Tag Archives: Self Esteem

You Already Know

2 Dec

What happened to fury?

What happened to accuracy

or accountability?

What happened to kindness?

What happened to teenagers kissing, instead of blogging and dissing?

What happened to teenagers marching and refusing

Instead of exploiting and using?

I say let’s speak it

Let’s fight it.

Let’s right it.

It sucks but it’s true.

It’s you and me, baby.

~You Tell Me How To Be a Girl In 2010 by Eve Ensler

Well, my dears, we’ve somehow moved to December…How did this happen? I hope this week finds you lovely folks sated and in the throes of preparing for family gatherings, consumption of obnoxiously large meals; scoping out too-sweet-to-ignore-sales and observing spiritual and religious traditions of great importance to you and your tribe. Last week, you all sent such wonderful declarations of gratitude in response to my own list of thankfulness, regardless of whether or not you were apart of a culture that celebrated Thanksgiving as we Yanks do. Musings enjoys readership from all over the world (it rocks my socks off when I get notifications or a tweet/email from readers from faraway, exotic locales such as Bulgaria or South Korea for example) and last week we all joined in for a moment of gratitude for our Reigning Queen of Other Kristen Stewart and her beloved. It was truly an awesome, extraordinary experience. As usual, I bow down to you all for hanging with me in this colorful quest towards embracing Otherness and celebrating it as it resides in Kristen Stewart, in our peers and family…in ourselves.

Kristen’s excited for all the Otherness-Embracing too.

Ms Stewart has embodied vintage NinjaStew for the past couple weeks, in the aftermath of Braziliapalooza. She and her rakishly handsome partner were able to fly under the radar and spend Thanksgiving undisturbed, or at least, out of the public eye. There were moments of contention amongst the stalkers exuberant fans as different sources placed Kristen and/or Rob in four or five different locations ranging from Los Angeles to Colorado, Baton Rouge or New York over the holiday weekend, though one picture, clarified Rob’s location: In L.A., at a vintage guitar shop he has frequented previously. And we all know if Rob’s in L.A. on holiday, and Kristen’s on holiday, with an opportunity to be near her family, then they’re most likely together. They’ve  managed to master  The Stealth with their arrivals and departures to and from The City of Angels.

So much WIN in this picture. Beautiful new guitar. Beautiful old LB Hat. Rob.

A GIGGLY NARRATIVE

However, as it’s happened in the past, when there is a lull in NEWS from the K & R Camp, the natives get restless. Those of us left clamoring for glimpses of The Pretty revisit former interviews, images from now-legendary photoshoots (*cough* Harpers Bazaar, Interview, Nylon *cough*) and re-watch movies to take the edge off. Which movies do I watch when I need a shot of Lovely Kristen? Adventureland and Twilight with commentary (duh). So this week, partially due to my need to recover from the holiday weekend, what with illnesses and judgmental relatives, and also partially due to needing to fill my quota of Rom-Com/Holiday Movie viewings, I found myself hermitting. I pulled a NinjaStew if you will: watched movies, baked cookies, grabbed some ZZZZz’s; read copious amounts of fan fic and viewed Twilight with commentary (duh). Perfect timing, of course, as December 4, this Saturday, the Eclipse DVD drops in stores and arguably the most anticipated extra among the coveted special features is the audio commentary of the film delivered by the film’s leads: Kristen and Robert. OH. YESSSS. We didn’t have this luxury of the comedy duo known as Kris-and-Robert-Variety-Hour for New Moon. And even with Twilight, we were graced with the lovely, locquacious Ms. Cathy Hardwicke in the room with our Royal Rebels. Nuh uh. Not this time. Eclipse boasts a narrative featuring long-distance chatting and giddiness as Kristen was in Montreal filming On the Road, and Rob was in Los Angeles having wrapped up Water for Elephants filming. It was about the time, if you’ll recall, that Rob and his bestie Tom Sturridge (whom I ADORE and watched Pirate Radio during MovieFest last weekend for my #TeamTommy fix) were spotted on at least two separate occasions at In-N-Out. Perhaps this jogs your memory:

Try to catch me Ridin Drrrty

*Small Spoiler*–as I know several folks holding out (admirably, I might add) to listening to the commentary before the DVD release–Robert commences the narrative while munching on an In-N-Out burger. This act taunts Kristen who is far away from her hometown, her significant other and the obscenely delectable aforementioned burger joint at this point in time. While Rob munches on his burger, and notes aloud he has a second one awaiting consumption, Kristen reports that she is “harboring hostility” that Rob is enjoying such yummy goodness without her, but also publicly and audibly. So this is all within the first 5 minutes of the commentary. *End of Small Spoiler*

I personally think Kris and Rob should take their chemistry and comedy act on the road. They are magical and create a joyful synergy together. I would love listening to their running editorials on daily life: Taking out the trash, breakfast foods, wigs, and relationship advice. If you haven’t listened to a commentary by Kristen and Rob, I suggest you drop what you’re doing and pop in your copy of Twilight and get on that goodness, because come Saturday, Version 2.0 Bigger, Better, Gigglier is ON. You won’t be sorry. It’s especially nice to “witness”–or hear–a relaxed, comfortable and unguarded Kristen Stewart. All the qualities we admire in our Reigning Queen are expressed: intelligence, awareness, humility, compassion, humor, articulation, giddiness, respect and generosity for colleagues, knowledge, kindness…and affection for Rob.

You can actually HEAR this in the commentary

YOU ALREADY KNOW WHAT TO DO

Commentary greatness and my personal Recuperation MovieFest aside, I also revisited previous interviews that Kristen gave in the past year as I formulated this week’s Musings. I stumbled upon a January 2010 interview that Kristen gave to British Fantasy Society’s publication Dark Horizons and per usual, I was stuck by the poetry and synchronicity of the moment. Kristen spoke about the theme for this essay, before I had written my thoughts down. I just kinda knew. Every week, my process for writing Musings varies. Often, I take cues from what is happening in Kristen’s life for an opportunity to reflect and weave the event into a theme that is evident in the fandom, or in society as a whole…in our lives. This week, in a reversal of fortune, the theme for Musings presented itself through a personal experience in my own life. Afterwards, I found an interview in which Kristen alludes to a parallel experience. Yet another reminder that we really are all not so different, hmmm? Others together.

I encountered a rather jarring situation which had me pondering (“long-thinking” as my friend @ellelala refers to it) subjects such as intuition, resilience and self-preservation. And Kristen, speaking to Dark Horizons interviewer/author Paul Fischer, spoke of adversities she faces as a professional,  self-preservation and awareness.

“For me, the biggest adversity I face is The Bloggers….Suddenly, I can get anyone’s opinion at the click of a mouse. [Hearsay via media] is sometimes really very destructive…”

This statement of Kristen’s has me recalling the pervasive and destructive feedback she received (without having asked for it) when the pictures of her wearing her bikini while filming the honeymoon scenes in Breaking Dawn hit the world-wide-web. As I reviewed last week, pictures like this—

…unwittingly and unfairly triggered bloggers, and sadly this includes a handful of Fanfiction authors, plus anyone with access to the internet and a public “entertainment  news” site to give their opinions on Kristen’s physical form. Whole posts were dedicated to zooming in and analyzing Kristen’s anatomy.  More alarmingly, a rather unethical, smarmy “reporter” from a Brazilian reality TV show posed as a crew member and  breached set security to videotape/screen capture images of Kristen and Rob on the set of Breaking Dawn, during private moments when the film cameras were not rolling. The undercover TV reporter was in an uncomfortably close physical proximity to Kristen. While I only glanced at perhaps two images from this event (I declined to look at the video or the screen caps before they were seized by Twilight’s production company, removed from the internet), I felt a heavy ball of dread in my stomach and a concern for Kristen and Rob’s physical safety. Sheds a whole new light on Kristen’s now famous statement comparing paparazzi intrusions to feelings of “watching someone get violated (raped?)” doesn’t it?  So there it is, my Musings topic: Intuition and self preservation, or rather, the moment our intuition (aka our inner voice, our body’s protective system) kicks in and sends us warning messages for self-preservation and survival. Fight or Flight.

whispered the still, small voice

A personal story:::  Just a couple nights ago, I was home alone as N was away working. It had already grown dark (as it does in these days of Late Fall/Winter) and I was tucked away in bed reading and making notes for advertising the Magical Little Practice. Suddenly a series of loud, consistent knocking reverberated through our tiny studio of hardwood floors and little insulation against the unusual cold for this time of year. I was completely jarred upright. I did not like the sounds of the knocks on my door. I immediately tensed up, pulled the covers tighter around myself.  Every fiber of my being was yelling at me to NOT ANSWER THE DOOR. We don’t have an adequate peep-hole in our front door because the door is covered in sound & weather-proofing material at this time (N has since remedied this, as a result of this event), so I couldn’t stealthily make my way over to peek on my unexpected “visitor”. I immediately texted my husband and asked if he was expecting a delivery, or any visitors. He quickly texted back, “NO”. The knocking ceased for about a minute, but then started again. Loud, rapid, jarring raps (almost could be called pounding) against my front door, but no verbalizations, no one calling my name out, no texts announcing an impromptu visit from friends or family. I quickly deduced that this person was not familiar. Our little studio is one level apart of a larger house, and our front door is not visible from the sidewalk. The only way someone would know where our front door is, is if they’ve stood in front of it before, or they are actively seeking it out. Minutes, maybe five after the second and third rounds of sharp knocking finally silenced, I, against my intuition and bodily warning signs, cracked open my front door.

And saw…nothing. But my inner ninjaturtle  was screeching in my ear, demanding I slam the door shut, bolt it, chain it, and go back to bed, because something had been there just minutes earlier. So I slammed the door shut, and bolted it. After exchanging a few texts with N about what happened, I catalogued the event as a slightly unsettling, but otherwise not-unusual category.  I didn’t recall the warning signs until later. The signs, as I mentioned before, are produced when our body and our deepest soul recognizes what is happening long before our brain does. In his incredibly resourceful book called The Gift of Fear, Gavin de Becker urges us to listen to our intuition, and our body’s physiological need to continue existing. Why am I discussing this book right now in the middle of my weekly tribute to the Royal Rebel Ms Kristen Stewart?

