Close Listen: Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” Glorifies Rape Culture, Is also Catchy

Oh, Robin Thicke.

Oh, “Blurred Lines.”

“Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke (who, I will admit, is super sexy) is everywhere these days.  The song, upon first and somewhat-distracted listening, is another generic pop song about sex or dancing or something…  It’s really catchy and it’s got some sonic soul.  The aesthetics of the song itself are groovy and cool.  If I hadn’t listened closely, I would probably like this song.

However, taking the time to listen to the lyrics provided me with the sadly not-so-shocking truth: “Blurred Lines” glorifies rape culture, portrays women as objects without agency, knowledge, or power, and suggests a problematic passage of women from one man to another.

Take a listen for yourself.

Wait… Before you do that, we need to talk about the video too.

THE VIDEO

The unrated version is below – very NSFW.  The video features three disaffected models wearing flesh-colored thongs…  As in, ONLY THONGS.  The boobies are out.  The models are sort of dancing.  It’s really rather weird.  Imagine what it was like to film that video.

Oh, so I just walk from side to side not really doing anything while these guys sing?  Okay.  Oh, and I’m naked.  Oh, I get a thong.  Great…

Awkward…

They let her wear clothes (sort of) but turned her into a road, on which they could drive their toys.

These very pretty, young women are strutting around while fully dressed men – all in suits –  perform a smarmy song around them.  It’s uncomfortable and everyone looks uncomfortable.  The women are making an effort to cover themselves some of the time, other times enjoying the bouncing… I guess.

At one point, one of the girls is holding a goat.  They’re wearing 90s shoes, plastic, and other weird stuff.  The men are all being horrible.

Ugh… Here it is.

BLURRED LINES – UNRATED – ROBIN THICKE, PHARRELL WILLIAMS, T.I.

THE LYRICS

The problem continues.

While the song is largely, well, stupid.  It’s a poorly written song about wanting to bang a hot chick.  We’ve all heard a lot of songs about this and many of them are offensive, reinforce stereotypes, and the objectification of women.  Even female artists participate in this a fair amount of the time.  Women often sing about how hot and desirable they are…  Men sing about their dicks.

The thing is, it’s a real problem to talk about women’s behavior meaning they want or need sex.  Consent is what’s sexy.  A girl dancing in a sexy way doesn’t mean she wants or needs to suck some dudes wiener. 

Women are allowed to be sexy, sensual, hot, attractive, pretty, and alluring without sex.  Nothing but consent is consent.  That’s just how it is.  Seeing a woman from across a room and having a feeling that she might “want it” doesn’t mean she really does.

Writing a song that repeats “I know you want it” six times per chorus sends a bad message.  It teaches young men and women that  seeming like they want sex is enough to consent actual sex.  But that’s not okay.  Sex should be something all participants agree to USING WORDS.  Not using eye movements or nods.  Telling men that they can tell when a woman wants sex by the way she dances isn’t helping anyone.  That’s teaching men that they know better.  They know something women don’t know.  Women need men telling them when sex should and will happen.

Except… WRONG.

The Chorus
And that’s why I’m gon’ take a good girl
I know you want it
I know you want it
I know you want it
You’re a good girl
Can’t let it get past me
You’re far from plastic
Talk about getting blasted
I hate these blurred lines
I know you want it
I know you want it
I know you want it
But you’re a good girl
The way you grab me
Must wanna get nasty
Go ahead, get at me

 

“Plus” what, exactly?

ImageThe woman to the far right is Jennie Runk, pictured here in a Glamour spread circa 2009. The intarwebs have been a-buzz because she’s H&M’s new “plus size” swimwear model.

Let’s take another look. Here she is in H&M’s new swimwear shots:

ImageYes, apparently this size 12 woman is “plus-sized.” Excuse me? She looks HEALTHY. AND NORMAL. And pardon me, but I believe one finds size 12 in the “misses” (that is, the NOT plus-sized) section. Since when is this plus-sized? Certainly it’s not the size 0 we normally see, but should we really be calling this “plus”? Plus what? A normal amount of body fat and muscle?

