I have a pretty active presence on social networking sites, and every day there are messages from so many young girls telling me that they are happy B-Town has curvy women like me. I feel you should be happy the way you are. Of course, fitness is important, but not to the extent of obsession!
Hi! So basically I’m half way through my fitness journey and I’m doing well however I’ve recently moved to a new city and started at a new gym. It’s really busy, particularly the weight areas, and I just feel really out of place and like I don’t know what I’m doing compared to everyone else even though I’m comfortable using all the equipment at other gyms, it’s just so daunting cause there’s so many people and everyone is getting in my way? Any ideas how to help this?
You could ask a staff member if they notice a trend in when the gym is the busiest? If your schedule is flexible, you could try going at a different time. It may just take you some time to get used to the new location and gain confidence, even though you know you’re comfortable using the equipment. But ultimately, maybe this gym isn’t a good fit for what you want. There should be plenty of smaller, private gyms around if you’re willing to pay for them.
SCORPIO: You can remember every terrible thing that’s ever put its hands on you but recalling a small act of kindness can bring you trembling to your knees. Sometimes you have to fight back against your brain, against the voice that’s telling you that all you’ve ever gotten from the world is heartbreak and devastation. There comes a moment when you have to choose what to forget and what to remember, and that time is on the horizon. You’re running out of space in yourself for newer, softer memories. Don’t cast them away for those things that don’t deserve it.
SAGITTARIUS: Devote time to yourself this month. I know that sometimes every positive thing that leaves your lips feels like a lie and the people that surround you don’t always tell you that you matter, but you’re still whole. Nobody can take that away from you. Do you remember the last time you laughed so hard that your belly ached? I know that it often feels like you’re never going to reach that feeling of joy again, but you will. Don’t be afraid to cut out the people that bring you down. Your heart is not a toy or something to prod and subject to experiments. Act tenderly.
CAPRICORN: Lately everything that’s graced your tongue has been tinged with bitterness, which says more about your taste buds than it does about what you’ve been pressing to your mouth. It’s not always that the object or the person or the situation itself that’s bathed in sourness: sometimes it’s the way you’re consuming it. You have the tendency to take a perfectly sweet environment and turn it into something difficult to swallow, because whenever life comes easily to you a cloud of suspicion engulfs it. Give yourself a break from making things more difficult than they need to be.
AQUARIUS: Have you ever thought that maybe ghost stories fascinate you so much because of your inclination to play dead? It’s so much easier to be a spirit than to have one, to hide under beds and sneak around the issues: but what are you avoiding by doing this? Who are you hurting? I know that this is easy to forget when you’ve been not quite a person for so long, but everyone would much rather embrace your physical form than whisper disjointed fragments to an invisible, intangible body. Existence looks beautiful on you. You were made for color.
PISCES: You have maps with red pen marks littering your bedroom floor because you’ve only ever dreamt of being in a house that isn’t this one. That could be because you love traveling, but it could also be because you’ve never found a place you could comfortably call ‘home.’ I suppose this is a cliche that you’ve seen before, perhaps on a poster in a doctor’s office, but you have to become comfortable with yourself before attempting to navigate landscapes or else every location you visit will feel like a movie set. You’ll find your place eventually. Give it time to grow for you.
ARIES: It’s easier to make people laugh than it is to tell them how you’re feeling, and at this point you could be a stand-up comedian with all the practice you’ve had. I’m sorry that you’ve so often felt the need to hide behind a mask in order to make everyone around you comfortable. I want you to know that you’re allowed to be vocal about the things that make you happy, or the things that upset you. You don’t have to be afraid of asking for help, if you feel that you’re slipping off of the edge. There are so many hands outstretched, ready to lift you up.
TAURUS: You know more than anyone else how exhausting it is to tend to people that don’t deserve it but, for some reason, you keep doing it anyways. Perhaps it’s all become routine, or you’re comfortable with the familiar, however that doesn’t change that your average level of happiness is set on a sliding scale dependent on another’s attention. You define happiness with instagram likes and unremarkable moments: this has become commonplace. It shouldn’t be, but I think that you already know that. So, why are you refusing to believe that which you know is true? For what purpose?
