I may not feel good, but I look good.


Toji is a character from Jujustu Kasien, and Megara is a Greek mythical character whose most memorable version is from Disney’s version of Hercules. One day in 2023, a person decided to ship them together romantically. When I found out about the Toji x Megara ship, one of the significant things said about it that stood out to me was, “They good look good together.” People didn't care about their personalities or if they would get along with each other; simply looking good next to one another is what got people to see the vision. I think both of them are hot, and many others think so just as well. It made me feel a little bit more about how their looks played a part in their stories and how the viewers saw them. So much of the discussion that surrounds these two characters is about how they look good; it's why Toji had so many edits of him and why Megara has been having amvs made of her since the 2000s.



If both of these characters were just pretty, I wouldn't care about them, and I’ll be candid about that. I think Ms. Busiter from Miraculous Ladybug is very pretty, but I don't care about her much because her character doesn't interest me. To keep it a buck, I think she's f*cking boring! As someone who likes these characters beyond their appearances, they are both very much giving this one meme I saw about the series Nana by Ai Yazawa, who's an author I have so many mixed opinions on.




Both Megara and Toji very much give undiagnosed mental illness, and I’m not even trying to be funny when I say that because both are going THROUGH IT. After all the hardships they've been through, with Toji being brutalized by his family and Megara being manipulated and taken advantage of by numerous men, they are both very unwell. Even at their lowest moments, they look good.


Rihanna once said, “She can beat me, but she cannot beat my outfit.” This is something I think about, but it isn’t about any particular person; it’s about me versus the world. No matter what I’m dealing with, I’m going to make sure I look good because that’s something that’s somewhat under my control. I don’t want this to come off as vanity, but I do want to explain why so many people keep up their looks despite what they are dealing with. I see posts online where black girls and women have lost their lives by taking them themselves, and often people will say, “She doesn’t look depressed,” and that alone is why we shouldn’t assume someone’s doing well because they’re pretty. 


Often, I see posts online from women and feminine presenting people how they look forward to getting their hair, nails, and lashes done, as well as getting waxed and facials. They also look forward to shopping for clothes, shoes, purses, jewelry, and other accessories, as well as doing their makeup. Why, you may ask? Because these are things that make them happy. Things associated with beauty make them happy. It is more than just looking good; beauty is a form of artistic expression. As Rihanna mentioned, fashion helps to express who she is, and she finds it fun. There are so many people who post about the different kinds of nail art and hairstyles they get, along with the stylists and techs themselves, enjoying helping bring people’s ideas to life. Taking care of your beauty is seen as a form of self-care, and it puts money in people’s pockets. People see it as therapeutic and often look forward to seeing their beauticians because it gives them someone to talk to. This is why Beauty Shop is one of my favorite movies of all time. It's a film about the Black community coming together through hair care and styling, which is something I was very familiar with because ever since I was little, I have spent so much of my time in the salon. I mean, who am I to judge? My shop is literally me expressing myself through fashion and hair care, and it brings a smile to my face when I get a message from someone telling me how much they like the products. 


Bringing this back to the couple in my the head, Megara and Toji, let's talk about how them being attractive played into their stories in different ways. Keep in mind that these two are not the same gender, so there are major differences. 


With Megara and thinking about the context of the environment she was in, she realized that her beauty was the only thing she had for herself; her beauty was what eventually saved her in the end. In the original Greek Myth, her beauty didn’t save her because her husband literally shot her, but in the Disney version of her tale, so much of her arc is that she’s a beautiful but broken woman. In Greek Mythology, women basically had no rights, and it was very much given the law of coverture if you ask me! This past semester in college, we focused a lot on women's literature, and they were basically limited down to either being the property of their fathers or their husbands. They couldn’t exist outside of male validation. One thing that hasn’t changed much when the Greeks created these stories is that beauty holds power; if it didn’t, the beauty industry wouldn’t make so much money. When she first met Hercules, her physical appearance was a significant thing that stood out to him, and it contributed to saving her. Sure, he saved her because it was the right thing to do, but he couldn’t take his eyes off her because of how attractive he thought she was. Megara was particularly helpless; the only thing in her control was how she looked. 


Toji, on the other hand, beauty is just as tragic but different from Megara’s because he’s a man. Toji left his wealthy family, and when it came down to him needing food to eat and a place to stay, he used his appearance as a way to get women to like him enough to do this for him. He even slept with these women. His waist? Snatched. His muscles? Ripped. He’s not a physically ugly man. Could he have had better outfits? Yes. But his body was in good shape, and his face was hot just as well. Toji's story can be read as a commentary on how people, in general, not just women, can exploit themselves when they are desperate. Toji's situation shows that men, too, can find themselves commodified by their physical traits because he has little to no money. Women find him attractive, which is why they let him come to their homes. I hate to say it. I hope I don’t sound ridiculous. The way Toji looks does matter regarding his arc.


While Toji and Megara are both very pretty, they must use their beauty to survive. This is how these characters mirror each other. Megara’s beauty was the only thing she had, while Toji had to use his beauty because he had nothing else to offer. 


To be completely honest, I do feel better about myself when I look better. 


In 2019, I was so stressed out taking care of my sick mother because it literally affected everything I did with my life. I barely saw my friends, I couldn’t get a job outside of background acting because of how needy my mother was, and school was stressful. It was a pain in the a*s to get through the day. I had very little control over my life; therefore, I put little to no effort into my appearance. The only things I was doing were the bare minimum of brushing my teeth, applying deodorant, and showering every day. My hair was falling out, and I started to get terrible eczema flare-ups on my hands and my face. I’d walk around with broken and chipped nails, and the only things I wore were the same five hoodies, sweatpants, and shorts. While I had so many pairs of shoes, I only wore this one pair of Vans. I barely cosplayed. I even stopped wearing perfume and putting on lotion that smelled sweet. 


I felt invisible in my life because I couldn’t exist outside of taking care of my mother, and I felt disconnected from who I was. I looked exactly how I felt: terrible. 


I was suffering so much, but around the end of that year, I realized that I had contributed to my suffering. Just because I was going through so much in my life didn’t mean I couldn’t do anything about the way I looked. I seemed to have forgotten why I liked fashion in the first place: because it was a form of self-expression. 


Christina Aguilera once said, “Fashion is a lifestyle; it's a choice. It's a freedom of expression. You have to live it; you have to love it. You have to breathe it. Life's all about love and glamour.”


In December 2019, I started playing around with makeup and cosplaying again. I started having my outfits laid out the night before I went to school. I began to play around with wigs and braids. I started going shopping again, especially at thrift stores, because I finally wanted to start dressing in the Y2K aesthetic that I had been in love with since I left high school. It felt nice to wear in a style that resonated with my tastes. I always cared about fashion, but it was time I started caring about myself with fashion again. This isn’t about being pretty; it’s about having control over something that I refuse to let be taken from me. I hate to say it, but when I started to care about what I looked like again, I began to get more job opportunities. People are more likely to watch my videos if I’m dressed up in them. It happens. 


My journey parallels Toji and Megara's. My life has been a rollercoaster, and to be completely transparent, this has got to be one of my saddest periods because of how much grief consumes me. While I may be dealing with a lot and crying every day, like Toji and Megara, at least I look good. 


Thank you all so much for reading. If you are interested in more of my writing, me and Amaya Janelle's new book Um, Do Not Call Me Sis, is now available for purchase! Offered in paperback, ebook, and audiobook. 

Also! I am doing a restock of numerous products this Juneteenth weekend! Restock will be this Saturday, June 15, 2024 at Noon EST.

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