Sexy Bees

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Shameless is playing Closing Night of the San Diego Asian Film Festival!  Get your tickets nowThe short will play just before Meet the Patels, which I can’t wait to see!  We’re also going to be playing at the 3rd i South Asian Film Festival in November!  I can’t stop using exclamation points!

Even decaf gets me hopped up these days.  Here are a few other things I’m hopped up about.

—Halloween costumes.  Especially for my little girls.  Blech.  When I was a kid, my mom would just stick my sister and I in our traditional salwar kameezes and tell us to say we were Indian princesses.  I remember going to kindergarten in my “Indian Princess” costume.  Most kids just asked why I was wearing my pajamas.  But, hell, at least we weren’t Sexy Bees or something.  I mean, just look at this as one example: Party City’s animal costumes for boys, and for girls.  I feel you, Cady.  And for some added hilarity, that above is a picture of me dressed up as a swashbuckler (?) of some sort during eighth grade.  I apparently didn’t want to wear a bonnet – I wanted to wear a mustache.  Luckily, as a hairy Indian woman, my dream came true.

Along those same lines, what about kids who want to be superheroes for Halloween?  There’s of course no reason that a little black kid can’t dress up as Batman, or a little girl can’t wear a Superman costume.  But I look forward to a day when there are actual examples in the media of mainstream, franchised superheroes of varied genders and races.  I couldn’t bring myself to go watch yet another blockbuster with a white, male superhero this summer.  What do you tell your kids when they ask where their faces are in these movies?  Much has been made lately about the latest attempt to bring Wonder Woman to the big screen.  I say, get it together, Hollywood.  You could make 7 Police Academies, but not one solid Wonder Woman?  Let’s do this.

On yet another tangent, my husband was annoyed the other day that all of our daughter’s books were about male characters.  Even when they were about animals or inanimate objects, they had male names (Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site, a favorite of my daughter’s, is all about “he” trucks;  Curious George, Gerald the Giraffe).  While he changed the pronouns for her bedtime stories, I went to the bookstore to find books with girls being brave, having adventures, and fighting dragons.  I scoured the racks.  I asked the clerks.  I finally found three books that were explicitly about saucy girls:  Madeline, Olivia, and Ladybug Girl (the one where she dresses up as an astronaut and a princess, among other things).  Help me, people.  I know that there are more options as my daughters get older, but how about for toddlers learning about their worlds and being surrounded by ideas of what girls should do, and what boys should do?  We’re raising our kids with our own equal-opportunity values, but just the other day, I heard someone’s nanny at the park berating a little girl for climbing on the slides “like a boy.”  Once again…blech.

—I want to live in Shondaland.  I felt like cheering after just the first paragraph.  Always such a fine balance, and a constant conundrum – how do we address race so that race is no longer an issue?

—And today, in beautiful and inspiring news, an Indian and a Pakistani  are awarded Nobel Peace Prizes.  I sort of wish the Nobels were a televised event, like the Oscars.  How awkward would it be if one of the nominees reacted badly to losing? Do you think someone read the news today and was like, “they gave it to Malala?  I mean, I’ve been working towards peace since before she was born, but whatever.  It’s such a popularity contest.  I’m going to the spa.”

Happy October, everyone!  I’ve got to get back to writing my Indian superwoman movie.  Nair is her Kryptonite.

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