Well, for one thing, I received a pretty sobering email from my mother, a day or so ago after the FORCEFUL KNOCKING INCIDENT. The letter outlined information regarding Mom’s friend’s brother, who needs a professional counselor to talk to, possibly through The Magical Little Practice. This brother, for safety purposes we’ll call him D, was the only witness in the case of murder. D had seen a man RAPIDLY, LOUDLY POUNDING ON DOORS of several different apartments in his building. The Knocking Man(iac) came to D‘s door too. D did not answer his door. Something inside of D warned him against doing so. Unfortunately, tragically, D’s neighbor did open her door. D’s neighbor was murdered last week. Thanksgiving holiday.  The murderer has been identified and is in prison.

DEEP BREATH. Are you hanging with me? I needed to tell this story for a few reasons, one, to process the sanctity and briefness of our time here in this world; and another, to pay homage and condolences for a woman to lose her life in such a horrifically violent way. Finally, I wanted to say this: We are entrusted with personal security systems within our minds and bodies and hearts, to protect us against people or things willing harm against us. The term harm encompasses destruction on many levels including emotional, psychological, spiritual as well as physical. I truly believe there is goodness out there, but I have witnessed darkness as well, in my profession working with the mentally ill, and simply as a human being, seeking knowledge for living in this world. De Becker’s book The Gift of Fear outlines and urges us to be aware of physical warning signs of danger–increased heart rate, an attacker’s body language, an attacker’s verbal language–as well as internal signals–our intuition, our instincts, our awareness.  I believe that De Becker’s guide also could and should be applied to awareness for emotional and psychological attacks as well. Kristen Stewart, our Reigning Queen, is subjected to and vulnerable to all of the above: Emotional/verbal, psychological, and physical attacks.

You’ve witnessed it, my friends. We all have: The Cyberbullying of fellow “fans”, heated arguments between Nonsensicals and Shippers (a name, which, for the record, I’ve never enjoyed or used when describing my support of Kristen and Rob), anonymous commenters degrading, insulting, mocking, writing letters about, publicly discussing and bashing everything regarding Kristen Stewart. Interspersed in these public ‘discussions’ are threats of physical harm, but more shockingly obvious are the verbal, emotional and character abuse unleashed on Ms Stewart. Guess which type of abuse is harder to recover from? OH YES. Countless psychological case studies have proven that people (women AND men) seek counseling support for the destruction of emotional/psychological/character abuse they experienced. Bruises and broken bones, while painful and horrific, will heal up again. Low self esteem, low self-worth, anxiety, depression and addictions can last lifetimes.

So what does a Rebel Queen do to preserve herself?

REBEL TIPS FROM REBEL QUEENS

I draw from my studies as a psychotherapist, practicing self-soothing techniques (meditation, playing music), self reflection and also, knowledge I’ve gained in my own experiences of being in danger. Aside from the clenching stomach, the increased heart rate, and the inner guide screaming in my ear to back away, back away!, I also hold first-hand knowledge of experiencing a fight-or-flight choice. I vaguely addressed once in the Musings essay titled  Finding Your Voice and The Courage to Sing Loudly, my own experience of having a man break into my apartment with an intent to assault me. I know my own instinctual drives were roaring loudly, and in my quest to fight and self-preserve, an eerie calm flooded my bloodstream and I could hear myself strategize survival.

Kristen’s survival plan has formulated based on her extensive experience in show business, as well as her observations of her peers and role models. “…a really, really, really thick-developed armor” is in place for Kristen’s friend Joan Jett, as Kristen tells Dark Horizon. “It’s a self preservation thing..she’s a survivor”. Kristen is referring to Jett’s ability to cope with emotional attacks at a time (during the 70’s and early 80’s) when the public would say and do anything in person (versus via cyberspace, which hadn’t been invented yet) to give their opinion of performers and public figures.

Kristen’s adversaries are the bloggers, The Bullshit People, the judgmental, the faceless, Screen-Named though anonymous attackers with an exorbitant amount of time on their hands. Also on the rise are a group of “fans” (who, are really another brand of not-really fans) who view themselves as supporters and defenders of Robert, and trash Kristen at every opportunity because they believe she is “unappreciative ” of Mr Pattinson. Though, I’m pretty sure there is more evidence of a mutual adoration between Robert and Kristen than the contrary…Liiiiiiike…..

Annnnnddd….

So there have been many ways that Kristen (and through her, for her, Rob) has offensively protected herself.

KRISTEN:

  • OWNS what is HERS. No apologies.
  • Keeps her private life PRIVATE
  • Declines joining any social networking sites
  • Keeps a close-knit circle of family and friends as her support system
  • Does things because she chooses to not because she is told to.
  • Employs her internal BULLSHIT DETECTOR
  • Looks the woman in the mirror straight in the eye~she knows and trusts herself and her instincts

And what can WE do as fellow OTHERS and Majestic Misfits to Preserve and SAVE our Fellow OTHERS from destruction?

WE OTHERS CAN:

  • Respect Privacy  and personal lives, especially if it is at the request of an Other
  • Refrain from getting pulled into petty fights on any social networking sites, with other supporters
  • Remember to USE WORDS WISELY–any bashing we do publicly, paints us in certain light as well
  • Remember we are ROLE MODELS in the community to people of different ages, cultures & backgrounds
  • Know and check in with our close-knit circle of family and friends frequently-they are who support us
  • Remind ourselves that if we “support” a Rebel Royal, we support their choices for happiness
  • Continue to EMBRACE OUR OWN OTHERNESS
  • Remember that WE ARE ALL OTHER

FEATURED REBEL ROYAL: CLAIRE DANES

I know I’ve had a lot to say today…But I did want to make some time for a modest introduction to an Other who has managed to walk outside the periphery of convention while in the public eye. Inspired by a musical selection on last week’s playlist, Late At Night, by Buffalo Tom, and the squeals of recognition from fellow AngelaChaseIsOther Supporters (looking at YOU, @DrownInIt), I decided to feature a Rebel Royal that I’ve grown up with: Actress and dancer Ms Claire Danes. Ms Danes was born in Manhattan, New York City, New York to a artist mother and computer consultant father. She attended Yale University for two years studying Psychology before stopping to return to film making. Attending a performing arts school while growing up, Claire whet her appetite for performance through modern dance and theater first. She was thirteen when she was a guest star on an episode of Law and Order. She was only thirteen when she auditioned for and landed the role of Angela Chase in the seminal and profound television series My So-Called Life. When the show was picked up for more episodes, Claire was fifteen years old, playing 15-year-old Angela. Angela Chase completely embodied the heartbreak and steadfast optimism of an OTHER as the short-lived TV series chronicled awkwardness, tension and disagreement with the parental units, crushing on the beautiful mysterious musician at school, side-stepping the lovelorn advances of the boy next door. But alas, a story this heartrending was perhaps only fated to last but a brief time, and after 19 episodes, My So-Called Life was cancelled. It did, however, maintain a cult following.

Particularly gifted at playing awkward, gawky, angst-ridden teenagers, Claire received her first Golden Globe and Emmy Nominations of her career when she was just 15 years old for her work in My So-Called life. She won the Golden Globe. After My So-Called life’s cancellation, she transitioned into film work and her star rose to quick heights with her role alongside high-profile actors such as Winona Ryder, Susan Sarandon and Gabriel Byrne in the film Little Women. In 1996, Claire’s celebrity and critical acclaim rocketed to the stratosphere when she appeared as Juliet opposite Leonardo DiCaprio’s Romeo in Baz Luhrmann’s William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet. Claire continued to work steadily through 1999 with her roles in The Mod Squad and Brokedown Palace but she left acting to pursue her degree at Yale. When she returned to filmmaking in 2002, Ms Danes chose quirky, thoughtful independent film projects such as Igby Goes Down and paired her work with larger-budgeted films such as the Oscar-nominated film The Hours, in which Claire portrayed Meryl Streep’s daughter.

Baz Luhrmann called Ms Danes, “This generation’s Meryl Streep”, and her poise and confidence has earned her admirers in her many impressive colleagues and co-stars such as Oliver Stone, Francis Ford Coppola and actor/musician Jason Schwartzman..and she is the muse for or the subject of at least four songs released by several indie or alternative rock bands. She has experienced the backlash of publicity when she became romantically involved with her costar Billy Crudup at a disadvantageous time, and in 1998 she was publicly condemned by then-Filipino president Joseph Estrada when Ms Dane’s comments about the poor conditions of the Manila, Philippines film set for Brokedown Palace were taken out of the context to which she meant. She later advised that she had only been shown the “darker, underbelly of the City of Manila”, and did not mean any disrespect to the country as a whole nor to its people. The Filipino president deemed Ms Danes’s comments as “irresponsible, bigoted and sweeping statements”, to which she issued a public apology to the city of Manila, Philippines in addition to an official letter of apology. How has she coped with the adversity? Like Our Reigning Queen Kristen, she has learned from past experiences, and has opted to keep her private life private, declining to speak publicly about personal relationships; and she freely gives clarification behind any misconstrued statements in interviews.

WHO do you notice first in this picture? Our Rebel Royals FTW

While teaming with Offenses of Otherness, I’ll highlight an abbreviated list: She knew from  a young age that she wanted to be an actor. She kept a focus on her goals for performance and dance, and surrounded herself with supportive friends and family. Now 31 years old, with more than 25 films under her belt, Claire is married to actor and costar  Hugh Dancy, whom she met on the film Evening. She is just coming off the success of her Emmy-Award Winning performance in the HBO Movie Temple Grandin, in which Ms Danes portrays the ultimate Other: Temple Grandin. Temple Grandin is an American Doctor of Animal Sciences and a University professor with high-functioning Autism. Dr Grandin is the inventor of The Hug Machine, a calming deep pressure device designed to soothe hypersensitive people who experience Autism Spectrum Disorders. Pretty awe-inspiring, right?  Claire states that the point of acting is to share and connect with others, and she is aware and grateful for the ability to have a career doing what she loves most.

OFFENSES OF OTHERNESS:

*Willingly walked away from the business of acting to empower and remind herself who she is as person.

*Believes that fame is not a reward for working hard. Doing what she loves (acting) is complete fulfillment, the reward.

