June 12, 2011


"From girlhood on, females learn how to use terroristic tactics of exclusion, ostracism, and shunning to police one another. Studies show that boys may fight with one another in competitive conflicts rooted in envy or jealousy but rarely employ long-range terroristic tactics to "ice" one another. Girls compete often to the death, and by that I mean the symbolic murder of one another. All this essentially woman-hating behavior continues into adulthood. It is woman-hating because it is rooted in the same fairy-tale logic that teaches us that only one female can win the day or be chosen. It is as though our knowledge that females lack value in the eyes of patriarchy means we can gain value only by competing with one another for recognition."— bell hooks, Communion: The Female Search For Love, pg. 130-131.
I’m sick of all the maliciousness. When will we ever understand that if we ever expect to be better, we can’t just keep on hating? You’re only destroying yourself when you set out to bring someone else down, be it to their face, or behind their back. Any way you do it, it’s not flattering, so please stop, for every woman’s sake. You need to know that you’re better than all of that. Rise above it.
…And in the meantime, if you’re being hated on, brush it off. It’s nothing. It’s the jealous and competitive words and actions of someone else, so let it affect their day, and not yours. Just keep being emotionally beautiful and intelligently integrious.
XOXO

"From girlhood on, females learn how to use terroristic tactics of exclusion, ostracism, and shunning to police one another. Studies show that boys may fight with one another in competitive conflicts rooted in envy or jealousy but rarely employ long-range terroristic tactics to "ice" one another. Girls compete often to the death, and by that I mean the symbolic murder of one another. All this essentially woman-hating behavior continues into adulthood. It is woman-hating because it is rooted in the same fairy-tale logic that teaches us that only one female can win the day or be chosen. It is as though our knowledge that females lack value in the eyes of patriarchy means we can gain value only by competing with one another for recognition."— bell hooks, Communion: The Female Search For Love, pg. 130-131.

I’m sick of all the maliciousness. When will we ever understand that if we ever expect to be better, we can’t just keep on hating? You’re only destroying yourself when you set out to bring someone else down, be it to their face, or behind their back. Any way you do it, it’s not flattering, so please stop, for every woman’s sake. You need to know that you’re better than all of that. Rise above it.

…And in the meantime, if you’re being hated on, brush it off. It’s nothing. It’s the jealous and competitive words and actions of someone else, so let it affect their day, and not yours. Just keep being emotionally beautiful and intelligently integrious.

XOXO

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June 13, 2011


Still furious about what happened to my girls the other night. I can’t believe how alcohol makes some women think it’s ok to treat others that way. Please. It’s a depressive, not a license to free speech.

If there is something my friends are not, it’s fat, ugly, or selfish. And I hope they all remember that. Much love, girls. Keep ya heads up.

XOXO

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July 8, 2011


August 11, 2011


The only ugly people in the world are the ones who use that word to define others based on their looks.

XOXO

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August 20, 2011


August 24, 2011


People always ask me, ‘You have so much confidence. Where did that come from?’ It came from me. One day I decided that I was beautiful, and so I carried out my life as if I was a beautiful girl … It doesn’t have anything to do with how the world perceives you. What matters is what you see.

—Gabourey Sidibe

XOXO

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August 26, 2011


November 28, 2011


When she has courage to express herself, she’s engaging.
When she allows the world to entice her, she’s captivating
When she walks tall with confidence, she’s show-stopping.
When she laughs at her mistakes, she’s breathtaking.
When she shows strength, she’s statuesque.
When she shows weakness, she’s divine.
When she seizes her dreams, she’s ravishing.
She is beauty.

XOXO

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December 26, 2011


The Evolution Of Sexy:

The other day, The Dude came to visit me at work. I knew he’d entered the store because I looked over at one of my coworkers, and she was slack-jawed in the sort of way that someone seeing Jake Gyllenhaal or Ryan Gosling enter a building would be. Later, she crept up to me in the break room and hissed, “He’s GORGEOUS!” at me.

"I know," I told her. "You should see him without a shirt on, smiling." When that toothy grin and dimples come out to play, it’s clear I’m dating an 11.

