A few good links.

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image: etsy golem designs
  1. I stumbled across this Vice article about 22 year old model Jazelle from the instagram account uglyworldwide.  Have you seen it?  There’s a compelling message conveyed through her photo library.  She comes out full blown “ugly”, loud and proud. But I can’t help but wonder if being exceptionally beautiful affords her the privilege of going viral while looking “ugly”.  But still, I like her.  She talks about having a rough childhood, growing up in Detroit, and learning to not care about what others think.   There are dark undertones of depression in her photos as well, some I found disturbing.  It got me thinking about how intentionally looking “ugly” is empowering, especially for a young woman who probably got noticed a lot for her striking “beauty”.  She used to dress “normal” and didn’t start experimenting with make up until her teenage years, but eventually shaved off her eye brows, shaved her head, and expressed herself powerfully through make up and clothes.  All eyes have always been on her, but at least now, it’s on her terms.
  2. Been thinking about dresses (in theory) a lot lately and was struck by all the beautiful dresses in the new Rodarte 2018 spring/summer line.  A lot of them would make really pretty wedding dresses, especially toward the end of the show here.
  3. I’ve been window shopping for a new apartment in my old neighborhood of Echo Park Los Angeles and have been thinking long and hard about the aesthetics of my next home.  Wabi Sabi really appeals to my sensibilities. Above is an example of a Wabi Sabi vase. I’ve been listening to “In Praise of Shadows” to get a better sense of this design philosophy.  It’s a short book, more like an essay, written decades ago by a Japanese novelist, Tanizaki.  He basically sounds like an old man grumbling about how modernization was ruining the traditional aesthetics in Japan at that time. The essay isn’t directly about wabi sabi, but I think it carries a lot of its ethos in its imagery.  I think wabi sabi can teach us how to see beauty in the aging process and how to honor our own imperfections.  I’m starting to worry that I will become extremely distressed about aging in the future, so I’ve been looking to Buddhist teachings to prepare myself early.

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