So, in these urgent times, it is particularly appropriate to critique the social institutions that uphold such hypocrisy, including a popular project whose very substance is the triumph of sentimentality over empathy, of platitude over inquiry, of imitation over creativity: the boldly-titled Humans of New York (HONY).

 HONY is a blog—published on Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and recently in print—that features portraits taken of New Yorkers on the street by the blog’s creator, Brandon Stanton, along with quotations from his interviews with the subjects. Initially formed as an attempt to create “an exhaustive catalogue of New York City’s inhabitants,” it has become the standard bearer of all that is warm and fuzzy about “humanity.” The stories it shares celebrate people’s greatest achievements, their deepest fears and most trying struggles, along with the quirks that make them unique individuals, all collected and presented in clean digital formats for home consumption. Despite the seeming inconsequentiality of such a social media phenomenon, its irrelevance to the day’s real political matters make significant, and troubling, its incredible popularity.

  One of the most glaring threats that HONY makes to humanity lies in its pretension of representing all of its diversity through the lens of a single individual. While claiming to define the population of New York, it presents a whitewashed image of an earnest, vibrant city that takes place predominantly in Manhattan, during the day. The individuals featured are only those Stanton feels comfortable approaching, those he deems interesting enough to photograph, who do not take offense to an intrusive white man’s request to commodify their images.

  Stanton acknowledges that his success rates in “artistic” areas like the East Village are strikingly higher than in, for instance, “somewhere like Bedford-Stuyvesant,” where he makes his home. Like a haughty gentrifier, he admits, “I do tend to value the portraits from rougher neighborhoods more, because they are harder to obtain, and rarer.” The blog grows like a collection of baseball cards, with individuals identified by whatever bits of personal information deem them “human,” their images representative of the exploits of a privileged voyeur who simultaneously exotifies and moderates the population around him.

  As Daniel D’Addario points out on Gawker, “It appears that Stanton sees people not as people but as vectors of how young, white New Yorkers see them.”

HONY aggressively promotes a wholly sentimentalized experience of New York City through a real-time disbursal of its faces, espousing an idea of inclusivity through a project of enforced uniformity. While the blog purposes to embrace diversity and celebrate each individual’s unique qualities, its effect is not to expand the rhetorical human category or challenge notions of conformity, but to accumulate and contain a more colorful array faces, neatly framed, within its restrictive scope. Beyond the exclusion inherent in a selective determination of what it takes to be counted among the “humans” of New York, the language of sameness it promotes carries a very alarming import.

I will admit it- I used to laugh at harsh criticisms of fan characters. I used to hunt reviews down and laugh about how horrible some designs were while someone pointed out every flaw.

But now it’s just tiring. It’s boring. If you wanted to give honest critiques you could do it in a million different ways other than saying “wow just look at this fuckmess.”

I once asked a critical critique group for a post on my character, and they were surprised. They were always so harsh, they never expected anyone to -ask- for it. So they gave me a review, and while they occasionally used strong language, it was honest and always giving points to fix what they thought was wrong. They were kind because they knew I would be wanting to learn and fix my mistakes. Every complaint was paired with a solution.

It was what reviews should be.

But instead most of them end up tearing the character apart without any solutions or without thinking the creator might want to improve the character themselves.

I’ve seen a real-life enactment of this very thing. When I was younger and had recess, a bunch of little girls were making flowercrowns with dandelions. I watched them cause man it was cool, but it was obvious most of them were new to it. One of the girls finished her flowercrown and ran off to some boy, seeming proud of it.

The boy destroyed it.

He and his friends laughed and made fun of how square it ended up, only putting it on his head to rip it off, destroying it.

Needless to say, I have never seen that girl make another flowercrown again. Her friends gave her one every now and again, but she never touched the flowers herself.

If you destroy someone’s creation without giving them a chance to improve, you destroy them.

Don’t destroy others for the sake of a good laugh. People should make jokes, but no one should ever be made into a joke.

vimeo

So, here’s the deal about oppression.  It’s insidious.  And we, as queer folk are often asked, or even unconsciously choose, to be complicit in our own oppression.  One of the ways this happens is that we become spokespeople for an entire community.  And we sometimes feel like we have to come to the aid of the very people who are oppressing us because maybe they just happen to be oppressing us a little bit less than that other guy.

