Do mothers ever truly like the women their sons end up with? Not that I care, but in my experience, it’s part of their DNA. Within minutes of that first meeting, the ‘girlfriend’ is resigned to the mother hating her – because inherently she knows she would be exactly the same.
I’ll never forget the look on my university girlfriend’s face when my mother heard her artwork involved painting peppers. “Vaginas?” she asked. The redness was anger, not embarrassment.
Acclaimed Serbian painter Dragana Debaljakovic (see here) is painting them, vaginas not peppers, for her new exhibition to draw attention to how women are removing parts of their labia for cosmetic reasons. Given how few people will see them over a lifetime, and that probably includes half the men they have intercourse with, it sounds like a commendable cause.
However, I am less enthralled with Debaljakovic’s other exhibition, On Why the Danes Smile. Beyond its simplicity (‘Vaginas look like peppers’ would be a more original subject), I would hazard a guess that the practice of smiling at someone when you are not overjoyed is not an exclusive Danish trait. The Danes apparently have a “sour smile due to pent-up anger”. Which might be true, but would it be better if we all scowled at one another?
Living in central Copenhagen, I smile at strangers all the time – particularly at pedestrians who have just cut me up on the pavement, but then again, it’s amusing – like the thought of turning up to the Coin Fair (G8) with a briefcase under the alias of Lord Melbury (see G20 for details of The Hotel – a reality show compared to Fawlty Towers.)
Looking through InOut this week, there’s plenty to ‘smile’ about: from the ill-advised moustaches on display during Movember; to the mobs taking to the streets for Halloween (see cphpost.dk), Mexican Day of the Dead or to see The Woman in Black (review see here); the snobs falling in the water at the Hubertus Hunt; and the yobs who look like knobs wearing blue Santa hats on J-Dag (see here)
My mother would be chuckling along as well. But then again, she has got a vagina fixation.