OOTD – Trad Goth For Monday

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Here’s my basic outfit for today.  I don’t know if it’s my age or what, but since I’m working to simplify my life, my wardrobe’s getting progressively more basic.  I have no issues with this.  Using the 80/20 Rule (the Pareto Principle), most people wear 20% of their clothing 80% of the time.  I think this includes me.  Besides, one of the things I like about the gothic lifestyle is that you can keep it simple or dress it up to your heart’s content.

Here’s my face for today.  I’m a big fan of the cut crease to accentuate my eyes.  I’ve never seen a cat-eye style not work for anyone’s face.  It’s like the little black dress for your eyes:

 

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Leather jacket and handcuff necklace: both second-hand from Z, my BFF

 

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Love & Shimmies,

Dasia Denise

 

Cherry Blossoms & Space-Age Burlesque – Part 3

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Welcome to Part 3 of our adventures amoung the weird.

Here are a few pieces from the C2YN Space Truckin’ art exhibit.  I love quirky, colorful artwork.  I paint in a similar fashion, so of course, this style is right up my alley.  This was a great way for me to get inspired:

 

GSF-Yuri.painting.aliengirls“fiercely going where no man.. : Are those space pants you’re wearing?” – Artist: Linas Garsys © 2014

 

GSF-Yuri.painting.weirdplanet“Bombs Away” – Artist: Jared Davis © 2014

 

GSF-Yuri.painting.drwingLa Danza Macabra II – Artist: Yar Koporulin © 2014

 

GSF-Yuri.painting.spaceboy“Prepared for an Alien Abduction” – Artist: Greg Ferrand © 2013

 

GSF-Yuri.painting.monkeyMoon Scootin’ Monkey – Artist: Jared Davis © 2014

 

You can click here to see the rest of the C2YN Space Truckin’ art exhibition.
Continue reading Cherry Blossoms & Space-Age Burlesque – Part 3

Cherry Blossoms & Space-Age Burlesque – Part 1

 

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A couple of weeks ago, some friends and I went to an art exhibit and burlesque show, Countdown to Yuri’s Night at Astro Pop Events in DC.  But before that, we hung out on the National Mall to see the cherry blossoms, while they were still in bloom.  Since we took so many pictures, I’ve created separate posts for the Countdown to Yuri’s event.

 

Here’s how I did my makeup.  I wore pink and crystal bindis to celebrate the cherry blossoms:

Continue reading Cherry Blossoms & Space-Age Burlesque – Part 1

Dealing With Clinical Depression & Grief

This photo was taken in November 2012 - 3 months after my Mom died
This photo was taken in November 2012 – 3 months after my Mom died

 

As you can see I haven’t written a blog post in the past 2 weeks.  I have clinical depression and it got really bad – worse than it has been for a long time.  A lot of people think goths wear black because we’re depressed.  This is not true, of course.  For me, it’s the complete opposite.  When my depression hits hard, I put absolutely no effort into my appearance – no makeup, sloppy clothes, lethargy and a feeling of emptiness.  I shower and somewhat do my hair and that alone takes effort.

 

Looking and feeling terrible
Looking and feeling terrible

 

So, yeah.  I’m putting it out there in the blogosphere: I struggle with clinical depression.  And on top of this, I’m still in grief.

On August 15, 2012 my sweet mother passed away from pancreatic cancer.  I’m still devastated.  I’ve been in tears all week now.  I need an emotional break, but since I don’t have vacation time right now it’s not doable.  Before the 20th century, it used to be common to mourn for the dead for however long it took.  It’s a shame that we are not allowed to properly grieve anymore.  We’re told to just “get over it already”.  Everything’s too fast, too superficial, and there seems to be no breathing room.  This can take a huge toll on the mind, body and spirit.

