Friday Five

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

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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…

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Taking Beauty Out of Body Positivity 

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?

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I’m “Out” as a Person with Mental Illness

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.

Allison Bechdel Broadway Musical (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) 

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!

 Curry + Garlic Sweet Potato Fries w/ Miso Gravy

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.

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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!

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What made you happy this week? Have a great weekend! xoxo

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8 thoughts on “Friday Five

  1. Tea & Trumpets says:

    I really love that article about Beauty & Body Positivity. Thanks for sharing! It’s such a valid point: that we’re trying to widen the fences on a value system that will always (and arguably relies on) having people on the “other side” of the fence. I think that’s what bothered me about most recent Dove video: Why do I have to chose between Beauty and Average? What if we just blow up the whole shitty paradigm instead?

    • raechel says:

      I am all about blowing up shitty paradigms, but it’s a hard one to dismantle given how engrained it is! Thanks for the comment, I’m following yr blog now! xo

  2. onesonicbite says:

    That Beauty & Body Positivity article made me think of Korean culture. I’ve watched so many dramams where character easily admit they aren’t attractive. There are many lines where the two guys fighting over the same girl will say something along the lines of “I don’t know why she loves you, you are unmotivated and not very attractive” Apparently it is common place to be blunt about the appearance of a person. And although Korea is known to have the highest amount of plastic surgery and has a thriving makeup economy, I do wonder if there is a little grain of truth about admitting how “pretty” you are. As an artist, it kind-of makes sense that some people are more beautiful than others, but at the same time there are unconventional people who have beautiful faces or bodies. I don’t know, I am still kind-of in the boat of everything is beautiful. Most people think bugs are ugly but I think they are amazing…

    • raechel says:

      Yeah, I feel that way too! Well, maybe not about bugs, but about unconventional, or even socially deemed ‘unattractive’ people and things, I find beautiful. And that’s interesting about Korean culture too. Did you live there or is it just an interest?

  3. FoodFeud says:

    Plough and Stars is great! When i visited Boston a few years ago, my friend and I went for a drink and some music, because apparently her parents met there years and years ago. Cool that you got to see a close friend play such a nice bar.
    Those sweet potato fries with miso gravy are calling to me…

  4. lysette says:

    I’ve been working these last couple years on building my confidence talking about my depression/mental health. Addressing the stigma and being vulnerable in it has been helpful for me and my friends, we’re all in it together! I look forward to reading your reflections on it :)

    I’m also really interested on your insight into the third chakra – years ago in theatre school the voice coach was doing one and one sessions (with the class) I was sitting in a chair and she pressed her fist into my solar plexis, getting me to release and drop my breath. She told me I have a wrapped up gift with a big bow inside there. I started laughing because it was such a cartoony image she was giving me but I never fully understood what she was implying… just typing it out, I think I’m gaining more insight. hahaha like when a dream makes no sense then you write it down and it’s so obvious!
    From your love list it sounds like the spring is bringing lovely adventures for your body and spirit xo

    • raechel says:

      I love that vulnerability helps us realize that we’re not alone in this. Thanks for sharing that, I will hopefully get some thoughts up soon.

      And I love that image of the gift with the bow in the third chakra! : )

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