Friday, May 19, 2006

In praise of invisibility

Once again I'm inspired by the always insightful and thought-provoking Biting Beaver and her remarks on "fuckability".

I was pretty for about five minutes in the late 90s. At 5 feet tall, 100 rock-solid pounds, long curly reddish hair, good skin - I was "cursed with being 'culturally beautiful' ", so to speak.

It didn't last, thank goodness. I got old, paunchy, frizzy, wrinkled - FINALLY. aaaaaaaaaaah. Now I'm totally invisible.

It beats the alternative.

I have to say I did not like the whole "pretty" lifestyle. It was way too much effort, frankly. And the shoes pinched. And for what? I got zero personal satisfaction out of it. It's not like anyone gave me an extra cookie as compensation for the curse of being culturally beautiful (though I hear that happens from time to time).

As for the drooling morons assumedly dumbstruck by my glorious hawttness (such as it was), they didn't bother me so much. At some point the poor witless bastards were told that pretty girls existed to be looked at and drooled on, so that's what they did. But I found that with some persistence and effort on my part, men could learn to look past my glorious hawttness and discover the truly loathsome beast beneath. Picking my nose was remarkably effective in forcing men to avert their eyes. So was scratching any odd itch, wherever I might find one. Diligently scratching, like it was a job, digging and scraping with total abandon. Belching was quite effective. Of course, if being gross was not an appropriate strategy there were other things I could do. Asking a pointed, preposterous, ridiculous question, phrased in the most overblown and long-winded faux-intellectual style, while making direct eye contact, also worked, as did acting batshit insane. Anything I could do to forcibly rip off the veil of "pretty", I did. Pretty, maybe - but not fuckable. how could a belching, scratching, nose-picking beast be fuckable?

Nah - the male gaze I could handle. the male gaze did not bother me nearly so much as the weird double-edged sword wielded by other women.

"Oh my god you're so thin and pretty I hate you."

Huh. Does this mean you don't want to have lunch with me? Or if I were a corpulent frightwigged hideous toad you'd love me? If my being so-phrased "thin and pretty" makes you hate me, why are you covering your face with a thin slurry of wax and water and torturing your hair to make it look like everyone else's and eating nothing but shredded lettuce so that some other woman can look you straight in the eye and say "Oh my god you're so thin and pretty I hate you"?

These days, as a corpulent frightwigged hideous toad, people hate me for different reasons. "Oh my god your political analysis makes no sense to me I hate you." "Oh my god you're a screaming hypocrite I hate you." "Oh my god you're lazy, ugly and disrespectful I hate you."

Still nobody has lunch with me. But I'm okay with that. At least it makes sense.

So, men have finally left off leering at me, for all the good it might have done them in the past. Women hate me for different reasons, real reasons, so that's definitely progress there.

I was so relieved when I finally ditched the whole "pretty" lifestyle. At my peak of conformity I always felt like a fraud, like I was wearing a cheap and poorly-made woman costume. I felt like a female impersonator, like I was in drag. I hated it, not because men looked at me, but because it didn't feel authentic. I felt like a caricature of femininity. My whole body felt fragile and breakable, my hands were totally useless with the long fake nails on, those damn shoes drove me crazy and I wanted to claw my face off just to get rid of all that makeup sludge.

If I have to be invisible just to feel human, I'll take it and not complain.

Oh I'm so with you on the ripping off the veil of 'pretty'! But...all 'beasts' are apparently fuckable if they occupy the correct socio-sexual designation under patriarchy.

Your post has made me think. And I think I'd far rather be hated for my apparent fuckability than my political analysis. My fuckability means jack shit. My political analysis, on the other hand, has been known to change lives - and that matters so much more.
I see what you're saying. obviously political analysis means more to the world than fuckability.

however, fuckability is entirely based on - what? physical attraction? conformity to (totally arbitrary) standards? adherence to the changing whims of fashion? basing a negative feeling on something as capricious and arbitrary as fuckability seems irrational to me. I can't control what counts as "fuckability" from day to day. (and god knows I can't keep up.)

