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!

I am not an “after”-About Fatness

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Folks who’ve known me for a long time to know my weight has fluctuated over the years. Recently someone had a looksy at some old outfit photos of mine and then emailed me to let me know how “proud” they are of my weight change.

Okay, so first of all, do not do that to people. It doesn’t matter how fat someone is or was, unless they ask you mind your damn business. Losing weight, whether it is, on purpose or not is not always something to be applauded regardless of the before. Also, other folks don’t owe you thanks for noticing the size of their ass at all. They don’t. So don’t.

Next thing. I am not a good or bad former fatty. My change in ass size has not changed my body politics or staunch fat acceptance. Actually, no that’s a lie. It’s a hot fucking lie. My stance on fat acceptance, has gotten stronger. The fact that I now reside in an area of privilege where I’m a little smaller than the average American woman, I’m pissed off. It shouldn’t be a privilege for me to now be able to buy 7$ leggings. Or be pretty ding dang sure if I go to Target, there will be at least a few pairs of pants I like or whole lines of clothes I can buy.

My position of privilege means that some makers, now deem my money worthy and will make me a skirt or dress without charging 50$ extra. It means that if I go buy a dress makers dummy, I won’t have to pad it except maybe the boobs. It means that when I go to the doctor, I’m listened to a little bit more. Oh, you lost weight YAY but you still have these health problems? Maybe it wasn’t your weight after all.

Here is where we get body posi graduate level. Rather than looking back at the place where I didn’t have these privileges and wallowing in my relief not to be the face or ass of the bad fatty, I’m pissed off. I want to smash the privilege I’ve slid into because I can see just how shitty it is.

There is zero reason that my smaller ass should mean that suddenly I’m a better, more moral, more trustworthy person. Being less fat, being closer to thinness and having thin privilege by being close to it, did not change my soul.

Now folks who are not fat, I am talking to you right now. Former fatties, I’m talking to you too.

Listen, when we are in this position of having privilege due to proximity to the “ideal” it’s not the time to disappear into the mealy mouthed body posi that pays zero attention to people whoa re really fat. Let’s talk about using our position of privilege as a fucking weapon.

These days when I inquire about sizes, I don’t limit myself to my own size 12ish ass. I ask why doesn’t this come in a size 26? I tell retailers, hey there is a market of folks who want this thing who are above your (insert largest size here). Because of how privilege operates, the response I’ve gotten to these inquiries has been markedly more friendly than they were when I would say things like, I want to give you my money, why doesn’t this come in my size?

That is how privilege works.

Now, as far as my own weight changes, they kind of are what they are. I still don’t really want it. I still am not really okay with the size of my ass, I felt perfect in my body at a larger size, but it looks like this is how things are gonna be so I am making peace with it.

I am enjoying my 7$ “one size” leggings. I am enjoying that I can usually go to big lots and find the size 6 panties I like for super cheap. Those things are great. When I was fatter and didn’t have access to those things, I wasn’t mad at the folks who did, but at the fact that being able to buy a bushel of discount panties is a privilege.

I am angry at a system that magically turns me into a “better” more trustworthy and generally more “worthy” person because my butt is smaller than some other folks.

I am angrier still because, weight changes aren’t moral victories. People who succeed for however long at purposefully losing weight aren’t heroes. It is not some magical morality bullet that turns them into amazing wonderful people. As I said years ago, if you were a fat asshole you’re probably gonna be a thin asshole too.

I don’t want it.

I don’t want jubilant congratulations on something that was not okay with me in the first goddamn place.

I don’t want to be reminded every time I deal with a medical professional that the health problems I have now, had when I was fat, had when I was super thin and have had for decades at this point are suddenly, magically real because my weight changed.

I am not an after shot. I’m not at the midpoint between before and after.

Yes, I live in a body that is often in flux. Yes, my body has changed. Yes, I’ve got some health stuff going on.

No, it’s not actually any of your business. I am not obligated to share my super ass changing secrets. No, I don’t want your speculations about how I’m a whole brand new me. I’m the same weirdo I was when I was fatter.

Can I share with you what weight loss again has not cured?

  • Any-goddamn-thing.

 

The culture of fat stigma has caused me and a whole lot of other people harm. Irreparable, sometimes fatal harm.

