Hood Witchery Doings.

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Welcome back to me bein extra.

SO let’s talk hood witchery because I’ve been doin some thangs.

First great thing. So I have a little bag that I’ve been calling my portable altar because Gris gris was incorrect, and I’m not indigenous so nope to calling it anything close to a medicine bag.  I was doing some mystical noodling on google and found the right thing.

I am making myself a MOJO BAG.

Being that the nature of my witchery is entirely syncretic and dependent on how I feel, what I dream etc. What’s interesting is that while I’ve been gathering bits and bobs for it, I have had the Muddy Waters version of Got My Mojo Working *not even my fave version* playing in my head on a loop.

I had misplaced my bag for a minute. I changed bags and left it in my other bags for a while. And I could not stop with the damn song.

Given that I have some memory issues, this is fucking magical that I’ve been thinking the right thing all along I just couldn’t bring it to the fore of my mind.

My bag is still a work in progress and I haven’t had the chance to charge it up yet. I’m going to look for some other odds and ends to fill it out with.

I’m STILL feeling some type of way about trying to vet shops to buy certain items from. I will not buy if your magical items are all Quasi-Eastern, exotifying terribleness. I really hate that so many supposed magiacal witch types will treat anything that isn’t The Morrigan as exotic table trimmings and not respect the deep heritage there.

My fucking heritage.

And I am not connected to African Diaspora religion/witchery by blood that I know of so I’m kind of floundering over here.

There are certain items I just do not feel right getting from people who are not practicing, who are not doing these things or making the sacred items I want in a way that seems respectful.

That said, I’m so glad I found my bag and connected it to the tradition that made me want to have it in the first place.

I’m working on doing some further research, looking for that yes that is what I need feeling.

For those who are atheists or feel some type of way about pagany/witchyness, leave folks alone about it. I don’t care if you don’t like it, it makes me happy.

The next thing I’m also looking at are ways to expand my communication with certain spiritual things. Baron Samedi namely. I have a lot of dreams featuring the Baron. I want to explore creating some type of sacred space in my house and not have it conflict about my negative feelings towards the space.

I tend to not remember/do formalized rituals. I do what feels good in the moment.

Also I’ll document some of my ritual stuff.

What else is coming?

In a month there’ll be some new skincare reviews. I’ll be talking more about fatness and bodies. I’ll be talking about how my relationship with my body is changing again.

That’s all for now.

Shit I like- Witchy Shit Edition

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Also there will be some shit I don’t like.

How about some witchy make up shit?

I love this black lipstick roundup at Dear Darkling. And don’t think I didn’t notice they chose a person of color in one shot. I saw that.

Let me show you some great things. I’ve known the owner of this spot for awhile on the internets. Check out the cute witchy stuff at Last Craft!   Super cute stuff, candles, stickers, pins etc.

Okay y’all, my dear friend Sumayyah is a jewelry designer and quality people. I have at last count probably four pieces and look a clearance.

If you’re in the mood for some intuitive services, a goddess reading etc contact my friend Aaminah. They are very sensitive quality people. Get some. 

Do you need some digital coloring pages? I’m pretty in love with this. I was shown this artist via facebook and just love the Tarot card coloring page.

One of my fave indie body/scent makers has a soap that y’all, this shit is fucking amazing. Black Magic Cream soap from One Hand Washes the other. So good. So so good. Also her perfumery is amazing. Unique affordable natural scents. Check it out.

Is your skin annoyed right now? Mountain Madness Soap has an Oats and Honey bath bomb that looks delicious. I have had some of their other products and really dig them!

How about some goodies from yours truly?

First up, I have a big ole downloadable freebie available right now. Like urban fantasy fiction? Come check it out and download the snack pack right here.

Like that? Inside the snack pack, look for a coupon good for some $$ off in my etsy shop where you can find some MORE lit!

Also I have an announcement I already made elsewhere. I have a new book coming out, poetry from Lark Books. Check it out here. It will be available at the Summer Solstice and I’ll post here when I have any events or related info.

OH yeah if you’re new, I’m not just your Fine Ass Old Auntie I am also a writer. You can check out more of my work here.

Now for some shit I don’t like.

I’ve been reading some really beautiful dark magazines on the internets. They are gothy and the aesthetics are gorgeous and the art is lovely BUT- BUT

The complete lack of anything not written by, presented as, presented for thin White cis able bodied women is exhausting.

