Posts Tagged ‘body politics’

You’d be so pretty if…

you smiled!

lost 20 pounds!

didn’t have that short hair!

or it wasn’t dyed purple!

didn’t have tattoos/piercings! Why would a girl as pretty as you DO that to yourself, anyways?

Maybe because it is MY body, not public freakin’ property, and I will do whatever the hell I please with it. Maybe because I don’t, actually, spend every waking moment concerned about whether my appearance is pleasing to a random stranger on the street. Or maybe I do it just to piss you off!

Reading a few blog posts got me thinking about this, and it’s something I’ve seen mentioned on Feministing before. Mostly in the “You’d be prettier if you smiled!” “Smile for me!” etc. comments that women have mentioned getting from strangers - which absolutely baffles me, as I’ve never received that (at least from a stranger, maybe from a relative…). Not that I don’t believe it, of course, it just seems…creepy. However, I have got (especially when working at Target - something about being a cashier makes a person especially open for public comment, apparently) the hair/tattoo questions a lottt. Of course, that was when I had fun hair…but anyways! It always really, really bothered me and I couldn’t figure out exactly why, so I just chalked it up to rudeness and moved on. It wasn’t until a few months ago when I read one of the posts on Feministing about it that I could put my finger on it - because my body is MINE and these comments assume that it exists for someone else.

I’ve even got comments like “What does your mother/boyfriend think about it?”. Mother? I moved out almost two years ago, and while I do love my mother to death and have a great deal of respect for her, I would like to think that she knows I’m an adult and will do what I want with my body. Matt? Holy hell, if Matt ever tried to tell me I wasn’t allowed to get any more tattoos or to dye my hair funky colors, the shit would hit the fan. The fact that someone would even ask that casually makes me a little sick to my stomach, because if he had that amount of control over me it would actually be an abusive, unhealthy relationship, thanks. No matter what anyone says or how they try to convince me otherwise. And if I tried to tell Matt how to dress or what to do with his hair, I would be a controlling bitch and he would be whipped. The standard, I’m seein’ double! That’s not to mention the “Why, none of the nice boys will want to date you now!” comment after seeing my first tattoo, which, if I’m remembering right, actually came from my (nice, but rabidly misguided) grandmother. Well, grandma, you’re right, now that my reason for existence is gone, I just don’t know what to do with myself.

Of course, I have several male friends who have or have had tattoos, piercings, dyed hair and mohawks, etc. and while they do get the general disgust and rudeness from ignorant people, I have NEVER heard anyone say anything like the above to them, or heard them complain of it. Mens’ bodies aren’t public property - womens’ are.

I think my favorite thing in the Jezebel comments was this:

If you’d like a guy’s opinion i’ll just throw it out there: (yes, we wimminz always need a man’s opinion before having a thought of our own, kthx)

Perhaps evaluate whether you believe these men know that they are flirting and doing so unwantedly. If they know this and continue to pester, it’s not bitchy to tell them they’re being offensive. If they don’t know the flirting is unwanted politely tell them your not interested. (Of course, it’s on us to tell them that the attention is unwanted, because it’s assumed that telling a random stranger what to do with her body is ok, or that women eating alone must want some male company, etc. That’s not, ya know, screwy or anything)

…blither blather…

Lastly, be careful of the slippery slope that is becoming cynical, be careful of becoming overly judgemental where you just start assuming all guys are perverts and jerks when they really aren’t doing anything at all. Also don’t make yourself believe that all eyes are on you when they really aren’t, a guy’s eyes move around a lot and take in the environment a lot. It’s a complicated mixed message for a man to know that woman appreciate a guy that is confident and not afraid to approach a women, (especially if that woman is presenting herself in a manner that makes her appear inviting to interact with) but that when he does work up the nerve to do this he may be making her uncomfortable and in turn make himself feel embarrassed when he’s already very nervous.

