Archive for December, 2009

I have a love-hate relationship with make-up. It began at a very early age. Well, the love part came about early, and now the hate pops up on random days. The women we grow up with in our families leave a heavy mark on us. Some of us may be successful in debunking those influences if we consciously oppose them and want to reach a comfort zone free from such opinions and routines. Most of us end up with an imprint, influence from the women who raised us up, rather we like it or not.

My mother wore make-up. My paternal grandmother wore make-up, always. (My maternal grandmother died while I was a baby.) I remember that my mother seemed to get self-esteem, the motivation to socialize through her make-up. She did the full-face… foundation to dark creamy eye shadow, to lipstick, and always lots of mascara. She never told me that I needed to wear it… my grandma is a different story. My grandmother always had on make-up and her hair was always perfectly coifed. She had a huge mirror mounted on the wall of her hallway that had two sides on hinges that would swing out so she could examine her hair from all angles, to be sure all was smoothed, no holes, no awkward pieces sticking out or up. Perfect. Now I don’t know exactly how big her contribution was to the thinning of the ozone, but before CFC’s were taken out of aerosol hairspray, I’m sure she socked it her share of damage.

Appearance was of moderate to high concern and we were coached, assisted, and reminded of this on a regular basis. The biggest beauty production of all occurred each Sunday, getting ready for church. The process began on Saturday evening. My grandmother would wash my hair, let it dry in front of the fireplace, and then she would roll it in big, squishy, pink rollers, and/or socks for me to sleep in. We had to style our hair, we had to wear stockings, we had heels on our shoes from a young age, and of course, we had to wear make-up.

My grandmother had a very passive-aggressive way about her. I remember visiting her once in my twenties and she made breakfast for me like she always did (she loved to cook for everybody and often and as much as possible.), so I got myself presentable enough to visit the breakfast table, or so I thought. No one else was visiting at the time or stopping by to join us for breakfast. I think my grandpa was out hunting or mowing the lawn.

I brushed my teeth, brushed my hair (which is about the most I do to my straight hair anyway), got dressed, and put on make-up. I walked down the hall and through the living room, reached my seat and began chit-chatting with MaMa as she prepared the food. The first thing she asked was if I was feeling okay. She said that I looked a little peaked (read: code word for Southern women which really means, “You look like shit darling!”), probably because I didn’t have my face on yet. Remember, I had on full make-up sans lipstick. After pointing that out, she said that putting on some lip color should perk me up. Oy vey.

I purposely did not put anything on my lips because I was going to be eating immediately AND the only person to see me was my dear, sweet grandmother. Alas, I still wasn’t pulled together enough for the occasion.

A few years ago, what the hell was she called? A motivational speaker maybe? She wasn’t. A lot of it turned out to be a joke, but she provided a free workshop for the staff where I worked. It was just ever so difficult for her audience to take her seriously, due to the fact that much of her spiel was focused on nutrition, exercising, and maintaining a healthy weight… meanwhile we were all staring at – not a chubby woman – but a significantly overweight woman in poor physical shape. Back to why this is related to make-up. In the midst of discussing how we can feel better at work, she mentioned make-up. She was actually talking about being observant of your co-workers and recognizing when they may be getting depressed, in a rut with work, burned out, etc. Basically letting themselves go. What she said created a lot of upset among many of the women on staff. It was interesting to learn how differently some of us interpreted what she was saying. A few of the women were ranting and pissed. Yes, I have always been taught that putting on make-up is part of preparing to go out into the world, but I totally get it when women find that insulting. Here’s the thing, she wasn’t suggesting for women who never wear make-up to suddenly start wearing it. She was encouraging us all to pay attention to changes from the norm for a person. So if a co-worker who usually wears make-up and styles her hair a certain way, begins showing up for work with a naked face and hair pulled back in a messy bun, then something may be going on with that person… because it’s not typical for that person. No matter how I tried to explain that rationale, my co-workers were pissed!

I started wearing make-up way too young. I had on full make-up in my 5th grade school photo! It starts out fun. But then you feel like you need it… making one feel self-conscious without it… and that kind of sucks. No, it really sucks! I didn’t even need make-up when I was young. I always had great skin overall, no acne, no uneven coloration, but I thought I needed to paint on it. The real bummer is that right when I stopped enjoying putting on make-up and just got down right sick of the whole routine, I actually need it now. I mean, I don’t think I would stop breathing or anything, but I am aging and dealing with dark under eye circles and the other little not-so-cute things that happen. If I had a daughter, I wouldn’t want it to feel like an expectation of her, and I would not want her to build her self-esteem based on such at any age. I am actually envious of women who feel most comfortable naked-faced. The sick truth of it is, I still get all giddy shopping for make-up and trying out new products. Call me shallow, but it is ingrained in my brain… blame it on grandma!

