Category Archives: Think Pieces/ List Shit

They Don’t Think They’re Princesses

 

I’m a receptionist at a refugee center. On a daily basis I interact with literal hundreds of people. With those numbers in mind I get hit on or called ‘pretty/ beautiful/ gorgeous’ a lot. With the exception of the more exceptionally creepy, it doesn’t bother me as much as it once did.

What does bother me is when little girls tell me I’m pretty. They’re usually little black girls and they usually say things like ‘oh you’re so pretty’ ‘I love your hair’ ‘your hair is so pretty’ ‘you look like a princess’. And that saddens me because I want so badly to tell them ‘no. I am not a princess. A princess can speak multiple languages. A princess has travelled and has seen other countries. A princess sees and lives through war and political strife and is still brave. You are more of a princess than I’ll ever be and you’re not even 10-years-old.’

But they don’t think they’re princesses because, on the surface, the princesses they know look more like me: The princesses they are familiar with have long hair and are skinny and are undeniably white. The princesses they know don’t wear hijabs. They don’t have dark skin and dark eyes and even if they do, they do have comparatively darker skin they still have enough Eurocentric tendencies to counter balance it (j’accuse Jasmine and Aladdin).

It’s easy for women with Euro-centric characteristics to stand on a soap box and scream ‘looks shouldn’t matter’. For the most part they are right. Looks don’t matter, if you have the acceptable ones—the slender noses, the soft hair, the white skin that gives you an unfair advantage in a world brimming with racial disadvantages.

But to those black girls and brown girls and tan girls (and boys, lest not forget the foreign boys) their looks are not revered. More likely they won’t know that they’re beautiful until they’re older.

If we can agree that telling little white girls that they don’t need to be skinny and blonde to be considered ‘beautiful’, then we can’t leave out the non-European-white girls and boys from feeling assuaged.

It goes without saying that the life of a refugee is exceedingly hard and unforgiving. It was that harsh reality that fairy tales were conceived from, in order to give our ancestors some distraction from peasant life, early death and constant war. Isn’t it only fair, humane even, if we let refugee boys and girls believe that they too can be princes and princesses?

Literary Classics I Can’t Fucking Stand

  1. Anything by Jane Austen, although I will say I hate Sense& Sensibility marginally less than her other works. Mostly because of Colonel Brandon who I feel is the only interesting character she’s ever made (LOOKING AT YOU DRACY, YOU MILKTOAST JUDGMENTAL BITCH).
  2. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. Okay the book itself is great and Wilde’s witty as fuck but I HAVE NEVER HATED A FICTIONAL CHARACTER MORE THAN I HATE LORD HENRY. LORD HENRY YOU’RE SO LUCKY YOU AINT REAL. I’D THROW THESE BONY WHITE HANDS SO FAST.
  3. The Bridge Over Drina by Ivo Andric`–DON’T READ THIS BOOK IF YOU AREN’T PSYCHOLOGICALLY PREPARED TO GET READY ATTACHED TO A BRIDGE JUST FOR SAID BRIDGE TO BREAK YOUR HEART, LIKE YOU DON’T EVEN MATTER.
  4. Crime&Punishment by Dostoevsky–Sorry Dos, I love you but Raskolnikov was such a punk ass. He spends 6 chapters convincing himself to kill that old greedy bitch, just to kill her AND her innocent half-sister—JUST FOR HIM TO FEEL BAD ABOUT KILLING THE MEAN OLD WOMAN BUT NOT HER ABUSED MENTAL CHALLENGED HALF-SISTER? Weak.
  5. The Red Badge of Courage by Stephan Cane–I had to read this in high school and to this day I vehemently boycott the hell out of this hard to read, somehow impossibly boring war book. SERIOUSLY WHO MAKES WATCHING A GUY GET GUTTED BY A BAYONET BORING?!? -89,000 stars.
  6. The Red Pony by John Steinbeck–I will never forgive this book for that one time in the 4th grade when I accidentally poked myself in the eye with it’s hardcover corner. Plus, the book isn’t even about a pony. The fucking pony dies 20 pages in, if i remember correctly. I probably don’t though because you know that BOOK TRIED TO BLIND ME.
  7. The Hunchback of Norte Dame by Victor Hugo–you know it’s probably a sin for me to say this but I actually liked Disney’s film adaptation so much better than this book. In fact when I read this as an adult I was so disappointed at how different the plot is from the movie. Quasimodo’s not even the main character. It’s mostly about Frollo and how his brother keeps mooching off of him and how much of a pervert Phoebus is (spoiler: dude was married, tried fucking Esmeralda even though she’s 15-16 and he knew she was in love with her then tossed her ass to the side when she was accused of witchcraft and sentenced to death by the King). That and it’s just chapter after chapter of describing the fucking stain glass windows of the Norte Dame. Don’t get me wrong I read Les Miserables no problem and that book is twice the length of this one but at least Les Miserables didn’t talk about the cathedral’s parapets of stone for thirty fucking paragraphs.

God I’m Cliched

Actual diary entry from 3 days ago

“Fuck this. I need to cave and make a blog already.”

I had just another rejection from an online publication and I was feeling like shit because that was the 5th one from November/December alone. I just wanted someone to validate my writing so I can get out there more but that wasn’t working for me at all (but to be fair I’ve noticed in a lot of literary journals that they don’t usually put pieces where the main character swears every 5 words and the plot revolves around a guy being held captive by his stalker from Bosnia so going to be pretty hard to get someone to say ‘hell yeah’ to that). So here I am! UncleMeag! Bringing you the latest in profanity friendly short stories, poems, think pieces and lists of stuff I hate!