The worst part for me is that some of the writers I know are aware that folks outside of that particular norm exist but, these “revolutionary” or otherwise supposedly wild ass publications/parts of the Goth/Witch/Dark subculture don’t really subvert the norm of thin White cis able bodied women.

And frankly, I’m in a state right now where I’m probably going to disengage from these things for a while. Having so little representation and seeing the same type of images, the same articles, the same traditions being centered in something that is supposed to be outside of the norm is just exhausting.

The real truth is, reconstructing the problems in the bigger world in a smaller world sucks. And like I said in this entry, at this point I just don’t have the energy to try and engage with it with every magazine. Have to wade through White fragility and stone walling just so I can have something nice to look at or read about.

So that’s all for now.

Next week, I’m going to post a review of Sock Dreams and give some tips on shopping there AND there will be hair.

 

Live From the Dollar Store-CW: mental health, panic, shame spirals.

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I am not literally at the dollar store right now but my heart is there.

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of work on identifying anxiety triggers. Part of me trying to deal with the reality of living with my flavor of mental illness and trauma involves a lot of me sitting with my anxiety or panic and letting it happen and then trying to figure out how I got there.

Another thing I’ve been slowly learning to allow myself to do is express what’s on my mind mid-freakout. Once upon a time, I was barely capable of telling my best friend over IM. I spent years supressing any outward signs of having emotions much less of having a panic attack that now, my deepest desire is to let it out.

So look here for what I was tweeting in a nice storified way. And then come back to this tab so I can tell you what was gong on in my head.

What set this off on Friday was that I was already feeling very nervous about what/how we were going to eat through getting my paycheck, paying the rent/bills, and until my partner’s EBT refilled. Typically the end of one month into the first week of the next is really difficult for me. I’m partly relieved, and then I’m angry all over because my paycheck barely covers my rent.
By that point in the month, we are always on the dregs of what we’re eating. My partner has health problems and I know how much of a difference a better diet could make but, we have some intersecting things that make doing that extra hard.
I know that I would feel better overall if we could eat better. I know that I feel the best when I use a less “diet” based way of eating and just eat what I want when my body says I want it.
That is expensive. I can’t afford it.
And last Friday, I was hit up for money to be taught marketing and the person used a lot of negging to do it and it caused me to have a panic attack and subsequent bout of pure rage.
The anger was mixed with my panic because, boom I had an instant cascade of food insecurity.  And what do you know, afterwards (and after eating thanks to some gracious donations) I was able to figure out and pinpoint that food insecurity for either myself or my Lil family, sends me deep into panic and anxiety and shame.
What does that have to do with the dollar store?
Our neighborhood dollar store is slightly small, cramped and usually hot as hell. The staff is pretty friendly and they have food.
Generally speaking, I always have a jar of change, I have my emergency dollars stashed and I know if I can walk up there, I can feed my little family.
It is not the best food.
But it is sometimes what makes the difference between eating and not. Between, getting some protein and eating plain ramen.
Sometimes when I’m panicky about making sure my partner has something to eat in the house if he’s unable to get out or when I realize I don’t have any lunch, the dollar store is there.
And for that, I am terribly thankful.
[<a href=”//storify.com/Weebeasty/the-external-meltdown” target=”_blank”>View the story “The External Meltdown” on Storify</a>]

Goth Fantasist- Dream Summer Femme Edition

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Welcome back my darling loves.

I decided to change up how I do these posts and today, we’re going to talk the Femme Goth Fahion I would buy right now.

A lot of what is on the pinboard that goes with this post are what I call Gothables. Stuff that is accessible to lots of us economically and size wise. They are not the fanciest of Goth attire but, they are things that are easily gothed up or down. I also mixed in some total Alt/Goth  stuff that I can’t buy because shit doesn’t come in sizes over like an 8. There are shoes, a mix of higher end and Kmart retailers.

And let’s talk about retailers.

Real. Talk.

I do not do a lot of “ethical” shopping. I get in where I fit in and that’s a decision I’ve made because I don’t really ascribe to minimalism based on for me, I don’t have access to easy laundry facilities. I cannot be washing the same goddamn pair of pants by hand and waiting for them to maybe dry in my damp ass apartment.

Also, for real. If I could afford to save for you know, 6 months to buy one awesome piece and have it be workable I would try but I can’t. So yes, you will see problematic retailers featured here and yes I know they are terrible so please save any lectures about it.

Now, let’s talk what I mean when I say Gothable.

