On Writing Strong Female Characters (Make Them Human)

On Writing Strong Female Characters (Make Them Human).

Diamonds Are A Girl’s Crappy Backstabbing Friend

Hello readers, long time no see! Welcome back to my silly little blog!

Let me preface this by saying no I’m not engaged, no I have no plans of getting engaged, and no this isn’t some subtle attempt to get my boyfriend to propose. And no I’m not being ironic with that last part, I promise. I’d also like to preface this by saying I swear I started writing this weeks before CollegeHumor put out their wonderful little Valentine’s Day video about engagement rings. No, really!

However, due to the sudden holiday influx of wedding mania from newly engaged friends on Pinterest, I HAVE been perusing wedding-themed items and planning tips a bit more than usual. Enough that both Facebook and Google think that Brilliant Earth ads on my sidebar are appropriate (then again, visiting theknot.com just to look at my sister’s old page does the same thing, so I don’t think I’ve been looking that much). Why Brilliant Earth, you ask? Whelp, let’s just say I’m not a fan of crippling oppression, civil war, and human rights violations. But as I started doing a little more research, I found the following things:

1. Diamonds are SEVERELY overpriced (caused by a monopoly on them for so long by the De Beers Group).

2. Diamonds aren’t rare, we just think they are because we’re told they are.

3. Diamonds are pretty worthless, actually.

4. Diamonds as a symbol of romance is a psychologically fabricated illusion that’s only been in place for less than 100 years.

So that brings us to the question… Why the hell do I want a diamond in the first place?

Let’s focus on #4 shall we? Back in the good old days, in say, the 1920s, diamond engagement rings just weren’t a thing. Modern women (and men!) have been brainwashed into believing that diamonds are “forever” (a hardcore De Beers marketing ploy to get people to not try to pawn their rocks and find out that they aren’t worth, well, anything, and you just wasted three grand on a hunk of carbon). How many times in your life have you heard it espoused that diamonds are the ultimate representation of romance? That their indestructibility is the perfect symbol for everlasting love?

Ugh. Bullshit.

First of all, diamonds aren’t indestructible, they’re just really tough. Jewelers tell buyers all the time that diamonds can chip and break from a hard knock, or even from falling in the right/wrong place. We’ve arbitrarily put a ton of value, both economically and emotionally, on fused carbon that can be easily replicated in a lab. There are claims (by diamond retailers, of course) that lab-created diamonds, which I suppose are a good alternative to mined diamonds if you’re concerned about human rights and “blood diamond” issues, are simply not as “beautiful”  and don’t have the “fire” of a real (read: mined) diamond. (Also, what the hell is “fire?” Who came up with that crap? Oh, wait, probably De Beers.)

Let’s get one thing straight. If you have a diamond engagement ring, diamond jewelry, just fucking LOVE diamonds, I don’t care. You do you. What I’m trying to examine here is why we (let’s say, American women) feel the need to have a diamond engagement ring. The sad thing is, I’m not exempt. It’s this weird battle between my conscious and subconscious; it doesn’t matter how many times I tell myself that DIAMONDS SUCK AND IF YOU GET ONE YOU’RE A SELLOUT (or any variation thereof), I still want one. Need one even. It just feels “wrong” not to. And even if I do finally reach that enlightenment of knowing and feeling that having a diamond is stupid and useless and wasteful, I guarantee that I will have friends and family that will judge me and — more importantly — my partner for not getting one.

It’s very similar to wearing a white wedding dress. We’ve put a lot of cultural significance into the need for a bride to wear white on her wedding day to symbolize her virginity and chasteness (ignoring the fact that it’s going to be entirely spoiled by her husband that very night — that’s another issue altogether). It’s just plain silly in the modern era to believe that a bride in white is a virgin. (I particularly love pregnant brides that insist on pure white, but that’s just me being spiteful.) Why do we feel the need to follow these antiquated and sexist traditions? I look at a blue or pink or gold (or even cocktail-length) wedding dress and my immediate thought is “TACKY BITCH”. That’s just not fair. And unfortunately, I have a similar reaction when I see a pearl or emerald or sapphire or onyx or opal or… you get the idea, engagement ring. It doesn’t matter how fantastically gorgeous that alternative ring might be, my gut reaction is one of aversion. And I hate myself for it!

