gemmi999: lips and hair (Default)
gemmi999 ([personal profile] gemmi999) wrote2009-06-30 10:09 pm

Zine Writing

So, this is going to be a a longer post. Feel free to skip if you don't want to hear about a zine I am really very very serious about figuring out how to put together. I apologize for not LJ cutting it, but this is really important to me and I don't want people to miss it by accident.

I'm starting a zine. I want to (possibly) call it So. Names are still being debated. I want it to be a zine about pride in oneself, specifically geared towards people who identify as female, because in my experience a lot of women are told that their own self-esteem is tied to their appearance (looks, weight, presentation) and I'm sick of that.

A tiny bit of back story. I'm overweight. I have been my entire life, since 4th grade. And I've always, ALWAYS, been made to feel badly about it by my family. They mean well, but they've been "talking" to me about it since I was young. I exercise, I eat (mostly) healthy, and aside from my asthma (which is a chronic condition that is unrelated to my weight) am relatively healthy. I have a couple cavities I need to get looked at. I hate the dentist, but I know I need to go. *sigh*

Anyways. My family is more then likely to comment on my "losing" weight much more often then anything else I've accomplished. I grew up in this environment and subsequently it's really hard for me to be proud of anything I've accomplished because I feel as though I'm not doing "my part" by being skinnier and making it easier for them. Other people don't treat me like this, I'm really lucky because I've never really experienced a lot of discrimination based on my weight.

This issue re: pride came to my attention here on livejournal through a weekly "pride" thread that someone runs. They suggest that once-a-week we take a moment to just feel proud of something we've accomplished. And each week I would ask myself what I felt proud of, what I wanted to post, and I felt like I couldn't post anything because I hadn't magically become skinnier, hadn't magically become more acceptable for my family. And it was bullshit. I was accomplishing amazing things.

I am one of the youngest people to work in operations management (directing large disaster jobs) in the country. I manage an incredible team of volunteers who all love me. I have indescribably amazing friends (even if I feel emo about it at points). I write and love that part of my life. I go to concerts and other places, whereas I used to feel horribly socially anxious around all forms of said entertainment. I have finished my BA. I am planning on going back to school to focus on Sociology and possibly get a PHD, because I want to. I understand social theory and love it. I'm happy.

All of these things are parts of my life that I should be fucking proud of. I should have a comment every week on that pride thread. None of them have ANYTHING to do with my appearance, with my weight, with looking "presentable". I shouldn't just be doing a happy dance when I realize I've gone down a size in clothing. I should be doing a happy dance when I've connected to another volunteer. When I've talked three different young adult volunteers into becoming AmeriCorps members because I think its an amazing program.

And I bet that there are women all over the world who feel the same way. Women who are doing legitimately kick-ass things that have nothing to do with being "pretty" and "thin" and "skinny". People who are curing cancers or just fucking bumming around the country and doing the wandering artist thing. Women, like my friend Vicki, who have just taken off and traveled through parts of the world alone, without a plan. Women who have raised children; women who have given their children up for adoption; women who have learned how to sing; started a D.I.Y. project; taught themselves a skill that they didn't think they'd be able to.

Women who rock and deserve to be celebrated and cherished and told that they are amazing. Because they've taken a chance and accomplished something that maybe they didn't appreciate enough at the time, or other people that surround them didn't appreciate enough.

Women who invent sex toys. Women who learned how to believe in themselves. Etc.

There are hundreds of thousands of women out there, each with something that they're proud of, something that they deserve to be praised for, deserve to shout about from the rooftops and are instead told that they can't because it isn't enough. They aren't smart enough, or happy enough, or thin enough, or white enough, or married or separated or anything and everything and you know what?

Fuck that.

Help me do this, please. Over the next couple of days I'm going to start a LJ community about this. I'm going to start asking people to send in submissions, in any form. I'm going to research how to even start up a zine. Figure out a name. Figure out a website, and get this going. Because I'm proud of myself, and I'm proud of everyone out there, and I want to help other women realize they should be proud of themselves too.

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