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Main Entry: fem·i·nism
Pronunciation: \ˈfe-mə-ˌni-zəm\
Function: noun
Date: 1895
1 : the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes
2 : organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests
Merriam-Webster, Feminism

Why do so many people think of “feminist” and “feminism” as negative words? An unflattering description. Men AND women think this, and I am reminded of it often. Have you had this experience? Someone referred to me as a feminist in a conversation the other day, and then immediately took it back, clearly indicating that he didn’t mean to insult me, and added that he knows I’m not really “one of them.” Oh dear. I mean how can people be so ignorant? Educated, worldly people, but yet so skewed on this topic. I’m not red-in-the-face fuming over this… it has irritated me from time to time… I’m just mostly, well, bemused. I don’t mean that in an insulting or condescending way (well maybe just a little), but DUDE!

With that said, I guess I understand where the confusion comes from… extremists have slapped a negative connotation on the word/cause. It happens. It sucks. People who take something and run with it, tipping over the edge of reason, and twisting the original meaning and intent. I do not approve. Allowing others to manipulate our vocabulary and just go along with new definitions, distant versions of the origin… not until the dictionary concurs at least.

Though you do not have to be a woman to be a feminist, you’re better off accusing most straight men of being a flaming homosexual than being a feminist… or they take it as pretty much one in the same, a shocking insult. Oy. The word is feminist because it is the belief of equal rights for females, not feminist = a female. Certainly any man that I would be with damn sure is one… now he may not have a bumper sticker indicating such label, but as far as the actual definition (see above), yep, we would have a problem if he were not.

Now, I was born and raised and still live in the good ole south. I honestly like some old-fashioned customs, manners typical of the region, that may be gender biased… BUT just because I allow a fella to hold a building door for me or open my car door doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be able to vote, earn as much money as a man, have less independence in any way, shape, or form… any education level, driving privileges, political voice or position, influence in whatever area I shall choose.

And I use the word “chick” to refer to myself or other women occasionally, but I promise that doesn’t devalue or diminish any of the equalities that I or any chick has and is entitled to keep. I am not opposed to several traditional scenarios between men and women. I don’t talk smack about women who choose to not work outside of the home. Nor do I look down on women who have children and then work full-time. I do, however, appreciate a woman who can think for herself. That’s all I ask sisters. You know, to represent and all. That we have a brain and deserve to be equals, no matter in which capacity we choose to carry out and deliver our contributions to family, work, society.

Believing in feminism does not mean that one hates or devalues men in any way. That notion bugs the bejeezus outta me! It doesn’t mean that we think we are superior to men… that men need to be knocked down in some way. It means that we should have the same rights and opportunities and be able to pursue those things free from discrimination and gender suppression. The option needs to be there. All women do not have to want those things, but they should support equality for women who do. Furthermore, men nor women should insult a woman if she does NOT want to be a CEO, senator, or other job or post traditionally thought of as part of the boys club. The entire point is that we should have CHOICES. The right to choose what suits us best, as individuals. No different from men.
Contrary to popular opinion, feminism and romance are not incompatible and feminism may actually improve the quality of heterosexual relationships…”
If you want to read more, the entire article is:
Feminism and Romance Go Hand and Hand
I happened upon the article and thought it fitting to share.
Okay, one more thing. If you find yourself being asked the question: “You’re not one of those feminists are you?”, don’t take the easy way out, just because it saves your breath and all. Nicely respond to the question with a question(s): “How can I be a woman and not believe in equal rights for women? I am a feminist. What rights do you think women should not have?” If you ask this in a non-pissy way, suppressing snarky attitude in tone and expression, it can be amusing to watch the person come up with an intelligent response… and you may just teach somebody something, or in the least make ’em think twice before piping up like that again. I suppose the above advice wouldn’t work well for you in the event that you are not a feminist. But in that case, you probably shouldn’t be reading my blog anyway… because you won’t like it and stuff.
I invite you to share any related stories or thoughts that come to mind!

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I was hanging out with my fella and a couple of our friends the other night. They have known my man for 10 years (she) or 20 years (he). It doesn’t really matter what led up to this comment… and to be quite honest, I don’t exactly remember. The point is that the “she” friend said to me:
“Well at least they will always make us laugh… no matter what else,
we will always have fun with them!”