However, basing a negative feeling on a difference of opinion makes a lot more sense to me. it's based on something that can be examined, considered, reconsidered, researched, debated (more or less civilly) and eventually there's a chance that some sort of legitimate meeting of the minds can be reached.

don't hate me because I'm beautiful (snork)...hate me because I came to a different conclusion based on similar experience! :)
but by all means - rip off the veil like a band-aid on a hairy leg!
Heh, I used to stick my finger up my nose when I got the "woh BABEHHH!" crap from passing cars. It didn't get much reaction either way I don't think. I expect it's because ultimately toe WOH BAYBEHHH boyz were only ever about 4% interested in me in the first place anyway; ime WOH BAYBEE is generally about bonding with one's malebuddies (but in a manly, completely non homo sort of way, of course). and/or venting one's general aggression and frustration at the entire world, here represented by the entire female gender, here represented by some random woman walking down the street.
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator. is interesting. I was never particularly interested in garnering male attention for its own sake; however, back in the (high school, mostly, I expect) day, I *was* terribly interested in conforming. "Pretty," more or less, WAS invisible, or at any rate helped attract a minimum of the attention I was most afraid of getting. And that shit never goes away entirely, of course. What woman doesn't have at least some body image issue? There must be a few.

But what I observe--and I may be biased here, as, again, I was never all that invested in getting men to like me erotically--is that for the most part, it's other WOMEN who do by far the bulk of body and fashion policing. which may indeed be rooted in a patriarchal mindset, but doesn't (to me) change the effect that I tend to be more concerned with their opinions. I expect it also has a fair amount to do with dear old Mom (for me, and at least some others, I am guessing, particularly if dear old Mom was more than a tad on the judgmental side).

and of course: switching over to comfy shoes does not necessarily mean that one has stopped policing oneself or others. "Any woman who wears (fetish heels) like that belongs in a home" (Twisty) is just the same old "psst psst psst omigod, lookit HER, giggle" shit from a slightly different angle, imo.
(idly wondering: if one does not wish to be judged on one's physical appearance, why would one include a photograph of oneself as part of one's Internets profile?)
maybe we're missing the point of BBs original post - and that the real problem is that there does exist this fuckability scale on which all women are rated, and this scale should be demolished - I agree with that.

but I think the internal and inter-woman scale has to be demolished first, before any real headway can be made on the external scale.
Well, "the personal is political" pretty much has to begin with some fairly heavy self-examination, I think that's a safe starting point.

(antiprincess, your trackback thingie isn't working)
...o.k., found the link.

well, yeh, same basic point as I had I think: it kind of doesn't matter *what* you wear, inevitably there's gonna be some unsocialized fuckwit who stares aggressively or does some other fuckwitted thing.

the last time I remember getting actual words in street harassment was when I was walking around braless (god how I hate the wire and elastic monstrosities) and some big ol' andro dyke in baggy clothing standing in front of the local (Mafia-owned; it was refreshingly retro) gay club/bar with her snap queen buddy shouted, "Hey, put on a bra!" (or something like it, possibly ruder). I did actually walk toward them; I was pissed. "What did you say?" I had a petite lecture ready for her, something along the lines of "If that's your way of attempting to pick me up, I can tell you it's *really* not working;" but she just giggled nervously and kind of melted away behind her pal. asshat.

generally whether I answer or not depends what kind of mood I'm in and how safe I'm feeling; doing the dozens with big scary-lookin' guys at midnight on a deserted subway car isn't something I feel up to, generally. if I'm feeling the stares, sometimes just blatantly staring back (without smiling or blinking; kind of a "what the hell is your problem?" look; you learn this in New York) is enough to get them to blink and turn away.

funnily enough, the part I resonated more to wrt that particular piece was I'm elated! now I'm in a bottomless black hole! and it all was triggered off by relatively small shit! (car not starting, etc). I get where that would come from (nos hit is really small shit, of course); at the same time, I gotta say: meds and therapy helped an awful lot. Not in a "oh lalala, I don't notice that shit anymore, smile and take soma!" way; more in a "okay, annoying, but it's not gonna fuck me up for the rest of the day" sort of way.
I guess of course the ultimate question is (and this goes for myself as well, of course, albeit in a slightly different direction): "why do you care what they think at all?"