Let’s say that you are an Old Office Goth like me and you don’t have the wardrobe or mad DIY skills that say, Aunt Jillian has. Or maybe where you work is okay with some weird but not ALL the weird. So, my method is that I buy pieces in black or some prints (y’all don’t even understand the level of fool I am for a big ole gaudy ass floral) and sometimes I goth it up with my choice of hair styles, jewelry, etc.

Also, jewelry is a GREAT way to express some Gothness in as low key a way as you can in order to be able to navigate the life you live without totally sacrificing your style.

I’m a big fan of mixing the practical with the silly. I tend to have to buy shoes for practicality. I buy outerwear for practicality even though, I want fantastical. I like to put color in my wardrobe in my socks or tights. Sometimes I’ll wear a peekaboo of bright red under a cardigan.

Now let’s talk about some Gender related feelings.

In terms of how I experience and express my genders, I’ve just accepted that I’ll be Femme whether I feel more masculine or feminine.

For me Masculine looks like/feels like, skinny jeans, boots, weird wizardy cardigans or ninja cardigans. In my head I like the idea of those poopy butt drop crotch leggings/joggers but I feel like in reality I would hate them. If I’m gonna get chub rub, I better have a dress on because chub rub AND pants is fucking bullshit.

My masculine aesthetics tend to lean more towards fancy dressed masc. Tuxedos, suits.

The main reason I present Femme as I do is basically I really fucking hate pants. I. Hate. Pants.

I also think a lot of menswear is just not pretty or as interesting to me as ladywear.

So.

Yanno.

I’m just gonna be a chunky ass Old Goth Weirdo and it is good.

What else?

Let’s talk aesthetics.

Mine tend to go all over the place.

At the end of Winter I was really feeling my layers. I am FINALLY starting to figure out what fabrics I like together, how much layering I like. That was great.

Right now I’m still in the confused, do I let my bare legs and leg fur fly? It is cold AF in the morning. I have switched back to my fleece coat BUT, it is not water resistant at all and whatnot.

Soon I’m going to talk about thrifting and how getting my groove back to just -know- that a thing will work. When I was fatter I felt like this was my super power and it was so empowering for me. Losing the ability was a huge blow to my self esteem.

SO what am I into right now?

Kimonos *GAG that anyone calls these robes/cardis that*. I like em sheer, floral prints etc. ALL THE DRESSES!!! ALL OF THEM. All shapes, skater dresses, tunics, pixie hems YASSSSSSSSSSSSS LORD!

Skirts. YES all of them also.

I am actually good at layering for warmer Seattle weather. You’ll frequently find me in skirt or dress with a cardigan and a hoody available to put on. I’m still obsessed with galaxy print everything.

For shoes, y’all. It has been decided by my feet that I absolutely CANNOT wear totally flat shoes anymore. I have a pair of Croc ballet flats that were my go to never fail shoes.

Now I need some platform or other height so…yeah.

I’m super into working out some Dark Mori influenced outfits and looking at wearing more jewelry again.

So there you have it.

See below for a (still growing) pinboard of my current wardrobe fantasy items. You’ll find some plus size stuff, shoes, accessories, LOTS of femme clothes. Feel free to make your own and drop a link to it.

Quickie Reviews!

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Let’s do some quickie reviews. Some affiliate links, ahoy.

First up, some hair stuff:

Creme Of Nature Strength & Shine Leave-in Conditioner: I picked this up sort of on emergency status. I had no leave in with some slip and my hair was super really HOLY FUCKBALLS WHAT HAVE I DONE- tangled. Y’all this shit right here. It does have cones in it and that’s what I needed. You shake it and it gives a nice light mist and my hair digs the formula. I actually found it at Rite Aid in my hood.

Next up, I used the last of a little jar of SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Reparative Leave-In Conditioner.  I heard from some recent reviews that the formula had changed and y’all it has. It still smells good but I found that this newer formula does not moisturize my hair the way it used to at all. Not worth it. I won’t be rebuying it. Also like LOTS of other brands who made their big money on Black women they are backing away from Blackness and I ain’t here for it so they get no more of my black ass dollars.

I recently saw the new release of the Babylips line and I was so excited. I’m a big fan of the original babylips and picked up one of the new crayons. I got it in Playful Purple. Pros: major color. The color is fire. It is like BOOM all in your face which for a balm is pretty amazing. Cons: MAJOR CLOWN MOUTH. This is not like the buildable ones like my fave OG Cherry one. Y’all no. This new one is messy, it just got ALL over around my mouth after a couple of swipes. Good for the pahpow color, but, not really feasible for a little quick tint. Nah son. That said, I bought it so instead of wearing it as is, I found if I blot it down a few times the color is less shiny but stays put.

