Reclaim UGLY

Ashland, CA

WE ALL KNOW THE PAIN OF BEING PERCEIVED AS UGLY by others, of watching a loved one get bullied for their appearance and/or size and/or gender and/or sexual orientation and/or skin color and/or disability, of supporting someone struggle with not wanting to live in a world that consistently harasses and excludes them. We are currently witnessing the impact of systemic uglification – the genocidal ugliness of Police assaults on Black lives; the President calling for the shooting of “Looters;” the militia blasting protestors with tear gas and rubber bullets; undocumented families being separated and caged at the borders;  Black and Native communities, incarcerated people in prisons and border camps, and our houseless population dying disproportionately due to Covid 19; so many girls and women missing, trafficked, and unprotected; and trans women of color being killed at the hands of the Black and Brown men who should be loving them.

Reclaim UGLY has decided that IT IS TIME TO END UGLIFICATION & RECLAIM OUR LIVES!!! We deserve more joy and pleasure. We deserve safety, justice, and protection. We deserve community that loves us. We deserve the opportunity to live in our dynamic wholeness and actualize our dreams. We deserve the space to heal from so many intersectional experiences of oppression.

OUR MISSION is to hep more people truly understand what uglification is, how it hurts them, how they perpetuate and participate in it, its colonial history, how its both interpersonal and systemic, and how we can collaboratively work to reclaim our lives, dreams, and communities from its devastating impacts.

Uglification consists of personal and cultural beliefs, behaviors, practices, and laws that dehumanize people as ugly, undesirable, immoral, and unworthy. It feeds, maintains, and depends on oppression, such as lookism, racism, ableism, sexism, and homo, trans, fat, and xenophobia. Unchecked, it facilitates, normalizes, and validates hatred, childhood bullying, workplace exclusion, criminalization, medical neglect, violence, exploitation, and more.

Ugliness is not real (until we make it real with our actions, thoughts, and behaviors). It is a part of our most traumatized and terrified imagination.

If you are currently suffering from uglification - whether it be in the classroom, the boardroom, your family, out in the world, or every time you turn on the television or social media, please remember: You are not ugly. Ugly is a thing that is done to you. Uglification is a behavioral practice that we were socialized and coerced into. Uglification is a cultural and systemic pastime that was created to justify exclusion, oppression, colonization, slavery, incarceration, and so many other forms of violence.

Reclaim UGLY invites you to Rewrite & Decolonize your understanding of beauty from white supremacy, the patriarchy, and other social hierarchies. Beauty, Attractiveness, Desirability, Thinness, Hetero-Cisnormativity, Able-Bodiedness, Whiteness, and Wealth are not objective and they don’t NEED to be your objective. You get to be free. You get to enjoy and appreciate yourself for everything you are and all the things you’re becoming. Your desires are your own and should be as wide as your imagination is strong.


Vanessa Rochelle Lewis

Founder & Executive Director <3

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