An excellent sign of Kitsch is when names are bent and mutated to fit a purpose. This one’s a perfect blend – The ever-Italian Mouseketeer, Annette, with the perfect name (and flip hairdo) to add that guaranteed-to-be-cheesy ‘ette’ onto the end of something to assure its kitschified status.
Annette Funicello’s embroidered blouse may be as snappy as her fingers but nothing’s knocking me more out than her perfectly painted lips. About 20 years ago I was in a thrift shop. It was pouring rain, perfect conditions to hit the outside bargain area where they’ll practically give away things for free on a rainy day just to not have to deal it after. There was a canvas lying face down on the ground. There was no chance it was going to be good as even if something fabulous was painted on it it was surely now melted from soaking in the bathtub sized puddles. But lo and behold, when I turned it over I almost melted myself. It was a hand-painted portrait of Annette, nary a hair askew, colors as vibrant as the day her ever-present smile popped out of the womb. And even better, there was a cut out photo of her lips pasted next to her on the canvas and in large childlike scroll this autograph in lipstick: “To Tony, Lots of luck to you always! Love, Annette”.
This portrait deserves a lot more than a quick mention in a post about something else, even something as great as “Italiannette”. So I merely show it here as evidence that my story above is true as the autographed portrait is deserving of its own Kitsch O’ The Day exploration which will happen someday soon. I think I’m going to put on “Italianette” and enjoy looking at it even more right now.