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

Little Girl Syndrome (photo post)

In lieu of my recent posts, I felt inspired to create a photo series capturing the transition from girl to woman and struggling with typical tropes of femininity.  One of my greatest photographic influences/inspirations is Cindy Sherman - every since I began doing photography I've been a fan of the self-portrait.  I initially started photographing myself because no one else wanted to be the subject of my strange, sometimes uncomfortable ideas (my mum and brother did wear taxidermied animal masks once for a shoot - thanks y'all!).  But there's something about using yourself as the subject that is at once empowering and exposing.  You become something more than yourself, you become a canvas and it's a unique creative process that I've really come to cherish.  I'm a Leo, so I'm probably naturally inclined to the selfie :) More than anything though, self-portraiture is a way to make art that I enjoy and find fascinating.  It allows me to be vulnerable and distant all at once, and I consider it a crazy cool mixture of photography and performance art.

But anyhow - I had a lot of fun gathering all my stuffed animals and girly products to do this shoot (I spent a good ten minutes throwing tampons at my face to try and get a good shot...it didn't work...and it hurt).  And yes, everything you see - be it My Little Ponies stuffed animals, galactic stripper heels, or giant mittens shaped like cat paws - I really do own.

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girl - - - - - woman (a poem)

female.png

girl - - - - - > woman

juxtaposed on the voluminous

gasp and burst

edges of unmade beds

empty envelopes, peeled apart

lust letters

budding chest, creampuffs

and hello kitty hair bows

cotton pink panties

discarded, hung on chandeliers

a wallet shaped rape kit

hello tomorrow

hello miss sexified, personified

no more milk

dark chocolate and black coffee

kiss the underside of adolescence

woman - - - - - > girl?

black sheath shucked

wait and weep

plush unicorns in closets

one last dance with daddy

before stitched back up

please and thank you but no!

a pretty struggle

a trophy wall

bruises licked

scchhhluucked like stamps

the floor is dirty

hands wet with the swell

lips warm with the friction

too late plucking pink crevices

 

grow up already

 

This poem is one that I wrote after reading Gurlesque for the first time.  It captures my reactions to my growing understanding - and subsequent confusion - regarding femininity and the stereotypes surrounding women.  I became acutely aware of my transition from girl to woman - a shift I'm still undergoing - and felt besieged by imagery regarding little girls (unicorns, the color pink, Hello Kitty hair bows) and grown women (black coffee, lust letters).  I felt an overwhelming need to write something that depicted the difficulty of going from naive girl to grownup woman -  a poem that captures innocence being shucked away.

                                                                                                  grow up?  never.

                                                                                                  grow up?  never.

Books Every Grrl Should Read - Part One "Gurlesque"

I’m an avid reader.  For as long as I can remember I’ve loved books.  I’m also an avid promoter of all things grrly and feminist.  I’m currently in the middle of an incredible non-fiction book about all things woman, and it inspired me to do several posts about my favorite female-centered books (by and for women; but men, you should definitely read them too!).

So here’s your first book review/introduction!

Gurlesque: the new grrly, grotesque, burlesque politics (poems and artwork by a variety of women, compiled and introduced by editors Lara Glenum and Arielle Greenberg).

This book completely changed my life, both personally and in regards to my writing.  I’d always been interested in gender studies and feminism, but it wasn’t until I engulfed myself in this incredible collection that I realized I could merge my poetry with gender/stereotypes/inequality/femininity/sexuality/etc.  I realized that I could charge my words with an electric current of feminism – in whatever form or style I wanted.  I could be ferocious or seductive; I could play coy or innocent.  I could make statements and challenge ideas.  I could play into stereotypes and make them implode messily.  The female writers and artists in this anthology are my literary sisters – it didn’t take me long to realize that I too was a member of the Gurlesque movement.

Speaking of which, here’s an excerpt from Arielle Greenberg’s intro describing, in her words, what the Gurlesque is:

The Gurelsque was born…in Burma and Ohio and Korea and New York and Olympia, WA and other places.  Her ancestor was Ophelia, running around singing spooky songs with her hair all drippy.  Her grandmother was Alice in Wonderland and Eloise and Ramona the Pest.  Her mom was a Second Wave feminist and a hippie and a lady who had never been to a consciousness-raising group but sometimes watched Maude and an immigrant and a farmwife and a former Girl Scout…Her aunts were Angela Davis and Nan Goldin and Hello Kitty and the Guerilla Girls and Dolly Parton and Exene Cervenka and Cindy Sherman and Poly Styrene, the fifteen-year-old multiracial girl with braces on her teeth screaming “Some people say little girls should be seen and not heard, but I say: Oh, bondage, up yours!” as she fronted the band the X-Ray Spex in a 1977 punk club.  (The Gurlesque, 1)

Every time I read that description I get the most wonderful sort of shivers.  It makes me eager to start writing, eager to call up my girlfriends, and proud to be a woman.

The Gurlesque – whether in regards to poetry, music, art, or lifestyle -  is quirky, unapologetic, controversial, beautiful and at times even repulsive.  And the women who represent it, write about it, and live it are all of these things and more.  They – I should say we - are little girls in pink tutus and seductive women in black lace; we are stuffed animals and fishnet stockings; we are rainbow glitter and birth control.  This movement and this book are about innocence and lust, pain and pleasure—female sexuality in all its chaos.  From Gurlesque poets like Glenum, Greenberg, Chelsey Minnis, and Nada Gordon, to artists like Lauren Kalman, Lady Aiko, E.V. Day, and Hope Atherton, to musicians like the women involved in the earlier and inspirational Riot Grrl movement and modern musicians (perhaps Lady Gaga, Sky Ferreira) the women of the Gurlesque are as special and as varied as their creative works.  But through writing, singing, blogging, drawing, sculpting, etc., they all explore modern femininity and what it means to be a female in today’s society. 

Whew!  It sounds amazing doesn’t it?  It really, truly is.  I strongly urge every woman to pick up a copy of The Gurlesque.  The poetry and photography are inspiring, disturbing, and eye-opening.   Every woman owes it to herself to at least learn about the Gurlesque movement

It might seem strange or even frightening at first, but trust me – the Gurlesque can change your life in a lot of crazy amazing ways.

As Greenberg says at the end of her introduction, “Take the girly.  Shake it up.  Make a milkshake.  Make it throw up.”  Let go of your inhibitions, your fears, and your insecurities.  Grab your stilettos, your tiara, your blue jeans or whatever the hell you want and READ THIS BOOK!

XOXO!

(And stay posted – my poem this week will be inspired by these writers and artists, and there will be several more book reviews in the coming weeks!)

You don't have to wear pink to by grrly; it's just my favorite color :)

You don't have to wear pink to by grrly; it's just my favorite color :)

Gurlesque (and über shiny Christmas tree lights!)

Gurlesque (and über shiny Christmas tree lights!)