Wide Range. Cultural Focus. Editor Patrick Neithard
Molly Ann Wymer has taken it to the real, with her virtuosly sharp reflections on popular culture.
by Patrick Neithard, February 13th 2016
Internet has it, it all is just a matter of time, to spread, to go viral, and sometimes, consequently to go real. Ages ago, Lily Allen got discovered on MySpace. Today, musicians boost the numbers of reached audiences by placing even most expensively produced video clips on youtube or vimeo. And that possibility of success now seems to be at a grasp for Molly Ann Wymer. In Stand Up comedy that is. After a first live Stand Up last week. It started in June 2014, when one of her first short clips “Dramamine” went viral on youtube and facebook. It is a hilarious response to the internet community who, not seldom, overshares life events. To the detriment of their own privacy. Filmed, as a selfie in motion, it`s a “message to all her friends” (and boy is she busy, 15`000 youtube subscribers) who may or may not be gathering with her on the porch. “Alright, friends.” She takes a breath, “Y`all know I pride myself in keepin`it real” she drawls in rednecky fashion. “I meaaan, really real with y`all. Aaand, I have to admit, that, I, from time to time, in my life have caused some drama. No one knows that better than my best friend” she eyes slightly bashful into the camera, to then gaze away as if looking back into the past “And this girl… brought me something that has changed my life. Now, I know y`all say, `there`s no such thing as a magic pill`, …there`s not a pill that can fix anything…”, a pause, pregnant with imminent meaningfulness.. “Y`all, they are wrong” her eyes now glaring, while her hand cranes in a pack of the real-life motion sickness drug: “I have discovered…Dramamine”, she stuntly confesses, dribbling it off context “I mean, I feel my drama comin`on, I take this little pill, and my drama is contained”. Her switch from telesales mommy to private tea hour chat attitude happens within a millisecond. “ It`s all mine! It stays right here“ her hand frame-circles herself. A little pause, she is stretching it a little for the cheaper seats in the back, ”I don`t share it anymore on facebook. When I feel it comin`on, I pop one of these little babies.” “Y`all see that?” cranes the package closer to the lens “ It treats symptoms on!the!spot! If your drama happens on a boat, a plane, or in a car, it`s ookaaaay. Just make sure you have your Dramamine. Keep that stuff contained. Nobody wants your drama. I don`t want your drama. Your friends don`t want your drama. But you know what`s great?” she nods encouragingly “ Keep it on you at all times, because, you people that have drama, they need to know, just stop spreading the drama. “ she shoots warmly, “Now, you just pop this lil`piiill, you gon` feel real relaxed. The drama`s just gonna: shhhhh” (her hand boils down the whole thing) “it just kinda settles down real fast.“ she grasps the effect. “You might get a little sleepy.” she purrs with that lax attitude of a patient mother, “Take a little power nap. We all need more sleep, aaah mean our nation is sleep deprived. So just keepin`it real y`all. Peace!”
Born in South Carolina, the 38 year old, whose age in her impersonations ranges from 25 to no-one-knows -just-yet, might become a stand up comedian soon everyone will know. Last week she tweeted: “Well, I finally did it. My first LIVE stand up performance. The audience was amazing…they gave me standing ovation. I`m happy <3”
It`s no surprise she`s present on social media like facebook, twitter and instagram. (She also sells a DVD as of last September). Yet her virtual omnipresence is responsible. She is, with 38, not a digital native. And yet, as a Mother of five, she`s experienced in being sensible. And, according to a people.com exclusive interview, she was not blessed with a sugarcoated upbringing. As the people.com interview displays, her grandfather has abused her. Not enough, according to Molly Ann Wymer, he forced her to keep silent. Brilliant and strong people move on, and learn to overcome walks through darkest valleys. And, to sensitize others, in going along with the crowd for a bit, they then just build hilarious parodies out of “real” characters, “real” opinions or “real” attitudes which seem to be leaning out the window just a tad or way too far. That`s one way to deal with shirked responsibilities.
