Autism Reality Show: A Reality Show No One Wants, But One We Need 

I Just read an article about a TV show concerning an autistic character. According to the review, it is simply the same “Experts because they know someone autistic” who gets a LOT of autism wrong. The show has not even come out on Netflix yet, and I’m disappointed. Maybe it could apply to one autistic character or person, but not a great majority. See, there is autism in all races, cultures, genders and sexualities.

I somehow think that the best interpretation of autism on TV is one which groups several autistic people together, of different ages, races and genders, and simply follows them around. You know, an autism reality show. No inspiration porn, no neurotypical censorship, no getting autistics wrong. Just autistic people, navigating a world that is not for them. But I think nobody will take it. Neurotypicals like to get autistic people and put them in a little box. Trouble is, if you don’t fit in this little box, you’re not autistic. Even professionals withhold help because women and people of color, and successful people too, do not fit into this little box. They withhold help in the form of refusing to diagnose autistic people with their autism. This is why we need an autism reality show in the form I described.

Besides, if you were a bird who could fly, would you rather not learn how to fly from a bird?

On the Road to Being a Real Woman 

I’m not going to lecture you on what constitutes a real woman or a real man. What I’m going to do instead is share with you a realization about what being a woman is, as opposed to being a little girl, in a new aspect. Now, I’ve been critical of the general societal perception that thin is in. I’ve even gone so far as to call the skinny girls of the world “broomsticks” out of sheer jealousy. But this morning, something inside of me changed. It’s not my attitude toward thin is in. It’s my attitude toward the girls and women who fit this particular image. I’m not hateful towards them anymore. I have no reason to tear the thin ones down, simply because they are thin. It’s not their fault they’re thin and therefore beautiful by society’s standards. Just because they were born lucky, doesn’t mean they stay that way.

There is no need to tear a person down, because they’re perceived as having more value than you. It must be hard for them, too, because of this perception that you have to compete.

I’ll admit it. I’m fat. I can’t compete. But knowing this frees me to find the inherent value I have inside myself. There is a purpose to my existence. If there was not, I would not be alive. Believe me, those who love me have fought to keep me on this planet, even though I have had a strong desire to leave at times in my life. Yes, I have had to fight my own desire for suicide. But I have won. To paraphrase Alice Walker, I may be poor, I may be fat, I may be ugly, but I am here.

I’ve also learned that I can get a man on my own, without having to compete with anyone. A real man won’t make you compete. Boys want women to feel insecure, to compete and focus on them, as if the woman is his mother. Boys need mothers. Men need women. Which brings me back to the real woman.

A real woman is not that hard to spot. She is the one who builds women up, not tear them down. She can stand on her own without a man. She can want and desire a partner, but she does not need one. A real woman works on her healing. Trust me, the world wants you to be a girl, because girls are controllable. That’s why the world works to break you as a girl, to freeze you – keep you as a girl. Girls wallow in their hurt. You can see this in earlier posts.  Trust me, I have not quite made it to being the real woman. But I have taken a step toward it.

Blonde Dolls Everywhere 

Now, let’s talk about real systemic racism. The systemic racism that exists in your toy box. I am writing from a position of privilege, so bear with me while I tell you what I see.

When I was a child, the lead character in any given cartoon was always blonde-and she still often is today. Let me give you a few examples from my era: Rainbow Brite, She-Ra, Jem (You KNOW she’s blonde under that pink dye!), Barbie and Skipper, Sailor Moon…need I go on? It was easy for me to find a doll that looked like me. You see, I was a blonde. The trouble is, I don’t think I had a lot of dolls that looked like my friends. That, to me, was troubling.

You see, I grew up in Southern California, among a group of friends that did not look like each other at all – and that was life. People looked different, people acted different, people even spoke different languages! But then and there, it was all acceptable, because it was life. I actually miss that part of Southern California. It’s the part I miss most, the diversity. I like learning about different things, and different people. Fascination and curiosity are great things.