The culture of deifying dieting culture and intentional weight loss has done me and a whole lot of people irreparable and sometimes fatal harm.

The refusal of people who claim “body positivity” to extend that to ALL bodies, yes, ALL bodies regardless of size, ability or gender has done irreparable and sometimes fatal harm.

So you know what?

If you are in my type of position of privilege, step up. Don’t leave fat folks behind because you’re basking in the glow of conditional acceptance. The same stigma that follows fat folks, will come for you too.

That’s all for right now. We’ll talk more about it later.

 

Stuff I’m Lowkey obsessed with.

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Y’all, I HAVE to share because I cannot make myself stop.

I’m going to throw links at y’all of stuff I’m pretty obsessed with as in, if money weren’t no thang….you know.

First thing. I am obsessed with Chrome bags. I have one, my partner has one. I LOVE them. They are made for bike messengers and if you don’t drive, have to be out in weather and pack a lot of crap y’all. I already have a Citizen. It is a big ass bag. Lots of capacity and I retired from carrying it daily only because it is big and my morning buses tend to be butts to nuts standing room only. And I have manners. I do want to be able to carry my crochet projects and as I was looking at tote bags, they came out with the Welterweight mini Metro*.  Y’AAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL….I want it so bad. I do not have 140$ bag money right now, but I want it. Y’all know Auntie hates paying retail, but totally worth it.

What else?

As we get towards the idea of better weather, I want sandals? I dunno. I do want wedges and platforms. I’m feeling like full 90s clunky kinda ugly platform.

I was giggling at myself the other day, on nice days I tend to dress the way I wanted to dress when I was like 19 and it just makes me laugh. Apparently I really just want to clomp around in warm weather with my furry legs out and with my hair in braids giving no fucks.

I’m really bad at hair y’all. I lack the Black Folx braiding magic and really REALLY want to give myself Goddess Locs. I have been watching Jazz Nicole’s videos constantly and I bought a latch hook. I think I’m ready to practice doing myself some.

If you are not good at these things like me, go check out her feed.

How about some shit I’m annoyed at?

I am so done with make up brands URBAN DECAY HI, using Black folks but not making their “tributes” accessible. Look here:

Once upon a time I loved UD. That said, they ain’t shit for this. I mean, POC have the cash to spend and so many of these brands just don’t bother to really try. Yes, like Nyx they’ll come out with the colors, but I can’t go to ULTA and buy them. Sephora? Yep Black Beauty folks on youtube will squee about that new Laura Mercier darker powder, but, we can’t go to the store to buy it.

Now y’all see why I’ll never be a famous beauty blogger.

When it comes to make up, y’all. I LOVE it. But, I also hate it. I hate that for instance I think Kat Von D makes gorgeous make up. I don’t like that just like every other damn brand, you’d be hard pressed to find someone darker than beige even in spots where it’d make sense. SUCH AS, foundation area. Why not have any more models? You ColourPop I remember this shit.

I mean everybody loves some melanin, unless it’s time to use a dark model right?

Pardon my mood swing. I am still really sick and I’m cranky as fuck.

Also, I resent that in trying to, you know get my fucking glam on, I have to navigate this bullshit.

This is also on my mind because I was given an unwanted lecture about voting with my wallet and ethical shopping. For me, if I shopped to match my actual ethics I’d not be able to buy anything down to my draws and I’m just not about that life.

If you can and want to vote with your wallet? Do you Boo.

Okay good lord.

That is not quite where I was tryin to go but here we are.

Okay, back to stuff I keep thinking about.

Goddess Locs be damned, the sun is coming out and I really -really- want to have red hair again. I’m talking I want to strip the fuck out of my hair with a product like this and have it be bright red. Ahem. This is why I wear wigs and protective style. Once upon a time, I would bleach the hot fuck out of my hair anytime and my hair suffered.

I might be fantasizing about my big red fro, I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing because my hair is doing quite well and I decided I’m gonna try to grow it to waist length.

I’ll have a hair update after this weekend. I had a major whoopsy and I’m gonna document me fixing it.

I didn’t fuck up super bad, but my scalp is mad and I did it to my damn self.

OH also soon I’m going to have a write up of using a homemade toner, some quickie reviews and maybe some dedicated posts to books and whatnots.

Thanks for visiting y’all!