So, sweet Jordan’s response here rings so hollow for me, and I actually feel bad that he was put in a place (or took the place) to talk about this as the “token” gay on the panel.  In fact, I feel like he fell into a trap that he, himself pointed out in an earlier interview (at 1:35) in which he roasts a reporter for saying “as a gay man, I’d be offended” by replying “that’s not fair, because you’re not and you don’t understand.” Because I don’t think he understands fully the way lesbians get played for ratings constantly.  I hate to break it to him, but it’s not an attack to critique the Bury Your Gays trope.  ESPECIALLY when your writers have acknowledged its existence.

You don’t get a free pass just because you’ve created characters who are more than their sexualities.  In fact, that’s what makes it all the more heartbreaking.  The creators made a multi-faceted character that fans grew to love, who ALSO WAS QUEER.  And having her be multifaceted and not having her sexuality be “the most important thing about her.” is important, but guess what?  In this particular character’s arc, especially this season, it WAS the most important thing about her, because that’s how she was written. The viewers are told that all of the sacrifices she’s making- the drastic personality change, etc. is because of her love of Cosima. 

So yeah, I’m going to go ahead and critique that through this lens, because that’s how the writers wrote her.  She wasn’t a scientist who happened to be gay this season, she was a queer woman, on the verge of a mental break (also a trope), trying to live up to a promise she made to the woman she loved. That relationship was central to all of her decisions. I have to consider it as the most important thing about her in this moment, because it was the driver of her character.

I still believe that Delphine will live, because I simply cannot fathom that they’d be so tone-deaf as to treat the trope- that they’ve even acknowledged is a thing-and their writing choices so flippantly.  I don’t want them to be dudebros of that caliber, not when they’ve given us so many strong female characters. 

I don’t mind it being a mystery. Truly. I get that the show needed a cliffhanger.  Hell, I understand scheduling issues too.  But it’s not that we’re “up in arms”- which comes across as really condescending.  This was a moment John could have said something like “It’s great that the audience connects so much with Delphine, especially after the season she’s had.  It’s a testament to the great acting of Evelyne Brochu that the fans are so upset. We are obviously not going to spoil our own cliffhanger, but we appreciate the passion around the question. It’s going to remain a mystery until next season.”  OR SOME SUCH SHIT. And I would have applauded.

Buck Up and Do Your Job

A post on Cosima Niehaus.

Spoilers through 3x06.

Another character seemingly thrown under the bus (not quite as badly as Alison) is one formerly beloved geek monkey. I mean sure, Cosima could be a brat. Stealing wine. Sassing people. Being a brat to Scott.

Cosima in season three has no regard for her friends, her sisters, a woman she once claimed to love or even her own health and survival. Cosima’s survival, despite the remission miraculously achieved by Delphine’s putting Kira’s dental pulp stem cells into her uterus (note to Orphan Black, hire a medical consultant… cause lung polyps and kidney polyps are serious shit and Cosima should be sick).

When I heard Cosima and Felix would be spending time together this season I was excited, I assumed the two would be actually engaging each other and chatting about life, the universe and everything. Instead what I got is Felix berating her for pining, making her a lesbian Tindr profile and telling her to find a scratching post and get laid.

Cosima is an asshole to Scott, an asshole to Delphine and (even) an asshole to Shay - who presumably knows nothing (Unless she’s another plant of some kind).  She uses people. She skips work. She doesn’t give a fuck.  And it’s her own life on the line. Is she depressed over losing Delphine? Does she want to die?  She’s angry at Delphine - who has now saved her life twice, sacrificed immunology and their relationship to keep her safe (and her sisters…) 

Miraculously “curing” Cosima has damaged her character arc. If there are no consequences to pay? Does anything have meaning? Does anything these characters do matter?  Though I suspect Cosima will get sick again, this brief remission was what? A chance for her to scratch her itch with Tindr girl? What is the point?

They told us in season 2, with Cosima’s words, “My sexuality isn’t the most interesting thing about me.” Queer fans (LGBTQIA …etc) cheered. This was representation. This was cutting edge. This season, Cosima’s arc revolves around her trying to avoid her feelings by hopping into bed with the first girl she meets through online dating, the cheezy line of “I can see inside your soul” actually works on a very desperate Cosima Niehaus. She neglects her job, her sisters, development of the cure/ a gene therapy, the cypher… everything for a little extra rubbing with her scratching post. (I don’t see chemistry between Cosima and Shay at all.. but that is not the point of this post…)

