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Recommended: Strange Proportions

by Nick Holloway

I believe Strange Proportions first appeared when it's creator, Mia Tagg, aged six and armed with a pair of scissors, began carving the women from her mother's fashion magazines into new and interesting shapes, inventing stories to shed light on the troubled lives of the things she'd created.

A plastic surgeon in training – or another Ed Gein waiting to happen - Mia in fact turned into neither, although for the last few years she's been kind enough to produce a new Strange Proportion whenever Mercy Magazine has had a print deadline looming. Lately the blogosphere has become a playground for her ungodly creations, the latest of which we're lucky enough to reproduce here.

Strange Proportion #10: Miss Prepotenta Tolo

Imagine this: your whole childhood is a massive psychosocial experiment. Introducing Miss Prepotenta Tolo, she grew up in an exact replica of The Magic Kingdom Park at Disney World, Florida.

Her formative years were spent surrounded by shiny, sparkly things that shimmer; as a consequence, dazzle is all she can see, and all she can care for. Many, including Prepotenta herself, think that this is a wonderful way to spend your formative years; enjoying the super-fun treat of a theme park to yourself would seem like heaven to most kids, but what are the repercussions? Well, as most of us have realised, The Magic Kingdom is made out of plastic moulds, papier mâché and glitter glue, all of it about as real as Posh’s tits; everything from the landscape to the smiles are counterfeit. There is absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying fakery, as long as you realise that it is fakery that you are enjoying. But what happens if the fakery is all you know? What happens if you are allowed to think that everything and everybody is there to please you, to entertain you, the sole raison d’étre for all that surrounds you is your pleasure? Wow! I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

As a little girl Prepotenta luxuriated in the possibilities of The Magic Kingdom. She dressed up as a Disney Princess every morning, after which she would skip down to the arcade, and whether she won or not, would collect the prizes she wanted; thereby contradicting the very notion of prize. In the afternoons Prepotenta would cavort around her domain eating candyfloss, popcorn and lollipops and she would have a go on all the rides, every day, all day long. At night all the theme park staff would leave. Alone, but with armfuls of prizes and sweets little Miss Tolo would fall asleep, reassured by the smell of fresh plastic toys and soothed by the ebbing of an intense sugar rush. Thus, we begin to see the tragedy of Prepotenta Tolo.

Consider this; Prepotenta’s human interaction was restricted to the people employed to man the rides and stalls in The Magic Kingdom, she therefore never encountered any resistance or boundaries of reasonable comportment. Whatever her behaviour, her talent or skill, “Well Done!” was all she ever heard. Poor little Prepotenta! She understands only grand gestures, and knows nothing of sincerity, nor does she know the difference between looking happy and actually being happy. Unable to tell the difference, she acts out what she thinks love, friendship and success look like. Through her hard prismatic eyes love, friendship and success look like they do in glossy pictures, movies and adverts. Even though Prepotenta does not know what love, loyalty and achievement are, she does know what they appear to be, and that she ought to look like she has these things, as she sees them. This expert mimesis of Prepotenta’s allows her free reign outside of the enchanted world of the Disney subterfuge; the sociopathic edges painted pink and labeled ambition, she’s good to go.

Hard, sharp and garish, her demeanor is celebrated in cutthroat and rat race type places, places where if you stop for a minute to think, you become a loser. If the only times you have ever known are versions of times gone by, if your times are dominated by mood boards and your vocabulary is dominated by adjectives ending in –esque, -ish and –like, how can you possibly fathom the realm of the genuine?

It’s as if everything you experience becomes obsolete, like a set after filming is over, but how could you ever know, if it’s all you know? How can you ever accept that you are wrong, if all you know is persuasion with no insight? They come across the same, but one is real and the other isn’t and all you’ll get from Prepotenta is a truckload of regurgitated, uninformed observation. This is all fine until she forces these on you, that is when you realise that you are under the siege of an opinionated klaxon (the loud tooty thing, not a member of the Nu-Rave outfit).

With her eyes on the prize, style over content philosophy, razor sharp elbows and jackhammer personality, she is destined for success. Prepotenta breaks into your life and rearranges your mental furniture while you’re at work, rendering your peace of mind homeless. Destitute and with nowhere to go, your mind wanders; in and out of bars and clubs, in and out of people’s lives, making the odd appearance at parties, but mostly finding solace in a combination of menial tasks and hard liquor.

Tick-tock! Get out of the deafening reach of the klaxon of vacuity and remember: You have the considerable edge of knowing that those shiny things are fake and that real princesses never meet a happy end!

Thank You.

More Strange Proportions can be found at miatagg.blogspot.com. Step to it!