Gabourey Sidibe wasn’t the only woman to deliver a beautiful speech at last week’s Gloria Awards and Gala, hosted by the Ms. Foundation for Women. Comedian Amy Schumer also took the stage and gave a speech on confidence that was as moving as it was funny, and no doubt relatable to any woman who has struggled with self-esteem issues. Schumer’s humor is often raunchy and the speech did not disappoint in that regard either, but amidst the jokes about bad sex and semi-soft erections were incredibly inspiring words about the importance of being your own Fairy Godmother. Unfortunately, there isn’t video yet but you can read the full speech after the jump. Fair warning: you’re going to want to share it with every girl friend you can think of. [NYMag.com] Keep reading »
Last week, ABC News reporter Claire Shipman and BBC World News American anchor Katty Kay published an essay in The Atlantic called “The Confidence Gap” about the divide in confidence between men and women. The piece is promoting their new book, The Confidence Code: The Science And Art Of Self-Assurance — What Women Should Know. The basic gist is that although women have proven themselves just as competent as men in higher education and in the workplace, we struggle with confidence in our abilities (even while men who lack those abilities are assuredly overconfident).
Predictably, these statements have set off a flurry of response pieces. On Al-Jazeera, Alice Driver criticized the book for setting the male status quo as the standard for women (as did Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In). Amanda Hess took a similar tack over at Slate’s Double X blog. Over at Jezebel, Tracy Moore argued there there’s no confidence crisis at all: “It’s just sexism.” Keep reading »
When I was in sixth grade, I’d advanced far enough along in my math studies to be in pre-Algebra. I went to magnet school in Fort Worth, Texas, with a bunch of other smart kids who had tested into the advanced program, but when I walked into Mr. Zoromski’s math class, I felt suddenly out of my league. English and drama classes, even life sciences made sense, but math didn’t.
But instead of powering through, I found a smart boy in my class and had him help me. When I say “help,” I mean he practically did my homework every day. Where I’d previously been super keen on learning everything, that sixth grade year, I decided math wasn’t for me. That, in the words of Teen Talk Barbie, “math class is tough.”
And it may have something to do with the way my smart girl-ness was socialized. Keep reading »
The morning of November 16th, I am going to wake up, strip off my pajamas, stand in front of the full-length mirror and bask in the glory of my own body. That is because I turn 34 on November 16, marking the first day of the year on earth in which I will be most delighted with the way my naked body looks. That’s according to a study by a UK-based skin and body care firm that says women are happiest with the way they look in the buff at age 34. I have to say, at three months shy of this gloriously self-assured birthday year, I’m feeling pretty damn good about my bod. The study posits that women feel most satisfied with their naked physiques at 34 because by that age many of us have figured out the best diet and exercise to suit our lives and body types. This is certainly true for me — this year, I’ve been far more invested in finding a fitness routine that interests me and have been eating healthier. Simply feeling better has made me look at my body with a new appreciation. Keep reading »
Last week, I wrote an “Open Letter to Mayor Bloomberg,” informing him he had no right to tell me how much Coca-Cola I am allowed to consume. After many comments about me sounding like “a high school drama queen” and telling me to “calm down,” I felt very discouraged, and even doubtful about my writing in general.
While I did get a few positive reviews, I soon realized that many commenters did not understand the tongue-in-cheek tone I tried to embody, and I decided to carefully read through each comment in effort to learn from what everyone had to say, even the nastier toned ones. Even if you don’t write on the internet and don’t regularly have strangers critiquing your words, we all face criticism of some sort on a daily basis — here’s how I learned to get the most out of it. Keep reading »
“You must think he’s better looking than me,” Brian said, motioning to our waiter.
Brian started most conversations this way. I shifted my gaze and looked intently at my menu, pretending to study it, just to avoid continuing this conversation — a conversation I was no longer interested in having.
Brian was a guy I’d met leaving a party on a cold January night. He was cute and we exchanged numbers. We hung out a few days later, and thankfully he was just as appealing. Our conversations were entertaining. He got my offbeat sense of humor, and I admired his fierce loyalty to his family.
At the beginning of our fourth date, the first 20 minutes of which were spent sitting in his car, he began inundating me with questions. Keep reading »
I read Kate Fridkis’ recent essay about small boobs with a mix of fascination and envy. As someone who’s had double Ds since junior high, the small boob experience is totally foreign to me, although I’ve wished for smaller boobs on many occasions. Large breasts are idolized in pop culture, but the experience of actually walking around with two watermelons attached to your chest? Well, sometimes it’s awesome, and sometimes it’s decidedly not awesome. Here’s why… Keep reading »
What would you do if you wound up single on what was to be one of the most special days of your life—your wedding day? My friend Desiree did something remarkable and revolutionary: instead of hiding away, she marched boldly into a proud new future, and in the process became an inspiration to me and, hopefully, some of you as well.
On a recent Sunday, when I would have been attending her wedding to a man, I stood on Bow Bridge in Central Park and witnessed Desiree get married—to herself. A circle of her friends surrounded her while her cousin officiated, reciting vows she had written for herself, which included the lines, “I will make my happiness a priority and forgive myself when I’m not perfect. I will trust myself and stand within the power of my own strength. I will love myself forever more, through good and bad, thick and thin, and for exactly who I am today. I promise I will never, ever, ever, settle for less than what my heart and soul desire.”
Keep reading »
Five years ago I had an “ideal” body.
I don’t mean to say that my body was free of imperfections, but rather that I had a body that most women are taught to believe is close to perfect: I was 5” 5’, weighed barely 115 pounds, and wore a size 2. I had a tiny waist, medium-sized breasts, a taut stomach, round bottom, and cellulite that was practically nonexistent. I was extremely slender, yet still somehow carried a feminine hourglass figure. I could never have been a contestant on “America’s Next Top Model,” but for a perfectly normal girl I had a perfectly enviable body.
Flash forward five years. Though I don’t own a scale, I’m probably 20 pounds heavier thanks to a slower metabolism, college drinking and a dire love of cheese. I now wear a size 6, my waist isn’t quite so minuscule, my stomach jiggles, I have cellulite swimming on my thighs, and I have ample junk in my apple-bottom trunk. My breasts have gotten ever-so-slightly bigger, but for every tiny bit that they’ve grown, my ass and thighs grew 10 times that … leaving me much more of a pear than an hourglass. Keep reading »
Every winter, I pack on about 15 pounds. I live in Minneapolis, which means that my city may be blanketed in snow from early-November through mid-May, and all that dark, oppressive, endlessly cold weather makes vigorous exercise and light, healthful foods seem about as appealing as major dental work.
But despite the fact that my weight fluctuates year after year, I don’t diet. Despite the fact that I’ve got cellulite and a poochy belly and fairly big hips for my frame, I don’t diet. Despite the fact that I spent my entire adolescence and young adult life actively hating my body and attempting to hide inside my clothing, I don’t diet. Because for one thing, few diets work permanently, with lost weight often regained within a year. And for another, I don’t believe that there is one acceptably beautiful body shape or figure. And finally, I’ve found a far better way to help myself look and feel good than attempting to diet my body into submission: I dress to my figure. Keep reading »