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Beauty is to Blame

A romance, a tragedy. The girl is guilty, the girl is in peril. Beauty is always in danger, they said, drawing the blinds. They can't let her be seen. Beauty is always in trouble, they said, turning the lock. She mustn't be allowed to ruin her innocence with curiosity and boldness, before she'd learned to kill these things in herself. She never pulled a thought of mayhem, yet she's imprisoned in here while the monsters roam free. Where does it go from here? There's a paradox that doesn't accommodate bodies, yet bodies have to fit inside it. The girl is told to obey, and she does. The girl is also told to refuse, in certain circumstances, even when she wants to accept. Best if she's never asked these things at all, to avoid the paradox, because the paradox will be her fault. It's confusing to be kind, it's confusing to be good. It makes sense if you vanish for a while, it makes sense if you assume she's already become a doll and just needs to recognize it.

Beauty is Always in Danger, Beauty is Always in Trouble is a mini-project that never got far from notebook form, about peril and incrimination in the feminine form. The desired but unempowered a perilous place to exist. This "project" resulted in an animation, a series of short written works, and may make an appearance in a future novel.

"The Many Colored Lights" - the creature called the Inner Mask searches for answers to its question "who am I," and wanders into a city full of wonders and dangers.

The part of the animation which involves the undersea being (The Submerged Mind) is inspired by another mini-project called "seen but not understood" and is an expression of that theme.

The Inner Mask is drawn in by deception and trickery in many ways, eventually falling into a kind of trap. In the search for meaning and identification, the Inner Mask is pulled into the lures of many other beings (the lure on the deep-sea Submerged Mind references this) who wish to make the Inner Mask part of their reality, self-expression or energy. By trying to find self externally, the Inner Mask falls into many traps. 


The Inner Mask enters a world filled with signs of objectification, but also messages about hidden power and treachery from those objectified: a disallowed agency that can never be entirely removed.

This agency just can't seem to stay out of trouble, it keeps making it inconvenient for those who would possess and control beauty to do so without friction. There is something always suspect about the desired, something guilty that can never be proven entirely innocent.


As long as the attitude towards beauty is to control it, to make a doll of it, or a robot, this friction will remain: because beauty belongs to the beautiful, and the beautiful is human. They are extreme, no tool exists that can turn a human into a robot, or a doll or a machine of any kind, though it's been tried. The human will always resurface again, and it will resurface as a problem. It will resurface as rebellion, disobedience, a refusal to be other than what it is.


Digital 3D models created in 2010, "Models and Mannequins," are continuations on the theme. Mannequins embody a beauty ideal that real bodies can seldom achieve. Their plastic embodiment promotes the illusion that these standards are real.


Beauty is an aspect of the universe, present in all creation. It gets confused with standards, subjective ideals created by humans, and imposed on our dolls, supposedly models of themselves. 

The more we insist on what the human is, the more non-human things we make, she said. She couldn't understood why they held her in such suspicion, when all she meant to do was wander outside. You are unsafe outside your confines, they said, hiding their true fears. What they really feared was her agency, that curse of beauty when embodied in the form of living persons. Animals obey their masters, why not beauties? Those who'd been indoctrinated already laughed patronizingly at her foolish insistence on herself, a preference that would never be cannon. Don't you know you need to play the game you were written for? Some find their humanity by taking it from others. She still couldn't figure out what was so wrong with her going around, being in the world. You are an idiot, they said, you aren't on board with the most basic and obvious thing in the world about you, the first thing we see when we see you. You assume others see the you in the mirror, instead of the you in the advertisement in the sky. Your will to agency will be a problem for someone, they said, and we'll make sure it's a problem for you, so it doesn't become a problem for us. Paradox must breathe somehow.

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