Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Round Three, answers to our questions about Ugly.

Okay my darlings I hope you've been ruminating because I have.

We've already covered the fact that none of us will ever be beautiful in the Western Ideal sense of beauty.

We talked about questioning those who tell us what beautiful is.

Today I want to talk about what do we do with these questions.

Now I want you all to do an exercise with me.

Let's think about the reality of not being Cosmo cover beautiful.

What does that mean in our actual day to day lives?

It means that we don't (most of us anyway) have stylists to follow us around fix our hair, pin our clothes and be the eye of an invisible camera to make sure we look flawless.

It means that most of us don't have an army of people to retouch each and ever picture of us until we don't recognize ourselves.

In terms of mainstream idealized beauty, that has no real bearing on anything.

It really doesn't.

The actors, actresses, models etc who are shown to us as being the beautiful people that is their job. You know what? I could be that kind of beautiful if I had nutritionists, plastic surgeons, stylists, chefs and personal trainers at my beck and call.

For 99% of us, we don't have the time nor money for all of those things.

The next thing we need to think about is how much bullshit is shoveled at us from the mouths of supposedly self loving people?

If you read or follow lady mags how many times have we seen an actress declared HOLYSHITFAT, who then says FUCK YOU I LOVE MY FAT ASS, who then two months later appears on another magazine cover (most likely a fitness magazine) with their miraculous brand new body?

Now I need you to be honest here, do you see those pictures and really believe that it's as easy as just eating more veggies?



It's bullshit my darlings.

The initial I love my fat ass comments are bullshit and the subsequent "life style changes" are often bullshit.

Why should we model ourselves after that kind of behavior?

Why should we try so hard and torture ourselves to attain something that really even the "beautiful" people can't attain without the aforementioned army of stylists etc?

We all know that even if one is close to the western Ideal as in, close enough to be considered "attractive" there are privileges involved.

If you're White, somewhat symmetrical in the face, proportionate in your body (even if you're fat to a degree. Also please note we're not talking self esteem yet) you will benefit from that privilege.

Take Fat acceptance as an example.

There have been many many criticisms of FA over the years I've been involved with it on the internets that, often the "Face" of fat is pretty and white. That the "voice" of FA has been pretty, White and educated.

That's true.

I'm going to use myself as an example.

I am not a pretty well educated white lady. However after my initial feelings of trepidation, I realized that all I can do is add my voice.

I also needed to not take it personally in that, when somethings needs a face, that face often needs to be for purposes of the mainstream taking it seriously, an easy to take face.

It is easier for mainstream America to listen to a pretty white lady than it is a pretty Black lady.

Does it suck?


Is there fuckall I or you can do about it right now?


So we end up with what?

We have the truth, we have knowledge.

Say the adage with me, knowledge is power.

Now we need to take the power out of the retouched images.

That is hard.

It's a process.

We have to teach ourselves to look at the Cosmo cover and say, she looks pretty and not judge ourselves or others against that standard.

Your homework my darlings.

Go to the grocery store and look at some lady mag covers. Appreciate the hair, appreciate the styling. Appreciate the make up artist and the stylist. Appreciate the photographer who captures an awesome shot.

Look at it like this.

You are you. You were born, you perambulate around the world in your body. Maybe you are fat. Maybe you're not. Maybe you are in a wheel chair, maybe you are disabled. Maybe you have an invisible illness.

You have this body in whatever state it is in and it is the only one you get. You are the closest to your body, to your outward appearance and you are the one who gets to make decisions about it.

You get to decide if you want to wear make up, get your hair did, get tattoos, wear pants etc.

Being that you make those decisions, why would you let an imaginary thing, in this case this Western Beauty Ideal dictate to you how you feel about your body and your face?

In case no one has ever told you before, you don't have to.

That is what I want you to think about.

Coming up we are going to start learning to not give a fuck.

Not. One. fuck.

We are going to start learning (or if you already know reinforcing) the ways we can stop or lessen how much we care about what other people think of our looks.

So tell me, how are you doing?

Have you had any HOLY SHIT type a ha moments?

Now go do your homework and feel free to report back.

Homo Out.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Round Two, Questioning Ugly.

To recap I left you my darlings with some homework before New Years.

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.

Now today let's talk about that.

The first thing we need to understand is that the ideal, the Western Beauty Ideal is a lie. It is a long standing lie that less than .5% of the population will ever live up to for a sustainable period of time.

How do we know this?

Think about the way people react in the media when any celebrity, model, or other "beautiful" figure is seen not looking freshly retouched.

They talk about the shame, oh so and so must be ill, they are fat, they are "unkempt", he must have been on a bender etc etc.

The words in the photo spreads are always aggressive and hateful with a side dish of shaming.

In the summer magazines pit woman vs woman for best and worst beach bodies.

You look at a magazine cover and a model or familiar actress is so heavily retouched you don't know who they are for a minute.

Think about that, the fact is when these beautiful people are exposed as being regular human beings who are yes attractive but are not really attractive enough to be seen as so beautiful unless they have been retouched to mannequin like dolly perfection, how is it that there is any truth to the actuality of their supposed mega beauty?

If these images of supposedly perfect beauty are altered routinely to the point of being unrecognizable that my loves is a lie.

Now let's think about this.

How good of an idea is it to base your personal ideology about beauty and what beauty is on a lie?

Yes, you need to let that sink in.

If you need help, fire up that google machine in another window or tab and search this phrase in images: celebrity retouching.

Look at those images closely. Take in that the "perfect" people are not perfect enough to be presented to the believing public without being thinned out, their make up fixed, their hair changed, their skin plasticized.


When you're done with that I want you to look at yourself.

Look at yourself.

Look at your face that has pores, you might be sweaty, you might have some pimples, you might be washed out, you might be pasty, you might have a moustache, you might have an uneven skin tone, wrinkles, etc etc.

Just like the people whom you are told are The Beautiful People.

Now your homework.

At this point we need to think about who gets to tell us these things.

I want you to really think about this before you answer it to yourself or to me.

Do trust people who habitually lie to you?

Do you let people who never tell you the truth make your decisions?

This is hard. We know some people are going to lie to us forever. Sometimes those are people we love and who are important to us.

In this case we also need to ask ourselves, do we trust the people who have taught us and are continually shoving Western Beauty Ideals and Ideas about Ugliness at us.

If you do find you trust them, revisit the fact that they lie. Ask yourself why you believe people are blatantly lie to you to cost you money and ultimately hurt you.

If you find that no, you don't trust them. Ask yourself if you don't trust them, why are you letting them make decisions about your ideas and feelings?

Now to remind everyone we're not talking about macro scale societal change here because I don't believe that this sort of thing can be changed on an institutional level like that.

However I do believe that as we as individuals on a micro level start changing our thinking, those changes lead to changes in spending and how we live our lives.

Now I do want reports back darlings.

How are you feeling? What are you thinking?

Homo Out.

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