GEMINI: Every dream that you have is short-lived because nobody’s ever told you that it’s okay to linger within a state of indecision. Not knowing what you want from the world has become a dirty secret that you bury in your laundry basket, praying it’ll magically clean itself. The hard truth is that it won’t magically become manageable, but it’s still okay to close your eyes, exhale, and contemplate your personal definition of desire. Stop taking into account the feelings of others when doing this: determine what you wish you could be, apart from any social influences.
CANCER: The smoke alarm has been ringing for days and you haven’t bothered yet to turn it off. There’s something incredibly intimidating about confronting your noisiest problems, and lately your solution to this has consisted of hiding under the covers with tattered photo albums and headphones. I’m not saying that you have to immediately tackle every issue that wanders into your life, but a plan of action is always a good thing to have. Set manageable goals for yourself and try your best to stick to them. I promise, progress will make you feel better.
LEO: So, another person let you down and you’re busy feeling sorry for yourself. You’ve fallen in love with how tragic your reflection becomes once you’ve cried every night for a week straight. Adopting unhealthy habits has become a game, like how quickly can you ruin your life before anybody asks how you’re doing. Maybe there’s something thrilling about being reckless, but trust me when I say that there’s nothing exciting about actively wrecking your chances for happiness. Allow yourself to heal. Stop punishing yourself for being alive.
VIRGO: Your to-do lists are all written in permanent ink which says a lot about how confident you are in your ability to get things done; this is to say that your list keeps growing at an incredible rate and you’re angry that you can’t keep up with it. It’s easy to blame it on your situation, and that definitely pulls some weight. But I think that a lot of this overactivity stems back to you and the way you hold yourself back whenever you get close to something you could love. Buy some pencils. Prioritize. Stop pretending that you need to save the world.
LIBRA: Spring cleaning has been over for months now but that doesn’t mean you can’t start a little later than usual this year. There are so many dust-covered boxes surrounding your bed that it’s making your allergies worse than ever before; you can’t remember the last time you slept through the night without waking up in a coughing fit because of what you refuse to throw out. I think you need to acknowledge that things are always going to be changing, both the good and the bad, despite how much you dig your heels into the ground. It won’t ever be the same. And that’s okay.
I really wish people on the internet didn’t throw around mental disorder diagnoses without actually understanding them like…mislabeling something on a site like this just misleads a ton of other impressionable ppl, and it’s irritating to see someone wrongly label symptoms or justify a mislabeling with this front of infallible authority when they’re just…wrong haha
It’s better to be cautious with labeling something a disorder when you don’t actually know if that’s what it is. That includes your favorite character or someone else’s symptoms…like it’s one thing to recommend researching a disorder/asking a professional about it or having a headcanon or something, but just, remember to be humble about it
Keith Kogan: A Portrayal of Homosexuality Done Right
I always tell people that Voltron is a lot more clever than it gets credit for. It can spin a cliche/trope on it’s head beautifully, and while all the characters are easily digestible archetypes (i.e: the nerd, the loner), the creators add layers to them that not only make them feel like real people, but also makes social commentary on those very archetypes.
In no better way do they do this than with the character of Keith.
Before I get into how and why Keith deviates from you’re typical gay male protagonist, I want to establish as a fact that Keith is homosexual.
If you don’t see - what I consider to be - blatant evidence that Keith’s gay, well, I can’t say I blame you. Most people have ingrained heteronormative lenses, meaning they’ll miss the subtext of homosexual characters. Us in the LGBT community are much more attuned to seeing these because, well, for one, we’re queer, and two, because up until around the 1960s, the portrayal of gay characters in the media was illegal and could only be shown subtextually.
So it makes sense that people overlook the very nuanced portrayal of Keith’s sexuality, but if you’re willing to take off those lenses, it’s certainly there.
