Why DNCE’s New Video Toothbrush is so fucking important to me:
DNCE, who’s frontman is Joe Jonas of Burnin Up fame, have snuck their way into the ears (and hearts) of everyone via Cake By The Ocean. Their newest video stars Ashley Graham, plus size model and stone cold fox, as a love interest to frontman Joe.
Now, as groundbreaking as it is to have a plus size woman as the love interest, (with no focus at all on her weight and all the focus on how sexy she is) that is not why it’s important to me. The reason this video is important to be has to do with the lyrics “we don’t need to keep it hush, you could leave a tooth brush.”
There are so many stories of full figured women who meet men who want to date them, but never want to be seen with them in public because they are embarrassed. These men (closeted “fat admirers”, there is even a name and an online community dedicated to them) have been made fun of or ridiculed for preferring plus size women so badly that they don’t even want to be seen in public with one.
If you can get passed the idea that Ashley Graham is physically flawless in general, there is so much representation for the plus sized ladies in this video and it means so much to me. Joe Jonas, a teen hearth throb, is proudly escorting around a plus sized woman with hearts in his eyes.
He takes her out on the town, kisses her at the club, invites her in for a night cap, and wakes up still infatuated with her. He is aroused and present and appreciating her for the sexual being she is.
This was not just a music video. This was not an ad for beats speakers. This was art. This was a story. This was representation.
These are not necessarily my thoughts. I’ve been scouring the forums at Reddit, PreviouslyOnTV and DigitalSpy, plus listening to review podcasts by the 3 Cuckoos and the Sea Brigade.
1. Do you think that somewhere in the 5219 photos Ed took, is at least one photo of Trish’s attacker? Maybe that’s where Ellie will crack the case.
2. Ian’s girlfriend/ex-girlfriend, Sarah, sent Trish the threatening text message. What did she want Trish to shut up about?
3. Is it a co-incidence that Ellie talked to her therapist in S2Ep1 about wanting to bash Joe’s head in with a hammer and then Mark took a hammer along in his van when he went to see Joe? Plus Ellie destroyed Tom’s phone and laptop with a hammer.
4. Technology reality check. How many phones have enough storage to keep over 5000 photos? And what about the multiple videos Tom’s got – would he be able to keep them all on his phone? Do teens really access and look at porn on phones?
5. Why wouldn’t Ed get his suit cleaned between the party and his arrest?
6. Like Ed, Hardy has had trouble expressing his feelings to others. We saw him finally tell Daisy how much he loves her. But do you think it will click in Hardy’s head that he doesn’t want to be another Ed and that will make him realize he has to bare his feelings to Ellie properly.
7. I know Chibnall’s said we’re done with Broadchurch, because only a couple of serious crimes can happen there. But if he has them both leave town for a larger town or city, there could be more stories for them, but not tied to the little town. So will Chibnall give us hope for a Hardy/Miller story in the future?
Request: Imagine having a game night with the Wests (Iris, Joe, Wally, and if you want to add Barry you can)
“Alright, I’ll, um, I guess I’ll see you guys later” you smile to the newly come together family as you head towards the door.
“And just where do you think you’re going?” Joe asks, his tone a mixture of amusement and incredulity.
“Out?” you offer, unsure yourself of exactly where you intended to go, knowing only that you meant to give the West family some time to themselves, some time without their temporary lodger hovering around like a fly that simply wouldn’t budge.
“But it’s family game night” Iris pouts, making sure to exaggerate just how put out she was feeling.
“Exactly” you laugh, unable to take her ridiculous look any longer.
“Y/N,” Barry starts, walking around the couch with a serious look on his face. “If I’m here, you’re here. You’re as much family as I am.”
“Plus,” Joe adds, a sly smile making its way onto his lips, “I’m pretty damn sure you’re at least ninety percent of the reason Wally even wants to come here.”
“I-what?” you stutter, confused and more than a little shocked at Joe’s words.
“Oh, come on,” Iris pipes up, grinning knowingly at you. “We all know you like him, and it’s just as obvious that he likes you.”
“Stay” Barry encourages, taking your bag from you and putting it back on it’s hook.
“Well, when you put it like that” you shake your head at the crazy trio you had known all your life. “What are we playing?”
Because it was asked of me, and it makes me very passionate, a serious analysis of this particular, iconic scene:
At first glance, funny! Amusing! Ridiculous!
Under the surface…not so funny. And I take many, MANY issues with it.
So, let’s start at square one, shall we?
What are Marie’s ultimate goals?
Stay with me on this one. These are totally reasonable goals, yes? There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be retired early and married. The retirement especially is relatable and understandable considering Marie’s line of work. She’s a soldier and being a Death Scythe must have a very low life expectancy, it’s no surprise that she wants to retire. As for being married, however, this is Marie’s personal goal. It is something she wants because she wants to be married. Not because she’s pressured, or because she feels that she must.
Azusa comments upon this by claiming
And I am here for that! …Except, regardless of this concept being old fashioned, it is a concept that Marie, personally, believes in. Marriage is something she wants, it’s something she desires very deeply. She isn’t adhering to the idea that marriage is what will make EVERY woman happy, but simply that marriage is what will make HER happy. Which is very feminist and I will fight anyone who thinks otherwise. The person being anti feminist here is, actually, Azusa. Because she’s trying to push her personal view, that marriage is unnecessary and old fashioned, upon Marie, who was not pushing HER views of marriage being desirable and worthwhile on Azusa.
Notice the changes in language. Azusa is almost patronizing when all Marie said was her PERSONAL goals were to get married and to retire. There is nothing wrong with having personal goals.
