bumpy arms

Design Analysis: The Alien Films

Giger’s original alien design is fairly well recognized as the pinnacle of the art, so sequel decay was inevitable. Once you have something perfect, anything you add to that perfection will alter it and by definition make it imperfect. The further the Alien films diverge from the design above, the worse the designs get, sometimes by fractions, sometimes by great leaps. This is not a comprehensive list of all changes made to the design over the years, but a look at the directions other artists took. Essentially, a brief Fall of the Roman Empire for alien design.

Giger’s only “hands-on” involvement with the series to make the final cut was on the first film. His most impressive creation for that movie is, in my opinion, the Space Jockey, the truest fusion of flesh and machine, literally grown into the ship despite what unbelievably horrible ideas future movies would try to retcon into the series. But the alien itself is the most enduring work. The elongated head, the inner toothed tongue, the mechanical components within the meat of the creature, its ribs, its inexplicable back-pipes, it all manifests as a symphony of disturbing elements that, when combined into a humanoid figure, speak of pain, wounds, death, cruelty and danger. This is widely known.

What fewer people (including future creature designers) realize is that one of the most critical features of the alien is that it is aesthetically displeasing. It is not sleek. It is not cool. It is ugly. It doesn’t fit together right. It is not streamlined not conventional in color or form. Where Giger designed the Space Jockey to be oddly beautiful, he went for something in the alien itself that makes it hard to look at. Some consider this “cheap” or “incomplete.” I’d argue that it was not only intentional but one of the most critical features of the design.

The original alien was never meant to appeal to us. It was made to scare and disgust us. The original film is the only time it did so successfully. Commentaries on the series suggest that the repetition of the design in further movies made it less impressive, that it was done to death. This is not true because the original design only appeared in one film. Though that design too is demystified by now, the films did not need to suffer from any inevitable decrease in horror. That decrease is intentional.

James Cameron didn’t want to make a horror film, he wanted to make an action thriller with some horror elements. His alteration of Giger’s designs helps elucidate this. The design of the aliens from Aliens is close to Giger’s with three critical embellishments: The arms now have bony protrusions at the elbows, the dome has been removed revealing the ridged head, and the design has been normalized and streamlined. The alien is no longer grotesque, it is awesome.

The original alien looks dirty and ragged by comparison. This was not a mistake by any means. Aliens is not about hurting the audience like its predecessor, it’s an action movie and the turn from horror to action was extremely successful.

Cameron then took Giger’s aesthetic, more or less, and designed his own super-alien, the Queen. Little attempt at horror remains, if any. This is an epic beast made to appeal to the eye with smooth curved structures and spines that follow the form naturally and elegantly. It has less of a mechanical influence, and no sign at all of Giger’s ugliness. Its use in the film is similarly unhorrifying, it’s an intense escape followed by one of the greatest fight scenes in movie history. Cameron diverged from Giger and Scott, but what he made was a new expansion of the universe that was all his own, and in typical fashion for the director, it amazed audiences and proved highly influential ever after.

Giger was invited back to design a new iteration of the alien for the third film. He set out to perfect his original design, and did so artistically but not cinematically. His new design introduced an even more horrifying tongue that would enter the victim’s throat, and with shark-tooth-like barbs, come back out bringing their guts with it. It had a visible, moving brain under its dome, and it lost the back tubes in favor of a more animal-like structure. It also had new artsy elements that brought it further into Giger’s developing aesthetic. The filmmakers elected not to use it.

Tom Woodruff Jr. and Alec Gillis took over. Students of Stan Winston who had implemented Cameron’s concepts, they redesigned the alien into a near-fully organic beast. The only remainder of its mechanical elements are the repeated flutes on the side of the head. The rest is all animal, with inhuman legs and feet. Its cheeks are no longer messes of visible mechanisms, but rumpled skin. And it is sleek. It’s streamlined. It is, in essence, what the alien would look like had it been originally designed by someone other than Giger.