I’ve recently been wearing more eye shadow and y’all, I forgot how much I love the Revealed and Revealed 2 palettes. The shadows are well pigmented and blend easily. I feel like if you prefer more nudes (some of these are GREAT nudes for brown skin) and want nice quality without shelling out huge bucks these are pretty great. You don’t have to have both, if you’re my shade or around that I suggest 2 more than 1.

Next I’ve fallen ass over tea kettle in love with the First Aid beauty Ultra Repair Cream.  That said- this shit is expensive AF but, I do really love it. The big wow factor for my super dry body skin is the Colloidal Oatmeal in it. First ingredient and excellent for soothing itching burning skin. I probably use way too much (I’m nothing if not extra) but it is just so soothing and the light citrus scent is really nice. I probably won’t buy a big jar because it’s expensive, but it’s a great product if you are looking and got $$.

What else?

My current fave sheet mask is the Tony Moly I’m Real Red Wine Mask Sheet. My favorite weird mask is the carbonated clay mask One Bad Motha’foamer. Even beardy beard face Uniballer (my partner) loves that foamy one. I dunno if it really gets in them pores but it is so fun to do I love it.

If you are into interesting, unique and handcrafted perfumes, but don’t have BPAL money, y’all I GOT U BOO. Whisper Sisters. The owner Darla has got a magical nose for complex, deep and gorgeous scents. My personal faves right now are Spidora – red licorice, sugar, clove, aged patchouli. Eulalie – peach, rose, honeysuckle, carnation. And Cecil – brown sugar, black pepper, sugar. I have an ever growing collection of her work and y’all it is so good.

What am I looking forward to?

OH OH OH.

So, y’all I LOVE SOCK DREAMS and I just found out I have a referral link. So if you want to shop them, please use my link homies. I legitimately LOVE that company so much. I am wearing their socks right now.

PRO TIP. If you have dry hands and like fancy hand cream, watch for sets of the good shit around holidays. Gift sets are where it’s at. I’m currently using tube #3 out of a four or five tube set I got at Christmas from Sephora of Korres body butters. I will likely purchase this one when I run out. My favorite so far is the rose. The scent is soft and natural, the cream is wonderful.

Remember, travel or gift sets are the business if you want to try out something expensive without the huge ding to your wallet.

But, beware. You might get hooked like I have on this Peter Thomas Roth
Pumpkin Enzyme Mask Enzymatic Dermal Resurfacer. Y’all. This shit is so expensive and I have a wee tiny bit of it left, it is so good. So so good. My face feels like the softest fattest little baby butt in the world when I use it. Like…it’s so rare to use a product and have immediate gratification but there it is. That 58 goddamn dollar tub of pumpkin goodness is my official holy grail mask.

That said, on recs from lots of friends I’ll be checking out some The ordinary skin care. I have my eye on this retinol and the rosehip oil.

I still love the Tarte Maracuja oil but I think for the warmer weather my skin doesn’t want it. Also the little bottle lasted me for months, I still have a good amount.

I will be switching my foundation up as well and will do some reviews when I FINALLY get my shit.

That’s all for now. I believe next time we’ll get our Goth Fantasist on, the more Genderqueer version for folks.

 

Struggle Bus Naturals- A little update

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So in the last few weeks I’ve been feeling kind of down about my hair. I was experiencing some MAJOR tangling and haven’t been able to find my schedule for taking my hair down to braid now that I’ve changed shifts.

One of the drawbacks to hardcore protective styling for me is that I am not always able to see progress or milestones. My biggest milestone lately has been that my hair is now too much to do my whole cowash/detangle in the shower unless I want to wash my ass in stone cold water.

So I was thinking maybe of doing something else? I dunno. I watch a LOT of hair channels (I should not) and was feeling inadequate. Y’all I KNOW better than to compare. I mean, my hair is what it is. It’s not gonna be as glorious as one of the super long folks I follow.

Let me say this to my fellow struggle bus naturals. Your hair is gonna do what it do. For some of us there is no amount of product or manipulation to give us picture perfect all the sameish curls. For some of us, there are no laid edges without abusing our hair. A lot of us are not walking around rocking Instagram worthy hair all day every day.

Remember y’all, let your hair be your hair.

