Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Yes, I am well aware that there are African Americans on US television, but rarely are they portraying the lead character in a show where a theme isn't racism or a period piece. American TV has had plenty of black friends, neighbors, and colleagues, but the principal character is hardly ever black. A friend introduced me to the dark detective show "Luther", and I was so surprised to see a black lead character, and moreover, one that was highly intelligent whose obstacles had nothing to do with the color of his skin. As I type this, I feel like an idiot for being taken aback. And yet, it's entirely logical--if you are honest with yourself--how many TV shows have you seen like this? Or movies for that matter? The closest TV comparison I can think of is Grey's Anatomy. It featured several black women and men as supporting characters who were highly intelligent doctors. I never watched all seasons, but in the 2-3 seasons I saw, the issue of race never came up with regards to their profession or who they were dating. Let's be honest, we all go to google for reassurance. I googled "issue of race and "luther" show to see if anyone else found this show remarkable. Indeed, the show's creator Neil Cross was asked in an interview how the character of Luther was written, and Cross said "Luther" wasn't written as a black or white character, and he said: “It was cast as a character, purely and simply, which is one of the aspects that attracted Idris to the role. I have no knowledge or expertise or right to try to tackle in some way the experience of being a black man in modern Britain. It would have been an act of tremendous arrogance for me to try to write – and you have to try to imagine the quote marks around the words – a black character because I don’t know what a black character is and we would have ended up with a slightly embarrassed, ignorant, middle-class, white writer’s idea of a black character, which would have been an embarrassment for everybody concerned. I suspect that there’s a dearth of decent roles for black actors because most writers are white and they try to write their idea of black and it’s an embarrassment.” As the viewer, I quickly became engrossed into the world of "Luther" and watched all 3 seasons within a week and a half, and I forgot that Deputy Chief Inspector John Luther was a black guy. He was just one hell of a fantastic male lead character, and I was on his side through and through. After I finished the show last night, I once again returned to how unique of a show it is and wondered why can't US media get their shit together and create equally fascinating and complex lead characters that feature actors of all racial backgrounds? How great would it be for our children and society to see how meaningful stories of all kinds of people can be and that their experiences are worthy of being front and center? Moreover, that it can be a movie or show that doesn't deal with slavery, segregation, or racial injustice as themes? There surely is racism in the UK, but it's never been as nasty as it is in the US. I think history does matter and the ugly sin of the past--some 200 years of chattel slavery in the American south has and continues to shape so many aspects of our society. If you think I'm making something out of nothing, all you have to do is turn on your TV and observe. I can assure you, pretty much any mattress commercial will feature a white woman and man or a black woman and man. Pretty much any black character you will see (or any character that isn't white for that matter) will be in supporting roles, often to provide comic relief. Don't get me wrong, it's not bad to be funny and make people laugh, but it's doing many minority actors a disservice to be limited to a sprinkling of clever one liners. My hope is that I look back at this blog entry 10 years from now and what I see is much different.