Alien 3 attempted to bring the series back to horror. That might have been a mistake but we can give the creators the benefit of the doubt and instead of criticizing the aspects of the film that have already been criticized ad nauseam, focus only on the design. Basically, it’s meatier and meaner and although it has lost Giger’s surface, it does retain his basic concepts and yields an appropriate movie monster for a very dark film. It would be brilliant had it not followed such vastly superior works.

Gillis and Woodruff returned for the fourth film and further organicized the creature. They took the Alien 3 design and regained the tubes, and made the back of the head a little less round. While the alien from 3 was alternately red or black depending on the lighting, the Resurrection beasts were generally greenish-brown or grey depending on whether they were computer generated.

But look at its cheeks and neck. The region on the sides behind its mouth. The clumpy skin of the third alien is now a total ugly mess, and not ugly in Giger’s way. Just a mess of blotchy crud. Its arm has little trace of the underlying tubes and mechanics, it’s just a bumpy human arm. Alien 3 took the creature into animalistic design, but 4 began to turn it into a mess.

The newborn has no mechanical elements whatsoever, or even any trace of them. It bears only the slightest resemblance to Giger’s design and that’s okay. It had a new purpose- To be gross. Not grotesque, necessarily, but icky. There it succeeded. Its face was also more expressive, at times almost human. Its sunken eyes, its bat-nose, the bloated filigree on the sides of its head, all contribute to something appropriate to the film this creature was designed for.

Notably, the creature was designed with genitals, which were censored from the film for being too much, the director said, “even for a Frenchman.” The Newborn represents the end of the series. The alien has gone everywhere it can go, and retains nothing of what made the original what it was. Evolution is inevitable but I can’t help but wonder what might have happened had the ADI team that handled the latter two films honored Giger’s new designs, or kept his originals, or designed new works of their own along his guidelines instead of simply making the aliens closer and closer to blobby animals.

Prometheus provides another succinct view of what happened- Giger’s original derelict ship was a misshapen bony surrealist sculpture. It had no visible means of flight, it had nothing to even compare to any vehicle ever designed. It made no sense. It hurt the brain to think of as a spaceship. Prometheus featured a similar ship- But made it work. It was streamlined and curved naturally instead of bent and ugly, it was a mechanical ship and not something that might have been grown. That’s what happened to the alien over the years. It was cleaned up, made sense of, and turned into something normal. But the final insult was yet to come.

That’s the finale of Prometheus. Look at it.

Now look at the original:

Now back to deacon:

How did anyone, especially Ridley freaking Scott, think this was acceptable? It’s a god damn cartoon. I mean literally! It’s what Gary Larson spoofed the aliens into!

It has no surface detail, just some bumps like what a child might push into a lump of clay. Its pointy head is a joke. And its inner jaw is based on the goblin shark’s:

The goblin shark is notable in two ways- One, its jaws are horrifying. Good. Reason two- It looks like Jerry Lewis.

It’s goofy! It’s silly! The prominent upper maxilla looks absurd and funny despite its sharp spiny teeth. The goblin shark is certainly bizarre and bizarre is often good, but in this case it turned the iconic alien, the greatest design in the history of creature effects, into an absolute total JOKE.

Never mind the squid. Never mind the plain white tentacled blob that replaced the chestburster. Never mind the idea that the brilliant concept of a pilot grown into its ship was made into a white guy in a suit. Never mind the dull serpents or the atrocious uncreative bumpy makeup on Fifield. Ignore all the problems with Prometheus because this is about the design of the adult form alien. Look what they did to it.

Resurrection ended the alien’s tenure as the greatest monster. But it did not make it into a joke. The deacon is a poorly sculpted, plainly painted, uncreatively applied, horribly conceived, silly, pathetic, absolute low point of creature design in cinema. That’s where the alien ended up.

This is one of the greatest plummets in art. From the pinnacle to the nadir. So what comes next? Alien: Covenant, appears from its trailer, to be even more of a remake of the original than Prometheus. The same plot, slightly different specifics. Of its true story and creatures, only time will tell. But I have the lowest expectations. I expect the worst, for the alien to go from joke to insult. Or further insult, all things considered.

