Break Time

April 14, 2011

Talking about my borderline ex can be a real downer. Time to take a break from all the heaviness.

Drowning Barbie

January 10, 2011

I love dark humor. Especially, if it involves putting a sick twist on a cultural icon. So when I saw this video on Ms. Magazine’s blog, I immediately loved the idea of drowning Barbie. But then I read all the comments being made under the posting, and it killed it for me. (no pun intended)

The comments were filled with people who take themselves waaay too seriously, including the artist. People who were concerned that this art might encourage violence against women. People who suggested that Barbie was a symbol of how a male-dominated society is imposing their ideals on women. I read these comments, and all I could think is- What happened to these women? What made them feel oppressed?

It’s just a doll, people. To blame Barbie for an entire generation’s low self-esteem is absurd. Have we become so privileged, that we are desperately looking for things to whine about? If you have a pool in your backyard, then you are way too privileged to complain about how the Patriarchy is oppressing you. If you have a college education, then you have what many people in the world do not have access to. So what are you bitching about?

If you don’t feel good about your body, that’s because you have low self-esteem. It is YOUR responsibility to make yourself feel good about your body. Not the Patriarchy. Not some toy manufacturer. YOU. I grew up reading comic books that were filled with impossible images of muscle-bound super heroes. Did it make me feel inadequate? Probably. So I hit the gym and now I have a body that I’m happy with. Is that so terrible?

The world is full of images that don’t represent the masses. Look at Michelangelo’s David. How many guys do you know who fit that ideal? Not many. Should they crawl up into a fetal position and cry foul? What’s wrong with having ideals? Even if they are out of reach for most. Look at how many guys wanna be like Mike or Tiger. Is that a sign of oppression? Or are they just someone to look up to?

If you hate Barbie that much, then create your own doll. Make it in your own image. If you’re upset because Time magazine hasn’t put Nancy Pelosi on its cover, then start your own magazine. Oprah did it. She can put whoever she wants on the cover. In my mind, she is a true feminist. As one of the world’s wealthiest women and most powerful people, she is another impossible ideal. But that’s why people look up to her. Shoot for the stars and you’ll hit the moon. Or something like that.

Isn’t it time for men and women to take control of their own self-worth? And stop concocting conspiracy theories on how the world is out to get them. Feminism should be about empowerment. But what Ms. Magazine is doing (again and again) is keeping women in a state of blame. That’s self-victimization, not empowerment. It’s time for feminists to re-examine themselves. I think they have lost their way.

There seems to be some debate over the topic of sexual expression. Little did I know it was such a heated topic. But certain hyper-sensitive individuals who have a preoccupation with shame have made it clear that I need to set the record straight. It seems they are under the impression that I am “shaming” women for expressing their sexuality. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am a big fan of sexy women. In no way am I saying it is unhealthy to express your sexuality. But what I have noticed is there is a big difference between the thought process of a healthy person expressing their sexuality vs the thought process of an unhealthy person.

If a woman wants to prance around half-naked, then more power to her. But if she needs to do this because it’s the only way she can feel validated, then I would say that is an unhealthy state of mind. If a couple wants to tape their lovemaking, have at it. But if this later becomes a blackmail scandal, then you might want to question why you choose the partners that you do. You might want to ask why drama is a constant companion. If you are so drunk that you accidentally end up on GirlsGoneWild without your knowledge, you might want to find your way to an AA meeting. This is not a male or female topic, this is a topic for anyone engaged in sexual acts.

This is not a moral judgment, it’s common sense. Sadly, not everyone has it. Especially if that person has a personality disorder or has experienced some sort of sexual trauma. That’s not my high and mighty arrogance talking, that just happens to be the way it really is. To those who have accused me of “shaming”them, I would suggest that the shame they feel was there long before they met me. Societal pressures aside, such feelings of shame can be the result of sexual assault. If this is not the case, then carry on. But if it is, maybe you should deal with this before you go accusing everyone of shaming you.

I know it seems like I have a thing for Tila Tequila. I swear it’s nothing personal. But a high-profile C-lebrity is a good way to bring attention to mental disorders. I promise I’m not picking on her for shits and giggles. Although a lot of things she does are pretty hilarious. Apparently, she wants to be the ambassador of Vietnam. But ultimately, this is not funny. Because mental disorders can have tragic consequences.

