An Open Letter to Junya Watanabe

What the fuck, dude? 

I will never understand fashion’s obsession with Blackness, and outright avoidance of Black people. 

In today’s What The Fashion news, Junya Watanabe presented an “African-inspired” (as problematic as that is on its own) without so much as a tan model in the bunch, let alone African. Maybe South African. 

Of course, if you follow fashion (and pay attention), you know this is a trend. Magazines (particularly Vogue and its various iterations) love taking inspiration from a hodge podge of African and “tribal” cultures and putting them on white bodies.

Or, you know, outright putting models in Blackface. 

When you’re a Black person into fashion, every new instance grows less surprising, but somehow, each one stings even more than the last. It’s not as if Black models don’t exist. It’s not as if you couldn’t find Black models if you wanted to: One only has to venture into a hashtag on Instagram to find a myriad of beautiful women of all races. So, what’s the excuse? Why do so many brands and designers love playing with Blackness but not actually allowing Black people to join in? 

I’m asking you, Junya. Not just because you’re the most recent offender, but because unlike most that make this out of touch misstep, you’re a person of color yourself.

Why? 

Why are you lumping all African cultures into one aesthetic? Why are you excluding those that are actually a part of and descended from those cultures? Why are you contributing to the idea that whiteness is the only ideal? Why are you so brazenly appropriating an aesthetic that is so much more than bright beads and braids? Why? 

This isn’t subversive. Putting icons of African cultures on lily white boy models is not new, exciting, or unique. There is a long, long, long history of sacred symbols being stolen, repurposed and repackaged with little thought to the original meaning and context. You’ve seen it with your own culture, with the constant hypersexualization and inaccurate characterization of what it means to be Japanese, a geisha, “kawaii,” and a whole host of other things that people with no ties to Japan have picked and chosen to don as costumes. Does it not hurt to see your own roots ripped and replanted so viciously? Then why do it to us? 

One day.
One day your name won’t come up in my conversations anymore, not even in obscure phrases like “you know who”, and if it did, hearing it won’t cause my stomach to twist painfully.
I won’t wake up and replay the memories of our last conversation as if it were a movie that I could recite every line to.
You won’t be in my mind. It’ll be freeing, because I will no longer have the burden of your bittersweet love burning in my thoughts and my heart will no longer be heavy.
I’ll run into you again. You’ll say hi and ask me how I’m doing, though the small talk will be dreadfully awkward. For a split second, you’ll probably think I’m still the same naive girl that was so wrapped up in you, until you see my fingers intertwined with his. I promise it will burn, knowing there’s another man, but I’ll be so deep into his love that your comfort will be the very last thing on my mind. Seeing you will make me reminisce on the nights I spent in my room wondering how I could win you over, but…
…One day.
One day you’ll be just another memory.
Dear Supernatural, We’re Breaking Up: An Open Letter

[CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR ALREADY AIRED EPISODES]

Dear Supernatural,

When you killed Charlie Bradbury in “Dark Dynasty,” that was when I knew it was over.

Sure, we’ve had our problems over the years, and until now I’d been willing to put up with your many faults- no show is perfect, after all. You still had enough good qualities to keep me interested and entertained. I still considered you my favorite. We may not have had the best relationship, but I believed in where we could go together.

I don’t believe that anymore. Killing Charlie was unforgivable. It crossed a line that I wasn’t sure existed for us. But every good relationship has boundaries and it turns out that this is mine.

I want you to know that the reason I’m leaving you isn’t just the fact that you killed Charlie. I’m more upset with how and why she died and most upset at what her death represents and what it reveals about the true nature of our relationship.

Charlie is killed literally seconds after she has fulfilled her purpose as resident nerd by uploading the code she has just cracked. Now that she’s presumably saved Dean’s life by doing what nobody else could do, she is disposed of. For some reason, she’s left with only a knife to defend herself, even though we know she’s skilled with a gun. She is gutted, off screen, presumably with her own knife, by a man associated with Hitler’s Nazis, and left a bloody heap in the bathtub for Sam and Dean to find and cry over. A horrible death.

But why would you send Charlie off on her own in the first place? Charlie is smart. She has survived on her own since she was a teenager and for the past three years has grown familiar with the dangers of being a hunter. Since discovering the Book of the Damned, the Styne family- men she acknowledges as being very skilled and dangerous- have been tracking her and trying to kill her. She knows it’s not safe out there.

And what excuse do you give me for why Charlie left on her own? You tell me she was incapable of being in the same room with another woman whom she thought was annoying. She was hard at work, trying to save her best friend’s life, but she can’t handle Rowena (who wasn’t even being that annoying) who is also working toward the same goal? And then even when Cas, more babysitter (for two grown women!) than bodyguard, separates them by putting Rowena in another room (thereby solving his completely contrived problem!) Charlie still runs off. Expecting me to buy bullshit like this is one of the reasons we’re breaking up.