 

Unidentified woman, mourning her husband, a soldier killed during the US Civil War, 19th century. (Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress)
Unidentified woman, mourning her husband, a soldier killed during the US Civil War – 19th century. (Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress)

 

Are you struggling with a mental illness?  Here are things that I try to do to help control my depression.  Keep in mind, that while it’s not needed, I do take medication.  For me, it has helped tremendously.  These are not some “happy pills” that people smugly disparage.  For me, it’s the difference between feeling normal and being close to suicide.

 

1.  Talk it out with your “go to” people.  These are the people who you feel comfortable talking to and who won’t judge you.  For me, it’s my sister and my best friend.  These could be people also dealing with depression and/or who love you know matter what.  Not everyone can (or should) pour their guts out on Facebook, but for me it has helped tremendously.  I’m lucky that I have people to comfort me when I feel confused, sad, and angry.

2.  Seek professional help.  There is absolutely no shame in getting the help that you need.  Talking to someone who is not biased in any way can do wonders.  If you have a therapist and you’re not happy with them, for whatever reason, it is your prerogative to find someone who you feel comfortable talking to.  Keep trying until there’s a good fit between you and your therapist.

3.  Cut out the things that make you unhappy.  Focus on the things that do make you happy.  This is easier said than done, but it’s worth it to try.  For example, I hate watching the news.  Not only is the news in the US completely biased, there’s only so many sad stories I can take.  And no, I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything.  When 9/11 hit and the tsunami and nuclear disaster hit in Fukushima, Japan I knew about it.  You can control the news stories you watch, especially with the Internet.

4.  Whatever you do, remember that this will pass.  This is the hardest thing to do for me.  These past 2 weeks felt like it would never end.  But alas, it has passed and I’m ready to move on.

 

When I’m in a dark mindset, there are a few things that help ease my pain.  Here are the things that make me happy:

 

1.  Listening to cathartic music.  For me it’s usually heavy metal (particularly doom metal) and old school rap (pre-2000s).  Many people think that this type of music adds to my depression.  I can see why they would think that, but believe it or not, I find this music cathartic.  Since I can’t lash out against this world, I’ll listen to people who can.  This really helps me when I’m at work, trying to release the sadness.

 

Mike Pike, frontman and founder of High On Fire (Image source)
Mike Pike, frontman and founder of metal band, High On Fire (photo via Photobucket)
'90s rap group, Public Enemy (photo via Photobucket)
’90s rap group, Public Enemy (photo via Photobucket)

2.  Belly dancing.  It is virtually impossible to stay sad and angry around massive amounts of glitter, sequins, beautiful dancers, and hip-shaking music.  Believe me, I’ve walked into many a class in a pissed off mood.  It never lasts long and I’m so happy that it doesn’t.

 

Frowns turn to all smiles! Me on stage with Raquettes Samia, UDM 2012.
Frowns turn to all smiles! Me on stage with Raquettes Samia, UDM 2013. (Photo courtesy of Toscana Photography)

 

3.  Watching drag queens.  More bling, more makeup, more artistry.  My type of scene!  Here’s a video of some runway looks from Season 5 of Logo TV’s Rupaul’s Drag Race:

 

 

4.  Watching cute, furry animals.  While I like looking at non-furry animals, as well (especially elephants) there’s nothing more squee-worthy than baby animals.  Here’s a clip from Animal Planet’s Too Cute (yes, this is an actual TV show).  Prepare to die from cuteness overload:

 

 

5.  Working on my blog.  Some people blog as a business, while others blog for personal reasons.  I’m in the latter category.  Blogging for me is like writing a public journal.  I get to write out my feelings and post photos that make me happy.  I’m also able to spread my message and connect with others who may struggle with depression.  If I can help just one person, then it’s all worth it.

 

You are not alone. Me with my sweet sister, J.
You are not alone. Me with my sweet sister, J.

 

How do you deal with depression?  Feel free to share in the comments.