*Is extremely forthright and confident when she speaks her opinion.

REIGNING OTHER QUEEN: KRISTEN STEWART

I think we’ve established in this epically long Musings that our Reigning Queen of Other is a role model and pioneer. She has managed to cope graciously (even when her detractors are attacking her) by forging onward and continuing to partake in the craft that she loves. Kristen has an internal compass that guides her steps along her path of authenticity. She already knows what she’s doing. And it’s been absolutely miraculous to witness her journey thus far.

OFFENSES OF OTHERNESS:

*Unapologetically independent

*Strives for improvement of her craft and self, not for notoriety.

*Continuously cultivates self-awareness and strives for self-preservation.

~

CLAIRE IS OTHER.

KRISTEN IS OTHER.

OTHERS REALIZE THEY ALREADY KNOW WHAT TO DO.

EMBRACE YOUR OTHER.

* * *

Question:   I can think of several times when I overrode my instincts and suffered the results. I also can think of the times when I trusted my inner voice and was elated with the results. Can You?

A/N:

PHEW. This was about 4,000 words long. I have been struggling to process so many things these days, and I guess it has manifested in the longest Musings… ever. Thank you for hanging with me through this. Truly.

I wanted to thank my good friend @MissBettySmith, the brilliant author of The Gentleman From Washington State and Full Disclosure (my fave), with whom I shared a too-brief lunch today. In her latest update of TGFWS, Betty very clearly defended Kristen against people who are hell-bent on tearing down our Reigning Queen Of Other. Betty has a devoted following, with thousands of readers of her stories, and she is aware that she is accountable in how she expresses her values and uses her words . She is mindful of her many readers’ different age brackets, ethnicities and cultural backgrounds. THANK YOU, BETTY!

Love, light and strength to my friend TEBBY and to my sister PUSS.

“Happiness is inward, and not outward; and so, it does not depend on what we have, but on what we are”~Henry Van Dyke

We are role models. We have voices. We have instincts to trust. We are Other. See you next time, my Majestic Misfits.

Gratitude for Stew and You

24 Nov

The personal life deeply lived always expands into truths beyond itself. ~~Anais Nin

Hello, Beauties! Happy Thanksgiving Eve to those who celebrate this holiday. *Pauses. Clears throat. Adopts PSA Voice.* I really don’t think it’s fair to anyone (most of all, you) to kick this long-overdue essay off with apologies. So, I won’t take any more time away from Musings to explain the numerous and varying events influencing whether or not I could write in the past week, lending to a delay in posting. Just know that I have missed interacting with you and those of you who have been my cheerleaders (Hi, @deedreamer16, Periwinkle, @robkris13, OJ, @MoosikFreak , My Manager Kathryn *tearful goodbye*, @TheUrbanWhisk) I have a ginormous, overflowing wheelbarrow of gratitude for you . Aha! How apt! It’s the day before our Tryptophan Tradition (or perhaps mash potatoes and green bean casseroles for the non-meat-eaters) here in The States in which we celebrate collaboration, friends, family and gratitude. What are your plans, my Majestic Misfits?

err. This image is entitled: “The Absolute Antithesis of KJ”.                            Although I do dig the red dress. 

When we last were together, we enjoyed the fruits of the interview our Reigning Queen Kristen gave to Sarah Kuhn of Backstage. You also accompanied me through the retelling of my drunken birthday adventures in which I stopped for a moment and wondered how the hell I was so blessed, as 90-year old (give or take 15 years) saxophone player serenaded me with his rendition of Van Morrison’s Brown-Eyed-Girl and I swayed happily alongside him with a tiara on my head and Titanic’s Heart of the Ocean Necklacedraped around my neck. I recognize that  lot of the fortune in my life is on account of my own doing and a personal quest to break through the fear that bound me to Plan B (Convention. BastardNation. Living to work, not working to live). However, I recognize that much of the prosperity I have the privilege of enjoying attests to many factors…to which I dedicate today’s Musings. In honor of shopping lists and To-Do boxes to check off in preparation for Thanksgiving, I am preparing my own LIST (oh the office supply-lover in me is doing cartwheels of joy) to share with you today…

KJ’S LIST OF GRATITUDES

SEAN PENN

Oh I realize it might be a bit odd for me to pay respect to Jeff Spicoli here. But the controversial, Oscar-award-winning, paparazzi-punching (fuck yeah!), political-advocate (or detriment, depending on whom you speak with) is an integral, essential reason for introducing us to a talented, versatile and one-of-a-kind actress by the name of Kristen Stewart. It was Sean Penn’s keen eye that recognized Queen Kristen’s raw and startling talent. He cast her in the small 2007  film he directed called Into the Wild as Tracy, a young girl in a trailer park, enamored with Emilie Hirsch’s vagabond Chris. Penn praised Kristen in saying:

“[Stewart] is magically easy to direct…She’s a real force with terrific instincts..”

Sean Penn then went on to recommend Kristen as a viable actress to legendary, brilliant talents such as Robert DeNiro, James Woods, and Jake Scott. And Kristen, whose screen time in Into the Wild was perhaps only 15 minutes long, managed to ensnare and enchant other filmmakers including Catherine Hardwicke, Greg Mattola and a one Mr Robert Pattinson because of Penn’s introduction of Ms. Stewart. Since he was the mastermind behind the hauntingly beautiful movie Into the Wild , which in turn became the catalyst in Kristen’s career, I am grateful for SEAN PENN.

CEDRIC DIGGORY

Ahhhhh. Poor, sweet, tragic Cedric Diggory. I firstly should bow down to the brilliant J.K. Rowling, for many reasons, but for certain, one of them being she is who conjured up a Hufflepuff Prefect with a kind heart from her own imagination. Cedric Diggory’s decided fate triggered a domino effect of change and tragedy in the remaining stories in the series about a boy wizard. (I’ll take some time soon to gush and rave about the film adaptation Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows another time, but OHMAHGAWD, I thought it was incredible and unexpectedly moving).  The name Diggory first appeared in text in the third Harry Potter book, The Prisoner of Azkaban. However, we didn’t fullly realize and appreciate the gorgeous and tender-hearted Quidditch Seeker named Cedric until the fourth novel, The Goblet of Fire was adapted to film, and a British teenager named Robert Pattinson landed his first film role in his portrayal of Cedric. Because it was this character’s role that became the catalyst for Rob’s career, and therefore an integral reason behind why I’m writing Musings at all, CEDRIC DIGGORY is much, much appreciated.

CATHERINE HARDWICKE

For many of you, I won’t really need to explain my gratefulness for the Texan-born director of such films as Lords of Dogtown and Thirteen. Catherine Hardwicke was placed at the helm of directing and casting a small independent movie called Twilight in 2007. As her background was in architecture and design, I’d say our Cathy had a predisposition for crafting a compelling story. Catherine knew that Twilight had a devout following in readers of the books, but she carried the responsibility of translating it onto screen in a believable, respectful manner. She was cognizant that she was drafting a film based on material that could potentially be construed as gratuitous and hokey (those who read the Twilight books who did not love them often criticized the story as such), so she focused on the fundamental concepts of the series: The love story between the main protagonists, Edward Cullen and Bella Swan. In interviews, Catherine, in her sweet, sometimes tangential anecdotes, spoke of her awareness that without a believable Edward and Bella, there would be no Twilight. Ms. Hardwicke found her Bella first, when she glimpsed a young actress by the name of KRISTEN STEWART in Sean Penn’s Into the Wild (Remember we spoke of Synchronicity? Uh huh. Into the Wild was a pivotal event for Kristen, presenting her with her “Gift of Yes”). Hardwicke flew to Pittsburgh where Kristen was filming Adventureland to pitch the beginning ideas of Bella Swan.

“She [Kristen] had this longing and vulnerability that I felt was important for Bella to have…and she expressed it in a deep and important way…I loved her. I loved the idea of Kristen as Bella.”

I get it, Cathy. I do.

When it was time to cast Edward for the film, many months had passed into the casting process, and thousands of young men were considered. The casting director narrowed down the enormous list to approximately 50 hopefuls, and Catherine read with and auditioned  four of those fifty. . . it’s now steeped in Twilight legend in that Kristen read live with the four “Semi-Finalists” as Catherine refers to them, but could not find the electricity, the spicy friction that exists between Edward and Bella. Ms. Hardwicke reports calling all her staff, assistants and casting directors and begged them to search one more time for a young man between the ages of 17 and 25 to play Edward. Her assistants approached Hardwicke with a headshot and IMDb bio of a British musician called Robert who was in a Harry Potter film a couple years earlier. When Robert was brought in for a reading, Catherine reports feeling the “electricity, the buzz between them [Kristen and Robert]. Their chemistry was palpable…. It had to be Rob”. And Kristen, our resident Bullshit Detector and Truth Magnet concurred. The rest, as they say, is history. Because she directed and guided a film with her Indie sensibility, and that film later would launch an enterprise; plus she united twin souls and rebellious beauties in the process, I GIVE THANKS for CATHERINE HARDWICKE.

BRAZILIAN WATERFALLS  & BATHING SUIT THERAPY

*THUD*

Um. I don’t even know where to begin with this particular gratitude, since it spawned such a catalytic reaction with, like, everyone, and it broached absolutely essential topics of  having the rights to privacy, body image, self-esteem, and beauty. Perhaps that’s why I’m citing this event on my Thanksgiving List, because the pictures that triggered the discussion on these important subject matters provoked fandom interaction, international negotiations, new appreciation and a new level of awareness. On a small island near Paraty, Brazil, our Rebellious Royals were filming honeymoon scenes for the film Breaking Dawn. Beach frolicking and waterfall sight-seeing requires the actors to strip down, and so, well… they did.

this eventually is the EW cover via twilighteranonymous

Not gonna lie, when I first caught glimpses of these photos, my jaw dropped to the ground and I stared for maybe ten minutes before I slapped myself back to the present. First off,  I must say, our Warrior Poet Rob looks fantastic, obviously benefitting from his bike rides around the University lakes in Louisiana. And our Reigning Queen? Yeah. I think we have our definitive answer as to why she is ROYALTY. In my opinion, Kristen is glorious. She is fit, healthy and most importantly, confident.

