Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Introducing the Blog Hops Index and Keeping it Real

Image by RitaE from Pixabay

No, not the kind of hops shown above. Although my son is interested in starting homebrewing once he has a new place.
I want to introduce you to my comprehensive index of blog hops that I participate in. April is my busiest month for blog hops. There are two poetry blog hops, NaPoWriMo and the Imaginary Garden With Real Toads Poems in April. Like, one of y'all couldn't do your poems in May or something? There is also the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Then there are the photography blog hops that I at least semi-regularly participate in.
You will notice that most of the blogs on my list are literary or artistic. Some of the blog hops I participate in tend to lean towards fashion, and I feel like the odd one out, which, let's be honest, isn't unusual. I am pretty odd. 
I don't feel like I belong with most of the participants in these blog hops, who share very glamorous photos of themselves in pretty clothes with flawless make-up. I am the opposite of glamorous. I look like an unmade bed on my best day. I am not pretty, and I can't afford pretty clothes. I haven't worn make-up in more than fifteen years. 

I look like this. You can see my endocrine problems in my puffy face with the red patches. I have problems with eczema, which make-up makes worse.
That's my buddy Crowley with me.
The one thing I believe is that nobody has the right to ridicule anybody regardless of how unattractive they may find that person. No, I am not young, thin, or pretty. I still deserve to be treated with common decency and respect.

Image by Jonas Svidras from Pixabay

Still, when you look like I do and you know damn good and well that nobody thinks that looks pretty or fashionable, and you're visiting blogs where the people have photos of themselves looking like the image above, you start feeling like maybe you came from a different planet. 
I used to use self-deprecating "humor" when it came to my physical appearance. I won't do that anymore. Physically speaking, I see other people as physically attractive or neutral. There are no physically ugly people. The ugliness comes out in their personality. A person can look like the physically attractive young woman above and still be an ugly person, or they can look a little bit something like me and still be a genuinely beautiful person. 
I'm not saying that I think that I'm beautiful. That's not something I could ever think. However, as far as looks go, mine are neutral in my eyes, or at least I strive to make them so. Nobody gets to build themselves up by tearing me down anymore. I will rip them a new one without a second thought.

Here is a photo of one of the most beautiful people who has ever existed. Period. 
Eleanor Roosevelt was also quite fashionable, but she cared more about helping people than she did about making herself look pretty. I highly recommend Ken Burns' documentary on The Roosevelts, which I saw on Netflix last month.
Whenever I feel unpretty, which is actually quite often, I remind myself that no-one, including me, has the right to make me feel bad about myself based on my looks. Sometimes that shuts the hateful tapes in my head down enough that I can move on to something else.
You won't find fashion-based blog hops on my list, although some of the blogs on my list feature fashionable people. Only the most beautiful blogs have made the cut! 

This is an ever-growing list. If you're looking for mostly creative but not always fashionable blog hops, consider bookmarking the page!


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