Loads of Links 3/20/15

Screen Shot 2015-03-20 at 8.21.36 PM

image via Junior Scientist Power Hour

Back in October, Jennae from Green & Gorgeous wore an all-gray-everything outfit and it reinforces my feeling that gray is the coziest-looking color.

Brand KTZ had a line at this year’s NYFW that suspiciously resembled designs by Northern Cheyenne/Crow designer Bethany Yellowtail, which follows basic fashion history of Native artists being co-opted by others.

The Shark Lady, Eugenie Clark, passed away in February, and she was an incredible scientist; I’m sorry I wasn’t familiar with her work before her passing.

Cartoonist Abby Howard made two comics about being fat and they are, of course, excellent.

This recipe for baked-in-their-shells eggs with mushrooms from The Furious Pear Pie is going on my breakfast list BUT QUICK.

What happens if you put placenta-based beauty masks on your face? Writers Jaya Saxena and Jazmine Hughes bravely found out over at The Hairpin.

Speaking of Jaya Saxena, she wrote about how to be comfortably naked in naked-in-public spaces!

Here’s a brief history of plagiarism in YA over at Bookshelves of Doom.

There are some comments disputing how representative of each era the looks are, but the North and South Korean edition of “100 Years of Hair and Makeup” is still a super interesting one minute of maybe-history.

If you’d like something a little more in-depth to distract you from the impending heat death of the universe, here’s a longform history of Harlequin Romance.

Alex’s best photos of 2014 at Delayed Missives are so, so beautiful. As per uzh.

Loads of Links 7/7/14

comic_5_realwoman_color

image via Stacy Bias

You can read an excerpt from A.K. Summers’ comic “Pregnant Butch” here–if you’re curious about one butch lesbian’s thoughts on pregnancy and gender presentation, I recommend checking it out.

This Girl With Curves post is a couple of years old now, but hot dang, that wrap dress looks phenomenal on her.

Mary Hendrie’s post “Why I Don’t Want Your Compliment” is great, and the core of it can’t be repeated enough: unless you have explicit permission, please, please don’t comment on someone else’s body.

Grown and Curvy Woman is consistently great with her outfits, but, in particular, her styling of this skirt knocked me off my feet.

Nina Mitchell’s spoken version of her sneaking-out-of-the-hospital-after-a-stroke story is wonderful; she tells it so well and it lifts my spirits.

Big necklace, loose dress, cool boots: it’s official, Stef looks amazing.

Stacy Bias has a really incredible, thoughtful illustrated post on “Good Fatty” Archetypes.

Also illustrated and so, so good is Jana Christy’s diary comic about donating a kidney to her brother.

Jenny Trout wrote an article for the Huffington Post about wearing a bikini while fat, and then reflected on the article’s impact a couple of days later.

Stephanie at Chocolate Laced is cute as a dang button. And those yellow pants!!

I’m not sure I’ll ever stop being fascinated by the Somerton Man/Taman Shud case, and Lucia Peters’ writeup of the incident only further inflames my curiosity.

A Canadian sex worker (who is a really cool friend!) wrote this very no-nonsense response to Tasha Kheiriddin’s uninformed “prostitution is sexual abuse” opinion piece.

Over the weekend I saw some really shitty headdress-appropriating clothing in San Francisco, so this seems like a good time (actually, always is a good time) to link to Beyond Buckskin’s helpful how-to guide for non-shitty Native-inspired summer festival fashion.

Loads of Links 7/22/13

20120811195204-Oelbaum_Venus_of_Fonda_for_online_entry_side_view

image via ArtSlant

+ Trungles on Liberal Allies: “Because the bottom line is that our academia has made a commodity of our lived experiences as teaching moments for you. And if you think your academic knowledge is more valid than our lived experiences, then you’re definitely not part of the solution.”

+ I don’t remember if I ever linked “Pancakes” here, but Kat Leyh’s new mini, “Welcome to the Family,” is just as lovely and heartwarming. I look forward to seeing more of Molly and May!

+ Also in comics, have I mentioned that Madéleine Flores’ Help Us Great Warrior! is extremely perfect?

+ Sci-fi author John Scalzi talks about boycotts and the creator.

+ Help support Black Girls CODE! The fundraising campaign for their summer coding program runs until Friday.

+ In bike news, Lumigrids is an LED projector that aims to make night riding safer for cyclists. COOL.

+ I saw Pacific Rim with Tito over the weekend, and it’s still lodged firmly in my brain as a freaking awesome movie; if you’re feeling the same, why not read this article about its costume design? (Article contains spoilers.)

+ The Evolution of Playgirl: Reviewing Three Decades of Covers. I find it impossible not to be fascinated by this.

+ Patrick Stump and Fall Out Boy give a good example of how to respond to criticism re: appropriation.

