What are your plans tonight?
Anonymous

Well, it’s terribly depressing outside and I’m feeling ultra sensitive today for some reason, so what I really want to do when I get home is cry while looking at photos of Sharon Tate, I want to drink me some wine while I cook me some fish (which I have actually never done on my own so if I poison myself…it’s been real). I think I’ll put on a good old movie I’ve never seen and then start sketching or sculpting when I have a wine buzz going. Maybe I’ll be inspired to make a video about something. Depends on how cute I feel. 

Hi Mandy, I need some advice. I grew up in a very physically and emotionally abusive family. However, I think the most damage is from the emotional abuse which still goes on to this day. Even though I've developed thicker skin, there are periods where I'm living in constant self-doubt and self-hatred. I know better to fall into these ways of thinking but some days its almost inescapable. Do you have any advice I can block out or deal with these thoughts?
Anonymous

Hi person! First thing’s first: you need a dose of baby animals*:

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*it’s scientifically proven that viewing images of baby animals triggers the release of dopamine and endorphins in our brain, which instantly improves our mood and mindset. LOOK AT THEM.

Abuse is a monster that seeks out the strongest warriors and tries to crack them, but abuse is nothing but a nightmarish figment that presents itself as a scar. That scar may be where an open wound was, but it’s sealed now, and even if it’s always there, it’s not going to harm you. Looking at it might hurt, but if it does you’re looking at the scar and seeing the pain of when it was an open wound, and that’s not the right perspective to have if you want to move on. Look at the scar as a sign that you can heal, that things can change, that it’s a sign of what you survived, and a reminder of what you can endure and grow from. 

You are healing absolutely fucking wonderfully and you are a huge inspiration already. Do not blame yourself for slipping into those moments of self sabotage. It happens to everyone in varying degrees, but I think it is especially vicious for people who were emotionally abused because it became a pattern for them to view themselves as a problem. I know I struggle with it after a tumultuous decade of living at home and being the source of so much anger and conflict, without understanding why or how to change it- when people you love and trust try and correct you just by flipping a fucking shit every time you do or say something they don’t like, it doesn’t help you correct yourself it circumvents you finding how to do the right thing and just goes straight to making you scared and angry at yourself. It’s a bad pattern and patterns can be hard to break, but they can be broken and especially for people who do things habitually (negative thoughts are a habit, remember that) it is actually good news because this means that new patterns can be formed and eventually they will take over your instincts when it comes to the usual thoughts you have when faced with a challenge or a conflict or hurt feelings.

You will re-train yourself to react to your triggers in new ways that aren’t “You’re a loser, you can’t do this, you’re not special…”, but “This sucks but fuck it, I’m strong and I can do this.” It helps to really give yourself time to do things that you enjoy doing and are (or could be) good at. Surround yourself with people who have good hearts and make you laugh and like you for you (they are EVERYWHERE, you just need to open yourself up to them, which is scary, but it pays off more than it would hurt you). Put up photos of people or even characters who you find inspirational or strong that you see some of yourself in- remind yourself that you are strong and capable enough to do exactly what you want in this life, including finding your happiness and better coping with your past.

Nothing will ever magically erase our painful memories, but there is a beautiful quote I live by: “It hurts because it mattered”. What we go through is out of our control and it changes us, but if it changes us for the better or worse is ultimately in our hands. Our perspective is all we have in our individual realities, so if you work on seeing yourself and your past as benchmarks for your own strength, and your good heart and willingness to get better as an amazingly beautiful quality, you will pick up the habit of flipping the negative into a positive, and that’s how we heal and improve and move on. It is a slow process, but like all things in life, good things come to those who wait and nothing good comes easy. All you have to do to ensure that in 10 years time you look back at this day and think “I don’t even remember what it was like being that person” is daily reminders to see the positive in your experiences and to remind yourself of how strong you are and how much you have now because of what you endured that others don’t. You have wisdom, you have experience, you have power. 

