As I boarded the plane to Las Vegas, I vowed to keep the judgment to a minimum and the laughter to a maximum. I can endure anything for one weekend, I reasoned, taking comfort in the thought that there was no way my cousin’s bachelorette weekend could be as bad as the one in the film “Bridesmaids,” as long as I refrained from mixing pills and booze. I reminded myself why I was there: to celebrate the love in my cousin’s life.
I took an aisle seat next to one of the other bridesmaids, who looked remarkably like Heidi Montag, minus the size H breasts.
“So, are you dating anyone?” she asked, first thing after hello. 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 »
A year ago, my then-boyfriend and I argued about something. I can’t remember anymore what it was about. But I know it made me upset the night we argued and lasted until the next morning, all the way from my commute from New Jersey into New York City. Pent-up with frustration, I needed to do something to make myself feel better. So instead of walking straight to my office, I ducked into an H&M, grabbed skirts, dresses and blouses off the racks without even trying them on, and spent something like $200 or $300 on clothes in less than half an hour. Keep reading »
I love Oprah. I’ve been watching her since I was a pimply teenager looking for diet tips and ways to attract a boyfriend. My dream was to become a journalist and interview newsmakers and celebrities just like she does. I wound up a TV news producer and writer and — although I never got my own show or theme song — I thank Oprah for motivating me.
O and I have been through a lot together. Big hair, shoulder pads, and several body types. We’ve also taken a spiritual journey as we grew up and began to recognize the world outside ourselves. The cynical will snicker, but I believe she encouraged me to be a better person. Her shows prompted me to read great books, be more generous with time and money, and better understand my fellow man.
When I heard it was her last season, I wanted to make the pilgrimage to my hometown of Chicago to see her in person. I lobbied everyone I knew who might have a connection until I scored tickets. I booked my flight and shared my excitement with friends. Keep reading »
This story begins with an answering machine. Which means that, yes, it happened a long time ago—I believe in 2003. I was at home in North Carolina visiting my parents, and on the second day of my stay, I plunged my key in the lock of the front door, dropped my bag on the table beside it, and hit the play button on the answering machine—autopilot reflexes I’d perfected years before when I’d actually lived in this house. The first message was obviously for my parents—skip. Ditto for message number two. But the third message contained a familiar baritone voice—Liam*, the guy I’d dated my senior year of high school through my junior year of college. We hadn’t spoken in the two years since we’d broken up.
Oh, that’s nice, I thought. I haven’t heard from him in forever. We should really meet for a cup of coffee while I’m here. Wait a second. How did he know I was home?
“It was wonderful seeing you two last week,” Liam said, his deep voice echoing through the foyer. “Thanks for the advice.”
And that’s when it hit me—this message wasn’t for me. It was for my parents. Keep reading »
In a piece she penned for the latest issue of New York magazine, Roseanne Barr discusses her experience as a feminist pioneer in media. Throughout the piece she shares anecdotes about struggling to make it in a male-dominated industry. Of the most interest to me were her anecdotes about the females she encountered along the way. She writes about women that screwed her over and disrespected her and others that supported her and stuck up for her. One description of a non-supportive female colleague stuck out:
“This producer was a woman, a type I became acquainted with at the beginning of my stand-up career in Denver. I cared little for them: blondes in high heels who were so anxious to reach the professional level of the men they worshipped, fawned over, served, built up, and flattered that they would stab other women in the back. They are the ultimate weapon used by men against actual feminists who try to work in media, and they are never friends to other women, you can trust me on that.”
Keep reading »