Discover more from Illumination Diaries by Jakari Wing
the self aware barbie
“…to be ourselves causes us to be exiled by many others, and yet to comply with what others want causes us to be exiled from ourselves. It is a tormenting tension… but the choice is clear…” Clarissa Pinkola Estés
I’m coming down from a pride high right now. I’ve felt a consistent overdose of joy for the past few days. Truthfully like a baby that drank too much milk. And also fomo ofc for all the things I missed out on.
My partner and I watched queer ultimatum on the train back home from Riis, looking up occasionally to see remnants of the parade and ofc to take breaks because g*d damn. We ended up watching a review on YouTube, the show was too much but that’s not what this letter is about lol.
I jokingly posted a photo of me at the beach, captioned 5 days left to say happy pride, which lead to an influx of DM’s. I now realize that it might have been misdirection of my queer sadness for carrying the weight of being the only ‘out’ person in my bio family. So maybe a little guilt induced, but now I know that I’m allowed to ask for what I need.
I told all my friends that I ran into this week to watch The Stroll. While my partner and I watched, we paused a few times, she recognized some of the girls maybe walking past them as a child with her dad.
I said hi to Kristen Lovell, (director of The Stroll) on the beach. I was drenched in ocean water, felt a little confidence knowing that if I got emotional my face was already wet. I will defenitely not forget that moment.
I’ve been researching about the anti-trans bills since watching the film, trying to gain more understanding with what moment we’re in right now. How fragile the safety and freedom of trans folks in the US feels and looks like.
That’s what was graffitied on the abandoned building between the road and the beach at Riis. It was the highest point of the building.
What’s left of the building is high a pile of bricks and a sign that reads “demolition in process”. The same fence surrounding the debris has a revived colorful memorial for Ms. Colombia, standing tall and upright.
(photo from my last visit summer 2022)
I had a convo with a new friend while hanging at the beach. They’re working on a painting inspired by Muñecas, faceless dolls from the Dominican Republic.
This immediately got me thinking about a chapter I read in women who run with the wolves about the role of dolls.
The chapter is about the Slavic folk tale of Vasalia and Baba Yaga. In the story a young girl is gifted with a metaphorical blessing from her mom, a doll.
“…the doll represents the inner spirit…the voice of inner reason, the inner knowing, and inner consciousness. The doll is like the little bird in fairy tales who appears and whispers in the heroine’s ear, the one who reveals the hidden enemy and what to do about it all.”
The young girl Vasalia, is sent by her evil stepmother and step siblings to go fetch wood from Baba Yaga, who represents the wild woman. A transformative agent, one who rejects all societal norms etc. They send her off with the intention of being eaten by Baba Yaga. Instead by listening to the doll, aka her intuition, the girl is able to leave Baba Yaga with some fire wood and wisdom.
This makes me think about shadow work and going into the darker more untamable parts of our psyche in search of wood for our own inner fire. We never plan to do shadow work, it happens when the timing is right or when we hear the calling for it.
We stay to gain wisdom, but not for too long out of fear of being eaten or taken in entirely by our darkness.
All this leads me to the Barbie film.
In the trailer she asks the question “do you guys ever think about dying?” This is where the plot seems to shift, where things start to feel more real for her. She meets a Baba Yaga type Barbie for advice and eventually journies to the ‘real world’.
If the doll represents the inner spirit or the inner voice of reason, what if Barbie represents the inner spirit / inner psyche of the U.S? Is the artificiality of capitalism becoming self aware? Is Barbie’s introspective nature a sign from the pop culture that the inanimate parts are becoming humanized? Does this have anything to do with increased empathy, freedom or liberation for the collective? Idk
I grew up playing Barbies, but my Baba Yaga provoked dog (who’s name was Jenee pronounced Genie) ended up tearing them apart one day and I wasn’t mad about it.
I do believe that dolls hold magic in them. So I’m keeping faith that the movie will have some sort of cultural impact (hopefully on the movements that matter).
I’ll leave with one last excerpt from the book.
“We feed the deep intuitive self by listening to it and acting upon its advice. It is a personage in its own right, a magical dollish-sized being which inhabits the psychic land of the interior woman.”
This quote makes me think about how I want to celebrate Pride next year. I want to be as present with what my needs are, feeding them along the way without judgement or fear. I want to be accepted, recognized and celebrated every day, every month. I don’t want the high of Pride to go away, but I also don’t want to feel like it can only exist for one month.
Goodbye and Happy Pride!
P.S.S. Speaking of intuition and developing a conversation with oneself, I made a poetic video essay dedicated to my morning routine and spiritual self titled
“moments of stillness”
Please watch :0)