The first standout appearance of this is in season 1 episode 6: Taking Flight. Or as I like to call it, the day the shows name officially changed to Gaytron: Legendary Homosexuals
I think one of the disconnects for some viewers is that they don’t completely grasp the saying, “Show don’t tell,” the mantra of pretty much every writer. Not always, but typically, showing is better than telling. Or more accurately, telling needs to be used at the correct times and for the right reasons.
So how do they show us that Keith’s gay in this episode? Through three things, body language, actions, and juxtaposition.
You don’t have to be a body language specialist to understand the clear meaning behind Keith’s posture. Leaning, looking someone up and down, and a small, lingering smile/smirk are all subconscious signs of attraction. They’re also common ways of depicting male attraction in the media.
Speaking of depicting male attraction, lets look at how Lance’s flirts in the same episode.
Leaning. Check. Lingering smile. Check. Engaged eye contact. Check. The biggest difference is how blatant they are in their intentions, but that comes down to pure character difference. Keith is self assured and more genuinely confident. He also has a lot of walls up and isn’t so open. While Lance puts on a show/over compensates so that he might appear cool. You can also see this in their respective ‘I’m-checking-you-out’ postures. Lance’s body is open, he’s engaged and his eyes are on Nyma’s eyes. While Keith’s posture is interested, but more in an appreciative way. His body is closed off, and instead of looking Rolo in the eyes, he looks at his - um - physique. This is really fitting for Keith’s character, who again, has walls, and who also puts this mission first, and most likely has no intention of letting this attraction lead to anything other than having a nice piece of eye candy around for a couple of hours.
This is textbook juxtaposition. So moving along now.
I don’t want this to be a shippy post, so I won’t add all the times I think Keith shows attraction towards Lance, but I do want to mention this scene.
The use of the rainbow(the most recognizable symbol in the gay community) over lapping the bi flag colors is relevant for the same reason why the use of purple to symbolize the Galra is relevant. Purple represents royalty, imperialism, but also gloom and danger. The use of these colors and symbols are conscious choices.
While the above scene shows that Keith is attracted to men, this scene shows that Keith is also not attracted to woman.
What I love about this scene is that it’s such a cliche, and like I said up above, Voltron is good at turning those on their head. Here they utilize the tiered and true trope of accidentally falling into each others arms. If this was a hetero-centric Romcom than this moment would’ve been obviously meant to establish attraction, but instead, it does the opposite. Rather Keith personally likes Allura or not, she’s a knock out. So, if he’s attracted to women at all, and isn’t use to having that contact- which hes not - he should be at least somewhat shocked/flustered. If it had been an attractive guy that fell into Keith’s arms, I have no doubt that his reactions would be something beyond that blank stare. Considering he literally gasps every time Lance touches him
The last piece of “evidence” I want to show isn’t as blatant and may just be my perspective, but it’s worth mentioning.
The themes of Keith’s Galra arc are very reminiscent to coming out. He’s discovering parts of himself. He’s internalizing and hiding away said parts. He’s scared of what the people he cares about will think of him when they find out. If this is intentional, it’s brilliant, because while Voltron is set in a futurist world where sexuality is supposedly not an Issue, it still is for the youth of today. Meaning by having these similar themes, Keith becomes more relatable to LGBT people.
This is the part where, if you still don’t think Keith’s gay, I’ll have to calmly yet firmly ask you to get off my fucking lawn. For the rest of you, onward to victory!!!
LGBT individuals have a history of being badly represented in the media, especially now that gay characters have become a marketing strategy for a more progressive consumer base. Their whole character is often reduced to stereotypes or used as a giant walking gay pride flag that reads: look at us, we’re hip and with the times. Meaning, the majority of these characters plots and personalities are based solely on their sexuality. Which is a problem, because not only does it not help to normalize homosexuality, but it’s just not relatable to LGBT people.
I’ll give you an example. My mom’s a lesbian. She married to a woman and has two daughters, one who is trans and one who is bi. But despite how “gay"her life may seem, she very rarely describes herself as that way. She’s not active in LGBT issues. She doesn’t involve herself in the community. Shes not lesbian first and everything else afterward, and she is certainly not alone in that experience. Don’t get me wrong, LGBT individuals are more aware of their sexuality than cishet people, but it’s typically only because others point it out and remind us that its not "normal.” Still, for a lot of LGBT people, our sexuality is just one part of our personal narrative, not the whole damn book.
