"There’s no weakness in loving the people you love or in prioritizing your family and significant other. But there are dangers in a model of womanhood defined by sacrifice and folding yourself into others. We all want girls to develop positive self-esteem and feel a strong sense of self-worth. But it’s awfully hard to do that in a society where, for girls and women, self-identity is relational and not about yourself at all."
“Andrew O’Hagan writes: ‘Joan Didion gave me her hand and she was so thin it felt like I was holding a butterfly’ (LRB, 7 November). A beautiful sentence, but I wondered about the simile’s plausibility. It’s been reported that Didion weighs less than eighty lbs. She’s so thin her doctors have put her on an ice cream diet to keep her mass up. A woman’s hand is said to be 0.5 per cent of her body weight. So if Didion weighs 75 lbs, her hand probably weighs about six ounces. The world’s heaviest butterfly, the female Queen Victorian Birdwing, weighs about two grams. There are about 28 grams in an ounce, and Joan Didion’s hand probably weighs about the same as holding 86 female Queen Victoria Birdwings. It would be difficult to hold them all in your hand because each one has a wingspan of 18 centimetres. The smallest butterfly in the world is the North American Pygmy Blue and you’d probably need thousands of them to tip the scales against one of Didion’s fingers. None of this is to detract from the loveliness of O’Hagan’s sentence. We tell ourselves stories in order to live.”
by Robert Frost
I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain — and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.
I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.
I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,
But not to call me back or say good-bye;
And further still at an unearthly height,
O luminary clock against the sky
Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night.
I am very much a beginner at pottery, but I am proud to have made these things. I enjoyed the process of making them too; how they hypnotised me as they went around the wheel in circles. Our teacher told us not to keep anything we made in our first couple of sessions on the wheel and this bristled with me - what’s the point of making them, then? - but it didn’t take long to understand. The process is the point.
A line in a pottery handbook struck me with its charming tone deafness. “As a beginner, you want the clay to be soft as new putty. Stiff clay will be demoralising.” One night I walked into the studio to find a new note on the whiteboard, telling students to do a more thorough job cleaning up after class. “Ceramic dust kills!” it said, in all caps, underlined. My hobby seemed much more hardcore after that.
I want to do more, but I went and ran two red lights somehow and now I need to pay the fines.
two poems vaguely related to my sexual experiences that aren’t about sex
My boyfriend is grinning at me.
I want to say to him ‘you look psychotic’
I want to say to him ‘I think we should break up’
‘I think we should break up because you are a PC user, our values are conflicting’
I am sitting in the passenger seat.
We stop at a red light.
My boyfriend looks at me and says “what are you thinking about?”
I say “I want to buy a hello kitty t shirt.”
The light turns green.
Sometimes I would try to picture every girl you have had sex with in a naked police line up
There were height lines on the walls behind them
They were holding black cards with tiny white letters spelling out important information
‘It was okay’
‘I felt offended, slightly.’ or
‘Orgasms that made me who I am today.’
They stared at me and I looked for patterns between them
I decided all of the girls were very pretty and intense looking.
I felt alienated
I wanted to bite my nails.
One girl was blushing.
She was looking at her pubic hair, and blushing.
Her sign said
A friend of mine was going on about reverse washing her hair, and I was pretty skeptical, like I am about most alternative hair-washing schemes people tend to proselytize about: washing with apple cider vinegar, washing with baking soda, washing once a week, washing with conditioner, not washing it at all. I’ve tried all of these things, and you know what makes my hair look best? Washing it and conditioning it regularly, like every other day. I use sulfate-free and silicone-free products (usually Pureology, which is pricey but a $30 bottle lasts me for half a year), and since my hair gunk issue of 2009 I tend to go without styling product most of the time. I am a white girl. My hair is very thick, with a tendency for dry ends and an oily scalp. It used to be curly, but in the past year or so the curls have loosened and now I can wear it straight, wavy or curly, depending on the humidity/how lazy I’m feeling.
