So last night Footloose came on cable TV. Naturally, being a former psychotic fan of the movie back when it came out (and yes, I am old enough to have seen it in the theater, thank you) I settled down for some good ole 80's dance craze fashion fun. I cannot describe in mere words the level of worship that my friends and I harbored for this movie back when it came out. I had the record. I'm sure I drove my parents CRAZY playing it all day every day, trying to copy the dance moves, daydreaming about Wren McCormick, wishing I could be Ariel.
Now, Ariel, as far as my friends and I were concerned was the epitome of beauty and perfection. If I could have chosen one person to be, it would have been Ariel from Footloose. Not only was she beautiful, but she was sassy and sexy. She had those kick ass red boots. She was just IT.
Fast forward a few years and I'm sitting on my couch crocheting a baby blanket for a friend, watching Footloose and I can barely concentrate on the nostalgic coolness of Kevin Bacon smirking out, "Jump back!" when he hears that there's no dancing in Beaumont because every time Lori Singer comes on the screen all I can do is just GAWK at how freakin' SKINNY she is. I mean this girl is just straight up and down. There's not a curve to be seen, maybe a bump here and there, but she even makes Sarah Jessica Parker look like the average one, weight wise.
And I'm thinking, THIS was my epitome of everything perfect? This was my idea of sexy? Now don't get me wrong, despite the skinniness, the girl does have a certain something about her that is sexy. But I'd have to say that is despite her body rather than because of it. (Sorry, Lori.) But the thing that freaks me out is that I never thought of her as extremely, frighteningly, shockingly thin back when I was 11. I really thought she was PERFECT. I wanted to BE her. Seriously.
Now I'm wondering, HOW, in the name of anything holy, did Kevin Bacon not just giggle at her during the little dance scene at the honky tonk bar when they're dancing to Hurts So Good and she's just shakin' it for all it's worth and there is just nothing to shake. I mean her legs just go right up into her back. There's no ass at all! It just goes to show what a good actor Kevin Bacon is.
And what was almost even more shocking to me is that Lori Singer can't dance. I mean she sort of makes up for it with just pure enthusiasm, but really she cannot dance. It should have been Wren teaching Willard AND Ariel during Let's Hear it for the Boy.
So out of this revelation I have come to realize that what people say about influences in childhood is true. I'm pretty sure now that I can link at least half of my body image issues back to the first time I saw Footloose. And now I'm wondering how many other women could say the same thing. Because odd as it is, even now that I can see Lori Singer with adult eyes, there is still a small stubborn part of me that still sees her as "perfect." Even though I no longer wish for her body the way I used to, I can't really say in all honesty that I'm completely satisfied with mine.
Well, and look how much fun she's having. (Who needs boobs to have fun?)
By the way. Here's a link to a websight by another person who apparently believes that Lori Singer is IT. Apparently she's still fairly gorgeous. And still pretty freakin' skinny, too.