What is so awful about a single Cosima? Why can’t she be allowed to mourn Delphine or miss her? Science isn’t boring. Keep her with Scott or Felix socially? Let her move around the Orphan Black world and be useful?  She din’t even care enough about Sarah to try to contact someone at DYAD who may have the power and resources to locate her…  In fact, the most satisfying moment for me was watching Delphine (who gets shit done!) call her out on her bullshit, her work ethic and her stupid attempts at hiding the little work she’s done with Scott at work. (Side note? Poor Scott… He tries to get her into work, he tries to get things done… and all he gets is sass and brattiness…)

Cosima’s character is lost this season. It seems there is more to Cosima than her sexuality, but the writers have forgotten that. Let’s pop them in a love triangle! Let’s torture cophine fans and pimp this new “romance” in social media hardcore! I don’t know what they’re doing.

A less likeable Cosima? I think so. A totally unproductive Cosima who hasn’t lifted a finger to help herself in 6 episodes? Yeah. That. Right there.

Adrian Piper, Food For the Spirit 14, 1971-1997

Piper was reading Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, and was so involved with it she felt she was losing her mind, losing her sense of self completely. When things got extreme she would do a “reality check” in the mirror, while recording herself on tape “repeating the passage in the Critique that was currently driving [her] to self-transcendence.”

(submitted by zandapheri)

this is a very creative eggplant pic, sender. it’s clear that you’ve made an effort with the overall aesthetic. there’s certainly an interesting contrast between the futuristic attire and background, and the object you hold in your hand. i also appreciate the ambiguous way in which you look at it. confusion? desire? it’s left to the imagination in a good way.

however, what brought the picture down for me was the way the eggplant almost seems like an afterthought amongst the admittedly impressive visuals. it occupies a small space to one side, which kind of makes me quiestion whether this is truly an eggplant pic. it has its merits, but the distractions and positioning cause it to fall a little short of what i would hope for in an eggplant pic.

thank you for submitting to critique my eggplant pic. your eggplant pic gets a C+.

Social Media Pointers for Dealing with Artists

We’ve  been having a conversation on twitter and here are some of the highlights.

How you choose to interact with artists is, or course, up to you.  However, here are some pointers on how to talk to artists about their work online and what to do and not to do.

1) There is a small but very important difference between saying “Jeremy Whitley is a bad writer” and saying “@princelesscomic is a bad writer.  It is the difference between discussing my work with other people and walking into my house and slapping me.

2) Treat a person’s timeline like it is their house. Know that if you tag them in your post you that you are sending them a message. I know people @ people in things like #FF but you have to know you are jumping up in someone’s mentions when you do that.

3) Throwing an @ symbol at someone when giving them an angry or negative review or generally talking junk about them is a dick move.  If you do it, the natural and justified reaction to that is to block you.  Them blocking you does not mean that they are a poor sport or that you have somehow won, it just means you’ve lost access to that creator.  Believe me that creators do not lose any sleep over not seeing your dickish tweets in their mentions. Most of us are too busy trying to eat.

4) The word “critique” is overused on the internet. A critique involves a knowledgeable and reasoned analysis of a work of art. Generally speaking, these are the unicorns of social media.

5) What most people mean when they say “critique” is actually an opinion.  The thing about opinions is that everybody has them, they can be wrong, and they can often be easily proven wrong.

6) Saying “That’s just my opinion” does not make it valid.  Some opinions are poorly formed.  Some opinions are uninformed.  there is nothing sacred about an opinion.

7) A mark of an actual critic is that they refer their criticism to the work and not to the creator. A character can suck. Telling a writer they suck is picking a fight.

8) Most writers, myself included, are happy to respond to questions and love to do Q&A’s.  However, if you don’t ask a question, don’t expect an answer.  Insult and Answer is not a thing.

9) Creators are people and deserve to be treated as such.

10) Creators are under no obligation to “get” or “share” your “sense of humor”.

Hello! I heard you guys were still doing critiques and I honestly needed help with this, It’s supposed to be the body base for my Toy Chica lineup picture, would you please give me some advice if you have?

This is really nice! It looks like you’re going for a kinda chubby, pear-shaped Chica, so I’m going to be using plus-sized women as examples (please excuse the fact I used lingerie models: they show off more of the tum and hips)

Here are some other basic body shapes in case I’m wrong about the pear shape! 

The hips of the drawing are sort of wonky and look like they sorta just burst out of the torso

Some women have more rolls than others! Some have smaller breasts than others! Body variation is entirely up to you.

Flawless curve tutorial


Hope this helps!