I could take this from a cultural anthropology perspective and say that these traditions are what make us who we are in the modern world. A valid point, but it’s also entirely possible to change those traditions through paradigm shifts in how we see ourselves in the context of our material culture. But that’s fucking hard, and probably won’t happen in our lifetimes. In heterosexual relationships anyway, men will continue to buy women diamond rings because they know/fear the scathing response they’ll receive in response to anything else. (Sorry dudes.)

I’m not saying it’s inherently wrong to desire a diamond engagement ring, but rather that there are some serious problems with our expectation that future marriage needs to be represented by something so… inconsequential.

My solution? My usual one: goddamn quality communication. Talk to your partner about what you want, what they want, what you can afford together. One day, I might decide I don’t need an engagement ring at all, and wouldn’t that be awesome? But until then, I’m stuck in this rut of cultural expectation that I can’t consciously overcome. And it sucks.

_______

If anyone out there has a non-diamond engagement ring, I’d love to see it in the comments!! (Let’s call it exposure therapy, yes?)

This is the Culture of Sexual Violence

Originally posted on Nursing Clio:

There are two family pictures in a box of photographs that are the only few I have of my father and me. My mother always told me my father doted on me and I was definitely becoming “daddy’s little girl.” Yet, the images of a seemingly happy family are overshadowed by the knowledge that at the time these two pictures were taken, my father had or was raping his stepdaughter: my teenage sister.

As I type these words, my chest constricts, my pulse quickens, and I want to shut this Pandora’s Box because the ghosts are out and they are not going anywhere. I’ve known for a long time that my father was a rapist and a pedophile. I was about my sister’s age when my mother told me he “slept with my sister.” At the time, he was trying to develop a relationship with me that had never existed…

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I Said ‘I Love You’ First

I’ve got a little dating advice, especially for you ladies out there that are often too scared to speak your mind. We live in a word that demonizes those who wear their hearts on their sleeves. Now, don’t get me wrong, there is a time and a place for emotional reservation, but we have to remember that there are times that emotional honesty is far more important and can tell you a lot more about a person.

At the end of this month, my boyfriend and I will have been dating for six months. I can’t help but feel a sometimes overwhelming sense of HOLY CRAP I DID IT. I made it from serious break up, through several aimless (and oftentimes questionable) dating prospects, to meeting someone unexpectedly, and maintaining an even more unexpected romantic relationship. Just goes to show how very unpredictable life is. If you asked me a year ago, I would have told you that I would never trust anyone ever again, never allow someone into my heart, for fear that they would tear a chunk out and leave me all nasty and shriveled. Again. Oh, right, for those who haven’t been following my blog for a while, I have a penchant for melodrama. Fair warning.

Can’t really say I have a single serious complaint with my current relationship. However, with six months approaching, the so-called “honeymoon phase” is nearing its end. Supposedly we’ll stop thinking the other farts rainbows and actually begin to recognize all the terrible flaws that make each other disgustingly human. Joy. But the thing is, I don’t think we ever had a honeymoon period in the first place. Ours was a relationship a lot of people warned us was moving too fast, what with me practically moving in (months ago), cooking most meals together, sharing grocery bills, and adopting a pet fish (which has since gained a cat friend). I can’t count how many times my friends told me, “I’m glad you’re happy, but please be careful…” because they all knew another devastating break up was the last thing I needed, no matter which side it came from. Not that I listened or anything. (Sorry, guys)

And here’s where we come to the title of the post. “I love you.” Such a sweet, innocuous set of words that can spell disaster for even the most well-meaning of partners. And I said it first. After about a month of dating.

I bet a lot of you out there are just like…

ani_btch_you_crazy

And a bunch of insecure single dudes/dudettes are picturing me like this…

30344824

I’ll be honest, the “I love you” was a complete word-vomit moment. Actually, come to think of it, the last time I told a boy I loved him was word-vomit as well — though that time was far more dramatic and included much screaming and crying at each other in the midnight darkness of a parking garage (maybe that should have been a hint as to how our relationship might eventually deteriorate, but let’s not go there). This time, the Significant Other and I were cuddling (gross.) and the words just spilled out of my mouth all unbidden and shit, and it took me a second to realize I’d actually said it, not just thought it (like I’d been doing for the past several days).

