I’ve Been Too Hard on “Skinny”

A while ago, I wrote a post about how amazing Beyonce’s thighs are, which remains indisputable.

However, what I also did in that post was talk about thin, skinny, little thighs as “unnatural” and less than ideal.  That’s not fair either.

I do think that glorifying unhealthy weight – on either end of the spectrum – is dangerous.  It is dangerous to glorify being so thin that for most people to achieve it, they would have to starve themselves.

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.

Bodies should be allowed to be as they are.  When society pressures us to go against our bodies, society is wrong.  Love your thighs.  Even if they chaff and wiggle.  Even if they’ve never touched.

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.

A Hobo is not a Halloween costume

Halloween: the chance, once a year, to pretend to be someone you’re not. I like to think Halloween costumes say a lot about a person. They also say a lot about what we think but never say.

Take this, for instance:
I saw a picture recently of friends of friends of friends dressed up for Halloween. They were supposed to be homeless, complete with “Will Work for Food” signs, tattered jeans, and worn out flannel. Similarly, I see people every year wearing sombreros and telling people their costume is “A Mexican.” Or folks who stick some feathers in their braid and throw on a pair of moccasins to be “An Indian.”

Not okay.

Halloween apparently is not only a time to “be someone else” for a day (or two, or three, depending on how many times you celebrate), it’s time to let our collective, offensive, racist American id run wild because it’s hopped up on too many Reese’s peanut butter pumpkins and Four Loko. Do I think these people mean to be offensive? No, likely not. Really they just want to shotgun some Busch Lights and hook up with the cute guy in the “Where’s Waldo?” costume. Being an historical figure (who is, perhaps, Native American or Mexican/Latino) would be one thing, but to say “I’m (ethnic stereotype – regardless of negative, neutral, or positive implications)!” is short-sighted, foolish, and–well–racist.

There’s a certain responsibility that comes along with picking and putting on a costume; any costume you wear inevitably says something about you and your attitude toward other people. Choosing insensitive costumes matters. Just ask the employees of Steven J. Baum’s firm in Buffalo, New York. These geniuses thought that it was a good idea to dress up as homeless people and create fake sections of foreclosed homes at their office Halloween party. Are you outraged? Yes, you likely are. And so should you be. At the same time, however, these people dressing up as homeless people for Halloween is not much, if any, worse than when people who aren’t legal actors in the foreclosure crisis do it.

This Halloween, dress up. Go out. Drink Four Loko to your little heart’s content, and stuff your face with Kit Kats, Snickers, Reese’s pumpkins, and everything in between. Just try not to be your own id.

Here are some examples of Mitt Romney’s painful awkwardness.

Much like Mitt Romney’s face, your parents’ honeymoon, post-break-up coffee dates, and that Jon Lajoie video about genitals, Mitt Romney is awkward.  It’s a fact.  This is a man who doesn’t imbibe anything naughty… you know, besides heartlessly firing people, shady business practices, and being a weirdo.

Want to see some examples of his awkwardness (read: awkward-mess)?

I DO!

I sometimes can’t decide if he’s more awkward or creepy or just old and white.  But, then I think about it more and I realize… probably all three.  Look at the following; it’s irrefutable.

INITIATE HUMAN LAUGHTER SEQUENCE. HA. HA. HA. O10110001010101.

Sometimes, he puts on gloves in public.  And it’s awkward.

 

Remember when he talked about Michigan’ trees?

“I like music.”

 

Unacceptable Items of the Last Three Weeks

So, I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus, but I haven’t forgotten R&RC. In fact, some of the absurd things I’ve seen these past few weeks require some attention.

1. Flesh colored leggings. NO. NONONONONONO UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, NO! Why? Why would you possibly think this is a good idea? I thought the Wal-Mart meme lady would have convinced the world, but apparently not.

2. Tiger stripe leggings. I’m not sure what happened to the students on my campus (there must be something in the water), but apparently standard black leggings weren’t bad enough and we needed flesh colored and tiger stripe varieties. Really?

3. Peek-a-boo shapewear. Shapewear is awesome. It keeps you tucked and set where you should be to look awesome. But looking at it? Not so awesome. So, when I was walking behind a girl in a short pencil skirt and suddenly realized, oh, it doesn’t have a lace border, those are her SPANX, I had to shake my head and wonder whether she could feel a draft. You would think, right?

4. iPod in your butt. Yes. Yes, I said iPod. In. Your. Butt. I was at the gym last week on an elliptical behind a woman on a treadmill. She kept adjusting her sweatpants as she was running, and I was pretty much ignoring it when suddenly she started digging around in her pants. Slightly aghast (my mother taught me not to stick my hands down my pants in public; I don’t know about the rest of you), I watched her pull an iPod out of her sweatpants and adjust the song and shove the thing back in her pants and keep running. W. T. F. Let me count the ways this is unacceptable: one, gross. Two, unsanitary. Three, YOU’RE KEEPING YOUR iPOD IN YOUR ASS. Four, IN YOUR ASS. Five, there’s a reason clothing companies don’t put pockets in the center of the back of our pants; items stored there make you look like you’ve shit yourself. Six, IN. YOUR. BUTT?!?!??!