“Yeah, I`m that Dramamine girl and the gun girl and the Butt ER girl, all me. Mother of 5, artist, accidental comedian, model, actress, singer, exhausted… lol” she introduces herself on her Twitter account. With 15`500 subscribers on her youtube channel as of today, “MollyAnnWymer” has now over 60 clips portraying today`s diversity and controversy in pop culture.
Patience of an Angel or Transforming Cultural Gazes by “backslashes”
Nothing in her brief videoworks ends as it started. That`s why already in late June 2014, the Examiner.com gave her 01:57- minutes-clip a most affectionate nod writing “Molly Ann Wymer rocks the internet with an innocuous video on her Facebook page”, saying that her charme was the one of a Dolly Parton. Hilarious as is, if you have watched 1989`s “Steel Magnolias” directed by Herbert Ross, with these memorable six keenly gifted performances by Dolly Parton, Olympia Dukakis, Sally Field, Daryl Hannah and Shirley Mac Laine, and a to that date unknown Julia Roberts, you get a grasp at how sexist stereotypes ( that`s when men ask, “oh, is that movie a chick flick?”) can be exploited by talentend women in order to push boundaries. Gently. However, you might want to dig deeper into history –and step right back into the present while watching Molly Ann Wymer`s “Gold Digger/ Trophy Wife”, where she simply transforms the shadiest facebook comment (on her work, of course) by a “young”, err, dude into an Icon, saying, one might see such types of the female “on the netflix”, impersonated by Marilyn Monroe, in the 1953 Jean Negulesco`s “How To Marry a Millionaire”. Wymer`s mixing of marilynish fragility versus the thriving yet controlled obtrusiveness of Monroe`s back in that movie co-star Jane Russel had me chuckling like a guinea pig. Let alone pressing the rewind in quite a few other clips. In feminist realms though, calling one a dumb blonde is “the backlash” . It`s about women`s fights for equal rights which are oppressed by men. So think wage equality when watching “Gold Digger/Trophy Wife”. Everything in Wmyer`s world has two sides at least, and so often her work titles consist of a slash. This, let`s call it backslash concept, which is spinning off of one naive topic, to pivot into something else.. well that just throws the lured viewer down into the rabbithole of his own hilarity of sociably agreed, learnt, yet not naturally formed opinion. (Think male peer pressure in locker rooms instead).
As softening an effect that had on me, (I tell y`all, wasn`t that bad being soft) her stunt “O`bamma” transforms that hip hop/ popcultural-overused and in-yer-face-word Bum, (oh bummer that is) when reanimated dinosaurs come to life and meet the whole ancestry of the political Bush family. Whipped into a frenzy. It`s like a train of thought, or rather, a chain of names dropped by a highly artifical dumb blonde being all smartypants and hearsay, all the while declaring “Hilarity with her son Bill” as something, ironically, rather bygoneby “O`bamma”. ( Oh Mamma?) It had me for its sketchy mickey-mousey voiced “autocorrect from above” where a real world off-voice, …well you get the idea. AutoCorrects, that babbling Miss Smartypants, that`s right. That may even be a bit Hitchcock-y, given that that director has had his wage of love for the blondes. It couldn`t be closer to a female life experience. Where there are hard metaphorical hits against women in careers, and visusally transported images of the female, “directed by (put in any male name)”. That`s how glass ceilings are shaped, as in “dumbe blonde”. There has to be some way to “get it out of the system”. And who would have thought that she can turn that whole thing into a self-ironic Watergate. But only that clip. Harr! Double harr.