So naturally I panicked.

If I’ve learned anything from terribly cheesy romantic comedies, someone saying “I love you” too early is a death-knell for a relationship. I mean, come on, an ill-timed “I love you” is as bad as getting matching tattoos… Perhaps not that bad, but close. Sure, I’d been mulling my feelings over, but I hadn’t meant to say them out loud!

I have no idea what was going on in the Significant Other’s head, but at the time I figured it was a little something like this:

http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m7idbfJcFi1ryj6qoo1_500.gif

Ironically, the S.O. also has blond hair, blue eyes, and can talk a little funny.

And silence. Literally nothing from him in the wake of my then crushingly embarrassing admittance. More panic from me.

“Well, are you going to say anything?”

“I mean, I’m not going to say it back unless I’m 100% sure it’s true.”

Oh. Well then. Looks like I actually do live in a cheesy romance novel, just like my Little said. I’m dating a blond, blue-eyed firefighter with a stutter that just so happens to also be a goddamn decent human being. He didn’t lie and tell me what I wanted to hear, but he didn’t reassure me that he was completely comfortable with what I’d said either. He actually reacted the way I wish every partner would react when caught off-guard by something potentially relationship-ruining.

And now the moral of the story, dear readers. We need to stop being so afraid of telling people, especially those we love, how we truly feel. In a moment of “weakness” I allowed my emotional barriers to slip and that gave way to honesty from both of us. That’s all a relationship really needs to stay healthy for all parties involved. You hear it all the time: honest, open communication is the key to a successful relationship. It’s true though!

We have to stop being afraid that honesty will ruin things. Legitimately, if I’d told my boyfriend that I loved him and he lied and told me he loved me too (at the time) then I’d bet you anything that we wouldn’t be together right now. I can’t prove it, but I can speculate that since he waited and gave himself time to not word-vomit or lie about it, he knows that the first time he said it, he meant it with sincerity.

And who cares who says those little words first? It doesn’t matter! I’ve heard stories of people (especially women) waiting and waiting to tell their partner that they love them, just because they don’t want to appear weak and say it first. Just freaking say it! If you say it and your partner lies, or gets scared and won’t talk about it to the point of ending the relationship, then screw ‘em and move on. It’s not worth getting hung up on and redundantly questioning yourself over. I’ve found that people respect you far more if you tell them what you actually feel, even if it hurts them, than if you just keep everything to yourself. We must all learn to be honest without being cruel, because brutal honesty is just laziness.

Seriously, we need to all just stop being so scared of things just because movies and tv shows tell us to be. I dare you to tell someone you’ve never told before that you love them, especially if you’ve been waiting around for them to say it first. I don’t think you even realize how liberating it can be.

How to talk to your daughter about her body

hitchhikingmuse:

God, this is so true.

Originally posted on Hope Avenue:

How to talk to your daughter about her body, step one: don’t talk to your daughter about her body, except to teach her how it works.

Don’t say anything if she’s lost weight. Don’t say anything if she’s gained weight.

If you think your daughter’s body looks amazing, don’t say that. Here are some things you can say instead:

“You look so healthy!” is a great one.

Or how about, “you’re looking so strong.”

“I can see how happy you are – you’re glowing.”

Better yet, compliment her on something that has nothing to do with her body.

Don’t comment on other women’s bodies either. Nope. Not a single comment, not a nice one or a mean one.

Teach her about kindness towards others, but also kindness towards yourself.

Don’t you dare talk about how much you hate your body in front of your daughter, or talk about your new…

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I Just Wanna Sit At Home And Bake

Yesterday I made cheese. Twice. No, I didn’t buy cheese, I made cheese. Delicious ricotta from scratch. I went out and bought a cheesecloth and everything. Now, don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t hard, but it definitely wasn’t something I ever pictured myself doing.

That’s how much time I have on my hands. Reduced to making grocery staples to keep myself entertained.