The trend in cinema (among other things) right now is to take whatever was good once and ram it into the ground as hard as possible. I don’t know what more they can do to the alien after the pointy headed atrocity above, but I have a feeling we’ll find out.

But I also have hope. Worst expectations but a glimmer of hope that we’ll see the redemption of this creature. Giger is dead, and the world is poorer for it. I hope Scott has found someone new, an unknown artist as Giger was in the 70s to come to fame as the next great surrealist. I hope we’ll see the birth of a new form of horror cinema. I hope a great many things every time an alien movie comes out.

My mother was pregnant with me when she saw Alien. I drew it over and over as a child. I studied it above all other films and designs as an adult. I grew up with the alien on every level. I don’t know what will come next, and I will go in with an open mind.

But I can’t help but feel that the iconic monster has hit rock bottom, and it’s about to crash through the stones down into hell.

Magic - Prince Calum and Witch Reader (Part 1)

(A/N: YOU ARE A WITCH AND CALUM IS A PRINCE)

You could feel the magic course in your body, the surge of power leaving through your fingertips, to the small child in front of you. You could feel the strain from using magic already starting, since part of your energy was being transferred into healing magic you were performing. You started reciting the words you had spent months remembering and perfecting to suit your needs and already started to feel the young child get better. The woman around you watched in awe as she prayed that you could help her child.  

You were finally done, asking her to bring you something to drink. You picked up all the materials you brought, a number of clear quartz to draw out any negative energy for the child and other stones to promote healing. You were tea, to soothe your body and kindly thanking her for it. The mother asked if her child was going to be fine, you told her the he would be fine, all he needed would be rest and he should be better than ever.

You reached into your rucksack and pulled out two different stones, a clear quartz and selenite. You told her to occasionally rub the stones on the child, guiding her on how to do it, since both would promote healing.

“thank you so much, I can already see that he is getting better,” noticing that her son was resting peacefully, “is there any way I can repay you,” she asked you, grateful that you were able to help her.

You smiled as you searched your little satchel and took out two stones and placed them in her palm, “there’s no need, I healed him because it was the right thing to do, not because I expected anything in return,” you said with a smile, seeing the mother look at you with awe, “but there is one thing I need you to do for me,” you finished.

“Anything,” she answered.

“Just don’t mention this to anyone,” you asked worriedly, “you know what happens if they capture witches, just please if you can keep this between us,” you said this time taking her hand in yours pleading to not tell anyone.

“I promise,” she said with a smile, “but at least take this basket filled with small treats as a token of appreciation,” she said as she walked over to retrieve a basket for you.

You accepted it knowing she wouldn’t let you leave without some sort of thank you. You thanked her and bid her farewell and walked outside into the busy town. You pretended to be as normal as possible, not wanting to draw out any attention to yourself and blend into the crowd. You had to hide your witchcraft from everyone, since it was deemed evil. 

You would be lying to yourself if you weren’t scared every time you stepped into town. Your body shook in fear when you would see the royal guards thinking that every time they neared you it would be to capture you for being a witch, but so far you had remained off their radar. You would help out the town, only to those you trusted, but you wondered if one day you would be captured.

You never understood why witchcraft was deemed illegal; you knew that while magic can be used for ill gains, you understood that most didn’t because of a crucial rule that every witch knew. The Rule of Three, which states that any action done you preform whether good or bad will return to you three times as much, good deeds done with magic, you get three times as much goodness that you created, and if you used magic for ill gains, then that gets returned in three times as much. Karma with a greater price. The Rule of Three was the main reason why many witches didn’t perform such evil magic; no one wanted three or more of the damage the cause returned, especially you.

Yet despite that rule being so recognized in witchcraft, those who didn’t study magic didn’t understand that. They named magic evil regardless of what it does; even healing magic was thought to be evil, deeming it unnatural to cure anyone.  You looked towards the castle, wondering if the people inside thought of people like you, or only went with the rules against witches because that’s what they were told. You were walking to your cabin closer to woods, wanting comfort in isolation then being surrounded by people who would be a risk to you if they turned you in.

