the top of the float. The description said that the "new princess" promotes girl empowerment through generosity, intelligence, and beauty. Everything a little girl should be!

Maybe I'm just cranky because I want turkey right now and am unwilling to wait another five hours for dinner, or maybe this parade is pissing me off because its sickening depiction of all the values that Americans apparently hold dearest makes it exceedingly clear how far this country still has to go.

1 comment:

  1. Oh honey, I thought you enjoyed sharing electronic holiday togetherness with the family! I'm sorry my darling! There's lots of turkey and cranberry sauce to appease you and enhance your mood. Sugar and tryptophan are powerful drugs, so promise me you will use them responsibly! --Momma Steele