What is wrong with being ordinary?

Such an insightful and well written post! It’s high time someone addressed this issue. I get annoyed with the grandiosity of advertisements all the time. I’m so glad I stumbled across this post!

The Window On The Street

There are many annoying things about advertising.

How loud and in your face it can be,

Chemist Warehouse small (Because billboards don’t have wheels)

The way you are sold a product through an (often highly polished and unrealistic) image of a coveted lifestyle,

stupid car ad 2

And the way women’s heads are periodically removed from their bodies:

headless body messes with minds swanston st giant headless lady

But one theme in advertising that has been bothering me lately is this: That to be ordinary – to be anything remotely like anyone else – is unacceptable.

seen not herd toyota ad

coke ad 3


oscar de la renta extraordinary Picture4

Advertising is something I try not to pay too much attention to, mainly because when I look at most ads the standards they imply through photos such as those above strike me as unfair and unrealistic. Like a strange pseudo-reality, or a fictional narrative in which one has to suspend one’s disbelief to get very far, ads frustrate me from how removed they often are from everyday life.

And yet…

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The Colors We Forgot We Had

Wow! Very inspiring!

Hope State Style

The Colors We Forgot We Had | Natural Wool Dyes from Vermont Gardens, Meadows, & Hedgerows - A Workshop at the Marshfield School of Weaving | Caroline Goddard Photography | Hope State Style

The Colors We Forgot We Had | Natural Wool Dyes from Vermont Gardens, Meadows, & Hedgerows - A Workshop at the Marshfield School of Weaving | Caroline Goddard Photography | Hope State Style

The Colors We Forgot We Had | Natural Wool Dyes from Vermont Gardens, Meadows, & Hedgerows - A Workshop at the Marshfield School of Weaving | Caroline Goddard Photography | Hope State Style

The Colors We Forgot We Had | Natural Wool Dyes from Vermont Gardens, Meadows, & Hedgerows - A Workshop at the Marshfield School of Weaving | Caroline Goddard Photography | Hope State Style

The Colors We Forgot We Had | Natural Wool Dyes from Vermont Gardens, Meadows, & Hedgerows - A Workshop at the Marshfield School of Weaving | Caroline Goddard Photography | Hope State Style

The Colors We Forgot We Had | Natural Wool Dyes from Vermont Gardens, Meadows, & Hedgerows - A Workshop at the Marshfield School of Weaving | Caroline Goddard Photography | Hope State Style

The Colors We Forgot We Had | Natural Wool Dyes from Vermont Gardens, Meadows, & Hedgerows - A Workshop at the Marshfield School of Weaving | Caroline Goddard Photography | Hope State Style

The Colors We Forgot We Had | Natural Wool Dyes from Vermont Gardens, Meadows, & Hedgerows - A Workshop at the Marshfield School of Weaving | Caroline Goddard Photography | Hope State Style

The Colors We Forgot We Had | Natural Wool Dyes from Vermont Gardens, Meadows, & Hedgerows - A Workshop at the Marshfield School of Weaving | Caroline Goddard Photography | Hope State Style

The Colors We Forgot We Had | Natural Wool Dyes from Vermont Gardens, Meadows, & Hedgerows - A Workshop at the Marshfield School of Weaving | Caroline Goddard Photography | Hope State Style

The Colors We Forgot We Had | Natural Wool Dyes from Vermont Gardens, Meadows, & Hedgerows - A Workshop at the Marshfield School of Weaving | Caroline Goddard Photography | Hope State Style

The Colors We Forgot We Had | Natural Wool Dyes from Vermont Gardens, Meadows, & Hedgerows - A Workshop at the Marshfield School of Weaving | Caroline Goddard Photography | Hope State Style

The Colors We Forgot We Had | Natural Wool Dyes from Vermont Gardens, Meadows, & Hedgerows - A Workshop at the Marshfield School of Weaving | Caroline Goddard Photography | Hope State Style

The Colors We Forgot We Had | Natural Wool Dyes from Vermont Gardens, Meadows, & Hedgerows - A Workshop at the Marshfield School of Weaving | Caroline Goddard Photography | Hope State Style

Natural Wool Dyes from Vermont Gardens, Meadows, & Hedgerows - A Workshop at the Marshfield School of Weaving | Caroline Goddard Photography | Hope State Style

The Colors We Forgot We Had | Natural Wool Dyes from Vermont Gardens, Meadows, & Hedgerows - A Workshop at the Marshfield School of Weaving | Caroline Goddard Photography | Hope State Style

The Colors We Forgot We Had | Natural Wool Dyes from Vermont Gardens, Meadows, & Hedgerows - A Workshop at the Marshfield School of Weaving | Caroline Goddard Photography | Hope State Style