So of course I found myself seething when commenters hiding behind anonymous screen names or Twi-inspired monikers began ridiculing, snickering and tearing apart Kristen (and Rob’s) physical physiques on public discussion boards. “Fans” (or, not-really-fans) began scrutinizing and holding discussions about her physical anatomy including her lady parts, chalking up reasons why she was in fact not beautiful. When a rogue and completely unethical Brazilian photographer captured pictures of Rob and Kristen in their private, off-set time, in which Rob was in his boxer briefs, and Kristen was wearing a different bathing suit top than the one for filming (which was absolutely sheer when wet), particularly offensive websites began writing whole posts dedicated to Kristen’s nether regions and her–in their eyes– less-than-satisfactory body shape (I can’t even begin to fathom their justifications. Nucking Futs–yes that is the clinical term).

She doesn’t even need a Wind Machine! Uh, Rob? Eyes up HERE. *points to K’s face*, though I can appreciate your appreciation of Our Queen’s Beauty.

There was no acknowledgement that these two people were victims of serious privacy invasion. There was no mention of the fact that it’s actually quite a courageous thing that Kristen did–walk around nearly naked in public for the sake of work, beneath a huge magnifying glass. Question: COULD YOU DO THAT?? More alarmingly, at least to me, was that all of this enabling of public exposure contributed to an event in which an undercover Brazilian reporter breached the Breaking Dawn set, and videotaped Kristen and Rob in their private moments, not filming, and off-camera. Nothing was too revealing, although the pictures indicated that this intruder and his video camera, came disconcertingly close to Kristen–physicallywithin touching range. Too Close. Ok, that is SCARY, guys. It is already disheartening to see these actors’ personal lives exploited, but it’s a whole new level when considering their physical safety from harmful or overzealous “fans” or paparazzi Vultures. This breach in security (um, perhaps bribery?) supposedly (and finally!!) prompted the film’s studio, Summit (intake of breath, hisssss) to call for a meeting to re-evaluate the privacy and safety of the film’s actors.

These pictures were released around the same time I was down on my third pass to my hometown for my psych seminar. I admitted to you all that I encountered some challenges to my Otherness while down there, touching on issues of career choice, relationships, body image and gender role expectations. I’ll delve into the subject another Musings, but the harsh public reaction to these pictures in combination with the hometown emotional confrontations took their toll on me, which contributed to my delay in even writing about these monumental times. But these pictures, of our very fit and confident (i.e. beautiful) Rebels, have indeed sparked an appreciation in me. I am GRATEFUL for BRAZILIAN WATERFALLS.

COLLABORATION AKA, SHARING IS CARING

Our rebels, of course, went forth as professionals and in a way that enhanced and openly featured their real-life affection for one another, both during filming and not. There were piggy back rides,

lip service of mutual admiration,

Chess strategizing…

the sharing of smokes…. (@greenangelice, did you not die when you saw this?)

And so while I struggled this week with breaking through gender roles placed upon me, writer’s block, insecurity surrounding my body and my hair (those of you with or without hair know what Imma sayin); moments of sheer panic about my pursuit of Bliss, exhaustion from 6 flights, a two-weekend psychology training, which required me to write  a philosophy paper, and a roundtrip road exscusion along the coast, I am exceedingly grateful for Robert and Kristen’s visual reminder to me that SHARING IS CARING, and that everything, everything is better, smoother, prettier, more effective and powerful when we COLLABORATE.

REIGNING OTHER QUEEN: KRISTEN JAYMES STEWART

The theme, appropriately so, for this week’s Thanksgiving Musings is Gratitude. I am grateful for the Rebel Royal, the Majestic Misfit, the Beautiful, Unconventional Ambassador of Other, our Reigning Queen, Kristen Stewart. Without her role modeling of what a strong, unique, intelligent, fiercely dressed, authentic, courageous, grounded and lovely woman could be, there would be no Musings. I would not have met some of the most incredible artists, writers, musicians, students, intellects, teachers, friends, Other-Supporters if it hadn’t been for the resurgence of Kristen, this generation’s Smart Girl.

Courtesy of KBitch’s Tumblr

Courtesy of the sublimely named: ItsOkToNOTbeOK

REBEL ROYAL SUPPORTERS

And finally, but in my mind, most importantly, I am grateful for …YOU.  I wouldn’t even be here today, rambling on about Thanksgiving gratitudes and the joys of Collaboration, without the unwavering support of Musings Readers and friends, a large majority of whom I met through this fandom. In Spring of 2008, I was simply an admirer of an actress named Kristen and an actor named Robert, and flying high from a little romantic story involving vampires, humans and Teeth Babiesthat I avoided reading for months because of my own predisposed judgments. I knew of my 3D friends who were  teachers, therapists, writers, musicians, artists and UnderCover Others, aimless bliss-seekers and Majestic Misfits, but we hadn’t convened in this powerful way  just yet. Nearly two years ago, I thought I was alone in my appreciation of Kristen Stewart and Other Rebels, but between my experiences online through E!, Twitter, meeting my CYBER SISTERS & READERS and my KSIBTU Crew, melding these folks from 1& 2D into 3D, blending them with my 3D crew… you lovelies have me seeing STARS.  You have established a connection with me through numerous and varying channels (Twitter, Email, Tumblr, Comments)to remind me of the undeniable power of collaboration and the pride in being OTHER. You remind me WE ARE NOT ALONE.  I humbly bow down to you, and with awe and utmost respect, I THANK YOU.  I am yours completely, KJ

See how well we fit together? 

WE ARE OTHER.

KRISTEN IS OTHER.

OTHERS MAKE LISTS OF GRATITUDE, AND TICK OFF THE BOXES.

EMBRACE YOUR OTHER.

QUESTION: There are several questions I’ve thrown out there to you in the Thanksgiving Edition of Sentence Completion Fun on the About KJ page…Check it.

Example: What is your favorite Thanksgiving Food? . . . What body part of your own would YOU save for posterity?

A/N: Have a wonderful THANKSGIVING. Again, thank you for flowing with me as I belligerently barrel through limitations and writer’s block; moments of insecurity, and bouts of exhaustion. You are never, never, far from my thoughts and heart.

Special acknowledgement to my Sister PUSS, my niece MONKEY, my big brother CHEW. You are my #1 support team.

Tearful goodbyes and sniffle-sobs to Kathryn, Keiron and L. I will see you soon on Skype. We have some serious business to pursue. I’ll keep the candle burning in the window so you can find your way back safely. #BoHoBayCircle

Buff, CC, Bouffant… you complete me.

My CYBER SISTERS/READERS: Happy Anniversary, Ladies.

I’ll see you all next week. We’ll talk Otherness, In N Out, Eclipse Commentaries, and the movement to stop the destruction of Others.

Carry On.

xx, K

Muselet: An Other Day

28 Oct

A/N: We’ll call this one a Muselet (a silly one at that), ok, Lovelies? There will be no Featured Rebel Royal in today’s essay, but I will more than make up for it next time, cross my heart. I also am pressed for time as I’m writing this just before I’m to hop a plane for a short flight down to my hometown, to attend a psychology training over the weekend, and celebrate my birthday with family and my hubs, who will fly down just to hang with me for a day or so. Of course, I also plan to squeeze in a viewing of Welcome to the Rileys’ with a couple of girls from the KSIBTU Crew. #Priorities.

Sooooo, hello, my Majestic Misfits, how have you been this week? I’ve been well, though super busy as of late, but nonetheless well. I know it’s been a rather sparse time, in the aftermath of last week’s StewiePalooza,Welcome to the Rileys Press Tour, a.k.a. Kristen. OWNING. IT.  But we’ve had a few little nuggets here or there that help us coast through the week. For one, our beloved bestie Tom Sturridge and one of our  lovely Featured Rebel Royals Carey Mulligan have been seen hanging together outside of hotels, at Whole Foods, whatnot. Oh, and we can’t forget that our favorite Warrior Poet Rebel Mr Rob Pattinson allegedly purchased a bicycle and has been seen riding around the lakes at the university, near  Baton Rouge where he and fellow cast mates are in pre-production for the six-month shoot of Breaking Dawn.


Might be his best bet in evading the set-stalkers

With stellar (insert sarcasm) precision, someone, somewhere has happily tweeted or Facebooked,  or interviewed a store owner to obtain the latest details regarding Kristen and Rob’s location, their possible living arrangements, and food consumed while in Baton Rouge…..And, well, let’s not dismiss the stories of Voodoo Weddings and elaborate Halloween bashes that Rob is supposedly throwing! No wonder the poor guy bought himself a bike!

But I digress. The newest story today purports that Rob is hosting a massive Halloween party for his fellow cast mates (which, I wouldn’t put past him, as he appears to be a very generous guy), in which he will dress up as…wait for it–A Vampire. It feels a little unusual for our notoriously shy guy and his equally shy partner Kristen to be bringing attention to themselves. But it does address the goodness that is October 31, and I’d like to take a minute to discuss this lovely day with you all.
You may recall our lovely Ms. Stewart visiting Jay Leno on The Tonight Show a couple weeks ago. In her interview, she spoke about her family’s enthusiasm for the swiftly approaching holiday known as Halloween a.k.a. The Day of Other or The Day of Embracing All Facets of Self. Maybe The Day the Invisible Becomes Visible…or…The Also Known As Day…?

Our Reigning Other Queen giggled (perhaps Stew Giggles compose the sweetest sounds ever) when she told Mr Leno that her mother, the ultra-talented Jules Mann-Stewart, is a big Halloween buff and that Halloween in the Stewart household is kinda a huge deal, like, a Bigger-Than-Christmas deal. And for several years in a row, Kristen admits to dressing up as, ironically, Dracula.

Mwahahaha! Perhaps Kristen can loan her old costumes to Rob for his party-hosting gig this year?

