Wednesday, February 27, 2013

things that make me love being a woman

1.  Manis & Pedis, of course

Let me tell you, I have been obsessed with my nails forever.  Ever since my mother let me get a "kids style manicure" at the ripe age of five years old I've been super into my nails.  A chipped nail has me stressed for hours until I can go home and remedy it.  I'm not really into this nail art trend.  I'll do some glitter and a simple decal, but really the girls in nail shops on Crenshaw have been doing bomb nail art since the 80s and I hate that salons in West Hollywood charge upwards of $100 for some swirls and design.  
But, I digress.  I love that I can get manis and pedis every week and it isn't seen as superficial or insane.  Yes maybe a bit indulgent, but I'm a lady and my digits need to look polished and fresh whenever I'm flipping it to someone who makes a vulgar comment.  Also, I love that most of the compliments I get on my nails are from boys these days.  I feel like for the previous five years men never cared about my nails if they were painted, bare, chipped, whatever.  But lately men are taking notice, and I notice that noticing.  

2.  Being able to borrow from the boys

We ladies have it lucky.  Most of us can just go into our boyfriend's (or dad's or brother's) wardrobes and grab something and make it uniquely feminine.  Think Sharon Stone a la wearing her husband Gap button down on the red carpet.  I mean c'mon!  No dude can go into his ladies closet and pull stuff out and look great it in.  Okay, maybe some.  But when it comes to me, I'm usually the one pulling hats and t-shirts from my dudes polished closet. 

3.  Sharing with other women

Now, I can't say this is uniquely something women do but it is definitely something that most women share very closely.  I'm talking about when you're in the care, on the subway, out dancing and you have these moments with other women that you connect and talk and laugh and share and it is an urge in that moment to say "fuck yeah we are women!"  Maybe men connect like this too, but I don't think it happens as often.  There are so many times that I marvel at women.  Their beauty, their depth and their strength.  There is a sense of empowerment being a woman, and learning from other women, and sharing with other women to get beautiful advice or feedback or just stories.  I'm not trying to sound like Beyonce, but being a woman is so special because of the bonds we share with other women and the amazing women throughout history or in our lives we can look to for advice and guidance.  That's why I get so mad when I see that society tries to impose this idea that women are always in competition with one another, and all women hate other women.  I really don't think that's the case.  Yes, everyone has someone they don't like but life isn't and shouldn't be about being the HBIC of all women.  It should be about being the best woman you can be for yourself.  

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

i, i, i don't work out

Sometimes I see these smiling, dewy, vibrant girls my age out for a run or doing yoga in the park and I ask myself, how?  How in God's name are these girls having a good time?  They look happy!  They look excited!  They look energized!  I just don't understand it.  I often feel a tremendous sense of guilt that I am young and completely inactive.  When I lose five pounds it's really not because I'm putting in any work.  It's probably because I walked a little more that week, or drank more water or something strange from the cosmos came down and graced me with a gift.  But really, this (motioning to my body) really doesn't require a whole lot of work to maintain.
Now, that being said I am a lucky girl in that I was raised by a mother who is a registered dietitian.  That meant not having any sweets in the house, donating 80% of my trick or treating candy and never, ever, ever and sugary fruit juice.  Essentially, I have been groomed from a very early age to eat well.  Yes, I am a lover of pizza, big cookies and ice cream, but for the most part I eat in moderation and drink about 3 liters of water a day.  
However, I think it's getting to the point where I am becoming one of those skinny fat people trainers on The Biggest Loser always talk about.  I never work out but I maintain my weight and have been the same size for like ten years so I don't ever think about weight loss.  I have insecurities like every woman on the face of the planet but I never have seen working out as a means to addressing those insecurities.  Why you ask?  Because I hate working out.  I loathe it.  When I see people out running on a hot day I scream from my car window, "Why?! Why are you putting yourself through that? You look miserable!"  But lately, I'm starting to feel very bad for being lazy.  Also, I have little to no upper body strength and if any sort so if an apocalyptic situation were to every happen, I would surely be one of those poor souls trampled or too weak to hold on to a rope or something.  
So, I got a gym membership!  Now, I'm not expecting miracles.  I'm one of those people (probably like most) who can't even bare the thought of working out, but once I am I feel great and know it's worth it.  But somehow the next day, as I'm trying to convince myself to go to the gym, I can't even remember that feeling of high I had the previous day or I convince myself that I'm crazy and it probably wasn't that good.  Alas I have joined a gym though.  And my sad little goal is to go three days a week.  I don't know how much I will get accomplished while I'm there.  Will I run?  Will I bike?  Will I do sit ups?  Or will I go very slow on the elliptical machine and watch the latest installment of Real Housewives on the television overhead?  There's no telling!  But I know for certain I will never be one of those glistening, grinning, Lulu Lemon wearing cyborgs.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