When we are younger, we are reminded by our elders how much personality matters and that it should be developed and valued over physical traits and appearance (if we were lucky enough to have smart elders around). With a little age and experience, one realizes how essential a stellar personality is in your other person… to find that person attractive and enjoyable day to day and year after more years. It has to work for you and only you… but no matter what keeps you smitten, laughing, interested, whatever, whatever, it always comes back to personality. Period.

I do indeed have an experience from my past that vividly solidified this for me, at the age of 18. I went on two dates with a physical trainer who had the most muscular body I have ever hugged in real life. I didn’t have a boyfriend at the time, was bored, and this guy was really good looking. I thought, he’s different than other guys I have dated, but what the hell? Different may be better. Unfortunately, he had the personality and excitement of a doormat. Not a doormat with a clever quote or cute greeting… but rather one who found it necessary to worry about how many fat grams were in my bean burrito and nachos and cheese dip. (At the time I weighed about 112 lbs. at 5’7″.) If you know me at all, insulting my divine obsession for and enjoyment of authentic Mexican cuisine is a heinous act to commit. The only conversation he could participate in was telling me how many miles he had run that day, how much weight he had lifted, and how many calories he had not consumed by abstaining from beer, food that taste worth a damn, and any other indulgence that is usually normal for a 21 year old. It was enough for me to realize that I never cared to go on another date with anyone based on looks from that point forward and forever more.

I mean, you have to be attracted to someone… but again that brings you back around to personality, or at least it does for me. A magnetic personality can physically transform a person before your very eyes. It may sound cheesy and cliché, but it is the absolute truth. How else can women still get all googly over their men even after he has lost some or all of his hair, gained a lil or a lotta weight, and may not even be deemed attractive by the average woman? That’s what we all want though… not that we hope and pray that our men will fall apart over the years… but let’s face it, the aging process is not equally kind to everyone. It can be a little unpredictable at best, and basically I want to really like someone at their core, for the energy they exude and for their place in the world (not their career status or such but for their contributions to humanity on even the tiniest day-to-day scale). I want a man who can easily make me laugh, carry on an intellectual conversation, be open enough and secure with himself to learn from me, and be interesting enough to teach me new things or prompt new thought or debate… and be amusing, lively, and straight-up FUN!

When you’ve had a bad day, are struggling with stresses from work, children, parents or other family members, whomever the pains in your arse may be, it sure is nice to have someone to spend time with who just makes you giggle. And if you’re lucky, that person can help you forget the troubles of the world (when you need it most) and make you laugh your arse off!

ENDING NOTE: I previously thought I could only be physically attracted to a guy over 6 feet tall. I am a tall chick in heels and one of my superficial preferences was to have a guy who would always be taller than I, regardless of my foot attire. Well, my man is 5’11” and I look him square in the eyes while wearing pumps… but I couldn’t be more smitten. Personality baby! Don’t sell it short and don’t overlook the short(er). Dammit I’m cheesy today!

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I can’t help but notice inconsistencies while watching movies and TV shows. I wish I didn’t notice… because it bugs me when I do, and then I can’t pretend it’s okay and believable. The way a person’s hair is swept across their face or shoulders, how much soup is in their bowl… when it doesn’t match up throughout a scene due to different camera angles and editing, non-continuity. Phooey.

If we are to buy into the scene of a film, and hopefully get sucked in for the duration… to stir our emotions as if these people on screen are real people, feeling real pain, or whatever emotion they intend to elicit from us… it has to seem real. I find it difficult to stay in it while details (or due to someone’s lack of attention to) are distracting… pulling me away from their dialogue, inserting a record scratch, skip into my head, so to speak.

When things just don’t make sense, I get annoyed at myself for allowing the “this or that” to yank me out of the movie. One example that comes to mind is a scene in “The Notebook.” It is summer on the South Carolina coast, yet it is so cold that you can see the breath of the actors as they speak! Now, how can I believe they are strolling along on a hot summer night below the Mason-Dixon? Dang you obvious physics for taunting me. Anachronisms are all over the place since the film is supposed to take place in the 40’s. Continuity issues are rampant. It kind of turns into a game.

I know there are people on set paid to take notice of these things while filming, and then there is the art of editing. The way most films are shot these days, editing makes or breaks the whole biscuit. If more takes have to be done,  dude needs to begin eating a new sandwich (but not too new). Homegirl’s hair doesn’t need to randomly switch from curly/poofy to straight/flat. The candle needs to burn at a reasonable rate, comparable with the pace of the conversation, and in sync with filming. Is that asking so much?

(Ooh, have to add one I just thought of… I mean this is really old but each time I watch “The Wizard of Oz”, I can’t help but twitch a little as the length of Dorothy’s hair magically grows and shrinks by 5 inches or so, in the same scene.) 