How bad ass is that? She wasn’t a girly vamp, Kristen cautions us. No, she wore the long cloak and rocked the widow’s peak. Man, KStew is so much better than me. #KSIBTU.  Can I say that I tend to feel the same way  as The Stewarts? Let’s think about it shall we? Halloween, All Hallow’s Eve, is a day in which–according to English and Celtic lore–the veil between the OTHERworld and this world is thinnest. The Celts believed the souls of the dead (both benevolent and malevolent) roamed the streets and villages on this night. Family ancestors were honored and invited into the home, as rooted in the Festival of Samhain, but evil spirits were cast away when the celebrants wore masks and costumes of demons. Also? Bonfires. Lots of bonfires involved–to signify heath and home, but also as a cleansing ritual as people would throw the bones of slaughtered livestock into the flames, signifying the end of summer, and the dawn of winter. In traditional Celtic festivals, folks would hollow out and carve faces into large turnips, to place in the windows of homes in order to ward off harmful spirits. Would it look something like this?

um. errr. grrrr...? I'm sorry, I would hardly call this repulsive. Concerning, maybe, but I wouldn't run from the room screaming.

So here’s the deal. There are many perspectives on Halloween, influenced by old cultural traditions, and religious beliefs. Most countries don’t even observe it at all, not as the North Americas and some European countries do, anyway. Halloween in its incarnation today is not the same as All Souls Day (Nov 2) as traced back to the middle ages in which poor folks would go door-to-door seeking food in return for prayers for the dead–although you can see in which today’s Trick-or-Treating customs are rooted. Also, this day should not be mistaken for, though often is, The Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) the holiday observed in Mexico and some South American countries in which family and friends gather for prayers and offerings in remembrance of those who have already passed on.

Here is my perspective. Halloween is the opportunity for  us to present the repressed and reveal the hidden, and acknowledge the shadow, recognize the undervalued facets of yourself…One might say it’s the ultimate day to Embrace the Other? Clearly, it’s time to declare October 31 as Day of Other? Well, in my world it is a special Day of Other, because it also happens to be my birthday. *nudges you* It makes so much sense, right???

Again, this looks NOTHING like me. I certainly don't wear aprons.

So it’s true: While I already was self-conscious and awkward and hyper-aware that I looked differently, dressed differently, seemingly formulated thoughts differently than my peers and family, additionally, I endured the heckling of uncouth peers because of the day I was born.  According to these geniuses, I was born on Satan’s Day and that I must be the spawn of  the devil…and that I was so ugly it was no wonder I was born on Halloween, because I already came equipped with my own mask, yadda yadda. Seriously, don’t cry for me, Argentina, it’s cool. Made me stronger and more aware of the Destruction of Others at a young age.

Are we agreed? Shall we declare October 31 Day of Other? You all must see the signs now:  Other-endorsing agents everywhere, opportunities to react in unexpected, unconventional, unusual, quirky, odd and rebellious ways in our every day lives. Signs encouraging you to fly your freak flag and embrace it all…right? There are the endless musicians, actors, and activists that Team Other and I try to highlight every week for you in with Musings, we also have literary heroes like LisbethSalander from The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and it’s sequels, and let’s not forget the beyond brilliant  TV show Glee please, all righty?

A brief reminder: while Halloween can be one official day of Embracing Otherness, I still want to encourage you to seek out the unique and extraordinary every other day as well.We’re not making Day of Other like that ridiculous poseur “holiday” Valentine’s Day, now. Nah. Other Day should really be DAILY OTHERNESS, a conscious mantra. Although, I must say I enjoy some of the holiday TV specials that arise as a result of Hallow’s Eve:

Back to Glee for a sec. Have we not talked about this show together yet? I mean, it’s a show about Otherness, outcasts, misfits and rebels set to song and dance for cryin’ out loud!! It has succeeded where poor Cop Rock could not. Just two nights ago, they did their tribute to  Rocky Horror Picture Show, quickly earning itself a spot in my Top 5 episodes ever. Happy Other Day indeed!  All right, we’ll talk more about Glee in future essays. But I just wanted to illustrate how prevalent and relevant Otherness is. It has permeated the collective consciousness in gloriously unusual and creative ways.

T-T-T-T-Touuuuch Meeee

REIGNING OTHER QUEEN: KRISTEN STEWART

Our Reinging Other Queen Kristen definitely recognized at an early age of her exclusion from the “Ordinary Club” and therefore her membership in the Other Category. The sweet girl was not a fairy princess  or a ballerina  for Halloween,  (not that there is anything remotely “wrong” with either of these costumes/roles, they are examples of the more acceptable, gender-role-supportive via our society), she chose a notorious masculine, blood-sucking, erotic, influential, literary antagonist instead. When asked by friend CC of @KStewsBtrthanU: What should Kristen be for Halloween? I replied: Bettie Page.

The defiance of gender roles has nevah looked sooo good

Kristen, according to peers and filmmakers, exudes a strength and maturity far, far beyond her chronological age. Not surprisingly, Kristen was reading books such as Kerouac’s On the Road when she was a pre-teen, and  at 17-years old, she was hand-picked by Greg Mottola to play the conflicted college student Em in the wonderful wonderful movie Adventureland . Most recently Jake Scott, director of Welcome to the Rileys’ reported that despite Kristen’s age (only 18 years old when she was cast as Mallory), he had complete faith that Kristen could tackle the emotional and physical obstacles to portray a broken, near-hopeless teen runaway/stripper/prostitute in his film. She is so unexpected, fresh, unique and unparalleled when comparing her to her contemporaries. Melissa Leo, Kristen’s co-star in WTTR said:

“She was 18 when we shot the movie — almost too young to know all the stuff she does, to get inside something like that. She had the willingness to literally be exposed in the way she was.”

WHEN YOU WERE OTHER

As I mentioned earlier, I had a pretty solid recognition of my Otherness when I was in grade school, and anytime I looked in the mirror (what? I’m Filipino and Puerto Rican for The Goddess’ sake, and my parents and big brother are Swiss-German, it was all kinds of obvs). But between The Great Yearbook Photo mix-up of Junior High and The High School Other Homecoming Queen nominations, I would say that I opened up to my Otherness quotient in the middle-to-late nineties.

Just this week, I was catapulted back to the Grunge Years as I found myself reading a new fan fic called The Ride by the sublime Aylah50 (whose own birthday is tomorrow Oct 29th~HAPPY BIRTHDAY, my fellow Scorpio Grunge Baby!). The story chronicles two people’s trajectory after a very romantic, sensual encounter at a concert by one of my favorite bands LIVE in 1996. Let’s just say that in my nostalgic haze, I could very remember the traces of purple Manic Panic swirling around the drain in my sink as I would dye my  hair and my friends’ hair (if we weren’t using KOOLAID, remember that shit?), hear Trent Reznor’s voice sing of how he gets Closer …to God, see my Doc Martens peeking out from under my floral dresses or completely inappropriate lingerie; I can remember perving on the beautiful tattooed guy behind the  counter of the coffee shop I would frequent….ahhhh. Well that 90’s Flashback and today’s playlist was brought to you courtesy of BIRTHDAY GIFTS TO ME, INC.

Just relax, yo, I was grunge. Not self-mutilating emo.

Ok. So I’m gonna leave this essay as is, right here. We talked a bit about the possible origins of Halloween, birfdays, declaring October 31 an Other Day. We of course discussed the brilliant and rebellious genius of Kristen Stewart and I promised we’d pick up next time and talk about a new Featured Royal Rebel, but we conceded that Other really is permeating our collective unconscious, right? I asked you all to remember where you were when you realized YOU. ARE. OTHER. and I moseyed down Memory Lane and found myself thinking about Nine Inch Nails, LIVE, and unrequited Coffee Shop crushes.

I’ll see you next week at some point, after Halloween, but before the LA SHIT SHOW, a.k.a. Good Times and Birfday Celebrations with The KSIBTU Crew. I’ll want to talk with you all about seeing Welcome to the Rileys as it will have had it’s wide release tomorrow. I’d like to talk about risk-taking, and bliss pursuing, and the ecstasy of love but the absolute agony of loving in the eye of the storm, Cosmology and Spirituality, Body Image and more and more… Until then, enjoy the music, go and read Aylah50’s The Ride, and think a little about when you chose to be Dracula instead of Barbie for Halloween. Have a wonderful Day of Other/ HALLOWEEN/ SAMHAIN/WHATEVER IT IS YOU DEEM IT, but continue to seek and celebrate your Otherness beyond the 31st. I’ll see you soon so we can check in on how that’s going for ya… Take Care, xo, KJ

HALLOWEEN IS OTHER.

KRISTEN IS OTHER.

OTHERS  HAVE A WILLINGNESS TO BE EXPOSED.

EMBRACE YOUR OTHER.

QUESTION: WHEN DID YOU REALIZE YOU WERE OTHER?

Miracle Bubbles: The Beauty in Just Being

16 Jun
Can We Just Be?
Your ears may still be ringing. Maybe you caught a little glimpse on TV. It’s that time again, friends. The Twilight media blitz is barreling through again and it started this weekend. Beginning on Saturday, Kristen, Robert and Taylor were out in full force, promoting Eclipse for the Los Angeles-based press conference and Twilight Convention, or TwiCon. You may still hear whispered sighs, post-TwiCon climax, if you are remotely close to the state of California. Our Reigning Other Queen Kristen appeared confident, stunningly beautiful, of course, and very notably, at ease and very assured in speaking about her alter-ego Bella Swan and Bella Swan’s growing confidence. A girl coming into her own? A beautiful sight to behold.

I know, right?

of course, because KStew Provokes The Ponder, I began to conjure this week’s post as soon as she stepped up to the microphones at the morning press conference. Truth is, Kristen, Rob, Taylor, separately and in different configurations of the three provided so many UNF moments, squee worthy moments, and kernels of goodness, I was confuzzled as to where I should focus my attentions first, or ultimately. I considered talking about the ecstasy of finding a kindred spirit, as evident with The Bubble:

we know someone’s talking, but all we hear is bwah wah wah wuh uh

Then I thought I’d shake my head at how the crafty media used the shifting themes of Eclipse to ask Rob and Kristen about their views on marriage and children…with each other. Was reeeeally tempted with that one, not gonna lie. I could have mentioned, and in fact I WILL mention how beautiful and poised Kristen appeared throughout the grueling 2-day junket/conference. But for seriously: that went without saying. And now because I can, I’ll post these pictures:


But it wasn’t until I watched a portion of her press conference that I decided on what I would write. Kristen was asked which traits she admired about in Bella. Kristen’s answer implied how she related to Bella:

“She completely picks on herself too much. It’s aggravating…She can’t just be a girl. She cant’ just be. Just be. I can completely relate to that”
I was suddenly overwhelmed with the enormity of Kristen’s situation when I reconciled how exposed she is to the elements. Not only does she have ravenous photographers, Twatterazzi and movie critics ready to weigh in on her inferior breathing techniques, but she has her own internal critic harping away too. This is why KStew rocks my socks off. She very clearly represents Other. She does the unexpected. She presents as a genuine, laid back chica. She keeps her freakin cool even knowing that every word that slips from her mouth will be analyzed, dissected and then republished at least twenty-five-HUNDRED times in varying, ok, miniscule degrees of accuracy. Let’s talk critically about critics, shall we???