Thursday, August 8, 2013
How does welfare ACTUALLY work? I have to admit, I was pretty ignorant until I read a book this past week about welfare reform in the US this past week. The author spent several months observing case workers and clients in welfare offices in two US cities shortly after the welfare reform legislation went into effect. Prior to 1996, provided you had a low enough income and dependents, you would just collect checks from the government. The logic was that the US government was filling the role of a breadwinner male and the mothers would stay home to raise their children. Under the Clinton Administration, the program was massively changed and gave individual states far more power to make stipulations of their own. More importantly, the laws were changed to push those who needed it to go to work so that in theory recipients would eventually be self-supporting and receiving welfare would be temporary. Here are the basics: 1) No one can receive welfare for more than 5 years in their lifetime. Some states divide this time up, as in, you can only continuously be on welfare for 2 years at a time, but have a maximum of 5 years in all to receive it. Some people will be exempt from the 5 year limit, but each state has regulations surrounding this and typically only people who have severe mental health issues, or mental/physical disabilities are exempt from the time limit. 2) Children born while the recipient was already receiving welfare are not eligible for benefits. 3) You are expected to actively be searching for a job and taking life skills and/or job training classes. If you do not comply with the job search part, you can be sanctioned and have your benefits suspended for that months so that you do not receive any money. Those who cannot locate work for pay are given unpaid work to give them employment experience. 4) It's not merely getting a check---other services may be provided to help the recipient find steady employment such as money to buy a car, gas vouchers, take job related classes, vouchers for free childcare, and in some cases, reconstructive dental work. 5) The process of signing up for welfare involves a lengthy interview in which the potential recipient is asked regarding any sources of money they may have, the whereabouts of the fathers of the children, and numerous documents must be supplied--birth certificates, vaccination records, bank statements before their request for assistance can even be reviewed. Technically, everything is supposed to be documented--money made from doing hair/nails, pet sitting, random cash that may be given from the children's father or other family members. 6) Mothers must identify the father (s) of children and and provide any information to help the state locate him so that he can pay child support. If a father is found and hasn't been paying child support, majority of these dollars do not go to the child--they go to the state to reimburse the government for the welfare dollars that were paid out to the mother. Only in special circumstances which must be carefully documented will the state refrain from searching for the father and asking for child support. 7) Nearly all welfare recipients are women with children. Very few married couples or single fathers receive welfare. The complications: 1) Majority of the jobs women on welfare take do not help them actually better their situation. While on assistance, the jobs welfare recipients are likely to obtain are low wage work with little security, benefits, or hours that are compatible with caring for small children---fast food, housekeeping. I agree with the principle that welfare recipients should be expected to better themselves. However, there just isn't enough time, funding, or infrastructure in place to get these women the types of jobs they need to become self-supporting permanently. Few women manage to keep a job for a full year, and many women cycle in and out of the welfare system until their 5 year time limit hits. Obviously, some of this is poor decision making--choosing to continue to do hard drugs and party and failing to use contraception routinely resulting in further pregnancies as examples. However, part of it is being faced with a myriad of challenges---inadequate transportation, having to stay home and receive no pay to care for sick children, lacking medical insurance which results in minor illnesses growing into major issues, and not to mention massive relationship issues. Majority of the women who receive welfare have experienced domestic violence and/or sexual assault at a far higher rate than the general population. 2) Women on welfare are expected to work and staying home to raise their children isn't an option. While I personally know I could never be a housewife, I believe that every person (woman OR man for that matter) should have a choice to work full time, part time, or raise children full time. Why is it that devoting oneself to home and family is an acceptable and celebrated life choice for a woman unless she's poor? 3) Majority of women on welfare would be considered "welfare cheats"--as in, they receive money from family members, the fathers of their children, or do nails and never report this income. In principle, it sounds terrible to be accepting government assistance and not fully disclosing all sources of income, but in practice, how different is this from the rest of us? As a young person, I know tons of friends who have parents that still pay for their student loans, car insurance, or help them pay their rent. I personally have dog sat for coworkers from time to time to make extra money--I can assure you, I never reported this extra money on my taxes. Even those who are financially established receive generous gifts, like a mother and father providing their son and his wife with a down payment on a house. 