Popular Culture Review Vol. 28, No. 2, Summer 2017 - Page 106

everything.” Not only does Butters pinpoint Kim Kardashian as an example of a girl that corresponds to his lofty criteria, but he also opens his locker revealing photographs of desirable models. Attempting to illustrate that these often heavily distorted images of female eroticism are anything but faithful representations of reality, Wendy grumbles in disgust, “This is a fantasy, you moron. Have you ever heard of Photoshop?” Aware that her message is falling on deaf ears, Wendy loudly exclaims for all to hear, “Kim Kardashian is a short, overweight woman who manipulates her image and makes average girls feel horrible about themselves. In real life, Kim Kardashian has the body of a hobbit.” In addition to revealing the meaning of the title of the episode, this scene highlights the core message that Parker and Stone are trying to convey. Despite the evident humor intentionally designed to soften the tone of this satirical scene, the central theme of the episode should be taken seriously. Similar to all of the other boys at school, Butters thinks that this idealized version of female corporality must exist somewhere because he sees iconic celebrities on his screens and on the covers of magazines. Butters is too naïve to realize that even the women in his collection of images are phony because their actual bodies have been manipulated to such an extent by software programs like Photoshop. Butters strives to satisfy his sexual cravings in a symbolic world that has never existed anywhere outside of digital simulations. In this scene, Wendy denounces the dangers of hyper-real representations of female beauty. These distorted images destroy the self-confidence of real women who feel inadequate for being unable to compete with a fantasy. Moreover, these sexual utopias are not innocent given that these unrealistic standards sometimes have deadly consequences for young girls who suffer from eating disorders. When Wendy publicly voices her concerns, she is dismissed by the school counselor who informs her that “Nobody likes a girl who’s Jelly.” A television reporter who is covering Wendy’s efforts to implement a law which would require that Photoshop images be labeled as fake also accuses her of being jealous of girls who are more popular than her. Neither the children nor the adults of South Park understand Wendy’s true agenda. Wendy is judged harshly by those around her for her refusal to accept the validity of embellished images. Whereas everyone else is so immersed in hyper-real fiction that they have lost the ability to discern artifice from reality, Wendy is still anchored in the real. Hence, Wendy states the obvious fact that many men would not even think twice about Kim Kardashian if they were to encounter her 101