Patricia Hearst Shaw--remember her? with the Symbionese Liberation Army? and the roles in the John Waters movies?--was in the spotlight once again this week, this time in the genteel environs of the 132nd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, where her champion French bulldog took home the Best of Opposite Sex prize.
But enough about Patty. Let's talk about the dog. Specifically, the dog's name. On paper she's "Shann's Legally Blonde." But she picks up her ears and smiles a doggy smile when you call her "Diva."
Then again, who doesn't? Once upon a time, the term (which means "goddess" in Italian) was applied highly selectively, and with all due respect, to opera megastars such as Maria Callas. These days, everyone with a pair of X chromosomes is a diva. We're so democratic! Divacratic, even.
Consider this selective sampling from the brand-o-sphere:
Diva Cup®--"not a tampon, not a pad"--is a reusable silicone "menstrual solution," and without being overly graphic, I'll just say it's the least diva-esque product imaginable. (Full disclosure: I have used a similar product, and ladies, it truly is the answer to your prayers. Go get one.)
Divabetic wants to "makeover [sic] your diabetes." The organization sponsors events that are "your gateway to finding answers, feeling inspired and learning new ways to live well with diabetes while enjoying an exciting mix of free beauty and fashion services." The name was one of those coup de foudre things that happen when divas walk among us: "While attending a tribute concert to Luther Vandross ... [organization co-founder] Max [Szadek] coined the word 'divabetic' after watching Ms. Patti LaBelle reveal in her own sassy way that she was living with diabetes." Sign me up, girlfriend!
DIVA is "Europe's only mainstream lesbian magazine."
Hotel Diva, in San Francisco's theater district, calls itself a "Sexy Boutique Hotel" (caps sic). According to the hotel's designer, "hotels are about ... sleeping in a new bed, great linens, using as much hot water as you want, room service, getting up late, and having sex in the middle of the day." Now that's direct marketing.
"The Diva" is Old Navy's name for its lowest-rise jeans.
Diva Furniture sells furniture in Los Angeles and Seattle.
Viva Diva, a clothing boutique not far from where I live, gets points for rhyming.
Diva Espresso, which has four Seattle locations, gets points for referring to itself as "she" ("Diva paid her growing-pains dues...").
Surf Diva offers surfing lessons in San Diego.
Autism Diva hasn't posted in a while. I hope everything's OK.
Still not quite sure about this diva thing? Take the Blogthings "Are You a Diva?" quiz (sample question: "Do you often cancel plans at whim?"). Then fine-tune the picture with the "What Decade Diva Are You?" test.
Finally, in honor of Patty Hearst and her champion canine companion: not one, not two, not three, but four "Diva Dog" brands on just the first page of a Google search: the Diva Dog collar collection, The Diva Dog "celebrity dog clothes," The Diva-Dog Bowtique, and Diva Dogs (UK).
P.S.: You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll roll around in something ripe when you see Diva Dog: Pit Bull on Wheels. From the plot synopsis:
The story of Coral, who was left permanently paralyzed by a hit-and-run driver. She touched and inspired people wherever she went, and now her legacy lives on as the official spokesdog for disabled animals everywhere.
Happy Valentine's Day, all you divas, human and otherwise. And smooches to you dudes, too.
Photo: Union Street clothing boutique, San Francisco.