Looks, and what you do with them

I write a lot about the sociology and politics of beauty. It's something I have a vested interest in both as an academic and just a human being. I also write about the intricacies and effects of wardrobe and makeup and hair, and their social meaning.

It's one of the more hilarious ironies of social discourse that the more you talk about whether your looks ought to matter in life, the more people use what you look like to judge whether or not you're a total crackpot. I think, in this case, it's actually appropriate to take that into account, in the same way that it's appropriate to take into account whether the author of a women's studies tract is male or female, cisgendered or transgendered, heterosexual or homosexual or bisexual, etc. It influences what your personal life experience has been, and gives some much needed context to what you say.

Pics and more rambling behind the cut.




Full body shots:

You may complain that I am bending and stretching and cheating the hell out of the camera angles in all of these. Damn skippy I am. I occasionally work as a model, and that is what models do. Some of those photos are pro shots (the portrait and the sepia-toned ones were shot by Joel Gilgoff, and the very dark bust-up was shot by Scott Sawyer -- credit where credit is due), one was a camera test I took in front of our bathroom mirror (I suck at photography myself, seriously) and the rest were photos taken by my then-roommate for a private job as a concept/artist model (for a superheroine! which I thought was cool). Let it never be said I don't learn nothin' from my work.

In the interests of full disclosure, I should tell you that I never supported myself that way, and never made huge amounts of money. I was living in a small town and repping myself, which is not a good way to get work. I am also much too short (5'2") and much too tubby (size 4ish) for fashion work, which meant I was always categorized as a "glamour model", which is the catch-all category for everything from art work to manning promo booths to Playboy and porn. I booked a couple of shoots a month, and had to refuse at least as many because I had no good way to travel farther than Phoenix, and even that was at the mercy of the schedule of my driver/assistant/sidekick/best friend, who had a reliable car.

On the other hand, I did make some money as a model, which I think says something that you might want to take into account when reading what I have to say about beauty, style, feminism, discrimination, and anything else related to how your looks affect your life. Whether it makes me more or less credible is up to you. I have looked pretty much identical to that since about age 14, including dress size -- when I moved to Boston I actually discarded some very basic wardrobe pieces I'd had since high school, because they were falling apart -- so however you think people react to me now, you can figure they've reacted to me the same way ever since the Puberty Fairy visited.


  1. Hey, I recognize that last picture!


Post a Comment