As two women who are not size zeroes, we object. We object first because calling this woman anything other than normal is a gross misstatement. To imply that this woman is somehow heavier than she should be is nonsense. She looks beautiful as-is. I don’t just say this because when I look at most retailers’ models, I want to feed them giant Katz deli sandwiches by the fistful, but because this is the same kind of nonsensical distortion we get with the size zero model. Girls who are Ms. Runk’s size and one higher (14) are shopping in the section that advertises with size zeroes. Women who are size 16 and over are shopping for the clothes Ms. Runk is modeling. Isn’t it time we have just a bit of truth in advertising? If you’re going to sell “plus size” clothing, you need to use a plus size model. A model, that is, who wears size 16 or higher.

Additionally, there needs to be some parity across sizing. I give you the following anecdote: In December, I went looking for a New Year’s Eve dress. I headed to the predictable spots: Forever 21, H&M, etc. H&M was my first stop. My dress size, 95% of the time, is a 6 or 8. I do have a bit of trouble finding dresses that fit because I’ve got a lot of booty and not a lot of booby. But, I digress. I went looking for a black sequin number I saw on the website, and found they only had a size 4 left. I thought to myself, I might as well try this on. It’s realistically only one–maybe two–sizes below me. Maybe it will fit.

And what do you think happened?

Not only did this “dress” not fit over my ass, it hardly fit over my boobs! My tiny boobs! Most women who are my size or a bit smaller have bigger boobs than me! And, on top of that, the notion that this thing was a dress was a joke. Even if I had gotten it to begin fitting over my hips, it wouldn’t have made it much farther because there just wasn’t any more fabric! The damn thing was shirt for a 10 year old being passed off as a dress.

My call, therefore, is for parity in sizing as well as in advertising. I should be looking at models smack dab in the middle of the spectrum of “misses” (that’s a size six, by the way) and smack dab in the middle of “women’s.” And I should be able to reasonably enter a store and try on one or two sizes of clothing and find items that are at least close to fitting. I shouldn’t have to shop at store A as an 8 and then go over to store B and have to buy a 13/14. If we could actually get some real sense of what size we were and stick to it, and saw real humans modeling the clothes we’re buying, we’d significantly reduce the amount of body-hating that goes on.

Bitch’s Guide to New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve can be bad or great, but it’s probably going to be bad.  If you are a bitch, or you like bitches, or you think bitches are funny… here are some tips.  Enjoy!

1.  Shoes.  Wear shoes that you feel comfortable in all night.  You have to spend all of the hours up to midnight and beyond in shoes.  People will be drunk and there will be broken glass.  You cannot walk around barefoot.  You cannot walk home barefoot.  You must wear your shoes.  Don’t be “that girl” who spends the whole night whining about her friggin’ feet.  Don’t be the girl who can’t walk in her shoes.  You know the one.  The one who scuttles from place to place and must perch wherever she lands.  The one cannot actually walk without tripping.  The one who topples into the bathroom to re-apply her lipgloss.  Don’t be that girl.

2.  Booze.  Remember, you will be drinking for a long time on this Eve of the New Year.  Your body will be exposed to so much.  You should invest in mid-level liquor – at least.

3.  Shots, specifically.  Keep count.  Even if it means you have to take a sharpie to your arm (a mark for each drink), you must track your drinking.  You are in for a long night, so you gotta have a plan.

4.  Food.  Bitch, you gotta eat!  If you eat nothing, you will pass out.

5.  Cleavage.  This really depends on what kind of bitch you are.  It’s New Year’s Eve, so go nuts.  Show off your boobies.  Get slutty.  Do whatever.  As a really bitchy bitch, I really don’t care what other bitches are wearing on New Year’s Eve.  It’s like Halloween… Free pass.

SO MUCH CLEAVAGE.

6.  Dates.  If you bring a date to a New Year’s Eve party, make sure he/she isn’t a dumbass, can hold his/her liquor, and that your date can dance.  There will be WOO-WOOs.  Make sure they are ready.  Don’t be the girl with a lame-ass date.  Go solo if it comes to that.

