Friday, December 30, 2011

Here's to being a ridiculous human being.

This entry is dedicated to my dear friend Dennis Cooper and all my fellow dl's. Also note readers Dennis' blog is for real not work safe today.

In the comments the other day I mentioned that I am engaging in being a completely ridiculous human being,

First hello internet my name is Shannon and I am a human cartoon character.

I make strange noises, I lose my balance in strange ways yet remain upright. I drool when I laugh really hard, I flap my hands when I'm at all over excited or over tired. I randomly emit squawks and squeaks.

Now in order to support my ridiculousness I am particularly shameless about it.

As y'all have heard me say many times over.

I gives no fucks.

For instance today I am wearing very grown up black slacks, my burgundy knee high doc martens, a velvet hoody.

Then from the neck up I left the house with very shiny slightly glittery lipgloss, purple winged glitter eye liner and two buns on the top of my head.

I got a lot of what is called side eye. Those nasty looks people will shoot you when they do not get what you are doing with yourself.

I meet those eyes. I stare until they look at something else.


Because, my darlings. I do not give a fuck.

I haven't been sleeping well per usual and have been feeling my usual holiday angst. Glitter liner makes me happy. So today I wore glitter liner.

I will listen to Slayer on my headphones while I crochet a shawl on the bus.

I will read books with beautiful tattooed women on the covers  in public.(Note Ms. Sarah wrote that and is on the cover and she is in fact that beautiful for real)  And when stupid people think that is a cue to hit on me or otherwise engage me when I very clearly am not having it, I will not be nice.

I will wear things that make me happy, I will read things that bring me joy, I will present myself to the world in whatever manner I please.

If I want to I will stop dead in my tracks while walking in the store and do a little dance.

I save all my fucks and all my love for the things that matter to me.

I am not afraid to be ridiculous, love my ridiculousness and fly that flavor of freak flag for the world.

So, Dennis, my fellow dl's, my homies, my haters.

Don't be afraid to get stupid.

Do the Humpty Dance with one hand on your crotch and holding up the middle finger of the other.

Wear a tutu.

I am not talking about the fluffy kind of breezy let go type shit here.

I'm talking about looking at yourself, nodding and saying I do not give a fuck.

I'm not saying you have to go buck wild. I'm not saying you should walk into your corporate day job and start kicking cubicles over.

Sometimes yes, even if we don't give a fuck we still need to blend and get along.

I am talking about owning the actuality of not giving a single fuck.

Let it show in your eyes. Let it show in how you carry yourself.

If that means you are going to walk with your head up and booty out, if you are going to swish, stomp skip whatever.

You'd be amazed how effective simply having the knowledge that you don't give a fuck show up in your eyes can be.

I want everyone to have the experience and carry that little secret thing inside. If you have to work a job you hate, keep how much you don't give a fuck inside.

If you don't have that restriction don't give a fuck as loud and often as you can.

In the last few years, I've found the fucks I don't give have freed me to be more passionate about the things I do give a fuck about. I love harder. I write better. I write more. I have been more successful and yes, fuck it I will say it I am shedding fears like pin feathers.

This is my last entry for the year.

When I come back we are going to talk about separating your ideas and thoughts from what society tells you to think about ugliness, beauty etc.

I am also going to be putting out another small unedited collection of things for you to read.

In case you missed it you can buy a little ebook collection of unedited naked fiction and poetry by me on smashwords. All proceeds will be going most likely towards the petticoat I have been saving up for.

Get it here at smashwords. Four bucks y'all.

If you want to read this blog or my writing blog on kindle find links to get those here and here.

I hope you all have a wonderful and safe New Year. Yes even those of you who only come here to get ragey and don't like me. You too.

All my loves and kisses my darlings. See you on the flipside.

Homo Out.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

You sho is ugly.

The title is a reference to the Color Purple.

I want to talk more today about ugliness.

Specifically my context for talking about ugliness and my relationship to it.

I do not want to or need to reclaim the word.

What I have done is learn to take it in and accept ideas about being ugly.

I have taken in and accepted that am not, will not ever ever (barring a metric ton of plastic surgery) be beautiful in terms of Western Beauty standards.

As I mentioned in this entry, I just won't.

At one point in my life this broke my heart. I drank the I will never be pretty Koolaid.