You entered your cabin, setting down the basket of treats as you went to your book of magic, to make sure that there were no other things that you needed to do for the healing cleanse that you preformed. You put away your quartz stone in a small sack, reminding yourself that soon they will also need to be cleansed but you would do that later seeing as how right now you just needed rest.

The next day you headed out to gather plants and herbs necessary for some of your rituals and spells, and were thankful for the basket that was given to you, because it would hold everything nicely. You emptied the basket and reached for your small sack of quartz and other stones, making you feel more protected and safe then when you were without them. You mentally noted what you would need to gather and left your home.

You were strolling back to your home, when you noticed that something felt off, something was wrong. You quickened your pace, but grew more cautious as well. You could see your little cabin, but what you weren’t expecting was there to be many people…no, knights. Their clothes bearing the royal family crest entering your home and throwing everything away, breaking the vials and cases filled with herbs that you collected, as well as storing some of your other stuff into a carriage that you assumed was ready to take you as well.

Your heart was being torn, your only sanctuary had been taken from you, you couldn’t even run inside to take your spell book, because that would put you in danger, some of your precious heirlooms and trinkets all gone, all because you were a bit different.

A twig snapped behind you, your head turned to where the noise was, and there approaching you was a guard, you immediately started running as fast as you could, hoping that by some miracle you could lose whoever was chasing you but that you doubted you could. You heard the shouts telling you to stop, that by order of the king and queen you had to stop, but those shouts came on silent ears as you continued running,. Your quick steps alerted everyone, and before you knew it you were cornered.

“Please let me go, I’ve done nothing wrong,” you pleaded taking steps back, your lungs and legs on fire from the run you had done.

“You are under arrest for the practice of witchcraft,” one of the guards said as he opened a scroll with order of arrest, details of your crime all there as well as a sketch of your face.

Your blood ran cold, there was no escaping this, “please I’ve never hurt anyone, yes I practice magic but I mainly just charm and heal, please you can’t do this,” you said taking more steps back, your voice cracking as your vision clouded with tears.

“Being a witch deems you as evil,” his voice firm, “arrest her!” he shouted.

“No, no, no,” your voice whimpering as you took more steps back and landed against a strong chest. You turned around and noticed that right there was another royal guard, quickly holding you in place and no matter how much you squirmed you couldn’t break free.

You felt the shackles around your wrists and legs, your freedom had been taken, and you had been captured. You were dragged back to your home and taken to the carriage, more like tossed, tears running down your face, your arms hurting from the grip that you had been in. you already knew that they would bruise, the stinging sensation proof of that.

You had enough mobility to feel the small pouch still with your precious stones, and prayed to the Three Goddesses to keep you safe from whatever was to come. The road was bumpy and with your arm and legs both shackled it made it impossible to keep balance, making you fall at every turn and making the soon to be bruises on your arms hurt more and your body ache.

The carriage finally came to a stop, sending your face to hit the floor, more stray tears rolling down your face. The doors opened making your eyes squint from the bright light.

“Move!” the guard shouted.

You were barely getting used to the bright light before you were yanked out and being led into the castle. Your shackles were then attached to a chain, as another guard pushed you from behind. Your chains were yanked forcing you to walk inside. The shackles were chaffing your skin, seeing the irritated skin on your wrists, you wanted to pull them but that would hurt you more and didn’t even want to think what the guards would do to you if you resisted.

You were lead to a large empty room; there at the end were the seats for both the queen and king, and for the royal children, Calum and Mali koa. Sitting in the chair deemed for the king was none other they future king, Calum with his advisor standing to the side. This was the first time you had ever seen the royal prince. You could see why when you were around the town you would hear the young females and even some males swoon over Prince Calum, he was gorgeous, the way his facial features were so defined and strong almost as if they were chiseled by divine beings. His tan skin looked like it was glowing from the sunlight that shinned through the large glass windows. Ebony colored haired framing his face beautifully; all in all he had the physical appearance of a prince, regal and beautiful.