Another problem with LGBT representations is that their often just built off of stereotypes. Gay men are feminized and their sexuality is typically made the butt of a joke. They are shown as being promiscuous and having commitment issues. These are the standards.
But Keith abolishes all of those, and in such a seamless way too.
While Keith’s character is in no way excessively macho, he’s certainly not feminine either. He doesn’t mind getting sweaty. He’s temperamental and has anger issue. He lived a pretty low maintenance life in a desert shack, sleeps in his jeans like a heathen, and probably uses a dagger to peel oranges. Keith is a masculine character. He’s confident and self assured, but not vain. He’s emotional, but in a very private way. Whereas many other portrayal of gay men depict them as almost theatrically sensitive, confident, but only in their sexual prowess, and self absorbed, but only when it come to their looks and not when it comes to their skills.
This is already an impressive deviation, but what really makes Keith’s portrayal stand out is the way his sexuality is but a mere footnote in what makes his character his character, and how that fits into his personality and story arc so well.
The first thing you have to realize about Keith is that, while he certainly wants to connect with people, it’s not his number one priority. He has barriers. He fears rejection, and despite wanting to feel as if he belongs, its not hard to see how Keith has been conditioned to assume he’ll inevitability be left behind, and therefore places personal relationships low on his list of priorities. Meaning, yes, he was checking out Rolo, and yes, I believe that he’s veryvery fond of Lance, but I can’t imagine that Keith really sees these relationships becoming something substantial or romantic, and thus doesn’t put too much effort into perusing them. You can really tell what’s important to a character by what they focus their time on. Take Lance for instance, he’s a character who blatantly cares about friendships and has no problem openly flirting. That’s not to say Lance doesn’t care about the war, just like Keith’s reluctance to pursue meaningful bonds doesn’t mean he doesn’t want them. It just means that relationships and love obviously mean a lot to Lance.
So what does Keith focus on? Well, he shows the most focus on relationships in season one, when the connections he had with his makeshift family was the post pressing thing going on. (You cant really form Voltron if you don’t connect with the other members) But after season one, with all the changes Keith goes through, we see a big shift in his priorities. First he finds out about his heritage, then Shiro disappears and he is thrust into leadership, and then most recently, he joins the Blade.
By framing Keith’s character like this, it allows the creators to make his sexuality natural and relatable in a very interesting way. Because as LGBT people know, our sexuality isn’t the most important part of our lives. Just like Keith, we have more to focus on.
That’s not to say that his sexuality will never be shown explicitly. Like I said, I don’t want to get too shippy, but I truly believe that Laith is endgame. So if and when that happens, his sexuality will naturally come into play. Sadly, their will be a lot of people who call it forced because they missed the subtext and are use to seeing gay characters depicted more as spectacles than real people.
Voltron has really done something special here. They’ve create a universe where sexuality isn’t an issue, and they make it believable by never bringing it up outside of naturally occurring, unforced, appropriate context. Even better, because the Voltron universe is so vastly different than our own, it would’ve been easy to make LGBT characters that we couldn’t relate to, but they don’t. They manage this so well that I honestly can’t phantom Keith’s sexuality being anything but homosexual despite the fact it’s never been explicitly shown.
But most importantly, they’re creating a higher standard for LGBT representation. They are normalizing it on a show aimed towards children who are heavily influenced by the media they consume.
If you have a difficult time plotting, try writing or outlining your story backwards—from the end to the beginning. Writers who have a difficult time outlining, plotting, and planning their stories often benefit from this technique. You’ll need a general idea of what your story is about for this to work, and of course you need to know the ending, but you might be amazed how helpful this trick can be.
