Ella: I'm in a play and I'm a fern and I hate it.
Me: Why do you hate it?
Ella: Because I'm the only girl fern... They're all boys... and goofy boys. Harumph!
Me: Why are the goofy?
Ella: We have to sing rock-n-roll and do air guitar and it's not my style.
I commenced to showing the kid videos of chicks that rock trying to sooth her.
We started with Tina doing Proud Mary, then Joan Jett, and then of course Le Tigre, Bikini Kill and Veruca Salt (ah the classics.) Still Ella seemed unsure. We watched my freinds daughter's band (below) and she liked it but nervously mentioned "that air guitar thing" again.
I realized the stupidity of air guitar and decided to find some people doing cool looking air guitar, or something close to it. So it turns out, the air guitar championship for 2012 had two women in the top three contenders. We watched the video. Ella loved the first lady.
Spoiler alert! At a minute forty five the lady smashes her air guitar on the stage. In the next clip she gets it out again and Ella said "Oh yeah right! Where did she get ANOTHER air guitar?!" and I couldn't stop giggling. Then she realized what she said and we were both laughing.
She concluded "So it's like miming but to music!" and I said "Exactly! It's mimming!" (she loves mimes.) I'm sure dude-bros all over this nation would just love to hear my eight year old say "I just loove mimes!" in response to their rockin' out to Rush in bars across the land.
When the second air guitar guy comes on, he's pretty good and Ella asks "Why do they keep jumping around on stage?" and I realize the key piece to this whole lesson is that my kid has NEVER seen a lead ax man go nutty on stage. She has never sat in front of MTV hoping to see Eddie Van Halen or Angus or Slash, she has no idea why anyone is even smashing an air guitar, and there's no context for wanting to twiddle your fingers near your crotch and to the left of your body while making crazy grunty faces. She has never experienced the worship of a guitarist.
Yes, we spent the next half an hour watching crazy solos while I explained "No that's not a woman that's a man dressed up like that because he thinks it's tough," and "Yes, the band IS named after him," "His body is shiny and sparkly because he's been sweating all night and jumping all over in velvet school boy short pants," and finally "You're right, the heavy metal look really never went away, it did just turn into Goth."
While Ella forgot her homework in her desk today, I feel fully satisfied with what she learned at home.
I leave you with this: