So, holy shit, a lot of wonderful things have crossed my web browser lately, and I want to share them all with you.
I feel ambitious today! I’m going to give you a huge wallop of links. I am going to give them with limited commentary, because there are just SO MANY, and the fact is, I bet the titles will pique your interest more than my opinions will. BUT first things first, and that first thing is Feminist Lisa Frank :
Jesus Christ. My emotional pre-teen girl boner has POPPED for these images, and will continue to do so, from now until forever, every single time I look at them. Thank you feminist Lisa Frank, Thank you.
And now the rest of the links:
Do you remember the Nickelodeon toy run? I hoped, I prayed, I DREAMED of winning the opportunity to go buck fucking wild, running up and down the empty halls of Toys R’ Us and filling my life with the pure unbridled joy that is TOYS. I kind of always thought maybe no kid actually won, maybe it was all a hoax. It was super fun to read that I was wrong!
Hey. So. Lots of times, our parents hate their bodies. Our grandparents hate their bodies. Shit, I bet our grandparent’s grandparent’s might have hated their bodies. This article reminded me that today, right now I have the opportunity to stop that train. I love my body so that all the kids I come in contact with can love theirs too. PARADIGM SHIFT, THATS WASSUP.
Dropping out of high school saved my fucking life, and I have never once for one day regretted it. If the train of high school feels fast and brutal, you can get off. It’s okay. I love you.
This is so, completely, 100% TRUE. Tricia Martin-Owen has been a peaceful and compassionate voice for as long as I’ve known her (almost eight years ago this happened- an event that was thrown especially for me at such a horrible time in my life, this post still brings tears to my eyes). It is wonderful to see how Tricia’s compassion continues to spiral outward, but now seems to be going inward as well. YOU GO GURL.
The more I delve deeper into body politics, the more I know there is still so much to learn, so may ways I can stretch my understandings of how ALL people deserve to love the body in which they are housed in. I am feeling deep gratitude to this article for helping me to push my boundaries and understand issues of representation with a bit more complexity.
There is nothing-and I a mean NOTHING- I love more than getting shit DONE. This guide is a great help for just that.
Last thing! Rise and Resist has a third episode out now, in which Holly and I discuss body image, self-esteem, changing your workout routine, involving your partner in your fitness, accepting your body at any size, and delicious delicious SNACKS. You can find that episode Here.
I have received a few emails lately about how to cope with stress. The stress of the holidays, the stress of the economy, the stress of rent prices, and political upheaval and food and family. I’ve been asked again and again how to handle life when it feels like an onslaught, and luckily my life has been incredibly busy as of late, too, and I have an amazing amount of experience with not coping very well in the past, and doing mostly fine in the present. This is a subject I feel I have a bit to say about.
I am here for you. I am here for you if you are my client or if you are my reader, or if you just stumbled across this blog for the first time. I think it is really important to let you know that we, the stressed out, creative, intense people of the world have each other’s backs. You do not have to be your only resource! You don’t have to hold every single thing together for yourself 100% of the time.
Sometimes, for me, I can move so fast, and feel so panicked, that it’s like the disasters are pre-meditated. Whether it’s an unexpected bill or a broken car or the mortification of public vulnerability, it’s like every once in awhile I feel set to fail. Little disasters add up, and it’s easy for me to freak the fuck out.
I lived a lot of my life in exactly this panicked state, and no matter how much I wanted to “just be happy”, I couldn’t find it in me. I was deeply entrenched in riding a constant stress wave, and I attached the only solidly good feelings I could find to accomplishments (my Bachelor’s degree, my Masters, Art shows, public accolades) and weight loss. I used food restriction and excessive exercise as a means to cope with the fact that not one fucking thing in my life was actually seriously in my control. I felt overwhelmed and broken and what recognition I got and how my body was perceived were what I had to work with to feel on top of my shit.
We all know that doesn’t actually work long term, though, right?
