Friday, July 17, 2015

Let Them Be #Curvy

The word “curvy” has been used a lot on Instagram to hashtag photos containing nudity, but other more explicit words like #penis or #vagina are apparently ok to search for on the site.

The example of the reverse being banned, thinspo, is very different, right? Thinspo has been banned because it encourages the use of too-skinny girls as inspiration for what some worry are anorexics browsing for pics of inspiration.

Is Instagram afraid women are going to start looking at “curvy” women as inspiration to gain weight? We wouldn’t want that now, would we?

Actually, the whole idea of banning certain words from searches is ridiculous. Yes, I know Instagram is a private business and so can make the rules. But the rules don’t make sense.

When will we learn that “hiding” things, or banning them, just makes them more attractive and another #curvy word will just come to replace the one left behind.

If someone wants to fins naked pics on Instagram, they will find them, regardless of the words they are tagged with!

If a woman wants to empower herself by using the term #curvy as an awesome way to identify her body positively, then by God, let her and let people be able to find her and celebrate her.

I may not be curvy, but today I am #curvy!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Warning: Degrading Job Ahead

Which is a more degrading occupation? A stripper or an office worker?

Apparently, they both suck. In A former female tech worker turned exotic dancer says both are‘degrading in their own ways,’ we are told both jobs leave "Tiffany" unhappy.

I couldn’t agree more. I remember when I made the transition from stripper to administrative assistant that I had moments where I would wonder which was worse—dancing naked for dollars or fetching coffee and faxing for dollars.

“Degrading” could be seen by another individual as an entirely different occupation.

A lot of it has to do with the eye of the beholder, or in this case, the eye of the worker. Different things make people feel shame or humiliation.

Of course, there are certain tasks or how someone is spoken to that can inherently up the degrading factor, (like being called names, having drinks poured on you, or being asked to, ahem, for $20), but we all have different tolerance levels.

Have you ever had a job that you felt was degrading that didn’t involve shedding clothes?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Pro-anorexia Sites Not So Bad After All?

Interesting article by Amanda Hess abut pro-anorexia sites on Slate: Let Them Blog: The panic over pro-anorexia websites and social media isn’t healthy.

The consensus has been that these sites are dangerous and triggering for those with eating disorders. The sites often give thinspiration or “thinspo” tips and photos, basically encouraging people’s eating disorders as a lifestyle instead of as an illness.
Pro-ana blogs are easier to understand when you stop seeing them as propaganda organs and start viewing them as expressions of mental illness. In a paper published last year, psychotherapist Tom Wooldridge describes one patient with anorexia who used pro-ana blogging as “a psychic retreat” where she could “withdraw from overwhelming emotional pain.” Some sites are less autobiographical diaries and more portraits of anorexia itself: Posting thigh gap after thigh gap to Tumblr helps some girls release the pressure of the images that anorexia pounds relentlessly into their heads. One pro-ana blogger, who blogs under the handle AnaGirl Empath, cautions that pro-ana’s more extreme manifestations are “creative alliterations” that should not be “interpreted literally.” As the French sociologist Antonio Casilli put it last year, “Criminalizing these websites means [criminalizing] mental illness—a double burden for sufferers.” 
This change in focus could be healthy for those who suffer from any kind of mental illness, not just eating disorders.

If more sufferers felt free to write their experiences in any way that comes naturally to them while they are in the throes of an illness, how therapeutic that could be.

For the readers searching for tips on fasting and getting thinner, all they need to do is go to just about any Internet site.

Perhaps the harm is coming from somewhere else...

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Write Your Stories

Sometimes it takes real bravery to tell your story.

There’s lots that can go wrong: people may judge you, you may have to make changes in your life, or you may even offend someone.

You can tell your story anyway.

If you have a story, or a “secret,” that you’re holding in…write it down.

There’s lots that can go right: people may celebrate you, you may get to make changes in your life, or you may even inspire someone.

Write your story down, even if you share it with no one.

The act of writing your story out can be transformational.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Don't Buy My Book!

A great essay in New York Magazine by Lily Burana, Where’s the Female-Stripper Movie of My Dreams? She brings up a lot of the same points that I see when comparing the female and male stripper movie genre.

The biggest issue I think is the failure to see women who work in or have worked in any kind of adult business as real, authentic human beings.

We all have a story that deserves to be heard. Every story is unique. Yes, clich├ęs and stereotypes exist in the adult entertainment business just as much as they do with every profession, but always underneath, there is a person with a story.

I feel grateful to have told my story and to still be telling it and learning from it.

I will be releasing a new edition of Stripping Down: A Memoir soon. (Unfortunately, my decision to publish with a small press backfired and I have not been receiving my royalties.) Until then, if you are interested in purchasing a copy, please contact me directly for a signed copy, rather than purchasing through Amazon or Barnes and Noble.