The image that serves to identify The Burning Body on the Netflix menu is that of Úrsula Corberó in the role of Rosa Peral recreating the most iconic photo of the case, the one taken with Albert López at the famous seafood restaurant with other agents of the Urban Guard when his partner, Pedro Rodríguez, had already disappeared. In it, Peral looks at the camera and sticks out his tongue at her with more mischief than she is lascivious. In fact, Corberó's version is much more disturbing than the original. That photo was fundamental for the popular conviction of the agent. She served to cement her as someone who laughs at God and at her shadow, someone who takes her moisture to walk between her teeth.
In The Tapes of Rosa Peral, the documentary, also from Netflix, which performs the opposite function of the series, that of presenting the condemned woman as a victim of the system, a black widow unjustly covered in the media, that photo and that gesture are also important. The footage includes home videos, supposedly provided by Peral's family, in which she is seen making that same gesture almost every time a camera was placed in front of her, since she was a teenager, or perhaps since she was a child, as a kind of reflex action. Someone has even bothered to make a video montage of all those moments: Peral sticking out his tongue at a birthday party, in a car, at a wedding. It is assumed that behind the camera there is a father, a family member, sexual provocation is not assumed. Put like this, it almost seems like exculpatory evidence.
Women's languages are a problematic issue that moves in and out of pop culture. Sometimes there are those who see them even when they are not there. Is Sue Lyon sticking out her tongue in the original poster for Kubrick's Lolita? Not really, Lyon sucks the lollipop with his lips firmly closed, but I'm sure that in a survey, almost everyone would say yes, Lyon sucks that candy with his tongue sticking out.
In 2013, published opinion was so concerned about the ubiquitous tongue of Miley Cyrus, then transitioning from Disney princess to twerking-loving adult star, that The Atlantic magazine published a debate between two of its opinion members, for and against. One said it was a “satirical version of non-threatening female sexuality staged by her predecessors like Britney Spears” (something else). The other, that “this character she has adopted is some kind of gonzo idiot who can't even keep his tongue in his mouth.”
“Does a woman sticking her tongue out at you mean she's going to sleep with you?” asks more than one user on the Reddit forums, and also on Quora, where someone offers this definitive answer: women stick their tongues out to check how many pheromones there are masculine qualities in the air, so they can hunt and kill their lovers.
Since the Internet is the Internet, there are, of course, multiple corners for language fetishists, and almost 20 years ago, in 2005, language models were already paid about $500 for half a day of work taking photos a la Rosa Peral. or Miley Cyrus, according to an article in The New York Times that wondered why that gesture was so ubiquitous in advertising then. Women's bodies never behave the way they are expected to behave: some things come out when they should go in, others move too much. Like Goldilocks soup, they are never cold enough, nor hot enough. And the only thing that is certain is that, whatever they do, there will be someone watching them.