Hello, it’s Friday. It’s been another very busy week, largely because my dear, dear friend is in town from Chicago and I’ve been getting to spend time with her. Last night (when I’m normally writing intros to the FF), I was feeling all the feelings at a dimly lit bar while miss Emily Jane Powers played my heart. <3
That’s it from me for this week’s intro. So here are four things from the internet + a list of stuff that made me happy this week…
This is a controversial but important view about all those “you are beautiful”-grounded body positivity campaigns. Lindsay King-Miller writes, “If we insist on the primacy of beauty, doesn’t that give the word “ugly” even more power to cause us harm? For years now, fat-positive activists have insisted that the word “fat” is morally neutral; that if you don’t need to be thin to be considered a worthwhile or complete person, then “fat” isn’t an insult, just a descriptor. Similarly, the answer to an oppressive and arbitrary beauty standard should not be to insist that everyone is beautiful, any more than the cure to weight stigma is to declare that everyone is thin. It is to resist and counter the notion that thin and beautiful are the only acceptable things to be.” This is admittedly challenging for me…I tend to find so many people beautiful! But I totally see her point. What do you think?
This article by trans writer Sam Dylan Finch feels really important. In it, Finch talks about how being out about their own mental illness helps fight the stigma. Finch rightly notes: “The reality is that the stigma around mental health keeps us so silent that we’d rather ask Google what to do than ask our friends or family. We go it alone because we’re ashamed, we’re afraid, we’re confused, we’re overwhelmed, and we think that our struggles make us too much of a burden for others to deal with.” This is just so true. I’ll say now, I am a person living with a handful of mental health issues and I often feel alone in coping with them. (I am actually working up the courage to write a more extensive post on this, so, more soon probs). I hope more people can stand up and talk about their struggles as a way to connect with others going through similar things; that connection, I think, can be so profound.
Okay, so. THIS IS REALLY EXCITING. For those of you who have not yet been fortunate to encounter Allison Bechdel, she is a lesbian feminist graphic artist responsible for the “Bechdel Test;” that is, the test given to movies to see if 1) two women talk to each other, and 2) about something other than men. Sadly, very few movies pass this test. Anyway, composer Jeanine Tesori saw Bechdel’s life as worthy of a musical and created one of the first contemporary theatrical depictions of a lesbian leading-lady. I heard the story on NPR about the musical, and was almost brought to tears hearing “Ring of Keys,” a song from the musical celebrating the amazingness of butch lesbians. I, for one, cannot wait to see this live!
With Emily in town, I’ve got sweet potato fries on the brain—it was our staple late-night diner snack when we went to school together in Chicago. This version of sweet potato fries from The First Mess is much classier and healthier than the greasy things we ate at Clarke’s, and they seem like the perfect snack to mate for a grown-up version of this total comfort food.
Stuff from the Week that Made Me Happy
EJP + MG FRIEND TIME!; hearing ejp play songs that healed and filled my heart; yoga; a kickass spin class; students; feeling confident enough to reshape the direction of the readings and discussion in my social change class based on the wants and needs of the students—they are really excited to talk about psychology, trauma, and emotion/affect’s role in social movements, which is convenient given my personal newly formed interest in that realm of inquiry; having the resources to afford a second therapy appointment this week (yeah, #realtalk); warm weather; tea and other sources of caffeine (eep!); planning for the third chakra workshop i’m co-leading this weekend; finding out more about my England trip; kitten cuddles; friend texts; oh, and last weekend’s ladies weekend biking through Long Island’s wine country was amazing!
What made you happy this week? Have a great weekend! xoxo