Doing things out of character is usually funny—Christopher Walken reciting Honey Boo Boo. Betty White swearing. Barbara Walters doing The Dougie. It’s cute when people do things uncharacteristic of their persona. Except in the case of preppy little girls acting—how shall I put this…urban.
The gangsta grunt? The flailing arms in the air? It’s not funny, it’s just obnoxious.*
Case in point: Taylor Swift at Wednesday night’s Grammy nomination concert. Alongside LL Cool J, Swift did her best beatboxing. “Unh,” she started. And I cringed. The beatboxing itself wasn’t as obnoxious as I thought it’d be, but once she started throwing her hands up like Tupac in 1995, I just looked away.
I’m not sure why the world thinks pretty, preppy girls acting gangsta is cute, but I can’t be the only one who disagrees. In fact, when I saw Taylor’s beatboxing attempt, I assumed, because people are morons, that they would eat this shit up. But, surprisingly, I was wrong! I took to Google to see what the general reactions were. Headlines included, “Taylor Swift Beatboxed And It Was Uncomfortable,” and “Taylor Swift Beatboxing Is As Bad As You Would Imagine.”
Now, I don’t have a loathing for Taylor Swift like some people seem to. Generally, I’m pretty indifferent to her and her music. I’m sure it’s fine if you’re into that sort of thing. The point is, I don’t typically find her annoying. It’s not Taylor Swift. It’s this god-awful trend of cute little girls trying to act hard. And don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying White girls shouldn’t rap. If you’ve got something to rap about, and you’re being genuine, and you happen to be a pretty, skinny little White girl, go right ahead and take on the rap industry with fervor.
But that’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about Facebook photos with gang signs. I’m talking about sorority girls saying, “yo, whaddup biatchez?!” in their high-pitched, singsong voices. I’m talking about Kreayshawn’s existence. I can’t quite put my finger on why this phenomenon is obnoxious.
At first I thought it was because it goes against everything “thug life” is all about. But, then again, so is Weird Al singing “White and Nerdy,” and for some reason, I find that less obnoxious and more completely fucking hilarious.
So, obviously, the reason it’s annoying has nothing to do with the mockery.
Overall, I’m not quite sure why it’s irritating. It just is.
*There is one exception, and that’s Natalie Portman’s bald-headed rap on Saturday Night Live. Natalie Portman, although about as square as Taylor Swift, somehow pulls it off. I can’t explain it. It just works.