On the inherent ableism of beauty culture, with disability advocate Jayne Mattingly.
I needed this so much. Body grief has been stronger these days compounded by other grief all of which sometimes makes me feel a little “crazy”and you put into words so well what I’ve been trying to wrap my head around for a while now. Thank you 🖤
I’m grateful for this discussion, and the discussion of refusing to be weighed at the doctor from Virginia Sole-Smith’s Burnt Toast newsletter. Both point out that those of us with privilege refusing to participate (in cosmetic surgery or getting on the scale) helps everyone.
Jessica, I'm so impressed that you have questioned the insinuations in the phrase "your body knows what to do.” I used to hate hearing this, because in my mind, my whole body was an incapable disaster. And yes, I have a disability… but my own viewpoint of “I can’t count on my body to do anything right because it has X and Y illnesses” was also problematic. It can be hard to acknowledge that sometimes, the body does sort itself out and sometimes, it doesn’t. Ambiguity is tough.
Just wow. You could have stopped at mascara and petroleum jelly but no. This was so moving, so authentic, so full of wisdom. Keep it up, never stop; people want exponentially more of exactly this with every passing day. The facade we call the beauty industry is a melting iceberg.
Okay. Okay. I have pretty severe mental illness, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder, and I just need to state, for you all and for myself, that reading this substack nearly always results in a symptom reduction. Because I think OCD is very fixated on avoiding uncertainty, avoiding damage or harm, finding a safe place to stand, and it makes me do all these things to try and find that place that don't help and aren't real and actually end up making the initial fears worse, and that sounds exactly like beauty culture! Your fixes for beauty culture, sitting there and looking at age and change and imperfection and death, they are fixes for my mental illness, and I needed to remember today, that those fixes are ongoing, the process of remembering is ongoing, forgetting over and over but trying anyhow. I can't express how much I needed you and didn't know it.