I think I missed my calling. I would kick ass.

I called attention to “The Notebook” above because it is easy to pick on. I could list others, but it would be more fun if you all would add your observations from other films. Anyone? (If only one person participates, I’m expecting Julie.)

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“The Catholic type supports the masses, the Salvation Army type lifts up the fallen, and the Baptist type makes mountains out of mole hills.”

Yesterday was the day that I finally mustered up the motivation to embark on one of the most annoying of all tasks for women these days… shopping for bras. I mean really, why is this such a damn chore? You would think with all of the innovatative technology of our day that it would be a cinch. They really should have the perfect bra by now… a magical one that molds and conforms for any woman… bubble boobs, teardrop boobs, pointy-down boobs, flat boobs, giant boobs, perky boobs, wide boobs, narrow boobs, swing-low boobs, and whatever other kind of boobs there are out there. Nope. Heidi Klum’s latest “design” is the so called “Perfect One”… well, I’m here to tell you that it sucks the big one.

When I shop, and I don’t do it often, I like to grab every possible item to try on and head to the fitting room once and only once. I chose about 30 different bras in size 32C, thinking that at least 1, and if I were lucky, 2 out of the batch would work. (I will be specific about the sizes so that those of you who know me may appreciate my ordeal even more.) Not a single damn one of them fit. I couldn’t even get them on, wouldn’t cover the girls at all! A couple of them were even 34C and they were too small. What in the hell is going on with bra sizes? What moron is sizing these boobie cups?

One would think that in this age of implants all over the place, soccer moms and school teachers and the like, not to mention the increase in breast size in young girls from all of the hormones in meat, that bra makers would make the cups BIGGER. Why in the hell are the cup sizes shrinking… I can’t make sense of it for the life of me.

I summoned the fitting room attendant by way of the push button inside of the room and told her that none of them worked. Blonde girl with massive amounts of black eyeliner looked at me like I was a dumbass, as if she were thinking, “damn lady, how did you get as old as you are and be so clueless about yourself?” She stepped away and returned with the measuring tape. She informed me that I am a 34C, and then added that the bra I was wearing was a full size too small. She left, I took the bra off and checked the tag, it was a 34C. A moment later she delivered a box of their “most popular styles” so that I could try every 34C they had to offer. A ‘C’ is not a ‘C’ is not a ‘C’. The cup size does increase as you increase the measurement, in addition to the fit around the back. I stared at the box for a second and thought about just getting the hell out of there, but I persevered.

One after one, I was getting aggravated as all get out. If the cup fit around the full circumference of my boob, the bra would pucker at the top… and if I tightened the straps to remedy the pucker, I would form a double-boob situation squishing outta the tops of the cups, wtf?!?

The most ridiculous was yet to come. I tried on the 7-way bra because it can be strapless, etc. and so on. I like multi-functional thingees. I fastened the 34C and I looked like a damn mess! I requested my patient helper/consultant with the black eyeliner one more time, and she agreed that it did not work and said that she would fetch me a D-cup. Are you friggin’ kidding me?! Gaw.

I put on the D’s and she confirmed that it was the perfect fit. My question is, if I have to wear a D, what in the hell are the women supposed to do who actually have large boobies? Vic’s sizes only go up to a DD. Does everyone else have to shop at some speciality store for freakishly large boobs and pay more $ because their boobage girth surpassed the mainstream (according to delusional designers)? Do they, the bra fairies, think they are tricking us into thinking our boobs are whopping knockers when they are really just somewhere in the middle of the pack. If I were still a teenager, it may tickle me to have to buy a “bigger” bra, but at this age, really. Do they think all women get a self-esteem boost by having a different letter on our bra tag? How insulting.

When I first got boobs in my teen years, I remember wanting bigger ones. I think most girls did back then unless they were part of the big tit club from puberty. I know I’m not a member of the IBTC, but I don’t have knockers either… and no offense to anyone who has the big girls, but I wouldn’t want mine any bigger than they are.

I do wonder if you chicas out there have had this experience yourself. BTW, I have shopped for bras at many different types of stores… I just happened to have a gift card for Vic’s Secret, and their bras do seem to last longer.

To wrap up, I finally found a style that didn’t have any padding, push-cushion, or other contraption, just lightly lined so as to not be transparent, that fits well and is comfortable (as far as bras go). I have written many a college paper and/or extensive scientific lab report in my day in far less time than it took me to find a holster for my boobies. The things we spend our time on in life, pfft.

saggy boobs

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