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...a sweatshop of moxie

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Dressing Ron and Nancy

(Welcome Ann Althouse readers! No amazing Amsterdam Notebooks here, just lots of knickers)

Ann Althouse recently posted a pic of a strange object lying on the pavement, which looked suspciously like a Hawaiian hula dancer...car air freshener. And so it was.

But my first guess was that it could've been Paper Doll Cut-Outs, which I had had played with as a child, taking special glee at cross-dressing Ken with Barbie's undies. I was a weird little thing. But fun!

Wouldn't you know it, though: the topic is rife with possibilities, as I discovered when I Amazoned it.

There are over 161 Paper Doll Cut-Out books available. Fascinating. Who knew there was such a cottage industry for the over-45 effeminate guy crowd.

The following are the finest example of undressed celebs and TV character cut-outs I, or indeed, anyone could find.


Marie Antoinette Paper Dolls

Are the Royals getting you down? Tired of their petty squabbles, two-timing ways, and general leeching off of the blood of the masses?

Well here's your chance for revenge, chérie!

You will have loads of fun dressing up Marie Antoinette, that poor misguided, pathetic, possibly lesbian soul, in her shepherdess costume, as you and she pretend the starving peasants around you are merely really convincing, Non-Union extras.

No wait, there's more.

Some Amazon buyer actually had the gall (De Gaulle?) to post a review! Sacré bleu culottes!

Firstly, the doll itself bears no resemblance to the extant portraits of Marie Antoinette. In fact, the doll and a gown(plate 4) look as if they were based on a portrait of Madame de Pompadour. Marie Antoinette would not have been amused!

Actually, I'm not amused either.

List Price: 6.95 (cake sold separately)


The Duke and Duchess of Windsor Paper Dolls In Full Colour (as opposed to drab black-and-white versions you get at the 99 cent store)

First of all, I have no quarrels with the costumery shown. The Duchess looks as sleek as ever in Molyneux or Mainbocher, and the Duke is perfectly bespoked in his Hawes & Curtis.

But I have a huge bone to pick about the dog. Pun very much intended.

It's a well-known historical fact that the Duke and Duchess of Windsor favoured PUGS, and that their last Sealyham terrier (here pictured) died on a skiing trip to St. Moritz in 1937. He was run over by the King of Spain. Tragic.

Now see, if they had hired me to do the research, this colossal oversight would never have happened.


List Price: 4.95 (barely)


I Love Lucy Paper Dolls

Scene 1, Act 1:

"Luuuucy, I hoooome!"
"Lucy! What amazing panties you are wearing!"
"Well come here and show me Big Ricky, you bad niño, you"

(cue credits, DAH-DAH-DAH-DAH, DAH! DAH!)

List Price: 10.36 (cringingly bad I Love Lucy Porno scene sold out)

Sarah Bernhardt Paper Doll

Dude. Sarah Bernhardt?

Not SANDRA, mind, but Sarah. What 128 year-old is going to buy this?

For those who weren't around in the naughty 90's (1890's, that is), La Belle Sarah is pictured in the roles which made her famous, (l-to-r) as Good Queen Bess, L'Aiglon, and if I'm not mistaken, the Empress Theodora.

Yes, that's right -- I'm the world's oldest blogger, what?

FWIW, List Price: 4.95


Presidents are big in this part of the world, as Monica Lewinsky can tell you. Or, erm, maybe not.

And here's the chance you've been waiting for to dress down President Clinton, and attempt to make Hillary actually look feminine for a change.

Yes, it's the Clinton Family Fun Hour! (Which is 59 minutes more than Bill and Hill actually spent together in the same room)

Check out Chelsea, though. She's got that surprised damsel look going on, like the first time a Secret Service agent asked to cop a feel.


Yeah, you, Pizza Face.