4) The child support mandate actually often worsens the relationship between the father and mother/children. Many of these fathers aren't making a living wage and resent being tracked down and forced to pay money they know will not ultimately end up going to their children. Many women love their children but do not want to have anything to do with the "father" of their child. Only under rare and dire circumstances will the government refrain from contacting the father, which leaves the women and children vulnerable to further emotional and physical abuse. I understand people's frustration and resentment of having to pay for the poor decisions of others. It's true--some people make very poor decisions and continue to do so. With that said, it's so much easier to make good decisions when you've started out in a good place. Every day, I drive to work in a reliable vehicle to a job that I received in part due to my college education. I grew up in a home with 2 loving parents who ensured I went to good schools and supported me through college. I never went hungry, was abused, or worried that I wouldn't have somewhere safe to live with people who love me. At my job, I receive wage that allows me to pay all of my bills, save some, and have money to enjoy in my free time. I have good health insurance and if I am sick, I can stay home and get paid. In my case, it's easy to be self-supporting. Imagine an alternate life--what if I was raised by a single mother with a drug issue and I spent my youth rotating in and out of relatives' homes, foster care, and homeless shelters. Naturally, the kind of men I would encounter in this social circle wouldn't be ones that could support a child or have much common sense to do what was necessary to keep from having unplanned children. It would be easy to drop out of school, get pregnant, and end up on welfare myself. How does one get out of that? Say I get a job making minimum wage, but then I am fired for being late because I had to take public transit and missed my bus connection or for too many absences because my children were sick? It's true--some people do break free of this cycle and succeed, and I wholeheartedly admire them. However, it's so much easier to take care of yourself, when you grew up being taken care of. People don't make decisions in a vacuum. Yes, we can make choices--but some options become infinitely more challenging than others depending on "where" in society you are. My hope is that one day there will be better programs in place to help those who struggle truly better themselves permanently. However, that is going to require more of my (and your) money. It may be because I am young and idealistic that I accept this, but I'd be fine to forever drive a used car, live in a small apartment, and buy jeans from the thrift store if it meant that other people were given more of an opportunity to succeed. Not only that, it's my responsibility. I don't think that the realm of who I am supposed to care for begins with my family and ends with my friends. I wish other people felt that way.
Sunday, July 28, 2013
My roommate and I have deduced from our experiences and those of other lady friends, that it takes some guys until roughly age 30 to learn how to properly have sex with women. Obviously, this isn't the case for all, but it seems that the vast majority manage to come to enlightenment by 30 (and those that haven't by then, well = lost cause). It takes a long time for the boys of this world to become men and grow out of that horny teenage boy/frat boy mentality that is so off putting to our kind, which is why many of us choose to date older men. The truth is, we'd wish you'd figure it out sooner dudes. Many of you under 30 fellows are attractive and interesting, but we have to pass on getting naked with you because we know it just isn't worth our time. Most ladies aren't going to out and out tell you these things, but I will. 1) First and foremost rule--it's not about you getting laid. It's about showing your lady friend an enjoyable experience. The moment you stop thinking like a 14 year old boy who is tired of whacking off to internet porn, the easier all of these other steps will be to follow. 2) A lady getting turned on and getting off isn't like turning on a light switch. It's like building a bonfire. It takes time. It starts out as a small flicker and grows. That means you need to be patient. Multiply the amount of time by 3 that you wish to spend making out and waiting to remove articles of clothing of said lady. 3) Handle with care. Obviously, each lady will be different, but if you are dealing with new territory, touch her gently and slowly. No grabbing or squeezing. 4) Build anticipation. Make us really want to be touched or kissed in those special places. Spend a significant amount of time touching or kissing us around them, so that when you finally reach a money spot, we're wicked excited. 5) Asking for permission is okay. If you can't clearly tell if a lady is comfortable with something, ask. The absence of a "no" doesn't mean yes. 6) If she says no, do not proceed to ask again later or move forward. Don't insult our intelligence, boundaries, or decision making process. Being pushy can range from you irritating us, insulting us, or worse yet, making us really uncomfortable. 7) Don't ask for things, give them first. If you want a lady to go down on you, go down on her first. Don't take it upon yourself to decide you've been down there for long enough--she'll let you know when it's your turn. Indeed--there is nothing hotter than a guy who approaches this situation as "what can I do for you?" Unless she's an evil bitch, 99% of womankind will be very appreciative and return the favor with great enthusiasm. 8) Don't go into these situations always expecting to get off. Women don't. 9) Actual sex is great, but so is going halfway or 3/4 of the way. Don't underestimate the fun and pleasure of messing around. Don't communicate your disappointment if things didn't get to the point where you wanted. It just makes you seem whiny and desperate. Be appreciative of what did happen. Following the above guidelines will make you the kind of guy we actually want to sleep with.
