Alice is one tough chick. Not only does she give a big “F-U” to the polite, aristocratic system she’s grown up in (think Tim Burton’s rendition), she falls down a looooong tunnel into some seriously messed up world where she ends up butting heads with this evil Red Queen who is pretty damn terrifying when she screams, “OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!” Then she survives the strange Wonderland without even wrinkling that cute little dress of hers or messing up her wavy blonde locks. Who wouldn’t want to be her? She’s kind of fab.
But when Lewis Carroll wrote Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in 1865, he couldn’t have anticipated just how much the real world would morph into it’s own Wonderland. Technology, pop culture, fashion–pretty much everything has changed since Carroll created little Alice. So it’s probably time for an upgrade, dontcha think?
There have been a few revamps of one of literature’s favorite curious kittens, including: Mia Wasikowska (Burton’s Alice), Caterina Scorsone (SyFy Channel’s Alice), Tina Majorino aka that girl from Napoleon Dynamite (NBC’s made-for-TV Alice) and of course Disney’s 1951 animated adaptation. While Wasikowska is the most recent–and Scorsone is probably the most modern adaptation–there hasn’t really been a perfect update yet.
Alice would probably be extremely hip, let’s be real. She’d wear her cute lacy white dress with trademark sky blue cardigan and a bow in her hair. She’d attend some all-girls prep school with a love of poetry, singing and–naturally for all good girls–ponies. But more than anything, Alice would love to read. She would attend dinner parties at her parents’ mansion and dance with only the brightest boys at her school’s formals. On the weekends, she’d spend her time exploring–picking flowers and playing with the animals. She could name the species; Alice would be very, very bright. With a shining future ahead of her, she would pursue her studies with ease and make friends wherever she went. She was a tad shy, but nothing that kept her from enjoying herself.
Yawn. Yeah, Alice has usually been portrayed as a “goody-goody,” but that’s not nearly as much fun as an Alice with a deeper, darker side. Especially in this day and age. Alice would be a bit wild, sneaking out of her prep school to attend parties uptown in the city and the ones thrown by the all-boys school across the lake. She’d partake in the drinking and experiment with whatever substances her friends were taking in the bathroom stalls. One night she’d even get a piercing (but of course she’d have to take it out once the night was over and she had to resume her usual good-girl routine).
This Alice was the one that defied rules, didn’t stick to just writing and drawing. She danced and laughed and cried and screamed from the windows of cars and drank until she couldn’t see straight. This Alice skipped arm-in-arm with her friends down the street, shouting the lyrics to terrible pop songs while smoking a cigarette. She spent money she didn’t have on lingerie she would rock as a dress next weekend and broke into an abandoned factory to throw bricks at the windows. This Alice wore leather, spiked pumps, ripped tights and smeared mascara. Her hair would be a tangled mess, and her lipstick a few shades too dark for her complexion. This Alice was a true free spirit.
We’re all mad here.
She has fallen down the rabbit hole and isn’t interested in coming back from Wonderland because this Wonderland is fun, carefree and wild. In this world, she doesn’t feel the pressure, only the drinks and the music and the bright city lights.
And in her free time she still wanders around outside, exploring the nooks and crannies of the city that’s so different from the woods behind her school and her parents’ place.
It’s exciting and an escape from the droll of every day life. But that’s why Alice fell down that rabbit hole–she was looking for a place in which to run away. That’s what we’re all looking for. But at the end of the day, you can’t escape–but you can laugh and sing and dance and live in whatever rabbit hole you find, in whatever adventure you find yourself in.
And that’s why we all want to be Alice sometimes. Or at least I do.