Tasked with writing about my style resolution for 2012, I puzzled for awhile, trying to come up with some trend I wanted to try or a bad style habit I wanted to break. Everything I thought up I realized I had done already, mostly in the recent past. So instead of writing about the new style resolution I was making for 2012, I decided to pat myself on the back for the ones I’ve already made and stuck to.
See, I’m someone who did not have much self-esteem growing up. Actually, I thought I was ugly. My parents told me I was beautiful, but their kind words were no match for the trifecta of hideousness that hit me at age 14: glasses, braces, and an onslaught of acne bombarded me all at once. While I had always been somewhat shy, I became a complete wallflower, shrinking away from any additional attention my looks were attracting. It was likely all in my head — what 14-year-old doesn’t get a bit of acne or go through an awkward phase? — but I felt like the most hideous girl in the world. Keep reading »
The other day, I found myself engaging in conversation with a stranger at the grocery store about weight.
“God,” the woman said, pausing near me in the aisle as I considered a package of cookies. “I wish.”
I laughed. “Yeah, I’m trying to decide if it’s worth it.”
“Go for it,” she said, grinning. “You can always hit the gym after.”
She went on her way. I put the cookies back. I thought about it. I picked them up again and put them in my basket. What the hell? I never go to the gym. I’m terrible at treadmills and I’m lazy. Or maybe I’m terrible at treadmills because I’m lazy. It’s a chicken/egg kinda thing. Keep reading »
When I was young, my parents told me I was beautiful and I believed them. I went out into the world feeling confident about my womanly charms and things went smoothly for me. I always managed to find a boy who would tell me I was perfect, even if he did wear suspenders and a really old T-shirt that said “STATISTICS means never having to say you’re certain.” And then I moved to Manhattan when I was 22, and everything changed. Keep reading »
A recent poll found that all of our pre-work primping and preening doesn’t hold up for long. Of the 2,000 women surveyed, 10 percent thought they needed to fix up their hair and makeup after an hour in the office, 40 percent felt completely “bedraggled” by lunch, and 43 percent felt like a completely different woman by the end of the workday. On average the women polled only felt they looked good for a total of two hours and 22 minutes a day. That’s sad. Sure, my hair is usually frizzy and my makeup smeared after nine hours. I’m not fresh out of the shower, but that doesn’t change the way I feel about myself. I’m still hot at the end of the day. This study annoys me with its implication that most women are insecure about their looks or need to be all done up to feel sexy. Also, consider the source. The poll was conducted by a company that makes body wash. So, I guess we’re supposed to shower more to feel better about ourselves? No thanks. [Newslite]
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 »
Last week, I had dinner with a friend and a gauntlet of sorts was thrown: shape up and get some self-esteem, Julie, because you’re really bringing everybody down. Well okay, I thought. I get that. Nobody wants to hang out with a sad sack. But I just don’t know how you go about acquiring self-esteem.
This isn’t a ploy to get you to say nice things about me, or to pump me up with artificial compliments. I am truly at a loss as to how you transform the way you think about yourself. This is something that I’ve struggled with all my life. Keep reading »
Yesterday, we asked you about bringing in photos to your hairstylist to get the perfect cut. Today, we’re looking at what happens when you don’t get what you want. A telephone poll conducted by ShopSmart shows that a bad hair day can put 44 percent of women in a crappy mood and that 26 percent of us ladies cry in response to a bad haircut. This is news? Frankly, we’re surprised these numbers aren’t higher. How can having a bad hair day not make you upset?
At least there’s some happier data to reflect on—only 4 percent of the polled group “hated” their hair while 41 percent said they “liked it.” What’s the worst that’s happened to you after a horrific haircut or a bad hair day? [USA Today] Keep reading »
This morning I woke up and the sun was shining. Lucca (that’s my dog) was lying on her back, paws straight up in the air, when she rolled over, yawned, and said to me, in her puppy way, “Moms” — she pluralizes things a lot — “I love you. You’re awesome.” And she’s right. I decided to make a list of 30 things I really love about myself, from the sort of shallow to the deeply ingrained. I hope you’ll all do the same (about yourselves, not me) in the comments! Keep reading »
“Do You Struggle With Your Body Image?” If you answer Margaret Ruth’s question with a “No,” you’re either a robot or a liar. But according to this guru, weight loss may have more to do with what’s in your heart rather than what’s in your stomach. Keep reading »
Bad boyfriends…frenemies…makeover TV shows. One of the fundamental questions of human nature is why do we love stuff that may not be so good for our self-esteem?
A new study from the University of Southern California says that that women who watch more makeover shows, like “Nip/Tuck,” “Dr. 90210″ or “The Swan,” feel more insecure about their bodies. It brings a whole new meaning to the words “boob tube,” doesn’t it? Keep reading »