A Review of Asif Kapadia’s Amy: A Devastating Look at Fame, Addiction, and Life Lost

Directed by Asif Kapadia, Amy is a deeply affecting documentary about the life and career of British singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse. The documentary begins with a home video showing Winehouse at a friend’s birthday party as a young teenager and ends with her death by alcohol poisoning in 2011. Consisting primarily of archival footage and photographs, Amy paints a layered and often remarkably intimate portrait of Winehouse.

Like so many biographical documentaries before it, Amy makes heavy use of interviews with an assortment of people who knew or worked with its subject. However, where some filmmakers would choose to show footage of the interviewees talking, Kapadia includes the interviews (which are with Winehouse’s friends, family, former lovers, colleagues, and more) in voiceover only. This allows Kapadia to keep images of Winehouse and of her handwritten lyrics onscreen regardless of whose voice is being heard; by forcing viewers to continually focus on Winehouse, Amy keeps things personal while working to increase the film’s emotional efficacy.

Amy largely succeeds in its efforts to tell Winehouse’s story in a way that will leave its viewers not only informed, but moved and haunted as well. For the most part, Kapadia presents his subject in a sensitive manner, and he does not make the mistake of sensationalizing Winehouse’s life. Instead of cheapening Winehouse by exploiting her untimely death, self-destructive tendencies, and various illnesses for their shock value, Kapadia seeks to honor her by using her story to call attention both to her talent and to the many forces that worked against her. If anyone leaves Amy upset that she didn’t live long enough to make another album, I would encourage them to watch the film again. Kapadia does not make the mistake of pretending to fully understand Winehouse—but he does ask viewers to consider how much better off she might have been if one of so many things (including Back to Black) had not happened.

Many who see Amy may have laughed as countless talk show hosts and media outlets cracked jokes about Winehouse’s substance abuse and appearance several years ago. But those same people are sure to cringe when they hear those same jokes within the context of Kapadia’s film. Such moments—in which Winehouse is not present but is ridiculed for her addiction—are absolutely harrowing, and they—like so much of Amy—are a strong reminder of cinema’s power to (as Ebert said) “generate[] empathy.” Kapadia’s documentary can’t bring Winehouse back to life or make it possible for viewers to truly understand her, but it does instill empathy in them. In this case, that is enough.

Amy is a biographical documentary, a tragedy, and a tribute all wrapped into one. It’s also a cautionary tale. Kapadia doesn’t shame Winehouse for any of her personal choices or illnesses—which include depression, bulimia, alcoholism, and drug addiction—but he does lament the fact that she was (for whatever reason) unable to get the help and support that she needed. People can and do self-destruct, but Amy also makes it clear that there were many around Winehouse (including many who did not even know her), who may have been able to help her (or, at the very least, to hurt her less).

In telling it’s tale of an individual’s life and death, Amy brings a number of large and far-reaching issues to the forefront. One of things that it claims is partially responsible for Winehouse’s struggle is our celebrity culture. In fact, Amy uses Winehouse (yes, uses) and her death to shine an intense and damning light on the way that our media and society exploit, consume, and abuse celebrities (and just about anyone else that they can get their hands on). At the same time, the film also uses Winehouse’s story to remind viewers that mental illness, eating disorders, and addiction are not funny. Trivializing someone’s experiences or using someone’s poor health for a laugh does not do anyone any good. Winehouse wasn’t cured of addiction by being turned into a caricature by those who did not know her, and we have no reason to believe that she ever would have been. Conditions like those that Amy suffered are serious. They destroy lives, and the stigma that our current culture encourages helps no one. People shouldn’t need a documentary about a member of The 27 Club to realize any of this, but that’s neither here nor there.

Winehouse’s struggles with depression, bulimia, and addiction don’t change the fact that she was an extremely talented artist—or a flawed human being. What they do mean, is that she was often more vulnerable than most. A celebrity culture that turns people into tabloids is incredibly destructive, and so are all the demons that Winehouse had to deal with. Fame didn’t cause Winehouse’s problems, but it certainly didn’t help. Neither did her mother, who ignored her bulimia. Neither did her father, who wasn’t more concerned with treating her addiction. Neither did her boyfriend, who enabled her drug use. And neither did her manager, who pushed her to tour. And neither did she. The list is quite devastating, and it does not seem to end.