The Other Queen is Unemployed
It’s true. While I may consider myself royalty, it is not due to any monetary mark or abilities to travel across the lands on a Queen’s tour. This may be the longest time period I’ve ever gone without work, since I was seventeen years old. Six months ago, I was living in a rural community, the antithesis of my metropolitan upbringing, working as a manager of a small counseling team. This counseling team would drive massive distances to bring mental health counseling, support, empowerment and coping skills to families who couldn’t come to our offices, entailing up to 50 mile drives for myself or my counseling team. I would often meet with homeless clients in parking lots of shelters, at parks in the middle of orange groves to sit down and talk life. The benefits of this job included working with some of the kindest, smartest and most compassionate beings in this world; collaborating alongside one of my dearest and oldest friends who is an obscenely gifted psychologist; earning enough money so that my fairly new husband and I (we were finishing our first year of marriage) could live in a modest house with a dishwasher. No seriously, the prize was the damn dishwasher for my city-apartment-dwelling ass. Well, the dishwasher and the fact that my heart was full.

 

because I had a garbage disposal
AND
a dishwasher once upon a time

The drawbacks included working for corrupt, burnt-out and unethical company leaders; 24/7 on-call status for crisis pages; and next-door inhabitants who most definitely were not voters in my favor on The Other Homecoming Queen ballot. My “neighbors” most definitely saw my tanned skin, almond shaped eyes, nose piercings, Kerouac-totin’ Otherness as alien, odd, threatening. Don’t even get me started on how they regarded my Southeast Asian, worldly, brilliant and Koran-reading husband. *deep breath* Anyhoo, because mental health is not a priority to our society, I found myself one of the first casualties of the budget cuts, and all the hours I’d wished to sleep in, all the arguments with greedy suits I’d wish to end, did. Abruptly. I became jobless within a four minute phone call (yes, they did it by phone while I was away in SoCal caring for my mother post-surgery), and I was spinning.

Here’s the dealio. All my schooling, thesis writing-then-defending and skills earned during grueling shit-for-stipend internships were rendered unusable at this time. What did I do upon hearing I needed to get back to the office and pack my shit up? I cried about 3 tears. I went to 7-11 Convenience Store with a high school bestie, and bought a 32 oz Slushie, a pack of Marlboro lights, and bottle of Miracle Bubbles. (That’s the name of the brand, btw, not that they can make you regain sight when you’re blind…at least, I hadn’t seen any reports saying so)…. I sat in the passenger seat of my friend’s SUV, with the window down, driving along Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), with my arm out the window…. You may have seen me. My black curly hair whipped around wildly, and in my wake…bubbles….

I smoked two cigarettes, which was plenty for me, as I had stopped smoking a year earlier, sipped my Wild Cherry Slushie and danced around in the bubbles I blew for thirty minutes of unhindered joy. This is why: I hated the neighborhood I had brought my sensitive and kind husband to live in. I loathed the Tossers who were balancing numbers in their offices, telling me that they could not fund art supplies for my clients who had no crayons or construction paper (or running water sometimes), all while said Tossers left their air-conditioned offices via their luxury sedans at 5PM sharp. And, most startlingly: I desperately missed the joyous interaction of creative living. See, in my spare time (endangered species, I know) I dabble in music, and I guess I’m a kinda writer. I’m a seeker of Creative Bliss. But the past five years, and certainly since assuming the manager position of that soul-sucking company in the middle of BastardNation, I cased my guitar, sold my keyboard, and shelved my writing notebooks. In all honesty, I had taken the managerial position with the counseling agency because I was trying to be “responsible”. I was trying to appease The Critics. The Should-ers. Our Reigning Queen Kristen would refer to these soul-destroying, Other-Hunters as The Bullshit People.

How many of you feel your inner critics
clawing out of your skulls
trying to straighten this frame?

My life as Kj, the Therapist and Program Manager was in direct relation to my avoidance and acquiescence that The Critic was correct. The Critic told me that it was ridiculous for me to consider taking a break from practicing therapy in order to write travel essays. That it was ludicrous to believe the musical tracks I’d recorded with brilliant musicians, that had been accepted onto a small movie soundtrack might be the key to my heart’s happy dance. The Critic even cautioned me in applying to Doctors Without Borders to volunteer counseling to my husband’s ancestors, who were suffering in extreme poverty in southeast Asia. So while BastardNation may have initially pushed me into the depths of despair, I quickly rallied back and flipped the Double-Bird, KStew-Style to my Critic. Because guess what? The Critic can be wrooooooong.
I don’t think I’ll ever tire of this picture.

The internal dialogue went something like this:

Kj: Holy Shit! I’m out of a job! Fuck. I’m scared. No. Fuck, I’m FREE! I don’t have to return to a job where I was dying.

Critic: You dumbass. Whatcha gonna do now? Gypsy around again with a duffel bag in your car? You can’t push your damn piano everywhere, and it’s been years since you’ve even tuned your guitar.

Kj: Well, why the hell would I go back to something that was depleting my soul?

Critic: You moved your husband to BastardNation, only to get your ass laid off. You have no money.

Kj: Well, I’d happily work for OhDreamOn and Cascadega in fighting the good fight on critical-Kristen internet discussion boards. I’d bring coffee and hold their hair back as they dive in swinging.

Critic: Hmm. I agree, it’d be a fuckawesome job. ODO and Cas are in the trenches, snark and brilliance ablaze. Maybe you could make them your other-worldly grilled cheese sandwiches. That might tempt them.

Kj: *small voice* Until then, I have a penchant for writing. And singing. And I’m kinda fierce at playing piano.

Critic: Mom is going to kick you in the bunghole. You didn’t go to a private grad school and study years for licensure to be a open-mic-night pan handler.

Kj: But I feel such bliss when I think about writing, singing, creating.

Critic: (long pause). You did always say that Psychology was Plan B. You’ve given ten years to Plan B. You’ve never committed to anything that long. Props, K. Plan A has been neglected long enough.

Kj: Thanks for saying so, Inner C. Let’s ignore the fact that I recount full transcripts of my convos with The Voices. Have some chocolate.

Critic: Let’s kum-ba-yah this bitch right now.

Critics’ Corner
Who is The Critic for you? The Critic as I’ve encountered, whispers at me to remain cautious and weary of any sudden movement or change. The Critic is different than it’s cousin, the Conscious. Freudians may call it The Superego but the less on Freud the better, in my opinion, mmmkay? So while the Conscious serves to protect us and initiate self-preservation in potentially life-endangering situations, The Critic can be an aggressive little bitch. The Critic seeks perfection from me, highlights my flaws and lapses in wisdom, shoots down ideas seemingly too fanciful. The Critic can take on certain tones of voices such as motherly disapproval (Oh, Kj! How do I explain this to your grandmother??), to cruel playground taunting (na na na na na na, you’re STOOPID!) and spiteful, jealous female coworkers (You, Slutty McWhores-A-lot, will never look good in that dress. YES, it’s obvious you’ve gained weight).

Obviously, the filter through which the Witch-Hunters oops, I mean, Other-Hunters/Should-ers/Bullshit People view us are numerous, and stem from a variety of contributing factors. From a feminist-based point of view: Demonizing of Other can occur when a woman does not choose to be a mother or a wife at a given point in time; or, when a woman wears clothing that draws attention to her body. Basically, Others could be hunted down and shamed simply for not fulfilling roles that society has designated as such. Also, unwanted speculation/evaluation can arise when you’re a member of a particular village or tribe. In Asian cultures, it is frowned upon when an individual becomes more noticeable than his family as a whole.

The Royal Misfits featured in today’s post are Rebel Queens, both gloriously stunning, and both navigating their own internal critic, but also the reality of true critics and commentators spewing narratives about any twitches, blinking, snags, eye rolls they may or may not display. Additionally, there are plenty of reviewers who receive money and fame themselves for giving their opinion on how well these Other Queens execute their chosen professions.

Featured Rebel Royal: Kate Winslet

The exquisite Kate Winslet is already a bit of a legendary Other Queen, introduced to the public’s awareness when she was 16 years old in Heavenly Creatures portraying a young school girl with lesbian leanings and murderous plans. Sweet. Sounds like my kinda girl. She further embedded in cultural consciousness with her first Oscar-nominated turn in the lovely Austen classic (and one of my personal favorite movies) Sense and Sensibility. Of course, she became our original Fierce One, Ambitious Romantic when she starred in the Essential, penultimate romance Titanic opposite equally stunning Leonardo DiCaprio. I could detail her phenomenally impressive professional successes (HELLO, SHE OWNED ME IN ETERNAL SUNSHINE), and we’d be here for days, but I wanted to highlight some reasons why Ms. Winslet is Rebel Royalty. She is known to be unfiltered, blunt, outspoken and passionate, especially in the area of self-image and body awareness. She is gloriously curvaceous and she proudly wears the badge of Ambassador of Voluptuousness. She also drops the F-bomb copiously (adding to her allure in my eyes), but she pulls it off because she has the lilting, seductive British accent, which basically means, everything she says is Aural Porn.

Fuck. I’m such a fucking catch

Kate on her Critics:

“You know why I fear people’s judgement?” Because I know they’re judging. I KNOW they are”

“I’ll drop my kids off at school. And I can FEEL the other moms just checking me out. ‘Oh my GOD. There is no secret [to getting perfect skin]. I have makeup on'”

“You really have to not give a fuck about what people think of you.You have to be prepared to look stupid”

Beauty Marks/Rave Reviews: 1. “Electrical, bruising vulnerability” (Rolling Stone) 2. “Lights up every single scene she is in.” (Washington Post) 3.“She possesses a pure gift” (Sam Mendes, Director/ex-husband) 4. “She is the best actress of her generation” (Leonardo DiCaprio, Co-star, Bestie) 5. “She is one of the finest actresses working today” (New York Times)

My chaise lounge is better than any seating you have, I’m pretty sure.