Taking it from experience
By now you know too well that this dumb blonde is just an act. If you need to test it. Have a go with “No More Martwallians/ Hallelujah”. You will get your own brainiac-misled act altered. This time, it`s that sweetness and naiveté. Luring! Filmed in the bathroom, the (real life -) Preacher`s Daughter transforms into a real time Get-a-grasp-of Real, while applying a “Poor Cleansing Mask”. You do know these youtube channels where nifty mid-twens, often Emo`s in style, as self-announced testers, well, test gadgets and cosmetics “real time”. There you have it. Now throw in a “throwing hands to yer own personal sky” gesture, pinpointing the unnerve of the past five years in at least national, if not global villagey consciousness ( she pays respect to her succes to the internet). It`s where a puritanic Hallelujah, locally, is a desperate gush to the heavens. If portayed in the perspective of a camera filming (snapshotty) a hungry begging cat/dog/armadillo, you know where you get your brain teased from. Such ingredients make for an extremely touching tearjerk. And while aggressively applying that mask, it affords her to verbally criticize the aimless, aka homeless, not only does it feel like that archetypical imprint of a woman all men have from way back when momma talked to them in the bath room while cleansing off her make up.” You gotta go to the roots to get rid of the grass, right?” Disarming, or, right, unmasking. It seems as if that darn mask just rubs off all dat diiirty stuff. Everybody knows that she points to the many existing abandoned Wal Marts, former consumerist temples once harbouring “dumb blondes walking by while them dudes tossed their stereotypes at them”. Recently, some of these abandoned palaces of goodies function as shelters for homeless. Yes. There are societies, or communities who live in great poverty in the aftermath of “The Crisis”, while other communities, such as social media communities, aka trolls, create their own green Martian inhabitants and weirdo ghosts in order to shoot them off from behind their keyboads. For who knows why or what. And if there isn`t enough creativity or constructive imagination, then a dumb blonde as a victim is found easy. Right?
Helpful Stereotypes, still
The load we all carry, be it after nasty breakups as in “Ex Relax” or by personified and reenacted drama (which by the way can cause damages to a healthy brain as it creates a habit, simply said, quoting popular psychology this time) what is the most striking is Molly Ann Wymer`s real time-concoction of perception. That`s right. Male gazes are everywhere. They are in fact that billowing invisible cloud lurking over a table set with pot pie, (it`s the look one throws saying”dinner finally ready, woman?” in real life) they run down certain curves (massively educated, or should we say directed, by the film industry) and they backstab women as it`s that day again as Molly Ann Wymer points out in that other clip “A Fields Guide to Hormonal Women”. That perhaps doesn`t get her lots of female attention. But you all know that in order to keep it real, you have got to at least think and discuss! In the end, somewhere down the road equality would be the goal. Perhaps one day we should find new words. Maybe in a next century we should throw away “The Male Gaze” as a term, make it obsolete. And we should right now pulverise “The Glass Ceiling” in order to have all souls on earth breathe in equality. Ah well. So here we are, in this second decade of the millennium, and we are lulled, lulled and lulled into and by and through stereotypes.
However, if you can see them through the eyes of Molly Ann Wymer, you may see the internet-born phenomenon (“the community of haters”, a commmunity that seems to be on the rise and may be consisting of those digital natives at large) might find into healing. After all, isnt`t finding humour in a place which once upon a time was created by the military, and then thrown as an innovation (for example, but let`s not be too complex here) to the people, the most soothing? Perhaps one last word: When in that space, choose the right one you want to bump in. And then stay. Stick with it. And then “bake sex cakes” like this wonderful artist suggests in “Sexual Diabeetes Intervention”. Change, or better yet, switch roles, see the other side, and listen. With your heart. It`s common knowledge that human brains discriminate. They`re just not as developed as stereotypes might make you think. (Or prove). Anyone can grow beyond hate. And that growth isn`t about large and broad, growth is also about rooting deeper than the daily selfie. The needy status update. The nifty passive aggression. To keep it real, try simply honest. Simply. For real.
“mollyannwymer” on youtube, facebook, instagram and twitter
People exclusive on September 25th 2015
Examiner, End of June 2014
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