October 30, 2007
October 27, 2007
October 18, 2007
October 16, 2007
October 12, 2007
Before this documentary, I had only heard of blow-up sex dolls that I occasionally saw in baudy movies like "Old School." I thought life-sized dolls were pretty much a joke---gag gifts given out at bachelor parties or a funny addition to an immature fraternity. But nobody took these dolls seriously, did they?
Indeed some people do. One of the men in the documentary, a computer engineer in England, had two life-sized dolls who seemed to be his only friends. He dressed them up every morning and would sometimes take one for a drive with him. After his mother died a few years before (whom he had lived with), the man decided to purchase the dolls for companionship and, ahem, sexual purposes. In fact, these dolls are made for sex. Their figures, a la Pamela Anderson, could grace the cover of any Playboy. They have slim waists, toned bottoms, and gimundo ta-tas. (I mean HUGE. I mean my eyes popped out of my head when I saw one of the doll's breasts. We're talking H-cup boobs.)
Another man, a Virginia hillbilly who lived in the backwoods, proudly stated that he preferred his dolls to real women any day of the week. After years of rejection in the dating world, this man decided to hell with real women and purchased two dolls to satiate any desires he may have.
After watching the documentary, I noted three categories of men who buy these dolls:
1.) The lonely guy who never had many friends and who had even fewer girlfriends. This is the guy you always felt sorry for in school because he didn't have any social skills. I suppose after decades of loneliness, these men turn to dolls for companionship because they can't seem to connect with any other human being.
2.) The horny guy who gets a kick out of banging a hot-looking (albeit non-living) doll. Yep, there was one of these guys on the show too. In fact, he had so many dolls that he didn't have any more room to store them. Gross.
3.) The plain old weird guy who actually preferred a synthetic doll over a real human companion. One of the men featured on the documentary named Davecat (yes, this was his name) fell into this category. In Davecat's mind, he was having a relationship with an inorganic human versus an organic one. He also spent hours applying make-up to his beloved doll as well as buying her clothes. At one point he fondly recalls the first few weeks after she had arrived, remarking that they had had sex frequently.
Anyway, it was a fascinating documentary even though it was a little spooky. Some of the men I felt a little sorry for while others just plainly disturbed me.
October 5, 2007
This video frightens me. It scares me because I see myself in it.
I was the typical girl in high school who based her self-esteem on what boys thought of me. I fawned over my crushes in my classes and I bit my lip in disappointment when they paid me no attention. Sometimes at night I would cry into my pillow, feeling ugly and sad because no boy had asked me to Homecoming.
I brought my low self-worth with me to college where, at times, I would still cry after my roommate had long fallen asleep. On weekends I would watch my friends go out on dates and receive attention from the boys in our apartment complex. Later on I would watch as they got engaged and married. Of course, I was happy for them but I was also disappointed that no charming beau had wooed me to be his lovely maiden.
For years my self-confidence was reliant upon how I looked on the outside. No matter how well I performed in my classes and no matter how well-read I became, I wished I could become someone else. I would stare longingly at the petite BYU co-eds who embodied our society's description of beauty---long smooth hair, small thin noses, wide blue eyes, and picture perfect frames---and I wished I could look like them. It mattered little to me that they weren't very smart or couldn't hold a decent conversation. They could offer something that I couldn't---and I wanted to be beautiful more than anything else.
It took a long time for me to finally focus on the good qualities I embodied. It took a very long time for me to place my self-worth in the context of my intelligence, my writing, my work ethic, and my ability to find common ground with others, rather than my physical appearance. But somewhere down the road I decided that I would love myself freely instead of loving myself if only some guy thought I was pretty. And after I finally reached this pinnacle, I found the self-confidence that I had longed for my entire life.
I worry though about my future daughter. I worry that she will fall into the same trap I fell into, crying into her pillow at night because Bobby asked another girl to the dance. I want to show my girls that it is their mind---not their face or body---that is beautiful. The last thing I want is for them to imprison themselves as I did for so many years, getting sad and depressed over something that can be so temporary and fleeting.
I suppose I can only try my best to raise them well and to dispel the messages that the beauty industry will send them. And to hope that they will be smarter than I was.
October 1, 2007
For those who don't know anything about Sunstone, it is a journal for progressive Mormon thought. It tackles a wide range of genres from scholarly articles to personal essays to plays to poems. Some conservative Mormons view Sunstone as slightly heretical because it has often published pieces that question LDS theology. But for other Mormons, like me, Sunstone is a haven of deep and intellectual thought---a place where it is okay to doubt and okay to question the status quo. Indeed, I turned to Sunstone many times when I seriously wondered if I wanted to remain a Mormon for the rest of my life.
As for other news on the writing front, I am trying to write a piece about spacesuits for Highlights Magazine (you know, that magazine you read as a kid). Boy is it hard to write for kids though! I'm trying to write for a 5-7 year-old audience and I'm finding it much harder than writing for adults. It's hard to keep things simple---and still create a well-written piece---but I'm determined to do it. (If my darned laziness didn't get in the way so often.)