One of the voices in the film claims that no one can really be prepared for the sort of fame that Amy acquired. This is probably true, and it’d be nice if our society would take a long hard look the way we view celebrities. At the very least, we could definitely use some much stricter laws on the paparazzi. However, viewers of Amy must also wrestle with the fact that a great deal of the footage and the images in the film come from the paparazzi and other similarly invasive sources. If such sources are responsible for so much of the material that makes up the film, then where does that leave us as filmgoers? By using such footage to provide audiences with a fuller picture of Winehouse’s life and to call attention to the role of an unsympathetic media in her suffering, does Kapadia undo any of the damage? Is that good enough? I don’t know, but I have a feeling that such thoughts will continue to give me reason for pause for quite some time.

Another thing about Amy that has left me somewhat uneasy is the issue of whether or not the film—by the very nature of its existence—cannot help but exploit Winehouse. The film focuses on her, and it frequently puts her lyrics on screen in an effort to give viewers the sense that she, through her art, has some sort of agency. But after I dried my eyes and left the theater, I was left with a lingering feeling that something was off. A sort of voyeuristic shame. I still can’t quite shake the sense that perhaps I shouldn’t have even been allowed to see Amy. Perhaps this sort of guilt is inevitable, especially given just how personal and private much of the film’s footage is. Or maybe the guilt is evidence that Kapadia’s film really has achieved some good. After all, Winehouse is a stranger. We have no right to invade her privacy or to judge her now that she’s dead, and we certainly didn’t when she was alive. But we did anyway, and so we deserve the guilt.

Though it’s not a huge problem, Amy does drag a bit in a few places. The film often uses static images—many of which are non-professional candids or photos taken by the paparazzi. Many of these images effectively add detail, life, and emotion to Winehouse’s story, but some of them don’t. On top of that, more than a few of them are allowed to remain on screen for quite a bit longer than they should have been, which produces a sort of awkward lull.

I am also unsure whether the film devotes quite enough time to exploring the depths of Winehouse’s talent or to praising her as an artist. Yes, Winehouse’s ability is self-evident, and yes, her deeply personal music (which is heard quite often in the film) is more than capable of speaking for itself, but I cannot help but wonder if Amy goes just a tad too far in its quest to show viewers all of the ways in which Winehouse was a victim. Winehouse definitely suffered, and her death was most certainly tragic, but that does not change the fact that she was (for a time) a survivor and acclaimed artist who achieved a great deal in a short amount of time. As much as I appreciate Amy, a part of me still wishes that Kapadia had found a way to balance these aspects of Winehouse’s story just a little bit better.

Amy is a beautiful, respectful, tragic, and appropriately quiet documentary. Kapadia takes his time telling Winehouse’s story, and the film does its best to give viewers a complete picture of the late singer. And yet, Winehouse remains inaccessible to us. We can shed tears for her loss and feel our hearts swell with anger as we see just how many ways both the individuals and the culture around her failed to properly react to her various needs and conditions, but we can never truly know her. If that bothers us, then perhaps we should seek to do something about the multitude of things that may have helped to speed her death.

Dori Thomas is an aspiring filmmaker and critic. She runs a blog and you can should follow her on twitter @cinefuck.

Check your Criticisms.

I don’t know why I feel the need to post this rant, but here it goes. 

I’ve noticed a strange trend online, one that I’m sure you’ve all seen as well: Criticism and critique is no longer based on the quality and worth of something. Now it seems that increasingly cynical and myopic criticisms are being based on perceived deficiencies in works being produced, not in the way the stories are told on their own merit.

I’ll use the backlash that Joss Whedon received for his portrayal of Black Widow as an example.  He created a perfectly valid and personal reason for Black Widow to feel and act the way that she does in “Age of Ultron”, but he was derided online for not handling her story the way that “the internet” found worthy.  Instead of critiquing the story structure, or the handling of her character WITHIN the context of the backstory and character that HE had developed, he was raked over the coals for not presenting a strong enough feminist argument with her. But that wasn’t the story he was trying to tell with her.  He wasn’t trying to create an icon of feminism in her character, he was trying, at minimum, to tell a story of a girl who had everything taken away from her, including choice, and how she dealt with her past as she developed into a hero.  That was the point. I may be wrong on the specific details (I don’t know what was in his mind specifically), but he created a very compelling story for her in the very few minutes of screentime that she had. 

