Upworthy Sunday: @RafaelCasal – Barbie and Ken 101 – with commentary from Rayne
I don’t usually comment on these because I like to let you guys come to your own conclusions. I decided to make an exception with this one because it had a significant impact on my life.
I didn’t find this on Upworthy, but it was recently posted there, which just served to remind me how awesome Rafael Casal is. I found it on YouTube ages ago, during a period of time that I binged on Def Poetry Jams and other spoken word presentations/competitions. And it made me cry.
You can’t always tell from my attitude, or my willingness to post pictures straight off my iPad with no post editing (aside from cropping to get rid of unnecessary, non-artistic negative space), but I have serious self esteem issues. Mostly, they’re caused by mental illness that causes me to second guess everything about myself, but they’re also partially the result of how society views and treats fat women, people who don’t give a fuck about name brands, and folks who thumb their noses at current beauty and fashion standards.
So I know that I should lose some weight because I’m not comfortable at this size, and there are signs that it’s causing me physical stress, such as shortness of breath, which is just as likely caused by the 15 years I smoked (I just quit again last year). And I’m working on it. And of course, people who don’t know me can’t look at me and know that, because they don’t know that a few years ago, I was 40lbs heavier. But that doesn’t give people the right to treat me like shit because I’m heavier than I should be by medical standards.
And yeah, I like some name brand clothes, but that’s because I like the style of that particular item of clothing. I don’t go for any particular brand on purpose. I really don’t care. As long as it looks okay on me, and I’m comfortable in it, I’m good. And maybe I can’t afford name brands right now but even when I could, I never went for them. But people will still assume I’m poor, or have no fashion sense, or I’m boring. No, I just don’t give a shit where my clothes came from…I mean, provided they didn’t come from some sweatshop where 3-year-olds sew on the buttons with their toes because their fingers were cut off in the cloth cutting machine, or something.
Okay, I like makeup, but let’s be realistic. The only time I care to wear makeup is when we’re going out, or we’re doing a shoot. And even when I’m in front of the camera, I put minimal makeup on. I just don’t like all that shit on my face. I rarely do my nails. I don’t care to laser peel my face or bleach my asshole (wtf, y’all, really?), so I must be a dirty prude (as opposed to a dirty slut, which is even worse).
So I’m flipping through videos, way back when. I’m sure it wasn’t when the vid was uploaded, but it was a few years ago. And suddenly, on my screen, there’s this attractive young man who looks like most of the guys I used to hang out with and look to for my peer review, saying, “Ya know what? Fuck these trumped up beauty standards. They don’t mean shit. Just be who you are.”
He said, “Cause above hips, ass, lips, legs, and Uggs, the most real ass shit is women who don’t give a fuck.”
And I was like, “Jesus fuck. This guy’s so right. I know who I am. I’ve got a man and friends who love me. What does any of that other shit matter?” I mean, my self esteem still isn’t perfect. But it kinda opened my eyes, ya know?
Yeah, yeah. It shouldn’t take some stranger on a screen writing a poem to get me to see that. But it is what it is. So thanks, sir. You’re all right.