Just livin' large and in charge as the cuddliest creature of the sea.
Whoa, Jia. I fucking LOVED THIS. Thank you, thank your dad (Mr. Tolentino, if you're reading, thank you!).
For me, the most interesting and inspiring part was him talking about the abuse he suffered and the decision he made as a really young child to NOT perpetuate it. What an incredible person. Or I think that's incredible, maybe it should be ordinary, but to stop abuse in a single generation while also going through the stress of immigration and trying to live/survive "the American dream" -- whoa, dude. That's amazing. I really love your parents' child-rearing philosophy.
Thank you for sharing your and your mother's story! And thank goodness for your mother!!! I am very sorry for your loss, she sounds like an amazing, strong person.
Thank you again.
Haha, yes, same here. For many reasons, as a teenager I firmly believed that I had to like/love/"see the best in" everyone, as if it was my duty, as if it was even possible.
The BEST thing about becoming an adult was learning that it was NOT possible to like everyone, that I was NOT obligated to love everyone, and that my time and energy would be better spent trying to "see the best in" myself, rather than in the jerk who was mean to me.
@novak As someone who can't hack it with any bras sold in malls, who requires support and side paneling and three-hooks, minimum, who has a love-hate relationship* with her body and breasts, a drawerful of bras would mean that I have chosen to spend my money, time, energy and ability to take care of myself on a (koff, koff) foundational level.
[*As an aside, to all women of all sizes, if your bra is uncomfortable or you feel frustrated with the way your breasts look in your clothes, get yourself professionally fitted at a dedicated bra/lingerie store, if you can! It is a commitment of your resources, but it is an investment that pays off. It made a WORLD of difference in the way I look and feel.]
And, Jia, I LOVED this. I really appreciate and value your voice and perspective on all things related to gender, race, class, sexuality. Reframing female beauty as voluntary performance, rather than as obligatory duty, has given me the freedom to explore my own style and presentation in a way that I had stifled for years and years. I wonder if many women opt out of looking "beautiful" as a means of rebellion and psychological self-preservation. I certainly did.
@novak "The day I have a whole drawerful of bras is the day I know I've made it." Hell yes. Something to aspire to.
JIA! I always love your music suggestions. Thanks for this!
I loved this!!!
@Jaya Yes, I was totally thinking about how I'd love for a dude-version of this. But then I realized that the words I'd use to describe this type of experience (vulnerable, open, emotional, spiritual, relaxing, centering, etc) are kind of verboten for men, at least according to predominant bro-y scripts.
I'm just curious about how this would play out with the roles reversed. Where a man was naked from the waist down, listening to a neutral, non-judgmental description of his genitals, and then, uh, manually masturbated by a fully clothed woman in a large group setting with other orgasming men nearby on their own expensively branded yoga mat "nests," and then finally, being "grounded" by firm pressure to the pubic bone. All done by a stranger.
I have no idea what my opinion on all of this is.
@cordovan sofa Yeah, I feel you. Passive aggressiveness and subtle anger really confuse me and put me on edge.
I think when it goes both ways (everyone in the family yells it out, both parents and kids) and it's equal, it's just a style of communicating. But when it goes only one way (with parents, teachers, other authority figures not allowing "back talk"), I can see how it could be really damaging. Because then you're just trapped there, being yelled at/abused.