Why is writing backwards easier? Basically, instead of answering the question “this happened… now what comes next?,” you’ll be answering the question “this happened… so what would come right before that?” which narrows the possibilities for your next move and can help keep your story on track. (Incidentally, it’s also the way Joseph Gordan-Levitt’s character comes out on top in the film The Lookout.)
Writing backwards can also help you more tightly weave together your subplots, themes, and character relationships, and keep you from going too far down any irrelevant rabbit holes.
If you don’t want to write or outline completely backwards, remember that you’re free to jump around! If you’re feeling stuck in your story or novel, jump to the middle or end and write a few scenes. Many writers get stuck because they feel they have to write their story linearly from beginning to end, which results in an overdeveloped (and often irrelevant) beginning and an underdeveloped ending.
So go work on that ending! It’s much more likely that you will need to change your beginning to fit your ending than the other way around, so spend time on your ending sooner rather than later!
So guess what I’m still thinking of? If you guessed “the seven birds as gods” you are correct. Specifically, I’ve been thinking of what they might be patron gods of and what kinds of prayers they’d be most likely to answer.
Lucretia - She’s a goddess of protection, of course, and also guidance in difficult decisions and forgiveness. She answers prayers for those looking for protection, but her most generous answers are for those who pray for protection on behalf of others, in the defense of others. She provides guidance to those facing difficult choices and quiets guilty hearts of repentant people. Lucretia cannot force the forgiveness of others, but she can ease the hurt between people so that both sides suffer less.
Davenport - He’s a god of travelers and journeys, of clear thoughts and articulation. A lot of sailors and adventurers pray to him and he guides them to safe passage, but he also receives prayers from people who have difficulty communicating - either because they have difficulty collecting their thoughts, difficulty expressing themselves, or difficulty being understood. He gives them the right words in a variety of ways, and ensures that those who cannot speak for themselves are not overlooked of forgotten.
Merle - He’s a god of fertility, dance, and hope. He answers prayers of families and performers (though the ways in which he answers performers is unpredictable and frequently hilarious). He gives special attention to families that are strained or in some way separated; he provides healing even if the family cannot be reunited. He also answers the prayers of people looking for hope in desperate and dark situations, and those asking for second chances; it’s very rare that those kinds of prayers ever go unanswered.
Magnus - He’s a god of strength, skill in battle, lost love, and endurance. Magnus gets a lot of prayers from fighters looking to be stronger than anyone else, and he usually answers those prayers by guiding them closer to other people. He has a similar solution for those praying for lost loves and endurance - he guides them to other people, and things to do, causes to live for. It’s the best advice he has. (Julia is not technically a goddess but sometimes she answers prayers too, especially prayers from oppressed people suffering under unfair rule.)
Lup - She’s a goddess of chaos, justice, patience, and freedom. She appreciates unrestrained displays of magic. Some pray to her mistakenly expecting her to answer prayers of destruction or vengeance, but she only answers where there is a wrong to be righted. Like Julia, Lup answers the prayers of the oppressed, as well as the desperate, betrayed, and those facing impossible odds. (The answers to these prayers are sometimes destructive, as the situation calls for it.) Lup also answers prayers of patience, and calms passionate spirits until the time is right; she answers the prayers of those trapped physically or in a dangerous situation and aids their escape.
Taako - He’s a god of cooking, trickery, and teaching. He’s a trickster god and so it’s sometimes difficult to know answered prayers have actually been answered, but that in itself is a lesson - be careful who you trust and seek your own solutions. He’s known for listening to students struggling to learn for reasons outside of their control - a lack of resources, or specific learning needs. The answers to those prayers are usually detrimental to who or whatever is standing in their way. Most prayers involving tricks result in the trick failing spectacularly or putting the person who said the prayer at the receiving end. There is a specific prayer attributed to him to check food for poison; he almost always answers for people like those in his audiences, and if a dish is poisoned it will glow with a soft pink color.
Barry - He’s the god of research, memory, and finding lost things. Barry most frequently receives prayers from people who are looking for something - many different types of something. Some are looking for insubstantial goals, such as love or success. Some are looking for answers, or information, or a favorite item. He pays special attention to prayers looking for lost people (either those who are missing or who have lost their way). He also answers prayers to preserve and refresh memory; when the memory cannot be helped directly, sometimes he’ll answer these prayers by surrounding the person by reminders of things they’ve forgotten.
