Joan Rivers was the first comedienne to turn standard-issue self-deprecation into a proto-punk, stare-down dare: “I’m here, I’m ugly, get used to it.” But Rivers was performing way before these women, and their mothers, were born. What forces unleashed and mainstreamed today’s impetuous, un-blushable broads?
Their rise coincides with the Girls Gone Wild gonzo porn of the late 1990s. In private and in public, millions of ordinary women now regularly perform sexual acts that were once confined mostly to prostitutes’ repertoires. Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian turned what would have at one time been blackmail fodder into multimillion-dollar enterprises.
Inevitably, this extinction of inhibitions led to raised expectations and jaded palates. Cameron Diaz’s sticky inseminated bangs seem “so ten years ago” now because they are, and then some.
And in that film, Diaz (like cinematic comic stalwarts from Carole Lombard to Madeline Kahn) was “object,” not “subject,” à la Lampanelli.
(PS: kudos to Catherine O’Hara for squeezing an old “Hamilton” joke into the sketch below:)