I’m thinking right now about self(ie)-presentation strategies; namely, how I pose myself, angle my camera/recording device, what kinds of contexts I take pictures in, what faces I make, etc. for selfies that are intended for public consumption.
there is always a certain degree of concern, no matter the intended effect of my posture or whatever, with ‘looking pretty’ or ‘looking boyish’, or, more often, both; what both of these things translate to, on some level, is ‘looking thin’, and, also not obviously performing the work involved in looking thin (i.e. trying not to take recourse to obvious fat-person-angles; managing to evince a level of nonchalance that may or may not be genuine).
this is part of why I tend to be very selective about body shots: because that work becomes much more difficult when you get to the chunk of me above the knees and below the collarbone. (it’s also because selfies are easiest to take in a flattering way when it’s your face/upper body.)
I’m thinking a lot about how it is that this attitude to presenting myself in non-corporeal contexts helps to keep bodies that carry gender in the way mine does invisible; I am playing my part in not giving people access to images of visibly-fat androgyny, in not showing the kinds of work I do in order to become legible, and this bothers me.
I want to make something about this, and what I was considering doing was making a tumblr of selfies: mostly images of me, or parts of me, that I find most dysphoria-inducing, posed with or in contexts that don’t fit the kinds of imagery most naked or partly-clothed bodies like mine usually are burdened with; or maybe my body, in the kinds of masculine poses I do in front of the mirror, but not hiding behind clothes, a binder, or strategic leaving-out-of-the-frame.
I don’t promise that I’ll follow through with this, but I’m wondering if this is something other people would want to see if I actually tried to do this.
— from “A Night with the Boys," from fukshot.
I re-found/re-read this last night, at just the right moment. This remains one my favorite essays about sexual community.
You know, the one that gives housewives/full-time mothers a pension— wages for housework?
It’s ONLY A HUGE VICTORY FOR FEMINISM, SOCIALISM, AND WOMEN OF COLOR. Not a big deal or anything. Tumblr is mysteriously silent about this.
Ms. DeVries was *JUST* telling me about this shit tonight!! This is *AMAZING!!!!*
Isn’t this the coolest thing?! Damn.
A friend of mine with fibromyalgia made a post on facebook today about struggling with believing what her body is experiencing sometimes, and also struggling with believing others before she became chronically ill. I wrote this back in response, and wanted to post it here so I remember it.
I also have fibro, and I’m with you with regards to a lot of this. I honestly didn’t think most [chronically ill] people were over-reacting/sensitive [before my diagnosis], mostly because I already had A LOT of chronically ill & disabled folks in my life. But I did & still do struggle with believing what my body is experiencing. I was taught a lot of lessons about “sucking it up & dealing” growing up — and of course that is all *deeply* influenced by class stuff and gender stuff and abuse history, right?! But one thing I’ve really had to learn as I’ve navigated being chronically ill is that my hard-won, bone-deep, very working-class (and hustler, and hard femme) tendencies to just ride things out and make something out of nothing and POWER THRU!!! are actually really fucking dangerous if I take them to extreme. They are ways to cope and ways to shine that served me well for a very long time, no doubt. And I’m proud that I am a hard fucking worker. That said, my body actually *deserves better* than running running running all the time. My body deserves better than making something outta nothing & just powering thru on sheer will. My body deserves abundance & care.
And okay, I know this comment is all ME ME ME GINA GINA GINA, but clearly/also, YOUR lovely body deserves abundance & care, too. Everyone’s does!