I mean, if "they" is men, and I was gonna be having my primary erotic/romantic or even intellectual connection with 'em (or certain of 'em), then yeah, I suppose I'd care more about that particular "them." Ultimately, though: dude, if I could fix my own car, I probably wouldn't give a fuck what some random choad thought about my ass. I mean: if anything, I'd be smugly happ(ier). *Not* because "oh, teehee, he thinks I'm attractive," but "Ha ha, loser, you're oogling my ass in your typical aggressive, mouth-breathing fashion, but little do you know that I can fix my own car! I don't need your validation, your dick, or your monkey wrench! Pretty soon you'll be completely expendable! Put that in your exhaust pipe and smoke it!"

and then, eventually, I expect even that would lose its charm. eh. piss off. loser.

I dunno. I have technophobia. I can't imagine fixing my own car. Learning to tie a secure knot at the PSI workshop was a big breakthrough for me, frankly. I think that's partly about class as well as gender and (mainly) my own personal shit.
I have helped to fix a car on several occasions. it was complex - a real brain teaser. it took most of my mental resources just to remember words for things. I'm not sure I'd have been able to come out from under my brain fog to notice if someone had been ogling me.

I have also helped to fix a small airplane. that was more fun.

now I feel like I wanna do the uber-femmey thing and bat my eyelashes and swoon. nothin' like someone who's good with tools/her hands...
so, uh, belledame...can your sparkplugs?
there is another side to the coin. some of us males are not exactly pleased with having to act masculine, or be male for that matter. god, how i hate sports, and high-fives and all of that other guy crap!

you people do however, make me blush somewhat, since i was born a male, i must admit, due only to hormonal and genetic drive(s), i have leered at women. yet at the same time i know some of it was envy. beauty is a nice thing when one thinks about it...

regards... j
I found this site using [url=][/url] And i want to thank you for your work. You have done really very good site. Great work, great site! Thank you!

Sorry for offtopic
Who knows where to download XRumer 5.0 Palladium?
Help, please. All recommend this program to effectively advertise on the Internet, this is the best program!
Do You interesting of [b]Viagra 100mg dosage[/b]? You can find below...
[size=10]>>>[url=][b]Viagra 100mg dosage[/b][/url]<<<[/size]

[b]Bonus Policy[/b]
Order 3 or more products and get free Regular Airmail shipping!
Free Regular Airmail shipping for orders starting with $200.00!

Free insurance (guaranteed reshipment if delivery failed) for orders starting with $300.00!

Generic Viagra (sildenafil citrate; brand names include: Aphrodil / Edegra / Erasmo / Penegra / Revatio / Supra / Zwagra) is an effective treatment for erectile dysfunction regardless of the cause or duration of the problem or the age of the patient.
Sildenafil Citrate is the active ingredient used to treat erectile dysfunction (impotence) in men. It can help men who have erectile dysfunction get and sustain an erection when they are sexually excited.
Generic Viagra is manufactured in accordance with World Health Organization standards and guidelines (WHO-GMP). Also you can find on our sites.
Generic Viagra is made with thorough reverse engineering for the sildenafil citrate molecule - a totally different process of making sildenafil and its reaction. That is why it takes effect in 15 minutes compared to other drugs which take 30-40 minutes to take effect.
Even in the most sexually liberated and self-satisfied of nations, many people still yearn to burn more, to feel ready for bedding no matter what the clock says and to desire their partner of 23 years as much as they did when their love was brand new.
The market is saturated with books on how to revive a flagging libido or spice up monotonous sex, and sex therapists say “lack of desire” is one of the most common complaints they hear from patients, particularly women.
What a material of un-ambiguity and preserveness of valuable experience
on the topic of unexpected emotions.

my blog -
With havin so much content and articles do you ever run into any problems of
plagorism or copyright violation? My site has a lot
of exclusive content I've either written myself or outsourced but it appears a lot of it is popping it up all over the internet without my agreement. Do you know any methods to help stop content from being ripped off? I'd genuinely appreciate

Also visit my website ... Wholesale Jerseys
Very good article. I will be dealing with a
few of these issues as well..

my webpage; Borse Gucci Ufficiale
Thanks for the marvelous posting! I quite enjoyed reading it, you are a great author.
I will be sure to bookmark your blog and will
come back at some point. I want to encourage you to ultimately continue your great job, have a nice day!

Also visit my web site :: Louis Vuitton Bags
Hi there it's me, I am also visiting this website daily, this site is truly fastidious and the viewers are in fact sharing good thoughts.