7.  Boyfriends.  If you bring your boyfriend or girlfriend, they SHALL NOT GET SHITTY.  They shall bring mints and make out with you at midnight.  They shall bring you drinks.  They shall dance appropriately.  THE BOYFRIENDS SHALL BE FUN.

8.  Dancing.  Please do as little grinding as possible.  Please whip your hair.  Please shake it good.  Please do some work out there.  Sweat it up.  Do yo’ thang.

9.  Tampons.  Someone will need a tampon – it might be you.  Just bring a damn tampon.  You’ll be someone’s hero and it will feel great.  Good for you.

10.  Bi-Curiousness.  You gotta kiss somebody at midnight.  I’m not here to judge that part of you.

11.  Hats.  Party hats are fucking annoying.  Do not make anyone wear one.  If you want to wear one, that’s great… It tells the rest of us that you’re a dumb ass.  Seriously, suck it.  Hats are sucky.

12.  Driving.  You will be drinking.  Just get a cab.  Your only other option is to crash where you are.  The likelihood of someone staying sober enough to be the DD later on is low.

13.  Glitter.  A little glitter goes a long way.  If you’ve got a sparkly dress, maybe cool it on the bling and the white/silver eyeshadow.  Be sparkly, but don’t try to imitate the NYE Times Square ball.  You don’t need 10,000 blinking lights to be beautiful.  Also, if you do happen to over-glitter, it will get on EVERYONE.  I don’t want to wear your damn glitter, so stay the hell away, Ke$ha!

14.  Underpants.  Just wear them.  Underpants are always, always worth a panty-line.  Don’t be the girl without underpants on.  We don’t want to see your hoo-ha.  Anyone interested in your hoo-ha will happily wait to see it.  Seriously, I don’t want to see a single baby-factory on the dance floor or getting out of a cab.  We all have underwear.  Wear yours.

15.  The Midnight Kiss.  Just go for it, bitches.

This Music Is Bad: will.i.am feat. Britney Spears – “Scream & Shout”

Two untalented “musicians.” Roughly 400 computer programs. 15+ Producers. And one incredibly mediocre, nothing song about itself. I’m so tired of meta-music.

This music is bad.

Why are people writing songs about the songs they’re writing.  I don’t need you to tell me during your song that when I hear said song, I will want to ask the DJ to turn up the music.  Let me figure it out on my own.  I have ears and a mouth.  I am capable.  I am fairly certain that these musicians are not trying to address pop music on the meta level; instead, I believe pop music has actually become so self-obsessed and tired that it must continuously reference itself.  If the musician doesn’t tell us to turn up the music, how will we know?

Also, why is Britney Spears referencing herself in this song?  They are sampling, “It’s Britney, Bitch.” from her “rough” phase.  Why bring it up?

“When you hear this in the club, you gotta turn this shit up.”  

Thank you so much for telling me what to do in when I hear this song.  Next time I’m in the club, squirming my sequined body on the dance floor, and I hear this song, I will scurry to the DJ booth in my 6-inch heels (read: slowly and carefully), scream into his/hers headphoned ears that she/he has “gotta turn this shit up.” Why?  Well, because clubs are always playing those will.i.am songs far too quietly.  I mean, will.i.am is prolific, philosophical, and deep, man.

This song sounds like a slow and sad eulogy for a euro-trash computer-generated porn star.  That, or the imaginary girlfriend of a coked-out wannabe dj living in the bowels of Los Angelos.  This song couldn’t be sadder.

It sounds like two old, nearly washed-up almost-musicians… Oh, wait.  It is two old, nearly washed-up almost-musicians.  It is lazy, tired, and entirely bland.  Perhaps, it is aggressively boring.  So boring it reminds me of these two assholes who hang out with my boyfriend’s friends.  Those two are real dummies.  They would probably like this damn “song.”

 

To my point, here are the full lyrics.  Careful, you might get blown away.