Trouble is, there was not a lot of diversity in the toy box. If you were a brunette or a redhead, for example, you were relegated to sidekick. I had to specifically ask for redhead dolls to include my redhead friend. I even got blowback and freakish looks from my parents for asking for diversity in my doll kingdom. I mean, all my real friends are different, so why not have all my imaginary friends be different too?

What really hit me hard, though, was going into a store with Spanish-speaking owners, in my twenties, and seeing blonde dolls in Spanish-language boxes. At the time, I had just learned about various kinds of Eurocentric beauty standards, including Asian eyelid surgeries made to look more Western-which seems to be an Asian code word for European. Coming from my position, it still baffles me that they want to look like me, and not their beautiful selves. Anyway, back to the dolls. They looked nothing like the dark-haired beauties I normally came across with Hispanics. Blonde Hispanics do exist, even in natural states, but they are literally praised for “passing” as white somehow. I find all of this disturbing, that a person could hate their genetics so much. Of course, I am currently a size 18 in my clothing when the average model is a size…what is it now? Zero? So I can relate somewhat. Don’t even get me started on dolls in wheelchairs. Maybe they ought to exist, too?

Maybe celebrating differences would be better than making a uniform case that the leader is one uniform look, which could possibly be unnatural to the group of people supposedly represented. (I’m looking at you, Sailor Moon.) Perhaps make the brunette the leader, or the dark-skinned girl every once in a while?

I Don’t Want To Be So Serious! 

 

Looking back at the previous entries, there is a disturbing trend among them: There is so much serious, depressing material. It gives the impression that I am really serious, and it really depresses me. There is so much I want to talk about, but I am stuck speaking out about autism issues, civil rights issues, and just issues in general. I wanted to talk about things that were fun and universal, not serious.

I want to talk about fun stuff, like how Rihanna is a hardcore Trekkie, and Star Wars! I am a total geekgirl. In fact, when I heard the Wachowskis came out as sisters, I was cheering for the fact that fellow geekgirls had somehow snuck their way into a position of power and influence in a place they would not have normally gotten in the door! I am all about Rainbow Brite, Star Trek, The Matrix, Sailor Moon, Sherlock….but I’m stuck drilling ________ Lives Matter into your heads. (Fill in the blank with your type. Unless you’re a Stan Smith. Then you don’t need to say “My Life Matters” because it actually does. For example, Donald Trump is a Stan Smith.)

Believe me, sometimes I need to rant and strike out about stuff like Star Wars as a form of self-care. Oh, and just so you know, I LOVED Jupiter Ascending. As a matter of fact, I would design my wedding around its botched wedding scene. I don’t care who knows. I suggest you watch it, you know, unless you’re insecure about your manhood or something stupid like that.

Oh, and By The Way….

People are just flabbergasted that Carrie Fisher / Leia Organa Solo actually aged before their eyes. Come on, people! That’s what women do! They age! I have also noticed that nobody has hated Harrison Ford / Han Solo for aging. Just putting it out there.

Boy, the world is confused and hateful of reality.

Women and Clothes

Wear a hijab. Don’t wear a hijab. Wear a bikini. Don’t wear a bikini. Be sexy. Don’t be a slut. Be smart. Don’t be a bitch. (Yes, I went there.) Show some skin. Don’t show that skin. Is it any wonder women get confused as to what they wear in youth, and screw it all to be comfortable in old age? I have noticed that to those in power, fashion is important on a woman.

Have you noticed that women are not allowed to wear the same amount of clothes that men are? If you’re in a conservative nation, you wear more clothes – ranging from longer skirts and head coverings to the all-covering burqa seen in the Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. If it’s in a more secular country, it’s less – sometimes a lot less.  The trouble is, do any of these people in power know what women want? Do they even care?

