Yo. For the last few days/weeks/months I’ve been all fucked up. Sometimes it’s easy to forget who you are and what you do when most of the people you interact with don’t understand it, or respect it, or approve of it. But I thought I could change their minds once they realize I’m a really good teacher! I can be really good at this!
But ultimately, type my name in to google image search and this is what you get:
That is me naked. The cover of my first book. A photoshopped image I made of myself getting fucked by Patrick Stewart. Pictures I took. Pictures other people have taken of me. And a particularly amazing photo of me dreaming of Kirk/Spock. All quality images. And when I look at this, my automatic reaction is “who are those other people? and why aren’t they me?”
I don’t want to not do this. I don’t want to not have people find me when they google my name. I don’t want a future employer to not see my naked body if they happen to google me. Because fuck, this is what I do.
And you noticed that. I’ve been getting emails and messages from people expressing their sadness at my decision to “self-edit.” I didn’t realize I had made that decision until you started recognizing it in my complete lack of doing anything at all.
If I stop posting online about sex and body-positivity and backing it all up with my own naked body then who’s benefiting? I thought I would. I thought people would stop talking about me at my workplace. I thought that I would be taken more seriously and would be seen as more professional and more capable. BUT THAT IS SO BACKWARDS. Fuck all that. That’s not benefiting anyone. It’s hurting people; it’s hurting that young girl who would like to see one more woman who tells her it’s okay to enjoy sex. It’s hurting that guy who never really thought about how making an offhand comment about how much his sister eats affects her. It’s hurting my mom who needs to be reminded she is beautiful and strong. It’s hurting every single person who sees what I do and the zero amount of fucks I give and thinks yeah, sure, I can do that too. I’m maybe giving myself too much credit, but it seems in this situation better to give myself too much than too little.
I was freaking out the other day wondering what the fuck I was doing and why I was doing it and applying for volunteer positions and knowing that if they google me, chances are I won’t get called. And Matt said, “Fuck them.” And I said, “Yeah?” And he said, “Yeah. There will be someone else, somewhere, who will google you and either not care, or want you more.”
And I knew that. I know this. But it’s easy to forget. It’s so easy to forget how awesome we are. Sometimes it’s hard to believe ourselves when so many things happening in our lives are pointing to a conclusion that is completely opposite to everything we’ve worked so hard to believe. We have the odds stacked against us: ad agencies trying to define our ideals for us, movie producers trying to tell us what love looks like, fashion designers trying to convince us what beautiful is, total strangers trying to shame us for our bodies, our choices, and our desires. Working within this framework, it’s hard to remember we are amazing. It is hard for everyone, and it takes work and sometimes we get tired. We forget that we have a perfect GPA. Or we forget that we can knit sweaters, or draw comics, or bake cakes, or run a marathon, or qualify as sharpshooters, or program like a motherfucker. We get worn down and exhausted and we start to think that life might be easier if we lost 30 pounds, or dyed our hair back to a natural colour, or covered up our tattoos, or took out our piercings, or stopped telling people about our girlfriend, or if we stopped wearing sheer shirts, or if we got a regular job, or if we weren’t poor or black or women, or if we just tried to be normal. Fuck the people who make us feel that way. Fuck them.
I’m embarrassed that I gave people the right to make me feel that way. For the moments I have sat at home the last few months, paralyzed by my indecision and uncertainty based on the opinions of a few people, or the realities of the expectations of an industry, or the pervasive attitude of an entire culture, I feel embarrassed.
But it’s understandable and forgivable.
So I think I’ll just continue to get naked and be inappropriate, thanks.