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Where do I even begin? It's just inevitable I'm going to be all over the place! I traveled to Sweden for the first time at the end of March and was there for 7 days, and also spent 1 day in Norway (Oslo). I've been wanting to take this trip for some 5 years, and finally had the extra money, adequate time off, and guts to go it alone. Why the icy lands of the north you ask? It just seems to me they've done so many things right. Gender equality is a major priority to their society, and parents are given a year of paid time off (including 2 months only the dad can take or lose), and there are many affordable public day cares available--talk about family values! Sweden is also just a beautiful peaceful (always neutral in world wars) place. Indeed, I saw many a guys pushing around baby strollers, coffee in hand, with no mommy nearby--what a hot sight that was. I was scared to travel alone. I'd only traveled abroad one other time to UK/France for a short time with someone else, so I didn't have a history of adventures. Nerd I am, I did my homework: I bought a Rick Steve's Guide to Stockholm and a Lonely Planet Guide on Sweden, and checked out on Norway travel guide from the library. From there, I made a list of the places I wanted to see (though not a day by day itinerary). I found a reasonably priced plane ticket from Icelandair (I spent about 2 hours total in Iceland on lay overs), and booked hostels on Hostelworld.com. This is a great resource-their reviews are very accurate. And finally, I bought a train ticket on Eurorail.com from Stockholm-Oslo. As soon as I got to Stockholm, I realized I was so lucky to be traveling alone. I got to do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted without having to worry about someone else's agenda. What a dream and complete freedom! With that said, I was staying in hostels with communal bedrooms, kitchens, and lounges, so after a day of sightseeing, I had plenty of interesting people to chat, dine, and drink with upon my return. There were plenty of other solo travelers (guys and gals), so no one thought me strange. I had a bit of trepidation about staying in a room with 3 other women I'd never met, but they all were respectful and easy to strike up a conversation with. Just some general observations and insights from my journeys: I saw no massively obese people and less than 10 homeless people while traveling in 2 major cities. Everyone in Norway and Sweden spoke great English and were polite and helpful. While a bit reserved at times, once a conversation was started, they were genuinely engaged and it was enjoyable discussing our respective lives/backgrounds. I have an accent. As someone who has lived on the west coast my entire life, it was strange hearing that I have "an American accent and talk like the people in the movies". It's totally normal to speak 3+ languages. Pretty much every American traveling in Europe inevitably ends up apologizing for the George Bush II presidency. This apology is given at every new hostel you stay at. Most Americans are so isolated. As European countries are much smaller, being without a passport isn't an option. Crossing country borders is a regular occurrence. Most non-Americans know little about the "real life" of Americans. As in, there is no mandatory paid maternity leave or vacation. So many times, I had to explain that paid days off aren't guaranteed--everything is tied to your job and the policies of the company you work for. The reason why many Americans never leave the states is we just don't get enough vacation time in a given year. Abstinence only education is something met with utter disbelief. Personally owning guns is bizarre. As one Aussie I met explained, "yeah, sure, I could have a gun in australia, but why would I? There just seems like no point." And as for the Germans, French, and Swiss involved in this conversation--they didn't know anyone with a gun in their respective countries. It was great fun explaining the notion of "conceal carry". The violent shootings that happen in America are international news. I asked one fellow hostel dinner mate if they had heard about the big shooting, and they said "which one?" Despite the "bad things" about the US, people want to travel to the states, or re-visit. Shortcomings aside, the US is respected for its innovation and creativity (go Steve Jobs!). While non-Americans dislike Bush, they still like Americans as a group. Everything is CRAZY expensive. $35 for a