How, however, is the question.

I was spectacularly awkward-looking growing up.

Exhibit A.)

Until I hit 20, lost my baby fat, and started a slavish devotion to eyeliner the likes of which cults and Satanic worshipers are accustomed to, I relied mainly on my sparkling personality to land men. Don’t get me wrong, I did well enough (Gypsy, Hollywood, and The Hulk are all from that frame of time). I was funny. I was bossy. I liked beer, football, and comic books. I wanted to get married to the Imperial March. These were all good entrapment methods. But my blonde lashes made me look like I had none whatsoever, which was disconcerting at best to look at; I had a bad tendency to wear too-tight, unflattering clothing in the misguided thought that squeezing my extra 20 pounds into a small shirt would suck it in like vacuum-sealed haberdashery; I managed to drag the “tomboy” era kicking and screaming out of elementary school years and into my late teens. It was not, for lack of a better word, pretty.

Then I found gel eyeliner, the gym, and 5 inch heels. I grew my hair back out to Disney-princess lengths, which, go figure, men go wild for. I realized my natural shape and petite build was something other women worked HARD for, when I came by it naturally. I made friends with my body and my curves instead of enemies. I started sleeping naked; I bought pretty, frilly, tiny lace underwear. It all made a WORLD of change. I was making thousand-dollar sales at work. I was getting wolf-whistles and discounts when I showed up at the mechanic’s shop to get my tires changed. Men were THROWING their numbers at me. I was suddenly dating 9s, 10s, and yes, this 11.

Exhibit B.)

Last night, after picking up The Dude to bring him home for Christmas dinner, he walked behind me to the car before rushing forward to open my door for me. “You look beautiful, baby,” he told me, sincerity ringing true in the slight note of awe in his voice.

It all felt VERY weird.

"Thank you," I said, graciously, but still, the words felt odd in my mouth. I was never one of those girls who grew up with my parents telling me how beautiful I was. My parents are realists. I was not a beautiful teenager. I was not totally offensive to the eyes, at best. A good friend of mine in high school and I once decided that if asked, we would catergorize ourselves as "striking"— "because we’ll either strike you one way or the other!" I was used to having to be scrappy in dating; I was one of those girls who had a certain self-assuredness from having to claw her way up to the top of the dating pool. I told my first boyfriend that he was NEVER, under any circumstances, to call me beautiful, because I’d think he was lying. I was very, very, painstakingly aware of just how normal and awkward I was.

Now, it’s my friends, my parents, my dates, and perfect strangers who call me “beautiful” and “lovely.” When I explained all this to my coworker in reaction to her calling The Dude “gorgeous,” she asked me how I keep a level head. The simplest way, I told her, was by always remembering where I’ve come from— in my head and in my demeanor, I’m still very much that awkward, slightly chubby teenage girl. I don’t FEEL pretty, often. I don’t like to rely on my looks to get dates or discounts. I NEVER assume that my eyelashes or my legs will get me ANYTHING in this world. So every time they do, it comes as another new, welcome surprise to my grateful self. The best trick a “pretty girl” can master is to remember that looks are mutable, and she will not always be pretty, and so, to savor every little triumph that she wins in the moment. (And also, to remember that a pretty personality wins the day every time over a passable face.) Every time someone compliments me, I accept it honestly, because I know all too well what it’s like to not have that ability. It is never something that I take for granted. I don’t tell my boyfriends not to call me beautiful anymore. I trust that if someone who looks like that wants to be with me, I already have my answer— he truly finds me beautiful, either inside, or out, and it doesn’t really matter which it is, as long as he loves me (and puts up with my bullshit and continued desire for a Star Wars-themed wedding).

So, keep the pretty, my lovely ladies and generous gents. Don’t take it for granted; don’t abuse it; don’t assume that it will last. Treasure it now— thank the people who think you’re the cat’s pajamas. The two worst things in this world are pretty girls with bad attitudes and people who feel that they were born with a right to anything— so don’t be either of them. Always remember where you’ve come from, because that will keep you humble when you go far. There has never been any harm in being truly grateful to accept a compliment, but there is a world of sin and shame in always expecting one, even when it may not be due.

