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"Amanda Cooper, Always Beautiful" or "Happy Birthday Amanda!", 2020

Shori Sims

Carnegie Mellon University


“Amanda Cooper; Always Beautiful (ACAB)” is a performance for a video that I commissioned in the Summer of 2020 through Cameo. Through this service, I enlisted three country starlets to create a 13th birthday greeting for a girl named Amanda Cooper. “Nothing would mean more to her,” I explained “...than a personalized message from her TikTok idols: a rainbow-colored rice toss spelling out ACAB (an acronym standing for “Amanda Cooper; Always Beautiful” and “small family in-joke”). 

Amanda Cooper is a fictional character named specifically to fit into the acronym “ACAB” or “All Cops are Bastards”.

I have and will continue to refrain from revealing the identities of the women in the video. Here, they are a symbol, with all three working together as one. The odd location in which they chose to film sets them in a world apart: the world of an idealized, Norman Rockwell-esque America. In their America, there is no police brutality: no “riots” breaking out in the streets. In their world, rather than a rallying cry for BLM, “ACAB” is a cute acronym used between mother and daughter. In their America, Amanda Cooper is a girl who exists—a girl who idolizes them.

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