It seems like one Harvard professor or another in exceedingly blue, alarmingly stiff jeans is always coming out with a pop psych book about happiness and how misunderstood it is.
Apparently, people make a lot of the same mistakes about happiness over and over. We keep thinking that we have to work really hard to get to it, and do certain tricky things to capture it, sort of like that scene in “Avatar,” where they have to bond with the giant flying dinosaur things, and they’re just as likely to get killed, because you have to really earn that bond—not just any Na’vi can fly! But man, when you stick your hair tentacle into your bird dinosaur’s tendril thing and make that platonic, yet soulmate-y connection—there is NOTHING else like that shit. So worth it.
My point is, we expect happiness to be hard. But it isn’t really. And instead of fighting and waiting for it, we should probably just work on recognizing where it’s already sneaking around in the shadows of our current lives, like a little smiley cat burglar. It’s there, seriously, I promise.
I think it’s like that with beauty and self-acceptance, too. Keep reading »
Everyone has a dream. Snoop Lion wanted to be a pimp when he grew up. And 23-year-old Tammy Jung wants to hit 420 lbs. so she can be a high-roller fat fetish model.
Jung has been eating 5,000 calories a day in the hopes she’ll pack on the roughly 40 extra pounds she needs. How much is 5,000 calories? Well, a woman of her size should be eating about 1,800 to maintain an average weight; Olympic athletes burn roughly 5,000 calories in a five-hour long workout. And like Olympic athletes, she’s consuming amounts of food it gives other people a stomach ache just to think about — like, say, funneling milk shakes down her throat. She can eat whole boxes of donuts, buckets of fried chicken, or “a few burgers” in one sitting. Her boyfriend Johan is called a “feeder,” meaning that he gets off on feeding Jung so she grows in size. And so do the people online — fat enthusiasts — who watch her gorging herself online and make requests for what she should eat in videos. Doing this, she earns roughly $1,500 a month. The larger she is, apparently, the more she can earn. Keep reading »
Dear Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries,
I used to see your brand walk up and down the halls of my high school way back in the day. Before I really even knew who you were, there you were — in the form of jeans, shirts and other fashion statements of the late ’90s. At the time, I thought I hated you for the simple reason that the popular kids seemed to have a monopoly on you, and in my mind, popular was synonymous with evil. But, I’m older and wiser now, and know it’s not the popular kids that I loathe.
It’s your “you’re not good enough” mentality. Keep reading »
When Disney’s “Brave” came out last year, I was thrilled. So excited, in fact, that I went to see the movie at the El Capitan Theater in Los Angeles, complete with a pre-movie live show!
I am a not-so-closeted Disney fan. Though I’d never take my love this far, I did grow up a mere 25 minutes from Disneyland, had an annual pass all through college, and, at 25, toted around a (somewhat embarrassing) Disneyland laptop sleeve given to me by my best friend.
So how could this ginger of Scotch-Irish descent not be stoked to watch the animated story of a stubborn, Scottish, redheaded princess? I couldn’t resist! I hadn’t lacked for a ginger Disney Princess to pretend to be while growing up, but Merida felt so much more authentic than Ariel. She had wild frizzy hair (no dinglehopper could comb that mass), and fierce independence — she’ll fight for her own destiny, thank you very much.
Keep reading »
A little over a month ago, I stopped using shampoo. And, speaking as someone who has clearly never been in serious bodily danger, it felt like I was being very brave. Just a couple days, I told myself reassuringly. And then, when you look like a horrifying ball of dripping grease, you can do the rational thing and return to the sweet comfort of purifying chemicals and delectable fragrances. Because that is totally how I think of shampoo, when pondering its many virtues alone in the shower.
Honestly, I’m not sure what motivated me to attempt this reckless experiment. An article about the mountaineers who have scaled Everest’s ferocious flanks? That documentary on Netflix about the dude who illegally, triumphantly walked the high wire between the former World Trade Center buildings? Maybe just a quiet, deep-rooted sense of “now or never.”
But seriously, it was weird, considering my history with my hair. Which I am going to tell you. And as I tell you, please know that I am intensely aware of the fact that my last piece for this column was a critique of the phrase “first world problems.” This whole piece might fit into that phrase very neatly. But I am writing it anyway, because you have to hear the truth. Because I have to tell it. Keep reading »
In case you had somehow forgotten just how bizarre and unrealistic the Barbie ideal actually is, this new infographic makes the whole crazy thing very, very clear. Check out all of the statistics at the source. [The Fashion Spot via Rehabs.com]
“My drive from work is too short for me to decide what to listen to on Spotify #firstworldproblems” was a recent tweet from the Twitter account First World Problems. The tweet reached over 50,000 people, and it was only one in a long list of mildly amusing little complaints about an easy, well-fed, upper-middle class life.
The idea of first world problems has recently become a meme, with inspired tweeters hashtagging the phrase on the back of every observation that doesn’t seem world-changing or ring out like a strangled scream from the depths of oppression. It’s kind of a fun trend. Maybe it serves to remind us all of what we already have. It offers a little dose of perspective. And when it first appeared, I was totally on board. But then I started seeing the hashtag cropping up a lot more when women were talking about all those things that get labeled “women’s issues.” Keep reading »
Don’t get me wrong, I am a sucker for the message “seriously, though, you’re beautiful.” And I agree with the viral clip, so many of us get distracted by all of our perceived flaws. We get caught up in criticizing our appearances and miss out on our own beauty. We are often more generous toward strangers than we are toward ourselves.
I like that the Dove Real Beauty Sketches campaign is pointing all of this out. I hope it starts a bunch of conversations. And I hope that my reaction is interpreted as a continuation of the conversation, rather than nitpicking criticism. Because I really don’t want to nitpick, I just want to point out some things I noticed as I was watching.
In the clip, some lovely, thin, mostly white women who are all pretty young describe their appearances to a forensic artist, who sketches them without looking at them. And then other people describe these women, and the artist starts all over again, based on the new description. At the end, the women are shown the two portraits of themselves, and they can see how differently the sketched faces turned out, based on the descriptions. They realize that they’ve been unnecessarily critical of their appearances. Keep reading »
Well, of course, someone had to take some photos of me at a party, wearing my favorite dress (should I just stop wearing the clothes I love to events where there might photos taken?), bulky, lopsided, unfortunately proportioned, and my pregnant beauty bubble, so to awkwardly speak, was popped.
No matter how many times I tell myself patiently, firmly, “NO. Don’t pay attention, the photo is lying!” there’s that part of my mind that goes “But this is the truth! THE TERRIBLE TRUTH IN A RANDOM, IMPERSONAL UNIVERSE WITHOUT A GOD.” My new tactic is better, I think. I tell myself, “So what? So what if I’m ugly?” And that is always more helpful. But at that particular moment there had been much talk of beautiful women, much instant evaluation around me of women as either pretty or dismissible, and it seemed as though it did matter, at least enough. Because even if it’s out of sheer laziness or habit or nothing important or just in passing, people seem to talk about the way women look first, and constantly, and always. Keep reading »
“When I hit my forties I thought, ‘I can’t play a sexy siren any more.’ Almost 20 years later, it’s still going on … I like to step outside of what people’s idea of me might be. I suppose that makes me a bit of a rule breaker … I think [it's] because I take care of myself, which includes dieting, exercising and minimizing stress. I joke that I’ve been on a diet since 1974, which is basically true.”
– Kim Cattrall shares the secret of her youthfulness in the May issue of Woman & Home Magazine. I’m glad she’s still feeling so hot and spry. But a 40-year diet? That sounds like the plot for a really depressing movie that I don’t want to see. [ONTD]