OH before I forget.

As usual any links marked * you can get money back from ebates. Also on that side hustle tip, I added a whole new section of sparkly, holo, silly handbags and wallets on my Amazon shop because I love them and can’t have them all. Check it here.I’ll write about my bag fetish at another time.

 

 

 

 

IT’S MY BIRFDAY!

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Er it was my birthday yesterday.

I’m officially 40 y’all.

If you’d like to read a fbomb laden essay about how I feel about turning 40 click here.

So let’s talk about some shit I don’t like.

It appears my fave milky nude, sheer lipgloss has been discontinued. Maybelline Baby Lips Gloss in Taupe With me. I’m on my last tube. It is a really nice pinky super shiny gloss that was cheap and that I love. It was a cross between the Make up Forever Plexigloss in Sweet Pink and the Mac Nicki Minaj lipglass with a bit of brown and a touch less color. There is something about a milky texture to a lipgloss that I just love.

Other shit I don’t like. I had to shave my armpits (I hate shaving) because I had a rash under lefty and righty was feelin weird. Shaved, treated the skin and things got a bit worse. Come to realize, the pit stick I’ve been using has chamomile in it and guess what I’m allergic to? Yes Petunia I am allergic to chamomile….:( so now I’m vaguely funky because I’m using a natural no baking soda deo that can only do so much while my armpits heal.

Now how about stuff I do like?

Um, so my hair is pink right now. I’m SO into this wig. I feel so cute and Pastel Goth like.

pinkhairs

[image description: Black femme with long pink hair wearing glasses.

This is the FreeTress Equal Delux Lace Front Wig – EVLYN. Y’all. This wig is so great. Quick report, it is thick. The color is gorgeous. Very comfortable. If you want to play with color and like wearing silky straight hair, GET ON THIS y’all.

The next great thing happening. For my birthday I side hustled myself enough money to buy the cutest pair of platform booties on ebay.

boot

[image of a black platform ankle boot]

I got these in my usual size 7. Check them out here. These are fantastic. They are super lightweight, lined in plush leopard print and actually kept my feet warm when it was snowing a little. The upper is super flexible so if you have a bigger ankle they would be easily adjustable. I will say these are actually on par with the boots I got from designer brand YRU a couple of years ago. And I will say the construction is superior. I’ve worn these probably five or six times in snow and rain and they are solid. I wore my YRU platforms three times and the platforms separated from the boot.

What else am I loving? With the warmer weather, I’ve FINALLY gotten to break out some of my dresses. I picked up this little beauty while it was on sale a couple of months ago. I paired it with black tights, a black cardi, and my trusty old docs. Super cute on. No stretch though and my XL strains over my boobs. I’ve got my eye on this beauty right here. I really love this one too.

My current aesthetics as the weather inches towards bare leg season is a little 90s flavored Femme Old Goth. See here:

ootd

[image description: Black Femme wearing from the feet up, black platform ankle boots, black skirt, burgundy sweater with a black tank top underneath]

This year all I want are cute dresses and lots of skater skirts to be honest. Let me show y’all some other things I’m obsessed with.

The Sully Dress. Y’all. I want one so bad. Jersey fabric, I love that cut and style. I could wear it multi season. UNF I NEEDS IT.

I really want to try out some elastic harness things like this. I am intrigued because I have yet to see someone with a body type similar to mine wear one. I love the leather ones better but, leather is expensive and I want to try it out before I commit to an investment piece.

I also find myself in need of more skater skirts.

Right now I have my eye on a few on Amazon. This one for days when I want a nice slightly longer one. Pro tip, for stuff like this from Amazon check the reviews, especially ones with photos.

I’ve also got plans on attaining MORE GALAXY PRINT. Why? Cause I friggin love it. I LOVE this skirt, but that will absolutely not fit me. Well the max stretched measurement would work but only if I already pooped that day, was not bloated at all and had on mega shapewear.

I like to pair my skater skirts with my nerdy tshirts. My favorite of that type of outfit I don’t have a photo of but I paired a Deadpool tee with a floofy circle skirt and my tall docs. I was fucking adorable.

Now that I am officially an Elder Goth, can I tell y’all it would be lit if neither money nor time was an object. Check my pinboard of dream Old Goth fashions.

What else?