burger, fries, and coffee in Oslo that was on par with Red Robin. $20 was a lunch bargain in Stockholm. A single cocktail with hard A will run you at least $15. If you a travel to Scandinavia, be prepared to bleed money left and right. However, thrifty choices can be made--staying in hostels, buying food at a local supermarket, and only eating lunch out will help you save. For the nosy, my trip was between $2200-$2500. The roads never get crowded, but boy, the subway stations do! I never needed to step foot into a car or taxi the whole 9 days. Subway, bus, and train got me every where I needed to go. Americans smile A LOT. Yes, Swedes and Norwegians smile too, but they need a reason. Taking someone's order or ringing up a can of coke is not a reason to smile at someone. So what did I do: I saw many fine museums, palaces, parks, and buildings. I honestly feel that the museums of Stockholm are quite outstanding, and much less crowded and exhausting to walk around then say, the Louvre or British Museum. The coolest museum I saw in Stockholm was the Hallwylska Museet. This was a mansion built in the 19th Century by a countess who was an avid antique and art collector bordering on hoarder. She intended for her home to become a museum, so she cataloged every possession in the home (when published all the listings totaled 70+ thick volumes). Most of these possessions are in the museum today, which isn't typical--most palaces and other monuments have little original furnishings. And it is just a downright beautiful home. The second coolest museum was the Nordika Museet--another beautiful building that is as cultural museum with everything from lights, hair, clothing trends, wedding rings, dollhouses, and toys throughout the ages. I journeyed to Uppsala, which is a town 45 minutes outside of Stockholm, and home to Scandinavia's most prestigious university. The town cathedral brought me to tears. So cheezy, I know, but this building really did make me weepy. I've been to cathedrals, but none so slender and with such amazingly high ceilings. It is amazing to think that worshiping God inspired people to construct buildings that literally seem to touch the heavens. I was so overwhelmed and moved. The university also had a great and random museum. It included: mummies, lecture notes from a 15th century student, viking bling, 200 year old surgical tools, and 200+ year old anatomical preservations--from fetuses, to lungs, to cats that were split down the middle. The train ride from Stockholm to Oslo took 6 hours. The view was full of beautiful forests, lakes, and rivers. Those Norwegians are a proud bunch--tons and tons of homes with the flag. Oslo is even more of a expensive city than Stockholm, but there are so many free things to see. My top choice is the Oslo Opera house--it was built to be a glacier and you can walk all around it, including on the rooftop. It has a series of staircases and levels, with each turn it felt like a new building. It offers a great view of the city, harbor, and it is the perfect place to picnic. I was so fortunate I saw it on a sunny day. The other big highlight was getting off on the last stop on a subway line and ending up in the forest on the north edge of the city. This forest serves as Olympic training grounds for skiers and other snow sports and has a myriad of walking and running trails. Most impressive is the massive clearing on at the beginning of the trails. There was still several inches of snow and trees all around. I felt so free as I trekked out to the center of the clearing, and it was unbelievable I was 15 minutes away from a major city. I could go on and on, and if you want more details on what to see, I'd be happy to share! Suffice to say, I had a great time and feel so fortunate I had this opportunity to travel! I just wish I had more time off and more money to travel again like this really soon! There is so much of the world to see, and I've been very impressed with what I've gotten to experience so far. I strongly encourage you to get out there, and don't be afraid of traveling by yourself--it's so rewarding and you will be pleasantly surprised :) Scandinavia is a great starting point for first time global travelers because everyone speaks English, the countries are very developed, and safe (less violent crime than in ANY US city). And..drumroll..the tap water is completely safe to drink and positively delicious! I'd dump my brita filter in an instant if I could have Stockholm municipal agua again! The world IS your oyster.
