Hi, my name is Bianca James, and I’ll be your sex and beauty editor.
I also run a blog called School For Scandal, and have cut my teeth writing for a variety of sites and pubs ranging from Time Out Chicago, XOJane and The Huffington Post, to Hustler’s Barely Legal. (Yes really, but always under a fake name.)
For the record, sex and beauty are the topics I
personally decided that I wanted to handle for the site, and Sarah kindly indulged me after we shared a ridiculously decadent “business dinner” of Texas BBQ at the Salt Lick. The sex part was easy- I’m a Public Health graduate student focusing on sexuality and gender, and I’ve already begun my career a sexuality writer and educator.
The beauty part on the other hand, is a little interesting. I’m genderfluid, which means I like to play with my gender presentation (though I use female pronouns, and mostly default to femme these days). Generally speaking, people assume I’m a lesbian based on my short hair (even though I’m technically heteroflexible), and I’m also frequently assumed to be a ecstasy dealer or a dominatrix depending on how much glitter or leather I’m wearing.
Furthermore, I’m a fat person, which adds a whole other dimension of beauty politics to my identity. For me, bikini shopping is an act of rebellion: instead of looking for a 2 piece that makes my belly look flat, I’m looking to flaunt its roundness.
So I guess I have an unconventional approach to beauty, even though it’s something I really do care a lot about. I don’t really give a shit about Fresh Sugar lip treatments or the Kate Walsh women’s perfume that is supposed to smell like a men’s perfume, but I am into dyeing my armpit hair pink (I blame Sarah for inspiring this), using Wahl clippers to create edgy haircuts at home, appropriating Axe and Old Spice deodorants for women, and achieving a disco ball effect on my eyelids using loose glitter and Elmer’s glue.
Lest you think my approach to beauty is too radically queer/art school (not that that’s a bad thing), I will cop to hoarding beauty products from Lush and Malin & Goetz, enjoying regular OPI manicures at my favorite BYOB salon in Chicago (though I keep my nails short), and obsessively following a skin care regimen. Seriously, EVERYONE needs a skin care regimen!
For the purpose of MsBehaved, my “beauty” pieces are not going to make you feel inadequate in order to sell shit, but rather encourage creative personal expression (defining beauty for yourself), self love, health, and self care. I’m also lining up monthly giveaways of fun products for you to try, a system for readers to review products for the site, and interviews with iconoclastic fashion icons! Beauty should be fun, and make you feel good, and that has nothing to do with what the mainstream media expects you to do. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so own it!
Questions? Comments? Want to submit an article? Email me! firstname.lastname@example.org