emberleo: A rabbit with antlers eating blackberries (Default)
[personal profile] emberleo
Going back over my journal entries from the past, and finding bits and treasures, messages that need to be remembered and shared.

Here's one from April of 2009, from a dreamt conversation with Oxun:

"I help people learn how to love themselves, and how to feel good about what they bring to the world. I teach people about beauty, yes.

But more to the point: When you go about in the world, how you look will always affect how people treat you. What I teach people is how to use this simple reality to their own advantage as much as possible. You don't have to be beautiful all the time, but if you are not conscious of your appearance, you are not taking responsibility for, control over, how others see you and treat you.

On a basic level, almost everyone comes to realize how they are treated according to how they look by default. Most people learn at least a few tricks they can use to manipulate people for their own advantage in the most immediate sense, based on using how they appear to others. Little girls recognize that they can wrap big men around their fingers to get what they want by emphasizing just how adorable they are. Big guys recognize that they can intimidate people. People who don't stand out realize they won't be noticed and can therefore get away with certain things. This is true also for those who look particularly innocent regardless of what they have done.

These tricks are natural advantages of their appearance. But how many people use the positive advantages instead of only the negative? Well, almost everyone in society, actually. Think about it - everyone learns how to dress and keep their hair and body according to the culture surrounding them as they are growing up. Their fashion sense tends to fit somewhere within that range. They thereby identify themselves as belonging where they are. It is few who step entirely outside this range. This is far more noticeable in a tribal culture that has very specific rules about what to wear. Western culture gives a lot of wiggle room, but if you took your fashion sense out of National Geographic, do you think you wouldn't stand out as "Other"?

The real skill is not only using the tricks that come naturally to how you already look, thereby limiting yourself to only the stereotypes and roles at your disposal from the outside in, but to learn and understand the appearances behind the tricks beyond what is given to you. Anyone who knows how to dress to get a job has figured at least a little of this out. Honestly, who do you want deciding which role you fit into, how to treat you based on how you look? You? Or a bunch of strangers?

The thing to recognize is that you can't control their behavior. You can only control what you present to them. Their behavior is a natural response to that. You can let that control you, or you can recognize it for the process it is, and use it to your own advantage."


-E-

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Date: 2012-01-19 04:29 pm (UTC)
jensurvivor: One for Jen (Default)
From: [personal profile] jensurvivor
It does seem very realist

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emberleo: A rabbit with antlers eating blackberries (Default)
Ember

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