Here is the plain fact. 99% of you reading this and 99% of the people you have ever met in your life will be beautiful in terms of Western Beauty ideals. I won't. A lot of you won't.

That is not good, it is not bad, it does not make any of you or me an awful person it is just a fact of actual life.

Not even the so called beautiful people fit those ideals.

Don't believe me?

Have you ever seen the ads or photos of a celebrity then seen a candid picture of them? Especially American actresses. In magazine spreads they are lush and dewy and beautiful. In actual life they are often extremely thin, pale, funny eyebrows splotchy etc just like every one of us.

This is where we need to make a few more things crystal clear.

As we walk around in daily life the concept of beauty is constantly being shoved at us as something to aspire to. We are supposed to want the perfectly flat stomachs, the perfectly even skin, the "It" haircut. We are supposed to look at ourselves and other people and find ourselves sorely lacking.

We are supposed to believe that if we are not "working" on it or outwardly striving to fit this one ideal of beauty we are somehow less than. We are weak, we have no will power, we are slovenly and somehow bad people.

We are supposed to buy into with our money and very souls that we are not "good" if we are not trying to be Thin White and Beautiful.

We watch over the years as beautiful celebrities of color somehow start looking more and more like heavily tanned White celebrities.

We watch over the years as these beautiful people evade age and change.

We are expected to want that.

Note I keep saying expected and supposed to. I say belief and not fact.

That is because what we are not supposed to do is understand that what is beautiful as a concept and as a reality is no one single thing.

That is why I have no need for reclamation when it comes to the idea of ugliness.

In our society we are expected to believe that beauty is not mutable. That there is standard beauty and then "exotic" beauty.

We are taught in America especially that beauty is not just an appearance but that it's everything. We're taught that beautiful people are healthy, wealthy, wise and wonderful.

We are taught that unless we are striving for this Unattainable White Beauty and heterosexual bliss (because if one is beautiful then one must be hterosexual and want to marry and produce beautiful children) we are doing it wrong.

A lot of people knowingly and unknowingly spew this horseshit on the regular.

Our friends and mother's give us friendly "tips" about how we should be trying to look. We can't escape hordes of trolls, facebook pages, and stupid jokes aimed at those of us who are not "hot".

For me when I realized that these things are a.) bullshit and b.) have little to do with how I actually go about my daily life I started the process of freeing myself from the widely proscribed ideals of beauty.

I began to understand that my ugliness, that my face- the face that I have wept over and been ashamed of. The face I thought that had too big of a nose and "too Black" features. The face that is scarred and pitted in places does not make me awful.

The face that I still on occasion have a hard time looking at without seeing the awfulness of it, is not my problem.

My problem is when I start to drink the Koolaid.

When I forget just how retouched every fucking picture of every fucking singer, actress and other beauty icon is.

When I forget that yes the appearance of perfection is interesting for a moment but then what?

Does a pretty picture of any celebrity make me like them more?


Stop drinking the Beauty/Ugly dichotomy Koolaid.

The fact is that while yes being that beautiful must be pretty awesome, it's not required.

You do not have to believe everything you hear.

You do not have to ascribe to the popular ideas about beauty.

You do not have to hate yourself because you are not a supermodel.

Think about it like this.

Let's say you see the most beautiful person ever, I'm talking about walked right out of a perfume ad style perfect and they shit on your foot.

Do you think that person is still awesome?

Or is their beauty just glitter on a turd?

I'm not saying that beautiful people are or aren't assholes. I'm saying that their beauty does not make them awesome or assholes just as anyone else's lack of that kind of beauty makes them an asshole.

You do not have to let the lack of beauty you perceive in yourself be the cause of you being an asshole.

This is an important point.

You can do all the things to make yourself appear to be the beautiful person you think you are supposed to be. Get plastic surgery, get a new nose, lighten your skin do all those things but if you were an asshole or insecure to begin with that won't fix it.

The only way that the Cult of Hotness idea can be put down or gotten over is to think.

What you can do is really take some time to think critically about your own attitudes about beauty and what beauty means. Does beauty imply goodness to you? Is that good for you? What or who do you find beautiful and why do you find them beautiful?

Seriously ask yourself why do you believe all this bullshit?

Do you really honestly, and let me pause here to say that this is fucking hard and you will hurt and cry, believe all the things the magazines and tee vee say?

That is where we start.

So let's do it together okay?

You have homework my darlings.

