MEMES! Gender, labels, + consent, oh my!
I was sharing memes on instagram that included nude images but deleted them all when ig did their most recent update to the terms of service because I was scared of getting my account deleted AGAIN. My original account with 22.6k followers got deleted in October 2018 and I never got it back, so I really would like that to NOT happen again.
I still love the memes that I made and want to share them, so here are some of the ones that I used to have on my ig before I deleted them!
Photo: Chip Willis
Model + meme: me, Bunny Luna
I am angry today so I am channeling that anger into making my first ever meme. Hah, it’s funny that I’m choosing this as my first post since my hibernation. (TW: breach of consent) This meme is dedicated to the TWO middle aged white men who assumed it was okay to touch me without consent yesterday.
They obviously felt entitled to my body because I have a vulva and am younger than them? One rubbed my freshly cut hair on the top of my head, without asking or commenting or anything, just touched me out of nowhere. The other literally pulled me by the arm so I could pose for him in front of some photos of mine, and then proceeded to move my arm to get me to pose in a certain way. He didn’t even ASK if I wanted to take a photo. I told him my rates, and he laughed.
Labels are complicated, and have the potential to be both positive AND negative. As someone who has learned a lot about themself over the last year, and changed quite a bit, labels have been something I’ve honestly struggled with. It’s easy to say that labels are not important, and they don’t have to be if you don’t want them to, but for some people they’re incredibly important, especially when you’re trying to figure out who you are.
Labels are positive in that they help us figure out what space we occupy in the world, they help us describe ourselves to others, and they help us find community and people who are similar to us. Labels can be negative when people assume incorrect things about us, put is in boxes that don’t fit us, or when they refuse to see us for who we really are.
It feels awful to be labeled as something you’re not, and it feels amazing and is so affirming when someone uses the correct label(s) to describe you. No matter what, only YOU can choose what labels are right for you. There is nobody who knows you better than yourself.
Some labels that I personally use because they feel right and true for me: non binary, queer, ecosexual, non monogamous, artist, witch, demisexual, creative, sproutling (my mom came up with this to describe me to others instead of saying that I’m her adult child and I love it!)
What labels do you use that feel authentic to you?
Self portrait taken in Utah during my 69 day cross country road trip in 2019 (before I cut my hair obviously).
Never touch anyone without their explicit consent. Yes, this includes hugs with friends and family, asking or talking about someone’s tattoos/clothes/hair, directing a model for a photoshoot, posing with another model, kissing your crush…
The ONLY exception to this that I can think of is if that person is in immediate danger and there is literally no time to ask for consent.
Keep in mind, consent is not only for physical touch. You should also get consent when flirting with someone, commenting on someone’s body, sharing difficult or potentially triggering information, sharing a story someone told you with someone else, posting photos of people… basically if it involves someone else, you probably need their consent.
Have something to share about consent? I’d love to read your thoughts/stories in the comments!
Words: Douglas Pierce
Photo + meme: me, Bunny Luna (self portrait in Utah)
I didn’t save the caption for this one, but it’s pretty self explanatory. =]
I am not the person I was a year ago, or last week, or yesterday. You probably aren’t either. We are all on perpetual journeys of growth and expansion. Every day we learn something about ourselves, every day we become a newer version of who we know ourselves to be.
Without change there is no innovation, no deeper understanding, no growth. You are a bottomless ocean filled with gifts unknown, until you dive in and explore your depths.
Photo + meme: me, Bunny Luna (self portrait in Colorado)
I recently had a really difficult conversation about my gender with a family member who is unwilling to do the work to understand and accept me for who I am. Their response to my being non binary was that I’ going through an “identity crisis” and it’s something that I’ll “grow out of” once I figure myself out.
It’s especially frustrating to me that they feel that way, because I know myself better now that I ever have. I know that I can’t make them see me for who I truly am, and that’s their work to do, not mine. It still hurts that someone I love doesn’t actually know me and instead chooses to only see me as the person they thought I was when I was younger and didn’t know myself.
I will continue to correct them when they misgender me (which is something I am constantly struggling with and tend to just stay quiet about it), because I want them to know that this is ME, not an “identity crisis” that I’ll “grow out of”
Sending lots of love to all of my trans siblings who have to deal with this every day. It’s really hard, and you deserve to be honored and acknowledged in your gender. I see you. I honor you. You are valid and important and I love you for WHO YOU ARE.
Photo/meme: me, Bunny Luna (self portrait in Colorado)
I moved through the first 28ish years of my life carrying the layers of expectations and assumptions of society that were thrown on top of me as a child before I knew I had any other option. Now that I know more about how the world works, I realize that I’ve been holding on to many things that are not truly mine. Parts of me buckled under that oppressive weight of binary gender, compulsory cis hetero monogamy, religion, racism, and capitalism (among others).
I am choosing to let go of the layers of anything that is not for the benefit of myself and the earth. It is a constant shedding, and it is not easy, but it is worth it. I wake every day with less of what isn’t mine so that I can understand what truly IS for me. I learn who I am by questioning.
Self portrait in Colorado
Self Defense & SafetyMy sister Gemini has taken a lot of self defense classes and has compiled this list of self defense and safety info and has generously agreed to allow me to share this information with you! It is especially helpful for models who frequently travel alone.
Let’s talk about self-defense. Let’s talk about being aware of your surroundings. Let’s talk about not being an easy target. We all know there are creeps and perverts out there. Some of us know this more intimately than others. I want to go over some things with you that I have learned in the last 6-8 months attending self-defense classes and police and public safety seminars that will help you think like an attacker. If you learn to think like they think, you will learn how to avoid getting yourself in situations where you might actually encounter an attacker.
