“Misfit Matriarch” seems to be a perzine about being a young punk mom. The authors kid was there, and asked repeated if I “had 2 dollars” which was incredibly fucking cute and sold the zine. I love the idea that she was prescreening the browsers, basically if you didn’t have the 2 bucks, move on Clyde.
Rob Zombie’s first animated feature since The Haunted World of El Superbeasto is a mixture of sugar and spice, muffins and macabre.
These are fitting mixtures considering his casting choice for the film’s heroine. Zombie’s ex-stripper, voice actress wife, Sheri Moon voices the film’s protagonist, Hillary Dee. Dee is a tattooed Betty Boop look-a-like. Her behavior is at times endearing, but mostly frustrating. A sweet girl, the young adult often makes terrible mistakes in her search for love after escaping an abusive childhood. Her erratic mood swings are at times unbelievable. Things get twisted when she meets who she believes to be “The one”, aptly named, B. Tre. The unexpected villain is drawn to be reminiscent of a 1950’s cartoon wolf leering at a voluptuous night club singer, but in a sheepskin jacket. Robert Englund is the voice behind Tre. Englund’s frightening tones make Christian Bale’s Batman sound near angelic.
After Tre puts a ring on Dee’s finger, they decide to have a baby. Things get messy when the pregnant girl meets the darker side of her alcoholic fiancé. Her biggest love soon becomes her biggest mistake.
Zombie’s attempt at illustrating an abusive relationship becomes messy and headache inducing. The constant bombardment of loud music and flashing violent images threaten to provoke seizures from audience members. Viewers may also become uncomfortable at the sight of a pregnant, bruised, knocked-up Betty Boop knock off.
Amidst the chaos, nine months come to an end and the baby is born. Fearing for her daughter’s safety, Dee decides to leave Tre. But a horde of zombies come to the hospital and follow her home, staggering around for a while. Instead of the traditional quest for brains, these zombies instill fear and doubt. “Your child needs her father,” “You’re over exaggerating,” “You’re asking for it,” they moan.
These vapid characters stay in the film for way too long, but things get interesting when Dee finally takes a stand. She leaves the wolf and takes him to court. The court process is shown through gorgeously gory metaphors. Heads fly, literally. Dee’s Hello Kitty sneakers crush skulls, her sweet tooth becomes a weapon, her quiet tongue fiendishly laps up the blood from her cherry red lips. While some scenes depict her as a pixie, others show her drawn as a mama wild cat with human flesh caught on her claws.
The zombies following her around are replaced by a quirky, wise cracking support group (Larry David, Louis CK, Amy Schumer). Dee’s daughter, who we see grow from baby to toddler, adds sunshine to the intense feel of the film. Patience, Shirley Temple in ink on paper, is a tough cookie with a wicked smile. Her baby blues don’t shed a tear when she skins her knee, and her scratchy rock star voice, thanks to Pamela Adlon (King of the Hill, Californication), encourages Dee to keep going.
HorrorPops’s S.O.B made for a wicked opening song to the film. The band is also behind the rest of the soundtrack.
Zombie has made a career out of paying homage to monster movies and freaky flicks. In Licorice Noose he tackled the horrors of an abusive relationship. Though it was convoluted at times, and the relationship between Dee and Tre seemed drawn-out, the musician/director/illustrator used animation to express indescribable emotions and unnamed terrors.
It’s not shocking to say the majority of Canadian women are self-conscious of their bodies.
Research done by Media Smarts, Canada’s Centre for Digital and Media Literacy, says these insecurities can start as young as three, flourish in the teen years, and continue into adulthood.
Then pregnancy comes along. Changes happen to a woman’s breasts, nipples, and hair on her head and body. She has to learn to move differently, sleep differently, and use the bathroom differently. Sex is different as is food, if it can even be kept down. When baby is born the postpartum body may have more curves, extra weight and stretch marks. Breasts, hair and body movements are still different. A whole new knowledge of a woman’s own vagina comes into play.
Meanwhile, actress Reese Witherspoon was looking adorable this past summer in celebrity magazines, showing off her baby belly, home to baby number three. Model, Gisele Bundchen appears to fit her long legs into skinny not-so-mom-like jeans just fine. Pregnant celebrity moms such as Christina Aguilera have shown their perfect baby bumps on magazine covers since Demi Moore’s 1991 Vanity Fair shot; looking flawlessly beautiful, no stretch marks, no dark lines, no extra hormonal hair in sight.
Amanda Spakowski, founder of Toronto based, The Nesting Place has been a doula for seven years. Seven years of pre-natal classes, guiding moms and their partners through pregnancy, being there from the first contraction to baby’s first cry and after to continue helping new families adapt. She has seen many a postpartum body.
