I was reading an incredible and incredibly important story earlier, from Black Girl Dangerous, about identity, what we do not owe the people of this world, and what is owed to certain people by certain other people. I suggest you read it and I don’t care a whit if you don’t come back to the rest of my blog post.
While I read this, it came into my head, “I’m not too this, I’m not too that,” which, inevitably, brought to mind the Divine Miss M’s, “I’m Beautiful, Dammit.”
Which you should also watch. Twice. Or three times – however long it takes for it to be stuck in your head for the rest of the day. Or your life.
But there’s a flip side to this – another angle, another – equally acceptable – data point that this brings forward.
“I’m not ‘too’ anything. In general. I also accept that your preferences have parameters, and I may not fit within them. So, yeah, for you, I may be ‘too.’ And that is okay.”
In the piece linked above, Caleb states, “And while I make active attempts to interrogate, challenge and expand my own desire, I am not exempt from perpetuating these things either.” “These things” being [the preferential treatment of] “thin, masculine, cis, non-disabled male bodies.” And this is something that plagues me – because I definitely have a “type,” and I feel fucking BAD about it, you guys. I sometimes really freaking hate that my “type” is so very “normal.” And this brings me to a creepy segue about a quote from Dazed and Confused which I will NOT share now, but if someone calls me on it later, I might elaborate. Might.
So, here we go: I can accept and support and advocate for every single person’s right to be exactly who they are, and not be judged “too” this, or “not [this] enough.” I want to – it’s important to me for everyone to have the ability to claim an identity without it being policed by someone else.
But, when it comes to my intimate relationships, I do get to say, “too” this, “not enough” that. Not against some international barometer, not with any authority except what governs my self and my body and my wants. It will also almost never be my first explanation – unless you are being too aggressive or too handsy or too much of a dick. Those things do not take away from your identity, and so they do not feel as sacred to me (or if they are related to your identity, well, sorry, those are not okay things to be).
It isn’t a judgment of the person: it’s an awareness of how my body, my brain, and my environment work with an individual. Now, if I’d only ever slept with or dated slender, 6′ tall, CK-model androgynous beauties, then I might further question myself here. But I’d like to propose that, as long as we are actively engaged with the choices we make about who we’re attracted to, it’s okay if it is the same as the “norm.”
While I work toward a world in which the tall, slender, light-skinned body is not the only body we revere – those bodies are also beautiful and desirable and you, and I, don’t have to feel bad for finding them so.
Every body is beautiful, y’all.