A/N: The images displayed in this essay are not mine–Thank Goddess for Tumblr, Pinterest and Imagebam. Click the image for a link to its origins. Tragically unbeta’d. Any mistakes and typos in this post as well as 3 different thesauri belong to MEEEEEE. Musical playlist, per usual, at the bottom. While I try to normalize a posting schedule, click the “Sign Me Up!” button in the side panel to receive MOO updates in your Email…thissss-a-wayyy——>
“There is one word which may serve as a rule of practice for all one’s life: reciprocity.” ~Confucius
Hello my stunning, Royal Rebels. I hope this new post finds you and your families healthy and well. When I said last time that I’d “update on Thursday”, per the usual posting schedule, I bet ya’ll didn’t think I meant Thursday-in-a-week-then-add-a-day-or-two-so-that-it’s-really-Superbowl-weekend did ya?? Yeah. Because that’s what happened, though not premeditated. Just keepin you on your toes. Dance, honey, dance.
I admit it: I had intended to post the highest-voted [and final] Moment of Otherness for The MOO STEW REVIEW by last Thursday, but I became detained. Detained by my self-imposed cocoon, in all honesty. Between the car accident and the insurance company battle and a new teaching schedule with Red Cross, I simply had no room to breathe, let alone post. I ended up taking a “personal” day last week and I stayed in my PJs the whole time, #NoRegrets. It was my only day off. And it was bliss.
Wanna know what else is blissful? Kristen Jaymes Stewart. This whole week was like a dream. We had the feeling she was about to burst onto the scene, but the combination of two of my very favorite nouns was too much for me to comprehend. Too much. Turns out, we didn’t know anything.
Oh mon, tu es belle
Yeah. So Kristen arrives in one of my very favorite places ever [seriously, my love for Paris knows no bounds] appearing casual, flawless and with a knowing smile on January 30th, without pomp or circumstance. JB, Kristen’s handsome bodyguard, and her buzz-cut sporting assistant John [do we need to talk about all the newly shorn heads belonging to the men in Kristen's life? Is this a new club initiation?] protectively flanked Her Royal Highness as she glided through Charles de Gualle Airport. Towards well..bliss evidently.
Speculation as to why Ms Stewart was in the City of Lights ranged from prep work for her new Balenciaga campaign to a photo shoot for one of the three movies she was releasing this year. But, no. Kristen was in Paris to shoot a photo spread for Vanity Fair. Her photographer? Legendary, gifted, beautiful Mario Testino. The fashion? Dior. Haute Couture. On-set visitors? Oh, hello, Karl Lagerfeld, head fashion designer and creative director of Chanel [cue screaming, flailing].
I’m pretty sure Karl is just as captivated by Kristen as we are. And Kristen? NO question about it, you have arrived. You are relevant. You are sensational. You are a B.F.D.
Not just because you rocked a couture Dior ball gown [perhaps the most beautiful gown I have ever laid eyes upon] on the chilly streets of one of the most romantic, inspiring cities in existence and a fascinator [who, pray tell, could pull that headpiece off with any semblance of authenticity? Only Kristen Stewart], but because when you stepped out in between shoots and hanging with legendary designers and artists, you did so, looking like this:
Kristen stopped, signed autographs and greeted the growing crowd of admirers gathering at her hotel, or on the streets and cafes where the photo shoot took place. All while exhibiting a graciousness and poise that only royalty can.
So I could wax poetic for days about the brief glimpses of gorgeousness we received while Kristen was in Paris for a mere 48 hours. But there are so many other people who know what they’re talking about who could–and have–present incredibly informed commentrees on ParisianStew. I suggest you read those….
For Haute Couture goodness and witty brilliance, go read my girl CC’s post ’J'Adore’ —–> KSIBTU I will simply wait until that Vanity Fair issue releases, [probably in May, to mark the opening of the highly anticipated SWATH?] and try not to lose my shite every time a new picture surfaces. When that article and photo shoot is on newsstands, we’ll talk. Oui? So check out KSIBTU’s fantastic thoughts, and I will stick to what I do best: Muse on Otherness.
Premiers secours Psychologiques
One reason why Kristen Stewart is our Head Ambassador of Otherness is because despite her anxieties steeped in facing swarms of people, she still took time in her ridonk 48-hr whirlwind visit in Paris to acknowledge her admirers. But the detractors and haters–The Bullshit People as we know them here in Otherland–didn’t recognize her generosity and graciousness. Not when they could instead pick apart Ms Stewart’s actions and paint her as a crass, murderous-intending spawn after her interaction with actual crass, greedy spawn: the paparazzi.
You all know that I elect to not waste any particular energy addressing or acknowledging the existence of the drama llamas. I am only noting this instance because it aligns so perfectly with an epiphany in my own 3D work. I’m an instructor of disaster response and mental health with #TheRedCross, and you all listened to me screech and celebrate my certification last fall. Well, last week, I was honored and proud to instruct my first class of new Red Cross Disaster Responders. The class? Psychological First Aid. But people didn’t come to my class to learn how to do CPR and keep a body alive at the time of cardiac arrest. No, the course I taught was first aid for the heart and soul. What I essentially learned, is that this course really could be renamed Human Decency 101, and that quite a few of us could use a refresher in it. What a revolutionary thought, hmmm? A course on the basic tenants of humanity: compassion and presence.
The first wave of folks I’d encourage enrollment into Psychological First Aid? The Bullshit People, the Stalkerazzi, the detractors and destroyers hell-bent on tearing Kristen Stewart and all Unconventional Beauties [Others] down. If you check the sequence of events that occurred in the above gifs, you see Kristen Stewart, internationally known personality and Rebel Queen, stopping to sign autographs and exchange a few words with her fans. What you also should notice, is the frenzied, intrusive presence of the camera clowns and stalkerazzi snapping away and encroaching on Kristen and her fans’ personal, physical space.