I’m considering getting my septum pierced because I want an opal clicker on my face. I’ve also resumed using my pinterest tattoo reference board. I had sort of given up on my body mod dreams because money but I have a little stash of cash I put money in monthly that is specifically for mods so maybe?

Content warning for some creepy stuff, I will be adding to it soon.

That’s all for right now loves.

Regular posting will resume soon I promise.

I love y’all!

Be good!

 

 

 

 

 

Why I wear Wigs.

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If you want the short version, no I’m not trying to be White. I don’t hate my natural hair and bitch stop asking.

Let’s rewind time and look back at the mid-late 80s. Yours truly was a lil baby potato and I had some long ass hair. I loved my hair. I loved wash days when my Mom would section it off and I’d lay back with her hands in my hair. I loved having my scalp oiled, I loved the occasions I got to go to the Fancy Grown Lady salons and get my hair blown out and curled. I even low key a little bit loved the hot comb.

On occasion, my mom would wash and blow out my hair and I’d get to run around with it out. It was big and soft and fluffy. I remember being outside by myself in late Summer, none of my friends around and I just twirled around in the sunlight feelin myself. My hair is deeply intertwined with some of my earliest experiences of feeling beautiful and magical.

Like so many other things about being a lil Black child, I had no notion of there being a problem until other folks introduced them. When not pressed my hair was too nappy, not good, too big, too much work. I understand now that those comments from Black friends and family are full of internalized White supremacy and I forgive them. Yes, they hurt me very badly but I understand.

When I was a bit older and started relaxing my hair (lots of Black folks know this story) things went bad in my relationship with my hair. I didn’t know how to take care of it and thus it broke off. I got teased about it a lot. Sideways comments about my hair being greasy or being called nappy weeds.

In high school at various times I just cut it all off or wore tree braids. But I really hated my hair. I didn’t really know about extensions other than braids or wigs or weaves. I would look at the hair magazines and Black celebrities and I was just mystified as to why my hair didn’t look like that when I straightened it or whatever. The problem as far as I was concerned and as backed up by the culture I was exposed to was that I just had bad hair.

At some point I stopped trying to care and just did whatever I wanted to my hair. Relax and color the same day, sure! Cut it ALL off? Yup. Burn that shit with a hot comb? YUP.

In the late 90s I discovered wigs and would wear them time to time. I had the seed of the idea about protective styling but back then information on Black hair care was slim. I had some bad salon experiences, shaved my head, bleached it, had purple hair, orange hair, reds, lots of colors.BUT, I didn’t know how to get and keep my hair healthy.

Fast forward more to 2010ish. I discovered Black hair care on the internet. I joined a forum, I started finding videos and everything.

I started to learn and everything. Eventually I went natural and here we are.

So all that history involved, yes, I wear wigs.

I see a lot of things questioning or shaming Black women for wearing wigs or weaves.

So let’s breakdown some whys.

  1. Because she goddamn well wants to. Black women are allowed to make decisions about their hair and how they deal with it and yes, sometimes it is because of some internalized self hatred and sometimes not. Leave them the fuck alone.
  2. Protective styling. For me, once I got my hair healthy I discovered that my super secret for length retention is protective styling.
  3. Because wigs and weaves and braids are fun.

Let me address #3 some more.

I have what you could call a short hair style attention span and I greatly enjoy looking however the fuck I want whenever the fuck I want. I like having different colors, textures, lengths and styles of hair without doing damage to my fluffy wonderful mane.

Additionally, I’m fuckin grown. I pay my own bills and it is really none of anybody’s business about my damn wigs.

Someone not too long ago tried really hard to shame me about my wigs and shit and y’all, I’m not the fuckin one.

The bottom line is that Black women get beat on emotionally, spiritually, sometimes physically regarding anything we do with our hair. From racist corporate “dress codes” that bar anything not “neat”, to having to battle the military to wear cornrows or natural styles, to having to argue with people about how deep issues with hair go.

And for some of us, it is really just hair because Blackness is not the monolith you’re looking for.

At the end I’ll say this.

Before opening up your mouth to fuss at a Black person regarding their hair, don’t. if you want to know what’s up, ask us kindly but if you are not also a Black person don’t expect an answer because we’re not here to do that type of labor for you. There are eight million resources you could read so Google that shit.