I want you to think about, process and take in the truth.

This is the truth. Neither you nor I will ever be Western Beauty Ideal beautiful.

Never. Ever.

Think about that and if you can make it, think about the honest truth about what impact that will or won't have on your life or has or hasn't had on your life.

And no, we're not talking woe is me I'm not married/partnered/having sex. We'll get to all that. I'm talking about has not being that kind of beautiful made you poor? Has it shit in your shoes? Etc.

Also, if y'all are into it I will continue these posts. Let me know.

Homo Out.


Monday, December 26, 2011

Montagne Jeunesse beauty review. Bonus talk about self love.

So as I've mentioned before I'm a member at Influenster and this month I got myself a pretty little box with goodies in it.

(Note- I did get the product for free to review by Influenster. This did not color my review at all)

One of those goodies actually made me squeal.

I recieved a little trial size packet of the Passion Peel off face mask.

I haven't tried that one before but I know this brand very very well.

Montagne Jeunesse face masks are among my go to I need to feel pretty but only have 4$ in my pocket products.

Find them at your local drug store and I really recommend stocking up when they are on sale. Doing a one off face mask is a really nice way to give yourself some self love.

Now this mask in particular is one of the ones that looks like gel, you spread it on your clean face then peel it off.

From the website:

Gently peel away dead skin with our amazing Passion Peel Off deep cleansing masque. Our Pomegranate and Passion Flower formula cleans, purifies and protects leaving your skin feeling fresh and radiant.

• Gluten Free
• Nut Derivative Free
• No Added Parabens

This product says it is good for normal and oily skin.

I would not suggest this if you are a fuzzy faced person. Some of us have downy furry faces and peel off masks will hurt if you are fuzzy. If you are fuzzy go for a mud mask.

This mask is soothing and cooling. Peel off masks are a summer favorite for me. It feels really good to put one on then sit near a fan.

This mask left my skin feeling nice and soft. No irritation (we all know I have sensitive cranky skin) and it came off very easily.

It's not my favorite mask though.

My personal all time favorite from this company are self heating. They warm up on your face and feel very luxurious.

I love the Sensuous Spice (despite how much I loathe the word sensuous) mask. It smells edible and that warming sensation is just, UNF it's wonderful.

The Red Hot Earth Sauna mask though is my girlfriend. This mask is just goodness.

Here's the thing.

One of the habits and ways of supporting myself and loving myself I have is caring for my skin. If you've read me for a while you know that when it comes to dings to my self esteem, my skin always does it.

Also self care can be expensive but it doesn't have to be. That is something I've only realized in the last few years.

A lot of the time I can skip something for a few days, collect up a few dollars and go buy something like a packet of a luxe face mask, then I spend quality time with myself. I show myself via my actions that I love myself.

That's really the point here. Like any other relationship your relationship with yourself takes time and effort.

I can't tell you how sometimes when I'm feeling awful and gross and ugly, ten minutes of close loving attention is so refreshing.

I think this is especially important when you're just starting to learn to love yourself or when you're having an especially hard time.

For you busy folks, parents and those of us working (whatever kind of work) I believe that those five or ten minutes whenever you can manage them are so restorative.

Also we all know I like feeling fancy.

Montagne Jeunesse is on my list of things that make me feel fancy.

If you can't find these locally try searching Amazon or via their official website. If you're broke try this.

Talk to 2-3 friends. Tell them you really want some of these masks but can't justify postage for them entirely. Ask them if they want some too. Order 10-15, agree on who gets them and ships them. Voila. Fanciness for everyone.

You don't have to have money to feel fancy. You don't have to have scads of time to feel beautiful or loving towards yourself.

Bottom line is this my darlings.

All you really need to get going is the desire. Next save your change for two weeks. Take that change, go to Bartell's, Walgreens, CVS where ever, grab a mask like this.

Then tuck it away.

One night when you're feeling gross or tired, or just meh. Whip that bad boy out, close the bathroom door and sit with a book or a magazine and let it work.

Wipe off and feel loved and restored for a while.



Now I promised some friends that I would start posting some of my DIY foodstuff and random household recipes for hair and skin.

Would y'all be interested in reading them here?

Did you have a good holiday if you celebrate them?

I felt loved, got a little drunk and GOT A FREAKING SNUGGIE AND IT IS AWESOME.

Now I'm off. I love you my homies and haters.

