Girl Thing

Girl Thing

eating ice cream

a perfect replica of erotica

her bubblegum hair is puffed and pouffed

her breasts perky and plump with night drowsies

maraschino lips and a soft unfolding

stardust on her eyelashes

glitter in her sheets

a pastel pin-up

primed for cake and candy

sugary sweet tooth

and the mint chocolate chip drips

sticky fingers, melty daydreams

a baby doll anime-eyed darling

with a perfect pussy

sculpted from the glamour mags

porcelain and pretty

a soft and sultry

sexed up Girl Thing

Why I Stopped Shopping at Victoria's Secret

It’s that day of the year again.

The day where a bunch of women strut down a diamond runway in their skivvies with giant wings attached to their backs.

That’s right – it’s time for The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.

I’m writing this Tuesday night (while the show is airing, though I’m not watching it), but I’ll be posting this tomorrow morning (or, if you're reading this, today).

Anyway!

If you don’t know what The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is, then I’m not sure whether to applaud you or ask whether you live under a rock.  It’s basically one of the biggest and most anticipated runway shows, and it airs on television to showcase all things Victoria’s Secret (AKA bras, panties, and very stereotypically sexy ladies).

Let me begin by saying that I actually worked at Victoria’s Secret for several years in high school and college (as a sales associate and Bra Expert – yes, Bra Expert is a real title).  I also use to watch the VS Fashion Show – I looked forward to it.  I loved the extravagant wings and I’d always loved Vicky’s lingerie (I spent every paycheck I ever made in that store while employed there).  I own every color of PINK (a section of Victoria's Secret that's caters to younger women/girls) sweatpants and my underwear drawer is full of VS goodies (I literally have over 200 pairs of skivvies…TMI?  Sorry, not sorry.).

But the longer I worked there, and the older I got, the more I realized that Victoria’s Secret has some serious issues.

First and foremost, they cater only to the most generic sizes.  AA to DD – nothing bigger in cup sizes, and nothing bigger than a 40 (which is NOT big – this is the measurement under the bust).  As far as panties go, XS to XL…that’s it.  And in terms of fancy lingerie – the bustiers and corsets and sexy little ensembles – there are even fewer size options.  As a 34A, I could never find a sexy lingerie set that fit my itty bitty boobies.  They started at 34B.  This always bothered me – why shouldn’t gals with little breasts have lingerie options too?

And I can’t tell you how many times I had to tell women – very normal sized women – that we didn’t have a bra big enough for them.  Or that we didn’t carry pajamas in an XXL (or even an XL most of the time).  The size limitations frustrated me – I hated having to turn women away.  I know what an amazing difference a good bra or cute panties can make in a woman’s life.  I also know that sounds silly, but I’m being 100% serious.  I watched women light up when they finally found a bra that fit – that felt good and made them feel confident.   It was so amazing to help give women that little boost of happiness.  But it absolutely sucked having to deny other women that joy.

Several years later and much more of a feminist, I look back on my time at Vicky’s and am even more upset.  I haven’t been in a Victoria’s Secret in about half a year, but last time I stepped inside I took notice of all the pictures.  Images of long, lean, busty but skinny models with flowing hair and flat stomachs (no different than when I'd worked there several years prior).  I checked on the sizes in stock.  Same lack of diversity.  And I looked at the women wandering around and realized that most of them would not find their size in this store.

Then I consider the VS Fashion Show, a tribute to society’s “perfect” woman.  That tanned, toned beauty who fits into everything flawlessly.  Every single model has long, flowing hair.  Each has a perfect, glistening white smile.  Each is at least 5’8 and has a tiny waist, but still somehow manages to have voluptuous boobs.  These are the Angels, and they’re a physical representation of the ideal VS woman (and, for many people, the ideal woman in general).

I get it, they're all very pretty.  But they all look EXACTLY the same!  There is such an extreme lack of diversity, and that's problematic. 

I get it, they're all very pretty.  But they all look EXACTLY the same!  There is such an extreme lack of diversity, and that's problematic. 

This is absurd (obviously).  We all know that beauty and sexiness is so much more than any specific physical attributes.  But Victoria’s Secret seems loath to accept that.  And that’s depressing.  Because here is a retail behemoth that could make some serious change in the worlds of fashion and sex.  Why in the hell doesn’t Vicky’s diversify their fashion show?  Why don’t they sell larger (and smaller) sizes? 