SCREAM AND SHOUT
will.i.am featuring Britney Spears

Bring the action

When your hear us in the club
You gotta turn the shit up — You gotta turn the shit up — You gotta turn the shit up

When we up in the club
All eyes on us — All eyes on us — All eyes on us

See the boys in the club
They watching us — They watching us — They watching us

Everybody in the club
All eyes on us — All eyes on us — All eyes on us

I wanna scream and shout and let it all out
And scream and shout and let it out
We sayin’ oh we oh we oh we oh
We sayin’ oh we oh we oh we oh
I wanna scream and shout and let it all out
And scream and shout and let it out
We sayin’ oh we oh we oh we oh

You are now now rocking with 
will.i.am and Britney bitch
Oh yeah  — Oh yeah — Oh yeah
Bring the action

Rock and roll
Everybody let’s lose control
On the bottom we let it go
Going faster, we ain’t going slow-low-low
Hey yo
Hear the beat, now let’s hit the floor
Drink it up and then drink some more
Light it up and let’s let it blow

Hey yo
Rock it out and rock it now
If you know what we talking bout
Turn it up and burn down the house ha house
Hey yo
Turn it up and go turn it down
Here we go we go shake it
Cause everywhere we go we
Bring the action

When your hear us in the club
You gotta turn the shit up — You gotta turn the shit up — You gotta turn the shit up

When we up in the club
All eyes on us — All eyes on us — All eyes on us

See the boys in the club
They watching us — They watching us — They watching us

Everybody in the club
All eyes on us — All eyes on us — All eyes on us
I wanna scream and shout and let it all out
And scream and shout and let it out
We sayin’ oh we oh we oh we oh
We sayin’ oh we oh we oh we oh
I wanna scream and shout and let it all out
And scream and shout and let it out
We sayin’ oh we oh we oh we oh

You are now now rocking with 
will.i.am and Britney bitch
Oh yeah — Oh yeah — Oh yeah
Bring the action

It goes on and on and on and on
When me and you party together
I wish this night would last forever
Cause I was feeling down and now feel better
It goes on and on and on and on
When me and you party together
I wish this night would last forever
Forever forever ever ever

I wanna scream and shout and let it all out
And scream and shout and let it out
We sayin’ oh we oh we oh we oh
We sayin’ oh we oh we oh we oh
I wanna scream and shout and let it all out
And scream and shout and let it out
We sayin’ oh we oh we oh we oh
We sayin’ oh we oh we oh we oh
I wanna scream and shout and let it all out
And scream and shout and let it out
We sayin’ oh we oh we oh we oh

You are now now rocking with 
will.i.am and Britney bitch

Your Bra Size Is NOT My Concern

Sometimes, I am a loud-mouth.  Still, I have self-control, and an awareness of myself whilst in public places.  A young lady I encountered today was lacking in the whole control area, but she was clearly an expert in loud-mouthery.  Man, oh, man…  She could talk.  LOUD.  She struck me as the kind of person who updates her facebook status at least twice a day; likely about half of those statuses are vague and emotional so that people will ask what’s wrong.  Basically, I’m saying she was really darn annoying.

We were all trapped trying on clothes in the Salvation Army, when some loud-mouthed teen decided to declare her cup-size to us all.  I was not amused.  Here are a few things she exclaimed:

  • “I’M ONLY 5’1″ AND MY BOOBS ARE D-CUPS!  D-CUPS, I TELL YOU [and everyone else].”
  • “OH MY GOD, STACY.  YOU HAVE TO COME SEE HOW HILARIOUS I LOOK.  MY TITS ARE SPILLING OUT ALL OVER THE PLACE.  IT’S RIDICULOUS.”
  • “DEFINITELY WHEN I’M DONE LOSING WEIGHT, I’LL BE ABLE TO FIT IN THIS… OF COURSE, THAT’S ONLY IF MY D-CUPS SHRINK! HAHA!  THEY’RE SO BIG!”
  • “UGH! I HATE MY D-CUPS!”
  • “MY BOOBS ARE SO HUGE.  IT’S SO AWFUL HAVING BOOBS THIS BIG.”
  • “BIG BOOBS ARE THE WORST.”
  • “NO ONE MAKES CLOTHES FOR BOOBS THIS BIG!”