The Colors We Forgot We Had | Natural Wool Dyes from Vermont Gardens, Meadows, & Hedgerows - A Workshop at the Marshfield School of Weaving | Caroline Goddard Photography | Hope State Style

The Colors We Forgot We Had | Natural Wool Dyes from Vermont Gardens, Meadows, & Hedgerows - A Workshop at the Marshfield School of Weaving | Caroline Goddard Photography | Hope State Style

The Colors We Forgot We Had | Natural Wool Dyes from Vermont Gardens, Meadows, & Hedgerows - A Workshop at the Marshfield School of Weaving | Caroline Goddard Photography | Hope State Style

The Colors We Forgot We Had | Natural Wool Dyes from Vermont Gardens, Meadows, & Hedgerows - A Workshop at the Marshfield School of Weaving | Caroline Goddard Photography | Hope State Style

The Colors We Forgot We Had | Natural Wool Dyes from Vermont Gardens, Meadows, & Hedgerows - A Workshop at the Marshfield School of Weaving | Caroline Goddard Photography | Hope State Style

The Colors We Forgot We Had | Natural Wool Dyes from Vermont Gardens, Meadows, & Hedgerows - A Workshop at the Marshfield School of Weaving | Caroline Goddard Photography | Hope State Style

The Colors We Forgot We Had | Natural Wool Dyes from Vermont Gardens, Meadows, & Hedgerows - A Workshop at the Marshfield School of Weaving | Caroline Goddard Photography | Hope State Style

Last September, I took a workshop at the Marshfield School of Weaving on dyeing with plants gathered from garden, field and forest. I headed up to Vermont right after quitting my job in publishing and could feel myself sliding into a different way of being. It seems significant that, through this workshop, I learned that an exquisite palette of colors has been sitting right under my nose for years. Plants that are often taken for weeds in cities can be sources of rich pigment, most of which were a staple part of existence in New England until chemical dyes were invented. How quickly knowledge is lost. It makes the Middle Ages after the glory of Rome a lot more understandable.

Natural color takes to wool beautifully, and generally with little more than a pot of boiling water and a good pair of clippers to chop up the harvested plant material. Some plants are…

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5 Things Cis People Can Actually Do For Trans People (Now That You Care About Us)

Wonderful post! It’s always great to learn more and find out how I can be helpful to trans people. Thank you for this well written, educational and insightful post. It is much appreciated and inspires action!

The (Trans)cendental Tourist

It’s been a weird year for trans people.

Allow me to be more specific: It’s been a heated, daring, tumultuous, graphic, specularizing, aggressive, pointed,contentious, highlyfatal, and really, really complicated year for trans people.

Here are a few examples: Kristina Gomez Reinwald, Ty Underwood, Lamia Beard, and many othertranswomen of color have been brutally murdered at the hands of lovers, family members, and strangers.Meanwhile,Laverne Cox and Janet Mock have come to fame and exhibited incrediblefeats of grace, articulation, and poignancy under the gaze ofan eager media. Blake Brockington, Leelah Alcorn, Taylor Alesana, and many other transgender youth have committed suicide afterenduring endless bullying and systematic brutality. Meanwhile, Jazz Jennings became the new face of Clean & Clear and published a children’s picture book about her life, and teen trans couple Arin Andrews and KatieHill (best known for “Can You Even Believe They’re Trans?!” types of headlines) wrote and published individual books…

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The Gendered Nature of Being Unencumbered

Such a thoughtful and articulate post! Might I also add that there is a massive lack of respect and appreciation for the caretaking roles that are so often pushed onto women? This is a necessary and important role for any gender to be capable of, but it never gets the recognition it deserves. Also, not only do many men expect women to always be toting supplies around with them, but they don’t hesitate to make fun of us for carrying ‘oversized bags’ everywhere. Glad that I found this post. It’s nice to hear this thought expressed so effectively!

The Span of My Hips

If you ask almost any woman what she would change about women’s clothes I promise you “pockets” would come up about 95% of the time (other answers: sizing consistency, for fuck’s sake; quality construction; larger sizes not just being a size 0 sized up). When I think about my closet I can name four items of clothing with pockets, and two of those are essentially useless cardigan pockets. The few pairs of pants I own don’t even have pockets!

This has been an ongoing irritation for years, and one I’ve lightly thought about in feminist terms, but it’s only recently that I realized how profoundly (the lack of) pockets affects embodiment in very gendered ways.

Earlier this week I was walking from the bus loop to work, aware of the weight of my purse on my shoulder and my tote bag in my hand. And I noticed something interesting. All the…

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