recent realizations: a love edition

1.  I'm not really into Valentine's gifts.  I mean flowers and candles are nice, but most of the time dudes have NO idea what to do and I'm not really into making a gift purchase a suffering experience.  So, this year pizza is the way to go!
2.  Love means videotaping your significant other while they are snoring through the movie "Get Shorty" and later showing it to them and laughing uncontrollably.  No, I did not do this to my boyfriend--he did it to me.  Ah romance!
3.  Wanna show your woman you love her?  Pay for her to get her hair or nails did on a random day shes feeling crappy! 
4.  Make your love last by not talking to each other so much.  Seriously, I started to really feel in love with my significant other when we got to a place that we could be silent and not worry about it so much.
5.  Love means always having his/her favorite candy and chips stocked at your place.  

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

stop, in the name of love

When I was a blossoming teen I, like most teenagers, thought music was my life.  I thought I would die if I didn't have music in my life.  Even if most of the music I listened to was whiny boys singing about their broken hearts, girls bellowing tunes about being awkward and never getting the one they wanted, or tortured souls wailing about how tough it is to be a grown up.  The point is, this music got me through some good and bad times and really is the reason I am the person I am today--as cliche as that sounds.  I met friends, boyfriends and frenemies through the music and concerts of the music I listened to.  Friends I keep today, boyfriends that became ex, and frenemies that linger.   
And now that I have moved on to some more evolved sounds (or so I like to believe) I still like to revisit my old CD collection of Saves the Day, The Get Up Kids, Rilo Kiley, The Postal Service, The Strokes, Death Cab for Cutie, etc., etc. The only problem is that these bands didn't leave their music in what I (and most fans!) believe was their prime.  They continue to release album after album "reinventing" their sound in a way that makes me sad and quite honestly spoils my nostalgia!  
For goodness sake, you gotta know when to walk away from a good thing.  Oh Postal Service, I don't want your reunion, because I know it's never going to be as good as it was in the beginning.  When you're served an amazing piece of cherry pie you don't then top it off with key lime.  Who does that?!   Do you even remember how bomb that cherry pie was?  Okay, now maybe I'm just talking about pie.  But seriously, what gives soundtrack of my teens?
What led me to feel this way is the unfortunate release of The Strokes new single (soon to be followed by an album).  You guys, it's bad.  I mean really bad.  Like what the heck is going on here?  Why didn't you just stop at album #3, even #4!  I liked the old you, can't you see?  Nothing was wrong with the old you!  In fact, the old you is what had me declaring you were the best band I had ever seen live.  The old you had me feel something.  The old you had me a believer.  But now, it's all spoiled.  You blew it.
I think a reviewer for pitchfork put it best when he wrote: "The White Stripes-- who faced off against the Strokes in a friendly Coolest Band Alive competition for a few years in the early aughts-- officially broke up after a hiatus on February 2 in order to 'preserve what is beautiful and special about the band and have it stay that way.' Meanwhile, fellow wry New Yorkers LCD Soundsystem will wrap up their run April 2 at Madison Square Garden. As it happens, that's just one day after the Strokes will play the same venue to kick-start their second life. Everybody wants to quit while they're ahead. Some actually do it."
But The Strokes aren't the only ones.  I will never forget when my favorite whiny boy collective, Saves the Day, put out their album In Reverie.  It was an album that left all their fans saying "wait, what's that now?"  An album that literally left my friend/biggest STD fan crying on railing of their concert where they only played song from this terrible album.  It didn't make sense and it was bad.  You're not seriously singing about coconuts now are you STD?!
And listen, I get it.  Musicians first loyalty is to themselves and to their art.  And all of them say that they would rather release something their proud of than something that is inauthentic.  Blah, blah, blah.  I get it.  But really, why couldn't you just quit while you were ahead?  Leave your fans with something great to savor, rather than something sour and spoiled?  
I revisit old albums now, not because I'm feeling nostalgic but because I want to erase the horribleness of the music you have recently released.  Your music might not be the most deep, meaningful stuff out there, but its the songs that got a lot of us now twenty-something year-olds through awkward phases and first kisses.  Its the music we put on mix tapes for sleepovers and pimply crushes.  The music we played in our garages while growing up with our friends.  It was the music I swore existed deep in my heart.  But now, you're just breaking it.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

recent realizations

1.  why are the smallest articles of clothing also the most expensive?  seriously!  trying to cover my lady bits all pretty costs a hefty penny.  what gives?
2.  it is incredibly awesome that Sephora will just make you a sample of whatever item you want.  it usually lasts you a long time and when you run out you can just go to another one and get another sample (without anyone but yourself finding out you're a cheapskate!)
3.  Donald Trump seriously sucks for so many reasons, but this one really makes the douche in his eyes sparkle
4.  can I get an amen for Beyonce?  