And then, I also told my coworker, there is always maneater-height wicked stilettos, because I have not found a single man yet who doesn’t fall for them. Ba-boom-tsssst.

XOXO

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January 11, 2013


Random troubles if a shy girl: I REALLY like this one boy in a class of mine. We have a lot in common and he's very laid back and approachable, but I literally find nothing about my physical appearance attractive. My hair always looks funny or my hands too chapped... I can't catch a break for looking "pretty" in a way that might make him think as such. I'm really lost; he's the bee's knees and I feel like a breathing potato :/
Anonymous

Dear Shy Girl,

I am SO GLAD you wrote in, Shy Girl. Because I have a secret that I want to share with you, and ONLY you, that you remember every. single. second of every. damn. day when you start thinking about your funny hair or your chapped hands: You, and your intelligence and your interests and your passion, are worth a million of those stereotypical vapid “pretty girls.” And I’m not just saying that because I like you.

I’m going to guess that judging by the fact that you met this boy in class, you’re still in high school or college. (If it’s high school, I am so, so sorry, but most of us survive and one day, you’ll be out of there, too, into a world that is a better place than that living hell.) The problem with both high school and college is that every day, you’re surrounded by “cute” girls who chip away at your self-esteem with their perfect, straight hair and their glowing, perfect skin and their luminous, perfect make-up and their perfect, size-4 jeans. They seem to have it all. But guess what— they don’t. Because behind that perfect hair and skin and jeans and make-up and teeth, THIS is happening: _______________________.

That’s a flat-line, if you didn’t get it, meaning nothing is happening. Because they spend SO MUCH time on being perfect that somehow along the way, they forget to cultivate a personality and passions. All that hair-straightening is EXHAUSTING, you know.

Now, I’m not saying all pretty girls are walking zombies; some of my best friends are gorgeous creatures who can spin me in proverbial circles. But the lesson here is, "pretty" in and of itself isn’t interesting. "Pretty" is BORING. Most men, once they reach a certain age (unfortunately, the verdict is still out on what that particular age is), realize that they can only spend so many hours staring at a flawless fucking girl without getting anything in return. “But I want to talk about my hobbies!” he thinks, or, “I don’t think she’d even LIKE going to that concert!” A perfect 10, if she can’t hold good conversation, and if he’s too embarrassed by her clueless-ness to introduce her to his friends, isn’t going to be kept around long. Human beings do, after all, search for potential life partners in people who excite, challenge, and understand us. Not mannequins.

I am going to come straight-out and say it: I am not the most conventionally attractive person to ever exist, either. Bone structure does not exist in my face; I do not have a jaw to speak of. My hair hasn’t been cut in a year; my straggly split ends could take over the world. I struggle with my appearance, too, nearly every day— not in so many self-loathing ways, but in more little ways, such as, “My muffin top reflects all those muffins I’ve been eating; that’s an apt scientific name,” and, “I wonder if anyone will notice Mount Vesuvius is erupting on my chin today.” BUT I am dedicated to making the best of it, and if I can’t, making up for it in other ways. I, like I suspect you are, am a genuinely interesting person with lots of thoughts and opinions and passions. And despite my acne— they TOLD me it would go away in my twenties! They LIED!— and the extra 10 pounds I’m carrying between my belly button and my thighs, I constantly wind up dating ridiculously attractive men. I mean, RIDICULOUSLY. Every women from my senile 91-year-old grandmother to Miranda Kerr who has seen them with me has been like, “Dayum, girl; how’d you land that sexy urban lumberjack/triathlete/most popular guy in your class year/young entrepreneur/Italian restaurant owner/Prada model?!” And, dear, sweet Shy Girl, the secret is, I land the hot, interesting boys because I realize that no matter how cool and attractive they seem, they probably have interests, too. And I ask them about them, and talk about mine.