I have a lot of issues with this.  First of all, don’t scream about your boobies in the middle of a store.  It’s one thing to say to your companion, “This won’t fit over my boobs,” or, “Haha! Look at this.”  It’s very different to share your cup-size like a news announcement.   I promise, no one cares as much as you do.  You can share the moment with your friend, but you don’t need to share it with everyone else.  There are kids around, and old folks, and folks who just have normal levels of privacy…  They don’t care.

Also, they do make clothes for big boobs.  As a lady with boobs EVEN BIGGER than yours, I can assure you that I wear clothing that I do not make.  Therefore, some clothing has to fit over boobs of that stature.  Yes, it is harder to find button-ups, bathing suits, dresses, and tanktops, but you learn to deal.  Big boobs happen.  Big shirts happen too.  You just have to accept that you can’t fit into anything and everything… You know, like everyone else.

Another thing, most people don’t want to hear complaints about big boobs.  Big boobs get a lot of press and a lot of love.  Maybe don’t whine in front of all the A-Cups and B-Cups of the world.  They’re hatred of you and your D-Cups could penetrate your skull and crush you at any moment.  Stop complaining.  You’ll be fine.

Maybe I’m just a cranky old lady, but I just don’t want to hear about a stranger’s boobs from across the store.

Do you think Christina Hendricks screams, “HOW WILL I FIT MY CRAZY-HUGE TITTAYS IN THIS OUTFIT?!” every time she tries to buy a tanktop?  No.  She does not.  Christina Aguilera doesn’t either.  Some ladies have big boobies.  Every single person who sees a lady with big boobies will, with a doubt, notice that she has them.  Big boobs are kind of hard to miss.  Therefore, they don’t need to be announced in the Salvation Army dressing rooms.


Thighs of Glory (Read: Beyonce’s Thighs)

(Amendment at end.)

Today, I learned that I have thighs of glory.  This does not mean my thighs are skinny, because they are not and they never will be.  Skinny thighs give me the creeps.  A “gentleman” walking about downtown Ann Arbor exclaimed upon seeing my pasty, glorious thighs, that they were, in fact, “Sweet and juicy.”  My first reaction, as always, was to get incredibly angry.  I generally get hypermasculine, start swearing, and calling people dudes when I am approached in this manner.  As you might imagine, I do not like being approached by random men who want to comment on my specific body parts and their potential “uses.”  Instead, I simply laughed at these strange and utterly creepy proclamations of my thigh’s awesomeness.

I thought to myself, “Here I am, a slightly-less-fat-than-average person with well-developed leg muscles (mostly the calves), pasty skin, a partial sunburn on my forehead, jiggly thighs, and fairly low self-esteem.  Yet, this possibly drunk man has enjoyed the show (by show, I mean that I walked by in longer-than-apparently-average shorts).  Maybe, I will just laugh at this and be thankful that someone out there still understands that thighs are meant to be thick, strong, and fleshy.  Thighs should look like thighs.”

I would much rather have Beyonce’s thighs of glory (however pastier, less toned, and altogether less glorious), than skinny thighs (ahem, LeAnn Rhimes, Victoria Beckham, Kiera Knightly, almost every model, and Miley Cyrus).  I would rather look like Serena Williams than a 12-year-old.  Skinny thighs are for children.  Thick thighs are for women.

Beyonce looks amazing. Her thighs are made of glory, sunshine, dance skills, and squats.

Seriously, how great does Beyonce look?  This lady helped bring back the popularity of thicker thighs, and I am thankful.  The ladies who write this blog are fans of curves.  Curves are normal.  Beyonce is clearly above average in all ways, but I think we need to remember the glory of “sweet and juicy thighs.”

This picture is so intimidating and amazing. Serena Williams could jump over a skyscraper with those legs. She could crush anything. They are glorious.

Serena Williams could destroy us all with her thighs.  I feel pretty good about that.  She is strong and sexy; her presence in pop culture is good for women with curves.

