shiori_makiba: Makiba Shiori in Kanji and Roman Letters (Default)
[personal profile] shiori_makiba
 Poem: Eye of the Beholder

by shiori_makiba

55 lines


Part of the Berettaflies thread of Polychrome Heroics, created by [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith. Title comes from a list of her prompts for the January Creative Jam Session. This is a little late for that but . . . you can only do what you can do.


Eye of the Beholder”


Beauty was a tricky thing.

It was subjective.

What was beautiful to one person

might be irredeemably ugly to another.

It wasn't always that extreme

but the point stood.


Which was why Jean-Claude and his team

did not focus on beauty as a general concept.

They didn't try to have their clients meet

some kind of arbitrary standard of aesthetics.


They focused on what made their client feel good.


That could be quite the challenge.

In more ways than one.


Part of that challenge was purely physical.

Depending on their client's needs,

they might have to invent everything from patterns

to the materials out of whole cloth.


And that was just for clothes.

The same could be said for meeting

some of their clients' other personal beauty needs.


It could and often did take considerable experimentation

to find what worked and what didn't.

This required patience and a willingness to adapt

when things didn't go according to plan.

Fortunately Jean-Claude had good people.


The bigger challenge was not physical.

It was emotional and mental.

Because many (far too many) of their clients

had been made to feel ugly.

That there was something wrong with their bodies

because it wasn't a certain way.

Sometimes for years.


That is not the sort of wound

that heals easily or quickly.

It sometimes took all of his effort and the efforts of others

to get clients to see themselves worthy of having clothes at all,

never mind ones that fit or didn't hurt them.


It made him angry

and it made him sad.


It also made him determined to show them

that anyone who said otherwise were wrong.

That they were entitled to have clothing

that fit them, that didn't hurt them.

That they were entitled to the products

to wash and style as they pleased

that didn't damage their skin, hair, feathers, fur, or scales.

That regardless of what they looked like or wore,

they were beautiful.

And to hell with anyone who thought or said otherwise.


Beauty was in the eye of the beholder.

The most important beholder was yourself.

Jean-Claude would do what he could to help them

see their beauty for themselves.

Because everyone was beautiful.

They just sometimes needed help to see that.

Thank you!

Date: 2016-02-01 05:14 pm (UTC)
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
From: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This is beautiful and powerful. I love the insistence on personalized beauty. It's a wonderful vision statement for the company. :D

And now I wish I could mail this to all the superpowered people in Marvel and DC.

Re: Thank you!

Date: 2016-02-01 09:35 pm (UTC)
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
From: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
>>Just my reaction to all this negative body image crud that gets shoved down our throats all the time.<<

Go you! That nonsense needs to be stabbed to death with pencils.

>> And the belief that the first person you need to learn to love and care about is you. After all, you have to live with you. And it's hard to form healthy relationships of any favor when you hate yourself.<<

Absolutely. A majority of the wrecked relationships I write about include that as part of the problem. This is especially true for cases where parents are causing problems for their children. If you look at Shiv's parents, Cassandra's parents, Lawrence's parents, Mallory's parents, Faramundo's rejection of his daughter's superpowers, etc. there is some fucked-up shit going on there -- and the base of it is they aren't very nice people who aren't okay with themselves in the first place.

>>All Bodies All Beautiful is Jean-Claude's brain-child.<<

I like him a lot, and would enjoy seeing more. Terramagne really needs that company, and especially, that meme.

>> I'm certain there is a story about why he feels so strongly about this but he's so far been keeping pretty quiet about his background.<<

Then it's probably a sad one. :( Many body image stories are.

Date: 2016-02-02 02:56 am (UTC)
thnidu: Tom Baker's Dr. Who, as an anthropomorphic hamster, in front of the Tardis. ©C.T.D'Alessio (Dr. Whomster)
From: [personal profile] thnidu
Oh, bravo!

I didn't recognize Jean-Claude's name, so I felt (only very slightly) at sea till I read and recognized "All Bodies All Beautiful" in the comment.

• invent everything from patterns
to the materials whole cloth.

This doesn't quite hang together grammatically. "Whole cloth" isn't an adverbial idiom like "(go) whole hog". Are you thinking of the idiom "(to make something up) out of whole cloth"? That has several rather different meanings (Wiktionary):

~~~~~ ~~~~

whole cloth ‎(uncountable)

1. A newly made textile which has not yet been cut. [original literal meaning]

2. (figuratively, used attributively or preceded by various prepositions) The fictitious material from which complete fabrications, lies with no basis in truth, are made.
Mr. Doe's account of the accident was made from whole cloth.

1917, National Geographic, _What Great Britain is Doing_, by Sydney Brooks:
All those tales that came clicking over the wireless of the capture of huge stores of grain and oil were fables out of whole cloth.

3. Something made completely new, with no history, and not based on anything else.
The plans for the widget were drawn from whole cloth.

• 1883, Mark Twain, _Life on the Mississippi_, chapter 27:
And, mind you, emotions are among the toughest things in the world to manufacture out of whole cloth; it is easier to manufacture seven facts than one emotion.

~~~~~ ~~~~

To use the idiom, your lines would be

invent everything from patterns
to the materials out of whole cloth

or something very similar. The close similarity between the literal and figurative meanings of the expression lend an unusual twist.
Edited Date: 2016-02-02 02:57 am (UTC)


Date: 2016-08-12 06:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
>>It also made him determined to show them
that anyone whoever said otherwise were wrong.<<
Might be a stylistic effect, in which case feel free to ignore me, but don't you mean 'who ever', as in every person, past and future who did the thing? Because I'm pretty sure 'whoever', the way it's currently written, means basically the same thing as 'anyone', and the repetition doesn't make much sense to me, in context.

BTW, random brain is random, but Jean-Claude + clothe/fashion, especially Goth/Victorian/Old Noble style make it so every time we hear about him, I see a long, dark-haired, blue-eyed, French Vampire, which is... probably not what you're going for.

<3 this poem, and I would have given half the world to have found it years ago. Alas, it was sadly unwritten, and I didn't have near enough comprehension of the language even if it had been offered. But it would have saved me a lot of tear and pain... Still resonate strongly here and now. Good Job.


shiori_makiba: Makiba Shiori in Kanji and Roman Letters (Default)

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