Yes, this is a real commercial.

After seeing this on TV for the second time, I felt compelled to share it with all of you. At least, I figure, I won’t be alone in my rage against this company and whatever marketing “genius” came up with it.

The first time I saw this, I thought, “Oh awesome! This guy built a mousetrap-style machine that refills his drink! This should be cool.” Alas, I was disappointed, aghast, angered, etc. to find that instead, the solution to the empty drink glass is the girlfriend (wife?). What the fuck. How is this on television? Why isn’t the whole world pissed about this? I mean, the Miller Lite commercials they used to have on TV promoting the “manliness” of drinking Miller Lite (e.g. don’t be a sissy, girls’-pants-wearing light beer drinker!) seem tame and almost endearing compared to the outright misogyny of this gem. I mean, really? We haven’t moved beyond “women belong in the kitchen and/or serving my every need including thirst”? It’s 2012 for godsakes.

I mean, the idea of businesses like SportsClips thrive on the idea that women are meant to serve men both in deed and as eye candy (see also America’s favorite place to get buffalo wings and glimpses of boobies, Hooters). The problem isn’t only the proliferation of antiquated notions of what it means to be a Woman–that is, buxom, always sexy, kitchen- or service-centered, adorably dumb… the list goes on–but antiquated notions of what it means to be a Man. Commercials like this imply that part of being a man means treating all women like glorified servants and exclusively doing “manly” things like watching sports–and being unable to drag oneself away from such manly activities in order to groom oneself, because that’s for pussies. It’s not only women that should be outraged at commercials like this that appeal to undeniably sexist notions of male/female relations, likely located somewhere in the irrational amygdala.

I don’t want to suggest that we should be better than this. We are better than this and it’s about time we show it.

More on Mr. Akin’s Bullshit (“Legitimate Rape,” etc.)

First, he begs for Forgiveness….

It makes me so mad that he is saying that his issue is “the words” but not his “heart.”  Yes, the issue is about words.  When politicians, when men use words like this to discuss rape, they put it on women.  In our culture we tell women to not get raped, instead of telling men not to rape.

When women are forced to jump through hoops and relive their traumas to prove they were raped, they are being forced and traumatized again.  Abortion is legal and it’s staying that way.  Maybe we should focus on educating men that sexuality is about choice, agency, and mutual desire.  Men should be taught respect and self-control.  Women should be allowed to be sexual and men should be better than raping.  Let’s expect more of the men in our culture.

Let’s stigmatize raping, not being raped.  Victims are victims and they should not be ashamed.  Rapers are evil and they should never be excused.  All rapes are real and legitimate.

For Todd Akin to use these words makes me so angry.  For him to go on and “explain” that women who are raped cannot get pregnant… What the hell?  Who is this guy?  How can someone be that stupid?  Sorry, but pretty much anytime sperm goes into a lady’s vaginal crevasses she has a chance of getting pregnant.  That’s kind of how it works. Ugh.

Todd Akin is one of many politicians making shit up about women’s rights and bodies.  I’m sick and tired of men pretending like they understand rape and abortion.  Actually, a whole heck of a lot of men understand a lot about women – some even understand that there are things they can’t understand.  Many Republican politicians seem to be confused about vaginas, babies, rape, abortion, pregnancy, periods, and other such issues.  I would love to throw some tampons (new, don’t worry) at all the Republican senators… That would be amazing.

Leave our vaginas alone.  Unless you are invited, stay away.  Stay away.

Then, some really amazing grannies take him down.  I love when old ladies swear…

 

This girl also wrote an amazing song about it…

You can stop whining about how hard it is to be young now.

More and more often, I’ve been seeing articles bemoaning being in your twenties (in particular, Thought Catalog and the HuffPost Blog love making lists on this topic). I wrote a goofy version (at least I like to think so) myself–far less, well, serious and doom-y. But I’m really, really, REALLY getting tired of people bitching and moaning about being twenty-whatever in combination with one of the following:

A. Not having a job. I get that this is frustrating. I do. Having a degree that you worked hard for and that you can seemingly wipe your ass with sucks. However, there is not some sort of cosmic significance to your lack of employment. We have a shitty economy. We are, realistically, in a rec(depr)ession, and you’re pretty much at the bottom of the ladder. It is, yes, adversity that you have to work through, but plenty of other people have worked through it before you. It is not something special for our generation, it does not make you better/unique/more self-aware. You’re also the one who refuses to do menial labor because you’ve been fore fed some bullshit about it being below you for the last two decades. You annoy me. Shut the hell up already.