Now, over the weekend I decided to treat my hair SUPER nice.

I prepoo’d with coconut oil and did some finger detangling. Then I clarified my hair with one quick suds with a sulfate shampoo and followed with my liquid African Black soap.

I don’t do a whole wash in the shower anymore. Instead I shampoo in four sections in my sink. I have a hose thingy like this.   I also use a hair catcher in the drain. I used to exclusively wash this way until I started cowashing more.

I detangled with a bit of extra conditioner outside of the shower and while I was doing that with one section, I freaked out a little. Y’all, I have retained INCHES. When I started this round of protective styling I trimmed my hair to just below my shoulder. I trimmed a little bit as I was combing and look at how glorious my hairs is:

hair

[image description: a photo of the author a brown person from behind. One section of their hair is down and reaches a couple of inches below their shoulders]

Y’all.

That is all retention, which has been my biggest problem previously.

So here are my big super secrets.

  1. Figure out what your hair likes. Not what your fave youtuber likes. How to figure this out? Use a product consistently. Unless your hair immediately starts doing something wild or if your scalp is itchy, stop but, you have to give your hair time.
  2. Don’t try and rush your hair. Let it do what it do.
  3. Do what works and don’t screw around overmuch.

And that’s pretty much it. What works for me, might suck for you and that’s okay because we’re not in the same body.

A few other tips before I go.

If you start taking hair, nail and skin vitamins that have a lot of MSM or Biotin, drink extra water. If you don’t your face will break out. Your face might break out anyway, but, if it isn’t terrible, just roll with it. Again, give it at least 90 days and stay hydrated.

And love your hair. Doesn’t matter what kind of hair you have. Love your TWA, love your hair.

Now, as for me. I’m going to try that Jazz Nicole method of doing some crochet twists with NO CORNROWS!! If I can do it, it’s gonna be a spring/summer of UNICORN hair and I’m super hype. I’ll take some photos of it while I’m trying it. My plaiting has gotten quite a bit better so if I can do this, it’s fixin to be lit.

That’s it for now darlings.

Next time, I dunno maybe some new quickie reviews!

Old Goth is Old. Complaints from the Black Goth Department.

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If you are of the opinion that Goth is a phase, please go read this. I’ll wait.

Now, let’s talk about being an Old Black Goth.

In my early 20s during my pre-Internet life there were certain things about my Gothness I just accepted.

Things such as:

White people with their versions of dreadlocks.

Zero to a wee bit of representation in media.

Being exoticized.

Nazi Fetish, Nazi imagery, Nazi regalia is “just to be provocative”

These things are inside the subculture. Back in the day when I was a lil baby bat, these things vexed me a lot.

These days, yeah whatevs.

Except the representation. Goth has a reputation for being more open about bodies, etc. but, yeah not so much.

Even all these years later, if we’re looking for images of androgyny better be tall and thin or tiny and thin or just you know, pretty thin.

Lately I’ve been getting back into make up and again, I see these beautiful tutorials and nary a one says anything about making it work for skin other than white skin. Not. One.

Also, lately in the last few years as Goth and Witchy looks have turned mainstream, shops are NOT stocking all available sizes in brands that make above a size L. Dollskill is terrible for this. They stock Killstar brand clothing (which I am OBSESSED WITH) ahem. But none of the Xl/XXL sizes. And a lot of Killstar stuff is stretchy so more sizes can get their ham in it. So why?

It is 20 goddamn 17.

Can I tell you that in the late 90s, a lil fat booty Goth babe like yours truly could buy ALL sorts of brands of goth clothes?

And another complaint. Every single witchy, dark, magazine is so white. Except for like ONE article from a while back about a Black witch. It is kinda getting me down lately. I’m feeling very much like, yo um…where are your non white people? You know we exist right?

There are a number of dark oriented magazines I’ve been reading lately on the interwebs. From the purely aesthetic ones, to the sexy ones to the cultural ones to the ones talking spirituality, they all mainly

Let’s look at all the witchy goodness happening. Most of the imagery revolves around pretty white girls in instagram filtered photos with stiletto nails, lots of AHS inspired hats, lots of Baba Yaga, the triple goddess, etc. On a casual look, I can find eleventy million hot takes and essays about it but, while traditions, looks and what not differ there are not a lot of folks who don’t fit the common aesthetic.