When I started drafting this post, I was still gainfully employed (albeit at an hourly job that had nothing to do with my field of study, but still, I had an income). Three days ago, I quit. I’d originally said I would be staying until the end of next week, but after a particularly rude email from my owner, I edited myself off the schedule and turned in my key. Frankly, I’d planned on quitting this job over two months ago, before Mother’s Day (which is a big holiday for this business), because following Valentine’s Day (the biggest of the holidays), I never wanted to be involved in a holiday in a managerial position ever again. But I stayed, because I was too afraid to lose the money. A few weeks after Mother’s Day, things went from bad to worse. I was given the responsibilities of a store manager, without the pay. Yet those responsibilities were constantly in flux, and unclear (for example, I was shown how to run payroll, fully under the impression I’d be running payroll from now on, opened the program to do payroll for the first time and was locked out because the password had been changed. So apparently, I wasn’t going to be doing payroll..? Was I not trusted enough to run payroll? Would I still be making the schedule, or would that be taken away from me too? Did I have authority to give refunds? Was I still even a manager at all? It was a mess of misunderstanding).

Essentially, I felt disrespected at my job, which I know happens. That’s just life. But I’d been working there for over two years, and had moved up through the (very few) ranks without much drama. Suddenly I’m being personally attacked for bringing up flaws in scheduling, and trying to express the needs of my fellow employees (FYI, business people, don’t hire someone to do one job, then expect them to do that job PLUS another one without some sort of compensation, or at least understanding of her misgivings).

So. I quit. And more than one employee has followed already. I’m afraid it’s just going to be a slippery slope from there.

I have research opportunities in the wings, which will be paid (and academically relevant!), and I don’t have very many expenses right now, aside from gas and groceries. I’m actually not in too bad of a place financially, for now. But emotionally? Mentally? I’m restless, bored, and borderline depressed (which I talked about last time because I want SO BADLY to be back in school). And thus, the cheese-making.

Sometimes when I’m feeling down, I just want to sit at home and bake and play Borderlands until the Significant Other comes home (and then probably play more Borderlands). I think me cooking every night that he’s off is doing not-so-great things for our waistlines. But hey, eating (cooking?) my feelings is ok. Right?

My Little (sorority little sister to whom I am a…”mentor,” for those unfamiliar with the parlance. Those of you reading who are in sororities will note that “mentor” is the simplest – and yet sometimes furthest away from the truth – term for the uninitiated to understand. HAHA PUN!) was able to put my feelings the most eloquently by saying I’m suffering from perceived humiliation. I think all of my friends are judging me and I don’t want to talk to them about quitting my job, because some of them don’t even have crappy hourly jobs right now. I feel selfish for giving up something that was making me money, just because I became dissatisfied with the experience. Did I quit for a good enough reason? Sometimes I think so, but other times I’m not so sure. The Significant Other says he’ll support me no matter what, and I don’t think he’s judging me, but I know he also wants me to get another job. Which, realistically, will only be another crappy hourly job, if I can find one at all. I was actually surprised at how supportive my father was of my decision to quit, since he’s the one always pushing for me to be “comfortable” financially, and this just throws me into a state of instability.

All I know for sure, 100% without a doubt (which is really saying something for me), is that my Little doesn’t judge me (thanks Little). I’m infinitely grateful for having at least one person in my life that my screwy brain doesn’t warp my perception of.

Yesterday I made cheese and mini quiches. Today I’m thinking cookies.

 

Dealing With Rejection and Being a REAL ADULT

Like I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been doing basically nothing with my life over the past couple of months. Remember back when I was writing about applying to grad school? Well, that was a bust. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t actually expect to get into any of my programs. All but one were Clinical Ph.D. programs, and I just didn’t make the cut. I think in the end it was my GPA that brought me down the most, and that’s unfortunately not something I can easily fix.

I’m trying not to whine about it, I really, really am. But when I find myself curled up on the couch, bawling my eyes out because I feel like a worthless pile of nothing, I figure it’s time to write about it. The poor Significant Other hasn’t known me long enough to quite know how to deal with my occasional emotional outbursts, so I feel bad dumping all this rejection crap on him. So you lucky readers get to enjoy it instead!

