This website wants to feature me as a Hot Babe. Should I do it?

I was just asked to model for a website very much like theCHIVE. It’s ranked fairly high globally and in the US as far as websites go, and after a bit of research, I’ve found it has a primarily college-educated and male readership. The spread they want to feature me in would label me as a “hot babe”, and we’d do an interview of sorts to help their readers get to know me.

Hmm.
I don’t know, guys.

A couple of things:

  1. Do I really want more dudes fapping to and following me online? Does that matter to me? Will it matter to me in the future?
  2. What sort of doors will this open for me, and are they the sort of doors I want opened?
  3. Is this the sort of exposure I ultimately want?
  4. My poor parents and family. -_-”

A buddy of mine joked recently that the number of men who have probably fapped to the thought of me is most likely numbered in the hundreds of thousands. My response was an immediate “GROSSSS WHY WOULD YOU EVEN SAY THAT TO MEEEE” — but also, with the amount of comments I get on Facebook as well as messages or emails begging to talk to me, I can safely assume his assessment is true.

And c’mon. I watch my analytics. I am fully aware that when I post photos from any sort of modeling gig, the traffic on my website jumps substantially.

Sigh.

Let me first just say: I’m grateful for my fans. Really, I am. If it weren’t for you guys and gals, I doubt I’d be anywhere near where I am today. I consider myself lucky to have reached this level of Internet “stardom” (though I admit to putting in a substantial amount of work to achieve this) as I am absolutely a “regular” girl next door — I go out with my friends, hang out with my family, have a day job, date, work out, slum around in pajamas all day, have bad hair days, acne breakouts, and experience the various ups and downs of life just like anyone else. And I wouldn’t say I’ve hit the genetic lottery or anything, especially in comparison to actual pro models out there, but I am perfectly comfortable in my own body and enjoy the way I look both with and without makeup. And if the swarms of positive and uplifting emails and complimentary messages flooding my inbox every day are any indication, I’d say I definitely have a reason to strut with my head held high and a perpetual smile plastered to my face.

But it’s not always fun and games. As an Internet-popular persona of sorts, the pressures I deal with in trying to satisfy everyone’s needs can be really daunting.

For example, some people expect me not to curse, and expect me to be this submissive, servile, docile little Asian girl who doesn’t react inappropriately to bad situations and always minds her manners. And I suppose, for the most part, I am those things — but I am also a passionate woman, and in rare instances, I do blow up.

Some people also expect me to respond to each and every single one of the comments or emails I get, and y’know, maybe when I was like, 19 or something, that was fine, because no one really followed me back then and I actually had the time to get back to every single person as well as the ability to write about whatever-the-fuck I wanted without people blowing up at me over stupid things like how I felt uncomfortable with a guy who went to prison touching my hair and telling me I smell good but who also happens to be blind and supposedly that makes me “ableist” even though as everyone who’s anyone will recall I dated someone with ONE HAND for like FOUR YEARS so maybe someone needs to get their facts straight.

Ahem.

Now that I have a gajillion people reaching out to me over the web, it is a lottery chance that I respond.

I’m sorry about that.
Really, I am.
I wish I could get back to all of you, but I just can’t.
I often find myself wishing I had my own manager to just tell me what to do, direct me this way and that way, manage my fan mail and coax me along — ugh. That would make everything so much easier!

:/

I get offered work and random gigs like the modeling feature I mentioned on a pretty regular basis, but I like to pick and choose between what I do based on the legitimacy of the folks I’d end up working with. I have worked with more than enough shady people in the past (the modeling and photography business is full of creepers), and after the experiences I’ve had, you can’t blame me for being more choosy with the work I accept.

Plus, c’mon.
If a website is going to feature me, it means I’d be advertising their stuff to my followers as well. That’s like, 40,000 people on Google+, nearly 300,000 on Facebook, plus wherever else people manage to gobble up my nonsense online (though not Tumblr anymore, obviously, since I accidentally deleted it like an idiot). So, when I’m offered work, I have to consider how that will affect my current following as WELL as the inevitable following to come. And, assuming I plan on doing the “Internet-Famous” thing forever, well …

Ohh decisions.

I think the biggest thing holding me back from modeling 24/7 is the fact that I am smart, and that I don’t want to be known for just my looks. It’s sort of a lowest-hanging-fruit thing — I can take the easy route and smile for the camera and rack up them dollas just being pretty, or I can try to become well-known for the things I actually enjoy and feel make me me.