Summary: it is YOUR fault if a man approaches you and makes you feel uncomfortable! Jeez, don’t assume they’re leering at you! And gods forbid, definitely don’t “present yourself in a manner that makes you appear inviting to interact with”, because then you definitely deserve the attention. And that manner is what exactly? What I’m wearing? My makeup? Oh I forget, women only think of their appearance in terms of looking good for other people. I can’t get dressed up for myself, because then it’s assumed that I’m dressing for men, and it’s automatically okay for them to hit on me. So I guess once I’m married I’ll…what…wear a burlap sack all the time?

I have just about ranted myself out here, but I will also say that this? Totally. Screwed. Up. The fact that the first movie about a shooting where several (14 I think?) women were killed simply for being a woman, is filmed to show things through a male perspective? Um. WHAT?! Yes, we totally need that, just like we need a movie about the Holocaust from the point of view of a Catholic, that makes sense doesn’t it?

Despite my complete inability to keep up with most net-based shows, no matter how badass (Everyday Hardcore, I’m looking at you!) this video alone makes me want to start watching this show.

This post brought to you at 1:15 (and counting) in the morning because I accidentally took a 2-3 hour nap in the middle of the afternoon. And now I can’t sleep. Argh.

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First post…how exciting

New blog. I decided to use WordPress to make my website for two reasons:

#1- it turns out I am very, very inadept at webdesigning. Seriously. Also, lazy is a factor.

#2 - I really miss blogging, and after starting to read other blogs on a regular basis I’ve been seriously feeling the urge to have my own again. For quite a few years (from eighth grade to my senior year of high school and then a little while after that), I was really pretty good at blogging on a regular basis. A favorite teacher of mine suggested that if we wanted to improve our writing, the best way was to try and write something every day, and voila! I stopped, years later, due to being busy, not caring, and sarcastic comments didn’t help.

This is obviously a means to promote the things I make, but I really did just miss having an outlet for writing whatever I wanted and I’m glad to get back to it.

Since this is the first post, I’ll do the obligatory about me passage. But, since I’m lazy, I’m just going to copy and paste it from the “About” page that I already made.

I’m a 20 year old from a tiny little town in southwestern Missouri. Seriously, my graduating class was 65 people. ;) I’ve been making clothes since I was 14 or 15, and over the past year I’ve become more interested in the “fashion world” so to speak. After graduating high school, I went to a slightly-less-small town to double major in fashion design and fashion merchandising and I HATED IT. I’m sure it would have been a much more pleasant experience in someplace that wasn’t the midwest, but there you have it. The teachers and other students were incredibly snotty, and didn’t want to talk about anything except for runway fashion. Which is great, let me tell you, but as someone who gets a lot of inspiration from street fashion it is not the be all and end all of fashion. Not to mention, none of them wanted to talk to the girl with a green and purple mohawk. Hah. Anyways, I really felt that they were sucking all the joy out of something I love to do and learn about, and as runway fashion isn’t what I want to do, I only lasted a semester before saying “fuck that” and moving back home. Technically, moving to Joplin, which is a town in between the size of Diamond (where I went to high school) and Springfield (home of MSU), but only about 15 minutes away from Diamond. I now live with my fiance and our cat, Randy Giles. I’m attending cosmetology school at the moment, and while I really like doing hair, I definitely want my career to eventually be fashion or clothing related. My eventual dream is to own a small music and clothing store. We’re planning on moving to Austin after we get married in May of ‘09, and I am PSYCHED about it, let me tell you!

That really about sums it up.

Popular topics on this blog will probably include fashion, feminism, music, politics in general, and general ramblings about my life. Such as:

The girls at school are REALLY trying my patience this week. Last week, they all decided that it would be an awesome idea to do a Biggest Loser contest. Everyone who wants to participate pays $2 each week to weigh in, and the person who loses the most weight at the end gets all of the money (I think they did the math and it’d be around $500). It’ll go until right before winter break. Not only do I find everyone’s obsession (there are people who are perfectly fine at the weight they are) with losing weight unhealthy and a little disturbing, but it’s got everyone started on this really annoying health kick. Except that in most of them it’s only a faux-health kick, as it’s about losing weight and looking good; not gaining muscle mass or being healthy. I overheard someone saying that maybe they should take down BMIs as well and mentioned that I had read several places that BMIs aren’t considered accurate any more as they don’t take into account the amount of muscle a person has or their bone density. My BMI, for example, is verrrry close (half a unit) to overweight. The person got all huffy and said “Well YES but it gives a place to start!!”. Or not. Whatever.