Once upon a time, a few years ago now one of the glossy goth magazines got bold and talked inclusion and diversity. The article was kind of okay? As I recall they didn’t seem to have spoken to any Black Goths but linked to them which is a problem. After that, their look didn’t change. There weren’t Black goths featured, there weren’t hot fat folks in fancy digs, they did what a lot of other things that brand themselves as diverse do.

They did one thing and called it a win.

Right around that time I pitched, probably ten magazines op eds about those of us who aren’t pale willowy sorts. I never heard a word back from any. I wrote letters and emails.

Crickets.

For me personally, sometimes this shit is hard as fuck. I’m feeling that way now. Because my interests from a very young age have fallen outside of the little box that folks think Blackness is, sometimes I feel starved for community but leery of it as well. On one hand, I LOVE talking Alt shit. Makeup, clothes, music, but I also am very fully aware that the need may arise for me to gird my loins regarding my Blackness. I am fully aware that I will encounter microagressions, that I might have to yet again explain why it’s not cute to be a racist, etc.

There are some communities around for Alt/Goth folks of color, but, personally there was a bit too much internalized white supremacy going on in those groups and nah son.

Like any other microcosm of society, the ones I like are going to replicate the sins of the macrocosm. That said, emotionally it just makes me sad and tired.

That’s where I am right now.

Sad and tired old Black Goth.

I’ll feel better, these things come and go.

Now that my life has shifted to a more daytime dwelling schedule. I might get my partner Uniballer dressed up and take him to a meet up or maybe get us out to the Goth club once in a while.

I will probably return to reading my dark magazines. I found some great fashion stuff to look at on Tumblr and I’ve been doing some more wardrobe rebuilding.

Hell, I might even start writing essays about this stuff and trying to Black up some Goth mags.

For right now, I feel better I got it off my chest.

Until next time my loves.

Coming soon I have some new beauty reviews and if the universe works with me, some face of the day photos and stuff. I will probably bring back the goth fantasist posts too.

 

 

 

Musings-Poverty trauma, exhaustion.

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I’m experiencing one of my least fave perimenopause things today. The Crushing Fatigue. I was fine and doing stuff and now I am not.

I’ve been tracking a lot of stuff about my day to day life and I have one pattern that I just cannot seem to shake. When I am exhausted or in this fatigued state, all I can think about is how much more I should be doing to support my little family.

I’m not sure what it is about being so tired I’m unable to do much, triggers this intense mix of guilt, shame and sudden NEED to be all hustle. Or, I look at my budget for things I’m saving for (currently Ninja Blender) and I come up with eleventy forty seven reasons why I should not be doing that and should do X thing instead. Right now, that feeling is a bit more intense because we have an unexpected bill this month that pretty much has eaten my “extra” money in my budget.

On one hand, I feel that shame that poor people feel because of how our culture treats us. Part of my brain says, if I worked harder. If I made better decisions I mean I don’t need to eat “good” food, I don’t need  to write something that meant I bought research materials, I don’t need new drawers, I can surive! Of course I can. I have survived worse!

One part of my brain is like, FUQ U I CAN DO THIS SHIT!

Then I open a new tab and start a whole new tighter, leaner and meaner budget. When I feel this way, my budgets are like. Fuck you and your entertainment. Fuck your hair. Fuck your raggedy ass panties too. You don’t deserve shit you didn’t work for.

On the other side of my brain, things are far more chill. That part of my brain says, you know if our culture actually was decent, you’d not feel like your worth is only what you can produce. That side of my brain says, you didn’t fail and destroy your whole life because a bill was bigger than anticipated. You are allowed to not be hustling all the time.

The latter is what I really believe. Rationally, I know and believe that there are many intersecting things that contribute to my experience of being the working poor, the trauma and the anxiety triggers. I know that. Shit, I’ve fucking written about it.

So much of my brain is arguing with itself because I know these things, but sometimes I can’t feel these things. I feel ashamed because I bought TWO pairs of skinny jeans on clearance in December and I could really use that 42.89 (Yes I remember the exact price) right now. On one hand, I rage because I don’t make a living wage and don’t see that changing anytime soon, but I also know that I am worth being paid a living wage.

This push and pull is also a feature of how my anxiety manifests. I know that so much of this is a stinky mix of triggers and anxiety and panic.

know I am worth spending the money on my own personal health on my personal comfort etc. On having a better quality of life. I know that. A lot of my work is deeply rooted in that.

So really, my job in this state is not to listen to the part of me that says I’m lazy and terrible and not worth it.