2012 here we come.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The judged face.

Inspired by this photo on Tumblr I want to talk about how judgement based strictly on appearance and nothing else don't help anyone anywhere and are not cool.

I will further talk about how that type of judging has been an alienating force for me personally.

Let's get started.

Unfortunately I don't have a picture of the outfit I was really thinking of for this post. This is a good version of the outfit.

So probably a few months ago I wore an outfit very similar to this one to work:


Instead of black tights I had on socks and bare legs. A slightly shorter skirt and a shirt that showed a tad more cleavage.

Nothing extreme. My usual all black.

Now picture me wearing said outfit, sitting at a bus stop with a book in my hand.

A woman stopped to talk to me, I thought she might want to know when the bus was coming or something. She commented that she'd seen my partner and I around all the time and then first said that my shirt was "inappropriate" and then followed with stating that I look like I am in a cult and she informed me that there's a church around the corner from the bus stop and that my partner (She said husband) needed to go right away because we're clearly sinful evil people. She also made mention that my boots, socks, bare legs and skirt made me look like a slut.

A total stranger said I was an evil person based on the fact that I typically wear all black.

For the entirety of my life, even before I was Little Miss Black Goth every year people have said things like that to me.

People I've never spoken to have walked up to me demanding to know why I "dress like a White girl", women I've never met with or met their spouses have accused me of being a "man stealing tramp" because I had on (at the time my favorite dress) a full skirted sundress that I had altered to fit me very well.

I have worn high heels (back when that was not a thing done in Seattle with casual clothes) and had people walk up to me and accuse me of being a hooker, telling me how slutty I was for daring to wear a pair of heels and jeans.

When I wore an important to me array of religious symbols (very large Ankh, hand made rune pendants etc) visibly almost every day someone was either trying to convince me that an ankh is a co-opted Christian symbol, that I needed to stop being a "dangerous devil worshiper", Jezebel, evil.

Now honestly in none of these instances have I been all up in anyone's face. I can honestly tell you that is not really my jam.

I walk around, I don't get into random peoples faces. I don't do that.

I will admit that yes, my sense of style can be seen as inappropriate. By nature I am not the most modest girl around.

I accept that not everything things or wants to see my cleavage. That is awesome that is fine.

I accept and encourage everyone in the whole world to not dress like me.

I fully accept the fact that my penchant for wearing all black might freak some people out.

I fully accept that to some people my love of shorter skirts, tank tops and tall boots is weird and makes them uncomfortable.

I fully accept that in some workplaces the way I dress would be grounds for firing.

Some of these things suck.

What I do not accept is that anyone has the right to get into my space and make those kinds of judgement not about my clothes but about the person I am.

I have an issue with that because it indicates that regardless of how I'm dressed if you're saying these things to me off the cuff you have no respect for me as a human being who is not you.

Am I saying in any way that someone is wrong for having this opinion of me? Not really. There is fuck all i can do about what anyone thinks about me.

What is wrong is the presumption and entitlement.

Why should you (the big generic you) be entitled to get in my face like that? More so if you are a complete stranger to me?

Why should you for whatever reasons (religious, moral whatever) get to tell me how I can and can't walk around in the world?

I would never ever walk up to someone, see they have on a cross and demand they remove it because I am not a Christian.

I see people use the well I wouldn't do or wear X thing so it must be wrong and the person wearing it must be awful mentality to justify harassing women in hijabs or other religious modesty wear.

How is that okay?

It's the same attitude but, from the people delivering it my perceived awfulness, sinfulness and whoredom is the bigger evil.

No that's not okay.

I've also gotten this attitude from feminists who wanted to school me in apparently feminist fashion and explain to me how much of a tool of the patriarchy I am with my tall boots and cleavage and tight clothes.

If you are a Feminist Captian Save a Ho have so little respect for me as a fellow woman, who is supposed to be able to make her own decisions and decide how I am to behave and look, if you tell me how to do those things just like any sexist ass dudebro, who in this case is the bigger tool?

Is the bigger sin owning my own body or is it behaving in the exact ways that the patriarchy does?

If your reasons to approach someone like me this way religious, why is it no one who has ever used their faith as their reason for engaging with me this way has ever been able to tell me where in the bible it says it is okay to judge this way? I am not familiar with religions that say HEY go ahead and be hateful to people.