“Your highness, we have brought the she devil,” they said as they pushed you forward, nearly causing you to trip.

“Sir Evan, would you please not treat anyone like that,” his voice kind, opposite of you thought it would be when addressing you, “and I already told you, I do not wish to participate in this,” he finished.

“Your highness, you know since the king and queen are away for the day it is your duty as the future king to attend to the land and that includes in trials, especially when they deal with witchcraft,” his advisor stated.

Calum nodded, before his eyes landed on yours, somewhat widening when they landed on you, not believing someone as young as you would be a witch, his mind usually imagining the stereotypical witch instead. The returned to normal, but still there was no disgust in his eyes or hate as you imagine it would be, “you, state your name and crime,” his voice gaining the assertiveness of a king.

“(full name) and I am accused of witchcraft,” you admitted knowing that there was no point in lying since your crime would be worse if you dared lied.

“witchcraft, that is a serious crime, you know how we look down upon witchcraft, it is a crime with punishment by death by fire or life sentence in the dungeon,” you gulped, not knowing it would be that bad, “how do you plead?” his voice free of any emotion.

You looked down, feeling the tears stream down your face, this was it. You had spent all your life being a good person…a good witch to still end up as every other witch…dead. You didn’t want to die. You felt one small stone slip out of the small sack; it was a small rose quartz. You didn’t even know that there was one in your ruck sack but there it was lying on the floor. No one seemed to notice it and fell to your knees, pretending to cry harshly, but your hands reached for the stone.

You remembered the main reason rose quartz was used for…love spells and rituals. You remembered charming some for couples to ensure that their love will remain pure free any ill energy that would surround them. Giving them to people who needed to learn to love themselves and be content who they were. The possibilities were endless, but you also remembered another way they could be used…love spells…forced love spells.

This could be your ticket out, if you made the prince fall in love with you…if you forced him to fall in love in love with you, he wouldn’t kill you, and his love for you wouldn’t let him. You would manipulate him and his emotions just to make sure you lived. This was your only chance of survival…and worth it no matter what the cost. Magic was used to help so would it be so wrong to finally use it to help yourself.

In the back of your head the only thing you could think of was The Rule of Three, this was evil, this is ill magic, manipulating someone is what you deem evil especially forcing them to think something against their will. But you needed to live.

You remembered the spell that you memorized from your book, with your forehead against the cold hard floor, the rose quartz tight in your hand, you silently recited the spell, praying to every love god you could name, begging them to force Calum to fall in love with you. you could feel the little power you had surge in your body, this was going to work, the rose quartz felt like it was burning in your palm, you wanted to drop it, but this small was pain worth it if you would live.

“I ask you once again, how do you plead,” Calum repeated.

Chanting the spell one more time, you held the rose quartz tightly in your hand, as you got up off the floor, feeling the spell at around you; you just needed to focus on where you wanted to send it. you lifted your head to stare at Calum, your eyes locking with his, focusing on them to send the spell, all you needed was to say his name and finish the spell.

“I plead guilty, Prince Calum Hood,” and just like that the spell was completed.

You could see the small flicker in his eyes, somewhat hazing over as they momentarily softened for you, before going back to normal. You could see the small changes in his posture giving away that the spell worked, Calum was in love with you.

“So your highness, how do we punish her,” his advisor asked.

“What?” his body shocked, almost as if he wanted to protect you to ensure your safety, more signs of the spell working, he didn’t want any harm to fall on you.

“She is guilty of her crime, what is her sentence?” his advisor repeated.

Calum looked over at you, his eyes broken and guilty, not wanting you to get hurt, but you knew that those emotions that he was expressing weren’t real, they were fake, because you placed…forced them there. His eyes showed that he was sorry for what he was doing, but you knew he would help you out.

“Life in the dungeon,” he let out almost painfully.

You were relieved but at the same time you knew that he wouldn’t let you burn, he was in love with you and there was no way he could let the person he was in love with die. It would only be a matter of time before you were free; you would manipulate his feelings to make sure he granted you freedom. You were taken to the dungeon, still not believing that the spell had actually worked, the royal prince was in love with you.