The show promotes two types of “popular” female characters:
1. The ones who shed part of their feminity and become androgynous, warrior-like, masculine or have what is considered to be male ‘skills’ = strong, capable and ‘good’ characters loved by fans (examples: Arya, Brienne, Ygritte. Daenerys)
2. The ones who are feminine as in hot, sexy and blatantly sexual = feminine in a way that services male viewers and propagates basically what Cersei told Sansa in S2, that a woman’s weapon (skill) is between her legs (examples: Margaery, Daenerys, Cersei, Shae, Talisa, even Olenna tells the tale of how ‘good’ she was at it to get into old Tyrell’s bed)
Sansa fits into neither category which is why so many people hate her, find her ‘annoying’ or ‘boring’ and wish she would die.
Sansa is feminine in a home-bound, nurturing, caring, gentle and matriarchal kind of way, which is funny enough the stuff that the best queens are made of: instead of confrontational, she is diplomatic, instead of conquering she is defending, instead of taking lives, she preserves lives, instead of seductive, she is loving….and I could go on.
Nobody likes the quiet, sweet, intelligent girl. She’s boring. But guess what, she may just be winning the game in the end. Her fitting into neither the format of ‘warrior woman’ or ‘sexy princess’ actually makes Sansa as outstanding as the colour of her hair. It’s like she is something special hidden in plain sight that is very slowly revealed as the force no one reckoned with.
And at this point, this is the only thing I’m really looking forward to see on this show.
text: “don’t forget, steven’s model can change based on the expressions and proportions of the board drawing!”
since there’s discourse surrounding how one boarder likes to chibify steven more than the others, i’d like to point out that this isn’t new. again, it’s fine to criticize it, i’m not saying that decision is always a winner, but it’s intentional.
i’ve seen too many hot takes on the show “slowly getting worse” for something that has always been the case. every boarder on the show has their own style, hence you get drawings that almost look like they’d fit in the OK KO verse:
(ian jq episode, season 1A)
and drawings that look very much like rebecca sugar’s distinctive style:
(rebecca sugar episode, season 4)
so i think it’s unfair to say season 1 was the “highlight” of steven universe’s artistry, or that it’s been a one-way slippery slope, if that’s how it’s measured.
again, if you don’t like free boarder expression, that’s okay. this isn’t about whether it’s good or bad. (though it’s not new: adventure time, disney cartoons, and warner brotherscartoons have all done the same thing).
this is just a nitpick that some of the criticism seems… a little tunnel-vision. almost like they’re trying to make a narrative of su getting worse, instead of accepting this has always been a part of the show (saving the ‘best’ animation for important moments) or something!
that’s why these scenes look so good. because they’re important. they change the game for the characters involved, and it’s crucial to visually convey the emotion and movement of it. su never “forgot” how to do that.
My piece for the Style!!! on ICE zine! I wanted to play with some 1950′s fashion and I thought the fun colors, patterns, and silhouettes fit Mila and Sara perfectly. Thank you so much to @styleoniceartbook for having me and organizing this amazing project!! ♡
I’m not dead just ridiculously busy with moving and whatnot!! I haven’t had the chance to draw in months and it almost started to physically hurt not to be able to draw so my resolution: to use the time i could be sleeping to animate 8,D
Got dem Sailor Moon feels back from marathoning all the newest musicals and crying at the beauty that is Yuuga Yamato as Mamoru Chiba.
It's so fitting that Andy explained Rick telling Michonne that he loves her in this way:“I like to think it’s said in my eyes every time that we speak.”
Andy has been playing Rick with heart eyes for Michonne since before they were canon. The way Rick looked at Michonne all those seasons ago is one of the reasons I started shipping them. It’s actually pretty great to hear this from the man who brings Rick Grimes to life. It validates what many of us have known for a long time: Rick looks at Michonne with absolute love and adoration.