When you walk alone, you are vulnerable. When you look lost and confused, you are vulnerable. When you stare down at your phone and become completely distracted and unaware of your surroundings, you are vulnerable.
Attackers look for easy targets. If you walk around looking confident, acting like you know where you are going (even if you are completely lost and freaking out on the inside) they are less likely to approach you. They can’t read your mind and know that you are lost and scared, they see a strong confident person on their way to meet friends.
NEVER WEAR HEADPHONES IN BOTH EARS WHILE WALKING/JOGGING!!! I can’t stress this enough. It’s best not to wear them at all if you are exercising out in public alone and not in a gym. Attackers love the element of surprise that knocks their victim off their game. Music blasting in both of your ears takes away one of your senses. You can’t hear someone walk up behind you. Don’t make yourself vulnerable to an attack. Be smart!
ALWAYS KEEP YOUR HEAD ON A SWIVEL: Be aware of your surroundings. Constantly keep your head on a swivel. Take note of people walking alongside you on the street, especially behind you. Check doorways or alleyways as you come up to them and walk past. Take note of parked cars along the side of the street; is anyone sitting inside the car? Is it a big van with a side door? Snatch and grabs happen easily this way. Be prepared, be aware! (I personally try to walk in the middle of the sidewalk, not too close to the cars or storefronts, especially if I’m walking alone at night.)
PARKING: Park in a well lit area, under a street light is preferred. Before leaving the venue, get your keys ready. Keys are a great weapon! Hold a key between your middle and pointer finger so when you make a fist, the key sticks out on top. BOOM! You now have a weapon! If you stand by your car fumbling in your bag for keys, you are an easy target for an attacker; you’re distracted and out in the open with no protection. Keep your head on a swivel, check the cars around you; is anyone crouching down behind/between cars? Is there someone sitting in the car next to yours? If so, do not turn your back to this person! If you can, go back inside and wait a few minutes. Go to the bathroom (if you just went to the bathroom and feel silly going back inside asking for the bathroom again, say you forgot your lip gloss, something), do something else. It might seem silly, and odds are, the person sitting in their car is harmless, but it’s better to be safe than sorry… it’s better to be safe than kidnapped… or end up dead. Check your car, check the back seats while you unlock the door. Lock your car door immediately once you are inside (before you set your bags down and settle into your seat and adjust the mirrors).
Make potential attackers uncomfortable: Look people in the eye in passing. Chat with them, engage in small talk. If an attacker knows that you could potentially identify them in a line-up, they are much less likely to target you. Attackers don’t want to be identified. They want get in and get out unnoticed. They don’t want to cause a scene and draw attention. Point out their rad tattoos, comment on their cool army boots, point out their shirt logo… Notice them.
Clothing, accessories, and hairstyle choices: As models, you often lug around a lot of bags, purses, and other gear. Something to think about: the more things you have on, the more places and things someone has to grab and hold onto. Tight fitting clothes are best. Carrying less bags, or no bags at all, is best. Ponytails are easier to grab than other hairstyles and allows the attacker to take control of you. Scarves and other things around your neck can be hazardous. Heels also make you vulnerable; if you have to run, kick them off, leave them behind, and run! Your life is more important than any of your fashion accessories!
Being Attacked- First Response: If you are attacked, your first response should be screaming, yelling “STOP” yell anything you think of. Cause a scene and put up a fight. This will deter the attacker because you are drawing attention by making loud noises. If you put up a fight, they will likely leave you alone and get away because you are not making it easy enough on them and you are drawing attention. They look for people that will be easy targets, don’t make it easy for them! Yell “FIRE”, “HELP, MY BABY”, or “MY BABY IS ON FIRE” if the attacker is successful at apprehending you. These phrases are sure to draw attention from on-lookers and passerby’s.
LEARN SELF-DEFENSE!!! I cannot tell you how important this is. Your body is a weapon. Your life is worth protecting and you have the power to protect yourself! As women, AFAB, or people assumed to be women, we are taught at a young age that we are delicate. That we should not raise our voices or do certain things on our own. Well, FUCK THAT SHIT! We can do anything! We can raise our voices, be loud, and be heard. Taking self-defense classes changed my life. I have more confidence now than I ever have in my life. I feel safe by myself. I feel more comfortable in my own skin. My severe anxiety has gone down quite drastically since I learned how to defend myself. I strongly encourage you to take a self-defense course. Find somewhere to take self-defense classes. Surprisingly, a lot of places offer free or very cheap self-defense classes to ladies. Take your friends, your family, hell, I took my co-worker with me to self-defense class a few times. It is worth your time, attention, money, and energy!
/basic-self-defense-moves-anyo ne-can-do-and-everyone-should- know
PRACTICE! PRACTICE! PRACTICE!
It is not enough to just watch self-defense videos online and attend a few classes. YOU MUST PRACTICE! Practice moves with a TRUSTED friend or family member. You only perfect the moves if you practice them. Some of the moves are easy, others require more skill and finesse.
Remember: there is no such thing as a “cheap shot.” If you are threatened and someone is attacking you, do anything you can to get away. Gouge their eyes out with your keys, punch, kick, knee them in the balls, bite them, karate chop their windpipe…. If they are attacking you, they don’t deserve your compassion. Do anything you can to escape. HOWEVER, one good punch or jab does not mean they are too winded or hurt to come after you. It’s not like the movies where they take one hit and they are down for the count. Hit them until they are really hurt, until they are on the ground. Then RUN to a safe place. My self-defense instructor had one rule: I WIN. Meaning, if we encounter an attacker, we walk away the winner, no matter what!There is so much that I can add to this, but I will stop here for now. This is just the starting point on tips, safety precautions, and things to think about.