Popular Culture Review Vol. 28, No. 2, Summer 2017 - Page 101

perspective. Clyde does not actually exhibit any affection whatsoever for Lisa. This enamored young boy is in love with a visual representation of Lisa which is merely a lie. Clyde is so disconnected from reality that the true Lisa is a complete stranger to him. After the initial euphoria of dating an icon fades, will Clyde grow tired of Lisa since an intangible image can never truly be possessed by anyone? Additionally, the acquisition of simulacra cannot fulfill basic human needs such a sense of belonging and a genuine connection to other people. Thus, no matter how many men that Lisa will be able to procure because of her hyper-real sexuality, it will be impossible for her to attain a true state of happiness or any lasting appreciation of her existence predicated upon these fake relationships. Both Clyde and Lisa have fallen prey to the trap of seeking happiness in signs. They have been consumed by the images that they impulsively devour on a quotidian basis without any scrutiny or hesitation. In essence, their plight highlights what Baudrillard identifies as a universal problem in the age of (mis- )information. In “The Hobbit,” the viewer begins to ponder just how virtual and inauthentic our lives have become. Although Clyde’s hyper-real paradise will probably decrystallize eventually despite his elusive efforts to live inside of a narcissistic narrative comprised of artificial signs, the viewer sympathizes with Lisa on a much deeper level. Lisa’s heartrending tale epitomizes the complete appropriation of femininity by simulations of what it means to be a woman. Due to the omnipresence of simulacra, Baudrillard asserts that women have become a pure fetish in consumer republics. For Baudrillard, a fetish is “an object that is positioned purely for its symbolic value” (Koch & Elmore 556). Since representations of female eroticism are quite lucrative for multinational corporations, the philosopher affirms that women are even more vulnerable to the catastrophic effects of hyper-reality than men. Women are constantly being targeted by titans of billion-dollar fashion industries who try to sell their cosmetic products by peddling seductive images of sexuality to female clients. As Baudrillard explains, “c’est la sexualité elle-même qui est donnée à consommer” ‘It’s sexuality itself that is given to be consumed’ (La Société de consommation 226). When Wendy is creating the tantalizing photograph of Lisa that spellbinds all of the young boys at her school, she is cognizant of this “code de la beauté” ‘code of beauty’ (La Société de consommation 195). She deliberately manipulates these signs in a misunderstood effort to encourage those around her to resist the hegemony of the code. Unfortunately, she fails to realize how engrained these simulacra are in 96