Tuesday, February 21, 2006

self portrait tuesday: casper shitka

february’s self portrait challenge: all of me
last entry, whew.

background
i grew up in southern california.
san pedro, to be specific-
a suburb of LA.
i know it’s difficult to get any sympathy
for being a white person
in a world of horrible racism
but bear with me- i was a kid.
we spend a lot of time
outgrowing insecurities that
we acquired when we were kids.
i am very pale.
although i grew up next door to the beach
(i am sure the pangs of sympathy for me start here)
and i spent most of my childhood
and teenage years on the beach,
i was always pale.
all i do is burn.
my hometown is very catholic
and the population is mostly italian or hispanic.
i went to catholic school
and most of my schoolmates
were not as pale as i was.
i was made fun of relentlessly for being white.
my white legs were a particular favorite for unwanted attention.
they called me "casper"- you know, like the friendly ghost?
i also have a difficult-to-pronounce polish last name
that was contorted to shit- ka…
"casper shitka"
incredibley stupid, yes?
but it made me embarassed about my legs.
through high school i never showed my legs.
in southern callifornia heat
i was the girl who wore the bright blue tights to school
(well, except at the beach with my brothers).
by the time that i stopped caring
about how white my legs were
i started getting spider veins.
my mom has them… but she has had 5 kids.
so why the hell do i have them, i.e. no kids?
damn genetics.
my embarassment about paleness
has been replaced by a new insecurity-
spider veins.

here is my ‘all of me’ self-portrait
white legs, spider veins and all:


on another note…
i teach introduction to insects for non-majors
and they had their first lab practical today.

it’s always a good idea to know your insects.

4 comments:

OldandBusted said...

Umm, it's an ant. No, no...wait. A praying mantis. No, no...it's a cereal bug. No, that's not it either. Gosh darned it! A 3 winged orange spotted beetle?

ms. pea said...

nice moth. hot legs.

Eero said...

If you had grown up in Alaska,your paleness would have fit in perfectly with we light-deprived denizens of the North.

rooster said...

i too am polish!
i too am pale!
i too have spider veins!

and i was taunted as a child for wearing 'alice-in-wonderland' shoes due to a lift i had to wear on my shoe for a birth defect.