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Kay Belardinelli

1. When do you feel at your most attractive?

After having sex, alone or with someone else.

2. Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?

I sort of avoid eye contact with strangers on the street so I don't end up noticing many people.

3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?

I love when it looks like someone is having fun with their outfit, and that it is less about looking attractive or "put together" and more about bringing themself some joy. Pretty much the opposite of my own approach.

5. What are some shopping rules you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others but which you follow?

Know exactly what you are looking for before entering the store and be very methodical in your search for it.

6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn't necessarily recommend to others?

Only wear pieces in your chosen color palette: black, gray, white, and earth tones.

8. Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, chores, etc.? Please explain.

I periodically make lots of lists, mostly to keep my mind in order. Often I make lists of things to do and then never look at the list ever again – I think it helps to put it down on paper because it tricks my mind into thinking things are under control and then it is free to enjoy life.

16. Please describe your body.

Very short and thin, somewhat muscular. A pretty flat chest and a pretty large butt.

17. Please describe your mind.

Tends to wander, yet tends to obsess. I am constantly trying to bring it back to the present moment. Also it is very literal. I am a very honest person and struggle when people don't say what they mean.

18. Please describe your emotions.

By nature very intense, but after a lot of work they've become pretty mild and steady.

19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?

I'm wearing bedtime clothes: a soft gray tshirt, boys' tighty whities, and a loose, worn gray pullover hoodie. Also my thick glasses which I only wear at night. My hair is long, wavy, and pretty much how it is without me doing anything to it.

20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?

I'm really not sure anymore...

23. Do you think you have taste or style? Which one is more important? What do these words mean to you?

I think I have both, but that style is more important. When I think of "style" versus "taste", I think of a creative expression that is impossible to replicate.

25. Are there any dressing tricks you’ve invented or learned that make you feel like you’re getting away with something?

The less I try the more compliments I get. Secretly, I haven't washed my hair in two months and I'm wearing men's underwear as a bathing suit, but no one seems to know.

26. Do you have style in any areas of your life aside from fashion?

Yes – I'm an artist in various ways, particularly photography and music. I also write code for websites for a living, and there's a lot of style involved in writing efficient and effective code.

27. Can you recall some times when you have dressed a particular way to calm yourself or gain a sense of control over a situation that scared you?

My favorite strategy in these situations is to put on a heavy, shapeless coat or sweatshirt, but with fitted pants to keep the legs nimble.

30. What sorts of things do you do, clothing or make-up or hair- wise, to feel sexy or alluring?

Feeling clean feels the sexiest to me. Having a fresh haircut, clean hair, freshly-brushed teeth, trimmed finger/toenails, shaved/trimmed body hair, and deodorant or other scented thing.

33. What is really beautiful, for you, in general?

Simple things.

34. What do you consider very ugly?

Many random, clashing colors jumbled together all at once.

35. Are you generally a good judge of whether what you buy will end up being worn? Have you figured out how to know in advance?

If trying on the item makes me feel relieved, as if I was missing this thing all along, then it is a keeper.

37. What is your process getting dressed in the morning? What are you considering?

I'm usually trying to strike a balance between feeling as warm as possible and feeling stylish.

44. What sorts of things do you do, clothing, make-up or hair-wise, to feel professional?

I like to dress masculine with a button-down shirt buttoned all the way to the top.

53. When you see yourself in photographs, what do you think?

I look so different in the mirror.

What kind of work do you do?

I am a web developer at a small creative agency.

Are you single, married, do you have kids, etc.?

Very single. I have a dog.

Please say anything you like about yourself that might put this survey into some sort of context.

I used to have body dysmorphic disorder, but I'm pretty sure I don't anymore.

How do you feel after filling out this survey?

Exhausted! And slightly inspired.


Kay Belardinelli is a survivor of childhood trauma and domestic violence, using various media to confront perceptions of the body, trauma, and identity. She holds a BFA from Massachusetts College of Art and has volunteered as an advocate for victims of abuse throughout the state of Rhode Island since 2013.

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