Monday, February 4, 2013

why the show 'Girls' is necessary

.Even before the show Girls aired its first episode, people were talking about it.  Critiquing it, setting expectations up and even praising it.  I tuned in because I liked Lena Dunham's work on Tiny Furniture and thought "hey, this might be good too."  With every new episode came more and more criticism, praise, apathy and more criticism.  It became a show that everyone had an opinion on.  Yes, I agree to a point that this particular show is not inclusive of minorities and doesn't show the perspective of enough different types of girls but, honestly, I'm not mad at it.  And here is why.
Before this show came on, there was very little to no representation of the struggle of twenty-something, fresh out of college, searching for their dreams and a cute boy girls on television.  It was as if we weren't going through a recession and well paying jobs were being handed out on every street corner.  Every show of young college grad ladies showed them living in an apartment they would never be able to afford in real life (look at the show New Girl or Don't trust the B--yes I watch a lot of television).  These girls never made mention of financial struggle, and when they did they were crying about it with an Alexander Wang purse in tow or a new outfit they just ripped the tags off of.  Cry me a river.  
Girls is the first show in a very long time that I can not only laugh at and with, but also relate to.  I am a twenty-something year old girl who majored in something that is probably never going to make me the money I need to eat and I am struggling post college.  Struggling with my identity, struggling with my creativity, struggling with working at a boring office job and struggling to find true meaningful friendship in other females.  
Like much of the things I complain about, I totally understand how these problems are not REALLY BIG PROBLEMS.  Meaning, they're not "I have no financial support, no family and I'm pregnant" problems, but everything is about perspective   And I don't think that just because these aren't problems that some critics can't relate to or that they find them whiny makes them any less legitimate.  That weird "Who am I?  What am I doing with my life?" moment that comes up on the show time and time again is something I feel on a weekly basis.  And it's a feeling that my girlfriends who graduated at the same time as I do too.  We entered college with an overly optimistic feeling and drive that we could make a difference with a pen, with a brush or with activism and we exited it in a very different place.  A place where people ask you "why would your parents let you major in Journalism?"  Let me?  Let me?  
There is an episode this season where the character Marnie loses her job at an art gallery (a field which she majored in college), is living in a studio apartment with her friend Shoshana, has no money and finally decides to break and get a "pretty person job."  Essentially, a job she must look pretty for.  One she will hate, but one that will pay the bills.  It's a moment that my friends and I let out a big sigh for.  Because so many of us are at jobs like that.  Jobs that we hate, but jobs that pay the bills.  
Yes, this show does not fill every check box necessary for a show about women in their twenties.  It does not include every perspective, but in my opinion that is better than presenting an inauthentic representation of any said minority or ethnicity.  A lot of people cannot relate to this show--but a lot of people can't relate to Grey's Anatomy either.  This is entertainment that should not be taken so seriously.  Someone who has a show on HBO is not the be all and end all representation for a generation.  Much like women compared themselves to the women on Sex & the City but had little to no resemblance to the characters lifestyles, girls are going to do that with Girls too.  It's a show you can #hashtag the shit out of on Twitter and even send your friend an Emoji text implying that you've watched the latest episode (panda, gun, wrapped gift).  
Girls doesn't cover the most serious or crisis-like situations possible, but it most certainly fills a gap that was missing in television entertainment.  It addresses the issue that many intelligent, creative and smart girls who busted their ass in college hoping to make some difference graduated into a recession they were not prepared for, simultaneously putting their dreams on hold and crushing their spirits.  It represents that we are now a  generation that more than ever are moving back in with their parents or are way over qualified for the jobs they are applying for (i.e. a hostess with an Art History degree).  And it shows that some people are doing just fine, while the rest of us who are feeling stuck, stand with jaws open in awe of any successful twenty-something year old.  Yes it can be whiny.  And yes this probably all sounds very whiny now that I am winding down, but being of the generation where we have dozens of platforms to whine, preach and post videos of cats I think it's good that we are finally cutting the bullshit and representing that goddamn it isn't going to be as easy as we thought it would be.