On Being the Glamorous Blonde Villain from All Those Nineties Kids’ Movies

“Aren’t I a human being? Don’t I yearn, and ache, and shop? Don’t I deserve love? And jewelry?” —Debbie Jellinsky, Addams Family Values

 “Being young and beautiful isn’t a crime, you know.” —Meredith Blake, The Parent Trap


I’m here to marry your father
or whoever’s most convenient,
to take your inheritance, your fortune,

your home, your family, your life—
and I don’t care what you get. I don’t
want to meet your twin. Your little

boyfriend. Your ghost or your boyfriend’s
ghost or your ghost’s boyfriend or
whatever. I dress exclusively in all black

or all white. Color is for suckers,
except for sometimes pink (the paler
the better), or red lipstick,

which I wear to indicate that,
metaphorically or maybe not,
I’m a bloodsucker. I’m high

class: I wear pearls to let
you know how suited I am
for a wealthy lifestyle even though

I grew up modestly in the Midwest
(“modestly” means something different
to me than you). Anna Nicole—white

trash—was an amateur. But
anyway, we’re all having fun here,
except for me. Fun is one

of my major pet peeves,
along with animals and questions
about my backstory. You know

what’s fun for me? Money. Murder.
Murdering for money. Stepping
on valuable items with my high

heels. Smirking when your father
turns his back. Sending children
off to European boarding school.

Clacking my lacquered nails against
hard surfaces. Dyeing my hair. Dying
with panache, or otherwise getting

KO’d. It’s what I’m built for. Gaslight, gatekeep,
girlboss, et cetera. I sparkle and gleam. All
my diamonds are blood diamonds but

I stay clean. I want what’s rightfully
mine, a matter defined by how much
I want it. I consume

and consume and
never gain an inch. Eating
is for the weak. So is crying,

unless it’s useful—mascara
trailing down my face
like so much leaking filthy

soul. If anyone ever tried explaining
compulsory heterosexuality to me,
I would plug my ears and scream.

The only reason I want
to get married is—well, you get it. I’m
Black Widow Barbie,

high femme nightmare,
wet dream revenge plot
of the downtrodden.

I intrude and interlope,
provide a common
enemy, threaten as I must

the family unit. I’m as real
and as fake and as bad
as you need me to be.

Come on. Is it a crime
to be beautiful? To be
young? To age? To want more

for myself? To want less for
you? To care for some-
thing, and not to care

who has to die for me
to have it? Don’t I bleed?
Don’t you?

Ah, Yeah Beautiful Girls

He dreamt I was bodybuilder Kay Baxter. A bikinied beauty, yes, but not the figure I would have wanted to represent me at age 10, especially as the new girl in school, Black and visibly other.