+ Photographer John William Keedy’s photo series It’s Hardly Noticeable is made up of pictures that represent the feeling of anxiety, and some of them resonate with me in an uncomfortably true way.

+ The Willendorf Project–feminist artist Brenda Oelbaum’s work turning diet books into models of the Venus of Willendorf–is going national.

+ In two great tastes that taste great together, captain of my heart Aimee Fleck talks about (and illustrates!) women on the USS Enterprise on The Toast.

+ Finally, The Legend of Korra Book 2 trailer. COMMENCE FREAKOUT:

Outfit Post: 7/14/13

20130714-IMG_0198

Tunic: Swap — Pants: Punjammies — Sandals: Dansko — Hat and ring: Target — Necklace: Thrifted — Earrings: Nervous System

20130714-IMG_0199

I’ve been thinking a lot about garments and cultural appropriation again, largely fueled by this article about Punjammies and marketing that I linked to a couple of weeks ago. So-called “tribal” prints and garments have been trendy for a while now–Feministing talked about them back in 2008, and there was the Urban Outfitters “Navajo” grossness back in 2010–and I’ve made a point not to purchase items that are marketed with “tribal” in the name or similar “othering” language in the marketing. But what about other cases?

20130714-IMG_0202

Is it okay if the garments aren’t marketed as “tribal” but have similar designs and influences? Is it okay if the manufacturers clearly cite their inspiration and give (unspecified) royalties to those that inspired them? Is it okay if I know the names for the different garments, patterns, and symbols on the clothes I choose to buy? Is it okay for me to wear something that’s made by a Native designer rather than Forever 21?

20130714-IMG_0205

At some point, though, I have to ask myself whether I’m really just playing hot-and-cold in the form of “how much appropriation can I get away with and not feel bad about myself?” As a self-involved person of privilege, I have that privileged tendency to make everything about myself, when really–this isn’t about me. It’s about the people who are hurt and disenfranchised when their garments, patterns, and symbols are appropriated by those who stigmatized them for having those garments, patterns, and symbols in the first place.

20130714-IMG_0207

I can hear you saying “DUH,” and I know this is pretty Privilege 101 stuff, but I guess this is the best place I have for working it out, and it’s an ongoing process. There’s no Comprehensive Guide for Poor Confused White Girls that says, “If you wear A, B, and C garments, that’s appropriative for now and all time, but D, E, and F garments are a-OK for now and all time, and if you follow these rules you will never ever be racist or exploitative.” People from the same cultural background may disagree on appropriation based on class, hometown, religion, and the thousands of other factors that go into, you know, making people different from each other. Even marginalized people, who non-marginalized people tend to assume all have some sort of spooky hivemind together.

20130714-IMG_0208

Folks don’t talk about cultural appropriation as some series of traps for white people. They talk about it because it hurts them. I always want to take care to consider the harm I am doing in the world, intentionally or not. “I didn’t mean to” only means so much after a while. Privilege means I could walk away from this conversation and never think about it again, and it probably wouldn’t impact my life at all. I don’t see the signs and symbols of my heritage being taken out of context by people who think they’re being fashionable or edgy.

20130714-IMG_0209

I don’t think it’s possible to navigate life without making mistakes, but if those mistakes have serious racial and cultural implications, it’s important for me to pay attention when somebody says that what I’m doing hurts them. Otherwise, what am I doing here?

Loads of Links 6/24/13

130428-5009 - Tokyo Rainbow Pride Parade 2013

[via Japanese Streets]

+ Erika Moen talks about Babeland, her first first orgasm, and loving her body. [NSFW]

+ Jia Tolentino at the Hairpin interviews an international adoptee from South Korea.

+ Tokyo’s Gay Community Takes to the Street.

+ An Afroetic Narrative considers the “trend” of black hairstyles in Japan, South Korea, and other Asian countries. (The comments further the discussion in a valuable way, too.)

+ This article may be eighteen years old, but it’s still worth reading: Jennifer Miller, founder of Circus Amok, talks about what it’s like to be a woman with a beard.

+ Positive Exposure photographs people with genetic differences and disabilities to counteract the dehumanizing images in medical textbooks, and to help the subjects feel empowered.

+ The latest Rape Culture Round Up at Sociological Images is, to say the least, troubling–see their Rape Culture Pinterest board for more. [TW]

+ Also at Sociological Images: “‘Development’ Initiatives and the (In)visibility of Power” re: Punjammies. This definitely makes me think about the two pairs I own and my ongoing understanding of my own appropriative acts.

+ Tommy, a college student, spent three days wearing women’s clothing and documenting his experiences.

+ Artist Jessica Oddi has started an illustration series, Real Pin Up, to bring some diversity to the pinup genre and to “celebrate what makes us different.”