B. Being single. And drunk. And single. Okay, I get it. You’re lonely. And you’re verging on being a full-blown alcoholic. This has nothing to do with being in your twenties. Being drunk and lonely is not a profound experience, nor is it the special property of the young.

C. Feeling directionless and using your blog to whine about it. Blogging always straddles that strange line between making your point and getting whiny in order to elicit sympathy from total strangers. One thing that is true about many people in their twenties (but also true of many teens and even a boatload of baby boomers) is a need for constant reassurance/confirmation from their social circle. Why else would social media be so addictive and so conducive to the humblebrag?

D. Being too far or too little self-aware. It depends on who you ask on this one, but for all the time you, author of blogpost/article, are spending reflecting on being in your twenties (instead of oh, I don’t know, living them) I sure hope you’re erring on the “too much” side of this equation. Honestly, quit taking yourself so seriously. Chances are, by the time you hit your mid twenties, you’ll experience something that will change the way you see the world or yourself. That’s healthy and appropriate. Whether that’s losing a beloved grandparent, having to break off a long-term relationship, or even getting a first phone call from a collections department, all of these things can force you to crawl out of your (supposed) vodka-induced coma from part B of this list and re-evaluate your shit. It’s called life, and it is not special or particular to being a young adult.

E. Whining about being broke. Your parents are paying (or stopped paying) your rent/grocery bill/phone bill/bar bill/healthcare bills (think Lena Dunham à la Girls). You live in New York/L.A./Miami/Chicago. Um. What did you think was going to happen if you moved to a HUGE metropolis and had, if we refer to part A, NO JOB? Shit is expensive! I hope your parents have already paid off the house they have in Happytown, USA because even a shitty studio apartment in some of those places is probably going to have them forking over twice as much as they did for their mortgage. Give me a break. Stop acting like they’re obliged to be paying for your dumb ass to live the high life while remaining totally oblivious to all of the benefits you do have, like parents who are not only willing but able to help you with your rent.

F. Jerking off to your own perceived intellectual, social, and cultural superiority. We get it. You have clever Tweets. Who knew so much wit could be packed into a mere 140 characters? Your Instagram photos each have the perfectly selected filter for the five hundredth picture of your cat, or the one where you’re holding up a half-drunken PBR at some skeevy neighborhood bar you like because it’s “pure” (that is, you’re the only person under forty inside of it). Your Tumblr is both thought provoking and delightfully cheeky in the 21st century intarwebs sort of way. You’ve read (and get) Derrida and Naked Lunch. You need to remind your Facebook friends how brilliant and unique and clever and unique and underground and unique and unique and unique you are. Did I mention you’re unique? And your blog, OH! Your BLOG. It is so deep and meaningful and there’s just so many feelings you need to discuss.

The biggest problem is that there’s a good chunk of “twenty-somethings” who aren’t anywhere near this obnoxious, self-righteous, self-absorbed, and arrogant.

We live on our own. We have jobs. We pay our own bills. We might have put ourselves through college. We aren’t stressing that we don’t have the newest version of the iPhone. We still don’t really “get” Twitter. We’ve (self-consciously) learned how to resist the humblebrag. We take care of our parents, financially, physically, or emotionally. We appreciate cheeky internet humor as much as the next guy, but don’t feel compelled to base our entire self-worth on it. We, too, sometimes drink to much, have a crisis of conscience and confidence, and really–really–enjoy watching Girls. We just don’t take to the virtual streets and feel it’s necessary to tell the world each passing detail of our lives, or record them in photographs, preferring to experience them without a camera lens in our face or our fingers racing across the touch screen of our phone to check-in on Facebook 24/7. And quite frankly, we’re sick and tired of getting lumped in with people who do act those ways and do those things. I’m looking at you, New York Times.

So, let’s be real. Being in your twenties, like being in any other conveniently-named age range, has its ups and downs. Sitting around pampering your bruised ego on the internet or looking for affirmation of your feelings and your self-worth from your peers, known or unknown, is a (bad) choice, not a feature of an age group. It’s okay to feel pissed off because you’re unemployed or because you can’t find a boyfriend; it really is. But it has nothing to do with your age.

File This Under “Things That Make Me Hate the World/Want to Cry”

This is terrifying because this person bought a 50,000 euro (that’s $61,780 USD) bottle of champagne, but I also have to laugh because they paid 10 euro for Coca Cola. Middle-American upbringing FTW.

This exists. Okay, not so much that this exists, but that there’s enough material for something like this to exist; and not just exist but flourish. “Rich Kids of Instagram” is a Tumblr site on which the author posts pictures of young people of outrageous familial wealth showcasing their moral bankruptcy and total disregard for reality on their Instagram accounts. Oh, and like any good Millennial, their expertise at bragging. Go figure. This makes me kind of terrified, or as the kids would say,

#omgfearthefuture

Just… yuck.