Anyways, what I was leading up to in my roundabout fashion is that out of curiosity, I went and weighed myself with the scale they’re using. We don’t have a scale so before today I really only had a very vague idea of what my weight was. Another girl (who is, I might mention, probably a good three inches taller than me) weighed herself right after I did - we were a fifth of a pound apart, with me being the heavier one. I’m not bothered by it as, well, I look fine, and her figure is much less…hourglass shaped than mine. Right after we get back to the mannequin area with the other girls, F starts bitching about her weight and how she needs to lose it. I look at her and say “Dude, I’m like, three inches shorter than you and weigh the same, so shut it, you look fine!”. And she looks at me for a second and then continues bitching.

Well, thanks. *eyeroll*

I just got a new job today. I’ve been doing some independent sewing for Heather of Blessed Nest (which is an awesome company that you should def. check out if you know anyone who is expecting or are yourself!) but it’s only about one shift a week and I could really use a lot more expendable income. Especially since I’ve realized how out-of-date my wardrobe is. And no, I’m not saying because it’s not “of the moment” (that phrase REALLY annoys me. I watched some “fashion” video earlier today and I think they used that phrase 6 times in two minutes. STFU.) it’s not up to date, but there are very few things in there that a. fit me correctly and b. aren’t completely worn out. Maybe I’ll take a picture of my closet later to show you how pitiful it is. Anyways. So, I’m only going to be working part-time but for the first three weeks, I’ll have to go full-time to training, four to midnight, while going to school nine to one. Monday through Friday. It is going to suck hairy monkey balls. But the upside is that at the end of it, I will have a massive (for me) check and by the time I get paid, the rent will have been paid…so after I cover utilities and put between $50-100 towards my credit card bill, I will have a lot of spending money. I am already plotting what to buy with it. So far, the list is as follows:

-at least one and probably two new bras, courtesy of gigiscloset.com - one of the VERY few places I’ve seen that carries Freya bras at a reasonable price and ships to the US!

-these leggings from Forever 21 (to be fair, these will probably be bought long before I get paid, which is going to be in 3 1/2 weeks or so, but still, they’re on my shopping list!)

-a nice pair of boots. Probably ankle boots, but I’m still open to mid-calf boots. This pair is looking very likely, even if they are pricey - they’re rated as being reallllly comfy. I wish they came up a little bit higher, though, so I’m going to keep looking.

-another nice pair of heels or flats. I really desperately want to find a pair of these shoes:

But they’re not listed on 6pm.com or zappos.com any more, so it looks like I might be SOL. Ah, Irregular Choice, how I love thee, but hate your hard-to-find-ness. Anyways, I just got rid of a bunch of shoes (along with all of the ill-fitting clothing) so I figure it’s only fair.

-maybe a DS game…I want ‘The World Ends With You’ or the latest Angel and/or Buffy comic books…yes, I am a geek. shutit.

-andddd me and my BFF have already planned an all-day shopping trip to Springfield, since it has bigger thrift stores and a few actual vintage stores, as well as a theatre that is playing Choke. The Saturday or Sunday after we get paid, off we go! (probably Sunday, as a local venue is putting on a punk fest on Saturday - might be picking up a few t-shirts or cds then as well)

I also might be getting some studs and a buckle for a belt idea I have in mind, using some leather I’ve got. Although, again, I very well might get that long before I get paid.

Yeah. I am psyched to say the least. Right now though, I’ll be getting off of here so I can go do the dishes and finish up a choker that has been a pain in my ass since starting it. It’ll probably get the honor of a post all its own.

Ciao!

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