Friday, December 26, 2014

Taking Beauty Out of Body Positivity

"If we insist on the primacy of beauty, doesn't that give the word "ugly" even more power to cause us harm? For years now, fat-positive activists have insisted that the word "fat" is morally neutral; that if you don't need to be thin to be considered a worthwhile or complete person, then "fat" isn't an insult, just a descriptor. Similarly, the answer to an oppressive and arbitrary beauty stand should not be to insist that everyone is beautiful, and more than the cure to weight stigmas is to declare that everyone is thin. It is to resist and counter the notion that thin and beautiful are the only acceptable things to be.

Instead of insisting that beauty is necessary for everyone, more body-positive activists are working toward making beauty optional- something we can pursue if it matters to us, but also something we can have full and satisfying lives without. We should affirm our bodies for what they can do, how they can feel, the tribulations they've survived. And the amazing minds they carry around, without having to first justify their existence by looking pretty.

While I stand with and support anyone who finds power, visibility, or joy in reclaiming the word and the concept of beauty, it shouldn't be compulsory. There should be space in body positivity for women like me, for anyone who wants access to confidence, happiness, and self-worth without having to use beauty as the vehicle to get there."

-Lindsay King Miller, from "Pretty Unnecessary- Taking Beauty Out of Body Positivity." Click title for the full article.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Video: Crossing the Rock Fin at Arches' Devils Garden Loop

I was pretty nervous on various stages of this hike, but we did it, and this video makes me proud I made it across. Despite moderate acrophobia, I've been able to do quite a lot. Though on this hike, without Charlie holding my hand, I would have turned back a few times. I did not look down the left side while I was walking. Just one step in front of the other til I got to the other side.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


For months now I've had little to write about. It seems I write when my life is in turmoil, or I'm exploring a new direction. Instead, we've established a simple life here in Portland.

Work is fulfilling enough.

Our relationship is a quiet place.

Nights I roll into the driveway, light seeping from the windows welcoming me home. Charlie's inside. Maybe cooking. Maybe working. Bailey always hops up and lumbers over to whichever door I approach, tail wagging. Basic foods for dinner. Relaxing on the couch. Curling under the covers. And repeat.

Simple, satisfying, comfortable.

For Justin's fortieth, we hopped a plane for a two week trip to the Southwest. Both of us mostly unfamiliar with the area, it was a reminder of the surprises our country has hidden. So many unknown places and faces. Days traversing the desert, scrambling over rocks, conversations with strangers, newspapers from the reservation. A memory created and a song to keep searching for those places of new adventure where my soul is tugged and eyes opened to this journey we're on.

As the year is drawing to a close, I'm thankful for the peace that has come into our lives. And all the special people and places who are part of my family in this world.