Wow! You packed so much in here.
First of all, I’m not selling my body to gross old men.
There’s a few misconceptions in that one sentence alone. You may have noticed I’m home in my bathrobe, alone with my dogs, having finished my gyro, answering this. How did I get my body back?! Did I buy it back? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of selling it? Maybe he GAVE it back to me out of charity when he was done using it, is that it?
So —taking this ask at face value—i’m gonna say your feminist praxis needs a bit of a refresher. Women—all women, and tbh all people as little as I care for men—are living beings with agency and calculating capabilities. We calculate our best options and go from there. We are not tissues to be used, regardless of that fervid and foetid radfem rhetoric. They only regard certain women as people anyway.
And then, if you’re talking to me, you know my stance on pole dancing. You know that western appropriation narratives aside, the reason you want pole dance specifically to be your fitness routine and not mallakhamb (which doesn’t welcome women anyway) or aerialism, is that neither have been sexy and appealing background props setting the standards of female desirability for the past twenty years.
You want to look like a stripper. You want that slumming, dangerous, mysterious aura, you want to walk with confidence like I walk in 8” heels, you want to look like men pay you hundreds of dollars because you’re desirable.
You want to feel edgy and desirable.
That’s why you haven’t run off to cirque du soleil, nor are you calling aerialists tramps.
With that cleared up, let’s go back to your first point:
You do have a problem with strippers. Your problem: you want our aura and desirability and not the stigma, not the danger, not the real threat of losing homes/jobs/family/scholarships/children/careers/futures.
You know that the edginess you crave comes at a price, and your way of dealing with this is NOT to combat stripper stigma, your way of dealing with this is to play up respectability politics for all you’re worth, widening the dichotomy between pure you and filthy us, too busy selling our bodies to dirty old men to develop the skills and grace you so admire.
And to a certain degree this makes sense. It will work for you, sort of. There are people who will buy it, mostly other women who have the same investment in maintaining respectability politics.
Men, babe, are never going to believe you, and they are never going to care.
BUT! There’s another option. Instead of crying when someone asks if you’re a stripper after a certain effortfull routine, sobbing like strippers can’t climb a pole through shoulder mounts backward and then do a drop in a straddle split catching themselves an inch above the floor in 8” heels, instead of reassuring yourself that we’re all mushy muscles barely able to stagger around the pole, making your tricks all the more unique and special—
The next time someone asks if you’re a stripper you could say:
No! But isn’t it amazing that they manage to do this in heels?
No, I’m not a stripper, but I’m flattered you think I have that self confidence!
No, I’m not a stripper but I’ve thought about it, but the stigma scares me.
No, I’m not a stripper but their skills and bravery inspire me and my classmates!
No, I’m not a stripper, and it makes me nervous that you would ask that bc sex work is so loaded and sex workers are murdered and discriminated against, so I get defensive about this but I’m trying to fight it and support strippers in ending sex worker stigma, starting with myself.
No, I’m not a stripper and I get tense about that question because of daddy issues stereotypes but isn’t it so fucked up that strippers (and other women) are the butt of jokes about male pattern abuse? 1 in 3 or 4 women is abused in her life time, usually by a family member or an intimate partner. You know someone who is the butt of that joke, stripper or not. And issues are a valid response to abuse across the spectrum, not just for strippers.
No, I’m not a stripper but I love them and I’m jealous they get to wear fancy outfits.
No, I’m not a stripper because they’re an exploited labour class and i enjoy my pole work best without having to give a percent of my income to a man who doesn’t deserve it.
No, I’m not a stripper, and they don’t pick up dollars with their vaginas either because unlike customers (who stick dollars in their mouths) none of us are interested in getting hepatitis.
So these are some potential answers for you! Hope this helps and thanks for indulging me.
Love, your friend,
we need some new and more powerful swears
the elder swear
Esther Jones, known by her stage name, “Baby Esther,” was a singer and entertainer of the late 1920s. She performed regularly at The Cotton Club in Harlem. Helen Kane saw her act in 1928 and appropriated Jones’ ‘baby’ singing style for a recording of “I Wanna Be Loved By You.” Jones’ style went on to become the inspiration for the voice of Betty Boop.(What I Looked up)
when you’re so thirsty for new fic of your OTP that you can physically feel your standards dropping
You hear all these “you’re not a real fan unless” and it lists a hundred things, but I met a dude today who saw my Deadpool pin and asked what my favorite story arc was, and I explained that while I loved Deadpool, I was new to Marvel (I only really got into it a year and a half ago) and hadn’t been able to find a lot of the comics. Instead of making a face or a derogatory comment, he just offered to send me all the stuff he had. That is a true fan.
Some harsh but very very true words
When people let me review their portfolios (on career day or open days at my game design school) I explicitly ban them from commenting during the review… …because otherwise they will follow the impulse to downplay everything I see in an attempt at being humble.
"this is an old image…"
"I’m not happy with that one…"
"this is just a sketch…"
"I did this really quickly…"
"there is better stuff on later pages…"
It’s totally understandable to have those impulses. The quality of art is not empirical data and therefore impossible to measure. Good art, bad art, it all comes down to standards. And you don’t want to come off as naive or self-absorbed.
But just don’t do it. Don’t talk yourself down in front of others. In the best case you have someone supportive who now thinks “damn, this person needs to be prepped up all the time. Do I really want to work with somebody like that” or in worst case “now that you say it, yeah, this is kinda lame/rushed/unfinished/lazy, go away.”
You can only submit what you have. If that is not enough, then it’s not enough. Your attitude will not change that. But if it is enough, you can do serious harm by not being confident of who you are now.
This means appreciating what you are able to do right now and have a clear vision of what you want to learn, be confident that you will learn it in time.
This is really important. Eliminate this urge. Eliminate it professionally, when having contact with people in a position to buy your work. Eliminate it socially, when you just share your work for fun. Destroy this urge as thoroughly as you possibly can.
Because when you have done that, you’ll find that you feel at least 25% less shitty about your own work. You lose the urge to do it. You stop reinforcing those negative thoughts, and they retreat. They may never go away completely (although they might!) but this is good practice for ignoring those thoughts flat-out.
Don’t shit-talk yourself. Even if you can’t be SO PROUD, don’t ever try to influence anyone’s opinion toward your work in the negative.
Try to love your work. Try to see what you learned from each piece, even if it’s a failure. If you feel that you learned nothing, appreciate the fact that just spending time on it is honing your skills and giving you valuable practice.
i used to be super not-confident in my own work. When I stopped pointing out the flaws in my own stuff, I felt better about it almost immediately.
Robyn Lawley, Jada Sezer, and Gabi Gregg for Swimsuits For All.
Omg these ladies <3
this is my all time favourite brush and for a split second i thought i lost it since i didnt memorize or save the settings
putting it up here for safe keeps
Actual Australian Bro Striderahahaha, look at his silly duckface in the second picture, I love it.
Damn. This has to be one of the coolest lizardmen I’ve ever seen