I work as a customer service representative for ideeli.com. Ideeli is an online store for women’s clothing. Below is an email I received today:
"I am a 38 year old white male your product line does not interest me but I thought you should know that when you ad comes up on the side of my screne it looks like the girl has one leg and that is a bit disturbing at a quick slice. This is putting a negative association with your name. good day."
This is how I responded
Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with us. As much as we appreciate your concern with our ad we find it odd and a bit offensive that you consider limbless people “disturbing”. Why would it be wrong or disturbing to have a one legged model? How do you know that the model in question isn’t in fact legless?
Clearly you are not in the know when it comes to today’s fashion because one legged models are currently all of the rage. Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Christian Audigier, they all use one legged models. Some of them only have the left leg, some of them only have the right, it doesn’t matter, they are a hot commodity regardless.
I was actually a model at one point. I unfortunately had to fall back on my costumer service degree because I was having a hard time finding work. Guess why? I got both legs.
Has anyone heard the song “Saturn” by Stevie Wonder? Well let me just say that it is quite mellifluous. This is by no means surprising, the man has a fantastic catalog. I heard this song for the first time about a week ago and I was genuinely confused as to why this delightful little ditty had never been introduced to my ears. I asked a few other people if they had ever grooved along to “Saturn” and I got no’s across the board.
I would say around the third listen is when I finally came to the conclusion as to why this song has never been very popular. Stevie is embarrassed by it. He’s not embarrassed by the musical arrangements or the sweeping melodies, oh no. Steven is embarrassed because someone gave him some seriously incorrect information about the planet Saturn and the poor guy probably didn’t find out he was duped until after Songs In the Key of Life was released. Here is the lyrics to the chorus.
“Going back to Saturn where the rings all glow Rainbow, moonbeams and orange snow On Saturn People live to be two hundred and five Going back to saturn where the people smile Don’t need cars cause we’ve learn to fly On Saturn Just to live to us is our natural high”
This is my guess as to what happened. As a young blind youth, Stevie had to rely on others from time to time. It’s okay, nothing to be ashamed of. There is only so much a blind boy can do on his own. Whie in elementary school he needed to do a report on Saturn but there was a major road block… he couldn’t find any books about Saturn that were in braille! Argh! Sure, now there are probably like fifty seven books about Saturn in braille. And fuck braille, there’s audio books now! Anyway, so there’s poor old Steve unable to obtain any knowledge about Saturn. What is a blind African American boy to do? He goes and asks the teacher to pair him up with another boy, they do the project together, no sweat, great idea, bing bang boom. Right? Wrong! The teacher, as well intentioned as she may have been, pairs up Steve with the token asshole kid in class, the one that loves fucking with people because his home life sucks. Every elementary class has one. So Stevie and the asshole get together. They meet at Stevie’s house, eat some ants on a log and then get started on the project. But what does the asshole kid do? He purposely gives Stevie bullshit information about Saturn.
“Yea Stevie! It says here that Saturn has orange snow! Yea and people live til they are super fucking old! I know! We SHOULD move there!”
So it’s the day the report is due and guess who doesn’t show up to class? That little smelly jerk of a partner. Stevie has to present the report to the whole class by himself. He doesn’t sweat it though, he’s a natural performer, this is clearly not the dilemma. Steve gets up there and confidentially spews out all this mumbo jumbo about our solar system’s ringed planet. The moment Stevie starts in on the part about the people not needing cars because they have special flying powers the teacher knows exactly what went down. She hushes the other students as they giggle into their sleeves and she lets him do his thing. The report ends and the teacher lets Stevie think he did a great job. She gives him a big old round of applause, makes the other kids chime in, pats him on the back, the whole nine yards. She knew it technically wasn’t the right thing to do but she felt empathy for the poor blind kid. She didn’t want to break his spirit. What if she told him and then he became a insecure mess? No “Superstition”. No “Signed, Sealed, Delivered”. She couldn’t have that on her conscience.
This teacher may have given Stevie the false idea that Saturn was this H.R Puff n Stuff style dream world but she also ensured his place in music history. It’s all about the greater good, people, all about the greater good.
“Please don’t be cynical. I hate cynicism — it’s my least favorite quality and it doesn’t lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.” - Conan O’Brien