Say something NICE.

I have recently become completely a little bit obsessed with Missy, the Doctor’s utterly mad and villainous-yet-charming nemesis from seasons Eight and Nine of Doctor Who. Played by British actor Michelle Gomez, Missy takes many of the worst “feminine” tropes in television and completely subverts them.

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“Say something nice” // Mixed-media fabric collage by Julie Coombes, c. 2106

Her infamous catchphrase–which she uses right before she kills someone–is, “Say something nice”.  The phrase completely undermines the misogynist directives so many women hear throughout our lives: we are told to smile, to be nice, and that to do these things is our obligation as females. Missy owns all of that and turns it into a terrifying weapon (thanks both to Michelle’s performance and Stephen Moffat’s writing).

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Millinery and beading detail, “Say something nice” // Mixed-media fabric collage by Julie Coombes, c. 2106

Like Kali and Athena, Missy is a warrior-goddess and a total badass. I made this mixed-media fabric collage in her honor. The details and embellishments evoke the various elements of her costume (including the cameo, which is an exact replica of the on-screen original).

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Antique buttons and gel-transfer cameo detail of “Say something nice” // Mixed-media fabric collage by Julie Coombes c. 2106

The pair of vintage silver buttons in the lower right corner remind me of her selfie-phone-of-death.

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Embellishment detail of “Say something nice” // Mixed=media fabric collage by Julie Coombes, c. 2016

This piece is also dedicated to Michelle Gomez; she is a total badass in her own right. Her agent calls her “The Cockroach” because no matter how many times she gets squashed (British media is not much better than Hollywood towards women over 30), she keeps coming back. Any woman who at the age of 50 can portray an instantly internationally-beloved character with her own action figure is a hero in my eyes.

Go team cockroach!



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