Saturday, June 11, 2005

Alternative Beauty, or What I'm Doing Tonight...

The Alasko-American called me Thursday night and asked if I'd like to go to an event tonight called "Tearing at the Seams" at a gallery space up at Eastern Market. The event, which will benefit Different Avenues (a non-profit providing assistance to homeless youth and young adults - or those with "insecure housing" - many of whom are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered), is an evening of art, fashion, and cabaret, but with a twist. Here's how it's described on the Different Avenues website:

"Tearing at the Seams is a collaborative project that deconstructs the confining and marginalizing notions of beauty and expression. This production will feature designers, artists, performers, models, stylists and artistic production crews who get little exposure in mainstream media. It is a night for underrepresented folks of all shapes, sizes, genders, abilities, cultures and experiences to represent themselves! It is a place for voyeurs and do-it-yourself enthusiasts of all kinds to bask in the knowledge that YES! there are people out there that look like me showing off what they got—and damn are they hot!

The fact is, mainstream media and art does NOT represent the vast diversity within creative communities, nor does the mainstream highlight the potential that all of us have for creative expression and feeling beautiful. The mainstream media replaces our own words, our own shapes, sizes and cultural expression with one, monolithic idea of beauty. The truth is, we have our own ideas!

On June 11th, we will set our own stage and put forth our own notions of what sexiness, beauty and style means to us. There will be craft/clothing vendors, music, raffle prizes, visual/multi-media artwork, performance, runway walks, comedy and a festive environment to meet partners in crime for your own campaign to tear away at the mundane and oppressive conventions of beauty."

Shining, happy, differently beautiful people...

I'm all for this, being a "traditionally visually non-appealing person" myself. (What was that term I heard once? Oh yeah - "appearance impaired"!) I have no idea what the evening will hold, but I think it's going to be very cool and potentially quite uplifting. I'm bringing my camera. If photography is allowed, I will take some shots to post tomorrow.

What is beautiful? I think crow's feet around my friends' eyes when they laugh really hard is beautiful. I also like all the little scars that make up a story of a life.

If you're in the DC area tonight and want to attend, it's at the Market 5 Gallery at 7th and North Carolina, SE, two blocks from the Eastern Market Metro. Doors open at 8 p.m., show at 9. $10 suggested donation.

Until then, I'm off to the gym and Salvation Army. It's another hot, sweaty one here, kids...

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