I get so peeved every time I see the line up of VS models.  NONE of them have short hair.  In fact, the one year that Karlie Kloss rocked the runway with an adorable bob, people (read: men) freaked out and complained that she didn’t look as “sexy.”  She immediately got extensions.  There are also no women larger than a size 2 (I’m guessing here, but they all look teeny).  Underwear is not just for slender, long-haired ladies.  It’s for everyone for goodness sakes.  We all have bits and pieces to put in undergarments and we all deserve to feel sexy doing so (and not feel ashamed when we don’t fit into one store’s idea of beauty).

Yes, I do still own a lot of VS merchandise.  And I understand why people shop there - their stuff is cute and some of it is really well made.  However, I'm doing my best to limit my shopping at Victoria's Secret, and I certainly don’t watch the runway show.  I don’t want to encourage or contribute to a brand that is so blatantly exclusive and so predicable in promoting ridiculous, unhealthy stereotypes.

I also don't want to support a brand that blatantly supports (though I don’t think intentionally…at least I hope not) rape culture.  Vicky’s constantly has panties with messages like, ‘sure thing,’ and ‘ready for anything’ in their PINK line.  Um, okay.  Cool message VS.  Especially when this particular section of Victoria’s Secret (the PINK section) caters to adolescent/teenage girls. 

Such an inappropriate message to put on underwear marketed to young girls.

Such an inappropriate message to put on underwear marketed to young girls.

Look, I appreciate sexy underthings as much as the next girl.  I really, really love them actually.  I’m all about expressing one’s sexuality and being sexual and all that good, sexual stuff (that's a lot of 'sexuals').  But I don’t want to wear a g-string that says “sure thing,” on it.  And I certainly don’t want my 13-year-old cousin buying those.  It may seem overly dramatic to some that I’m upset over a pair of underwear with a ‘flirty’ message scrawled across the crotch.  But rape and rape culture is not something to take lightly, nor is it something I want to support – no matter how small or seemingly silly the perpetrator is.

Besides, there are so many awesome lingerie/underwear brands to buy from whose products are made for women of all shapes, sizes, and styles.  And they support feminism/consent/self-love.

Check out one or all of these awesome/feminist/inclusive brands:

Naja – This amazing brand of gorgeous, super soft, wonderfully made bras and panties is sure to make you feel comfy and pretty.  Naja has certain sizes listed, but if you don’t see your size they will absolutely make it happen!  Plus, this woman empowering brand “helps educate single mothers so that they can learn marketable skills.”  They go on to employ these ladies – awesome right?  Their undergarments are totally affordable, and they have an adorable line of ‘Cheeky Knickers,’ which have all sorts of fun and funny graphics (I want the sundae panties).  http://instagram.com/najagal

So super cute!

So super cute!

Feminist Style – These panties are all about feminism.  With grrrl-power statements like ‘let’s talk about sex,’ and ‘only yes means yes,’ these skivvies are a welcome change.  Plus they have a wide range of sizes and the underwear are super duper cute.  Their message is“Let’s shift our culture from sexually objectifying women to encouraging communication and consent!”  Amen!    https://www.facebook.com/FeministStyle

Sexy and empowering!

Sexy and empowering!

Dear Kate – Dear Kate is another incredible underwear brand.  These undergarments are extra special in that they have a “silky-soft, patent-pending fabric,” and each pair is “wicking, stain releasing, and leak-resistant,” meaning you can toss out your old period panties and have stylish undies all month long.  And their newest line is called the “League of Ladies,” and each pair of panties features a badass gal (like Harriet Tubman, Frida Kahlo, or Amelia Earhart).  The women behind this brand are adamant about providing comfort and style to ladies of all styles and shapes.   http://instagram.com/dearkates

This picture was a response from the ladies of Dear Kate to an add from Victoria's Secret.  The VS add showed an array of tall, skinny, boobalicious, long haired, predominantly white models in their underwear, with the words 'The Perfect Body' written across them.  The Dear Kate team decided to create this gorgeous and amazing photo in response.

This picture was a response from the ladies of Dear Kate to an add from Victoria's Secret.  The VS add showed an array of tall, skinny, boobalicious, long haired, predominantly white models in their underwear, with the words 'The Perfect Body' written across them.  The Dear Kate team decided to create this gorgeous and amazing photo in response.

So ladies (and men), I urge you to turn off the VS fashion show.  I encourage you to buy your lingerie from brands who really, truly support women and women’s rights.  Put your boobs and bum in products that empower women of every kind and support grrrl power!

XOXO!

#freethenipple!

