Bits and Pieces and Parts
Bits and parts and pieces;
the parts you
can handle and grab
lust and use
the convenient uncomplicated
bits and parts and pieces
imaginary vapid no-eyes
that you burn with want for now
but that you so easily
the rest of these now-missing
bits and parts and pieces of
I’m (unexpectedly) starting a (mini? or not?) body of work as a result of starting to wear corsets. I picked one up for anxiety reasons, and ended up with what I keep calling a steel-boned therapist. Just from wearing the corset (no, it does’t hurt) I’ve been stumbling on behaviors, thoughts, beliefs, wounds, ignored parts of myself, and no shortage of hurt and anger. It’s almost as if it’s just squeezing it out of me, as if I’d been repressing it all by shoving it into the extra body mass I’ve carried around since starting high school. (Which was a while ago, admittedly.) It’s almost as if pulling those laces tight somehow is forcing them loose, where I can look at them.
I’ve been holding the thoughts and diggings, the revelations, close to home, until today. Something about what came up today needed to be said out loud. The photo and poem above are the result.
At risk of being didactic… but also because I’ve had people already ignore/miss the point entirely…
I’ve been painting, writing, telling short stories, sharing photos, for years. I enjoy doing it – it’s a great way to communicate and not feel alone. But I’m not going to lie – it’s fucking rage-inducing when you get ignored or minimized because you’re female-presenting/percieved, or not worth sucking up to because you’re not sexually attractive. (Raise your hand if you’ve seen this go down…) It’s maddening. Of course, if you’re too pretty, you’re nothing more than parts to be lusted after, and not worth being taken seriously. You’re only as good as what you can be used for.
And so that’s why all the corset shots have, to date, been headless or faceless. Because I know they are great, sexy photos that people will notice. But they don’t notice because it’s me. It’s just bits and parts and pieces to lust after, use, ogle. Suddenly, I’m worth talking to, paying attention to, but not Me, not the complicated, challenging, passionate part of me that’s been around for years, but too easy to ignore because it’s not something that someone else can use or lust after. No, just the sexy parts that you see in the photo. Just those bits and pieces and parts.
And so these photos? These sexy, faceless photos that I take of myself? They are a kind of social media performance art, proving that point – but also a little bitter-jaded-cynical too. Because, well, assuming someone did pay attention, decide I was worth it? It’s a little late now – you can’t have it. Just like they denied us respect, validation, basic humanity until we served some purpose to them. Until they liked our bits and parts and pieces.
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