Saturday, April 6, 2013
Don't roll your eyes at me-but the title of this blog is a lyric by Fiona Apple that succinctly describes the dating experiences of women in their mid 20s. My roommate, who is an ever wise woman a few weeks away from age 30, crystallized my failed romances, "it's hard dating in your mid 20s. The guys your age are so immature, so you have to target a specific subset of men in their early 30s if you don't want to be dealing this this crap. You can't go older than early 30s because then you start running into double digit age differences, and well, let's be honest, there's a usually a reason why a guy in his late 30s and early 40s has never been married." It's hard to pinpoint the exact qualities of these Peter Pan males because it changes with each situation myself and other lady friends have encountered. And for my male readers, this post will be biased--I'm a woman dating males. I know for a fact women do tons of irritating and frustrating things in dating situations, but I am describing my tiny corner of the universe. Age has something to do with it--older males tend to display less of these undesirable traits, but it isn't everything--some guys in their 30s still don't have their shit together and would make terrible significant others. To make things more complicated, a given guy may have some of these traits, but not all of them, so it can take some time to sift through where they are at in their timeline of man development. Here are some patterns I've noticed: 1) They still live at home, contribute nothing financially to the family, and don't have an exit strategy. I agree, it is stupid to move out when you don't have a stable job and would be subsisting off of Top Ramen and generic fruit loops. With that said, if you aren't paying rent and are working at least 20 hours a week, you have $100 to contribute monthly to groceries, electricity bills, or some other expense and you CAN have a savings plan and active job search to make the move out. It's so unsexy to have a guy express no reluctance about freeloading or for you as the girlfriend to be put in awkward situations....like waking up, going downstairs, and having to hang out with your mom. Yes, your mom is chill, and it was great of her to share her k cups with me and demonstrate how the accompanying Keurig coffee maker functions. But then, she brought up this whole matter of my views on abortion. True, she is an educated sophisticated lady, but it's bizarre breakfast conversation, and just to further assure her of my commitment to have an empty womb the whole time we are dating, I conveniently discarded an empty pack of birth control pills in the kitchen garbage can for her to find. Fear not, on my watch, there will be NO slip ups---pregnancy and babies don't coincide with my fondness of getting drunk and sleeping in late the next morning from time to time. 2) They are uncomfortable with their parents knowing who they really are. Of course, we all want our parents to be proud of us. With that said, once they aren't footing your bills, it's time to make your own decisions and not fearing mum and dad learning about your religious views (or lack thereof), voting choices, or that, yes, you have sex or crashed your car. Don't got out of your way to bring up things to piss your parents off, but be comfortable and take ownership of your decisions and their consequences and don't go sneaking around or expressing to your girlfriend how you don't want your parents to know "x" or worse yet, she needs to help you cover up "y". 3) Intimately related to 1 and 2, is trait 3, which are guys who have the kinds of interactions with their parents that one has when they are a teenager. For the love of God, do not roll your eyes, make pissy sarcastic comments, or make some other juvenile sound to convey you are irritated with mum and dad. If you are a dipshit to your parents, that means you will be one to me, and I'm not having it. 4) Making just plain stupid decisions. This can be driving under the influence or buying a new car or expensive recreational equipment when you can't even afford rent. Just avoid doing anything that would make that special lady in your life or others you respect thinking wtf?! Bad idea, dude! 5) An inability to effectively communicate. Are you going through a difficult time and need space? Do you just want to be friends? Are you upset about something? This is easy---just fucking tell me. A proper expression of feelings isn't avoidance, silence, monosyllabic answers, or acting generally disinterested or pissy or sending a series of psychotic text messages. Calmly relate what you are feeling and what your needs are. I promise, I will appreciate it and try to act accordingly. Please, do not make shit unnecessarily awkward. Boy behavior is like making out or more with a lady, and then upon meeting her again, trying to avoid contact or acting strange because you just want to be friends. Man behavior is saying "hey, I think you're cool, but I just want to be friends", or "I can't see you right now. It's too soon after our breakup for us to be friends, I need space." Just because I don't want to date you or you don't want to date me means one of us has the Bubonic plague or we have to become mortal enemies like Harry and Lord Voldemort. 6) Acting eager about sex in that 14 year old boy way. Dude, if I say that I'm tired, or express that I just am up for watching a movie tonight, do not proceed to try to grope me or appear edgy because you are in need of getting laid. Men are patient and listen to the things their girlfriend says or notice if they are trying to slide along to second base and she seems indifferent or isn't responsive to a passionate kiss. And please, please, do not say something like, "awww really, you're tired?" As a woman, it would be SO nice to get to be on the offensive for once and put the moves on you. If you or someone you love displays these behaviors, fear not, many many boys grow up to be perfectly good men. It just takes time and effort. Though keep in mind, if you want to date a woman, be prepared to be a man.
