Meryle Trouble- Beetlejuice
The Nightmare Before Stripmas
Beauty is a concept we like talking about a lot. It runs our culture. It sells everything. Once just a marker of symmetry and good genes is now seen as public property. Everyone demands beauty in their life, and yet they don’t know what beauty really is. We talk non-stop about how the beauty myth effects the self esteem of non-normative people (i.e. pretty much everyone), how it’s changing our narrative and giving youth and adults unrealistic expectations of what they can have for themselves.
Beauty is seen as an own-able commodity, so it follows that those with beauty are seen as free market public commodity. We’ll sit and listen to plain people or beauty outliers talk about what beauty means, but any time a beautiful person stands up and talks about how they are treated on a daily basis, people scoff, dismiss and ridicule them, as if possessing that one thing that everyone else is falsely striving for makes your experience invalid and irrelevant. I recently overheard a VERY famous British Comedian/host say (and I am paraphrasing from patio eavesdropping) “it’s like a beautiful girl admiring herself in the glass. Nobody likes seeing that.”
And it’s true. It’s like that The Streets song "You’re fit but my gosh don’t you know it”. Yeah you are gorgeous. But you are WAY too into that about yourself. And that’s annoying and shallow. In my experience there are few things more annoying than a young pretty girl who knows she wields great power but doesn’t know what it means yet. We all know that jock or cheerleader who was obnoxious and hot in high school only to turn 30 being overweight, plain and furiously confused as to why the world isn’t falling at their feet. Pridefulness is an insidious mind-worm that makes pretty people insufferable.
And yet, having only discovered my beauty well into my 20’s, I still find myself searching out glass and mirrors to look at myself. I like looking at me. I like my face, and I like the way I dress. I think I’m pretty, and frankly, I think that’s healthy for me to feel that way because I spent 25 years of my life under the mistaken impression that I was ugly. Why? Because I never realized that kids who don’t like you call you the opposite of what you are. Hearing “hey ugly” on a daily basis for 12 years makes you doubt what you see in the mirror.
But the power and command of beauty remains. The power of beauty is strong and often those who have it are too young and too uninformed to wield that power without arrogance or causing pain to other people.
Feminist rhetoric has somewhat failed young women in this capacity, because yes, we do want to be rid of patriarchy and be equal genders, and we talk about the destructive nature of the beauty machine but we don’t talk about what that means when it comes to how people treat you. And we don’t talk about how to deal with that treatment, instead we instill a fear of upsetting other people or “not being ‘nice’” that leaves young women powerless in the face sexist anger.
I spent my twenties physically defending myself from drunks who didn’t take no for an answer. And it wasn’t even that they wouldn’t take no for an answer. It was that society has so brainwashed us that instead of looking for meaningful connections both emotional and sexual with a human being, we look for people who fit a checklist of fantasies that we THINK we DESERVE. Nobody but ME deserves Me, but time and again, people (men mostly but some women too) would see me and think “That is a sexual object I wish to posses” and not see that I was a human being who had a say in it too. I’m just a buyable face to most. “Everything has a price” as ignorant conservative consumerists like to say.
We’ve created a culture where dating is seen as shopping, as a checklist that someone has to fulfill for you or else they are trashed. Often other people’s fantasies meeting my reality would result in them getting frustrated, and becoming violent with me. I’ve been grabbed by my neck and slammed against the wall then thrown on the kitchen floor, in an apartment full of people. In that case I had to kick the man repeatedly under the chin with my high heels before he stopped trying to twist my ankle off and break it. A woman once bit me so hard on my leg that I had a bruise for two weeks. And her excuse was “I can’t help myself when I get excited tee-hee.” Thankfully she passed out soon after. And sadly the list goes on.
The way people look at me, the way supposed “friends” ignore me when they find out I’m not interested in them sexually, the way people get angry and aggressive with me when I’m not willing to satisfy their unreciprocated sexual desire for me, are all weekly (if not daily) jarring experiences that sometimes turn terrifying. And this is the state myself and many young attractive women are forced to live: in constant battle to protect our bodies. I understand why young hot girls become bitches. When EVERYONE around you thinks they are entitled to your body and openly treat you as such, you have to fight hard to get away unscathed. Sometimes the easiest thing to do is shut everything down before it even starts. Why do I ignore people who compliment me when I walk by? Because they may start following me. Why do I keep it cool and limited when awkward nerds (note: I am nerd, I go to conventions, I’ve worked in a comic book shop, so let it be known awkward nerds are who I mostly hang out with) try and chat with me about our nerd-dom? Because if I get too into the conversation they will think I’m their one true soul mate and stalk me. Like it’s happened ½ a dozen times before.
I don’t want to take the risk to find out who will respect me and my boundaries, or who will start stalking me online and at work and send me scary messages about why they want to carve up my face. (true story!)
I’m not a commodity. My face and body don’t mean I owe anyone anything. If you are turned on by what I look like and what I‘m wearing that’s YOUR responsibility to calm your libido, not mine. I don’t owe you cause you find me attractive. You aren’t the only one, and you are not special to me because you noticed the golden ratio of my lips, cheekbones and eyes. It’s just a thing I was born with. And no one but me is entitled to posses any part of me.
Here’s a little Lady Loki cosplay photographed by SAVAGE BANDITO!
Meryle Trouble in a shoot keeping things Low key.
NEIL GAIMAN & J H WILLIAMS III ARE DOING SANDMAN!?!?!?!? OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD I HAVE SO MANY FEELS RIGHT NOW!!!!
November 2013 - J H Williams III + Neil Gaiman =
Here’s my full Lady Loki outfit from Free Comic Book day! #FCBD I love this costume. it makes me feel right. I AM A GOD YOU DULL CREATURE!
HERE IT IS! THE (redone, cause I suck a proof reading) POSTER FOR NEVER GONNA GROW UP BURLESQUE!! Done by the amazing Maya Nord!
COME SEE ALL SORTS OF NERD BURLESQUE LIKE ZOMBIES! DC/MARVEL COMIC CHARACTERS! LABYRINTH! DISNEY VILLANS! STAR TREK! STAR WARS! STEAMPUNK! AND MORE!!! INCLUDING WACKY VAUDEVILLE SHENANIGANS FROM HOST CANADIAN WOLFMAN AND PERFORMERS FROM NERD GIRL PINUPS, UNDERGROUND PEEPSHOW, GREAT CANADIAN BURLESQUE AND MORE!!
GUYS! GUYS! THIS IS GONNA BE AWWWWWESOOOOME! I’ll be providing some “edutainment” *wink*wink* Advance tix avaliable at Silver Snail and other places!!
This is so soon! Reblog forever, Toronto friends! It’s a giddy little thrill at a reasonable price! It’ll feel like our performers are wearing nothing at all…nothing at all!
Also featuring the debut performance of Rosie Rutilus a *ahem* very local newbie ;)
Junko Mizuno is coming to town and I’m performing in a tribute burlesque show for her that Magic Pony is putting on!!! I’m SUPER excited and very honored to be asked to participate! Here’s more deets!
“The Underground Peepshow & Raymi the Minx are putting together a special Junko Mizuno themed burlesque show after her solo show gallery opening at Magic Pony! Come check it out on Friday, March 16, 2012 at the Bovine Sex Club.
With performances by: Betty Quirk, Sevvy Skellington, Barely Legal Leelando, Dr. Tease, Meryle Trouble & Raymi the Minx!”