Thursday, July 2, 2009
The end of Otalia
Guiding Light, the world's longest-running tv soap opera, ends this coming Sept. 18. But for me, Guiding Light ended yesterday, July 1. This day also marks the end of Otalia for me--the very reason I was watching Guiding Light in the first place.
Until July 1, I thought Otalia, the fictional couple over at Guiding Light, best portrays on tv/internet the love between two women. Crystal Chappell plays Olivia, one half of Otalia; while Jessica Leccia plays Natalia, the other half of Otalia.
My partner and I can relate very much to the Otalia story, in particular to the point that love just doesn't happen in an instant but develops through time beginning with friendship, to the awkwardness, to the stalling in expressing this love physically.
The characters of Olivia and Natalia once portrayed strong women--women who withstood life's rotten and bliss on their own, without in any way depending on anybody or from any man for that matter.
I once admired Proctor and Gamble, the owner of Guiding Light, for being so brave in allowing the Otalia storyline to be played out on daytime tv. I even forgave the powers that be at Guiding Light for not allowing these two ladies kiss for real at least for now--hoping that before the show gets cancelled on Sept. 18, they be given equal couple treatment to kiss already!
I laughed many times at the way the camera hides via flower pots, coffee maker, gigantic bags for months the real-life pregnancy of Jessica, the actress playing Natalia. After months of hiding Jessica's real-life pregnancy, yesterday, the powers that be at Guiding Light turned the character of Natalia as being pregnant.
With this, I am turning my back from Guiding Light, from Otalia for good. And as a concrete manifestation of my disgust over this, I am boycotting all products of Proctor and Gamble.
Why the harsh reaction to the Natalia pregnancy story? While visibility of lesbians on tv is very important, the pregnant Natalia is a big blow in the face.
By making Natalia pregnant, the powers that be at Guiding Light desexualize lesbians--Natalia's character--now directing her libidinous urges into another direction. By making Natalia pregnant, Guiding Light joins the many shows which time and time again overused the pregnant lesbian, motherhood storyline.