Sunday, December 30, 2012
So, I've got a confession to make: I find myself checking out other women in the locker room. Not in that lustful way, but as objects of study. I have seen few other women besides myself naked or nearly naked for many years, with one exception: famous women in magazines. And not surprisingly, none of these women in magazines have an inch of extra fat, saggy, or dimply skin. But I do. Indeed--no matter how many miles I run, squats, or leg weights, that hamstring area and ass of mine has definitely got some wrinkling going on. It drove me nuts--I wished that I could get a skin graph of amazing tautness about the size of a 3x5 file card to replace these two unsightly patches of crinkle. Or, better yet, that this hamstring area would get sliced open, the extra pudge would be sucked straight out via a vaccuum-esque tube, and sewed back together into the under the ass area I always wanted. I usually couldn't even make it past the hamstring and look at my butt, because that has something equally damning---stretch marks. The visual horror! It was incredibly frustrating to see that I could be well within the healthy weight range and lead an active lifestyle but still have these lovely problem areas. I am downright cursed with the "c" word---cellulite. Except, that in adding weight lifting to my exercise regiment, I got an opportunity to see regular women several times a week, only to find that, yes, we've all got some wrinkling, dimpling, bits of pudge, and pooch. They are women that I see all of the time and who I consider as having nice slim figures. In sum, none of us are magazine perfect with our clothes off. How refreshing it is to be reminded of this! Some quick google searches proved it--per the likes of Webmd some 85% of us have cellulite, and being overweight or inactive can have little to do with it. Plastic surgery can't fix it. I read an article by a British magazine that stated, men didn't even know what cellulite was. Now, that I think about it, I've never heard any male discuss this feminine feature. Logically, I've known this for many many years, that women in magazines are ridiculously photoshopped and air brushed and do not represent reality. However, if all I see are magazine stellar bodies and my regular body, it's hard not to put myself under a microscope, and think that I'm lacking. Indeed--it's pretty disgusting how warped my world had gotten to be when I was caught off guard by a guy telling me that I had "a nice body". It took some time to get over the initial surprise and actually be flattered. I didn't think I looked terrible, but I didn't think it was favorable either. Yep, I had allowed myself to be convinced that my size 4 125-130 lb body was satisfactory at best, but should more accurately be described as having "areas of opportunity" suited for say, lipo at age 30 or extreme exercise in the very near future. I'm pretty ashamed I let myself believe this bull shit or think about a few inches of my body THIS MUCH. I've come to realize, that what men see is FAR different than what we see. Yes, if you are obese, these things are noticed by males. However, those of us within a reasonable BMI range have got to stop obessing and realize that we've got some fucking awesome feminine figures. My fellow women---keep that in mind as many of you will embark on new exercise and diet plans for the new year. Should you try to be more active, eat better, and have a healthier body weight? Absolutely! However, don't go for the magazine look. You'll never get there, I can assure you. And your boyfriend or husband will still think you are a total knock out.