So I thought reverse washing would turn out to be another load of crap and my hair would laugh at it, but I tried it this morning and my hair has never looked or felt as good as it does right now. It is soft and shiny and even smells better! I feel compelled to share this gospel with you, the internet, because if there’s one thing the internet likes to talk about it’s lip balm, and if there’s another thing the internet likes to talk about, it’s hair.Here’s what I did:Get in the shower, wet your hair, and condition it. My hair gets greasy at the roots so I usually just condition the ends, like I hold it in a low ponytail from my scalp and condition from there down, but per her instructions I did that and then put a tiny bit of conditioner on my roots. This felt so wrong to me. Leave the conditioner in while you do the rest of your shower. Then rinse it out, and then shampoo your hair. Rinse out the shampoo with cool water. Then get out (you cannot live in the shower) and style per usual. (I like how this is always the last instruction on any type of hair thing. Then get out of the shower and go on a murderous rampage. No wait, style as usual!)
The concept of “beauty secrets” is pretty laughable one. A model saying “I moisturise and drink lots of water!” is no kind of secret - and when it’s doled out by someone who is freakishly beautiful, is largely irrelevant to normies like me. Sites like Into The Gloss specialise in these sorts of pieces, which can usually be split into the categories of:
1. “I really don’t do much! Just a squeeze of tinted moisturiser!” (read: I am a laid-back natural beauty. And probably a liar.)
2. “Here is a comprehensive list of all the products I use. None of them cost below $70.” (read: I use so many luxury products that I myself am a luxury product.)
But I know - I know! - there are real beauty secrets out there. Sarah’s reverse washing system is likely one of them, and I will be trying it tonight, you bet.
Most real beauty secrets remain unrevealed because there’s something unattractive about them: they seem brutal, or suggest a strange fixation, undermining all of the “effortless beauty” you work hard to contrive.
This is true of mine. But I feel uncomfortable about how evasive everyone is about this stuff. So, here:
1. I dye my eyebrows. The trade-off of being a natural blonde is that while I don’t have to bleach my hair, I do have invisible brows. If I don’t tint them every two or three weeks I look sick.
2. I had this ridiculous treatment done on my acne where they put electrodes into the pores where you break out to disable the sebaceous gland. I did this once a month for ~9 months. It’s pretty extreme. But fuck every 3-step skincare system. This worked.
Sophie and I haunt the same Sydney streets. I love the way she sees them.
Beginning to look like Autumn over here.
'Mericans! My lovely pal Elize - the super talented photographer - is taking her Small Town Girl project back to your fair shores, and she’s looking for… small town girls!
In her words:
"Almost exactly a year ago I posted this – a description of my Small Town Girl project and a call out to teenage girls in little US towns who were willing to have me come stay with them and photograph their average week. Friends and friends of friends shared the post and I had an amazing response from interested teenagers and their families. In June 2013 I flew to LA and set off, living with/photographing two girls in Oregon, one in Ohio, one in Maine and one in Texas. I landed back in Sydney in August and thought I was done. But I’m not done. I’m still curious. And so on June 9, I’ll touch down on US soil and set off again.
This time, I’d like to find out what it’s like to grow big in a small town if you’re African American, if you’re Native American or if you’re of Hispanic origin. I’m looking for 13-18 year old girls of diverse cultural backgrounds who live in towns with a population of 10,000 or less. I’ll live with you and your family/friends for a week and follow you around, taking fly-on-the-wall style photos that will form a body of work to be exhibited in galleries in Australia and the US.
If you’re interested or if you know someone who knows someone who knows a teenage girl who fits the bill, then please comment here or email me for more details: firstname.lastname@example.org Feel free to share this post on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and any of your other networks. Many thanks!”
Another day, another anachronistic magazine blurb tossing off irritated comments about “stopping selfies from clogging up your social media feed.”...
- NATIONAL POETRY MONTH DAY 22: “THE GREAT LOVES OF OUR LIVES”
Begin with the body
desire manifests itself in the body:
the flutter of the heart
the nervous shake of a hand
- “ Stendahl syndrome:
a psychosomatic disorder that causes rapid heartbeat, dizziness, fainting, confusion and even hallucinations when an individual...”
- “There is nothing more mysterious than a TV set left on in an empty room. It is even stranger than a man talking to himself or a woman standing...”
- “I must tell you that I should really like to think there’s something wrong with me because if there isn’t, then there’s something wrong with the...”
- One Of The Most Embarrassing Things That Has Ever Happened To Me
About a month ago I moved into an amazing house with great roommates and all sorts...