 

 

Hoodwitchery Problems

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I have some eclectic hood witch things I like to do and whatnot and I’m coming across some issues I remember running into when I was full Witch Woo back in the day.

For my particular flavor of woo, I work and check myself to not be appropriative or gross in what I do. Call it Hood witchery, Kitchen Witchery, Eclectic Pagan- I don’t really feel attached to the name of any one tradition and as I’ve gotten older, Hood Witch is where I feel best.

Currently I don’t have a space for a full sized altar so I’ve been gathering bits and bobs to put in my bag to carry with me. I was gifted some beautiful chunks of crystals and I have a list of other things I want for it.

Now here is the problem.

Some of the things I want come from the diaspora and I don’t want to buy them from white people who group things like the I Ching, tarot, quasi Buddhism, Hoodoo, Voodoo a smattering of Santeria and other Columbused sacred things. Also, I live in Seattle so a lot of that is fairly unavoidable.

I keep searching etsy and other places and try to vet who I’m purchasing from but y’all….shit is tiring as fuck.

I don’t want to have to cleanse items of their residual Columbusing bad feelings before I can use them.

 

I’m searching carefully, I don’t need to rush the process.

My personal methodologies of magic have started to intersect with my general self-care practices and for me that feels very right.

I’m finding that right now with the rise of witchy imagery and a (at least aesthetic) acceptance of darker things, is that I cannot get away from white folkx Columbusing the magic of POC. On one hand, after so many years of my life having these interests (spiritually, aesthetically etc) and having to just deal with having zero representation save for the Columbused occasional depiction of a Loa, now there’s some representation but sometimes I have some issues.

The Black witchy aesthetic tends to mirror the White one. Thin, willowly and beautiful in expensive clothes with beautiful background images and Insta photos that are yes super beautiful to look at but for me are so well filtered and presented there’s nothing for me to connect to.

I have a lot of conflicting feelings about it. On one hand, I really do love looking at beautiful people doing stuff I think is beautiful. One of the best things about social media like tumblr (you can follow me if you wanna not always sfw) is that I’m able to fulfill the hunger I have for looking at and talking to my fellow Black weirdos. It is fucking amazing. I mean I’ve found some Black witch groups on the facebooks and it feels overall super good.

This uh, melding of the aesthetic and spiritual is great for me emotionally. I had an essay in Witch Craft magazine (read the playlist for it here and pick up a copy it is amazing) about my magic and embodying dark scary magic and that is what I crave. And for a while I was able to escape Whiteness in this and currently not so much.

As I’ve gotten older, learning to embrace these things about myself more fully and not argue with myself about it has been great. Reclamation and creating myself are very important to who I am as a human and currently this is what my remaking is made of.

So yes, I’m having some issues with this but, overall I’m making it work.

How about a Flash Back Friday photo?

Me showing a friend my big hair and when I was just starting to re-enter my wooness.

At some point when I’m comfortable I’ll talk more in depth about my woo. Suffice to say, it’s pretty all over the place like me and it is perfect.

Photo circa maybe 2013?

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The time Betsy Johnson Broke My Heart

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A site I like to window shop at sometimes sent me an email about a bunch of Betsy Johnson stuff on sale.

Y’all don’t know this, but Betsy Johnson was the first designer I loved. When I was a lil post teenage potato, the only designer that I ever thought, holy fuck I want to wear that was Betsy.

Back in the 90s, my style was absolutely done what I gotta do with thrift store and hand me downs. Not because it was fashionable, but I was poor and chubby. And then in some magazine I saw Betsy Johnson clothes. It became my big secret dream to have one. Even more than the pretty formal dresses that never fit me, more than the Goth wear I saw in the Retail Slut catalogs I got.

A dress similar to this one was my dream.

My style icons were Grace Jones, Courtney Love, Stevie Nicks, the goth and punk girls I saw randomly. I wanted to wear pleated school girl skirts and boots, I wanted to wear big chunky ass shoes and slip dresses and y’all get it.

I had this vision of Bad Bitch Femme. Glitter and fucked up nails and whatnot.

However, I was not a thin girl. Even at my lowest weights, I’ve always still been a thick girl. Back then, after having a little money for mall clothes, I remember leaving in tears because I couldn’t find things I liked that fit my body. I remember very vividly being in a dressing room in the Limited maybe and trying not to cry and my Mom being impatient because I wouldn’t come out.