Take a look at my web site Louis Vuitton Handbags Outlet
I write a leave a response when I appreciate a post on
a website or I have something to add to the discussion.
Usually it's caused by the fire communicated in the article I looked at. And on this post Untitled. I was actually moved enough to drop a comment :-) I actually do have some questions for you if you do not mind. Could it be simply me or do a few of these remarks appear like written by brain dead visitors? :-P And, if you are posting on additional online social sites, I'd like to follow you.

Would you make a list every one of all your shared pages
like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

Here is my blog post Recommended Site
This paragraph gives clear idea designed for the
new viewers of blogging, that in fact how to do running a blog.

Review my web site :: Learn More
Heya i am for the primary time here. I found this board and I to find It really
useful & it helped me out a lot. I am hoping to present something again and help others like you
helped me.

Here is my page: Michael Kors Bags
Greetings from Idaho! I'm bored to tears at work so I decided to check out your blog on my iphone during lunch break. I enjoy the knowledge you present here and can't
wait to take a look when I get home. I'm shocked at how fast your blog loaded on my phone .. I'm not even using WIFI, just 3G .
. Anyhow, superb site!

My web page; Abercrombie Pas Cher
Post writing is also a excitement, if you be familiar with afterward you can write otherwise it is complex to write.

Visit my page continue ()
I simply could not leave your site before suggesting that I
extremely enjoyed the standard information an individual provide to your guests?
Is gonna be back ceaselessly to check up on new posts

my web site: Air Max Pas Cher
I drop a comment each time I like a article on a blog or if I have something to
valuable to contribute to the discussion. It is caused by the fire communicated in the post I looked at.
And on this post Untitled. I was excited enough to leave a comment ;) I actually
do have a few questions for you if you tend not to mind.

Is it only me or do some of the responses come across
as if they are coming from brain dead visitors?
:-P And, if you are posting on other online social sites, I would like to
keep up with you. Could you make a list the complete urls of all your communal sites like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

Feel free to surf to my webpage :: Chaussures De Foot
Today, I went to the beach with my children.
I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said "You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear." She placed the shell
to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.

She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I had
to tell someone!

Also visit my page ... More Help
I love reading through a post that will make men and women think.
Also, many thanks for allowing me to comment!

Here is my web blog Continued (
I was suggested this website by my cousin.
I'm not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my difficulty. You are amazing! Thanks!

Here is my website - Continued
I'm more than happy to discover this web site. I want to to thank you for your time just for this wonderful read!! I definitely savored every part of it and i also have you bookmarked to check out new information on your site.

Feel free to visit my web blog :: Oakley Frogskins
Great goods from you, man. I've understand your stuff previous to and you're just extremely
wonderful. I really like what you've acquired here, really like what you are saying and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still take care of to keep it smart. I cant wait to read much more from you. This is really a great web site.

Feel free to visit my website :: Air Max Pas Cher []
I could not refrain from commenting. Well written!

My web page Air Jordan
I was recommended this blog by my cousin. I am not sure whether
this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my difficulty.
You are wonderful! Thanks!

Feel free to surf to my web blog Boutique Guess
This paragraph is in fact a good one it helps new internet visitors, who are wishing in favor of blogging.

My weblog: Cheap Air Max :: ::
Every weekend i used to go to see this web page, for the reason that i want
enjoyment, as this this site conations genuinely pleasant funny data too.

Also visit my homepage - Kobe Bryant Shoes
Hello! I just wish to offer you a huge thumbs
up for the excellent information you've got here on this post. I will be coming back to your site for more soon.

Check out my weblog - Sac Louis Vuitton (
Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point.

You clearly know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your blog when you could
be giving us something informative to read?

Have a look at my blog ... Sac Louis Vuitton :
: ::
Very good post. I'm experiencing some of these issues as well..

my homepage :: Michael Kors
I'm truly enjoying the design and layout of your blog. It's a very easy on the eyes which makes
it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit more often.
Did you hire out a designer to create your theme? Great work!

Feel free to visit my site ... KD Basketball Shoes
My family members every time say that I am killing my time here
at net, however I know I am getting experience every day by reading such pleasant content.

my webpage Cheap LeBron James Shoes (nysacpr.Org)
Excellent goods from you, man. I've understand your stuff previous to and you're just extremely
fantastic. I actually like what you've acquired here, certainly like what you are saying and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still care for to keep it smart. I can not wait to read much more from you. This is really a wonderful web site.

Also visit my weblog Michael Kors Outlet
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?