I never thought I’d say that I missed school, but I really, REALLY do. Miss it so much, I’ve been looking over old class notes and textbooks when I’m bored. That’s a sad state of affairs to be sure. My boyfriend is going back to school in the fall (online, so slightly different from what I’m used to) and I honestly can’t wait to help him with his work. Except for Chemistry of Hazardous Materials. I feel like a derpasaurus even thinking about the technical knowledge that might entail. But I AM excited about helping him edit his papers, of all things.

I’m afraid that if I don’t keep myself immersed in academia, I’m going to go back to school one day and completely forget all the things I know about studying and being a decent student. I’m moderately good at researching, but that is a skill that can be lost without practice. Believe me, there’s not much researching going on in my life (unless it involves cats).

It doesn’t help that I’m feeling pressure to really DO something with my time spent out of school. My whole life I’ve been in school, been pressured to work, work, study, sleep, study, work, panic, work, cry. College life is constantly GO GO GO, much more than high school, which for me was all about getting into a good university. College came and it was still GO GO GO, but with even more serious consequences behind it, because it eventually must end with a job. Preferably a “good” job, one that’s salaried and with benefits (my dad always called this “being comfortable”). But I’m not in school right now and I don’t have that job. It’s twisting my image of adult life that’s been engrained in me since I could listen to adults talk.

Speaking of being an adult… what is a goddamn adult? I still view myself as a student, so therefore not a REAL ADULT. The Significant Other is a REAL ADULT (which is why I feel uncomfortable calling him “The Boy,” as I have others in the past). I find this incredibly sexy, but also terribly intimidating. He knows what he’s doing with his life, has known what he wanted to do since he was a kid, and does that. Going back to school is just a logical step to make just in case he does one day have to change careers. Maybe it’s that “career” thing. Will I feel like a REAL ADULT when I have one of those?

I’m so sick of being in limbo, of being stuck on a giant hamster wheel, plodding along and going nowhere. When will it end? How can I make it end? I know this sounds terribly childish, but I just don’t know the answer. Anybody out there feel this way too? Anybody got some advice for this struggling wanna-go-back-to-school not-REAL ADULT? Throw me a bone here!

Back To The Beginning

Been a while since I wrote, huh? To be honest, the biggest reason I haven’t been active lately is one thing – and that thing is called Guild Wars 2. No lie, I’m obsessed. 12-hour days playing? Three level 80 characters? Yeah, that’s healthy. We’ll get to my whole lack of a real life issue in another post soon enough.

At any rate, a lot has also been happening on top of that dragon-killing background, but I figured I’d start with the positive, to jump back into this blogging thing without sounding too depressed and whiny. So let’s talk about modeling again, the whole reason I started this darn thing in the first place.

I recently had the opportunity to do something totally different, that is, I actually did some photo modeling as opposed to letting aspiring artists draw me like one of their French girls. Being part of a photo shoot is ridiculously more glamorous-feeling than taking my clothes off in front of some college art kids. It’s more exciting, more dynamic, but also a lot more nerve-wracking. What if my eyes cross, or I have a double-chin? What about my fat rolls (though I wasn’t naked for the photo shoot)? What if I simply look like a derp?

All of my modeling fears rolled into one.

All of my modeling fears rolled into one.

Like I said, I wasn’t naked, but these weren’t exactly innocent, sexless pictures either. To be frank, it was a lingerie shoot, no I didn’t get paid, yes I control who has access to the pictures, no I don’t ever want to run for public office. I’d go into more detail, but I don’t think I’m ready for you to know me that well yet.  I’ll admit, some of them came out pretty fucking amazing, but others… It kind of sucks to have a collection of halfway decent photos that you’re afraid to show anybody out of embarrassment that you also can’t bear to throw away because what if one day you have to prove that you were actually there? (Like in a dramatic murder investigation led by a sexy detective with nothing to lose who gets a little “rough” during interrog– wait that only happens in bad romance novels? Whatever, it’s a possibility, I’m still keeping the pictures.) On the other hand, having all the pictures in one place, with each file directly under your control is also really nice in comparison to a painting that gets thrown in some drawer somewhere

In case any of you are worrying about the violation of my privacy or my reputation being smeared on the Internet for all eternity, please don’t. The photographer was a friend, not some rando, and he was over-the-top respectful every step of the way.

