spandex with a side of breasts

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A few days ago, I saw a foursome playing tennis. The guys on the court looked like dudes [see: usa fashion: men are just taller boys]. Sadly, the women’s clothing style was reminiscent of cheesy porn intros: sexy nurse, student, delivery/repairmen, people “playing tennis” set-ups, those tacky five-minute segues before the sucking/fucking starts.

I’m adverse to victim blaming, so it makes me nervous to point out how the women were dressed but I’m regularly subjected to complaints from—particularly—younger women how they aren’t viewed as whole beings by men.** Well, I’d like to suggest that if you arrange your boobs like jewelry or wear virtually see-through yoga pants to many functions then some personal responsibility should probably be taken.

A male friend observed that almost no woman looks good in spandex—and he’s right, since real women aren’t photo-shopped to unrealistic standards that apparently he’s still carrying around. Another friend groused how he was attempting to read small words displayed across a woman’s chest and when she objected, he snapped, “Don’t put fine print on places you don’t want me to study.” And then I saw a 20s woman sporting pink short-shorts with “JUICY” spelled out in puffy paint across her butt. Can she really be too surprised if men cat-call her? We’re so used to female sexualization slathered ubiquitously that it appears some women think revealing clothing is dressing up and they’re ‘shocked’ to the effect it brings.

In the USA, most men wear such baggy swimsuits it’s a wonder they can swim. A Speedo is nary to be found. Why? Too contouring, they say. You mean, like leggings revealing a camel toe? As a woman who swims in board-shorts and a tank top, I also don’t like so much exposure—mostly out of comfort. I enjoy swimming, jumping, bending, without having to constantly consider what my suit might decide to lay bare. I’m wondering if much of women’s styles are deliberately designed to create a clothing “malfunction.” How titillating. Not.

Before I get flamed as a reactionary prude, let’s fabricate a check point. Remove sexualization in media and replace it with, say, eating or sleeping: a snoozing (not suggestively) woman on a shiny new car, a woman swallowing a banana or popping strawberries into her mouth (as a regular person would eat them). Anyone remember what that naturally looks like? Sex should be a non sequitur here.

Yes, the Hollywood and TV industries sprinkle shows with random boffing throughout every conceivable female activity—except maybe vomiting and pooping—but must we carry it over into ordinary life? Do men really want arousal potential omnipresent, like at the dentist or buying groceries? Maybe. Seems tiring to me. I hate how this aspect translates into life imitating “art” [sic].

The female beauty rituals—a euphemism for body torture or, at minimum, inconvenient time-wasters—are rampant in our culture [see: i like a woman who takes “care” of herself] and how we dress is part of this. Couldn’t we return to sexy-tasteful? Leave a little to discover when we undress?

Life isn’t porn, or is it?

**see [women aren’t food] for the other viewpoint

after ecstasy, the laundry

immaturity

I weary of our sophomoric culture where what adolescents/emerging adults value and how they think (or don’t due to unfolding brain development) is deemed cool, the dreck they choose to eat is favored, mistreating of bodies is worshiped & their sprouting adult shapes are considered the the apogee of achievement but most of all that stimulation is venerated to the exclusion of self-reflection.

Girls as young as six eschew kid-ness to look and play-act like 19-year-olds, and boys can’t play together as it’s uncool or “gay.” Many full-grown adults just won’t let themselves age gracefully choosing extreme exercising/dieting, plastic surgery, teen clothing and beauty rituals. We now have to endure everything from “hot moms” to old-fart six packs. Who’re they impressing? Sorry, sexy doesn’t last forever be you female or male, celebrity or hoi polloi. Nor should it.

What happened to workaday maturity? And I don’t mean the stodgy middle-aged image. I mean the ability to grok some of life’s profound truths. The capacity to perceive the extraordinary in the ordinary. The ability to see that freedom happens because one willingly grasps responsibility, and that a big part of the seemingly endless “ecstasy” our culture greedily snatches after is contained within the challenge to unearth it not in the actual getting.

Immaturity is repeatedly appreciated as an ideal, not a shortcoming; it’s equated with having fun. Being sensible and sophisticated = boring. Doing something well? Anal. Understanding there’s a (private) place and a (personal) time for…private and personal actions? Conventional. Empathy? Weakness. Respecting your body/honoring your spirit? Cowardly, if you’re male; prude, if you’re female.

