Tuesday, March 16, 2010

"you have an AIDs face"

"you have an AIDs face"
and other charming thoughts...

"never take your looks seriously," is what a friend told me not to long ago. "your mind, body and soul will be better off for it." the enormity of his words didn't hit me until an aesthetic army has jumped down my throat in the past few years. it's easy to ignore how stimulated our world is visually, it's even easier to skirt the issue of how people treat others as a result of simply what they see.

'gender knows no lines' is more to me than just a queer ideology, it's also how i've approached friendships throughout my life. it also happens to be how i befriended so many boys in life....not that i saw myself as one, friendships just seemed to grow easier with them.

in elementary school, the girls who played jump rope at recess didn't like that i was the only girl allowed in the underground playground with all the boys- so, rationally, they went and told the teacher i needed to be impeached as 6th grade class president because i was in an underground strip club. that prompted a fun and uncomfortable 'sit-down' chat with my teacher and a guidance counselor on 'healthy love'...it took me an hour to finally convince them the girls really just didn't like me- and i had no idea about any playground strip club.

in college, i was coming out and incredibly intimidated of women. i stuck close with my guy friends... admittedly, most of them were gay- but it still counts. after college i have been surrounded by men, as the world is made of roughly half of them. conversation flows easily, and one basic interest is always shared with my heteromale counterparts- our love of women.

for the most part, my relationships with men after coming out have been pretty smooth. although, i've had one or two who do not seem to grasp the concept of 'gay'. they fail to understand that one of the more basic ideas in lesbianism is that of only sleeping with women. one friend went so far as to offer to drive me home one night with the sole intention of a heart to heart talk on why i shouldn't be gay, and we should have sex. not only, 'ashley let me undermine something that is fundamental inside of you, and you couldn't change if you wanted to', but also, 'let's have sex'. charming.

yet, as i mentioned- most of my relationships with men have been fine. we often fall into extremely sarcastic banter and throw witty zingers back and forth. it's not uncommon for my self deprecating humor to open the door for an all-out 'ashley roast' by my guy friends. never taking oneself too seriously is a mantra i believe, and generally speaking i'm able to weave it into the fabric of my life with no problem. if i can dish it out, i should have broad enough shoulders to take it.

the other day a guy friend of mine was busting my inverted balls for not hitting him up over the weekend. after he hit me with a few good lines he closed with, "you have an AIDs-face". i'll give him points for originality, but after our conversation i was left wondering, am i being too sensitive or was this guy being a real dick?

i shrugged it off as a fleeting comment, there is no sense in over analyzing other peoples words. maybe he thought it was hilarious...maybe i do have a bit of a gaunt, long, paler than most face...whatever the case may be it's small beans and not worth space in my brain.

after i got over it, i mentioned the conversation to my girlfriend. "i don't like that guy, who does he think he is?! he's only an asshole because he wants to sleep with you and can't". i hate that the first conclusion she always jumps to when anyone interacts with me is 'they want to sleep with you', but i hated more that this time she was actually right. this guy was a pseudo-lesbro, (not to be confused with an actual lesbro). pseudo-lesbro's appear harmless enough, but at the end of the day they would gladly smash if given the chance.

whatever his intentions, 'you have an AIDs face' hit me particularly hard. i know i have high cheekbones that could place me in the cast of philidelphia, but the 1 in 20 people in washington d.c. who have AIDs probably wouldn't have chuckled either. my friends words from the past helped me to remain sane..."never take your looks seriously- your mind, body and soul will be better off for it."

it goes two ways, never take your looks for granted and never allow them to bring you down. i might look straight and like i would enjoy verbal sparring that isn't politically correct but i'm gay and don't particularly like offending groups of people. by never taking ones looks seriously, one never relies on them or depends on them to get ahead. one also never wallows in a pit of misery pinning after others looks.

but most of all...ugly people and those with AIDs-faces are cooler and more interesting than the rest of the world- so SUCK ON THAT!


  1. That guy kind of sounds like a douche. His AIDS joke: TOTALLY NOT COOL. I think your girlfriend is right!!

  2. @skinny dip- i saw your page not to long ago after my friend heather had mentioned it on a blog of hers, welcome! and i think you hit the nail on the head there, that joke wasn't funny or cool in the least.

  3. Over the years I've learned that I'm an offensive a******. I've also learned that my heart is generally in the right place. That being said that wasn't a very nice thing to say. I could see myself saying something like that to someone, but only to someone that knows I love them and would be there for them. If he's just some guy, he's a dick and f*** that. If he's someone you know cares about you then he was probably just trying to be funny. From the sound of it and the fact that you took offense probably means he was in the first category.

  4. I googled AIDS face... no resemblance. Your friend clearly needs to work on his witticisms.

  5. When is AIDS going to be viewed as a serious, terrible medical condition that isn't deserved? I bet that guy wouldn't have said that you have cancer hair or something else as lowly as that. It's disrespectful to the AIDS sufferers and it was seriously mean to you. What a beast! You are beautiful.

  6. I've always been really self-conscious about my looks b/c I've always been on the heavier side, never really had male attention (before I figured out I'd prefer female anyway), and just thought I wasn't pretty. So when I hear someone who is as clearly gorgeous as you are worry about their looks, I realize how important it is to have a balanced approach to beauty. I love beautiful things and it's good to have beauty in one's life, but the judgments we make that one's physical beauty = acceptability are terrible.

    The whole, we are post-pc jokes are so awkward. Sometimes sensitivity needs to be made fun of....but then why are so many people making the jokes straight white guys? Very unclear.

  7. I love beautiful things and it's good to have beauty in one's life,