azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
Azure Jane Lunatic (Azz) 🌺 ([personal profile] azurelunatic) wrote2016-08-27 01:12 am

Azz the Wonder Admin, Friday dinner, and the role of Beauty Culture in crafting the selfie

I am gathering evidence for my qualifications as Wonder Admin. This includes my principles for group catering, and surely more. (Anybody know of anything I should include offhand? Or topics for more Admin Storytime with Azz?)


Dinner with Purple and Ms. Antisocialest Butterfly. Next week is first Friday, so next week I'll see less of Purple. This weekend is unlikely to be greatly sociable on Purple's part, as he's pretty zonked.

Purple was running late. I didn't run afoul of feetball traffic. We poked Purple gently about his phone. It had been a long week. Purple diverted the discussion to his couch. (On which he has sat naked, he points out. I continue to react convincingly.)

The sweet potato fries with the marshmallows and so forth were stared at as an abomination. We did not get them. We did not have silverware, either. I was best-positioned to stare down a server, so I did that. "Wedgie" in terms of food just sounds wrong.

I don't have dates for the next set of medical shenanigans, but the next round of appointment-giving is due to start next week. Somehow, and I'm not entirely clear on how, this turned into a discussion of how large a Yule tree I could actually become a stand for, assuming the Yule tree went where no Yule tree should go, and not considering the actual weight of the tree, just the size of the trunk.

Purple has commenced conveying greetings to a remote party, on the idea that the remote party is likely to remain present for quite some time. He also made some truly terribly filthy joke which I wish I could remember; I had to roll a will save against telling him I loved him for that. I'm sure he'll make it again at some point.



[personal profile] norabombay and I were talking about the literally years of training that goes into the generally-women's skill box towards taking good selfies. I was thinking about it on the drive to dinner, and because of the ubiquitous nature of Beauty Culture, one of the unacknowledged skills that most little girls learn is how to make a pretty face in a mirror.

There's all this time spent staring at your face in the mirror and making it do things, making horrible faces and faces of every emotion and looking at expressions from multiple angles to see which expression is best for what viewing angle. But because it's part of the general background noise of being groomed to become a woman in Beauty Culture, it's simultaneously assumed as a given, and the level of effort and hours consumed are dismissed as important, because of course it's not important, it's just vanity.

I have no idea what my genuine, first-reaction smile like I would have smiled as an un-self-conscious toddler would feel like, now.
I may still have it.
I may not.
I don't know.

I do know that my smile, the way I hold my mouth, the way I hold my face -- all of these are the result of extensive training and experimentation, all with the aim of either "being beautiful", or with the aim of not getting picked on at school, or the aim of Not Looking Funny, or getting Bugs to stop being a dick. (Bugs was the freshman year boyfriend who drummed on my head. Resting Bitch Face wasn't a thing when I was a freshman, or he would have told me that I had it. He did tell me that my neutral face looked cranky, or angry, or something, and that I should hold my face with a slight smile at all times, because that would make me look more pleasant. And to this day, my "neutral" face is not actually neutral. It is a very slight smile, to turn my natural frown into a straight line.)

So, yes, it should not in fact surprise me that when someone who has not been immersed in Beauty Culture since the age of knowing the difference between boys and girls goes to take a selfie, that maybe it doesn't come out so great.
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)

[personal profile] alatefeline 2016-08-27 09:27 am (UTC)(link)
*Reads and thinks.*

I wonder if that is part of the absolute LOATHING of being photographed I had between roughly the ages of four and eight? Because attempts to make me do girly-girl activities, like play with makeup or mirror-faces, mostly bounced off of autism-stubborn if they even got through bemusedly-oblivious. I made lots of weird expressions, but for what they felt like, not what they looked like - and then I went through the me-in-the-mirror phase almost ten years later, but in a unselfconsciously playful way more like a younger kid because at that age I was actively refusing to learn how to interact with my so-called peers. I don't know what my smile looks like, because I can't retain what my face looks like - and THANK GOODNESS. If I'd been visually policing my expressions along with all the other stuff from the age of dawning knowledge of gender stereotypes to the age of dawning knowledge of "fuck you kyriarchy" I'd have even worse anxiety than I do.
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)

[personal profile] alatefeline 2016-08-28 01:16 am (UTC)(link)
I am so sorry. :( That sounds like just barrels of nope.
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[personal profile] wibbble 2016-08-27 04:11 pm (UTC)(link)
Reminds me of Aanand's thing about guys taking more and better selfies: https://medium.com/@aanand/take-better-selfies-26089b2b3e4e#.biji08elj
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[personal profile] wibbble 2016-08-27 10:17 pm (UTC)(link)
I've definitely seen other people say similar things, it's actually part of the reason I switched my Twitter profile picture to a more normal picture of me instead of a heavily filtered and cropped-to-abstraction face.
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)

[personal profile] alatefeline 2016-08-28 01:17 am (UTC)(link)
>> The more distinctive someone's appearance is, the more likely I can recognize them; the less in-context someone is, the less likely I will recognize them. Attempting to get me to remember the name while still visually recognizing someone is also interesting; I have trouble forming continuity of identity because of this, and often forget what I've talked about with whom because of that fragmentation. <<

This. This!
wohali: photograph of Joan (Default)

[personal profile] wohali 2016-08-29 10:13 am (UTC)(link)
Indeed. And it is as terrifying in this comment as it was when I first read it. Cultural norms are so horrifying to me sometimes.
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[personal profile] kateshort 2016-08-28 12:39 am (UTC)(link)
Heh. You were at Red Robin, weren't you?
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[personal profile] inoru_no_hoshi 2016-08-29 05:56 am (UTC)(link)
Somehow, and I'm not entirely clear on how, this turned into a discussion of how large a Yule tree I could actually become a stand for, assuming the Yule tree went where no Yule tree should go, and not considering the actual weight of the tree, just the size of the trunk.

*SNERK* There are times I would dearly love to be a (not deaf) fly on the wall for some conversations you have. :D

Re: selfies: oh fuck, yes. I don't know how much of certain younger sibs' skills with selfies comes from them being hella cute and how much comes with more practice of taking them, but either way, they take better selfies than I do.

(Of course, I know a lot of my discomfort with photos and smiling is my teeth are fuck awful and I'm painfully aware of it. Go go beauty standards?)