That’s all I’m gonna do for right now because it’s all I can do.

How to know if your body posi ain’t shit.

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Welcome y’all.

I have the urge and this is going to be about as body politics 101 as I get so pull up.

This is your intro in how to know if your body positivity ain’t shit or if it is a lie.

First, let’s talk about Good Fatties who Exercise and why that particularly odious thing is a fuckin lie.

Let me tell y’all a little story about baby Chubby Me in 1994. I was heading into my senior year of high school and wanted to be thinner. So chubby lil me put on my running gear and headed out on a sunny summer afternoon.

I was not really fat. I was fat in the context of my peers, my immediate family and where I lived. Read what I said about fat in context and contextual fatness here (old blog post, there is an adult warning but there’s no boobs or anything) I was going along pretty well and a carload of young men probably a bit older than me slowed and they started mooing and oinking at me. I kept going and they went around again and that time they threw half full sodas and trash at me. I was so humiliated I didn’t exercise outside in my own neighborhood ever again.

Now, if we presume that fat people must be “doing something” about their fatness at all times and that to be a Good Fatty one must be exercising and proclaim a super love of fitness, wouldn’t people be all about seeing fat folks being active? They aren’t.

Read Ragan’s article in Ravishly about the backlash because Nike has released some plus sized active wear. There’s a video of a fat young woman ballet dancing, going around on facebook. We all know FB is a cesspool but, read the comments if it goes by you. People talk about how gross fat people are (while a fat person is doing really lovely pirouettes) talk about how she “can’t help it” etc.

There is no Good Fatty.

One of the other pitfalls of the Good Fatty is when folks who are newer to body posi/fat acceptance circles, is that they base their self-esteem on not being one of those fat people. They build a hierarchy of fatness where they are at the top because (based on things I’ve had said to me/seen in conversations)

  • They don’t need to use mobility devices
  • They eat X diet (vegan what have you)
  • They don’t have X body type (large belly, double belly, they consider themselves “proportional”)
  • They exercise
  • They are “Real Women”

The fact is, none of those things are moral values. And setting oneself apart from other folks based on physical variables is gross. Setting oneself as the superior person because real women have curves is toxic nonsense.

If you by your behavior or how you talk about other people’s bodies are upholding the notions of the evils of fatness, you are not only harming those people you are harming yourself and rolling in a toxic stew of hatefulness.

There is nothing revolutionary, loving or accepting about replicating the hurtful behavior of the larger world in smaller circles. Basing your personal self-esteem off of the idea that you are magically so much better than them, won’t last.

The next thing is that we cannot be played Oppression Olympics. Let me make one thing crystal clear. Different experiences of oppression don’t negate yours. Don’t start trying to on up other people because nothing will come of it. In terms of bodies, let’s put it this way.

Let’s say we have you a person who is thin and super fit and can go literally anywhere and not be bothered because of your weight generally speaking (yes I know some thin folks get harassed, but that is not a global thing), you can pop into a random store and there is a 95% probability you can buy a pair of pants. If you go to the doctor with a say (this actually happened to me) ear infection, you don’t spend the whole visit being lectured on how if you’d just try to do something about your weight you’d feel better. Nevermind that your problem has zero to do with the size of your ass.

Then we have me. Chubby but not that fat. I walk around with the kind of privilege that says I have like a 60% chance of going into most stores to buy pants. Most of the time people don’t hassle me about my weight, except (again based on my life) sometimes people try to sell me diets on the street. My doctors aren’t super keen to look into some of my health issues until I “finish” losing weight.

Now we also have another friend, we’ll call them Bob. Bob is fatter than both of us, say about average. They buy at the low end of the plus size, scale and likely get told by the doctor to do something about their weight before it is too late. They probably get told they are pre-diabetic even if they aren’t. They probably have a hard time getting treatment for things like ankle or foot pain, they get told that any problem with their body, is weight related. Maybe, they don’t go to the doctor unless it is an emergency because they feel traumatized.

Next we have our friend Billie and Billie is death fat. Really fat. Billie can’t go into 90% of stores for pants. Billie, is a headless fatty. Billie experiences harassment for being fat and alive everywhere. Billie will not go to the doctor. Billie has been abused by society and let’s say they are very outspoken about it.

We are all humans right?

Yes, we are.

Now, Billie and Bob will have totally different experiences being human than you and I. It’s important that you and I give Billie and Bob space to talk about their experiences without insisting that we’ve got it just as bad. In terms of our personal lives, our mental health yes a lot of factors could make our experiences subjectively awful but, that doesn’t mean that every conversation has to be about us.

