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Princess, Save Thyself

Ladies, you might not have realized it back when you were toddling around in cartoon-character underwear, but fairy tales were originally written to scare you. They were warnings and cautionary tales, and unfortunately, most of them still carried with them the fears and prejudices of an earlier age. Think about it — who’s the heroine? Snow White — pure as the driven snow. Cinderella — obedient doormat. Sleeping Beauty — she’s not even conscious! All beautiful, young virgins passively waiting for a man to come rescue them. And the villains? Evil queens. Evil stepmothers. Wicked witches. Even evil, stepmother, witch-queen hybrids. They’re old and they’re powerful, so they must be evil. Lisa Rockford has turned such cliché symbolism on its head with her exhibition “She Monsters: A Sideshow.” On display in the Project Room at the Art & Culture Center of Hollywood from Saturday through June 5, “She Monsters” makes a mockery of “notions of glamour, virtue, innocence, and gender.” A venom-spewing dilophosaurus has a beautiful Barbie-esque head complete with a blond page-girl flip. What looks like a tarted-up Betsy Wetsy stands atop a pile of bones flexing muscles He-Man would be jealous of. Femininity, girlhood games, and princess power are turned inside out and on their heads and maybe made a bit more empowering in the process. It's $4 to $7 during normal exhibit hours at the Art & Culture Center of Hollywood (1650 Harrison St., Hollywood). Visit artandculturecenter.org, or call 954-921-3274.
Fri., April 29, 6 p.m.; Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: April 29. Continues through June 5, 2011
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Rebecca McBane is the arts and culture/food editor for New Times Broward-Palm Beach. She began her journalism career at the Sun Sentinel's community newspaper offshoot, Forum Publishing Group, where she worked as the editorial assistant and wrote monthly features as well as the weekly library and literature column, "Shelf Life." After a brief stint bumming around London's East End (for no conceivable reason, according to her poor mother), she returned to real life and South Florida to start at New Times as the editorial assistant in 2009. A native Floridian, Rebecca avoids the sun and beach at all costs and can most often be found in a well-air-conditioned space with the glow of a laptop on her face.
Contact: Rebecca McBane

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