You remembered the rule of three, but at this point you were willing to take on any punishment your magic would bring because nothing would be worse than having to die.

—————————————————

Alright this I part one for the witch Calum series, hope that you all like it, please let me know that you think. It would really help, so far this is planned to be 4 parts but maybe a bit longer. I plan to take a small break from werewolf ash till I finish this to have this finished ASAP, since I love what I am going to write.

So yea

LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK

MASTERLIST

WELL BYE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Other masterlist

the signs as weird body pains
  • Aries: your knee creaks whenever you walk or bend it
  • Taurus: a weird bumpy rash on your arm that has been there for years but you only notice it when it gets itchy right before you fall asleep
  • Gemini: unexplained physical exhaustion after doing basically nothing all day
  • Cancer: you can't feel your pinky toe no matter how hard you try
  • Leo: sometimes it feels like a knife is stuck in your left lung
  • Virgo: your eyes twitch every now and again
  • Libra: it feels like you're being repeatedly punched in the gut--there's no discernible cause
  • Scorpio: it feels like you're pissing out fire
  • Sagittarius: that bump on your head has been there an awfully long time, hasn't it?
  • Capricorn: fucking everything hurts all the time always
  • Aquarius: you can't taste anything anymore
  • Pisces: you felt fine earlier but now something seems off wit your wrist and it's all you can think about
Road Trip - Chapter 7 - AU William Buxton/Tom Hiddleston Fanficton

Structural Engineer William Buxton and Biologist Sarah Falls are filming a Fly-On-The-Wall Road Trip across the USA, both finding that the longer they spend together the closer they get.

Sorry this chapter took so long to arrive. Between working on my ‘Daddy’ fic, plus writing halloween stories for my kindle release at the end of September, AND trying to fit in various other fics, trying to keep up wit these two has been a struggle! I hope you enjoy it!

Warnings: economic downturn, unwanted advances.
Rated PG-13
5900 Words.

Authors note: The town of Cactus Springs is completely fictional, but in my mind its a ‘real life’ version of the town from the Disney/Pixar film ‘Cars’ (Radiator Springs). Also thanks to writernotwaiting for helping me out with some errors i made in the previous chapter, i’ve tried to briefly sort them out in this one!

Previous Chapter Catch up: HERE

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Road Trip – Chapter 7

As the day grew hotter Will was starting to feel better and better, the excitement and drama of Las Vegas left far behind, the closeness with Sarah starting to heal that part of his soul that had been broken for so long.

Before they left the reservation they’d filmed a small article on the struggles the residents faced, the elders explaining that the Navaho didn’t traditionally use tee-pee’s, but had introduced them to attract the tourists, most unaware of the twists and turns of the intertwined cultures, the white man now bundling all the native people together as one nationality.

Finally saying goodbye, the locals waved them off, Will driving the jeep over the bumpy track, his arm now healing well thanks to Sarah’s care. When he finally hit the smooth tarmac he set the cruise control as they sped along the dead straight road, his hand brushing against Sarah’s knee as it rested on the centre console.

Keep reading

Day 12: Lazy Day: A Cold Room and a Sasuke Sandwich

Hinata curled under thick royal blue sheets. Her toes took great comfort in the new warmth. Sasuke kept his place freezing. The young Hyuuga pulled the cover up and over her head and tried containing a shiver.

“You’re being overdramatic,” said Sasuke as he ripped her haven away. Hinata squealed at his act of cruelty. Her boyfriend could be so mean.

Ha, what an understatement.

He held a white plate in his hand as he took a seat on the bed. Sasuke sat the plate between them and picked up his sandwich.

“I made food.”

Hinata rubbed her bumpy, cold arms and sat up. She reached towards the end of the bed to reclaim the cover. After wrapping herself in a cocoon, she peeked under the wheat bread.

Lettuce and tomato.

Opal eyes lifted to him. “W-where’s the bacon?”

“Excuse me?”

She scratched her head thoughtfully before running a combing hand through navy tresses. “A BLT includes Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato.”