I do say hateful because some of the interactions I've had have been hateful.

Not based on anything I've said to someone. I didn't walk up and say hey fuck you and your beliefs.

Not based on anything I was doing except maybe walking, waiting for a bus or reading a book.

Even worse when that attitude comes from people I do know. People who I know to be decent caring people. Until someone does something that isn't in their frame of reference or sphere of experience or in their belief system.

That is not okay.

In a small sense, on a human to human level it's a cruel and disgusting way to treat someone.

It is damaging and plain old mean.

In a bigger sense, the idea that you personally have the right or responsibility to dictate how anyone dresses or wears their hair or even behaves (to an extent, I am not talking about criminal activities or abuse etc) in a way that is not your way for whatever reason, you are participating in and supporting a lot of the evil isms.

In trying to police other people, fat people, Black people, White people, women, men, men who identify as men who like to wear dresses, women who identify as women who would rather wear boxers than panties etc- you are actively participating in their marginalization.

I am not saying it's not okay to not like something from a manner of dress to a self identification.

I would have no issue with someone saying to me (even though if it's unprovoked and random I will be annoyed) "I hate what you're wearing it's butt fucking ugly".

That's fine.

You don't have to like it. You didn't buy it, you don't live with me, I'm not trying to get with you, you are not my parents etc.

Here's the thing that is at the root of why there's a difference between having an opinion and being a jerk.

Being a jerk, yes even if you say something in a "nice" way is when you are trying to impose your will on another human being.

Whether it's in the form of saying that my skirt makes me look like a slut or telling me that my fat body needs to be corrected the way you think it needs to be.

Being a jerk is when you want to take another persons agency.

That is not okay.

When someone tries to take my agency in whatever way, they are saying I even if it's not what they mean that I am not worth respecting. And that my friends is bullshit.

So yes, hate what someone wears. Don't approve of all the ass n titties you see on a daily basis. Disapprove of any visible lack of faith. Don't wear low cut shirts, short skirts, mens underwear high heels whatever the problem is.

Do you.

But do not think for a second that coming at someone like this indicates caring or even decency on your part. It doesn't.

Homo Out.

Monday, December 19, 2011

When people are staring.

Hello my darling darlings.

I'm going to first tell you a story, then admit to something and then tell you what the long term lesson about said reaction I will confess.

I know.

So picture yours truly in my early 20's. I want to say I was 23 or so and had gained some weight. It wasn't a ton of weight, it was more weight than I was accustomed to. I had injured myself during one of my ass kicking soul crushing work outs and as my body is wont to do in the time it took me to start healing up I regained weight.

One Saturday night I was dateless, restless and in desperate need of some music, some beer and some bootyshaking I headed out.

I did not dress up. I felt too awful about myself and none of my cute clubbing clothes fit. I did not give a fuck.

Given that all my fucks had flown away I arrived at a club where the dominant sort of girl hanging around was very thin in booty shorts and backless tops. Lots of glitter and tiny tight tiny asses and then there was me.

I waltzed in and did not look at anyone, I felt people looking. You know what I am talking about. I heard some girls snicker. I think we have all had that moment.

I found myself a perch where I could sit and smoke and drink my beer until the music moved me to begin shaking my ass.

Then it happened, there was a DJ spinning something with a grinding bassline and a lot of good breaks and I to steal a phrase got it on the floor.

Now I will tell you I love to dance. I have always loved to dance. I'm a fairly good dancer, actually no scratch that. I am a dirty dancer.

Even as a kid my go to moves are quite similar to those I used while dancing for dollars, the kind that involve a lot of my hips and pelvis doing things, attempts to booty shake and if I'm really feeling it a lot of arms in the air, eyes half closed and with a semi-orgasm look on my face.

I had friends who called me that particular stage of dancing my fuck goddess dance.

You get my point.

That night I got there. I found myself a niche on the dancefloor away from some dudebros and somewhat closeish to the little stage. I was in heaven.

Despite my best attempts I saw myself getting laughed at by some girls nearby. One walked by and yelled "You dance like a fucking slut" in my face.

Another yelled behind me to move my fat ass.

I gave no fucks.

And then, something surprising happened during the djs break.

He walked up to me and asked if I wanted to come dance next to the turntables.

In some clubs it is supposedly super awesome to be a dj groupie. I wasn't interested in being a groupie I just wanted to get my booty shake on. He seemed nice enough and I went ahead and took my spot much to the horror of some of the thinner, prettier type girls.

