"Wow. That looks intriguing..." I thought as I opened the link someone had thoughtfully sent me. An ugly necklace contest?
Anyone who knows me knows that I do competitions. It's a great way to spread my creative wings and allow my mind to wander down varied paths. My works have been featured in Bead and Button, Fire Mountain Gems, Art Doll Quarterly and in the upcoming "Best Jewelry Artists of America vol 2". But these works were carefully orchestrated to be visually pleasing. Could I really make something intentionally ugly?
But the timing was perfect. It was in the post-holiday funk when my business was slow and I had some spare time. Why not?
So, I mulled it over during my morning cup of coffee. In order to be ugly, it would have to have some kind of ugly component. Preferably repulsive. Then it hit me!
What is it about tampons that hit us so high on our heebie-jeebie meter? When you think about it, there is nothing so bland and benign as a small roll of cotton with a small piece of cotton twine.
It's certainly sterile and void of any outstanding characteristics. But the sight alone causes most women to shudder.
Just think about those commercials! That's why I adore the new Playtex commercial. The one with the yowling cat. The blue liquid... God forbid it should be a red (and therefore realistic) color! And how I hate that P&G phrase "Have a happy period". Honestly... the only woman happy to see her period is a woman who fears a pregnancy!
But it's those primal connections that cause us to advert our eyes should we see one laying on the floor. The fear of embarrassment and humiliation if we have to carry an "emergency back-up" to a restroom (the last time I did this, I tucked it into my bra to avoid it being seen!). And don't even ask my mortified reaction when my husband pointed out that my Chihuahua Stanley had enjoyed a "mom-flavored lollipop" in the corner of the bedroom.
With this in mind, I set out to make my menstrual monstrosity. I bought 2 boxes of cheap tampons (why use the good ones?) and raided my studio for anything ugly and/or offbeat.
A pink safety razor. A bullet casing. a plastic cockroach. Everything woven together in the most unattractive fashion. To seal the deal I found a plaster duckie and inscribed it with that despised "happy period" phrase and tied it off with a tiny hangman's noose.
Now, comes the really ugly part. Finding a model who could be blackmailed into wearing this thing. Someone who had an enormous amount of favors to return. Someone who could show the proper disgust needed when draped in purple tampons.
After an approach, with the proper amount of bribery and blackmail he agreed. The picture was taken. The initial judgement was rendered. Then, the notification: We are in the semi-finals and in the running for the Ugliest Necklace!
Voting starts June 1st!