I know that this post may seem a bit strange.  *After all, I did get inspiration from a drunken cat call.*  However, it is somewhat comforting that people are appreciating pale, fleshy thighs.  That’s all.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Amendment:

After reading some comments, I realize that this post needs clarification.  Thin thighs are not “unacceptable,” “horrible,” nor are they somehow inherently “bad.”  It is not bad to be a thin person.  No one is a villain simply having thin thighs.

What is bad and scary, then?

It is bad and scary to push a body to extremes.  It is bad to glorify thinness above all else.  It is bad to glorify unhealthy habits that push people into unhealthy weights.  Just as a person can be too fat, a person can be too thin.  Both are bad.  The thing, not a lot of people are striving to be fat.  A lot of people are spending their days and nights obsessing over being thin at any price.  A lot of people have blogs and tumblrs devoted to “thinspo” with all kinds of ways to get skinny.  There are too many little girls and women out there who hurt themselves to achieve a level of thin that is not healthy for them.

That said, making thin women the villain is wrong.

Thin women just so happen to be thin.  Many people want to be thin, and that’s okay.  But wanting to be thin, or wanting to have Beyonce’s thighs, at any cost… that’s scary.

Also, Beyonce is amazing.

Christina Aguilera Won’t Let Me Like Her

I’ve got 99 problems, and her attitude is #1.

Oh, Christina…

I should warn you all that this post is largely about The Voice on NBC.  I love this show, and I’m not ashamed of it.  If you have seen any clips or episodes, you may have noticed that Christina Aguilera has been acting a little rude, a little conceited, and sometimes just completely unlikable.  I want to like her, but just won’t let me.

I didn’t understand “Genie in a Bottle,” but I loved it. I liked it too.  Yes, when she went through her slutty phase, it was hard for me to support her, but she had empowering songs, and “Beautiful,” which is a great song, dammit.  Even when she was “Dirty,” she was likable.  She sang about how dudes can be “players,” but ladies are “sluts” and “whores.”  I think that’s a great point.  Ladies should be able to do exactly what dudes do.  We are equal, and she demanded that – even if we were just talking sex.  Also, she’s a friggin’ machine.  This girl can sing like nobody.  She is just so powerful, and skilled.  My god, she’s good.  You have to respect that.  If I was that good, I would probably have quite an ego, so I do understand hers.  She deserves to be a little cocky, but she could save it for the stage.  I miss liking her.

Basically, Christina was always a little crazy, but I liked the craziness before.  What was different about seeing her as a coach on The Voice?  I guess, I just didn’t know she was kind of mean.  Instead of being humble, kind, considerate, or normal, she’s just shown that she’s a bit too obsessed with herself to really give people the time of day, or the consideration of tact.  She is usually correct in her criticisms; I just wish she’d be nicer about it.

If I had a genie in a bottle, I would ask him to make Christina Aguilera likable again.

To Tony Lucca (aka Mr. Tries-Too-Hard), she called his ass out once.  I was happy.  When she told him that he seemed “one-dimensional” it helped him.  He stepped his game way up, and he was thankful for the comment.  That’s what good criticism does.

But… then she just wouldn’t lay off.  Sometimes, she needed to just say, “Good job,” and leave it at that.  Her final critique was fair and a good point; she complained that doing Jay-Z’s “99 Problems” was a little strange considering its derogatory lyrics and his status as a husband and father (of a daughter).  I don’t really understand why he chose to do this song.  Yes, it was cool.  Yes, it was edgy (I guess).  I think, that like many people, I was sick of how damn hard this guy was trying.  We get it. You’re cool.  Now, sing an actual blues/rock song.  Her criticism was refreshing.  She also complimented the performance and said some nice things.  The problem is that she spent the whole season being a tool to this dude and to Adam Levine (who seems like a tool anyway), so this criticism just seemed like yet another whiny, self-obsessed insult.  It didn’t come off as the rather adept industry-wide issue it is.  OY

Another issue: she was a little cold to all the guests.  Both J. Biebs and The Wanted performed this season and were allegedly “snubbed” by Ms. Aguilera.  She just could have been a little nicer, a little humbler.

