I did not intend to write about turning 36. Initially, this blog post started off as a general recap of how I celebrated my birthday this past month. But over the course of two weeks this post morphed into a stream of thoughts about my anxieties on turning 36, questioning why I felt this way, and how trying not to give a fuck is helpful to me. So, if this post seems disjointed it is because these are truly the thoughts I have been grappling with.
I am generally fine with the concept of getting older and I really love to celebrate my birthdays. But strangely, after being 36 for two weeks it has sunk in that the next few years, here on out, bring me closer to 40. Birthday milestones, especially those that indicate some type of coming of age (e.g. sweet 16, finally 21) can be fun and as a society we’ve placed some importance on milestones that are sometimes, but not always, age related from infancy to early adulthood (e.g. getting a drivers license, turning the legal age to buy cigarettes or alcohol). But for some reason all that coming of age birthday fun doesn’t seem to transfer past your 30s, at least from what I’ve gathered through popular media. This is perhaps why all of a sudden I felt some anxiety about turning 36 and the idea that 40 is just around the corner.
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The hot dry summer, especially here in Phoenix AZ, calls for lightweight and airy summer dresses to chill in. A couple years ago I wrote about Torrid’s Floral Challis Maxi Sundress (similar) and what to wear under a white summer dress. That dress (pictured above) is still in relatively great condition and I still wear it to this day. Although I purchased that dress two years ago it still is one of my go-to dresses for the spring and summer. While Torrid no longer sells that specific dress I’ve rounded up 5 similar summer dresses that I could see myself chilling in, especially in 106° temps! I’m looking to add one of Torrid’s summer dresses to my closet and could use your feedback! Which is your favorite?
Phoenix Comicon 2017 is happening this Memorial Day weekend, May 25-28, 2017. I look forward to the Phoenix Comicon every year because it’s an opportunity for me to geek out and have fun with my family – we are Indigenerds (Indigenous Nerds)! I love seeing my teens become creative with their cosplay. And I like meeting and hearing from my favorite artists, comic book creators, and actresses/actors. As you may be able to tell from the photos from Phoenix Comicon 2016 this is our family’s type of fun.
This year, I’m especially excited for the presence of Indigenerds who are representing! If you are attending the Phoenix Comicon please show them some support. Tell these independent artists to keep up the good work and support their business by purchasing their products. These are the Indigenerds I am aware of at the Phoenix Comicon: comic book artists Damon Begay and Tatum Bowie, Boise Esquerra the Director of H.A.M., and the short film Monster Slayer which is a contemporary retelling of the Navajo twin warriors.
Damon Begay & Tatum Bowie – Comic Book Artists
Damon Begay and Tatum Bowie are both Navajo comic book artists. Damon creates Interstellar Comix and Tatum creates The Pretty Okay Adventures of Tatum. Tatum also creates comic strips, one of which, What Can You Learn From Someone Like Me?, appeared in Native American Feminist Musings Vol 2. Empower Yosef Before You Wreck Yoself. They are a power couple and I am impressed with their production as they always seem busy creating the next book in their comic series/strip, tabling at comic book events, or participating in 24-hour comic book day. Their comic books are affordable so go find their booth #AA1522 and ask them about their current project!
On Sunday March 19th, Native News Online.net published an article I wrote about the Lost Lake Festival coming to the Steele Indian School Park this October 2017. In the article, I discussed concerns of cultural insensitivity as to the presence of hipster headdresses in an area that has historical significance as to the erasure of American Indian cultures.
UPDATE: On March 23rd, I received a statement from Superfly, the company producing the Lost Lake Festival, that states, “Out of respect for Native American heritage and culture, and with respect to the Native American history of the park, we will not allow headdresses at Lost Lake Festival. Our code of conduct will reflect our commitment to creating a safe, respectful and inclusive environment for all festival-goers to have the best experience possible, and we’re happy to share that [code of conduct] with you once it’s finalized in the coming months.”
Guest Commentary The Lost Lake Festival, a 3-day music festival is coming to the Steele Indian School Park in Phoenix Arizona in October 2017. The Lost Lake Festival was announced on March 15, 2017. The creators of the Lost Lake Festival also created the Bonnaroo and Outside Lands Festivals; these festivals are known for not banning hipster headdresses.
The Steele Indian School Park is the site of the Phoenix Indian School, a boarding school that operated from 1891 to 1990. Indian boarding schools assimilated Native American youth into mainstream American society through forceful tactics such as chopping off hair, physical punishment, restricting youth from speaking their Native language, and living life in a military-like regime. I recall knowing about Indian boarding schools from a very young age… in fact, I can’t recall a time when I didn’t know about Indian boarding schools. To this day, in my academic career I write about the consequences of boarding schools and historical trauma on generations of American Indians, particularly the consequences to families, relationships, connections to Tribal communities, and ties to their cultural heritage.
This is why, I became concerned when I learned about the Lost Lake Festival and that it was created by the same founders of Bonnaroo and Outside Lands – festivals unfortunately known for not banning headdresses. In my Lakota culture, the headdress is an important and significant item for the person who has earned it. And yet the appropriation of this cultural and spiritual item represents an act where American Indian culture is quite literally taken from American Indians, reduced to an accessory, and stripped of its cultural significance. This type of action, donning a headdress as a non-American Indian when one has not earned it, minimizes a complex history of assimilative practices that resulted in the culture of American Indians being forcibly taken away from them.
Check out these 5 must attend events in March! There are amazing events happening in Arizona. Here are a handful of events I’m interested in relating to fashion, activism, and music. I’m looking forward to attending some of these events so if you see me come and say hi!
For more events related to fashion, American Indian representations, and activism follow my curated list of events on Facebook!
Inno-NATIONS Kick-off Events: Lecture & Fashion Show
Wednesday, March 1, 2017 – Phoenix AZ
Saturday, March 4, 2017 – Phoenix AZ
Inno-NATIONS, a developing American Indian business incubator, is hosting two kick-off events this week featuring Native American fashion businesses. The first event, Beyond Buckskin: Beyond Online, is a lecture with Jessica Metcalfe happening Wednesday March 1st. The second event, Protection In All Directions: Fashion & Resistance Awareness, is a mixture of talk, art, and a fashion show happening Saturday March 4th. It is being presented by Beyond Buckskin, OXDX, and Grownup Navajo. I’m personally looking forward to this night of fashion, Native American representation, and resistance! See you there?