Ask anyone who knows me, and they'll tell you I'm not very conservative when it comes to my ta-tas.  I like sheer tops, I like side-boob, and I never wear a bra (unless I absolutely have to).  I have no qualms being topless, and would do so in public if it wouldn't land me in jail.  But alas, my nips are not allowed the freedom I feel they deserve.

As a woman, the exposure of my breasts is deemed inappropriate, whether I'm skinny dipping, feeding a baby, or just letting the girls out because I'm tired of the inequality they face on a daily basis.  Even as a kid I remember feeling confused why, when at the beach, boys could walk around without a shirt but I had to cope with chafing from a bathing suit top.  These days I'm still sort of confused, but mostly frustrated.  I realize that women's boobs have been sexualized, but why should we (ladies) be penalized for that?  It's not my fault if, at the beach, the exposure of my boobs causes a guy to get distracted and trip on a sand castle.  Sure, sure guys like breasts for scientific, natural reasons, it's "animalistic" or something.  So?  Women are attracted to men's pectorals and abs, but you don't see us freaking out when a guy takes off his tee at the pool.  

So why - in fucking 2014 - are women denied the right to go topless?  I'm looking at you Instagram.  

In case you live under a rock and haven't heard about the semi-recent Chelsea Handler boobalicious instagram scandal, I'll recap.  About two weeks ago, Handler posted a photo on insta of her riding a horse topless.  The photo poked fun at a similar picture taken by Vladmir Puton (yes, shirtless), and she captioned her photo with the words, "Taking this down is sexist.  I have every right to prove I have a better body than Putin."  Surprise, surprise, Instagram immediately removed the photo.  Handler retaliated and reposted it, this time with the caption, "If a man posts photos of his nipples, it's okay, but not a woman?  Are we in 1825?"  Again, Instagram removed the photo.  After a third posting, in which Handler wrote, "If Instagram takes this down again, you're saying Vladimir Putin has more 1st amendment rights than me.  Talk to your bosses."  They removed the photo.

This whole debacle outraged me.  Let me clarify, it's not like I want to post naked photos of myself all over the internet or plaster my boobs to every social media outlet.  But I sure as hell want the right to do so should I please.  As a body-positive feminist who's come a long way in learning to love her body, I've embraced my shape, my boobs, and all of the things I used to consider flaws.  I don't need the world telling me to keep it covered - it's my body, my rights.  

My death stare in regards to Instagram's anti-nipple policy

My death stare in regards to Instagram's anti-nipple policy

People argue that social media sites like Instagram don't allow nudity because children use the app.  Okay, I agree that there shouldn't be porn on insta.  I shouldn't have to worry about my little cousin accidentally stumbling onto a picture of some sweaty sexual act.  Men's privates aren't allowed on Instgram, and neither are vag-jay-jays.  That's fine, because at least there's equality and I suppose the line has to be drawn somewhere.  It's the breasts and nipples that I take issue with.  Are people really worried about their kids seeing boobs on instagram?  Because, honestly, that's indicative of a culture that still objectifies and fears the female form.  Why not teach our children that women's bodies aren't something to cover up or something to be sexualized?  Let's teach our kids that breasts are beautiful, and that they're part of the human body, one that shouldn't elicit shame.  If a man can have his nipples out - in public and on social media - women should be able to too.  I long for the day when I can have my breasts out and not have to worry about eliciting catcalls, outrage, or any sort of reaction.  They're just boobs for goodness sakes!

I'm not sure whether Instagram will ever change their stance on breasts, but I fully support and utilize the hashtag #freethenipple in the hopes that, maybe, it's eliciting even a little bit of change!

I also realize that not everyone is as passionate about this titssue (haha boob joke!), and to some, my ardor for freeing the nip might seem a little weird.  But, ultimately, it's not just about nipples.  It's about women having rights to their own bodies, it's about the ridiculous portrayal of women's bodies in the media, and it's about freedom of choice.  Whether you want to keep your boobs under cover or let em out into the world should be completely up to you.  By no means should you unleash your nips if you don't want to!  I just ask that my nipples be afforded the same rights as everyone else's, and that they stop being regarded as sexual/inappropriate/disgusting/shameful.  Nipples and boobs are magical, they really are, but ultimately they're just one part of a body, which is just one part of an amazing woman who should be able to do with her body as she pleases.

XOXO! 

High School Sweetheart

Howdy from Texas y'all - I'm back in my home state for just a couple of days.  And ohmygosh it is COLD here.  Like 32 degrees and sleety!  Eesh!

But it's fun to be back in the Lone Star State!

Less fun…the super bowl on Sunday.  Ugh, I can't even.