So I made it work sort of. I remember convincing myself that well fuck mall clothes anyway and that I just didn’t have the body to wear things I actually liked. And then I started to fake it.

I remember I had this ridiculous outfit, a pair of poop brown mens 70s slacks that I paired with a cream colored long sleeve thermal, boots and a big old fake high long ponytail. I paired it with a super glossy glittery lip and a big ole stripe of liner and it was one of the first times I was like, I am fine as fuck.

My next foray into dressing just how I wanted to was when I went to my first Pride. I want to say it was maybe 1999? I dunno, I’m an old.

So I had thrifted what was probably part of a dance team outfit. It was a fuschia sequinned a line mini skirt with a little keyhole belly cut out and a black ribbon. I saw it buried in a bin at Value Village and fell in immediate love.

I wore it low on my hips with platform sandals and a strappy vintage camisole that was almost see thru. There was glitter on my face (I used to mix my own glittery face powder back in the day, SHUT UP IT WAS THE SHIT) and I had a pixie haircut and y’all, I went alone and it was when I found my bounce.

I did that thing where when I got to the parade, I invoked my runway hoeness and walked it the fuck out. Booty bouncing, titties out, shoulders back, feelin the FUCK out of myself. There was a drag queen handing out sunglasses and she stopped me, put some glitter cat eyes on my face and made me do my runway walk.

I wound up being friends with her but mostly what i remember is this drag queen and some cute gay boys yelling, “WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORK BITCH” and it was the first time in my young adult potato life, I really felt beautiful.

Now around that time I was saving money, all my change, any extra dollars because I wanted to go into the Betsy Johnson store and buy a dress. I got myself gussied up and went in and almost immediately realized that nothing would fit me aside from maybe some earrings or sunglasses or a purse.

I didn’t want a fucking purse.

I remember leaving (AH I was 21 by then) and going to sit in a bar by myself and feel like the grossest human to ever live.

Betsy Johnson just broke my lil heart. I was devastated. I’d worked so hard to save up about 300$ and I even had a plan to take myself out on a fancy date so I could wear whatever I bought.

Now I took that money and wound up in a Hot Topic, ostensibly to buy myself some band shirts or something and I discovered this long black beautiful Gothy dress. It was full length, had a chiffon cape thingy, the big sheer bell sleeves. Sort of this style, but not velvet. The ubiquitous Goth thing.

I found my thing.

I found the thing that opened up fashion to me in a while new way. I realized that my body was not at fault for some stuff not fitting me. That my inability to wear Betsy or shop at 5-7-9 or whatever.

My big point here is this.

Your body is not wrong.

You have to figure out what you’re working with and work with it. Figure it out. The thing is, there’s something like THE big deal thing, you just have to find it.

That said, sometimes you’re still gonna mourn the perfect thing. It’s okay. It happens to all of us.

This post brought to you by this most perfect dress that would in no universe fit my ass.

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Someone please buy that damn dress and then get your photo taken and show me because I think it is so damn beautiful. Betsy, you hurt my feelings again.

 

Stuff what I’m thinkin about.

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My transition to a daytime worker person is still ongoing. Today for the first time in months I’m wearing a dress and regular (non fleece) tights. I feel very cute.

What flavor of cute though?

I’m not spending much money on new stuff so I’m going to be wearing a lot of what I already have. I’ve been going through my clothes over the last few months and decided to hang on to some specific things.

That said, I am absolutely vibrating with want.

I’m very into witchy, Loli, Mori influenced stuff right now as well as what I call Gothables from big box stores. Essentially I want to look like a Bad Witch Fairy Anime Villain 90% of the time. Alternately i want to be a cute evil babydoll person. Weird art. I want to feel like weird cute and creepy art.

I’m super into all things skater dress and skirt. I’ve been buying a new dress once every few months because I realized that I have woefully few dresses that fit me anymore.

I think I’ve mentioned it already, but for real this whole Trumpy shit is just making me weird. And yes, let’s quote the Joker and say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger or whatever y’all know.

I feel like I’ve tried to kind of tame or shake the feeling. I get these ideas in my head and I’m like, yeah wor probably wouldn’t trip but no…can I not?

