My hair is not a petty thing. My hair holds stories.Read More
Sappho called roses the lightening of beauty. Rumi wrote that the rose’s rarest essence lives in its thorns. Picasso once lamented you can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because thorns have roses.Read More
Her body is an “exotic” thing that cannot rest within the boundaries of appropriateness.Read More
Other than the cliché "fake it till you make it" mentality, it’s hard to find a how-to guide for confidence, especially within a consumerist society that profits off a lack of it. On New Years, trapped in my grandparents’ Floridian subdivision, I found an old college-lined notebook and began to write a list of the people I wanted to invoke for confidence. It included the obvious, like Bowie and Kim Gordon, but without thinking twice the first name I wrote was Cookie Mueller.Read More
Pinterest is the devil. Well, not really of course but it definitely puts your loves and, let’s face it, materialism into perspective. One of my 55+ (hush!) boards is entitled If I Had Money to Burn. And it includes pottery older than Hera and beds that no longer exist. Or if they do are locked away in the perfectly preserved loft of some long dead Italian socialite. That gave me the idea of writing reviews for these and other items that I may never be able to obtain because of a lack of funds or that they simply no longer exist. It would also strengthen my copy writing chops, so win/win! Maybe this will become a new genre, fan reviewing? (Just kidding.) My first effort follows below and more will follow soon!Read More
The summer of 1997 was immense for women in R&B and Hip-Hop...Read More
There is no remedy for the spell of fragrance. To me the most haunting aspect of scent is not the conjuring of someone else but of a former self—the ghost of you. I recently stumbled on a box of tiny perfume bottles that I collected as a child. As I pulled them out and dusted them off, I suddenly became overwhelmed with emotion. At first it was holding the bottles, seeing their colors and shapes and arranging them on my dresser that made me remember the little girl that did the very same thing decades ago.Read More
Love. A good fabric, a delightful print. I have found a name...Read More
There are many reasons why the pinup aesthetic appeals to women of color.Read More
As a tiny bruja is the late 80s, I was obsessed with gothic fairy-tale fantasy films. Here I am, in my magick thirties, still playing dress up…Read More
Bluish, you find the stone. They are the diamonds she once told you about...Read More
This message sounds appealing on the surface, and even liberating and empowering. The pervasive trend can become isolating, though, when you don’t want your natural skin to show through. Those of us with acne and scarring often take comfort in the fact that a beauty blender and some full-coverage foundation can mask our redness. Using makeup to cover my skin takes my mind off of blemishes and insecurity, and that – spending a little extra time, not less – lets me focus on living my life and getting shit done.Read More
...the magick of the joyfully macabre.Read More
BY BRITT GORMAN
Editor's Note: Britt Gorman is a 30-year-old artist (see her site here) who took part in Yasaman Gheidi's Inside Out Challenge, which calls to destigmatize mental illness by showcasing it. Artists would use makeup to show how they feel inside ... on the outside. This essay, by Britt Gorman, explores the perception of mental illness. — Lisa Marie Basile
I write this to lessen the appeal of mental illness for people like myself. That sounds backwards, but bear with me.
Depression, as I knew it as a teen, was somehow fashionable and romanticized. It was like a forbidden lover: elusive, tall, dark and sexy. It was rarely talked about, and even then only in whispers. In film and literature the brooding, troubled characters always had such allure. How tantalizing! I thought, how could anyone find me boring if I was — as some people make synonymous with depression — dark and poetic? Why would I be "basic" when I could be melancholy and complex? I would be a modern vampire, living in a state of mourning even though no one had died. I was depressed, and I loved it. I found satisfaction in scarring my skin and filling notebooks in dark corners before crying myself to sleep at night. I picked my symptoms as if from a menu. I was on a personality diet, trimming away the bits that didn't fit my brooding cliche.
Years later, after some mandatory family therapy and jump-starting a normal life in the real world, I had nearly forgotten about that life chapter. It was then that I met real Depression for the first time. Not my fashion statement, but the chemical imbalance. My ability to just "snap out of it" was no longer there. I couldn't explain it. I didn't want it.
I became the girl who cried wolf.
I used to try depression on like a pair of shoes, but it was really there. Under my skin. Depression re-introduced me to Anxiety, an old childhood friend, who set up permanent residence in my brain. That voice is always there, with endless commentary about every conversation I have and decision I make. It's loudest when I meet new people, and jerks at my heart like it's a puppet on strings.
Not wanting to be a cliche (again), I didn't talk about it. Instead of saying "I can't tonight, I had a panic attack and need to rest." I would feign getting a cold. Or financial troubles. Or needing to work late. If no one knew, I could pretend it wasn't there.
As I approached 30, I either became brave or tired. I stopped fabricating normalized reasons for my extreme moods or needs, and the consequence that I had feared was overwhelming. I was loved, so if my friends or family thought less of me for it, they didn't say so. They encouraged me. They cut me slack. They told me they were there for me if I needed them. I met with a doctor and am currently exploring my options with therapy and medication. There isn't anything poetic or elegant anymore. It's my new normal, and just about everyone knows about it.
I was 100% responsible for my choices, and I won't blame anyone else for my mental mess. (I know that I am luckier than most, and privileged to have the friends and family that I do.) However, I wonder how different my teen years would have been if depression wasn't such a performance, a dark mystery. And if the general population was open about mental illness, I might not have been attracted to something I didn't actually understand.
My challenge to everyone without a mental disorder: learn about them, and talk about them. Teach your kids about anxiety and depression the way we teach them about the flu or chicken pox. Acknowledge that they are difficult, but they are also very common.
My challenge to everyone with a mental disorder: Don't treat these disorders like they should be everyone's deepest darkest secret. If you have one, be brave and start to open up to your loved ones. If people meet you with fear, counter that fear with information.
I have a lot of faith in the human race. We have made incredible progress in awareness and treatments in a relatively short period of time. Let's keep that progress moving in small ways, every day. Speak up.
Find Britt Gorman at www.seventhskin.etsy.com
Those brows, like a prayer on her face. I’ll become a tiny thing; I'll walk her brows like a bridge.Read More