It’s the reason I push my art so much. It’s the reason I write so much. It’s the reason I participate in business panels and consult startups and companies to help them better plan their social media strategies — I don’t want to just be a “pretty face”, and it really bothers me to think that this is the image I might be projecting to the masses. But it’s tough to find that balance because I do enjoy modeling, and I do enjoy being in front of the camera. So what do I do, y’know? How do I handle that?

Guh.

I’ll figure it out.
Also, I need food right now.

So, uh …
Peace.

peace This website wants to feature me as a Hot Babe. Should I do it? * heycheri sherilynn macale

Later gators,
Cheri

Are blind men supposed to make you feel uncomfortable?

A blind man needed help finding a bottle of Pepsi he had dropped at the train station. He petitioned me for help, and in a simple gesture of social kindness, I put down my book to assist him. When I returned the soda, he struck up a conversation with me. Things lead to things, and soon we were discussing history books he’d been listening to on audio tape and diving into his favorite royal figureheads at length.

He asked for the time, and I gave it to him. Appearing worried, he then asked for help finding the station window to speak with an attendant. I had never helped a blind man walk before. I suppose there’s a first time for everything.

I took his tattooed arm in mine, helped him to his feet (which took a moment as he was a bit heavy-set and clumsy), then lead him slowly through the station. As we made our way, he commented, “You have long hair.”
“I do.”
“I love long hair.”
“Thank you. How did you know I have long hair?”
“My fingertips brushed it when you took my arm. It’s very soft.”

Suddenly, I felt uncomfortable.
Are blind men supposed to make you feel uncomfortable?
Maybe I was overreacting …
I grit my teeth and dismissed my initial reaction.

He continued.

“You have a beautiful voice. Musical. I can’t stop listening to it. I knew when we started talking that you were a friendly, beautiful person. If I could liken you to someone in history, you would be Marie Antoinette.”
“Didn’t she have her head chopped off?”
“Yes, but she was a woman who lived within her means, and the people loved her. She was always kind to others.”
“I see … Thank you.”

Although he was complimenting me and making small-talk, I couldn’t stop that feeling of discomfort from slowly creeping over me. And when he asked me to lead him outside for a minute so he could “get some air”, I knew I wasn’t enjoying myself. What was originally meant to be a polite and swift gesture had quickly morphed into a sort of obligated dance in attempting to be polite to someone physically handicapped while still maintaining what distance I could from a man who was obviously hitting on me.

“Are you wearing perfume?”
“Yes, I am.”
“It’s lovely.”
“Thank you.”

He pulled out a pack of cigarettes after I had lead him outside. I watched him smoke from a safe distance, not wanting the stench of cigarettes on me. I couldn’t just leave him there. How would he get back into the station?

His conversation turned dark. Tormented stories of how he couldn’t find a girlfriend, how women had left him, how he was all alone, how he didn’t have anybody, how he really wanted someone to be around. I did my best to reassure him. I threw positives and upsides and silver linings his way. But I guess there’s no cheering someone whose sight has been robbed from them by a gunshot wound to the head.

I guess he’d been to prison before.
I guess that’s where he got his tattoos.

I felt very uncomfortable.

“You’re at the butt,” I pointed out.
“Oh!” He tossed the cigarette he’d been dragging on to the ground. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome. Don’t burn yourself.”

When an announcement blared over the speaker that my train was now boarding, perhaps I sounded too eager to get him on his way and back to a handicapped bench back in the station because he could not stop apologizing profusely for the dark turn our conversation had taken. I reassured him, again, that all was well, not wanting a sad person to continue feeling sad, and not wanting to have had a part in making him feel that way. I pitied him in a sense, but …

There was just no polite way of excusing myself from conversation with him. With a normal person — a seeing person — visual cues can sort of clue a person in to when you’re not feeling enthralled by conversation or quite up to chit chat. But with this man, it was not the same. I couldn’t just excuse myself. And if I could have, I didn’t know how to approach the subject verbally without offending him or possibly sending him into a weeping puddle of tears, yet another woman to add to the pile of those who he claims have rejected him.

After depositing him in his seat and bidding him goodbye (he tried to get my number, but I made some sort of excuse like, “I actually don’t use a cellphone, I’m sorry, you can Google me?”), I found myself rushing off as quickly as possible to make my train, feeling more and more relieved with each step of my getaway.

Guilt.
Pity.
I didn’t know what to feel.

I just knew, after boarding my train and sinking into my seat, that I was glad I could see, and glad to be away from someone who, although blind, made me feel trapped.

~ Cheri

Guns Freak Me Out.