I just want to cover myself in magical tattoos of sigils and protection words and wear make up that makes people not want to sit by me on the bus and be fabulous and sparkly so at least one thing is nice every day.

High Scary Femme as radical survival.

Let’s be real, I do want to grow up to be terrifying and glam as fuck as an old heavily modded person of femmeness that said- y’all I ain’t got let’s be as freaky AF money.

I DIGRESS.

Anteeeway.

Let me show y’all a few things I’ve purchased in the last five months or so that I love.

The surprisingly great item of the month is this (affiliate links ahead) top from Amazon. Y’all, this is the nicest cheap shirt I’ve gotten from Amazon in a while. For reference I usually wear a 14-16 in tops and have some tig ole biddies. I bought this in black in an XL. The fit is a wee bit weird across the shoulders but once it stretched a bit it was fine. I wouldn’t wear it as a dress but wore it with faux leather leggings and boots and felt cute and floaty AF. Not the greatest but very workable. I would not suggest it for anyone with bigger boobs than mine (very full DD) but if you are smaller busted but wear say 16-18 you should be good. And these are fairly thin so wear a cami underneath.

I picked up one of these dresses off of Wish for a dollar. I got the largest size and the material is weird, but not bad. Feels cute, fits nicely, although, anyone bustier than me no son. There is no stretch there.

To see some of what I’m into fashion wise, keep your eyes on this here pinboard. Some of these are shop style links some not.

 

Struggle Bus Naturals- Dollar Store Supplies

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Hello darlings.

Let’s talk about ways to lower the cost of being natural.

Like everything else, we all know that being natural can get all in our pockets. Conditioners, trying new products etc. Let’s talk about some strategies to help lower that cost a bit. And I’ll share some pro tips on making it work.

First let’s talk supplies.

Things I think you need to have on hand, whether you’ve got a big fluffy fro or a two.

1.) Shower comb. (These are affiliate links, but always look at the dollar store/Walmart, etc. for this stuff.) When I first went natural, I bought a lot of higher priced combs from beauty supplies etc and broke every single one of them. Now I buy them in this style from the dollar store. I keep one in the shower for wash day and one by my bed for out of shower detangling. If they have any little bit of an edge on them, take a nail file and smooth them down and boom. Excellent comb.

2.) Cheapy conditioners. I keep bottles of the stuff on hand for pre poo detangling if my hair is tangly, I use it to add slip to my cowashes. Sometimes if I’ve done something to my hair and it’s dry and tangled, cheapy conditioner to the rescue. I also use some of the conditioners from Tresemme to form the base of my cowashes. My faves are: Suave Professionals Conditioner, Almond + Shea Butter, TRESemmé Flawless Curls Conditioner, Curl HydrationGarnier Fructis Style Damage Eraser Conditioner,Aussie Mega Moist Conditioner with Pump, and my super all time fall back always does me right Suave Essentials Conditioner, Tropical Coconut. I’ll do a post about how I mix my cowashes for best cleansing and how to figure it out.

3.) OILS! I LOVE oils, oils love me but it can get expensive. If you are a coconut oil user, check discount grocery stores. I have bought/spotted giant jars of coconut oil for under 10$ at Big Lots. Check here to see if you have one close by. For oils like Castor oil here’s my trick. I use a bargain brand light castor oil as an additive to my deep conditioners, pre poos, and cowashes. I use Viva Naturals Castor Oil. The bottle lasts quite a long time. It isn’t cold pressed but I found it performs just as well as my super fancy organic blappity blap. The other brand of oils I’m fond of is the NOW brand. I have used several of them and been satisfied every time.AND you can get smaller bottles so you can try out an oil and see if it agrees with you. Like this avocado oil.

Other stuff to watch out for at the dollar store.

Shower caps, those gold foil conditioning caps, butterfly clips (essential to working with hair in sections), headbands (I like the soft cloth kind), those terry cloth turban/wrap things. Now with those I suggest using them less to dry your hair and more to contain any pre-poos or other messy conditioning stuff.

My biggest tip is to focus on creating yourself a basics stash. Your ride or die conditioners, shampoos etc. Don’t commit to the biggest most expensive thing first. Using up a product you hate is a hell of a task.

Next struggle bus naturals post, I’ll do a photo tutorial of how I mix my cowashes.