I did my thing.

One of the rare and wonderful things about dancing in clubs is occasionally you find someone in the club who is on your wavelength. I'm not talking about sexytimes, I'm talking about something in your brains and asses connect and you are moving in sync.

The DJ and I had that moment and it was fucking beautiful.

I felt like I was in face some kind of dancing, hip grinding fuck goddess come to Earth to move asses.

I really did.

After his set he and I talked. Turned out that my lack of fawning and as he put it, "juicy" body got his attention. Also he was gay and I'd figured that so there was no rom-com type weirdness.

He got what my ass was saying.

That night I went home drenched in sweat. Not a bit of my make up survived and I had long prior danced away my buzz and I felt wonderful.

Now I will admit that just after the dj's set while I was getting the stink eye from some of the other girls I did indeed engage in some taunting. I did indeed go in the bathroom and shit talk at the girls giving me the side eyed. I probably called someone a skinny bitch.

I did behave like a snotty asshole for a little while.

Looking back, I have come to understand how much I miss that feeling in my life.

I miss invoking my inner no fucks giving self and putting that energy into my body. I miss connecting with all my jiggling parts that way.

In order to remember how that feels, I'm not talking emotionally remember but remember it in my muscles and jiggling ass I think I need to devote more time to dancing at home.

I have been asking myself for the last few years how to dip back into those physical and emotional states. Not just not giving a fuck because we all know I'm good at that.

There is a certain kind of joy that i'm looking for. A very particular place in my heart that translates into how my ass moves.

I'd like to believe that all is not lost. I'd like to believe that as I dance around my apartment much to the amusement of Uniballer that I'll have that magical moment.

I gotta work on it.

The lesson here my friends is this.

Sometimes people are going to stare at you. Maybe because you're fat. Maybe because you have a funny hair cut. Maybe you have jewelry in your face or other places people can see, maybe your skin is a different color, maybe you have on a gothtastic outfit, maybe you're just minding your own damn business.

It's going to happen and I promise it won't ruin your whole world and it doesn't have to ruin your day or time.

The other lesson is that sometimes it's important for our own sanity and good feelings to remember those special moments and recreate them for ourselves independent of what anyone else says.

So as a gift to yourself if you need one, I highly suggest taking a few minutes to really let your body remember and inhabit feeling good and giving no fucks.

If that means you sit still, or dance like I do, maybe you want to do your favorite yoga pose or stand a certain way. Whatever it is, you do it. You do it and you own it because it's yours.

That's all for now.

Homo Out.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Self promotion-Shannon style.

I haven't kept y'all in the loop but some really amazing and important things have been happening in my writing career.

For those of you who are new readers, I am an author outside of this little blog. This blog is all personal everything else I write is all business.

First some awesome news:

I wrote an essay that appeared in Junk Magazine  (link there) and the editors nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

That is a pretty huge deal.

Huge deal #2. My first piece of non fiction sex writing has been published! My friends at Specter Magazine posted my essay about the first girl who ever made me squirt. Years ago I told the story here I think but I only wrote the actual essay this year. I am super super proud of it. Find it here.

What else?

You can still get my small collected of unedited fiction and poetry. Get that here at Smashwords. The price if 4$. If you can't afford that, you can drop a link to it somewhere or share it with friends which would be awesome.

If you want to read all of my available published writing you can check out my official authors website here.

Other ways you can do awesome things: You can subscribe to my writing related blog via Kindle. Find that here. Or you can even get this here little blog on your kindle. 

And more news.

My essays are coming along. I am in rewrites and have decided that instead of doing them as a single book I'm going to sell them individually also via smashwords. I will release them one at a time and maybe do some kind of deal if you want to buy them all.

It is really important to me that they are financially accessible to those who need or want to read them.

I think that is everything.

I think I will probably be putting out another small fiction collection. I am undecided as of yet.

What else?

Um.....okay I can't think of anything else.

I am not super good at this self promotion thing but I am learning. It's a process.

I think that is all my homies. Do any of y'all have things you'd like to plug? New projects? New blogs? Your regular blogs?

I still haven't found a decent replacement for the link management thing I was using.

I think what I would like to do is gather up my homies links, resource links etc and make a whole new page for them. That is going on my list.