When I decided I wasn’t going to use things that don’t actually matter to feel good anymore, I suddenly had NO ANCHOR and it was truly terrible. Letting go of my big coping mechanisms, the only things that worked on some level to make me feel okay, made me feel like a billowy shirt hung out to dry on a windy day, without a clothes pin. One moment I was flying in the sky and the next I was a wrinkled ball in the grass.
Luckily, at some point I realized (by trial and error and by consistently getting back at it each time I failed) that I CAN and DID find new anchors. I anchored to my creativity and to my friends at first and then to my alone time, because I discovered I didn’t need to fear silence and space.
I discovered that the simple feeling of a non-anxious good time was a miracle. Once I realized that, I tried to find little minutes of the feeling again and again.
SO. deep breath.
What makes you feel really happy?
Today I sang Miss World by Hole for two hours. No one was home in my house, and no one in my house would probably enjoy my grunge throwback, and I happily took the opportunity to belt it the fuck out. It was stupid. It was repetitive. It was, by all means, boring. But it also made me incredibly happy; to practice with my voice and to be loud and to hear what I sound like. I have always thought I was a terrible singer, but today I decided I’m kinda good with practice, which I had literally not once given myself the opportunity to do before age 30. Seemed like kind of a big deal.
In essence, what I was doing was a waste of time. My room was kind of messy, and I haven’t been blogging as much lately, which i definitely feel a responsibility to do, but I was REALLY happy. I liked the opportunity to get down with my self, and since I am a busy person with a lot of deep responsibility, I don’t often have the chance. I was feelin’ it, and I was letting myself.
What can you do that would be giving yourself a similar simple joy?
Whatever it is, I suggest you make time for it.
It has been both very cool and very overwhelming to be talking about thin privilege with so many people. This conversation is very important to me, and I want to be as thoughtful and patient as possible as the varying responses roll in. Thanks in advance for remembering that I am simply a human with some complex thoughts on privilege and how it functions for me. I am not fucking anyone over by discussing thin privilege. I am not indicting anyone to feel shame. Let’s be graceful, let’s be honest, and let’s have dialogue. I love you all, except the shit heads, to which I say this:
Here are some exploratory thin privilege related links. Please note that I usually only share links from women or queer identified folks, but today I am deviating from that rule just to be thematic.
If you read none of my other links this week, please check this article out.
” “Being a skinny person is hard, too.”
I get that, and I’m sorry. Having experiences where your body is painfully held up to scrutiny is totally, totally shitty. However, you don’t get to talk about thin shaming like it’s as bad as fat shaming. You just don’t. There are some great articles about thin privilege, so I won’t go into it at length here. I agree that our culture has a narrow scope for what it considers “attractive”, but please keep in mind that being hurt from an ideal is different than being oppressed by it. Oppression involves ubiquitous, pervasive societal subjugation, as opposed to individual moments of pain. Fatphobia is a term I think we’re all familiar with, but I’ve never heard of skinnyphobia, and “skinny bitch” is a world away from “fat bitch” as an insult. Additionally, on a slightly different note, I should mention that feeling fat or uncomfortable with your body is totally different than beingfat. The latter involves being judged by society every day as you walk through life.”
This is a great book (not an article, but you can totally get it as an audiobook if longform text isn’t your thing!) that really got me thinking about just how unfair societal body standards can be for SO many people. One response I got to my thin privilege article was a few people saying “I worked hard for my thin privilege! I earned it!”. NEWS FLASH. Some people can “work hard” and get different physical results. SHOCKING, I know. This book really delves into the hows and whys of that fact.
Skinny people struggle too, because let’s just face it: the kind of body that is deemed “best” in our culture is quite specific and few of us actually measure up. But thin people are totally systemically favored and privileged. Here’s how skinny shaming is not now, and will never be the same as fat shaming.
Melissa Fabello breaks it DOWN and offers about a million extra resources and reading in this article. Love it.
Maybe it’s the punk in me, but I love an unedited blog that doesn’t have the pressure of needing to appear all shiny, acceptable and perfect. This is Thin Privilege is a perfect place to read about thin privilege in action, and how it effects people that don’t have it. It is a moderated discussion blog, so there are many stories and perspectives.
Have a great weekend!