To the 23 year old. I'm 24 and have never been on a date or so much as kissed anyone (have been asked out once in my life--I was 14 and thought he just kidding to be mean). I often fluctuate b/n being happy by myself and wishing that I had someone special in my life. However, I realize that I may just be a "late bloomer" when it comes to dating & that as long as I'm not settling for a half-assed relationship when I'm content on my own, then I'm doing okay. Just be patient and trust your gut! :)
Anonymous

I LOVE WHEN YOU GUYS ANSWER EACH OTHER’S QUESTIONS! THIS IS BEAUTIFUL. And I think that all three of us are late bloomers, and I’ve come to truly shed all of my shame or fears about that title. I really am okay with it because I really think that’s what I am and what so many people are- just not on the same pace as the norm, and I think that is actually a really wonderful thing to cherish and listen to. I think that this is awesome advice, I’m behind it. Thank you for submitting.

I know a couple of designs schools don't allow you to use commercial art materials like markers and force you to use traditional fine art mediums like gouache on your fashion illustrations. This is very worrisome to me because gouache is ultra time consuming and unnecessary for a student in design. I was wondering what kind of art materials Parsons allow you to use.
Anonymous

I believe that Parsons allowed us to use whatever we wanted, but that we should at least TRY the mediums they suggest since they are the classic standard for the form, i.e. gouache on fashion illustrations or art pencils and kneaded erasers during live drawing. It’s good to try many different mediums and as long as you do show that you are willing to try, what you end up sticking with for most of your projects is really up to you. As with any time you aim to defer under a set curriculum or norm, just make sure you’ve got a good case for yourself and a charming delivery when you sell it to your higher-ups.

can you post more videos?? and what's percy's personality like?
Anonymous

I’m actually gonna post more videos! 

Percy is a fucking nutcase, but in a good way! She is very hyper when she’s awake- she is always running and darting around, exploring, finding things to play with, bothering me, entertaining herself. Sphynx are often described as being like part monkey, part puppy, part cat- that describes Percy very well. She wakes me up in the morning when she’s hungry, she jumps on my bed and snuggles me and meows at me until I get up, then I nearly step on her with every step to the kitchen because she’s just under my feet and rubbing her body on me until I feed her. She gets in adorably affectionate moods some days too, where she just comes next to me and purrs, sleeps in my lap or against my body somehow. I love just chilling with her on my bed when she’s resting, she does the thing where she looks at me and slowly closes her eyes then opens them, which is a cat’s way of saying “I love you”. I also feel so happy when she is lounging near me and she lays on her back showing her belly because it’s a cat’s way of saying “I trust you”. She loves getting her head rubbed and I love grabbing her head in my hand and kissing her on her smelly mouth. She always greets me when I come home with a meow, and she is very vocal so at this point I know what her different meows mean- like there is a definite “I’m happy to see you!” meow when I get home and there is a definite “Where the FUCK have you been, I’ve been a mess” meow. She also can be so crabby when I bathe her- she is mean when I’m bathing the spots she doesn’t like, she will grumble and do that nasty long meow/groan and hiss, but she never scratches or bites me when she is upset, she’s just grumpy. She’s great with new people, she doesn’t really act any differently towards them, but she play-bites a lot and I’m trying to train her out of it because while I know it’s not aggressive, it’s not a good habit for her because when she’s playing with people she always tries to lightly bite their fingers and she needs to be less of a rude weirdo like that.

Jeez, imagine when I start having kids- I won’t shut the fuck up about them.

how do you keep percy clean?
Anonymous

I bathe her in the tub like a baby! Fill it halfway with warm water (never too hot or too cold, the general rule with temperature and Sphynxes are if you’re comfortable/ uncomfortable, they’re comfortable/ uncomfortable). I then wipe her down with unscented baby wipes- she absolutely HATES when I clean under her arms, her legs or her belly, and she yells at me like a fucking hellbeast when I clean her filthy asshole. I also have to clean her ears and eyes with a Q-Tip every couple of days because her lack of ear hair/ eyelashes/ whiskers makes them extra prone to dirt and wax and gook buildup (cute). 