The photo shoot really made me look at my body differently than from a figure modeling perspective. I’ve both gained and lost weight since my last art modeling sessions and the photo shoot occurred somewhere during my time of my less-than satisfactory self-image. But those pictures that turned out amazing? They were amazing because of my body, not just because of the lighting and artistic composition. Fuck yeah I have curvy belly, and thighs, and hips (and I mean, HIPS)! And day-um gurl you look GOOD! I may not have been overall happy with the way my body looked on that particular day, but the pictures reminded me how each shape and size really does carry its own assets. So to speak.

I think I should just stop there before I blather on anymore. Modeling, it’s fun, you should try it sometime. I’ll probably write more about health and weight in my next post, but for now, I just say hello, and it’s good to be writing again. See you soon!

 

Cosmo’s At It Again

Yes, you read me correctly. I’m gearing up to rip Cosmo a new one. Again. Sometimes I can’t believe I spent even the $5 on my subscription.

The title of the article in question: “He Didn’t Want to Date Me – He Wanted to Be Me!” complete with a hairy man-leg squeezed into a glittery gold platform pump.

Apparently the girl writing this article (as told by, and whom I will call, Sarah Kennedy) had joined Match.com to troll for dick (I’m sorry, this chick just strikes me as a straight up terrible person). She got a message from a supa-sexy Italian man with wavy dark hair. The two met up for drinks at “a cool downtown bar in New York City” (I mean, where else do the beautiful people live?). They had a great night, she was blown away by his manners, and he gave her a nice little peck at the end of their date. Everything seems to be going just fine, right?

They continue to text (their main method of communication), and Chris opens up quite a bit, perhaps even a little too much, showing his trust for Sarah when he tells her he has his nipples pierced and that his father is getting a sex change. Yeah, it’s unfortunate that all of this unfolds over text, but I mean, it is what it is.

Well long story short, Sarah gets blown off by Chris for another date and he tells her that he’s actually out on a date with another man. SHOCKER OF THE YEAR apparently for Ms. Kennedy. She flips out, especially after Chris reveals that he’s actually the one considering getting a sex change.

So why in the world, you may ask, would this transsexual woman interested in men contact a self-proclaimed straight woman for a date? According to Chris, he (I’m using masculine pronouns for now, since that’s how he was referred to in the article, which may or may not be correct according to his preferences. Not that Cosmo would give a shit.) saw Sarah’s profile and immediately fell in love with her style, her dark hair that matched his, and how she did her makeup. Apparently that’s… not ok. In Cosmoland the correct response is “I mean, really? REALLY?” and then turning your phone off.

I’m sorry, if a searching, possibly nervous, transsexual male-to-female individual complimented my style and respected me enough to even want to get advice from me, I would be extremely flattered! Chris put himself out on a major limb revealing all of this to her, and she spit it back in his face. The only thing I happen to sympathize with is Sarah’s statement: “I didn’t join a dating site to find a style twin.” True, quite true, but she also didn’t join a dating site to get messages from douchebags trying to score, which she also undoubtedly received.

Sarah goes so far to as to block Chris from her phone and change her email address. That’s extreme, man.

I’m getting sick and tired of flipping through Cosmo issues, past the beauty and health tricks, and seeing nothing but gender-normative relationship advice (HAHA), problems, and sex tips. Seriously, I’m fed up. For a magazine that advertises itself as and was made famous by open communication about sex, it’s shockingly intolerant. I’m a bit over-sensitive about it I suppose, but reading this article just made me feel gross inside. Ashamed of my generation, the one that pretends to be above such prejudice. Yeah, right. We’ve still got such a long way to go.

Help, I’m Stuck in a Bra and I Can’t Get Out!

I’m a sucker for new underwear. I’m not afraid to say it! Some women enjoy the rush of a new pair of shoes; I on the other hand have a penchant for new unmentionables, particularly bras. Being a rather busty woman with a relatively small ribcage diameter (and by rather I mean quite, and by relatively I mean a difference of about 7 inches around, which, boys and girls, is a good bit of difference) it’s often difficult for me to find bras that fit, support, and don’t look like I’ve suddenly turned into my grandmother.