Society denies ebb, revering flow. Never a shadow, only a chin-up! No yin, just yang. You can’t break the laws of the universe no matter how arrogant or jejune you are. Our unwillingness to recognize certain realities has almost no effect on their existence but it sure makes living in this society unbearable.

I don’t want to be regarded as an object of use, be it sexually, economically or otherwise. I don’t want that for fauna, flora, stones, elements or anything. None of us are things. We exist in our own right.

An immature mind can’t see beyond what they want; every thing/person narcissistically occurs only in relation to them. That’s understandable for children; it’s their natural evolving state. But, as George MacDonald wrote: Free will is not the liberty to do whatever one likes, but the power of doing whatever one sees ought to be done, even in the face of otherwise overwhelming impulse.

Children learn by modeling. What message are we marketing AT them? You’re never enough, and we’re never enough…unless you fit this claustrophobic shape/size/pattern/place/value/hot/happening/phat? The societal bar of “coolness,” the polarizing of hip and not-hip really needs to be cross-questioned, and thrown out.

There’s no “all or none.” We get to have “and & both.” All inclusive. Ants aren’t better than bees, hippos greater than worms, snakes superior to dogs, white over black, male over female.

Celebrate all that is, AS IT IS.

Reality? Reread this post’s title; accept both.

there is no there there, and i’m not talking about oakland—or, how not to be delusional

AlexeyBednij1

DELUSION: “An idiosyncratic belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality…”

Many believe the religious are delusional. That’s understandable given that the nature of religion is to traverse the sphere of the imperceptible. But most of us do experience love, beauty, truth, spirit: ‘things’ without form. We know they exist even though they can’t be dissected or factually proven.

Yet science can be delusional, too. First, by trying to dismiss the ineffable because it cannot be ‘proven,’ but also by subconsciously projecting subjective beliefs on ‘impartial’ hypotheses. If something doesn’t present like a human, then what’s objectively looked for doesn’t exist. Example: deciding that animals—and until 1987, babies!!!—don’t experience pain, mainly because animals’ faces aren’t expressive like us humans and many animals/insects don’t vocalize pain when suffering or, more likely, not on wave lengths that we hear.

My point is delusional subjectivity is found in every area of life, not confined to the realms of religion or science, the seen or the unseen. It’s not an either/or world.

Delusional Disorder is one thing, but “benign” delusion’s a social irritant that just keeps growing.

I realize that wishing for change, yet continuing doing the learned is common. There’s a name for an aspect of that: cognitive dissonance. Think of the many people who desire to jettison extra weight, quit a soul-sucking  job, get in shape, learn a language or instrument but just somehow…don’t.

Wishing is a start that used to translate into genuine want, which would transform into actual action and then and only then did the possibility of arriving at the aspiration begin. Catch that? That’s the START, not the conclusion.

It’s not enough to retrieve a wish from the ‘land of possibilities’—where one may desire many conflicting things simultaneously but never truly choose anything—and convert it into a genuine want. But to actually arrive at reality, effort must be taken.* You have to pick up the instrument, literally look for a different job, work out… Reasonable, right?

This last, often unrealized, step is the place of fantasy that I’m seeing more often. In young children, make-believe is developmentally appropriate, but adults? Uh…no. Yet many Generation X-ers—30s to mid 40s—(Doug Coupland said they have no allegiances to anyone or anything, and get no allegiances in return) carry the irrational belief that to just want something is magically sufficient enough work to obtain it. Business owner friends say that half of their employees see work as a noun, not a verb.

The land of possibilities reveals no inner core, no chosen life rudder, no morés. Having everything ‘open’ means there’s no sound footing. True freedom comes from responsibility, not lack. Responsibility—ability to respond—occurs from an integrated, discerning Self. Reaction, impulsiveness, compulsion happen when there’s no “there there,” as Gertrude Stein wrote. Stimulation is not inspiration.

Heart & logic, ethereal & empirical are simultaneously essential components to a fully realized choice, to deeper evolution. The polarization of “all or none” must alchemize into “and & both” if we want to inhabit an authentic, non-delusional life.

*See: “do you believe what you’re sayin’? yeah right now, but not that often.”