Judging by your witty, humorous, self-depreciating message, I have no doubt that beneath that crippling shyness and funny hair, you have one HELL of a mind, and a way with words when you choose to speak it. And you know something that’s hot to good men no matter what form it comes in? Intellect. So USE those things that you have in common with your class crush. Strike up a conversation with him. I know, I know, how debilitating it can make you feel, talking to a really cute, really great guy (I’m 23; it still happens,) but one of the easiest ways to do this is to ask him a question about something you know you both know about, like, or have in common. Guys like feeling useful; they like answering questions they know they have a good answer to. Play to that. Get a little repartee going back and forth. (Also, a question DEMANDS, by social manners, an answer.) I’m SURE you can think of, off the top of your smart little head with it’s adorable quirky hair, at least THREE things you two could talk about. I’m sure you’ve spent a few hours playing those scenarios through your mind. Because all women do this when confronted with a hot, available man. I bet even Halle Berry does this. Here’s a story to prove to you that I do this, too. And I’ll even tell you the ending— AFTER I mustered up the courage to ask the hot guy a question and chat with him, he wanted my phone number. I turned him down. And then found out he was an international underwear model. Oh, it happened. See what I mean about the clever girl conquering all, even on a particularly bad hair day? (And oh, it was.)

As for your insecurities, I’m going to tell you something very strange that I hope you understand: OWN THEM. Project to the world, “Yeah, my hair may be funny, but there’s a damn good brain underneath it, bi-yatch!” (When in doubt, I finding that pretending that my inner voice is either Tyra Banks or Ru Paul really works wonders for my motivation, too.) Don’t make apologies for the things about yourself that you don’t like, because one day, you may find someone else who likes those things about you. My triathlete whose sweet abs and cut-lines (those hip-lines on guys that make smart girls stupid?) you could grate cheese on BEGGED me not to cut my hair, straggly splits or not, because he said that my “mermaid hair” was something that set me apart to him. My best friend’s gap between her front teeth is something that I absolutely ADORE about her and makes her smile unique. My mother can’t carry a tune in a bucket-loader, and I still love her for it, anyway. The guy I’m currently seeing, his hair is thinning, but so what— it proves he’s lived long enough to have a VERY interesting life and the stories to go with it. A good person— one who is really the bee’s knees— will be able to see past all that superficial bullshit if they find there’s something underneath it all that they find rare and beautiful. And YOU, Shy Girl, are obviously both rare AND beautiful, in whatever way you so choose to be.

…Also, I’m pretty sure no man has ever said, “Oh, I noticed her hands were too chapped and decided I wasn’t going to give her the time of day,” EVER. But if it’s something that really bothers you, I suggest carrying a really good hand cream (I suggest Lotil; it smells like old people but it is the only thing that has ever kept my hands as smooth as a baby’s ass even during Vermont winters,) and a really striking nail polish color. 

Really, Shy Girl, a personality is worth a million perfect straight heads of hair. Just please TALK to him! For god’s sake! For MY sake! (And report back and let me know how it goes.)

All the best wishes and sending you love and luck,

XOXO

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If you are a gentleman, please write in with an Ask about a non-stereotypical “pretty” girl who caught your attention with her awesomeness and WHY/HOW she caught it. I want to prove to Shy Girl that good guys aren’t just looking for “pretty.(period)”— they’re also looking for “pretty cool” and “pretty smart.”

Thanks; you boys are dolls. Mwah!

XOXO

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January 15, 2013


This is it. I’ve reached my breaking point. I declare an all-out, raging war against my muffin-top/saddlebags. I KNOW I’m naturally curvy and that my wide hips are always going to carry a little extra sumptin’ sumptin’, but this is RIDICULOUS.

I’ve had enough of looking stupidly cartoonish in the mirrors during yoga. These bitches are going DOWN. Barre basics, come at me. Ab work, get at me. Obliques, I see you, shaking your head. Membership at the fitness center so I can run on treadmills again like I NEED to to get rid of this…bullshit? Consider it $30 well-spent, even while currently between jobs.

FUCK. THIS. CHUBBY. NOISE.

128 and fitting comfortably in ALL my pants once again or BUST. Because I just want to be the one in my own pants!

XOXO

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