RADIO AD: "Summer is almost here and you will be the only one not driving an S.U.V."

Ad in the LA Weekly: MINIMALLY INVASIVE MICROSURGICAL LIPOSCULTURING! You won't believe how good you'll look! (The Liposuction Institute of Beverly Hills)

I have a friend whose biggest dream is to be a feminine little waifish thing instead of a squat, overly muscled bull dyke. The problem with her dream is that she already is a feminine little waifish thing who looks like she just stepped out of a Keene painting. The squat, overly muscled bull dyke exists only in her mind. She's stopped wearing baggy jeans slung low and only wears skirts that hide her legs completely. Pre-empting rejection she comes across as one of the boys, except that she's the only one of the boys who isn't interested in sex, exuding no sexuality, convincing us she probably is lesbian, furthering her conviction that we see her that way because of her body.

Ad in the LA Weekly: DIODE LASER HAIR REMOVAL! We understand that life is more enjoyable when you are content with your appearance! Our goal is to help you feel good about yourself!

"Why am I not enough? Was it my fat thighs? My stretch-marked arms? My saggy tits? Was it variety you need or just departure from me and everything I was? That soul-less physical beauty that you sought--and related to--it fucking tears me up inside."

Ad in the LA Weekly: BREAST IMPLANTS! $3,800 www.BeautifulSelf.com 1-877-4-Figure

"I have sex with men purely to validate me. All I want is for you to hold me or at least touch me in any way so I don't feel alone."

Ad in the LA Weekly: SEXY FEET, SEXY PEOPLE! Free Consultation by Board Certified Podiatric Surgeon Specializing in Bunions, Corns, Heel Pain, Fungus Nails, Etc--

I am not a woman. I don't have a woman's body image issues, although I might soon enough, if the advertisers have their way, because now that the car companies have convinced (liberated) women that they too need SUVs to compete and be complete, plastic surgeons are hawking pectoral implants for men-fake muscles for those of us far too busy to join a gym, proving our manliness by struggling to amass more of the appearance of wealth than the next guy, and, moreover, hellbent on immediate gratification. I have more than my share of insecurities, some of which directly impact the way I live my life. Constraining it. Most of my shit isn't visible, which doesn't lend itself very well to a visual medium. Nudity is a wonderful metaphor. Naked means a lot more than not wearing clothes, and the forbidden sex and sexuality we are told to believe are explicit in physical nakedness link directly to issues of intimacy and of self worth.

We live in a society that deliberately and relentlessly picks away at the scabs of festering wounds which are the result of fundamental insecurities rooted in Biblical guilt, taking on a fire-and-brimstone religious fervor as it pounds home its message that tells us we're inadequate-a sales pitch-and we're forever bombarded until stuck with some variant of "I'm not pretty enough-not woman enough-for him to buy me this" or "I'm not man enough-not rich enough-to buy her that," and we sit there, first staring at each other and then, later, alone, at ourselves in the mirror, thoroughly cowed by our imagined inadequacies, saying to ourselves "I'm not man enough" or "I'm not woman enough" and, finally, simply "I'm not enough."