Dear Dr. Mason,
Congratulations! This letter is to inform you that the Norma Bates Award for Excellence in Murder is being conferred upon Mary Mason’s Academy of Medical Arts.
Our committee is thoroughly impressed with your personal story of tenacity, resilience, and resourcefulness when faced with financial issues. Your story takes on the all-too-common reality of the difficulty university students across the country to afford formal schooling.
When it comes to employment in slasher flicks, sex work is the obvious choice for a good-looking woman in dire straits. Obvious enough that your scumbag of a professor and his surgeon friends considered your assumed profession reason enough to invited you to a party where you were victim of a heinous sexual assault.
Despite these hardships, you went on to start a successful business that caters to the body modification (colloquialized as “body mod”) community. By dropping out of medical school you showed that you refused to participate or be intimidated by an institution that fosters cold, ruthless, and predatory doctors. Rather than allow their abuse to be the sole agent driving your actions, it only compounded your already existing desire and significant skill set.
Your mission shows a commitment to subverting the oppressive patriarchy (symbolized by formal medical institutions) and assisting patients in expressing their true selves through body modification. We are truly pleased to bestow this award upon you for your work as an outstanding Final Girl.
President and Chief B-Movie Viewer
by Brett Ashleigh
Brett is a queer femme from Durham, NC. She examines the sonic characterizations of marginalized bodies in film. She knows every word to The Princess Bride, is a sucker for Center Stage and Bring it On, and considers director Todd Haynes her spiritual soulmate.
She holds an MFA in Sound Design and an MA in Cinema Studies from Savannah College of Art and Design, and is pursuing a PhD in Communications from Simon Fraser University.