A Sum of Our Parts

I had a completely different post planned for today, but this is just on my mind. My blog is partly my opinions and observations, but some of it is just feelings and thoughts I need to get out. Like therapy without some frustrating (and expensive) therapist.

I’ve listened to this song about 50 times at least. I can’t stop. The video with it is amazing, and only after watching it at least 10 times did I finally see every part of it. After watching it so many times, you begin to see that the lyrics line up perfectly with each image shown, and besides being a great song, during the video I started to feel annoyed, angry, frustrated, and some emotions I can’t even define yet.

I took a Women in Film class in college. My instructor, Nancy Hellner PH. D,  was brilliant, and powerfully intimidating. I didn’t get to finish the class, I ended up dropping out mid semester (I was raped, had a full shut down, story on that another time). I never even told the instructor why I dropped, I was so ashamed she would think I was weak for just falling apart instead of rising above it. That’s my perception, I have no idea what she would have really thought. Her class really did open my mind to the world of the perception of women in media.

The things I learned in that class have stayed with me, and I’ve seen and heard more since then. It’s about how women are perceived, in media, in life, everywhere. It’s beyond taking those female archetypes, this is taking them to extremes, and then promoting them as role models for any female identified person in the world.

Whenever you see a woman in any type of media, you’re not just looking at a woman. What you’re looking at is her parts, look at the camera focus. If we’re interested in her singing why is the center of the shot on her torso, and her face at the top? Follow the lines. Where do they want you to look, and you’ll find, that’s what you see. Everything essentially is advertising, and its all shown with women who are in pieces, not a sum of their parts. What does Lady Gaga’s face look like? Do you remember what she wore more? What she wore in specific areas on her body, is that what you mostly remember? That’s my point.

Sum of parts, not a person

None of this means I’m against nudity, I was practically raised a nudist and when I’m naked it’s because I want to be, its my most comfortable state. I don’t begrudge people who sell their bodies in any form either. I have always been open that I was a stripper for around 4 years, and it had some great points and some really awful ones. What I’m talking about is whether we choose to take of all or some of our clothes, it’s the pespective of what other people are seeing.

I’m frustrated, with seeing these things that haven’t changed, with feeling like I’m part of a miniscule group that sees these things and knows it’s not right, it hurts the women watching it, its embarrassing, it’s so subliminal that female children are posting video’s asking if they’re ugly. What do the people who love women see during all this? Does it sink in subliminally for them to? Does it give them unrealistic expectations of women, does it make them feel justified in objectifying women?

This isn’t a call to action, I’m not asking everyone to stop what you’re doing and turn off the tv. This is a wake up call. Watch TV, watch movies, video’s, look at magazines, but think about it when you do. Notice the women there, not just the breasts, lips, eyes, ass, legs. There are whole people there just waiting to be seen.

PS: If you find that video on youtube of the woman giving the presentation about women in advertising, its long, and in 2 parts, could you post the link in the comments???

PPS: I know men have similar issues in media, so please don’t give me a rant about how I don’t care about how men are perceived.

I’m Fat?

I’m putting it as a question mark because fat is subjective.

March 2012, Cuddling with the worlds softest, squishiest cat, Vali Pierre

I have all of those things, reasons I know why I’m fat, and that I know there’s not much I can do about it. What I’m more concerned with is being healthy. Fighting the idea of fat = unhealthy is difficult in America, other places too. Being sick with whatever it is that I have makes doing any activity difficult. I love to stretch, dance, and run, but my body betrays me and just getting out of bed hurts most days.

These are all reasons I give myself to forgive myself for gaining weight. To remind myself it’s not my fault. After that, I remind myself that I’m not horribly ugly as much of society or the media wants me to believe, because of my weight. Whenever an article pops up about fat acceptance, or a celebrity who has told the media to stfu about her weight, I read it. I try not to worry about how I look past how comfortable I am and how good I feel about myself. I spend more time dressing in ways that feel good to my body than ways that make me look smaller than I am.

Just a reminder

Outside, on days I leave the house, I can sometimes feel the stares. Or I think there are stares. There’s this evil little voice that gets fed by every “remove belly fat” website ad, every Jessica Simpson lose weight commercial, every Olay skin firming lotion ad. I want to not see them, to ignore them, but it seems you can’t escape the advertising, the way the world around me wants me to know that how I look is not acceptable. The voice speaks up when I’m in public. They think I’m lazy because I’m using a motorized wheelchair, because I’m fat. I shouldn’t eat whatever I’m eating because everyone around me thinks I need a salad. They think I’m sweating because I’m fat, even though it’s a panic attack. Shut up little voice. I don’t feel well, and you are not helping. I didn’t wear makeup today, do my hair, wax my eyebrows this week, and I am wearing pajamas outside. I don’t care, remember, I don’t care. I am having a good time, and my girlfriend loves me. Every moment I can have not being in pain is more important than any moment I could have trying to lose weight.

True love is not conditional on weight or sickness.

Whenever I gain weight, there is a need to buy new clothes. Mostly bra’s and pants. I accept my weight when I do these things. Instead of insisting that I squeeze into my smaller clothes because I am going to work out and lose weight, I give in. I accept that my bra’s do not fit, my pants make me feel awful and sore.  I like to buy my pants at goodwill because they’re already worn in, so they’re more comfortable than new pants. I get my bra’s at Lane Bryant, because they’re pretty and usually on sale. I wear high heels while sitting on the couch, because it hurts too much to actually wear them anywhere anymore.

I refuse to get rid of these shoes, even if I can’t wear them outside anymore.

This is my body now. I am 5 feet and 5 inches tall. I tell people I am 5 feet and 6 inches tall. My weight is 248 pounds. I wear  a size 22 or a 2 XL. My bra’s are a 44 F. My feet are still a size 8. My ring size is an 8 now too. I don’t “suck it in”. I’m growing my hair back out, because I like it long, even though I forget that every couple of years.

I don’t have many pictures of myself right now. Even the one on my website is a few years old. Mostly that is because I don’t take many pictures of myself. What do I need pictures of myself for? I know what I look like. I am going to ask a friend to take some pictures of me to update things here, and on my social media sites. I don’t want any perception that I am ashamed of how I look.

Meeting Anne Rice, 2011. I remember talking to her more than worrying about how I looked for this picture.

Lastly, I ignore people who call me fat on the internet. I know these people are coming up with the only thing they can think of to insult me with, because they are too stupid to argue properly.

I refuse to be ashamed of how I look, even if I have to remind myself that.

The calming manatees always get it right.