Happy Canada Day
Canadians scare me a little more every day.
This isn’t even my final form you pitiful mass of flesh
I WAS NOT EXPECTING THAT AT ALL, WHAT
(via FYI (if you’re a teenage girl) | Given Breath)
My response to that horrid “FYI (if you’re a teenage girl)” post:
Everything about this blog post is stupid. From the slut shaming, to the double standards (hey, I’m going to post pictures of my 3 sons wearing bathing suits, while talking about how teenage girls need to cover up more. Cause it’s ok for boys to be half naked, but when a girl does it, it’s obviously because she’s a sexual object).
It’s stupid unfortunate that the author doesn’t understand that girls who take tons of “selfies” and live for positive reinforcement about their physical appearance WERE SOCIALISED INTO THIS, so this behaviour is a straight up social fact.
Maybe when your kids were raised being photographed multiple times per day by their parents who document every activity, mess, dirty diaper, tantrum, birthday party and whatever else; well, maybe growing up in a world where everything is documented affects the way kids act and see themselves and determine their self worth. Especially girls, who had to deal with sexism and the objectification of their bodies long before the internet ever existed.
And hey, maybe inferring that teenage girls need to be “good enough” to be “chosen” by your family, or your sons is some pretty outdated bullshit too. How about considering that compatibility is different than just “I PICK THEE TO BE MINE VAGINA; to bear my children; to be my woman.”
So, yeah. This blog is crappy.
I felt like writing about my “Jewfro” (with more words than appropriate for a Facebook “status”. Firstly because over the past few days, several of my friends have been writing about hairstyles and such.
Anyway, I have what is colloquially known as a “Jewfro”. I was born with a full head of black hair because…. genetics.
My hair is very frizzy and very thick, and for most of my life, I have been pressured in various ways to not let my hair be in its natural state. How?
- being mocked by other kids in school about my messy or “dirty” hair
- pop cultural, and idealised forms of femininity which tell us that straight hair which is “neat” is the normal and natural way for hair to look
- adding to this, hair products
- shitty jokes
- negative stereotypes about people of non-Western European heritage.
Those are a few examples. If you are someone (especially a woman) who was born with straight “white people” hair, this might be hard to understand and it might even seem like Leora’s trying to pull some 90th wave feminist bullshit on you, but that’s the thing: when one “type” of anything becomes socially accepted as normal and natural, this allows for the construction of “others” who deviate from the norm.
The sans-Jewfro era
For a very long time, once I was old enough to make choices about how my hair looked, I got it treated often. As a bonus, I had worked in a hair salon in high school, so I had easy access to an [amaaaazing] hair stylist. I always had “cool” hair, and you would never know that my head was secretly shrouded by a cage of ugliness.
Then I moved to Vancouver, and I didn’t have the time, money or trust to let a professional cut and style my hair on the regular. And so over the years, my hair has reverted back to its natural state.
More negative stuff about my hair
Some of my friends lovingly mock my Jewfro. Other times I mock it myself. It’s entertaining, but it’s also a reflection of the strong cultural norms that exist which ultimately say “the only kind of hair that is normal and thus appropriate for a woman to have is straight hair.” Frizzy hair, wavy hair, big poofy hair - all of which are generally characteristics of marginalised ethnic groups and races - have been conflated with notions of ugliness, dirtiness, laziness and a host of other negative descriptors.
Stuff that is bullshit
- it’s bullshit that if I don’t have time to straighten my hair into an unnatural submission that I am seen as unprofessional or unkempt
- it’s bullshit that if I let my hair do its thing that I must be having a lazy day, or at least one where the outside world is not supposed to see me
- it’s bullshit that people think that what is 100% legit Leora is viewed at times as hilarious or unfortunate
Return to the Jewfro, and you can eat a hat if you don’t like it
So I like my hair. It’s taken me years to accept it, and years to not think that when I let it do it’s thing that I am not being dirty, lazy, ugly, unfeminine, backwards-fashioned or just plain “bad”. Why should I have to change the way I look? I’m still the same Leora.
My hair is cool, because it’s me.
Manilove Burning Churches.
Cosmarxpolitan, Issue 2
The Asiatic mode of production and your butt
The Wayfaring Anger of BURL IVES.
Fantastical creatures, x-rayed combinations of human and animals, describe the work of Italian artist Benedetta Bonichi. You can see more of her amazing body of work in her website, To See in the Dark.
A while ago, I penned a fairly angry response to something circulating on the internet – the 21 Habits of Happy People. It pissed me off beyond belief, that there was an inference that if you weren’t Happy, you simply weren’t doing the right things.
I’ve had depression for as long as I can…
These are all very good tips. I’d like to add that for #19 about “depression will lie to you”, it doesn’t just like about being unloved or that people think negatively about you. It will also nag you in your ear and tell you that you don’t care about the people who could have sworn that you love. That feeling is horrible too.
"Because you’d love to pay five times the amount you originally paid for the sweatshirt you bought at Wal-Mart and wore every day of third grade."