Another issue: WHAT THE HELL IS SHE WEARING? WHY WON’T SHE JUST WEAR SOMETHING NORMAL WITH NORMAL HAIR AND NORMAL MAKE-UP?  Why? …. Oh, Christina…

One of many crimes. What is this atrocity?

This actually doesn’t look that bad… but still.

Choose one crazy accessory. Also, wear pants more often. Please!

Suddenly, it seemed like she had fired her crazed stylist, hair and make-up team, and actually just brushed her hair and put on a nice dress. I praised the heavens. It didn’t last.

My point is that I want to like Christina Aguilera.  She is so amazingly talented.  Why can’t she just be nicer?

I’ve got 99 problems, and her attitude is #1.

It’s Senior Portraits, Not a Centerfold.

Why have senior pictures become the new place for 18 year old girls to showcase their budding bazongas? Or young men to fantasize that they’re on the cover of GQ? Here are some things NOT to do when you’re getting your (or you know someone else who is getting their) senior pictures taken.

1. Wear make up, but don’t channel Liza Minnelli. Nobody looks good like that.

2. Wear real clothes. In fact, wear your regular clothes, or maybe one step nicer. Remember, your mom is giving copies of these to your grandparents. Do you really think they want to see your cleavage or your bare chest? Yeah, think again.

3. Don’t pose in strange, contorted ways. The idea shouldn’t be “How can we twist you so your boobs hang out?” Just stand or sit normally. Move your chin up and down the way the photographer tells you to so your face doesn’t look weird because of shadows. If he tells you to throw your head back and grab a pole, you may want to consider another photographer–dude’s obviously a perv.

4. Keep your eyes open. There is no reason you need to close your eyes, especially when you’re lying down. Hello, I don’t care how your eyeshadow looked when you were eighteen; I care how you looked. Including your eyes.

5. Smile. Don’t try to be Tyra Banks and “smile with your eyes” to look sexy. You come off looking like an amateur centerfold with your lips half-parted. If you wanna be in pornos, wait til after high school.

Stop Comparing Me to Fruit

I’m sure by now, most women have heard of different classifications for body shapes. There’s the “hourglass” (think Marilyn Monroe and every pin up girl ever) and the “rectangle” (as in you don’t have a natural waist) and sometimes even varieties of triangle (standard and inverse, apparently). But all of this is weird. No one actually looks like a triangle or a rectangle. Hourglass, sure, I can see that. Then there’s the stupid food comparisons: apple, pear, and (this one was new to me) banana. I’m sorry but I definitely don’t look like a piece of fruit. This comparison is just weird and nonsensical.

In this case, the fruit doesn't even fit. And that does NOT look like a banana, damnit.

I’m sorry, but none of these shapes make any sense to my brain. I just don’t get it. Supposedly, because I’m small-chested and big-bootied (is that even a term?) I’m a “pear” shape. But I’m also supposed to have tiny, wimpy shoulders (which I don’t) and thick ankles (also don’t). I get the impetus for classifying body shapes–supposedly helping women dress to flatter their most “alluring” features–but it really needs to be rethought. On top of only being able to represent these so-called universal shapes that are supposed to fit all women on the planet in odd drawings without faces or  with creepy identical faces, when someone does try to represent these shapes in the real world, you wind up with ridiculously inaccurate representations. See, for example, figure three. All of these women, despite the fact that they’ve been classified as “different” shapes, all look the same to me. They all have chests of roughly the same size, they’re all fairly lean (though red bathing suit and black bathing suit have weirdly thin thighs that don’t touch), and they all have pretty defined waists. I’m also increasingly convinced that “inv” triangle and triangle are the same woman with a bit of photoshopping on the booty/thighs area. Alternative to the “models come in all shapes and varieties of anorexic!!!” photo above is the “all women look like worn out slobs and stand with their arms awkwardly lifted and suffering from an inexplicable case of bowleggedness” picture below. Kudos to the creator for using real women, but at the same time, it seems somewhat unfair to try to accurately represent body types when you’re using women whose ages vary from the fairly young (maybe 24, “lollipop”) to the fairly old (65? “column”), and whose relative body weight fluctuates from the very skinny to the verging on obese. And forgive me for asking, but what idiot came up with these horrible names. There’s the classic food items, but wtf is a cello body shape? Lollipop? Goblet? And can we all agree that “brick” is a terrible term for a woman’s body shape? As if you could be any less interested in making a woman feel beautiful–“Yes, dear, I believe you’d be classified as a ‘brick.'” C’mon!

