Activist movements, as in almost all things, can suck you dry—there is always more to be done, more people to reach out to, more actions to plan, more art to make, more reaching out. But at a certain point you have to be able to say, this is my limit. But we’re not socialized in a way to know what our limits are, to think thoughtfully about our capacity, and how to use self care in order to build our capacity. We're not socialized to be able to say, "Enough, I can't do this any longer." I've seen it wear down on people until disease forces them to make big life changes.
My favorite takeaway was the authenticity quote by Kanye West. He had told Kim Kardashian West, his wife and Bruce Jenner's step-daughter, this anecdote.
Look, I can be married to the most beautiful woman in the world, and I am. I can have the most beautiful little daughter in the world, and I have that. But I’m nothing if I can’t be me. If I can’t be true to myself, they don’t mean anything.
Kanye is exactly right. When you aren’t authentic to yourself, it is nearly impossible to enjoy your life. I spent a long time being depressed, suicidal, self-hating and body hating. It robbed me of the pleasures of the everyday. Making choices and taking risks to be my authentic self has saved my life.
Inspired to create a series about self love by the People Magazine series "Half Their Size," the Half The Self Hate series is about how artists and activists have put into practice the radical act of loving oneself in a society that commodifies self hatred. This is a series about self love triumphing over self hate, and valuing yourself as a radical act of resistance.
Spoken word artist and body activist Denise Jolly joins the conversation about learning to let go of self-hate:
"Truthfully I hated myself most days until I did the Be Beautiful project. That was not even two years ago and I am currently 35 years old. I fear saying this but in the spirit of honoring vulnerability there are still so many days self-hatred creeps in like a destructive lover. The hatred no longer wins but it sure does work hard to hold its place in my life. "
If we're coming from a place of acknowledging there are so many different ways to be Femme, why is it valid to make a blanket statement that people aren't attracted to Femmes at all?
I also want to make it clear that this post is as much addressed to Femme-identified folks who don't do Femme on Femme Action (FOFA) as much as non-Femme identified folks.
I've addressed this tired line before, focusing on debunking Femme as high maintenance. Now I want to focus on shifting desire and whether the idea that one can actually say they all the time never are attracted to Femmes.