In the ‘90s, when I was growing up, I was always told by older sister types that I shouldn’t let the cookie cutters on the media degrade my self-esteem. Back then, I was a walking set of eyeballs who was always looking outward and absorbing everything and talked from my heart, not from my perception or other people’s perceptions, of my appearance.
Models were pointed out to me in magazines as being deemed basically implausible. “She doesn’t eat pasta,” somebody told me about a model in a pasta ad. Whenever a black person was in a commercial, it was pointed out enthusiastically.
The idealist in me when I was young was excited by these conversations. As a little Gandhi, I thought, if everybody I know wants to see something different in the media, I could see it in my lifetime. Gandhi said, “Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny.” So if our beliefs were that there should be weird looking people in the media, shouldn’t it have become our destiny by now?
It’s 2021 and I still don’t see anybody weird looking on TV. People love watching Mike and Molly because they’re fat, but I’m sorry, they’re not weird looking at all.
People are excited to see Sofia Vergara on TV because she has a Colombian accent, but she’s just another cookie cutter in a different color. Maybe hotter than the average cookie cutter. We needed weirder, not hotter.
Some people think Ellen Degeneres is weird looking, but she’s just a weirdo. Drew Carey is growing up into somebody who is trying hard to look weird on purpose. That doesn’t count as well.
In the past year, as somebody inspired by Gandhi and who is actually growing up to look a little like him, I have decided to “be that change that [I] wish to see in the world.” I’m weird, I’m here, and I’m trying to be on TV.
I got my start on Live With Kelly And Ryan in their 2020 virtual Halloween Costume Contest, which I entered as Day Off Barbie, my huge nose peeking out from thick framed plastic glasses that hid my huge sluggy eyebrows. I didn’t win, probably because I’m so weird looking.
Since then, I have been on TV five other times, as Live With Kelly And Ryan’s Trivia Dancer, and in their Inbox, both times not wearing huge glasses so you can see my whole weird face, at times, very up close. In the virtual studio audiences of Tamron Hall, The View, and Wendy Williams, you can see me being weird to compliment my “striking” facial features, no, because it was edited out.
It isn’t enough. We need weird looking people on TV now. Yesterday. 30 years ago. We’ve only had one movie, Camp, that had acne, and that was 2003. Let’s see those ears that stick out. Let’s see those butts that don’t fit on normal sized chairs.