I have been avoiding this whole Courtney Stodden/Doug Hutchinson thing — and when I say avoiding, I mean “curling into a mental fetal ball and mentally projecting myself into a saner parallel universe as a psychological defense mechanism” — because it’s so deeply disturbing on a personal level and so indicative of how fucked up everything is on the greater level of our cultural discourse that I can barely wrap my head around it.
But now it has reached a zenith that I can no longer circumvent.
The story so far, in case you have been blessedly unaware:
Actor Doug Hutchinson — who appeared on TV in Lost and The X-Files, as well as in films including The Green Mile — married “aspiring country singer” Courtney Stodden this past June. Here is a picture from their wedding:
Here is another one:
Here is a third:
These are creepy enough merely by dint of their ubiquitousness online, considering that basically no one cares who either of them are, but there’s the added creepiness of Stodden’s appearance and posing, which is so calculated and artificial.
The reason this was news, however, is because Hutchinson is 51 years old and Stodden is — or so we’re told — 16.
No way she’s 16, right? She’s a sad 35-year-old who thinks she’s still 16, right? Either, way, though, Stodden is the most appalling example yet of the pornified kabuki drag act that supposedly embodies modern femininity. Need more examples?
(Animated GIF grabbed from Best Week Ever.)
Stodden thinks she’s being sexy. But what she’s really doing is miming what our culture tells us is “sexy” today, and that this is what women are supposed to aspire to. I want to say, “Crap, maybe she really is only 16,” because only a child would buy into that… except plenty of grownup women, particularly those who want to be famous, do the same thing.
Then there’s the matter of Stodden’s Twitter feed, which will certainly make you want to vomit. I don’t mean this in a figurative way: I actually gagged reading some of it. Like this, posted yesterday:
Off to run my productive-fulfilled errands under the humid sky, while nothing but utter sex-appeal slowly drips from my rill curvy-bod. ;-x
Stodden also frequently evokes God in her tweets, thereby marrying the two things that make American culture of the moment sing: fake plastic sex and hypocritical delusions of Jesusitude:
Gratifying our glorious Lord for all of the beauty that He continuously blesses each and every one of us with. Thank you, Jesus! XO’s ;-x
She really is a living, breathing cliché of “hotness”:
Experiencing such a wet ‘n wild afternoon by turning on a water hose and squirting it all over my heated flesh! Mmm feeling rejuvenated! XOs
This one is particularly disturbing:
Stepping out to run a few errands while rockin’ a mini skin-tight blouse, daisy-dukes & sultry stilettos! Love, Your All American Girl XOs!
It’s disturbing because she’s right: She is the embodiment of what an “all-American girl” is supposed to be today.
If someone wanted to spoof a Twitter feed that shared the innermost thoughts of a living Barbie doll, he or she could not do better than this.
And yet, none of this is what shook me out of my self-imposed Hutchinson/Stodden blackout. It was this, which …ology correctly designates the “creepiest thing ever”:
Fourth worst thing: They brought their dogs on TV with them. Third worst thing: “Fifty-one plus sixteen equals love.” “Sexy love.” Second worst thing: This is from Australian TV, which means the dubious appeal of Hutchinson and Stodden has spread across the planet. Worst thing: Her saying, “It’s gonna be a reality show like no other.”
I don’t want to know what that means. How can reality shows get more reality-showier? This is a prospect that terrifies me. The fact that everything that this girl-woman represents — and none of it is good or healthy or brings a net positive to the world — will get more exposure.
And there’s no way to fight it. This will happen. We can ignore it, but that won’t make it go away.