taking photos of apartment/husband last night
yes i am going to be on the dr phil show to promote my book. we are taping on the 20th and the episode airs in late may? it’s the most hilarious and ridiculous thing that could ever happen to me.
love u bb
Also…. because maybe its fun. Photos of me from 2006-2007. That era of living in that fuchsia apartment, covered in confetti crosses. The era when I was deep into Persona. The era before I had stared to write.
I feel very much interested in how our ‘shticks’ change depending on who we are with. When we are with men, with women, with people who could give us jobs, with people outside of our class boundaries. As I write these TC essays that include women I love (Marie Calloway, Kate, Gala) I am aware of how I write them as the person I am when I am with them. Its woven into the prose.
But somewhat interestingly, I feel Persona is supposed to mean that your shtick is unchangeable. There is this idea with Persona — while we know it is fabricated— that it is ‘authentic’. (A word that has pretty well lost all meaning as the Internet becomes a venue for Persona.)
Another thought. In the past year or so, I have gone from someone who felt I had a ‘personal brand’ as a journalist specializing in sex to someone whose career mantra became Nuke Your Personal Brand.
The more I embraced this (and my Thought Catalog pieces are certainly a result of this) the more I become the same with everyone. The me I upload on instagram is the same me I present to my parents. (I have very cool parents. And an instagram that includes shots of my weed.) And here we get into another sticky topic. Being Professional online is to be a bit Persona-less. Or to at least to present a very buttoned-up version of yourself, for fear of not being taken seriously or not getting jobs or something.
There are the examples of what bad can happen when you mix the art of persona with trying to have a career (Cat Marnell is the obvious one.) But funny, the men who do it (Tao Lin, David Shapiro) seem to be judged much less harshly.
Also want to add that while writing the piece, I felt like I am now at a place where I no longer have a Persona. Rachel Hills, I feel similar to how you describe. At least, I no longer spend hours getting ready or thinking about my ‘persona’ or my personal style or whatever. Mostly I spend all of my time wearing bathrobes and writing for 12 hour increments. What I do now is funnel Persona into voice, into tone, into writing. Thank God.
While writing this I was aware that I could have tied it up with a traditional sot of personal essay ending about how I no longer have a Persona. But thats not exactly true. Anyone who is on social networks, IMO is playing with Persona. Sometimes in ways that are more purposeful or artful than others. (See: Weird Twitter.)
Its awesome but its also sort of problematic. We should love people for who they are but persona driven Internet says love me for my image. Love me for what I share.
One more thing. In the Thought Catalog piece, I talk about how Persona is often a space for women or queer people. But I also think of rappers who play a lot with persona. Which still makes sense; Persona still becomes a way to define yourself when you are a person who is marginalized.
The Dark Phase in itself is femme; is inherently sort-of queer. I imagine that when goth became a scene — the Batcave in London in 1982 — that the more dramatic, poetic dimension of Goth made it a safe haven; an alternative to the increasingly masculine and aggro punk scene. (Perhaps inevitably this queerness, this femmeness is why goth eventually became so mocked.)
Goth still works as a protection of sorts for teenagers. The black stone obsidian is said to have healing properties: it repels negative energy, increases self control, encourages exploration and I think swaddling oneself in all-black-everything feels similar. People find Dark Phases at an age where the self-hatred folded up inside becomes conscious of itself. It is an age of sudden awareness, as a young woman, of being viewed. Of being a display item. Of your Beauty and Fuckability being constantly called into question.
Read the story at Thought Catalog which includes going to a Vampire Ball and lots of juicy feelings about my friend and date for the evening, Gala Darling (pictured.)
Marzipan lamb at my corner bakery