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Perfect Piggies! (1996): How to Cure Brainwashing

Sandra Boynton, Perfect Piggies! (Workman, 1996)

Full disclosure: All credit to Justin Marc Lloyd, the curator of Rainbow Bridge Recordings, for pointing out the soapbox I got on here…

photo credit: nextkidthing.com

A book! A song! A celebration! A message of love, peace, and acceptance! (optional)

There’s been a wave over the past fifteen years or so regarding fat acceptance. There’s a push, then a backlash, then a re-push, and so on and so forth. It’s getting tiresome. (We’re just starting on the backlash cycle again as I write this thanks to some despicable morons reacting badly to Yossi Loloi’s photography at fullbeautyproject.com (it occurs to me I should warn you this link is NSFW). Some people will just never feel good about themselves unless they’re slagging someone else, or preferably an entire culture of someone elses.) I have an attempt at a solution—we’ll take all the people who mindlessly parrot the status quo, sit them in a stadium somewhere, and given them all copies of Perfect Piggies! to read and re-read and re-read some more until they get it through their heads that it’s okay to not look like Uma Thurman and/or Charlie Hunnam. As anyone who’s ever held a squalling child knows, there is something magic about the language Sandra Boynton uses, whether it’s her effortless command of rhythm, her books’ strong resemblance to song lyrics (in fact, dozens of her books, over the past decade or so, have been made into songs, some of them by very famous folks; I’m still trying to reconcile the Eric Stoltz who was so wonderfully obscene in Killing Zoe turning in a rendition of “Snuggle Puppy”), or her singularly cute artwork, but you put a Boynton book in front of someone and something changes. It works with eighteen-month-olds. Maybe it will work with adults who still exist on the emotional level of eighteen-month-olds as well. *** ½

About Robert "Goat" Beveridge

Media critic (amateur, semi-pro, and for one brief shining moment in 2000 pro) since 1986. Guy behind noise/powerelectronics band XTerminal (after many small stints in jazz, rock, and metal bands). Known for being tactless but honest.

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