Hi Margaret and thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview!
“I just saw your site when I found out we were going to be talking. It’s really cool!”
We’re really passionate about the message we are trying to spread and I know that you are very outspoken on the way society views women. A lot of our members are inspired by you and the work that you do.
“Thank you so much!”
We get a lot of women and girls who have dealt with bullying and they struggle with it. I was reading that you were bullied as a child and I know that that can have a major effect on how you look at yourself. I wonder what you have done to overcome that.
“I think it’s really just about making your opinion count more than anyone elses and just learning to value your own thoughts as having more weight than other peoples. That’s a hard thing to do and it’s something that’s kind of a lonely thing but it’s also a really important thing. It’s something we have to do to protect ourselves. But also you kind of wish you could give responsibility to other people, like how you should feel or what you should do. But this is the best and fastest way to be free from a lot of things. Bullies occur all throughout life, they’re not just a childhood thing necessarily. Of course being a child, you’re much more susceptible and vulnerable to it but it happens to everyone all through life.”
I was reading your blog and one of the things that stood out to me was when you said “The most important thing is to tell other people you are really beautiful and to carry yourself like you are really beautiful.” You just ooze this self confidence. Is it just that easy? Is it all just a matter of thinking positive?
“Well, no, it’s not really easy. It’s actually kind of difficult to get there. It’s more like a goal, like “I would like to feel that” It’s like the best way to get there. It’s just about trying, trying to be confident, trying to start that rumor about yourself that you’re beautiful. It’s really about how we feel and what the word is on the street. You can start rumors about yourself about how you’re beautiful and it’s very empowering, it’s a good thing.
And just like any other rumor it will spread.
“Yes, it will spread and it’s true! It’s a good one to start and it’s a good one to start within yourself. It’s very hard to get there though. It’s all a process of just trying.”
We get so many girls who come to us who lack self confidence and they don’t see themselves as beautiful and what we’re doing is trying to change peoples perception of what beautiful is. We are trying to help these girls see the beauty that is in themselves.
“Yeah, it’s great. I think that when you can help other people do it you can do it more yourself. It’s a very great way to lift each other up and help each other. It’s one of those things where you’re bombarded with images that are photoshopped and really unrealistic. It’s all a way to sell you something or sell you an idea or something. It’s the way things are. Just because I’m not that or your not that or whoever’s not that doesn’t mean that what we are isn’t great.”
I wanted to talk a little bit about your sexuality because I know you’re an avid supporter of the LGBT community and you’re openly bisexual. Different people awaken to their sexuality at different times. How old were you when you realized this about yourself?
“ I think I was pretty young. I don’t even know when I was actually conscious of it but I think I just always knew that I was different. I never felt quite like a girl or like a boy, not in the same way that my friends did. Not even totally identifying as gay and not fully identifying as straight and not being in either or. It was kind of just a fluid form of just being and I think that’s kind of where it is now. Gender to me is sort of as fluid as sexuality.”
Have you found that bisexuality is not as accepted within the gay community?
“It’s kind of a weird thing. It’s not a majority but it’s also recognized but it’s also kind of a silent minority and it’s marginalized in a way that is not really defined. It’s kind of invisible. Queer is more apt and sort of a growing community within the greater LGBT mainstream. The idea of identity as queer is certainly a term that is used more easily. I think gender is sort of infinite."
I would love to talk about your tattoos! I was reading that you started getting tattooed in 2006. Was this something you had been wanting to do for a while or was it just one day you decided to go ahead and do it?
Body Of Art Foundation
"I kind of thought that I would my whole life. It was just a matter of going and doing it. The people I was around when I was young were all tattooed and it just seemed like that was my destiny. I always loved it and thought that it would be great to be tattooed. And it is! It’s like a realization of a truth. When you get it it’s like “Oh yes, this is who I am”
How many do you have now?
"My stomach is totally covered and my back and my legs and my arms. There’s a lot of them!"
Are you going to keep going?
"I don’t think I’ll have anything major done because I don’t have much space left. But you never know. My social life is all tattoo artists, all people who are very tattooed so in my social circle its rather unusual not to be covered in tattoos."
If you could give any advice to women and girls who are struggling to fit in and be accepted what would you say to them?
"That they are just perfect the way that they are. It’s really irrelevant whether they fit in or they don’t. It’s not important. They’ve just got to feel good that they’re alive. It’s such a gift. It’s so precious to be a woman and to be here. Just enjoy that because it’s such an honor. You’re a woman and that’s the highest form of life there is."
Interview by Sarah Skeen
Interview by Sarah Skeen