arvan's picture


I found this beautiful reflection as I was pouring a bowl of cereal.  It's a great way to start this day. 

Moments from Everynone on Vimeo.

The image that struck me sharpest was the footprint on the sand, washed away.  Isn't that what we all are?  In our vanity and bluster we try to ignore that or pretend that it is not so, but is it not the very essence of life?  Is the temporary impact of what we are and who we are - not in fact, the very engine that makes this life of each of us the special thing that it is?

What strikes you about this film?

(h/t @nnepton)

arvan's picture

Meeting my Dad as his Daughter (trans woman) - Personal Vlog by ladyVixion

ladyVixion is one of the most touching, open and honest people I've come across.  In this personal vlog entry, she describes her experience in meeting her father for the first time in person, since she came out as trans to him. 

With all the crap going on in this world, the beauty of human relatedness and the example of how we can profoundly impact each other - is cause for hope, strength and courage.


arvan's picture

Indian Transgenders get their own beauty parlour


FARIDABAD: Like most beauty parlours in Delhi and NCR, Simmy is preparing for the big rush during the Karvachauth festival on October 7. The beautician's diary is already brimming with appointments for the special day. But unlike other parlours, Simmi's clients are all men.

Welcome to Queer Beauty Parlour, probably the first beauty treatment centre run exclusively for transgenders in and around capital. And by the looks of it, this unique centre which gives gays not only beauty solutions but also their own free space, is a runaway hit with the community.

When NGO, Pahal Foundation, which works with gay men under a community initiative to spread awareness about HIV/AIDS in Faridabad, started the parlour in April this year, it expected just a few clients from within Faridabad. But within six months, Simmy -- a transgender himself -- and his support staff have their hands full.

"Transgenders who wanted a feminine appearance found it almost impossible to get any beauty treatment anywhere. The parlours for women just did not take them and those meant for men would make them a subject of ridicule. Hence the concept of a beauty parlour for transgenders found favour and the initiative started as a self help group effort in April," says Yadavendra Singh, who heads the Pahal centre in Faridabad.

LaPrincipessa's picture

Heroin Sheik

An excellent article today in the health section of Why skinny models could be making us fat.

In it, the authors Jessica Bennett, Sarah Childress and Susanna Schrobsdorff, suggest the images portrayed on the front of magazines inspire unhealthy lifestyles that encourage weight gain rather than weight loss.

the contrast between the girls on the catwalks and the girls at the mall is creating an atmosphere ripe for binge dieting and the kind of unhealthy eating habits that ultimately result in weight gain, not loss.

The article points out that 2/3 of American adults are overweight while only 1% of our population is Anorexic. When the "mall girls" see stick thin runway models, whose images are heavily photo shopped in print, they could be encouraged to crash diet and then binge, which is actually the fast way to gain weight.

And on that note, models are increasingly encouraged to be thinner. The last year or two we have seen several tragic stories of runway models, often barely 18 year old women, die of starvation. This has led to public campaigns to require minimum weight guidelines, weigh-ins at fashion shows, and size alterations to accommodate "heavier" (aka, normal) models. But with the rise of technology, even the skinniest, tallest, leggiest models aren't "perfect" enough. With the fast progression of photo re-touching technology, even the heavily made up models are re-touched, have body parts replaced and have "fat" skimmed off their abs.

exposing body image issues's picture

Female body image; the search for REAL visuals

by Colette Coughlin

This is one of my less-flattering self-portraits; not only could I not stand the sight of myself that day, I was also in a nasty mood. I took pictures anyways and later turned this one into a drawing.  By the time I'd finishing sketching my scowl, I'd forgotten the disgust I felt about the picture. Everybody has rotten days, feels ugly, wishes things were different sometimes. So what? This too, passes... yet the visual models (as in examples) most of us feel we need to live up to are rarely less than super-models. Super made-up, super-fixed-up, super dressed-up people with ideal figures who we see on every magazine cover, poster, publicity, movie, and TV show we come across. It's become so pervasive that we've forgotten it's not real life!

I share my scowling self with you hoping it might make you feel better about how you look... but how often do we really see people, regular people, at their less-than-best, particularly when it comes to nudity?

exposing body image issues's picture

CRIPPLED BY IMAGE CONCERNS; Mind-based body battles

By Colette Coughlin


Author’s note: I have been working on body image using myself as a model for quite a few years now. Although I have come to a place of relative peace with my body over the last year, I recently came across this frustrated entry in a diary I had written shortly before things starting getting better for me. Although there were some outside influences that helped, the transformation was mostly from the inside, and it took some uncomfortable soul-searching to unravel the knots I describe below… can you identify with this?


Style / image / branding / performance /make-overs /age-defying / enhancing….


“How do I look?”


My boyfriend knows the only possible answer to this question is something along the lines of “fabulous” or “perfect” or “stunning”. “Beautiful” will do, too, but nothing less than that, ever!! And he knows that if I disagree, no matter what he says he can’t change my mind anyways.


My brain is crippled by caring too much about how I look. My mind wastes hours every day worrying about my weight, my skin, my hair, and my clothing. It is difficult to get out of the house every morning, for work or for play, unless I can convince myself that I’ve passed my self-imposed damn-near impossible tests of acceptability.

arvan's picture

When the body is music

(Image courtesy of Crammed Disc and Staff Benda Bilili)

I have been listening for conversations about people with disabilities who are speaking up about their experiences in claiming their own identity on their own terms and not society's.  Empowering organizations, advocacy and rights groups or websites, writers and anyone in between. 

Today, I found a website called The New Internationalist.  I posted a couple things from them already and was happy to add them to my bookmark file.  I was about to leave the site, happy in my previous discoveries, when I stumbled upon something in the 'mixed media' section of the site, that just rocked my world: Staff Benda Bilili. 

There is nothing more beautiful to me than the human spirit, conveyed through music - guided by emotion instead of demographics.  I don't want to buy from the 'record industry' because they found a way to call something 'music' and sell it to me.  I want to feel the industry of a person's life, played out in the space where their body meets the musical instrument or it becomes the instrument.  I don't need to know the language of the song, to hear the soul of the singer. 

arvan's picture

Aimee Mullins on humanity and beauty

Aimee Mullins gave a truly delightful talk on being human.


I have watched this piece several times, each time coming away with something precious, that reaffirms the beliefs at the core of this site:

I define my sex, gender, body. You define yours.

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