Browsing Tag

ugly femme pride


Ladies, monsters and morality.

5 October, 2012

A pen and marker drawing on transparent polymer sheets of a fat white lady with lilac hair wearing a swimsuit and sporting tattoos, with floating men and food in her stomach.

I slightly resent having to find words to accompany things I’ve drawn. I guess I draw things so I don’t have to find words. I’m trying to find a new way to express the monstrous ugliness inside me, how it is a normal/ neutral thing in my mind but a feared, castigated and hidden set of traits on a cultural level. How there are ugly things I can get away with because I am white (having straight hair that I don’t brush, being typically white and pale), and other things I can’t get away with because I am fat (dressing sloppily, not visibly reducing my fatness, taking up space). How I perform femininity in acceptable ways (I like crafts and flowers) and obscene ways (too much make up). In private spaces I am very comfortable doing my own thing in my own body, slouching, picking zits, pulling faces, sitting with my legs open, burping; yet in public spaces I am extra vigilant in policing my posture, demeanor, behaviour, and dress. I hate being uncomfortable, and I resent having to hem myself in to make other people comfortable. Surely our culture would be better off doing away with the discomfort, the niceties, the shaming, and focusing more on not being dicks to one another.

A self portrait of me with dark brunette hair, squeezing a zit on my stretch marked breast. A purse with a floral china pattern spills out to the left and around me, and a banner with “nice white lady” stretches over me. In the background is a pattern of pink and purple fuchsias, and a doily shape on the lower right.

Art, Body Image

Ugly cute.

31 December, 2011

My ugly exploration seems to be dividing people fairly sharply down the centre; some find they can not get across reclamation because of their relationship with the word, or how it seems to reinforce beauty ideals/ a binary between ugliness and beauty, while others find it resonates strongly with their experiences. I am listening to a lot of feedback on the topic and it’s been terribly complex to navigate through it all, because I am not objective and am swayed by my own experience and embodiment.

One thing is patently clear: I can never seek to speak on behalf of any other person when it comes down to identity. I can reflect on what it’s like to be fat, disabled, acned, cisgendered and white and how my body has been viewed as ugly. I can not ever know what it is like to be a person of colour or trans, and I can not ever understand how the word “ugly” can hurt someone who isn’t me.

I am now very concerned about my use of people of colour in this series of drawings because it’s pretty messed up of me, a white person, to reinforce that dominant and damaging idea that people of colour are ugly because they aren’t white. Unless I am drawing a person of colour who identifies as ugly, I will not put that identity on them in the future. It’s not down to me to reclaim anything on behalf of any marginalised person who isn’t me, and I apologise for not checking my white privilege.

My thoughts on the ugly concept are still muddled and having the opportunity to read and listen to discussion prompted by my drawings is of such great value, whether people are vehemently opposed to OR empowered by the concept of ugly reclamation. I know that when I reclaim ugly for me, I don’t want to stop using the word “beautiful” and other synonyms for beauty, like lovely and gorgeous and hot and cute. It’s not a case of one or the other, it’s knowing I can be ugly cute and rock the shit out of it. I want to cease fretting about being acceptably palatable to the world and be more concerned with maximising my already present awesomeness.

Here are some links to good stuff on the issue of ugly:
You sho is ugly on Nudemuse
Conversation on tumblr, which thanks to tumblr’s functionality must be explored through the notes because there is a LOT of commentary that has been added.
Moving Toward The Ugly: A Politic Beyond Desirability on Leaving Evidence (h/t to Tiara for reminding me of this amazing keynote speech)

Finally I’ll just add this video clip for Ugly by 2NE1. Zoe showed it to me the other night and I wanted to make sure I included it in my information gathering so I would be reminded to look for commentary on the song, video, and band.


More ugly illustrations.

25 December, 2011

At the risk of more people misunderstanding this UGLY PRIDE concept, I present two more illustrations. I’m still working on a “manifugsto” of UGLY, so please bare with me as I wrestle with this through illustration. It should be emphasised that this is a reclamation of UGLY and not self pity or fishing for compliments. Pls and thankyouverymuch. :)

Illustration of a fat babe in undies with rollers in their hair and a cigarette hanging out of their mouth which is streaming smoke that says “Ugly + don’t care”.

Illustration of a beehived babe letting out a burp with the text “Belching bitch” written in a burp cloud.

Available on t shirts, stickers, mugs, posters, bags, etc on Red Bubble and Cafe Press. (Cafe Press has plus sized t shirts!)