So!  Let's talk about Texas some more (and how the Cowboys really need to bring it next season).  Being back here is always nostalgic for me - I went to elementary, middle, and high school here, so I did most of my growing up in TX.  Today the reminiscing put me in a mood to do some creative, non-fiction writing, capturing some of the more vivid memories from my high school years.

 

She's fourteen - though she is often mistaken for twelve - and a complicated mixture of insecurity and confidence is etched into her movements.  Not quite sure how to carry herself; this body of a girl, all angular and flat, while her friends are blossoming and budding.  She's shy around strangers, quick to cry, even quicker to blush.  But there's a grittiness to her; beneath the awkwardness there is a flicker -  a flame of mischievous passion.  When she runs there is no stopping her, and when she smiles it's captivating.  She's not beautiful, no, not exactly.  But she's different - those big, blue eyes hold countless dreams - her imagination stirring behind the pupils.  Her sun sign - a Leo - prone to drama and a need for the spotlight…though she's often scared to claim it.

She's fifteen and girls are mean.  Heart wrenchingly mean.  She comes home and collapses into her cocoon bed, staring at the moody, melancholy purple walls.  They called her a bitch, the word scrawled messily onto the front page of her notebook.  She rips the paper to shreds, but the black ink seems to snarl…the words feel damning between her shaking fingers.

She's fifteen and dating a boy.  He's sweet, all goofy laughter and gangly limbs.  They meet after school and make out in the hot tub at the gym.  She wonders if she's doing it right, and navigates the lust and the fear with her lips.  She thinks she likes the way it feels.  Isn't kissing supposed to be like fireworks?  There's no flash bang of July 4th, but his mouth is warm and, besides, everyone else is doing it.

She's fifteen and a boy touches her.  She let's him - she thinks she wants him to feel her heartbeat, feel the rush and pulse of her body.  But almost immediately, a crashing, shattering feeling of shame slams through her chest.  She pulls away, breathless in the worst possible way, and leaves without a word.

She's sixteen and counting calories.  Sixteen and convinced that 99 pounds isn't low enough.  Every meal becomes a nightmare, but she learns how to hide her hunger and hate her appearance.  Her heart beings to dance, skipping beats and aching through her shirts.  She feels dizzy, terrified, and weak...but pretty.

She's sixteen and everything comes crashing down.

She's sixteen and realizes that she's stronger than she ever thought.  She finds strength in her family, her friends, and - most importantly - in herself.  And for the first time, she begins to understand that "pretty" is a dangerous and destructive word.  A word that will take years to lose its power over her.

She's seventeen and reckless.  There are late-night parties at the lake, with bonfires and guitars and talk of alcohol.  The boys tease the girls, and relationships swell and collapse in the midnight hours.  They listen to metal bands with funny names, and she laughs with her girlfriends as they make up new lyrics and finish each other's sentences.  On the Fourth of July she sneaks out to set off fireworks.  The boy she likes is there - the one with the charismatic smile and the silly nickname.  He aims a Black Cat at her - she gasps at the shocking heat and tingling phhhhhhst as the firework catapults past her face, stinging the side of her cheek.  She's angry, rattled by the scent of burning air.  But he scoops her up, throws her over his shoulders, and she laughs wildly, the sound brighter than the fire singed sky.

She's seventeen and has the best friend in the world.  They are closer than sisters - cosmically connected.  They dress up for photo shoots, and strut down hallways like runway models.  They run together and no one else can keep up - cross country and track addicts, they spend weekends running, laughing, and daydreaming about the future.  This is the sort of friendship that lasts forever, in spite of distance, time, and growing up.

She is eighteen and about to head to college.

She is eighteen and everything has gone by so, so fast.  She's nervous but ecstatic, vulnerable but strong.  Her body still aches with the scars of insecurity - some wounds will take years to heal.  But the fire in her eyes glows brighter than ever.  She is smoldering, a lioness just waking to her potential.  A girl on the cusp of becoming a woman.  A dreamer who's adventures, hardships, and joys are just beginning.

