In last week’s Mommie Dearest column, I wrote about Debra Harrell, a South Carolina mother who was arrested for “abandoning” her nine-year-old daughter at a park while she worked at a nearby McDonald’s. (Just yesterday we learned that Harrell has been let go from her job.) I had mentioned in my post that Harrell is Black, prompting a few folks to ask why I needed to note her race. Instead of penning my own response, I thought it would be a good idea to hear from women of color who are mothers. We gathered for a virtual roundtable to discuss Harrell’s situation and explorehow race impacts motherhood in the United States today. Meet:
Our conversation begins after the jump: Keep reading »
Given all the stories we hear about women getting flack for breastfeeding in public, it’s so uplifting to hear about the experience of Julia Wykes, who was defended by a teenage Starbucks barista. Wykes stopped at the coffee shop while running errands with her five-month-old son; when he started to get cranky in line, she sat down to nurse him.
A fellow customer spotted this, and loudly bitched to the barista about Wykes. She asked the barista to stop her from breastfeeding because it was “disgusting.” The barista told the woman he’d take care of it and approached Wykes, but instead of confronting her, he offered her a voucher for a free drink and said, “I’m sorry you had to deal with such unpleasantness today,” prompting the bully to storm out of the shop. Keep reading »
We’re on the cusp of “bikini season,” if magazines in the grocery shore checkout line are to be believed. I’m sure you’re familiar with the wide variety of products — ones that remove hair, ones that firm up jiggly thighs, ones that promise to burn stomach fat — which supposedly get a body ready for a teensy two-piece.
Want to know my secret for getting a bikini body? Buy a bikini. Put it on. Voila.
But, we don’t live in a society that allows people to just put on a bathing suit and not think twice about it. Instead, we live in a time and space where we are inundated with messages of what the “right” type of body looks like. I felt and absorbed those messages growing up, and that was before the 24/7 barrage of media via the Internet. I remember going through my tween and teen years, always giving a second or third glance in the mirror. I never felt 100 percent comfortable in my skin. Keep reading »
After almost two years at home with my son, I’m going back to work. As I’ve told people the news — family, friends, other moms, the checkout guy at the liquor store who sold me the celebratory champagne, the customer service rep from Citibank’s fraud department who called to check on my unusual activity – I’ve been taken aback by some of the responses. I assume the inappropriate reactions were simply people being dumbstruck by my good fortune, so I created a guide of what not to say when a woman tells you she’s going back to work.
Here they are, in a very particular order: Keep reading »
Meet Cheryl and Tessa, a mother and daughter who pledged to spend 100 days getting fit together — and happened to lose a combined 74 pounds along the way. These ladies are amazing. When I first came across this video, I was skeptical. Sometimes “inspirational” videos about losing weight irk me because they encourage a very specific way of looking at body shape, when plenty of women are perfectly happy with whatever size they are right now. Keep reading »
For better or for worse, our first impressions of the world usually come through the people who raise us. Luckily for me, the women in my family were able to gently guide me through any situation, offering their priceless opinions and advice along the way. They conveyed much of their wisdom through words, but I learned even more through their actions. In honor of Mother’s Day, here are some of the best bits of advice and life lessons I’ve learned from my amazing mom (and by proxy, my aunts and my grandmothers). Keep reading »