Now, let me preface by saying that I’m not trying to support a particular brand exclusively, all I’m saying is that there’s really only one brand that’s easily accessible that I trust. And that’s Victoria’s Secret. What can I say, I’m a big fan, and not just of Adrianna Lima.

The Victoria’s Secret Semi-Annual sale ended earlier this month and I was able to pick up 2 bras and 3 pairs of cute (if not entirely “functional”) panties. The real deal was the bras because they were both originally $40-50 bras each, cut down to half price. The saleswoman (who, I might add, was bubbly, adorable, and full of piercings and huge gauges) even talked me into trying out a push-up bra, which is something I’d NEVER considered before. I mean, come on, I think I’ve got enough going on up here as it is, I told her. But I tried it anyway, and fell in love. Ironically, it’s that particular bra that led me to writing this post today.

Picture it, a lovely pale pink with black lace around the bottom of the cups. Apparently limited edition lace at that! (Whatever that means). Very Sexy indeed! What the saleswoman said that really sold me on the push-up was the fact that the straps were reversible. They can be unclipped from the back and crossed, making it racer-back style, adding more support, and believe you me, I need it.

“Party in the front, function in the back,” my lovely saleswoman said.

So this afternoon after working out and showering I decided that I’d like to try out this “function in the back” feature to my nice new bra. I unhooked the straps, crossed them, then found myself staring at it, not able to conceptualize how I was going to get this thing on. It looked like it would be a tight fit. First I put my arms through it, but that put the straps crossed in front of my throat, which obviously wouldn’t work. Then I slid the whole thing over my head, squeezed it past my shoulders, and tried to settle it in place. But then I realized the straps were still dangling (instead of having my arms through them). And so, I struggled and stretched and finagled each arm through the straps in the correct direction, then snapped the band hooks into place.

The straps cut into my shoulders like very dull knives and the band squeezed my back fat into an ugly roll. I couldn’t really move my shoulders or lift my arms over my head without feeling like one of the straps might snap. I mean, my boobs looked great, but at the cost of the rest of me looking like utter crap.

And so I unhooked the band and tried to slide my arms out from under the straps again, but while going in had been only moderately difficult, coming out again was an unexpected challenge. I’m sure if anyone had walked in on me struggling with that stretchy bundle of fabric, they would have thought I was starting to have a seizure. My right shoulder popped, which is something it’s prone to doing and I had to stop, knotted into an even more uncomfortable position so I could let that wave of pain pass. I looked pathetic and downright ridiculous.

Eventually I was able to go the damn thing over my head again, and I immediately returned the straps to their proper arrangement. Ugh. Never again.

Why do we torture ourselves with our clothes? And by we, I mostly just mean women. I can’t think of particularly torturous male clothing articles, except for maybe ties, but they usually end up being another way to torture women by making us tie them. Bras SUCK. It doesn’t matter what kind, sports bras can be even worse than normal bras, even though they have a less complicated design. We wear shoes that hurt our feet, dresses and skirts that pinch our waists, bras that might just stab us with a wire if we’re not careful, and thongs (enough said). And not only are these accoutrements painful, they’re often more expensive! I’ve never understood why I can by a normal pair of plain panties for $7, and a thong for double the price. What. Less fabric should equal less cost, right? Nope.

At any rate, don’t think that I’m trying to diss fashionable clothing, or painful shoes, or really anything women put themselves through for “beauty.” All I’m saying is that we need to make ourselves beautiful for ourselves. If I put on makeup and perfume for a date, I’m not doing it because I want to impress the person I’m going out with. Rather, I’m putting on those things because they make me feel confident and beautiful. And I know that feeling confident is step one to having a great time in any social situation. I may put on a sexy bra and panty set, even though I’m not wanting or expecting to get naked that night. I don’t know, stuff like that just makes me feel awesome, powerful even.

So take it from me, if you’re planning on finagling yourself into a push-up with extra racer-back support that doesn’t have a front clasp, have someone around to help you get out of it when it goes horribly, horribly wrong.

Till next time!

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