This is a cool book. There are 29 costumes for 4 dolls: The President, First Lady, Chelsea, and Mrs. Virginia Clinton, Bill's mother. A must-have for paper doll fans and collectors alike! :-)

Wow, they even threw in Virginia Kelly for free -- but then as a Vegas veteran, she knew a thing or two about throwing in your hand.

List Price: 5.95 (cigar sold separately)

If you need to please your inner Donklephant, here's the George W. Bush Family Version.

Dear God is Dubya wearing cowboy boots with his tux?? Good call.

But why does Laura Bush look like Ruth Buzzi?? They got those "twins" dead to rights though.

Jenna looking zonked from too much booze she got with her fake ID, and Barbara looking like a bad xerox of Sarah Michelle Geller.

Fun for the whole family, you can mix and match -- see George in a ballgown and Laura in a tux!

I'm not sure what is more disturbing. That someone else thought along those lines, or that it was a guy called Charles who bought the cut outs and said it.


In a similar vein, here's an Amazon reviewer of the genre:

Paper Dolls: A list by Rafael A Prieto, who has 6 nieces

Sure he does.

List Price: 5.95 (and if you act now, you get Laura with the Kung-Fu grip!)

Richard M. Nixon and Family Paper Dolls

O. M. G. Tricky Dick...and family, yet!

WHO buys these things??? Who draws them?? WHO WOULD BLOG ABOUT THEM!?

LIST PRICE: 5.95 (psychiatrict consulation, $125 p/h)

And finally, we come to this last Paper Dolly, saving as ever, the best for last.

First Family Paper Doll and Cut-Out Book

That's so wrong.

RIP Mr. Prez.

LIST PRICE: 3 bucks? Sheesh. Damn Liberals.

UPDATE: The Anchoress linked in the comments section to another site which might be of interest to all you, erm, me freaks. Yes, it's the Mother Anthony Marie Nun Habit Cut-Outs!

Sometimes, just sometimes, one is lost for words, you know?

...ooh, a Mother Cabrini Habit Sewing Kit on page 2. Niiice.

List Price: 11.95 (ruler to smack palm with for over-talking in class not included)


  • You messed up the Althouse link.

    Anyway, aren't these cutout books just fodder for costume designers? I should post about that sometime.

    By Blogger JSU, at Sat Aug 06, 03:10:00 am GMT-4  

  • You messed up the Althouse link.

    Thanks for the catch!

    Anyway, aren't these cutout books just fodder for costume designers?

    I would hope so. I'd like to think there's a more salubrious reason why the overwhelming amount of reviewers of this genre are males.

    Mind you, GI Joes were just glorified dollies, weren't they.

    I should post about that sometime.

    Brilliant. Do let me know, so I can comment.


    By Blogger vbspurs, at Sat Aug 06, 03:36:00 am GMT-4  

  • There are nun paper dolls, too. I'll try to find them for you - all the different habits!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Aug 06, 04:15:00 am GMT-4  

  • here


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Aug 06, 04:16:00 am GMT-4  

  • Wow, Anchoress, nun habit cut-outs!

    And why am I not surprised that you know of them?

    Actually, I'm surprised I don't know of them.

    I see that one of the Nun Cut-out books is sold out, and I hope they are re-stocking, because Christmas is around the corner!

    Actually, in a semi-serious vein, I have to admit something -- when I was a little kid, I used to play at "Nuns and Padres" -- sort of like Cowboys and Indians, but with more incense.

    (I was, naturally, the Nun, and mostly my cousin Gervaise was the Padre. We used my grandmother's heavy damask tablecloth and silver candlesticks for an altar. Good times)

    My father's family are Anglican, my mother's Roman Catholic, and though I am, of course, RC, I was raised in a C of E school...with nuns.

    Yes, a lot of people are unaware there are Anglican nuns.

    They were strict, but fair, so the crack about the rulers may have been true, but uncharitable.

    I like me some nuns!


    By Blogger vbspurs, at Sat Aug 06, 03:28:00 pm GMT-4  

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