To have a Sphynx, you truly need to have a tolerance (or better yet an appreciation) for the grotesque.

hi mandy, so, i've never dated anyone, and i'm 23. i feel like guys that are into me, i'm not into, and vise versa. but usually im not "into" guys like that. i just find one person every half decade to fall in love with and then something huge comes in the way of us getting together. something impossible to work around. i dont know what to do, i feel alone but i feel gross and bored if im with someone im not absolutely into, which is rare to find for me.
Anonymous

What I immediately drew from this message was that you don’t settle when it comes to relationships, and fucking congratulations to you for that because that is actually a very strong trait to embody. I’m not sure that you’re seeing your situation for any of the positive implications it shows about you, and if you can’t see the positive you can’t see the layout for what you should be focusing on to better get to a place of satisfaction. It’s a very common problem to feel like you attract guys you’re not into, but have you ever thought about the kind of guy you do like and think about what he truly wants and if you truly express those qualities to people? Like me, I like a guy who is attracted to strong, outspoken women, I guess because I think of myself as one, and no matter where I am putting myself out there, that is a quality I am sure to embody and make sure is not hidden, is shown with just the right amount of restraint and honesty without being stubborn and forced. Of course I also get people interested who I am just not interested in, that is how it’s going to work most of the time just based on the sheer statistics in dating. It’s normal and you are still super young and might just in the phase where you’re still figuring out what you do want, what you do like and look for in a mate, and also who YOU are and what you want someone to want you for.

You need not compare yourself and your situation to anyone else or any sort of norm here, because relationships and love are so incredibly case by case and the most meaningful ones never come from two people going “well I should be dating someone. I like not being alone more than I like having to wait for the right person to fill me with passion that has the potential to grow and remain for the rest of my life.” - I don’t see you as that person, and I think most people are that person which is why we have these weird norms about dating and relationships in our 20’s. Fuck that, fuck them, my bottom line is that it is a good thing that you feel bad when you’re with someone you’re not absolutely into (ME TOO!!!), it shows that you respect and understand love, and THAT shows that you are worthy of it and just need to take a breath and realize that it will come to you when it comes to you, and all you can do in the meantime is trust you gut and not feel bad about anything. You probably will because we all will at times and we are only human, but I want you to try focusing more about the positive aspects of all of your perceived struggles. When you focus on the problem it makes it harder to see the solution, so identify the problem and look at it from a perspective beyond it.

that's so rad to see tavi is a big inspiration for you! which other famous females give you that boost to be even cooler than you already are?
Anonymous

I don’t know nearly enough women by name who I consider my personal inspirations, which I need to work on because that’s not something I like to admit. I’m really inspired by any woman who educates herself about the world and the way things are/ the way things were/ what things need to improve or change, and then uses that knowledge and her voice or her talents to create a dialogue about it, to do something to inspire others to be better, because when people are confident and feel worthy of love and success they treat other people better and that makes the world a fucking better place. 

I find inspiring women all around me, especially since I’m constantly on the internet for my job and I am exposed to so many poignant, brave, hilarious articles/ films/ artworks/ speeches done by women that don’t even necessarily deal with feminist issues but just LIFE in general, and just anything thats done well coming from a woman is inspiring to me because it takes guts and talent to be good at expressing a point to strangers and then getting those strangers to feel something good from it. I try to do that with my blog, I would love to do this on a larger level (which I am actually working on…), but until then I am so grateful for women who are in all sorts of positions of power who stand up for what they know is right and who risk so much adversity and bullshit and backlash to make positive changes. 

I am freaking out because I dont have a halloween costume picked yet, I usually go as a cool movie characters (Miss Argentina, Magenta from Rocky Horror etc.) WHO SHOULD I BE?!?
Anonymous

When all else fails, do something hilarious and unexpected. I keep waiting for the opportunity for me to finally be John Waters, but I always go for something more glamorous because…these are my prime years as far as hotness, I don’t need to sabotage myself early and forget about the gift of youthful beauty. I’ll do John Waters in a couple decades when I don’t need to fake the old age with makeup. For now, be funny and clever but still embrace your youth and all the benefits of it! 

what's your instagram again?
Anonymous

princess_fuckface :)