For a lot of confused women, she is a role-model. And quite frankly that alarms me. A lot of these fans are semi-intelligent women too and that scares the shit out of me. A lot of them are in denial or just plain ignorant about personality disorders. I recently discovered Ms Magazine caters to this demographic. But thank god one progressive publication has seen through Ms Tequila’s act. A lesbian online mag called AutoStraddle commented on Tequila’s condition:

Bipolar Disorder, schizophrenia, sleep deprivation, severe clinical depression and stress is known to contribute to and trigger psychotic states. A history of psychologically traumatic events, and the recent experience of a stressful event, can both contribute to the development of psychosis…

I hope someone in Tila’s life is getting her some treatment, but it seems like everyone is either attacking her on Twitter or in the media, or just abandoning her altogether. If any of her enemies really want this behavior to stop, there is a guaranteed solution: therapy, perhaps Lithium, Seroquel, Ativan, Effexor… and the professional care provided at a mental hospital.

…perhaps Tila will finally get the care & help she needs and get some counseling during a trying time. She’s a human being, and in this psychological state she will not seek help herself or admit she has a problem (that’s part of the illness), and she needs rest. Otherwise she will likely become a physical danger to herself and others very, very, very soon.

One commenter, a woman who works in the mental health profession, corrected the mag’s initial evaluation:

While I definitely could see the hypomania/bipolar action happening with Tila, I think ultimately she might be the kind of girl that gives Borderline Personality Disorder such a terrible stigma. And such a cartoonishly wild, female and promiscuous characterization in popular media. Also, as a note, I would prefer she not check into my psychiatry department, assuming she veers (careens?) toward a mental health resource in the foreseeable future. I think she lives in LA, but if she makes it anywhere near the Bellevue hospital system, I’m heading West.

I’d have to agree with this commenter. Tila Tequila is a poster child for BPD gone wild. But BPs can often display other symptoms along with BPD – such as those associated with bipolar disorder, narcissism, mania, etc. Let’s hope someone from Ms. Magazine will be brave enough to do a follow up article on Tequila’s mental health.  Then maybe their misguided readers will realize how emotionally troubled their media goddess is. Maybe they will realize that outing someone with mental disorders is not slanderous or malicious, but a much needed education on how such disorders can adversely affect someone’s life and the lives of those around them.

If you know someone like this, please get them some help. Whether they want it or not. Not acting could be a matter of life or death.

Idol Worship

August 10, 2010

Marilyn Monroe,  Angelina Jolie, Lindsay Lohan, and Princess Dianna are a few of the famous people thought to have had Borderline Personality Disorder. What’s fascinating is a person who is unaware they have BPD, may obsess over a character like Marilyn and not even know why. Or perhaps they just know they gravitate towards stories of sad people. In a way, these stories are comforting to them because they are familiar. But it also points out the need for some BPs to glamorize their sadness and loneliness. If nothing else, it’s a reminder that this disorder can have tragic consequences.

I ran across an article in The Daily Beast, that portrayed women with Borderline Personality Disorder as the “femme fatale of the new millennium”.  The author talked about the allure of a woman prone to wild behavior, and mentioned the most famous of Borderlines (reputed anyways), Marilyn Monroe.

It was one more reminder that the public image of a BP is very different from the private life of a BP. As a society, when we think of people with mental disorders, we think of a sickly person wrapped up in a straitjacket and frizzy hair. But the reality is BPs (at least the highly functioning ones) live amongst us. Some lead, what seem to be, very glamorous lives.

They may be the most put together person you’ve ever met- graceful, beautiful, refined and yes even seductive.  But for most BPs, this is an act. Inside the BP may be falling apart at the seams. BPs (especially those with histrionic traits) love to be the center of attention, and you can often find them surrounded by admirers. It is no wonder that most BPs seek out very public lives as actresses, models, singers, dancers, etc. This is their way of seeking out the love and acceptance that they feel is missing. Their attention to their outward appearance is not just a flair for fashion or drama, it is a cover-up operation that has been perfected over a lifetime.

The BP’s intent is to distract the audience from the pain that they are sure no one else can relate to.  Which is why a BP can be in a crowded room and still experience profound feelings of loneliness. Look into a journal of a BP, and you might find pages and pages of dark poetry filled with rage and sadness. Look into their past, and you will probably find tragedy after tragedy. The public life of a BP can all seem very glamorous from the outside. But those who know the private side of a BP, also know it is anything but glamorous.