 

Love & Shimmies,

Dasia Denise

 

 

 

 

OOTD – Four Eyes for Thursday

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Happy Thursday, lovelies!  I decided to wear my glasses today.  Unfortunately, these are real, prescription eyeglasses – I don’t wear these just for fashion.  I just wasn’t in the mood for contacts today, and since I’m wearing glasses my makeup is pretty basic:

 
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I could really use a bindi – a third eye. Just a bit boring today. Oh, well.

 

Here’s what I’m wearing today:

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Beaded necklace & leather collar: Ebay, Brain pendant: Heart & Skulls (Etsy), Long T-shirt: Ebay, Cardigan: The Limited, Leggings: Carousel Ink (Etsy), Boots: Clarks

 

 

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Love & Shimmies,

Dasia Denise

OOTD – Ruffled Skirt & Egyptian Rosary

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Happy Hump Day!  Here’s what my face looks like today.  I cranked up the eyeliner and it looks a lot better:

 

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I’m not a fan of crucifixes, so I opted for something better: A rosary-style necklace with an ankh and the Eye of Horus.

 

And here’s what I’m wearing:

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Long T-shirt: Ebay, 25-yard skirt: Ebay, Winklepickers: Underground Shoes, Rosary-style necklace: iMosh

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Love & Shimmies,

Dasia Denise

Black, Female & Godless

 

(Image via Photobucket)
(Image via Photobucket)

 

“Atheism is more than just the knowledge that gods do not exist, and that religion is either a mistake or a fraud. Atheism is an attitude, a frame of mind that looks at the world objectively, fearlessly, always trying to understand all things as a part of nature.” — Emmett F. Fields

 

I am not evil.  I am not angry.  I am not lost, nor am I broken.  I just don’t believe in the supernatural – no gods, no goddesses, no leprechauns, and no fairies.  I am an atheist.

 

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It would be awesome if fairies did exist. (gif via Photobucket)

 

Like many Americans, I grew up in a Christian household – Seventh-Day Adventist, to be exact.  There were things that I hated about church and one was that being a Christian and going to church didn’t seem to make a difference.  At all.

One of my earliest memories was me, my sister and my mother (who was talked about mercilessly by the “sweet” Christian folk) going to Mt. Olive SDA Church in Hillsboro, TX.  Since we lived in Keene, TX we had to drive 40 minutes to go to church.  I didn’t understand why we would do this, when there was a church that was a 10-minute walk from our house.

I asked my mother one day why we did this.  “Oh,” she said, “I’m not allowed in that church.”

“Why?”

“They don’t let black people in that church.”

What.  The.  Fuck?!  In 1983, my devout, Christian mother was not allowed to set foot inside of a Christian church.  Again, WTF?!

 

Christ-like? I think not. (Image source)

 

I was confused on why this was just accepted.  Where was the outrage?  Why was this not a big deal?  No one seemed to be too bothered by this, but my mother being a divorced woman was shameful.  Really?!  Of course, the blame wasn’t with religion but with the people.  Still, I could never get comfortable with such nasty, racist beliefs.  While racism is not only confined to the church, it just wasn’t convincing being told that “God is love” while also being called “nigger” every other day – by Christians.  God loves me, but you don’t?  Just because I have brown skin?  There was a serious disconnect there.  I was 10 years old at this time.

It was also made clear to me that questions were bad.  Terrible!  While my mother accepted my questions, the church did not.  As Seventh-Day Adventists, we believed that the seventh day (Saturday) was made holy and that it should be a day of rest – a belief adopted from Judaism.  But why did I have to wake up early, put on a fussy dress, and go to one of the most dull places ever?  I found it to be an utter waste of time.

“I thought this was a day of rest?”, I’d argue.  I just wanted to sleep in.  Why was this frowned upon?  “You can’t just sleep the Sabbath away,” Mom said.

