When it comes to judging — or rather, assessing — the appearance, weight, and other such physical attributes of People That Are Not Me, I am forgiving to the point that someone close to me refers to me (endearingly? maybe? I hope?) as “Shallow Hal” (post-hypnotherapeutic incantation, obviously). It’s not that I can’t see it, I just don’t care; what you look like means absolutely nothing to me. I tend to see a person with a personality, rather than a body with a face. And yet, when it comes to myself, I am cruel as can be. I say things to and about myself so callous and demeaning, I literally would not say them to my worst enemy. Look, I don’t even have a worst enemy, but in the event that I did, I would not be even half as mean to them as I am to myself. Body Dysmorphic Disorder: I got it on lock. Comedian Annie Lederman (who, by the way, looks really familiar, and I’m not sure if it’s because I ran into her at a party or something or because she bears a striking resemblance to Emily VanCamp, nor will I ever know, but we do have one mutual friend on Facebook) did an uncanny job of capturing the dichotomy between what you see when you look at me, which is an average, acceptably attractive human female, and what I see when I look in the mirror, which is Danny Devito. ACCURATE. [Annie Lederman via Huffington Post]
This weekend, 27-year-old Nick Gilronan won the title of “Smallest Penis In Brooklyn” and the $200 prize that came along with it. But don’t be feeling bad for this single UPS store Assistant Manager (who models and acts on the side and technically lives in Queens) for being a “grower, not shower” — not only is he not embarrassed of his manhood, he’s proud as hell of his junk. He’s using his pageant win to speak out about the important of having a good body image. Here’s what he had to say on the matter in an interview with Gothamist:
“The size of a man’s penis does not matter for who he is as a person or in a relationship. Same thing with breast size. We’re all made in different shapes and sizes, but the media puts pressure on people to look a certain way. Most people do not look that way. Some people let that false sense of body image upset them and they shouldn’t be upset at all. Even worse, some people use those false standards and judge other people. It’s disconcerting… My advice for [less endowed men] is don’t worry about things you cannot control. All that does is waste time. Always move forward and do the best you can.”
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I am trying to be a little more organized, since I’m going to have a baby in about five minutes, and in honor of this effort, I sat down to weed through the old photos on my computer. Apparently, I used to take a lot of selfies (before they were known as selfies). You know, back in college, when I had more time on my hands. And before college, when I would just sit around in my room in front of the long mirror some evenings, wearing a thrift-store gown or the new shirt I thought was the coolest thing ever, or occasionally nothing at all, and snap about, say, two million photos.
And then I guess I grew up and didn’t have so much time and most of the pictures of me began to be taken by other people. So there are a lot less of them. And also, I discovered: they are a lot less flattering. Keep reading »
Mattel’s Barbie doll has long embodied all that is wrong with society’s expectations of women and the female body. But there’s good news, sort of: the impossibly shaped, blonde doll’s popularity appears to finally be waning. Mattel has reported a 23 percent drop in sales and sales have declined for the fourth quarter in a row. To be fair, toy sales the U.S. and Europe have not been faring particularly well this year in general, and Mattel is doing relatively well compared to other large toy companies. But this is no thanks to Barbie — most of their sales come from the American Girl Dolls and Monster High Dolls. Keep reading »
I was halfway through my third fried fish taco at Highland Café in northeast Los Angeles before I realized what I’d done.
“Oh, crap,” I said aloud. A passing waiter looked at me curiously.
“Is everything alright?” he asked kindly. They’re always kind to me at Highland Café, probably because my laptop and I basically live there.
“I’m fine,” I said, embarrassed. “It’s just – I’m just – oh, God, this is so dumb.”
“What’s dumb?” the waiter said in the kind of sympathetic, you-can-tell-me-anything tone used by therapists.
“I’m supposed to be on a…” I paused and cleared my throat.
“On a what?” he asked patiently.
“A juice cleanse,” I whispered. Keep reading »
My husband’s grandmother looked like a movie star when she was young. You should see the pictures! There’s one of her perched on a rock in her bathing suit, and it looks like she was posed there by a famous photographer. Everyone always comments on it. “Wow!” we say, “You were such a beauty!” And she sort of chuckles and looks away.
The story goes—she got selected as the prettiest girl at the local fair. I always imagine a dour panel of older male judges, shuffling through the cotton-candy eating crowd, hands behind their backs, in gray linen suits, sizing up the young women, looking for the prettiest one. They must have known immediately, when they saw her. Maybe she was laughing with her head thrown back, her hair lustrous in the sun.
“She was so beautiful!” we exclaim, looking over the old photos. Now she’s 95—a pert, tiny, stooped woman with a ready grin who thought Obama was cool long before the rest of us knew his name. She laughs a lot, reads a lot, and grows a wild garden in her backyard. Keep reading »