This is not to say that using women of a variety of ages and weights is a bad thing, but it’s hard to get a sense of your body shape if you’re at the right weight but don’t look like Ms. Lollipop, Pear, or Cornet. What about women of average weight who are hourglass-shaped? Or heavy women who are column or goblet shaped? This system just sucks, to be honest.

Additionally, in my evening internet cruising, I keep seeing advice for pear and apple shaped women that encourages them to “hide” their big hips or busts, respectively, while telling hourglass ladies to just let it all hang out cause they have nothing to hide. What kind of message does that send? The only worthwhile, sexy shape is an hourglass one, I assume. Everyone else better try to wear dark colors or use ruffles to give the impression they actually have the hourglass shape instead of just embracing the great assets they do have, regardless of whether their top and bottom halves match.

I say, eff that. Whether you look like Barbie or you don’t, stop dressing to cover up what some people like to call “problem areas” (i.e. anything that’s not an hourglass), and just start wearing what you think looks good and gives you confidence.

We Get It, Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day needs to settle it down.  Seriously, why are we putting so much value in this little old day?  It shouldn’t make or break a relationship, it shouldn’t define us as people, and it shouldn’t depress us based on whatever relationship status we can use to describe ourselves on that day.  It just shouldn’t.  I’m actually not sad, lonely, or depressed (this year), but I still think Valentine’s Day is a little evil.  A person cannot escape hearts, red crap, shiny shit, lacy shit, feathered shit, champagne shit, chocolate shit, expensive shit, diamond shit, more heart-shit, etc.

Why not just do something nice for the people you love?  Even if it’s not sexy, you’ll feel good.  If you are in a relationship, you’re expected to have a fancy dinner, eat chocolate, drink champagne, and then put on crazy lingerie and have the hottest sex of ever…  That’s unreasonable.  You will be bloated.  You will not feel like having sex with the lights on.  Just willing myself to get into a corset is enough to ruin a nice meal.  “I’ll have the side salad without dressing as my entree…”  The expectations are unrealistic.  Shouldn’t this be reserved for anniversaries?  What happens if a chick is unavailable for the supreme pleasures of Valentine’s Day doin’ it?  Ladies get this thing every month, and it complicates things?  I’m just saying: what if?  That’s a lot of pressure for a reproductive system to handle.

I’m also infuriated that the V-Day tropes are that dudes spend cash while ladies put out.  Blerg.

I just don’t want to see hearts everywhere.  I don’t like them.  I don’t want everything to be pink.  I don’t want my boyfriend to feel like he has to send me roses or I will kill him.  THAT’S STUPID.  No one is entitled to roses.  I’m certainly not.

Plus, dudes can’t handle all this pressure.  It makes ladies crazy, and guys can’t live up to the crazy expectations pushed into female minds by rom-coms and Hallmark commercials.  I think I’ve even seen a cat food commercial about human love recently.  What? How? Why? COME ON.

Ladies, settle it down.  If a dude doesn’t buy you flowers, it’s okay.  Maybe just take a moment to appreciate the people you love instead of buying everything in CVS?

If you’re single, Valentine’s Day is just gigantic reminder that you are not in a relationship, and that you will likely not be needing any lacy accessories.  Why should singles be tormented further by our weirdly couple-obsessed culture?  Being single kind of rules… because there are no rules!  Okay, not really, but still.   This can be such an awkward day.  We should just act normal.

Why are heart shapes so anatomically incorrect?  It really bothers me.

Friggin’ Valentine’s Day…