 

As always, thanks for reading y'all - it means the world to me :)

XOXO

While I was home today, I tried on my old prom dress.  Somehow I managed to squeeze my more womanly form into a dress made for a girl (I couldn't breath and I'm pretty sure I broke the zipper).  I've gotta say, this frilly little Betsey Johnson ensemble made me feel - for a few minutes at least - like I was 17 again :)

While I was home today, I tried on my old prom dress.  Somehow I managed to squeeze my more womanly form into a dress made for a girl (I couldn't breath and I'm pretty sure I broke the zipper).  I've gotta say, this frilly little Betsey Johnson ensemble made me feel - for a few minutes at least - like I was 17 again :)

Grrrl Talk

After 24 years of life, I’ve heard just about every complaint a woman can have about her body.  Whether it was from my best friends, girls in my sorority, family members, or complete strangers, I’ve heard women say a lot of terrible things about themselves – myself included.  A vocabulary of hate/disgust/shame is practically handed to us on a silver platter as girls, and most ladies will – at some point in their lives - use this dialog to bring themselves down.  Self-degradation is so ridiculously common; even some of the strongest, most confident women I know berate themselves for not being skinny enough, having bad skin, having weird boobs…the list goes on and on and on.  When we don’t live up to the images we see online, in movies, in magazines, in our own minds, we become destructive – physically, mentally, and emotionally.

 

A few things I have a history of beating myself up over:

My hair

My boobs

My figure  - I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wished for the bodies of my curvier friends!

 

Things I’ve watched beautiful, wonderful women beat themselves up over:

Their thighs, hips, and booty

Their skin, freckles, and birthmarks

Their hair

 

We then take these traits and smash them together with things viewed as “negative.” 

Thin, bland hair

Small boobs

Boyish, stick-like figure

Thighs that touch, large hips and a big booty

Pale skin

Dark, mousy brown hair

 

You get the idea. 

But my question is – why the hell are all of these attributes (and other traits) seen as negative?  Because some super model on a magazine cover has thick, blonde hair, a tiny waist, ginormous breasts, and perfectly tanned skin?

Who made that the ideal image of beauty?  Who decided on that?  The consumers?  The male population?  Women?  The magazine’s editor?

I don’t care who it was/is.  What matters is that WE make the decision to stop viewing a very narrow selection of attributes as beautiful.  Big hips are just as positive and beautiful as a more boyish frame.  Blonde hair, brown hair, purple hair – it’s all fucking rad.  

It devastates me that women attach so much negativity to the very things that make them beautiful.   I hate hearing girls lament their so-called “flaws” – hell, that self-degradation makes up a good portion of most gals conversations.  If I had a kitten for every time my girlfriends and I sat around and mourned all the things we hate about ourselves I’d be a crazy cat lady by now (which would actually be fine since I love cats).  Besides, shouldn’t we be putting a heck of lot more emphasis on what’s on the inside?  Why can’t we sit around and talk about how emphatic, hilarious, and quirky we are? 

So, along with my mission to make February a month of self-love, I also want to make an effort to stop the trash talking.  Whenever I feel the urge to say something bad about myself (or anyone else for that matter), I’m going to stop myself and replace it with something positive.

I’m hoping that – by the end of the month – I’ll have replaced the hurtful habit of berating myself with a new vocabulary of positivity and confidence.

I’m going to start right now and list three fabulous things about myself:

My pink hair is totally fun and cute and suits my personality.

My legs have gotten super strong from working out and taking barre classes.

I’m opinionated and sweetly fierce – I’m not afraid to stand up for my beliefs!

 

Okay, your turn!

XOXO!

(The following photos are actually from several different shoots.  I did a whole photo spread called "Glamour Kills" in college, and when I stumbled across those photos earlier, I realized that they'd fit together perfectly with several pictures I took earlier this year - and this post.  I think they capture the desperation we, as women, often feel to fit a certain "desirable" and "beautiful" mold, and the sadness and self-loathing that occur because of such permeating, damaging ideas.)

IMG_5517.jpg

man.i.fester

man.i.fester 

pouffed.perfumed       performed         baby bunny face                         man.icured

                                                                                    crimped my  skin sacks  

little princess                                     eyes       blacked out for pleasure              

in the violet hourrr    i swallowed                          the fatal          the femme

i’m wearing a carcass suit to the party

and will bite my tongue       off                                                                                           when men.struation   starts                                                                      

make pretend coquetry           cuntaminating finger licks                                              

mean.while   

dead mice   spill            tumblewetly                      from spoiled hors d'oeuvres

 

i’m tight.rope.walking                    my  [          ]   out             out                                       out

                          rrrip rant                 ravish             panting heat     mr.  havetohaveit

inserrrt yourself here                      

pinkysoft                                                                                                                        above the meat

             i prefer          splinter           inked                   staple licked

envelopes pushed          stampeded

real blood in my strawberry                        jam

now my guns rrr cocked                  grotty in the vag    in    all

in all                            lack  lust  er                        

fuckus  in the male.strom

suck my grrly                         pieces             gagged             re-bound                                          shit myself       and  finally felt  prettier.