We all run from the ugly. And the farther we run from it, the more we stigmatize it and the more power we give beauty. Our communities are obsessed with being beautiful and gorgeous and hot. What would it mean if we were ugly? What would it mean if we didn’t run from our own ugliness or each other’s? How do we take the sting out of “ugly?” What would it mean to acknowledge our ugliness for all it has given us, how it has shaped our brilliance and taught us about how we never want to make anyone else feel? What would it take for us to be able to risk being ugly, in whatever that means for us. What would happen if we stopped apologizing for our ugly, stopped being ashamed of it? What if we let go of being beautiful, stopped chasing “pretty,” stopped sucking in and shrinking and spending enormous amounts of money and time on things that don’t make us magnificent?”
(via Learning everyday…)
I really want to practice the art of removing the concept of domination from all my relationships and whoever I end up with romantically. Not living from a place of fear assuaged by the acquisition of power. Its really important for me to say what i am feeling and know that I am wanted/desired so that I dont end up trying to manipulate someone. And as queer femme of color manipulation comes easy to me. Its the only way Ive learned how to survive and make myself heard in many situations. Its been reinforced into many aspects of my identity. Using my voice is so important for me in decolonizing the way that I love.
A lot of people love to quote how relationships are power struggles in which someone is going to have the upper hand. This is not my vision of love, romantic or otherwise. Maybe we need to spent less time trying to quantify and rationalize love and more time making it into what we need from it/need it to be. I dont want to vie for attention or pretend to be disinterested to gauge your feelings and properly negotiate your waning interest or move you into the right position. I will tell you if I have been missing you, or that I want to talk to you. I won’t hide the smile that lights up my face when I see you. Or make it a secret that you have me rolled around your little finger. In a world that can be incredibly cruel and is so often lacking in love I think that we deserve to be honest in that with one another. To shower one another in attention, love, care and to be unashamed that we so openly care for our partners and loved ones.
–Blackfoxx, “Thoughts on Love, Power Struggles, Domination, and Colonized Concepts of Love
(via come correct)
Abso-fucking-lutely all of this.
So this is about shame, about finally admitting that things aren’t okay. This is about saying now that you know the truth, will you still love me anyway. Because this is about humility, admitting you need help, and sleep, and hugs, and permission to cry despite the strength you are often accused of.
–Bassey Ikpi, Choices
(via Learning Everyday…)
Sex is an art. There should be no shame in having to learn it, to practice it, to ask questions about it, to communicate with one’s partner about it, to plan for it, to read about it, to experiment with it. We shouldn’t have to feel like failures in magnetic sexual power when we prove not to be mind readers who can expertly figure out all that a specific partner needs and wants without ever having to talk about it explicitly. We shouldn’t feel like our pleasures are unreal or not worth it for our partners if they take some work to achieve. We shouldn’t have to feel like we cannot deliberately schedule sex lest it be inherently routinized. We shouldn’t feel like there is no way to deliberately create a sexual mood lest we be faking it. We shouldn’t have to fear that committing to a lifetime of sex with someone (whether monogamously or polyamorously) is a death sentence to passion. In lovemaking familiarity can breed an intimacy and mutual understanding and rhythm and experimentation and practice and mutual experience that can make the whole thing richer and more reliably satisfying than many barely pre-discussed one night stands with all their risks of miscommunication and hit-and-miss experiments and social norms against treating sex like something intimate friends do rather than something only for the mindless animals within us all.
While everyone’s habits of thinking about sex are different and some of these dualisms may be so ingrained and such a part of the rush of sex for some people that they are things people don’t even want to change their minds about, we can control and renew our attitudes through different habits of mind. And I think we will be generally better off the more that we have attitudes such that reasoning is not the enemy of true emotions, talking is not the enemy of true feelings, working is not the enemy of playing, committing is not the enemy of wanting, comfort is not the enemy of excitement, consent is not the enemy of passion, and sometimes awkwardly experimenting and practicing is not the enemy of fun.
All in all, we will do better if we see sex, even casual sex, as about engaging a full person (or people!) with a full personality and foibles. We can do that and still see them as sexually exciting, impressive, and amazing. There is so much more that we can learn about making ourselves and our partners ecstatically pleased by dealing actively with the realities going on in our sexual encounters than by desperately trying to create and live by silly illusions…
—Daniel Fincke “Hot, Passionate, Rational Sex”
Stop comparing where you’re at with where everyone else is. It doesn’t move you farther ahead, improve your situation, or help you find peace. It just feeds your shame, fuels your feelings of inadequacy, and ultimately, it keeps you stuck. The reality is that there is no one correct path in life. Everyone has their own unique journey. A path that’s right for someone else won’t necessarily be a path that’s right for you. And that’s okay. Your journey isn’t right or wrong, or good or bad. It’s just different. Your life isn’t meant to look like anyone else’s because you aren’t like anyone else. You’re a person all your own with a unique set of goals, obstacles, dreams, and needs. So stop comparing, and start living.
I love my naked body like few other things in the world. It is mine, to do with as I please. It carries me through this life and has allowed me many things I didn’t expect. It changes and morphs into new versions of itself and I love all of them. I decorate her with tattoos and take her out dancing. I could never be ashamed or embarrassed of her…I’m not exposed or exploited when I am naked. That would be applying someone else’s expectations onto my body…When I am naked I am not brave or vulnerable or there for you. When I am naked, I am divine.
(via because i am a woman)
Wherever perfectionism is driving, shame is riding shotgun. Perfectionism is not about healthy striving, which you see all the time in successful leaders, it’s not about trying to set goals and being the best we can be, perfectionism is basically a cognitive behavioral process that says if I look perfect, work perfect, and do everything perfectly, I can avoid shame, ridicule, and criticism. It’s a defense mechanism.
(via because i am a woman)
The thing is that if someone is being shamed, stigmatized, bullied etc. for being fat, and we say “they aren’t fat” or “they aren’t even that fat” in their defense, what we are also saying is that there is a size at which they would deserve that treatment, and that’s just not true.
Countering fat shaming by denying fatness says that the person doesn’t deserve poor treatment (which is true) but at the expense of reinforcing the incorrect idea that they would deserve it if they were fat (or some greater degree of fat), or that being called fat is an insult. There is no size at which people deserve to be treated poorly.
Dear brown girl, we have been forced to believe in a fiction that seeks to destroy us. We are not the stories we tell about ourselves or the worst things that have happened to us. We are not our darkest days. We are not our mothers or fathers or uncles or aunts. We are not this country’s psyche or the keepers of its shame. We are the beautiful unbecoming of a history built between our legs. We are deserving of love and compassion because we are. And when we succeed, it is because we have believed in ourselves enough to try. And when one of us falls, we must be vigilant that others of us do not.
If we want to be free, we must imagine (for ourselves) a future of liberatory love and transformative justice so that none of us is left behind. When it gets difficult—and it will—remember:
there is love here,
and there is freedom
on the other side.
—Sadia Hassan, “Brown Girl, Heal”
(via the dopest ethiopienne)