Why is it so freaking hard to go without makeup? What exactly am I afraid will happen if I don’t smear on some foundation and douse my lashes in mascara before going to a bar—or even, geesh, before getting coffee in the morning? You’d think I’d be over this by now. I’m a 24-year-old woman who is married and generally happy with the way I look. So why, when I think about not wearing makeup, does a voice inside of me scream, “Noooooooooo!”
A year ago, I decided to explore this. So I challenged myself to go without makeup for a week. But I wasn’t about to do it alone—I’m not that naive—so I blasted e-mails to fellow bloggers, challenging them to do the same. The project was called No Makeup Week and the idea was to blog about our makeup free experiences, submitting photos of ourselves as we went. As news of the project spread online, so did the photos of my unpainted face. (That’s me, sans makeup, above.) And after a few days, it started to feel comfortable. I even (randomly) went on Korean television to talk about the project. At that point, I was more embarrassed about the cameraman shooting the contents of my makeup bag, with its dirty lipsticks and used up eyeshadows, than I was about him capturing my makeup-less face.
And yet one year later my gut reaction of “nooooooooo!” is still there.
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I never went out specifically looking for bisexual boyfriends. But most of the guys I ended up dating just happened to be bisexual. Almost everyone has a type—the bad boy, the lumberjack, the math nerd. For me, I have always liked bi guys.
Maybe it’s because I grew up in the ‘90s, a strange time when gender variance suddenly became cool. Kurt Cobain was bi, Billy Joe Armstrong was too—there was a certain punk rock chic to it. And as if magically timed to correspond with a ‘90s nostalgia trip, bisexual men have been in the news a lot lately, thanks to a recent study from Northwestern University proving that bi men do exist, after all. Also I’ve recently been spending way too much time watching “gay chicken” videos on YouTube — a game in which two straight guys make out and whoever pulls away first is the chicken. Mmmm.
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Recently, while sitting in the kitchen as a friend helped me dye my hair, the topic turned to death. We had both experienced close friends dying in our early twenties, and we were discussing how we dealt with it. I sat facing away from her, as she checked the foils on my hair. “I just have to think that they are in a better place, in heaven,” she said.
I thought about those words for a minute. Then I replied, “For me, it soothes me to know there is no after-life. Like, there is completion in it. They are gone, that was their life, and it’s okay. I don’t have to worry about seeing them again. It’s been helpful to really process their death and know they are gone.”
My friend was intrigued. “I’d never thought about it that way,” she said.
The truth was I hadn’t always either. I identify as an atheist now. But I haven’t always. Keep reading »
Groupies aren’t usually seen as a positive force for women—the word has never exactly been associated with feminism. But groupies strike me as women who are owning their desires and getting what they want. There have been quite a few famous groupies over the years, but they still aren’t celebrated. And yet, as the fantasy of “Almost Famous” shows, we are intrigued. Here, a celebration of the most famous rock groupies and how they have evolved from the gypsy hippie girls of the 1960s to the pink haired Tumblr princesses of today.
When my boyfriend and I were 24, the topic of marriage began appearing before us everywhere. There, at our dinner-table, the word ‘marriage,’ as we sat talking. ‘Marriage,’ on my lips as we sat on the couch with a glass of wine. Everyone says “you just know” and I guess that is true, but there is also a lot of just “yeah, it does feel right.” Then falling—sure you’ll be caught by clouds. Keep reading »
I am in an open marriage. I know what you are probably thinking because, the first time a friend said this to me, I quickly felt myself growing judge-y. My knee-jerk thought was, She’s just doing this to please her husband. How sad. And then, Oh, they must want raise their kids commune-style. Can’t relate. But now, years later, I’ve realized that every relationship is unique, and it’s about finding what works for you.
So far, I’ve found a way to make my relationship with my husband, Edmund, keep its charm, passion, intimacy and commitment. And it has happened by opening the gates. Keep reading »
There’s that scene in “Mean Girls” where Tina Fey, exasperated by the high school antics, shouts, “You’ve got to stop calling each other sluts and whores. It just makes it okay for guys to call you sluts and whores.” I had just graduated from high school when the movie came out and sitting in the theater, I couldn’t believe how much this line resonated for me. All of a sudden, I was transported back to those halls I’d just escaped. I could hear the cool girls greeting each other at their lockers with the words, “What up, sluuuuut?”
Reclaiming words like bitch and slut may have started as something political, something third wave feminist, but the words ended up in malls, emblazoned in rhinestones on baby tees at Deb and Rave. Keep reading »
Today, the word ‘douche’ is synonymous with ‘old school product we don’t actually need.’ Ads for douches seem to be laced with the intent to harm women’s self-esteem, not to mention our vaginas, as douching can actually cause infections. But these ads have an interesting history. Did you know that douche was originally considered a birth control method, back when birth control was illegal? Because of this, it was socially camouflaged as a “hygiene product.” From there, the ads evolved into mothers and daughters with cable-knit sweaters tied around their shoulders, having talks about “feminine odor” on the beach. After the jump, take a look at the history of douching and douche advertisements—which, to this day, are still trying to convince women that a Lysol-flavored vagina is a good thing.
It starts early. Little girls give each other broken heart necklaces for their birthdays while boys have paintball parties. While boys are encouraged to participate in sports and group activities, us girls are pushed to more one-on-one activities like tea parties or making Barbies have sex under a blanket. Studies show that there are different friendship styles for boys and girls. In one, when middle school girls were faced with the prospect of meeting a new friend, their brains lit up in areas associated with pleasure and reward. Boy brains’ just didn’t do the same thing.
My “anecdotal evidence” from the field? Over the years, I could actually feel my brain light up when it became clear that a new friend would earn the title of “best.” I’ve learned that these relationships are just as valuable as any amorous one and that they do indeed have their own sense of romance.
For me, they also bring about a whole lot of crazy. Keep reading »