That little bit aside (and forgive me for rambling), let’s get to the REAL reason we’re here. My defending Marie for wanting to marry a toilet, which I personally find understandable.
So, Marie’s goals are to be married and retired. She wants the white picket fence, the 2.5 kids, the happy husband, the apron. All power to her.
But…why the desperation?
Well, part of it stems from pressure and sexism in the SE series.
Notice what Marie says. “Azusa, you’re still young, you won’t understand.”
This is a very, VERY important line for Marie. Because she is the oldest female character (barring witches) in Soul Eater, and that makes her a joke. Because it’s ALWAYS a joke. To be over the age of 25 in this world when you’re a woman is very, VERY hard, and Marie reflects that.
Please consider how messed up that is. Marie isn’t even 30 yet. She’s in the same class as Stein and Spirit. Spirit is, canonically, 32 by the end of the Soul Eater Manga, which puts him in the late 20s at this time. If Marie is his age or Stein’s age, who is younger than Spirit, then that puts her at barely over 25.
And Marie’s role in SE is often degraded to that of a Christmas Cake. Where does the term “Christmas Cake” come from?
“No one wants to eat Christmas cake after December 25th. And no matter how attractive a woman is, it’s said, no male will want to marry her after she’s 25. Thus, “Christmas Cake” is used as a metaphor term for a woman rendered unmarriageable because she is past the freshness of her youth; roughly equivalent to ‘Old Maid.’”
This is a very, VERY sexist trope that comes up again and again in SE in regards to Marie. Consider the following:
“Is this how single, past marriageable age humans are?”
“We have a lot of youth to spare.”
These comments all mean the same thing: That Marie is undesirable. that she is “past her expiration date”. That she is old, and bitter, and jealous, and unworthy of marriage. And, considering that Marie’s main goal is to be married, this is stinging in more ways than one.
Especially considering the reaction of MEN when these witches, who appear young, which is appealing, interact with them. Spirit and Sid and Lord Death and Stein are all relatively pleasant to Risa and Arisa, especially considering they’re…well, witches.
And when Marie protests?
Now, Marie is the “killjoy”. She’s the one who can’t take a joke. She’s the one who can’t have fun. Because she’s old. And bitter. And unappealing. These young witches are more desirable to the men in the room than Marie is. That’s why SHE’S told to leave but the witches, who are throwing a party when they should be talking about a strategy to rescue Kid, get to stay and mess around. And Marie takes this to heart.
Especially in regards to Stein.
Marie is very much so interested in Stein romantically. And here he is, flirting (er, sort of?) with them. Now, I won’t demonize Stein, here, he’s pretty indifferent to the witches. He’s not Spirit, who was drooling all over them. But he certainly jokes with them in how own, strange way, and certainly doesn’t discourage them, either.
And he can’t know that Marie is in a position where she is extra vulnerable to these acts, so it isn’t his fault, but that doesn’t change the fact that Marie is watching the man she loves being playful and flirty with women who have just bruised her ego by telling her she’s old and unappealing and that they are young and fresh and desirable.
What Marie is seeing here is a far younger looking woman getting close to the man she cares about, a man she wants to marry, her first love. That HURTS. It has to hurt Marie. Because from the get go, she sees her future of getting married being put against a ticking clock. She is “damaged goods”. She is “unwanted”. She is too old to be loved.
Think about that for a second. She believes she’s getting to be too old to be loved. Thats terrifying. That’s so painful. And she genuinely believes it.
And it certainly doesn’t help that all her past relationships have clearly panned out in disappointment.
I mean, I’ll be the one to say it: Joe’s reasoning for breaking up with Marie is shitty. “I was afraid back then that if my ability kept getting stronger that eventually I’d be able to see right through you.”
Which, 1: Implies that he thinks Marie is lying to him. 2: that he would prefer not to know if she is or not (despite the fact that she’s one of the MOST genuine characters on the show). And, 3: That he isn’t invested in finding out and being with who Marie REALLY is.
That’s really goddamn shitty, Joe. Plus, the whole breaking up with her for her own good bit is really uncomfortable for me, but I digress. Every single man Marie has been with has let her down. Every one. She sees herself as a ticking time bomb who is unwanted and unliked and undesirable and unable to be loved.
So what does she do?
She considers a toilet. Because this is SE and Marie HAS to be made into a joke, because, haha, look, a woman over 25 who dares to exist and want romance and love! How amusing! She’s SINGLE. SO FUNNY.
Except, not really. Putting aside the fact that this joke is steeped in sexism, the fact that no one seems to want to look beyond it is equally as bad, if not worse.
Marie Mjolnir considered marrying a toilet because every single man in her life has let her down so much that a toilet would be a step up or comparable to a partner who won’t hurt her or let her down or tell her she’s overbearing. Marie Mjolnir has gotten to the point where she thinks that her dreams of being married to a man who won’t disappoint her are so slim that she would rather go for an inanimate object. She has been convinced that she is so old and so undesirable that if she doesn’t get married NOW or very very VERY soon, she NEVER WILL.
THOSE are her reasons. THAT’S why the “joke” isn’t funny. THAT’S why I have so many issues with the scene of her wanting to marry a toilet being her ONLY defining moment.
Because Marie is more than your “old maid” or “desperate single woman” punchline, okay? Those are sexist tropes and sexist jokes and they infuriate me.
Marie Mjolnir is brilliant and funny and beautiful and powerful and nuanced and complex and she damn well deserves better than this bullshit.