Other Offenses/Critical Conditions: Per AssClowns, Cultural/Fashion Commentators, Critics KATE: 1. Is chubby 2. Lies about her exercise regime 3. Trivialized the Holocaust by displaying nudity in the film The Reader 4. Purposefully omitted thanking the producer H Weinstein in her Oscar acceptance speech. 5. Called GQ Magazine out for airbrushing photos of her, falsely presenting that Winslet was 30 lbs thinner than she actually is.

Because she refuses to let Hollywood dictate how her body should look; because she knows her Critics can be wrooooong; and because she is brazenly outspoken about encouraging women to accept their own idea of physical beauty, Kate Winslet is Rebel Royalty.

Reigning Rebel Royalty: Kristen Stewart

When we separate what we think we know about KStew’s professional persona away from what we think we know about her personal persona, the contrast is startling. Most of Kristen’s criticism seems to hone in on her wrongly assumed disinterest for the adjunct (tedious) activities of her job: press conferences and junkets, posing, red carpet jaunts. In her every day life, she is twenty years old, with over twenty movies completed already. She has a close-knit bond with her family, a love of animals, and a ridonk taste in music ( SHE PUT TOGETHER THE ECLIPSE SOUNDTRACK, I’m almost 100% sure). She has a small circle of loyal friends, and a bevy of admiring current and past costars.

Oh jeebus, Kristen. My contemplative silences are a hot mess.
Yours are not.

Kristen on her Critics:

“I’m not miserable. I’m literally, sometimes trying to keep myself from crying. I’m reacting physically to the energy thrown at me”
“They think I’m nervous, uncomfortable, awkward–and I am–but those are bad words for them”
“I’m telling you, I don’t know anybody who does this that gives a shit more than I do. ..nobody cares more than I do”

Beauty Marks/Rave Reviews: 1. “Stewart gives a nuanced, complex performance in Welcome to the Rileys” (Elle Magazine) 2. “Stewart is engaging, charismatic, smart, pretty” (Flaunt) 3. “Kristen is the best actor of her generation” (Robert Pattinson, co-star and twin soul) 4.Stewart exudes a quiet sexiness and an understated vulnerability such that you can’t help but fall in love with her” (re:Adventureland, Film.com) 5.Who knew she had these notes? I’m discovering an important actress.” (Roger Ebert, legendary movie critic)

Its very difficult for someone
to truly look in the mirror,
for fear of what they see.
Kristen puts on a sparkling dress
and faces mirrors. Hourly.

Other Offenses/Critical Conditions: Per AssClowns, Cultural/Fashion Commentators, Bullshit People, KRISTEN: 1.Is Awkward and gawky and weird. 2. Is trying too hard be overly serious. 3. Pretends to be smart when she is not. 4. Swears like a trucker 5. Is trying too hard to be rebellious and badass.
 

this picture makes me ache

Kristen has a wicked collection of Louboutins. I fail to see the demonized Other here. I simply see Queen. And because this just came in as I was finishing up these musings….Happy RomeStew. Critics can be so wrong.

Other Offenses? Freckles. 

 

Miracle Bubbles

 

Because I had a kumbaya with my inner critic upon finding myself jobless in BastardNation, though dancing amidst Miracle Bubbles…. I’ve kept myself in the running for Other Queen court.

Because Kate Winslet demanded an apology from GQ for falsely representing her true bodyshape, she is Rebel Royalty.
Because Kristen Stewart endured two full, consecutive days of press junkets, The BullShit People, and a Twilight Convention, all while in super high heels? Reigning Other Queen. Lifetime.

Unemployed Kj is Other.

Kate is Other.

Kristen is SO Other.

Others dance and live among Miracle Bubbles, with their Twin Souls

Embrace Your Other.


Question: Who is YOUR worst critic and how do YOU Kumbaya?

A/N: As always: Bouffant00, my sister, my beta, pre-reader, you are the wind beneath my wings. To the beautiful Buff_82, if I could be one tenth as beautiful and bad ass as you are, I could die a happy girl. Thank you for putting up with my incessant chatter and wonky. @KStewsbtrthanu My lovely girl. My Pied Fucking Piper. You play your tune, I follow, entranced. You have never led me astray. Thank you for musing with me late nights, and for subjecting yourself to airport security just to give me a hug and a quick rundown of the encounter with JawPorn. Flove you. I would have gladly missed my flight to squee with you a bit more. To my Cyber Sisters and Readers: You girls are a constant source of amazement. You humble me every day. Special ShoutOuts to: Marble Pole, I hold you closer; Goldeneye for encouraging me; IndiaMom and Bells for being strong, fierce Other Queens during these dark times. And to Kate who chatted with me about Moms and such. You must have brought The Muse with you.

Other Queens: Molly Ringwald, Stewie, and Me

3 Jun

Beauty is found in unexpected places

So, welcome to my little space. My hope is to find folks with whom I can dissect, discuss and then reconstruct a new, permeable, better-fitting definition of beauty. My secret goal? To help lessen the hatred, and destruction of “Others”. I never understood how people could be so cruel and vile in their attack on people that they most likely do not even know personally. More on that later, I suppose. There may be a lot of cursing, hopefully laughter, most likely alcohol consumption and a little fangirling (yes, it’s a verb, ask my friend CC) over some worthy carriers and ambassadors of OTHER-NESS, including famous folks in our cultural consciousness. Oh, also, because she is a catalyst in the creation of this blog with her now-legendary embodiment of Other-ness and identifiable BEAUTY, please understand, I WILL mention, refer to and bow down to actress KRISTEN STEWART often, probably definitely in every single post. So here’s what you look like, contemplating it for one nano-second…and then accepting it as fact.

Acceptance doesn’t taste so bitter…it’s actually quite lovely. Is there a bathroom nearby though?

Hi, I’m Kristen
Accept it.

Let’s get down to it, shall we?

In Webster’s Online Dictionary, the term beautiful is defined as:

exciting sensuous or aesthetic pleasure. beautiful applies to whatever excites the keenest of pleasure to the senses and stirs emotion through the senses

Ok I want to take into account that what excites YOU may not be the same thing that excites ME. What brings YOU the keenest of pleasure? Believe me, we will delve into the pervy facets of definitions as well. Just may not be in this posting. We’re still in first-date introduction round, remember?
The point is: I havelearned over my fairly brief time in this world (less than a century, more than a couple decades), that the term “beauty” is subjective. There are synonyms for the word beautiful that may help us expand on its meaning. Words like: lovely, handsome, fair, flawless . . .OK.
I’d like to share a little story about how I first consciously understood the concept of “Beauty”. And then in the same instant learned what “OTHER” meant…along with terms such as “subjectiveness”, “exotic”, “unconventional” and “odd”.

Introducing The Other Queen

When I was fourteen years old and a high school freshman, my school decided to change the name of the game and politicize the homecoming queen elections. Instead of the traditional queen and her homecoming court, each grade level (grades 9 through 12) would have 5 different females become “ambassadors” for their ethnicities. You follow?
This new system arranged for FIVE Homecoming Queens on the Senior Court. Then FIVE Princess SETS for each grade level. So, essentially there were TWENTY primped, crimped, mascaraed, fragile, competitive females on a stage wearing labels of ROYALTY (and let’s face it, in high school hierarchy you ARE royalty if you’re on the homecoming court) during the Homecoming Football Game and Parade. The ethnic categories represented on the Homecoming Court were: 1.) Caucasian 2.) Latino 3.) Asian 4.) African American 5.) OTHER.


Go back and read Category #5. Ummmm. Upon closer inspection, the actual title of the category on the voting ballot looked something like this:

Pacific Islander, Native American, mixed-races, and OTHER, etc.

The homecoming committee couldn’t fit all that text on the ballot though. Consequently, OTHER was born. Right, so here’s the good stuff. Seriously. Wait for it. I WAS NOMINATED. And not just as a Freshman Princess. No, I was nominated EVERY SINGLE YEAR I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL, all the way up the line to the Queen’s Senior Court. Hold up…. still sitting? Take a wild guess which category I was nominated for? *nodding head*. OH. YEEEEEAH. I am of mixed race myself, Latino blood along with Southeast Asian. Not only was I OTHER, but I was an OTHER Subset. I was such a subset, I had a mixed subset category, all to myself: OTHER, Etc. Category. Now, the OTHER box is not new to my Filipino peeps (hands up, w00t!). We’ve been checking the OTHER ethnicity box since the 1970 Census. But to have our own OTHER HOMECOMING QUEEN Category?! That’s Rockstar Status.

Let’s just say, I do not look remotely close to THIS:
Homecoming Queen, Circa 1957.

So I’ve always been a little …”exotic” due to my facial features, I get that. And when the 567,876th person off the street approached me and blurted, “What ARE you???” as I’m grocery shopping, it dawned on me. I. AM. OTHER. However, it wasn’t until I was a young adult in my late teens, early twenties, when I fully deconstructed what being “Other” meant. Back to my trusty Online Dictionary:

Other:
1 a: one that remains of two or more b: a thing opposite to or excluded by something else
2: a different or additional one
3 a: one (as another person) that is psychologically differentiated from the self b: often capitalized: one considered by members of a dominant group as alien, exotic, threatening, or inferior (as because of different racial, sexual, or cultural characteristics)


Ahhhh. The alien. The inferior. The wrongness about being “Other”. There it is.

See, I’m a psychotherapist by trade. Trufax. I actually have attended, graduated, and interned for the field of psychology. I have taken board exams to obtain a license to practice healing via mental health counseling. I am qualifying my experience for you so that you’ll find me having a teensy bit of credibility in what I’m going to say next. I’ve been a therapist for nine years, and I have extensive experience with adolescent girls.

