The Beauty Thesis

A makeup artist, working on her graduate thesis. My peers gave me the moniker, "The Beauty Thesis" as my class superlative.
In memory of the beautiful #longhairdontcare2011 watch over us angel as you spread your wings and fly.

In memory of the beautiful #longhairdontcare2011 watch over us angel as you spread your wings and fly.

Victim Blaming, Slut Shaming and other thoughts…

It’s been hard for me to keep my mouth shut about some of the allegations against some popular people on the web lately. Working where I do, I am among some of the world’s most vile people. What’s more, I facilitate a group for victims of violent crimes. I hear stories that not only disturb me, but make me physically sick, but I remain composed and supportive with no evidence of my internal turmoil. We all have a story. I’m part of a collaboration between medical, mental, legal and health professionals who each have a part in working towards building bridges, bringing awareness, and healing for victims and their abusers. AND THEIR ABUSERS…
My first six months was hell, but I asked a woman who had been working with inmates for decades and when I asked how she is able to set aside judgement she simply replied, “They are still human beings.” I loved that. It was simple, but accurate.
So many times I want to tell someone what for, I look at my sins and think, I can’t say I’m better than anyone, because a) I don’t know their history, b) I don’t know all the facts, c) I’m not God and, d) everyone deserves a chance for atonement.
When people are throwing around the term “abuse” because they “gave in” to seduction by manipulation, where is that illegal? Immoral? Maybe, but if I’m seeking a relationship with someone, would it be mature to express my feelings and see if the feeling is mutual? Is someone who is coerced to do something with someone they are attracted to, is that rape? If so, is it premeditated? Where does the line in the sand get drawn? I learnt no means no, but if no is not expressed is it date rape?
Loaded questions because I have my opinion. I see and work with rape victims and rapists, as well as pedophiles, five days a week currently.
I asked one of these “victims” of coercion why she continued to pursue someone she thought to be a predator and she accused me of “victim blaming” and then another group on a forum were going through apologies with a fine tooth comb pointing out “proof” these men are sociopaths.
So, it’s okay to cheer on the fall of someone who may have been an ass, but to question the intent of the accuser is slut shaming? How does this get fixed? Will people continue to wish damnation to those involved whilst coddling the women who sought relationships with said abusers? If they lose everything short of their life, will the end justify the means? I don’t think it’s right to vilify anyone for the sake of public lynching and if that is acceptable, who really is manipulative? It could be cultural or my upbringing that makes me a cynic, but if they were to share their story in the groups we have, they might see how it isn’t easy for my to empathize on the same level. Sometimes people have to own their part in bad situations. I see a lot of poor choices and many are afraid to say what they really think, because seeming unsympathetic to a victim is grounds for eternal damnation.

Tell people what they want to hear and you can enslave a nation.

—Anonymous

Ed, Mia, and Ana

Dear eating disorders,
We broke up some time ago. Please don’t let the events of the most recent confuse you. I don’t need you to lean on. Our relationship was toxic, unhealthy, and potentially life threatening.
Bye