Sasuke looked highly offended… Well as much as Uchiha Sasuke could. “It’s not a BLT.”

“What is it?”

“A LT apparently,” he replied.

Her nose wrinkled. “S-salad with bread?”

At that Sasuke stopped chewing. Hinata torn a piece of the bread away. “Don’t,” he commanded. “Don’t disrespect the sandwich.”

Hinata blinked. This is why they only received minimal days off. Sitting in bed all day with a significant other sounded wonderful as she was growing up, then again she had always envisioned waking up to blond hair and blue eyes—

“Are you thinking about him?” Sasuke accused.

Hinata smiled and shook her head. “Bacon.”

Onyx orbs widened. “If I had asked you to make the sandwich I would have been sexist.”

Her smile only grew. “It’s a s-salad-“

Hinata’s words were cut off when Sasuke pinned her down. His eyes flickered crimson. “It’s not a salad, Hyuuga.”

Hinata stared up at him and leaned upward but Sasuke turned away. “Ne, I’m s-sorry, Sasuke.”

“Are you?”

She nodded quickly. Sasuke reluctantly removed himself from her. Hinata propped up on her elbows. “Ano… You t-think Naruto-kun would add bacon?”

The Uchiha shrugged finishing off his sandwich. “Sakura would have enjoy it.”

Hinata frowned at him. Sasuke turned to her upon feeling daggers in his head. He released a smooth smirk before pushing her down again. “Bacon is bad for you.”

She pouted. “Y-you are too.”

He nodded in agreement, the corners of his mouth twitched in a weird grin. “So?”

Hinata had to admit sometimes, when they weren’t sparring, fighting or on missions, Sasuke had a strange sense of humor…

“Exactly.”

Especially on their days off.

Today, I am waxing my arms.

It is not really provocative, or life-changing. We are taught to wax everything, be as smooth as a baby. Which is ridiculous because I have seen six babies born before I turned twelve, and all of them had Hispanic fuzz on their skin, but I guess back then it was labeled as cute. Or we deemed it unorthodox to wax the skin of an infant, but perfectly fine when your daughter is twelve. When her body may have not yet adapted or transformed into a vessel for babies, wax her skin till she is bare, bare without dignity and without her natural beauty. And in this way make her inadequate to accept herself and keep on looking for ways to be accepted from women’s magazines which never give a straight answer but instead fill her head with more questions of insecurities: Am I pretty? Yes, but only if you are as bare as a baby. And shouldn’t you be looking into having babies? Are you on the pill? If so, aren’t you a slut? If not, aren’t you a prude? Remember, ladies don’t go outside after 9pm, but you must be ready at all times to go out at night and show him a good time. Are you as smooth as a baby down there? And what the fuck does that even mean!?

And that has been my excuse. Whenever a girl asks me why, I give them this tirade, one with meaning and value of inner beauty – Honestly darling, you are perfect the way you are – but, at the end it is all a hypocritical comment from me. Because, I do like waxing my arms, legs, and “down there.” Is it painful? Fuck yeah, but I like the smoothness of it. Except, I haven’t waxed my arms in 2 years and a half. And I hate it. I hate that I can’t wax my arms, and I hate even more that I can’t tell people why.

And mostly everyone accepts the tirades, girls are fueled by my stand, and guys get turned on because they think they are dating some “cool” feminist. And it has been a good lie. A good coat of arms. But, yesterday someone asked me what that white bumpy line on my arm was. They leaned close and began to trace the lines that began from my wrist. The stricken ghost-lines of an unknown predecessor.
And I didn’t know what to say.
I have run out of lies to invent.
Most importantly, I am done running from myself.
Because, honestly.
Honestly darling, you are perfect just the way you are, and it doesn’t matter what you were and what you have done, for I have no right to judge anyone’s wrongs.
Maybe it’s time for me to bear my truths.


Today, I am waxing my arms,
Not because I hate the hair on my arms,
But, because I am ready to welcome my scars.

—  Today, I waxed my arms by Wendy Perez