Just because he didn’t create a banner image of the feminist ideal does not make the story he created for her invalid!  But the internet BLEW UP at him, and it baffled me.  She wasn’t a weak character. She wasn’t a damsel in distress, she was in every way an equal to the rest of the cast, and in fact she had a much more compelling reason to be a hero than many of the other characters. I’m all for stories that the world needs to hear, that champion the rights and strengths of women as individuals and not just fantasy.  I want more and more of those stories. And guess what? That story was there with Black Widow. Just because it didn’t align with the way “you” would have wanted the story told doesn’t make it bad.

I’m starting to feel that if creators are too concerned with pleasing tumblr, or twitter, or their peers and fans on any social media, they might start forgoing plot, theme and character in order to advance “ideals”. Ideals are great, the world needs to hear them,  but work them in organically if they are of the utmost importance to you. And then lay off other creators who don’t see the world the same way that you do, or who create something that you feel “would be better if he/she just did this…”  

I remember that recently an online comic shut down IMMEDIATELY after it started, all because a few critics balked at the idea of a non-Japanese person creating a manga about Japanese voice actors.  Really?  Is that creator’s desire to tell a story invalid because they may get a few facts and idiosyncrasies about Japan and it’s culture wrong? It was a love letter to something the creator cared deeply about, but the creator decided to shut down the comic, drowning under the voices of a few idealists who decided that the problem of what it lacked (an actual Japanese voice) was more important than the story that it was trying to tell.

I see people who love swords criticize, complain and antagonize a creator for the way sword are held in comic books.  I’ve seen an artist CRITICIZED for the amount of “muscly dudes” that he draws because, as he said, that’s just what he likes to draw.  Hey, critic, here’s a great way to approach an artist that you see “lacking” diversity - “Hey artist ‘x’, I love your work! I’d love to see more of the women you draw as well, because they look amazing! Just as amazing as the guys you draw!”  or “I love that you have such badass sword fight scenes in your comics! I love swords and sword fighting technique! Here’s some reference you might find handy for future issues!” Maybe he/she will give you what you want, maybe they won’t, but the point is, be nice.  

Let’s continue to talk about diversity. Let’s continue to make WORKS that talk about diversity. Let’s make works that DON’T contain diversity because maybe that’s not the point of the story being told.  Let’s make works that pass Bechdel Test. Let’s make works that DON’T pass the Bechdel test.  Let’s keep encouraging people to make works that speak to us and which are important. Let’s make dumb crap that doesn’t have a deeper meaning. But let’s try to stop criticizing people who don’t live up to our very very fickle or very very rigid standards for content.  If you have to criticize something, criticize it for being just TERRIBLE, like The Dark Knight Rises.

Sometimes I’m kinda brutally honest.  If you ask me for a critique, I’ll tell you EXACTLY what I think, no sugarcoating at all.  When I do, though, PLEASE do not take it as a personal offense.

This is something a lot of people need to understand: a critique on your work is NOT a critique on your character.  It’s somebody telling you what they honest-to-God think in an attempt to help you improve.

Sometimes, a critique can hurt a lot.  Trust me, I’m an art student–I’m speaking from experience.  Maybe your professor or peer points something out in your work that you were already insecure about, or maybe something you thought you had NAILED was actually subpar in their eyes.  It’s okay.  It’s not the end of the world.  The reason they pointed it out to you in the first place, however harshly or bluntly, is because they want you to improve.  They want to SEE you improve.

Certainly, sometimes critiques are unwelcome.  There’s a certain etiquette in that, of course–if somebody hasn’t asked for a critique, don’t just up and say it.  If you have recommendations to make, ask if they’re looking for a critique before you make them.

By the same token, though, if you ask for a critique, somebody gives you one, and you don’t like what you hear, do not blow up about it.  You asked for their opinion, and you got it.  You have no right to get angry at them for doing exactly what you asked them to do.  Take the critique in stride, no matter how much it hurts, and do your best to separate any emotion from it.  Look at the facts of the critique, and compare them objectively to your work.  If you find value in the core of the critique, make the adjustments you think are necessary and try, try, try again.

But always remember this: critiques are NOT insults.  There is a difference, though with some people the line can be blurred.  Just keep a stiff upper lip, a thick layer of skin, and ask for critique, because if you know how to take it,it can only help you get better.

2

It’s so much harder to find masculine body positive images, phrases, blogs, etc. A lot of that is because massive amounts of social pressure is on women to define their worth by their waist line. Men at least have a few other options. That’s not to say that men don’t face fatphobia/body shaming as well, because they do. And forget about finding supportive post/images for trans men and women. Thats EVEN harder. Well here’s hopping that this post reaches some people. No matter how you identify, your body is beautiful.