I wish I could say I was a Robin Scherbatsky type of chick who grew up shooting guns at ranges, slaughtering animals during the hunt, and popping a few celebratory caps into the air in commemoration of whatever badass thing I happened to accomplish, but that is definitely not the case.

The reality of the situation is that I am a 5’1, 93lb Asian girl with little to no self defense skills.

upoGoAy Guns Freak Me Out. * heycheri sherilynn macale

My siblings, brave as the are, opted for Karate classes when we were kids. As for myself, scoring bruises and breaking bones while sparring during class just didn’t appeal to my delicate sensibilities. Pre-teen me felt more at home writing, drawing, playing video games, and surfing the Internet all day. And, surprise, adult me hasn’t changed much at all.

Adult me feels that rather than familiarizing myself with guns, knives, and anything else that might be even remotely dangerous, I should do the next best thing: never leave my apartment.

… What? It’s not so bad.
Staying at home provides the perfect environment for a life spent brushing up on my Top Chef, P90X, and at-home yoga skills. And hey, my Netflix isn’t gonna watch itself!

But okay.
I’m realistic.
I get that this lack of real-world experience will probably be the death of me.
Sometimes I stay home for such long periods of time that being around people again actually gives me social anxiety.

:/

I should probably be more worried about my own self preservation.

I do live in the city, after all. And this is the first place I’ve ever been robbed (several times, in fact). This is surprising even to me, especially considering I come from Stockton, California, one of the highest-rated cities for crime and gun violence in the nation, a city on the brink of becoming the murder capitol of America. Blegh.

“Hunny, we need to get you pepper spray.” My boyfriend says this all the time. And he’s probably right. I should have some form of self defense with me on a regular basis. And my only excuse for not having something to defend myself with is pure laziness combined with the fact that I, once again, never leave my apartment, and therefore don’t have the time to go out and purchase these sort of things.
“Can it be pink pepper spray?” I ask, because that’s obviously the more important question here.
“I don’t think pink is a very intimidating color, sweetie,” he replies, smiling at me and petting my head in that kind of, oh, you’re so cute, but so clueless kind of way.
“It’s not like they’re going to see it anyway. I’ll spray pepper in their face and make my escape before they can do anything!” I mimic clawing at the air a little. Y’know. Like a tiger. Rawr.
He laughs. “What about a gun? We can get you a gun.”
“A gun? Seriously??”
“Yeah. Why not?”
“Guns scare me,” I pout, shaking my head.
“What about a pink gun?”
“CAN WE?! CAN WE, REALLY?! Yes, please!”

Why does pink make everything so much less scary?

I swear if they sold pink swords, I’d happily be a ninja. … Well, I think I’d be a ninja anyway, because ninjas are kickass, but a pink sword would totally sell me on it. That, and pink ninja stars, and pink blow darts, and a pink ninja outfit with cute pink shoes — c’mon. How adorable would that be?! And what’s this I hear? Hawaii just discovered a new breed of pink sharks? Let’s all go diving! And are you saying if I jump off this 200 foot high cliff, I get to land in a fluffy cloud of pink cotton candy?! Don’t mind if I do! Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!

Look how friggin’ cute these pink guns and knives I found on the Internet are.

socute Guns Freak Me Out. * heycheri sherilynn macale(via andys gun thoughts - that’s kind of a scary name for a blog, Lmao)

pinkriflesocute Guns Freak Me Out. * heycheri sherilynn macale(via the breda fallacy)

Pink Brass Knuckles1 Guns Freak Me Out. * heycheri sherilynn macale(via WeaponsUniverse)

Right?
Right?!
So cute.

… But still.

You can dress a gun or knife up in pretty pink colors with flowers and hearts and glitter all over it, and it will still be exactly what it is — a gun. A machine that has the power to, at best, severely injure someone, and at worst, kill them. Do I really want to be responsible for that sort of power?

And actually, a girlfriend of mine once sent me home after a night out together with a tiny little can of pink pepper spray, instructing me to stay safe. I took it from her gratefully, but I had no idea how to use that thing. I remember examining it on my way home and thinking, am I supposed to flip this little top thing? Is there some kind of button I press? Which way do I face it? Oh my god. So complicated. If I can barely handle a can of pepper spray, what am I supposed to do with a gun?

Can’t I just hire a bodyguard?!

Totally useless,
Cheri

PS. What sort of self defense methods do you employ, if any? And what would you recommend for someone like me who is terrified of guns, knives, and all things that might lead to potential blood loss? Or are you just like me and have no idea how to defend yourself at all? In which case, welcome to the you’re-probably-going-to-die club.