Holy shit being a grown up is fucking hard.

Okay my darlings. I love you. Be nice to you.

Homo Out.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Androgyny: Advice for my Homie.

Today I have some advice for my dear Blue. It has taken a while because I wanted to give you some thoughtful advice.

Here is the original queston:

I've been struggling with this for most of my 20's and I wonder if you'd have any advice.

How do you reconcile body acceptance with an androgynous gender identity?

I'm genetically predisposed to a weight that will make my body look unquestionably female shaped, and though it's been difficult to keep fighting against the weight gain, it's even more difficult to accept living in a body that won't match up with my basic knowledge of who I am.

The way everyone sees you and the social expectations for all your behavior when you look like what people call a "real woman" are not something I feel like I will be able to live with.

Okay first thing I have to tell you where I am coming from.

For me gender and gender presentation are not strictly rooted in my physical body because there is not a lot I can do about my actual physical body without a lot of surgery.

For me a large part of expressing and feeling my own gender feelings is in my brain because it has to be. There is nothing in the world that would ever make me look like a Boy when I want to be a Boy.

One of the things I would ask you is if in your head androgyny only looks like the tall willowy people who are often lauded for their androgynous beauty?

I'm talking about folks like Andrei Pejic:

My darling, yes that is a beautiful human but one does not have to look like that in order to present a more androgynous gender identity.

The first thing I want you to do is figure out if you want to adhere to what other people say is or isn't womanly, or is or isn't androgynous.

What I mean by that is that I would like for you to get to a point in your head where there is your gender identity as you want it and then learn to essentially disregard the rules for it.

The thing about bodies is that we get what we get. At the end of the day the only person you're hurting when you battle what you have is yourself. Perhaps what you need is not a different body but a different way of perceiving your body. Rather than inhabiting the binary idea that your body can only be a womanly body why not look at your body as Blue's Androgynous body. 

I know that you probably have an idealized version of yourself in your head where the body you wish you had is somehow attainable. I'm going to harsh that for a minute- the truth is that idealized androgynous body is probably not attainable without a shitload of surgery or other things that may not be possible, accessible or healthy for you in the long term.

That isn't bad. It isn't something that needs to destroy your whole world it just is. Just as you might be left handed, you might have a crooked middle finger or be slightly cock eyed as I am. It just is.

The just is thing is what I'd like you to let happen in your head. I think in order to deal with your body not conforming to the ideal you have in your head is not to punish yourself for it. I'm not saying you have to all of a sudden hold hands with it and sing kumbaya, just accept it for what it is.

Your body is probably not going to just become what you want it to be. Granted you can make some choices. I have known people who decided that in order to support their gender identity (in this case like you a more androgynous identity) they have had breast reductions, in some cases taken to a series of diets and whatnot.

I won't say they all got happy endings. For most those things were not satisfying because as I said above, not just for you but for all of us those idealized versions of ourselves never manifest.

How do you deal with that? For me what works (and I will not say it's easy, it's not) is that I stopped questioning, I stopped trying to make myself fit the "ideal" and I have learned to respect my body even when I disagree with it.

I also learned that 90% of the people I know have bodies that don't precisely match up with how they feel inside. As I get older I'm starting to believe that it's part of the human condition.

Basically what I'm saying is that ideal in your head will likely never be a reality and for me a big part of learning to accept my own not ideal actual body was letting go of the ideal. You and I are in that together along with I suspect about 90% of the population.

That is step one and it's a huge one. It's really fucking hard to learn to stop that way of thinking. It's hard to stop putting it all into your physical body. In my life when I have punished myself for my body not being what I thought it should be it never turned out good. Everything suffered from my self esteem to my actual health.

I hate using this phrase but in this case it is true: it is what it is.

In learning to accept your body as it is however it is, is letting go of the idea that it must be X way or it's just no good.  This is the body you are going to inhabit for however long you are perambulating around the planet and it's important to not treat it cruelly.

I'm not saying you have to instantly love your body. I'm saying that through looking at your body and saying okay, this is the body I have. This is the body I have and it's okay. By extension I advocate caring for your body in the best way you can. I'm saying eat foods that don't upset your stomach. If exercise makes your body feel good exercise. If you want to lay on the couch lay on the couch. I'm saying to learn not to look at your body as the enemy but as the means you will get around for the next fifty or however years.