 

How about a Black Sabbath, Mom?
How about a Black Sabbath, Mom? (photo via Photobucket)

 

Why the hell not?  That made absolutely no sense.  And to me, church was worse than school.  It’s like working on your day off.  I was already a Seventh-Day Adventist.  I already believed in God.  Why on earth do I need to congregate with people older than my mother, who wanted to flap their lips all day about things I didn’t understand?  I just wanted to sleep, love God, and draw.  At least my schoolmates, who worshiped on Sundays, got to watch TV, play video games, and do whatever they wanted after church.  Not us.  We couldn’t do anything “secular” from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday.  I never looked forward to the Sabbath.

Unlike what some people think, I didn’t immediately switch from Christianity to atheism.  First, I was a Christian, but didn’t go to church.  After all, if God was all knowing, He knew that I loved Him whether or not my butt rested on a church pew.  Then, I was spiritual, but not religious.  Then, I started to study other religions.  I liked a lot of what I had read (particularly Wicca) but these beliefs didn’t make sense to me, either.

Then I questioned why I believed in God.  I would talk to him, but he didn’t answer back; I never heard his voice.  I never saw him, never saw his face.  I realized that I believed in God because that was what I was taught; I believed simply based on hearsay.  Once I came to that realization, at the age of 36, I accepted that I was an atheist.

 

Actually, I do like going to church

 

I don’t go around wearing my atheism on my sleeve, but there’s a reason I’m writing this.  I’m writing this because there are atheists of color (not just black) that think we are alone.  We are not – it just feels that way.  And as risky as it can be to come out as an atheist, it’s even worse in communities of color.  The Christian religion is entrenched in the black community.  Being an open, black atheist is akin to denying your blackness.  So, not only am I an amoral scumbag for not believing in a god, but I’m also not proud of being black, which is ridiculous!

So, to my fellow atheists and other freethinkers (especially those of color), you may not feel the need to (or cannot) come out as an atheist.  But just know that you are not alone.  We’re few in number, but we’re not alone.  And just because we’re in the minority, doesn’t make it wrong.  There is nothing wrong with being a atheist.  I don’t care what anyone tells you – no one is born religious.  Religion has to be taught.

Here are a few links to atheism in general and to black atheism in particular.  I’ve also included a short YouTube video below.

The Atheist Experience (also on YouTube)

Greta Christina (Freethought Blogs)

Hemant Mehta, The Friendly Atheist (Patheos)

The Root: “Please Stop Assuming All Blacks Are Christian”, by Jenée Desmond-Harris

Black Atheists Of America (Facebook)

The New York Times: “The Unbelievers”, by Emily Brennan

 

“We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes.” — Gene Roddenberry

 

 

Love & Shimmies,

Dasia Denise

 

OOTD – Friday Night Dinner & Face Bling

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Hello, my pretties!  I ordered two maang tikka from Etsy a couple of weeks ago.  As you can tell, I love face bling!  I wore a tikka once during my first solo dance performance, which was NOT big enough!  Here’s my face – new and improved with a larger tikka:

 

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Here’s what I wore.  Again, loose and comfy:

 

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Cardigan: Target, Long dress: Dharma Trading Co., Shoes: Clarks

 

 

 

Celebrating Matt’s birthday, at Pacci’s:

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Tiramisu for the Birthday Boy

 

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Love & Shimmies,

Dasia Denise

OOTD & My "Running Late Face" for Tuesday

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Just another average Tuesday, but here’s my makeup for today.  Just a few sparkles and basic eyeliner.  This look takes about 15 minutes.  When I don’t have much time (which is usually), this is a go-to look that I have stashed in my brain. I call this my “running late face”: Continue reading OOTD & My "Running Late Face" for Tuesday

OOTD & My "Running Late Face" for Tuesday

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Just another average Tuesday, but here’s my makeup for today.  Just a few sparkles and basic eyeliner.  This look takes about 15 minutes.  When I don’t have much time (which is usually), this is a go-to look that I have stashed in my brain. I call this my “running late face”: Continue reading OOTD & My "Running Late Face" for Tuesday