Literature and Art

You know what’s super depressing? Revisiting your favorite children’s books and realizing you can’t read them to your own kids, or that if you do you must also have conversations about imperialism, racism, body image, or sexism. Poor Curious George – a colonizer with a big yellow hat literally steals him from Africa, puts him on a boat to take away his freedom in a zoo…sound familiar? George isn’t naughty when he tries to escape from prison and wreaks havoc on his new city – he’s a freedom fighter fomenting rebellion!…

Or how about our favorite Bear family, who I learned have recently converted to Evangelical Christianity, despite their misleading Semitic surname. But even before this shocking change of faith, these bears were touting fatphobia and employing shame as a teaching device. In my favorite book, Brother and Sister Bear have been eating too much junk food – they have been growing too thick around their mid-sections. So as not to appear lazy and fat, these kids are put on a diet. I blame the Bears for my disordered relationship with food – those gluttonous bastards!…

The only time I remember getting in trouble in school was on a field trip to the Art Institute. I was in 3rd or 4th grade. I could not stop giggling at all the naked people (women) all around us. And obviously I had to spread the joy to my classmates. My teacher, who I am still in touch with today, pulled me aside and threatened punishment if I was unable to act with the maturity a museum required of me. I could not. I missed most of the field trip, but I still maintain it is silly to see naked women, sitting relaxed among clothed men, enjoying a picnic.

Published by imworriedmytherapisthatesme

I'm a history-PhD-turned-stay-at-home-mom of three. When I'm not microwaving Trader Joe's meals for my kids, breaking up fights and wiping butts, I like to paint and write. To cope with the endless hours I'm spending with my son doing virtual school, I've abandoned my gouache paints for the more portable, less messy tried but true, paper and ink. While he learns to read to 20 floating heads on his screen, I sit on a tiny chair, at a tiny table pretending to be a productive adult.

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