During labour women may be concerned about losing control of their bowels, or how their vaginas look. Spakowski said a birthing mother might tell their partner not to look while the baby is born. “In labour women are letting their guard down. They may roll their eyes at being called beautiful, because they don’t feel beautiful,” said Spakowski. She plays clips from a film, Orgasmic Birth for her pre-natal class. The documentary follows midwife Ina May Gaskin and shows how if some women allow their movements to be natural, and let their natural voice free, the movements and sounds can be sensual. Spakowski explained the sexier a woman can feel during the birth process, the more their body will open.
“A labouring woman is one of the most beautiful images to look on,” said Spakowski. “The energy of birth is breathtaking.”
She said she is not alone in thinking these sentiments. She has heard and witnessed partners of the birthing mother be in awe of her body and feel ecstatically towards the birthing process. She has heard one father describe how drawn he was to his partner, walking into the bedroom seeing her with larger breasts, hair tied back and feeling an intense wonder for the mother of his child. And though we mothers may not all look like a celebrity mom, Spakowski says there are movie moments. After one woman gave birth, “Her partner looked at her and said, ‘I’m more in love with you than I ever have been,” proceeding to lift her from under her shoulders and giving her a big Hollywood kiss.”
In addition to body image insecurities, Spakowski says many women worry about their body’s function and mobility postpartum and the impact it may have on enjoying their baby.
“A new Mom’s confidence is not so much focused on herself, her extra weight or her self – esteem. But more on having the confidence to care for her new baby in the very best way she can,” said Andrea Grace of Mommy and Baby Fitness Workout and Play.
“I come across hundreds of new moms and babes yearly, and I think that the fact they have just given birth is so empowering and amazing; and they feel so great that they have just created a new life. That is first and foremost before body image and carrying around extra pounds,” she said. Grace encounters hundreds of mothers, not all of who had been working out prior to their pregnancy or learning the workings of their postpartum body. Though she admits some new moms do go to the business because they think they are “Fat” many go to feel good, and the weight loss is an inevitable bonus. Grace suggests coming in to one of its facilities to exercise with babe when they are six weeks old, and taking lots of walks.
Cardio, along with a healthy diet, is what helped mother, chef, photographer and blogger Dana Jackson lose 62 pounds a year postpartum. Jackson didn’t rely on a scale, but the foodie did watch her portion sizes, ate a large breakfast and made sure to drink her water. And when she isn’t using her children as weights, she isn’t shy to take a look at her naked reflection and accept what she sees with open arms. “You have to love yourself every step of the way. The sooner you learn to accept every roll today, the easier it is to envision your realistic goals for tomorrow,” she writes in a December 2011 Hot Pink Apron blog post.
Spakowski says if a woman does not believe she is beautiful, the compliments people give her saying otherwise won’t truly register. She believes self-esteem needs to be important when girls are young, so they can grow up and know they are beautiful, every stretch mark, and every stray hair.
This being said, surviving on one hindered income – employment comes next to motherhood, not everyone has available caregivers; you can’t pay for daycare or a baby sitter without an income. That does not mean single mamas are constantly on the prowl for a dude to support them. We single (hetero) ladies get attracted to men the same way we did before baby. Sex is awesome, relationships are nice, animal instinct doesn’t go *poof* because of parenthood. And before I hear welfare rants go here where I’ve done the research. If you get pissed off and want to argue statistics and facts with your anecdotal evidence, you’re a moron and should just stop reading now.
We don’t need saving. Some guys think when trying to win over a single mother that bringing their child into it is the way to go. We’re not all looking for a new ‘daddy’. That’s not a mission I myself am on. Patience has a dad, whether I’m with him romantically or not. I don’t need to force her to call another man her father. If I ever get married or involved in a long-term relationship again I will let my partner and P decide what their relationship is. I will be in a relationship for love not to add a new parent to the roster. (Extra help would be awesome, but any parent in any situation would say that.)
Another myth is that the mother doesn’t let their child(ren) see their father. Though this may happen, like anything may happen, it is certainly not the case. Parents leave, both mothers and fathers, or one parent may be dangerous. Or sometimes the relationship between the parents didn’t work out and they remain civil, if not friends, and their little one(s) do not get harmed as a result.
Single moms are not stupid, dumb or unaware of birth control. We’re people, dudes. Find a new scapegoat for your own problems, read a book, educate yourself, I don’t really care.
I started this blog because I was sick of strangers not minding their own fucking business when it came to raising my child.
It progressed to presenting facts and evidence contrary to ignorant people’s assumptions about parenthood (All single moms are the devil, people have children because the government will pay them millions plus a unicorn …) I’ve been told I should have kept my legs shut, I’ve been told I need help. I’ve also been thanked, and sent lovely e-mails saying there are those of you who feel the same way, or who now have a better understanding of parents. I’m not a perfect parent, far from. I’m a pretty fucked up, confused person. But I love my daughter, I love helping others, I love doing the research, and I fucking love writing. Misfit Matriarch has been around for a year now, and I’ll make sure to make the most of year two.