Let's take it to a metaphor. If you have a car you probably wouldn't beat on your car with a golf club because it's not a convertible and then expect it to last you forever. Why would you do the same thing to your body and expect to feel good?


The way everyone sees you.

My sole piece of salient advice is to learn to give no fucks.

Not. One. Fuck my darling.

No one tells us as we're growing up that the truth is what other people think of us is largely none of our business.

I will refer you to this post and tell you in no uncertain terms.

This part is harder than actually forgiving and taking your body for what it is.

This entails unlearning the years of bullshit you have learned.

Blue, baby you do not have to give a fuck what anyone says about "real women" "real men" their social expectations etc. Not. One. Delicious. fuck.

The quick and dirty is this.

99% of the people who will have an opinion about what you should or shouldn't do, or who have some expectation of you based on your appearance have fuck all to do with your actual life.

Think about that.

Does the lady on the sidewalk who gives you the side eye because you're wearing a tie really have any impact on you? Do you know this person? Are they paying your bills? Are you dating them? Do you plan on them seeing you nekkid?

I'm guessing that when it comes to the random ass people, because let's be honest it is always random ass people who have something shitty to say, have fuck all to do with our actual lives.

Dealing with other peoples expectations as we're taught we are supposed is like trying to look at your own butthole from a standing fully clothed position.

Stop on that for a second. Would you ever try to look at your own butthole from a standing fully clothed position? You say no, Shannon what the hell is wrong with you why would I waste my time doing that?

There you go.

"Dealing" with what society expects is at the end of it all a gigantic time waster and to my view a way to help keep the diet/self help/bullshit industries a float.

I do not believe that I need concern myself with what society expects. If I did I would be constantly worried about every Black Woman trope ever. I'm not.

The hard part about this is learning how not to take those messages in. As the world is right now there isn't anything any of us can do about those messages being there, the only thing we have control over is ourselves.

You have to teach yourself to look at one of those moments, or those messages and say fuck it. Or say fuck you. Or say I'm not doing that. Whatever you need to. At the bottom you have to learn to not inhabit those messages, don't give them free rental space in your head.

No one gets to tell you how to feel about your body, how you present yourself etc. No one.

IN case you feel like you need permission this is let.

Drop any guilty or bad feelings about how society sees you like you'd drop a handful of dog shit because that's essentially what it is. A handful of dog shit.

Unfortunately, like shit these expectations are things we all have to live with. What is important is learning to navigate and deal with them in a way that minimizes harm to ourselves.

Personally depending on the situation when someone tells me to act like a lady, my usual reaction is nothing.

My thought process goes something like this.

Let's say person A says something I find stupid: "act like a lady Shannon"

I look at this person and think- Are they paying my bills? Does this person and their opinion bring anything to my personal table? Do I really give a shit what random person has to say or how they feel about me and my Universe?

Almost all of the time my answer is no.

And if those ideas if those supposed edicts about how "real women" are supposed to be, are things I (or you) can look at and call bullshit on, why bother even trying to deal with it?

When people bring that to you, look at them and say (out loud or in your head) no fuck you.

Say it with me blue, "No fuck you."

You don't owe anyone or anything a reason or explanation. The only person you owe anything to is yourself.

So I have homework for you okay?

I want you to sit down and look at your arm. I want you to look at your arm, preferably on your dominant side and understand that is the only arm you are going to get. Think about the nice things you can do for your arm to help it function.

Maybe your forearms get tight and crampy, give them a rub. Think about how nice it is when your crampy forearms are not so crampy. As yourself if it feels better to be angry at your arm for say not being two inches longer, or for being crampy or does it feel better to be nice to your arm?

Seems silly but when it comes to accepting your body as your body is sometimes you have to start small.

Start with one easyish thing. Then start teaching yourself to extend the same thoughts and feelings to the rest of your body. Should I (as in would any of y'all be into) some specific things that y'all can print out and read to yourselves or loved ones?

I fully expect you to report back Blue.

Now I'm going to gather up some fashion resources for you as well.

Do any of y'all my fabulously smart homies have anything to add?

Have I missed any key points?

IN other news darlings I have an idea for a new series about Inhabiting and Accepting your Ugly. I'm working on that.

Tomorrow we're talking about fashion and using it to boost how you present your gender. Also about the challenges of using fashion in this way especially when it comes to fat bodies.

Homo Out.

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