What you’re witnessing is the breakdown of empathy–the Empathy Erosion–or the objectification [dehumanizing, depersonalizing] of a person due to lack of human relating as Dr Simon Baron-Cohen cites in his fascinating research The Science of Evil by Basic Books Publications. [This has been added to MOO's Resources of Beauty page]. We’ll talk more about Dr Baron-Cohen’s work in the next MOO, because I find it startlingly relevant for our community, for Kristen and her Royal Consort Robert…and in our pursuit of Othering ONWARD. The photogs and even some hyperactive blog trollers have negated the fact that the target at the end of the camera lens is a human being. A woman. A person.
I approach the concepts of Empathy Erosion and Psychological First Aid tonight because upon surveying this odd and fascinating fandom’s way of interacting, especially during a perceived “drought”, I’m asking us all to be aware of any compassion refresher points we may need. Because in watching those CameraClowns/Vultures swarm and circle Kristen Stewart this week, and in reading snarky, entitled bloggers and commenters pot-stirring, I wonder to where the compassion disappeared.
When did it become the norm, to overlook the basic needs of a human being?
Administering Psychological First Aid
(aka, how to provide compassionate presence in response to a disaster and trauma)
(aka, Human Decency 101)
- Make the connection. ~ Say hello, introduce yourself. Establish that you, a fellow being, are here. You’re not just a spectator. You’re in this too.
- Help people be safe. ~Move the person to a warm, dry, stable place to sit, away from the stressors. It’s not the time to stare as if it’s a gladiator arena spectacle…or The Hunger Games.
- Be kind, calm, compassionate. ~This person is overwhelmed. Understand that.
- Listen. ~One of the most powerful abilities we have.
- Meet people’s Basic Needs. ~We all thrive on the same things: water, air, shelter, support.
Nous sommes au Numéro Un
*waves hands to dispel the joo-joo and rein in focus* Now, rather than spend any more energy on empathizing with the un-empathetic vultures, I’ve a major Other Countdown to wrap up. Let’s get ‘er done, friends. As we established in the preceding three parts to The MOO Stew Review, our Reigning Other Queen dominated most of 2011.
But there was one moment that prevailed as the most notable Moment of Otherness in 2011, according to Musings readers. OtherBeautyCominAtcha.
Remember, you guise? Remember this??? Remember when Ms Stewart arrived in London wearing a stunning, beaded, halter Roberto Cavalli gown and towering Jimmy Choo heels? When she paired an Alexander McQueen belt to accentuate her tiny waist and assets in a way that should have been banned for the level of sexy glamorous-ness? When her make up was flawless and her long Snow White tresses were pulled back halfway back to showcase her exquisite shoulders….and face?
You remember. Obviously you do, because this night, November 16, 2011, was voted as your number one Moment of Otherness in the MOO Stew Review. I remember feeling and truly hearing a collective sigh across the internets and in my own living room as Kristen emerged beneath the trellis at Westfield Stratford, London, in the wintry outside air to greet the crowds who’d been camping out for days to see her and her boys [Robert, Taylor, Wyck Godfrey and Bill Condon] at the UK World Premiere. It is as though that evening was the unveiling to the world: Kristen Stewart crossed over an old threshold of beautiful. And we all knew it. He certainly did.
Of course, Robert, our Poet Warrior, Kristen’s Other-Partner-in-Crime acknowledged the sanctity of such an uncommonly lovely creature for years by this point, but there was a heightened awareness and prideful declaration of affection and unity on this evening.
Byway of countless nonverbal expressions [lingering touches, adoring glances, physical proximity, tactile reassurances], Kristen and Robert honored their partnership, their devotion and their pride for one another. . .all while inhabitants of Rob’s home town looked on.
Soooo….There you have it. You Beauties have been extraordinarily kind and patient as I have grappled with ways to connect with Otherness, our Reigning Other Queen and you all while seeking the elusive balance and some first aid for my soul. Your suggestions and emails and kind words of encouragement have been my fuel. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for being so incredible. And thank you for sending in your thoughts which resulted in this four-part MOO Stew Review.
This is what we know now. Kristen Jaymes Stewart has thrown down the gauntlet. She is here, she is present, and she is poised to explode across the sky in 2012. Our survey of 2011 alluded to greatness that will soon come into fruition. Case in point:
It’s safe to say we’re in for an extraordinary, rebellious, beautiful year. Happy New Stew Year, my Other Rebels.
We are Other.
Kristen is Other.
Others resist empathy erosion.
Embrace your Other.
* * *
A/N: HAPPY SUPERBOWL WEEKEND, for those of you who watch, support, celebrate.
I’m eternally grateful to all of you who have checked in and let me know that you’re there while I’ve tumbled through some of the roughest weeks of my life. Special shout-outs to my CyberSisters and Readers who are army-crawling through the muck with me right now. (light and love to: Peri. Jai. Aai. Believe.)
To my Twitter Lovelies who always peek in and whisper-encourage that I keep going (side-eyes @deedreamer16 and @mycleveralias).
I do hope to be back next Thursday with our discussion on Empathy and Humanity. Thanks for giving me wide berth as I try to stay on schedule. Until then, be kind and well and I will see you soon. #OtherOn xo, KJ
The Hideout ~ Sarah Harmer *spotty live version on player, may be removed*
Le Mar ~ The Beautiful Girls
It’s A Fire ~ Portishead
Shake It Out ~ Florence + The Machine
Karma Police ~ Radiohead
Une beauté de compassion = A Compassionate Beauty
Oh mon, tu es belle = Oh my, you’re beautiful
Premiers secours psychologiques = Psychological first aid
Nous sommes au numéro un = We are at Number One