But it’s more than that. Charlie’s death, in itself, is something that I will get over with time. You’ve killed a lot of characters in our time together, and I’ve stuck around through them all. What makes this time different, what makes Charlie’s death unforgivable, is everything else that died with her. Charlie was the 21st recurring female character you killed. She was the show’s only openly queer character. Not only was she a fan favorite, but she was a fan stand-in.

Many people in your fan base, including me, identified with Charlie. We’re smart, nerdy, into fandom, and we love Sam and Dean. And a lot more of us than you’d think are queer women. Charlie was us. And you killed her. You dumbed her down and the moment you were done using her you killed her like she was nothing, abandoning her bloody body in a motel bathtub to overwhelm Sam’s guilt and ramp up Dean’s self-destruction, launching them into the season’s final two episodes.

You knew what Charlie meant to us, you knew all that she represented, and still you threw her away. You threw us away. But unlike Charlie, we are very real and you can’t treat us like this without consequences. If we mean so little to you, why should we stay?

Many of us have left before this. Too much misogyny, too much queerbaiting, portrayals of girls and young women- especially fan girls- too insulting and degrading, too many women violently killed in order for your white male leads to feel pain. And now Charlie, a symbol and stand-in for so many of us, gone. If this is what we mean to you, don’t be surprised as you find yourself meaning less and less to us.

Don’t be surprised as ratings continue to fall. “Dark Dynasty” was the lowest rated episode of your entire 216 episode run. There are consequences for treating your fans like they’re expendable; you become expendable to them.

So, Supernatural, we’re breaking up. Please know that I’ll miss you and that I will remember our good times fondly. But it’s over.

(I mean, call me if Destiel ever goes canon, but it’s not like I’ll be waiting by the phone for that one.)

I wish I was still proud of us.

~ Samantha

P.S. Do you have Wayward Daughters’ phone number? Now there’s a show I’d like to get to know better.

This is an open letter to my fans

Yesterday I went on the last hike of my twenties. I turn 30 today (I know I can’t believe it either!). While hiking, I thought about how I could explain my 20s. Life changing, hard, happy, heartbreaking, magical, wild, and fun! 

Some of those years were tough. Really tough. 

I realized though, that I feel stronger than I’ve ever been in my life. I’ve learned so much! While hiking, there is this crazy part where I always feel like I’m gonna slide right down, so I turned to my husband in front of me and said, “Wait, u have to help me.” He said, “Just put your whole foot down,” and he was right, I did it! On my own. He watched me, supported me and KNEW I could do it, and i couldn’t be more grateful for him (it was just a couple steps, but for real). I can fully look back and say I’m so proud of myself and everything I’ve accomplished thus far.

So I have to say I am ready to step confidently into my 30s and rock it! Thank you all for always supporting me through the good and the bad. And my family for the endless love and support. I like to spend my days saying “hello” more so than saying “goodbye.” So hello 30, I’m ready for ya ;)

Love,

Ashley

aka #TheHauteMess

Dear Shippers

Is your OTP not doing it for you anymore? Have the writers screwed them? Has one half or both been killed off? Looking for a new OTP? Try Outlander where your OTP would have the following:

  • Be cannon.
  • Never really have to worry about them actually appearing in a scene together cause the whole damn show is about them.
  • Have shit ton of extra material to pour over (aka the books).
  • Have tons of delicious angst.
  • Tons of steamy explicit sex scenes that comes with being on premium cable.
  • Both members are strong, brave, kind, and more than willing to throw down with one another at any moment.
  • The actors are genuinely friends in real life and do their very best to tease fans and be super flirty with one another.
  • And oh the accents and the period clothing.

There is so much to love and this fandom needs more. So come over the plaid side. Jamie and Claire will be there to welcome you.

Dear 'friends'

Stop treating me like a virus, stop acting like you will catch my mom. Stop treating me like I can’t have fun, stop acting like me being a mom is like me being dead. “I MISS YOU SO MUCH” you say to me like you are at my head stone. I’m alive. You are texting me. Not speaking at my funeral. I have a kid. Not a air born disease. And when you do see me the first words you always say is “wheres your kid” oh I have no fucking idea maybe Guatemala? My kid is with his father or even a sitter. But shocker, I’m his mother not his conjoined twin. I deserve to be loved and have fun with friends. Being a mom isn’t a prison sentence its a fucking blessing. While you caution tape me off like crime scene I’m molding the fucking future.. which is a hard job. And you are treating me like I’m “such a sad situation, so young, coulda been anything” well I am someone. A MOTHER. AND A GOOD ONE AT THAT. So next time you tell me you ‘miss me’ don’t get mad when I blow a fuse.
Love,
A Great Mom.