Life Lessons From ‘Showgirls’

by robinhardwick


Showgirls is unequivocally a terrible movie: a horrible mess of glitter, Las Vegas Strip cliches, cringe-worthy acting, flamboyant choreography, the unsexiest-sex scene ever recorded on film, and cringe-worthy one-liners from Gina Gershon as the femme fatal, Crystal Conners. Berkeley only proved that she could apply makeup by the bucketful, thrust her pelvis aerobically, and good at disrobing. Time passed. Another decade passed and the 90s became “vintage.” Midnight showings, special dvd editions (free pasties included!) and frequent showings on basic cable (with badly CGI-ied brassieres) have made it the cult classic it is today, and considered one of the “best” worst movies ever.

At its core, Showgirls is a classic story. Small-town girl has big dreams, they come true, but fame and fortune turns out to be not all it’s promised to be. As with a classic story, there are some well-known life lessons to be learned from Nomi Malone and her adventures in the Las Vegas Showgirl scene:

1. If It Seems to good to be true, it probably is. Nomi wouldn’t want you to become too cynical, but you shouldn’t be so naive. Always the trusting soul, she gladly accepts the chance to dance at a boat show for a thousand bucks to represent “Goddess.” A thousand-smacker-oos! She could get a whole other Ver-sayse dress! Too bad she was also expected to sleep with the client, or as he puts it “hear Cesar sing.” Silly Nomi! You should have known that something that fantastic comes with a prince. Don’t go into anything too naive.

2. Cheaters never win: Superstar Crystal clawed her way to the top- and may have hurt others in the process- physically. Nomi wants to be on top, so after she becomes Crystal’s understudy, she pushes Crystal down the catwalk stairs, breaking her leg. Karma’s a bitch, darlin’! Sure, she gets the fame she wants, but what of her integrity? Has Nomi lost herself in the spotlight? Nomi’s understudy is already hatching a scheme to get her out of the picture! Is this who Nomi really wants to be?

3. Don’t give someone your body unless you have their heart. Ladies, It’s okay for a girl to have her fun, but ultimately you shouldn’t give it up until you are ready.  After a sexy dance rehearsal with her friend James, she resists his advances with the pronouncement  “If you want to have intimate relations with me, you have to have show me that you truly are in love with me.” Well, she didn’t say it in those words exactly, but you get my drift. Then again, she was on her period, so it wouldn’t have happened anyway. Then again, ignore this advice if the guy is in charge of the show you want to dance in, has a sweet house with sculptures and a waterfall.

4. Don’t dip your pen in company ink. Seamstess/bff/trailer roomie Molly warns Nomi not to get involved with Zack, the producer of the show. So what does Nomi do? Have uncomfortable, jack-hammer sex in Zack’s pool after one drive in his car. The next morning, he offers Nomi the opportunity to audition for Crystal’s understudy. Would he have asked her if she hadn’t slept with him? She’ll never know if it was for her dancing talent or for her…other talents. Plus, the others think she’s just getting special treatment. It’s just a big mess that could have been avoided if Nomi had some boundaries in her workplace.

4. Women are always selling something, and someone’s always buying. Crystal Connors shares her  critique on the current state of the patriarchy with Nomi over a classy lunch of tortilla chips and champagne. Even though Nomi is now a “real dancer” at the classy and dignified “Goddess” show, she’s still just a selling that the audience is buying. It’s no different than the Cheetah, where a hundred dollars can by you a lap dance. Crystal further proves her point by seducing Nomi in less than five minutes.. Oh, Nomi! Always made the fool. Ladies, are we all selling ourselves? Is the world one big Cheetah?

5. The best way to stay slim is to eat only brown rice and vegetables. The staff at the Stardust swear by it, so it must be true. Although Crystal Conners also suggests adding doggie chow for some variety. Nomi also suggests a steady diet of wolfing down hamburgers. On the hood of your car,preferably.

6. Appearing nude in Joe Esterhaus film is career suicide. Unless you’re Sharon Stone. Otherwise, stay far away. Well, that’s just common sense.