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Pre 2005, whose lives did you know every trivial and dirty detail of? Famous people--actors, musicians and politicians. Post 2005--everyone on your friend list. Yes, we can read and view blips and photos of the breakups, bad days, breakfasts, babies, and bitching of a couple of hundred "average" people every day. We each take turns being the celebrity and the paparazzi as we post and read and comment on the updates of our friends. When you honestly reflect about it, this new norm is creepy. Now your high school teacher, parents neighbor, 9th grade boyfriend, college soccer pals, and any other person you happened to have "friended" know inimate details of your life. Some of these people you haven't seen in years, and may never see again, and yet, they know it ALL. Well, that depends of course, as to how much you reveal, and let me say, some of us need to develop some better boundaries in the social media world. I'm sure there have been times I've posted "TOO" much or offended someone, but, I take pride in my roommate's assurance that anything I've ever posted, I'd say in person without hesitation. What does a distant internet audience create? In some cases, some pretty obnoxious characters. Like so many of my posts, I'm going to give you a list of the "worst of" facebook. 1) People who very publicly break up and lash out at their exes. Seriously, grow up. I can understand changing your relationship status and taking down accompanying photos, but anything beyond that is childish, and you are just proving to the world what an ass you are. If you are having a tough breakup, divorce, etc, go out for drinks and vent to your best friend, or better yet, if you have unresolved matters, TALK IT OUT with the person in question. Spare the rest of us your drama, please. PLEASE. 2) Online PDA. If you really love your boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, do not post it on Facebook, especially repeatedly. I recently saw a facebook wall with a series of "honey I love you so much" "I miss you so much" and besides rolling my eyes, I couldn't help thinking, if this person really cared about you, they would tell you and ONLY YOU. People post things so that other people can read them. I hope if someone is earnestly telling me that they love me, letting me, and me alone know would make it worth it for them. 3) The brides and mommies that overshare. Sorry ladies, but I've got to single you out--some of this is SUCH overkill. Your facebook wall should not read: "Pre flower shopping lunch" Monday 12:54 pm "Oh my god, I just picked out the most gorgeous flowers" Monday 3:37 Pm "Getting my dress altered on Thursday, so excited!!" Tuesday 8:02 am "Pre-dress fitting cockails with my girls" Tuesday, 4:37 pm Or the moms who REALLY overshare: "Taking my son to the ear nose and throat doctor. Complete green slime is coming out of his nose". Saturday 11:57 am "His snot is clear now, I'm glad the antibiotics are working" Tuesday 6:47 pm "Poor baby, the antibiotics are giving him diarreah, some smelly diapers in our house!" Tuesday 8:12 pm I understand people love and worry about their children, but detailed sensory descriptions involving the color, consistently, smell of the things spouting out of your little one's various orifices are icky things that are best left to share with grandparents, aunts, uncles, gal pals, and the like. 4) People who "confront" online. This ranges from the "Some people are talking shit, you know who you are" to the post something angry on another person's facebook wall. Once again, this is so immature and passive aggressive. Go talk your shit out in person or shut up. We DON'T want to read about it. 5) People who just obsessively post ALL OF THE TIME ABOUT NOTHING. The breaking point for me when I had to unfriend someone from high school was when I saw this individual post "Off work, yeah buddy!" (and included self taken mobile photo in the car). I just kept asking myself, "why?" and hit the "unfriend" button. 6) People who post multiple political articles or comments in a given day, regularly. I know the election stirred a lot of us up, and we all have our opinions, but if I want to read the daily vomitting of various political pundits, I can find it myself, thank you. We all do come across interesting articles we wish to share or have to get a snarky bits out, but don't poli vomit on the news feed. As you can see, most of these bad habits are all a matter of degree. Nothing excessive is ever good, and one's use of social media clearly shows the need to keep our sharing in check. Dear Readers, I encourage you to reflect upon the way you interacted with people pre-facebook and to be more aware of the things you share (and how often). There is a real possibility you are fucking irritating.