When we engage in the artificial hierarchies of who has it “worse” we waste time squabbling and it does nothing to make sure that NONE of us have to experiences bias because of our bodies.

Whoa right?

If we don’t engage in Oppression Olympics and we remove the ideas about Good Vs Bad Fatties or bodies, we can focus on doing the real work of dealing with sizeism in the world.

NOW.

If you read these things and get defensive, your body politics ain’t shit. Dig out from under and get to work.

This is just like coming to understand that when it comes to matters of race, a lot of the time we need to shut up and listen. Listen to what Billie and Bob have to say.

We’ll stop here for now, but if you are new to body politics or if you’re body politics ain’t shit, sit with this for a while. When you see those supposedly “inspirational” videos go by on facebook, read the comments. Next time, we’re going to talk about how to engage but not take over. And here from 2010, words for non fat folks.  By me.

 

Friday Day Dreams and Deals

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It’s Friday. I’m deeply relieved.

So let’s talk about some stuff I’m daydreaming about and whatnots.

Usual rules, amazon links will be affiliate links, Ebates available links will be asterisked, y’all know.

The first thing I am daydreaming about being summer breakfast smoothies. I really need to get more fruit in my diet, but I can’t always afford to buy enough fresh to be able to eat it all before it spoils. My partner can’t eat fruit the way I can so we wind up buying little. Also, I must confess I’m nesting HELLA hard right now so I want house shit. I’ve been spying on the Ninja blenders like this one.  I’ve heard good things from friends and the idea of having smoothies to sip on the bus OM NOM NOM. If I do get one, I’ll have to watch myself because I will only eat smoothies because I love them and that’s not really great. Do y’all do smoothies? Y/N? Drop your favorite recipes with no mango in the comments.

Since I’ve been sick pretty much regularly since last fall, I’ve been trying really hard to work out ways to support my health. I’m still having problems swallowing pills so I’ve switched my vitamin routine over to gummies. I’ve been trying to do what I can to support my health. One of the things I use daily is a big ass water bottle. It is getting old and I’m thinking I want this one. 32 ounces y’all. WITH A STRAW!! I love everything with straws. I’ve also taken to drinking a couple of EmergenC’s a day. I like the one with vitamin D and immune support. Although I will note that the CVS store brand of these actually taste way better to me and I just bought two boxes bogo.

I am also daydreaming about getting a coat that is somewhere between winter and fall. It is cold in the morning, but warm when I leave work. I’m discovering that I literally am still so bad at coat shopping. I’m very picky. I want a good deep hood, rain proof or at least resistant, I want it long at least to mid-thigh and I prefer it in black. I’m not a fan of anything too sporty. I LOATHE wearing puffy coats. Y’all, it is such a struggle to be a picky ass old Goth. How does one go about finding a medium weight coat without having a meltdown? Shit is hard and I’d honestly rather spend my money on boots.

Ahem. I’m trying so hard to be an adult about this.

Now let me encourage your retail therapy feels.

Dollskill has some really amazing shoes and bags on sale right now.

If you have CVSCVS in your area or are into ordering, right now they have some vitamin sales that are pretty great. From the site; Save $5 on any Vitamin purchase of $20 or more.
Online only.* Coupon Code: VITAMIN5. And don’t forget to check your extra care rewards! In store there are some vitamin sales happening as well.

Are you a crafter in need of a shitload of yarn? I’ve bought some bags of yarn at this site and it’s a good deal. They don’t have ALL the yarn in the world, but a good selection, especially if you aren’t allergic to wool.

Also I’ve told y’all that you can order from the Dollar Tree in a lot of places? Check your zip code and supply up. This is also an excellent thing to go in on with a friend or friends. Order a bunch of stuff, split it up at one person’s house.

Need some jewelry? My friend Sumayyah makes beautiful jewelry I have a few of her pieces. Check out some of these gorgeous things.

Wanna get your card read? My friend Aaminah does some great intuitive readings and this is a great way to support one of my fave writers. Go look and book.

Want something to read?

Come have a look at my Etsy shop. I’ve got some Lovecraft influenced fiction, some poetry and other lit available RIGHT NOW.  And just for y’all, spend 12$ (basically grab everything available) use coupon code AUNTIESHANNON and get 2 bucks off.

If you’ve got an Etsy shop or other hustle, drop it in the comments!