I’m a young, black Muslim girl. I started wearing hijab last year and I’m still not used to the male-gaze/the white gaze. I get so uncomfortable, sad, and annoyed to have literally everyone stare at me constantly and make such weird attempts to grab my attention. I’m an introvert obviously….
Seriously, it surprises me that people still don’t get that “whitewashing” doesn’t just mean “taking a character of color and turning them white,” but also applies to “focusing disproportionately on the stories of white people,” “glossing over or altering parts of a story to…
I’ve been a massage therapist for many years, now. I know what people look like. People have been undressing for me for a long time. I know what you look like: a glance at you, and I can picture pretty well what you’d look like on my table.
Let’s start here with what nobody looks like: nobody looks like the people in magazines or movies. Not even models. Nobody. Lean people have a kind of rawboned, unfinished look about them that is very appealing. But they don’t have plump round breasts and plump round asses. You have plump round breasts and a plump round ass, you have a plump round belly and plump round thighs as well. That’s how it works. And that’s very appealing too.
Woman have cellulite. All of them. It’s dimply and cute. It’s not a defect. It’s not a health problem. It’s the natural consequence of not consisting of photoshopped pixels, and not having emerged from an airbrush.
Men have silly buttocks. Well, if most of your clients are women, anyway. You come to male buttocks and you say — what, this is it? They’re kind of scrawny and the tissue is jumpy because it’s unpadded; you have to dial back the pressure, or they’ll yelp.
Adults sag. It doesn’t matter how fit they are. Every decade, an adult sags a little more. All of the tissue hangs a little looser. They wrinkle, too. I don’t know who put about the rumor that just old people wrinkle. You start wrinkling when you start sagging, as soon as you’re all grown up, and the process goes its merry way as long as you live. Which is hopefully a long, long time, right?
Everybody on a massage table is beautiful. There are really no exceptions to this rule. At that first long sigh, at that first thought that “I can stop hanging on now, I’m safe” – a luminosity, a glow, begins. Within a few minutes the whole body is radiant with it. It suffuses the room: it suffuses the massage therapist too. People talk about massage therapists being caretakers, and I suppose we are: we like to look after people, and we’re easily moved to tenderness. But to let you in on a secret: I’m in it for the glow.
I’ll tell you what people look like, really: they look like flames. Or like the stars, on a clear night in the wilderness.
“I’m glad mushrooms are against the law, because I took them one time, and you know what happened to me? I laid in a field of green grass for four hours going, “My God! I love everything.” Yeah, now if that isn’t a hazard to our country … how are we gonna justify arms dealing when we realize that we’re all one?”—Bill Hicks
She was beautiful because she was dumb. She sparred no one her stinging wit. She was tactless and he thought she was dumb for that. She could be so successful if she would just sell out.
And she was awkward. She would bark a laugh. A cruel, loud laugh because she was doing what he didn’t want her to. Her grin would be awkward and strained because she was uncomfortable feeling the emotions. And all of this made him wince at times. It was like listening to dissonant music.
But she was beautiful because her fingers tense and contort as she tried to process emotions he made her feel. She was beautiful because she didn’t wear make-up cause she’d rather rub her eyes. And she was beautiful because she always had a cold and her sniffles were rough and absolutely grotesque.
She was beautiful because she sometimes crumbled under the judgement. But she was awkward and biting and uncomfortable with feelings and she tried to love herself anyways.