+ Finally, Ryan Gosling won’t eat his cereal:

Outfit Post: 4/30/12

Dress: Gift — Flats: Goodwill (Target) — Camisole: Ragstock — Bracelet: World Market — Earrings: Jess Fink

I actually had originally added my rainbow belt to this outfit for a little extra pizazz, but ended up taking it off pretty early on in the day as a result of nausea and general unwellness. Fortunately, on its own the dress is extremely comfortable (and hasn’t yet begun to fall apart despite the thousands of times I’ve washed and worn it since it was gifted to me), so it didn’t feel like much of a loss. That belt will make it through the whole day sometime soon, though. This I vow.

I’ve been feeling complicatedly about these earrings for some time now. On one hand, they’re gorgeous, made by awesome comicker Jess Fink, and do have some personal meaning for me. On the other hand, the depiction could be considered appropriative? Hmm. Then again, maybe it at least partially comes down to the approach in this cool and thoughtful article: “…the act of appropriating a craft/tradition which evolved through subverting the dominant Western culture (of which the majority of you, dear readers, are likely a part) sort of requires you to confront those many layers of meaning just to avoid being, you know, kind of a douche.” Truer words, folks.

Outfit Post: 1/20/12

Sweater: Target — Fair isle cardigan: Goodwill — Skirt: Goodwill (Patagonia) [shortened by me] — Tights: Target — Boots: Macy’s — Earrings: Hand-me-down

First off, I’m afraid I have to issue a retraction on something I said yesterday. I believe my exact quote was “I would be out of best friends if [Tia] weren’t here,” and that’s simply not true. Tia’s Tia and she’s irreplaceable, for sure. But, even though I still think of myself the way I did in 2nd grade, i.e. a social pariah with very few friends and even fewer acquaintances (I’m terrible at acquaintanceship), I actually have a lot of super-great friends, including Tito, who is definitely a Best Friend with the capital letters, and who is an ass-kicker and a book-talker to the highest degree. I’m not friendless, not by any stretch of the imagination, and it seems like something I should straighten out both on here and with myself.

You’re all fantastic, every single one of you (yes, I mean YOU), and my heart is so full thinking about all the wonderful people I’ve known for years, and all the wonderful people I’ve met, and all the wonderful people I don’t even know yet.

Anyhow! I, uh, like my clothes here. I don’t remember if I mentioned it, but the university where I work re-introduced Spirit Fridays, and one of the ladies in my office has been super enthusiastic about getting everybody to wear the school colors on Fridays so that we can win prizes. Nobody knows what the mysterious prizes are, but fuck if we’re not gonna win ’em.

To that end, you’re going to be seeing a lot of orange and black around here, which really means we’ll pretty much be staying the course. This fair isle cardigan is fresh from Goodwill (well, besides a run in the washer), and, honestly speaking, could kind of use some quality time with the sweater shaver before I wear it again. I just got excited, is all. I keep saying that I’m not going to buy fast fashion fair isle stuff, and will instead save up for a couple of years and buy an authentic Fair Isle sweater…but then I caved on this one. I only have this and one fair isle scarf, though. Maybe someday…

(If you want to read more about the complications of fast fashion fair isle, here’s not a bad place to start. Also, say “fast fashion fair isle” out loud just one time. For me?)

Also, I just want to say thanks to everybody, for yesterday, today, and beyond in either direction. I have an easy(ish) time talking about it matter-of-factly in public, but I have a really hard time publicly mourning. I appreciate all the support y’all have given to both me and Tia. After work, Mike and I went and had Mexican food (BEANS, JESSICA, BEAAAANS) and I spent the evening catching up on the internet. Now I’m able to get back into the groove of things, and I’m listening to Suburban Legends and thinking of all the concerts that Jessica and I (and Tia, and Mike, and Paco, and Max, and whoever else could come along) went to. It’s sappy to post music at times like this, but Jessica made this song (both versions) one of her anthems, and damn if it isn’t appropriate.

Outfit Post: 10/28/11 and 10/31/11

Sweater: Target — Skirt: Gift — Tights: ??? — Boots: Gift (r2) — Necklace: Gift — Earrings: Hand-me-down

It’s a one-two punch here, people! I’m making you all slog through Friday’s pictures before you’re allowed to see my Halloween getup. (Or I guess you could scroll to the bottom, if you’re a cheater.)

I was waaaay too warm in this sweater on Friday, but I stuck it out because I knew it would be nice and cozy once I got to Berkeley for book club. We discussed a book I picked, Among Others by Jo Walton–a book I highly recommend as an unusual fantasy novel about a young Welsh girl with family problems and a fierce love of science-fiction. I’m not selling it very well, but it’s a fantastic and different coming-of-age novel, and Mor is a main character who really spoke to me.

