I just had to get “Trust No One” off as the first post (especially since it’s been there for nearly a year)!
But seriously, that’s closer to my feelings today. I just got back from an annual volunteer trip up to Bolinas, where I co-run a weekend workshop for teen girls aimed at redefining beauty. We do a slew of activities examining how beauty standards get imposed on us and either end up shaming us or trapping us in a struggle to be perfect that we will always, eventually, lose. We talk about other ways to define beauty, then I do a photoshoot with each girl as she portrays a particular beautiful quality. At the end of the weekend, I put together a little ‘beauty magazine’ that they get to take with them. It’s a gorgeous setting, on a farm in Bolinas, with winding paths in oak forests, horses on the property, and the a view of the lagoon down the hill.
And I hold in rolling my eyes, THE ENTIRE TIME. Because this is good work, and important practice. Because some nugget, somewhere, might stick with them and make them think. Because it can’t hurt to have a supportive group come together and tell you you’re beautiful, all weekend.
When I was a teen? I would have been mocking this endlessly. I would have been rolling my eyes, and yawning. I’d heard all of it before. Yeah, yeah, it’s the media’s fault. Mmm hmm, impossible to achieve beauty standards. Whatever. You’re just saying this ‘cuz you’re ugly.
This weekend reminded me of the importance of holding that snark in. I’m trusting those girls to take what they can from this workshop, to listen and bring in the important points, and to appreciate what we created together. And today, I feel dang good about that trust.
I feel dang good about THIS, too!
Bad Ass Faeries: It’s Elemental is now available for pre-order! With a story by ME! Faerieland Local 2413 tells the story of a nickar water faerie on the railroad. I am so excited – I loved this story, and it actually kicked off more stories set in this world, some of which are still in my head, some of which may be popping up soon…
That’s all for today. Trust everyone. You’re beautiful.