Religious codes aside, there is a lot of ignoring what women actually want. Maybe it’s the fact that since they are, well, women, they are made to feel less than true citizens. It’s even worse if you have a different skin color, or a disability. For example, there is a movie about disabled sexuality called “Yes We F**k” because people still think those of us with disabilities do not. Plus, there is also the stereotypes associated with women of different colors than, say, the palest Northwestern European, which still dominates world media to an extent. (It’s almost a game of “How Much Do You Look Like a King of Britain?” where only the most resembling can even get to the final rounds.)  Anyway, the trouble with all this is that women who do not feel they can stand up to this grievously high, white, able, etc. level of beauty are left out as if they are not even human. A dark-skinned woman in a wheelchair is barely recognized above apes, for example.

What does this have to do with clothes? Simple. They put inordinate amounts clothes on darker skin, less “abled” bodies, unskinny bodies, and female bodies in general. And somebody somewhere is going to go crazy and berate them for the amount of clothes they are going to wear anyway. Is it any wonder women who are older get tired of it all? Because it is too taxing on the young psyche, let alone the older one.

So, screw all the mixed messages, because you’re not going to please everybody. Wear what you want, because that’s all that matters. I just want to know that the clothes you wear do not make you less of a person, no matter what everyone else says.

 

Beauty as Whiteness: From a White Girl’s Perspective

I had a vision last night: of a high fashion show with models of color standing with the models of white as friends. Many dark skin models standing together with light-skinned models. African features, Asian features, Hispanic features, all standing as one. I mean, look at this picture:

dove-real-beauty-campaign

But the current system of beauty will not let that happen. As it currently stands, whiteness is beauty, while other races’s features are ugly. I am going to use racism as a starting point to show the flaws of the beauty dictatorship.

My eyes were opened by an article in Everyday Feminism about how whiteness is still the measure of beauty in our age, and it got me thinking: Why does this racist attitude persist? I mean, look at Lupita Nyong’o, Viola Davis, and Frieda Pinto! To equate beauty with whiteness is to leave those beauties out in the cold. There are so many more examples of dark-skinned people that it drives me nuts when I hear about people trying to look white. And it still exists: take a look at this ad for skin brightener/whitener:

SkinLightenerAd

There are women who use this sort of thing all around the world. Jessica Simpson’s beauty miniseries even tracked the story of someone who ruined her skin from these skin brighteners. It appalls me that people are

It goes even further from there. I once came through a shop where the owners were Hispanic, and all I saw in the dolls were blondes. They looked nothing like the beautiful women who I noticed were Hispanic – even though they come in all colors and sizes – and it bugged me. It bugged me because it had gotten to a point where the Hispanics were exercising racism upon themselves – that they were hating themselves and making themselves less in their own eyes. The message is clear: only love yourself if you are white.

It even bothers me that people of color are lightened in advertising even to this day. Yes, I have seen this, too. Take a look at this redesign for Disney Princess Jasmine from Aladdin. On the left is Jasmine in the movie, and on the right is Jasmine in the movie, and on the right is how Jasmine looks in the Disney Princesses merchandise:

JasmineWhitening

Don’t think that real people are left out of this. Take a look at Beyonce’s L’Oreal ad:

beyonce-loreal

I wonder if Tiana from the Princess and the Frog gets similar treatment? It sickens me to no end that anyone is left out of acceptance for who they are. This is especially true for those with darker skin – also, it is true with those who undergo surgery to look beautiful.

I’m not leaving out the Asian eyelid surgery girls. The fact that they undergo surgery to look more “beautiful,” which I have established, means more white, is outrageous. I mean, you could die or go blind on the table! I first heard of this on the Oprah show, when Lisa Ling talked about it as a normal thing among Asian girls. As I said before, the message from the beauty industry is: you are ugly.

As a white woman, maybe I’m supposed to find this all flattering, but I don’t. This troubles me, as a matter of fact. It redefines beauty as reflecting those in power, and I cannot see myself as an evil emperor, especially since I am locked out of the beauty dictatorship by way of size.

The truth is, I find that all people are beautiful, even the ones who are dark skinned, who have Asian eyelids, who have curly hair, and who have bigger sizes. The beauty dictatorship is terrible, and it must be overthrown, to make way for a beauty democracy.