15 May, 2014

Piloting A Beautiful Human Machine

presented by
Mystic Metals Body Jewelry

Piloting A Beautiful Human Machine

I haven't written a blog in quite some time. There's no real, valuable reason for this. Just life. Busy, busy life. I've been working quite a bit, my cover band has disintegrated for stupid reasons, and there was a death in the family that affected me more than I am allowing myself to believe. Still, those are all sorry reasons to be lazy. So I am going to try to remount my horse (in the cleanest way possible), and get some writing done. I appreciate your patience, and if you've abandoned me, you'll never know that I'm calling you a jerk right now. Jerk.

I want to talk about body shaming. We in this beautiful culture of modification are body advertisers, as much as we would sometimes like to believe that strangers just ought to mind their own Goddamned business. We invite attention by being different, and there is not too much wrong with that. Of course we all know there is a right and wrong way for a stranger to go about their inquiries, and there's also a right and wrong way to respond to them. But those of us with large gauge lobes, or artistic pockets, or even unconventional hairstyles are open to criticism from those who are unfamiliar or maybe don't subscribe to the culture. I welcome their curiosity. It's good for the culture, and it's good for society at large. If the stranger presents his curiosity politely or friendly, then we've started a conversation, and conversation creates forward sociological movement. Of course, there are the cocksuckers who are rude, misquote the Bible, or speculate sanctimoniously about our modified, senior citizen life. Kill them with kindness is my mantra for the latter, though I'd prefer to not kill anyone with anything; unless they have a hockey mask and a machete and my teen friends and I are drunk and camping at an abandoned lake. Then I'll kill the hell out of him. Or I'd try and lose so there can be a sequel.

The context here is that those of us who are modified seem to have a different perception of beauty, and a further different perception of the body. Most of us seem to think our bodies are tools to share and become more comfortable within our sense of self. It's a beautiful thing, in my opinion. Our sense of body tends to be a little different, and fortunately, we personify that perspective with art. There are those who personify it differently, however. And I happen to be one of them.

As you cats and kittens know, I am anorexic. I'm not ok with it, and work hard on controlling it. Like an addiction, you never beat it. You just manage it. The reasons for my eating disorder are pretty clear, but unnecessarily explained here. Maybe some other time, if you're interested. Which you're probably not. Especially since the new Game Of Thrones is on, and apparently that's the only interesting thing in the world right now. I mention my anorexia for a couple of reasons. First, it's important for dudes with eating disorders to talk about them since our society places much more emphasis on women's bodies than men's. It can be difficult for a man to admit to something that is typically associated with women. As much as we like to believe that gender roles are dying, there are still some things that are challenging to accept. Masculinity is an awkwardly defined thing in modern society, and I firmly believe that a dude with an eating disorder is less likely to seek the help he needs chiefly because it's perceived as 'a problem girls have.' So talk about it, damnit.

Secondly, I think having a different sense of my physical self allows me some context. I am ashamed of my body, and that's fact. What causes my shame is not magazine covers, or social media, or Channing Tatum's abs. Those wonderfully perfect, son of a bitchin' abs. You magical bastard. This is where I get pissed off about this. Not Channing Tatum's abs specifically, but fuck him and his abs. I get pissed off at both sides of the body shaming argument as debated through social media. Honestly, what good has social media ever done?

On one side, you have pricks and cunts mocking photos of fat people, or very thin people. They make memes and comments, and think they are making some great social commentary by stealing a photo and putting block letters on it. They're not. They're just dicks. Dicks exist, they always will, and they will always taunt and tease. That's just the way it is. The shame that their targets feel for their taunts will undoubtedly be matched by the shame the dicks will feel when they realize how much they've hurt people.

One the other side, however, are those people who use the same social media battlefield to combat the dicks. They post things like 'real women have curves,' and place the words on an image of a bikini model next to a larger girl. My question is, is this fighting fire with fire, or is it resorting to the same scumbag tactics?

The bullying (and I hate to use that word because it has become such a meaningless go-to defense for anyone who gets his feelings hurt by someone else) is wrong and shitty. We all know that. Leave the different people alone, jerks. But the retaliation irritates me so much more because it is a safe position to take and will always be defended though it should be condemned as much as the initial insults. Why? Because it's the same shaming that the shamed are trying to avoid. It's a counter bullying tactic. The shamed are shaming the shamers for being what they're not, which in my opinion, perpetuates the shaming. Being perfectly clear, I am not blaming the victim. I am blaming the person who chooses to be a victim. Self appointed victims are worse than bullies. It's like co opting a pejorative word about one's own culture and using it freely. It's not empowering; it's stupid. All it does is perpetuate the word. Blacks using the word nigga, gays using queer or dyke are simple examples. Doing so maintains the use in society's lexicon, and conflates the situations of those not in those cultures or lifestyles using those words. If you can say it, why can't I? I don't believe in banning words, by the way. Like this bossy thing that celebrity morons seem to be on top of. I believe that words are as much living things as anything else, and their purposelessness will lead to their extinction. Has anyone said hooplehead recently?

All things equal, body shaming is wrong. We shouldn't be hurting people because they are built differently than we are. If you are reading the contrary in this rant than you're either an idiot, or I'm a bad writer. What's key in preventing our feelings from being hurt by others who would taunt us is a belief in our own beauty. Which is easier said than done, of course. But it is an active process on which we need to work hard everyday. We will lapse and feel sensitive, but we will also garner strength and feel confident. I really do believe that no one is entirely comfortable with his body. I know a very beautiful woman who is soft and caring, dresses freely and comfortably with short pixie hair, and strong hands that create beautiful things. She's a statue. But she also has a concern about certain parts of her body that, despite compliments to the contrary, are very real to her. She needs to work harder on her perception of her own beauty. We all do. Most people I talk to will tell me that they don't give a plague rat's third nipple about what other people think about them. I think most of them are liars, but if they truly believed that, then they would know that they are piloting a beautiful human machine, and no bullshit internet meme or cross word from an inconsequential cocksucker can manipulate that. Comfort does not come without work, though we would like to believe that the sun's rays just grant it to us. It doesn't. I think it gives us vitamin E, but don't quote me on that. I failed all my science classes. No, comfort comes with the studying of self, the acceptance of flaws, the understanding of differences, and the humility to know that our differences make us similar. So shamers stop shaming, and shamed stop counter shaming. It's fucking irritating and counterproductive. Be comfortable wearing the body you've been given, and work hard everyday to maintain that comfort. Or stretch and get sleeved out. That works for me. Stay beautiful, kids.

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