The overwhelmingly common factor that adolescent girls, young women, and the majority of women struggled with, was their concept of “beauty”, and the incredible pressures they/we face to be beautiful …and accepted. Our society has a very toxic construct embedded in a collective unconscious, that is only supported by media and our cultural mores. More about the mechanics of society and psychology on another day, Friends. But if your interest is piqued, then I recommend you check out the book Reviving Ophelia by Mary Pipher, Ph.D. We’ll do a read along together perhaps. It’s good stuff. It surveys the very dangers of being female growing up in today’s society.

This could be what I look like.
I don’t. But “Hot Therapist Avatars” are hard to come by.

FOCUS. Sorry. Didn’t mean to go all therapisty on your arses, guys. Let me wrap up my story. Then we can talk about Molly Ringwald and Kristen Stewart, mmmkay?

So, there I was, all OTHER-nominated and shit, and absolutely mortified. Humiliated. I was a fourteen year old girl. Well, and I was flattered, too, as my peers nominated me, though I later learned they had no idea what category to nominate me for. Hence my destiny of Other Queen-ness. Could I handle being an Ambassador for teenage girls? For Others? Couldn’t I just go back to my peaceful existence as APART OF groups instead of DIFFERENT THAN? At fourteen, my greatest hope was acceptance by my peers. Did I really want to highlight all of my oddities…while in a prom dress at a football game?

In what he believed was persuasive reasoning, my big brother, Chew (a nickname from our childhood), a usual suspect of torture during my adolescent years, decided it was actually COOL to have a sister in the race for the homecoming court. He began creating campaign slogans and spoke of silkscreening T-shirts for my candidacy.
Here’s what the shirt said:

KJ IS OTHER

Appalled. I was absolutely appalled at first when I laid eyes on this slogan. While I did not comprehend, at fourteen, the glorious gift that my brother bestowed, I understand it today. I understand now that a mixed-raced, curly-haired, vertically challenged girl deserved to be a Queen just as much as the next person. FYI: I withdrew my nomination my freshman year for the Princess Set, as well as senior year Queen, having no interest in being an Ambassador for Other Segregation. Now I realize the honor and power of Other, and I believe The Other Queen can begin reign today.

To celebrate the power The Other Queen truly has, my hope is to feature a new Ambassador of Other for you to bestow praise upon with every new post . This ever-evolving feature will be an Other Queen Honorable Mention or Rebel Royal of Yore, and the second Ambassador will feature the Reigning Rebel Royal or Other Queen. You’ve seen the names in the title of this Commencement Post, so let us meet the first-ever Ambassadors.

Rebel Royal of Yore

Molly Ringwald: Other Queen, 1985


So I ran into Molly Ringwald a couple weeks ago at Borders Books. No, ok, I didn’t actually run into her, but she walked past me and offered a little smile while I researched cultural definitions of beauty (translation: reading Fan Fiction). She smiled, I smiled, and I bit my lip to prevent myself from blurting, “You gave that kid your underpants!” I’m of course referring to her character Samantha Baker giving her underwear to The Geek/Farmer Ted (Anthony Michael Hall) to help him with his reputation, in the brilliant John Hughs movie Sixteen Candles. And then, I got a flash of the final scene of that movie, where Samantha Baker is kissing THE. GUY. This atypical beauty GETS. JAKE. FUCKING. RYAN. Think of Jake Ryan as predecessor to Edward Cullen. Except Jake Ryan wore Dockers and hiking boots.
Molly Ringwald became an icon for the 80’s generation, but more importantly, the poster-girl for awkward, fumbling, insecure young women who felt anything but society’s idea ofpretty”. In addition to Sixteen Candles, Molly went on to portray other iconic characters in The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink.

Beauty Marks (per societal and fashion magazines, websites, colleagues): 1. Distinguishable red hair 2. multi-talented actress, singer, dancer 3. down-to-earth disposition 4. served as Muse to the late-great John Hughes in the 1980’s 5. Clever career choices lending to a long career 6. bright, wide smile

Molly Ringwald, circa 1985. The Unexpected Beauty.

Offensive Other-ness(per Ass Clowns, paparazzi, print articles, tabloids):
1. Distinguishable red hair 2. Freckles 3. Lived abroad for years 4. Poor career choices, as she reportedly turned down the lead role in Pretty Woman 5. Shy and withdrawn with the media

Admit it. You checked out the sturdiness of your own
dining room table to see if you could pull this off.

So I ran into Molly at Borders Books, as I was saying. And she was there, no joke, promoting her book very aptly entitled: Getting the Pretty Back. In her book, Molly shares anecdotes from her famous teenage years with the intent of gentle guidance in finding comfort in one’s own skin. The now 42-year-old mother discusses her discomfort and shyness with the media, and her hope of dispelling the world’s view that she is only 18 years old. Of COURSE she’s an Other. She’s Other Royalty.

Reigning Rebel Royalty
Kristen Stewart: Other Queen, Today

Remember how I advised you to contemplate and then accept Kristen Stewart’s presence in this blog? Deep Breaths, Pretties…..because heeeere. We. Go. Let me introduce you: Kristen Stewart, Other Queen, circa NOW.
Unless you’ve lived under a rock for the past three years, you will recognize Kristen as the actress who portrays Bella Swan in the obscenely successful Twilight saga movies, based on the obscenely successful books of the same name, written by Stephenie Meyer. While Kristen maybe best known for her work in Twilight, she has steadily emerged in the film world as a force to be reckoned with. She began acting at age nine, and has worked consistently in independent and mainstream films for the past eleven years. She is ridonkulously famous, but she does not want it. She is reportedly very sweet and shy in nature, and adamantly protective of her personal life. She is the consummate professional, per her legendary colleagues, and she knows how to play The Game, but she REFUSES to. Her fierce insistence for privacy, and her brazen refusal to conform to Hollywood “standards” are reasons why she is the Reigning Other Queen. I’m going to be honest: I will happily keep her as current Reigning Royalty for as long as she is in the business. She is THAT fierce. And my adoration for her is equally fierce. So there you go. Get comfortable, sweeties, Stewie is here to stay.

Beauty Marks(per societal and fashion magazines, websites, colleagues)
1. Porcelain skin 2. Speaks her mind and opinion 3. luminous green eyes 4. Legs, legs, legs -Fashion sites refer to her as Legs McGee 5. Sweet disposition 6. Recipient of BAFTA’s Rising Star Award 7. Multi-talented actress, guitar player, singer and writer
I am COMMUNICATING, Mofos!

Offensive Other-ness (per Ass Clowns, paparazzi, print articles, tabs):

1. Poor posture 2. Does not smile constantly 3. Does not use correct intonation in her voice 4. Does not appear to respect or like her co-star/speculated partner 5. Speaks her mind 6. Dislikes sharing her private life 7. Clears her throat before addressing millions of viewers of The Oscars

I can make LEANING against walls beautiful

Kristen is going to get plenty of love from me in the next blogs, for as long as you all will tolerate my silly little rambling. Do not gasp at the brief discussion re: The Stew. I have nothing but mad love for her, the Reigning Other Queen. I just wanted to do a little intro for the sake of exploring this blog. If you want to swim deeper in the awesomesauce that is Kristen Jaymes Stewart, I recommend you check my girl CC’s blog KSTEW IS BETTER THAN YOU http://www.kstewisbetterthanu.blogspot.com/ or KSTEWARTFAN (my KStew pics are from their site) http://www.kstewartfan.org/ to read up on this extraordinary Other Queen.

Define and Celebrate The Other

I’m wrapping up now. In doing so, I invite you all to explore the various ways to identify, then celebrate your strengths that define your “beauty”. All the characteristics I was embarrassed about that set me apart from others: my darkly pigmented skin, my incessant chattering, my curly hair and almond-shaped eyes, my fascination with knee-socks and salt. These are not flaws or oddities. These are small reminders that I am unique and independent. I embraced my Otherness and I almost was elected Homecoming Queen. PLUS, I almost got a t-shirt saying as much (I’m mostly hard for the T-Shirt, to be honest). I have a girlfriend who could make that shirt right now. She’s fucking Martha MacGyver. Seriously considering it.

Samantha Baker (portrayed by the luminous Other Queen Molly Ringwald) embraced her inner Other-ness and she got the guy. Jake Ryan kissed her over a birthday cake on a glass table!!!?! Seriously. That should be enough to convince you that embracing The Other is Goooood. Also, Molly defined a decade of film and landed on the cover of TIME when she was 18 years old. Not too shabby.

Kristen Stewart embraced her inner Other-ness and she is now on the cover of three magazines just in this month alone. AND she got the guy (Oh, the ‘decliciously handsome’ guy on her arm, citing UK Elle). She is a widely respected actress in both the Indie circles as well as in mainstream HW. Her very famous co-stars and colleagues (Including Jodie Foster, Sean Penn, Melissa Leo) describe Kristen’s talent using words such as “brilliant”, “genius” and “precocious”.

So until next time, friends, let’s find more synonyms for “Other” that do not imply wrongness, alienation, or inferiority. And maybe the need some feel to tear down Others will eventually dissipate completely.

Kristen is Other.

Molly is Other.

Others could be the Homecoming Queen.

Embrace your Other.


A/N: Mad love is sent to my girls on Team Other: Bouffant, Goldeneye, Marble Pole and my Aussie Besties Ophelia and Justice. Also I need to give credit to my cyber Sisters and Readers, NOTHING I’ve done with this subject matter could have been possible without your support and encouragement. You gals take my breath away with your brilliance. Inappropriate kisses to my newest-encountered kindred CC and her Sexy Posse (including BellasMommy (Baby), Buff (creator of my gorgeous banner) and Iris (my future foul-mouthed partner in crime). To my husband N, who doesn’t laugh at my ideas, at least not to my face. To my big brother, Chew, for being my first T-Shirt maker and fan. This post is dedicated to my sister, The Puss, and her daughter, my niece: Monkey.


Banner work by: @Buff_82 Sunset Swing Picture in Banner courtesy of Rebecca Parker of Photobucket
Contemplation Picture courtesy of : SoulSurferMusic of Photobucket Stop Sign Picture courtesy of: CliffDiver365 of Photobucket  Handprint Picture courtesy of: Wildbean440 Homecoming Queen Picture 1957: Armstrong Family, Flickr
Molly Ringwald/Sixteen Candles: Google Images  Kristen Stewart Photos courtesy of Kstewartfan.org

wordpress visitors