I also stuck it out in this sweater because I kind of wore it as a joke. See, one of the other folks in book club–Eppie–has this sweater, and wore it to a book club meeting last winter-ish, and I loved it, so when I found it I bought it so I could be like, “ha ha, I’m a creepy stalker and I’m going to take over your life!” The scary part is, she almost wore the same sweater on Friday, and since she just got a haircut to about my length, we would have been twinsies! Freaky, twentysomething twinsies. Which are obviously the best kind of twinsies.

Man, I’m writing so many words here that aren’t going towards my NaNoWriMo count. That’s right, folks, it’s the first of November! Anybody else around here going to attempt it? I’ve tried for the last, oh, four or five years, and I think the furthest I’ve ever gotten was ten pages. I may not make it this time either, but I’m going to shoot for fifty pages or half of the desired wordcount. I know, I’m extremely ambitious.

[image removed – see Edit below]

Speaking of November 1st, guess what else it is? Yup, it’s Día De Los Inocentes, and tomorrow is Día De Los Muertos. That right there is what I wore to work yesterday for Halloween.

[image removed – see Edit below]

I was pretty disappointed at how few people dressed up in our department at work, but I did enjoy working the front desk looking like this. Memento mori, bitches!

[image removed – see Edit below]

Most of the trick-or-treaters we got later in the evening just called me a skeleton, and I let it go, because it’s easier than explaining to kids, “no, I’m a reminder that we all pass from this life, and also cherish your loved ones.”

[image removed – see Edit below]

Okay, I promise I wasn’t feeling that melodramatic. Still, though, today and tomorrow are good for reflection. Tia and I lost our friend in January, and she won’t be the last. We have to love each other while we can.

Edit: I’ve been reading articles about Halloween this morning and this one stands out as, well, particularly relevant. Obviously, I needed to put more thought into the cultural context of my makeup, but it is what it is. I was thinking about it in relation to my own experience as having lost a friend, but my personal experience and desires do not override another culture’s sacred holidays. I thought about removing these pictures from the already-written post, but I think I’ll leave it all up as a reminder to think critically about costuming and cultural appropriation.

Edit (October 2013): I’ve been thinking about this post again since Halloween is almost upon us, and while I have no intention of trying to pretend this didn’t happen, I decided to remove the images of me in face-paint. I think they do more harm than good, and you can get the idea from the text of this post without having to be confronted by pictures of yet another white girl in skull makeup.

Outfit Post: 9/21/11

Tank top: Goodwill (Aeropostale) — Skirt: Goodwill (George Stretch) — Button-front shirt: Gift (Aziz) — Shoes: American Rag Compagnie — Bangle: World Market — Earrings: TribalStyle

Guys! Guys! I have been so excited to wear this outfit. Why? Because it was inspired by the outfit that Stephanie of Chocolate Laced wore for EBEW: Colored Pants. (The fact that the above picture is posed a lot like the first picture in her post? Complete coincidence, I promise.) I knew the minute I saw her bright colors that I wanted to try to recreate what she had going on, and my beloved yellow skirt was the first step.

While the colors in my outfit are quite a bit more muted than Stephanie’s (especially that awesome coral tank of hers), I felt cute and sunny and appropriately dressed for the 98-degree day. Taking inspiration from outfits I love on other people is a fun creative exercise, and I’ll definitely be looking to other bloggers for jumping-off points on days that I just can’t figure out how this clothes thing works.

California may be resisting the call of autumn, but I don’t mind waiting to get my sweatervest on if it means I can work in a few more outfits like this.

I also badgered Mike into taking pictures for me, and proceeded to act like a complete goofball for the entire photoshoot.

Goofballishness aside, I want to talk about my earrings. I’d been drooling over them for a while–the spiral is so beautiful, and the dark wood! oh, for sustainably-sourced wooden jewelry! So I finally bit the bullet and bought myself a pair. In retrospect (and thanks to some recent blogging by the Interrobangs on the subject of cultural appropriation), I probably should have been more cautious about buying them; I’m not going to pass any judgement on the seller and their use of “tribal” in their shop name because I don’t know their circumstances, but I need to wear these thoughtfully.

“Tribal” and “ethnic” jewelry and tattoo work has a long, long history of being appropriated and whitewashed; really, Katie’s post today about her beaded earrings probably says it better than I could, and I don’t want to just echo her. Suffice to say that I don’t want to carelessly promote the thinking of non-white nations and continents as culturally homogenous or “exotic.” I’m still learning, but it’s part of my responsibility as someone who can easily be in the position of appropriator to educate myself and be conscious of my place in the global community.

And honestly? I won’t be able to wear these earrings very often anyway, because they’re darn near impossible to put in, since you have to line the body of the earring up with your piercings and then slide the (rather thick) wooden peg through and out again. So much for wooden earrings not irritating my ears.