Okay, watch this first. It will make your whole day. I promise!
(If the video doesn’t show up in your reader or e-mail, click through)
Do you remember the first time you were catcalled? I was in fifth grade, walking past the boys bathroom when a group of boys suddenly yelled (sung?) that line from a Michael Jackson song “Hey pretty baby, with the high heels on!” while hip thrusting and making awooooga! noises. One of them grabbed me around the waist and tried to, I assume, make some kind of lewd gesture. In reality it was more like the do-si-do we’d just been practicing in gym class. It was one of the most bizarre moments of my life.
First, I was wearing my white Keds (like every other girl in the late 80’s/early 90’s) not high heels so they weren’t even accurate. Second, I’d never really identified as pretty — already by that age I knew I wasn’t one of the pretty people. (I had big plastic hipster glasses back when they were still just nerdy. Does that make me retroactively cool? Let’s say yes.) Third, it was upsetting. My first reaction was to want to cry (HSP for life, yo!) but just as quickly I felt ashamed of my reaction. On one hand, weren’t they giving me a compliment? Kind of? But I felt a shaken, the way anyone would if someone jumped out of nowhere and yelled Michael Jackson at them. (Rule of life: You should only invoke the King of Pop when confronted by zombies or Pepsi.)
Yoga as a wet t-shirt contest? Fail, Planet Yoga. Plus, her Bow Pose is really not that well done. Not that I’m judging other people’s yoga practice but I figure if you’re going to be modeling yoga for Planet Yoga you should probably at least try and get your knees together? Although this was my first time ever photoshopping pasties – so, that’s fun.
There was a tempest in the proverbial chai herbal-infused detox teapot a couple of weeks ago when famed yoga guru and self-confessed perv Cameron Shayne put up a post about why it’s not only hot for yoga teachers to have sex with their students but it’s also very cool because it’s, like, relaxing and athletic and a natural bodily function and part of the whole yoga experience and a bunch of other garbage that I couldn’t read because I was too busy pearl-clutching over his atrocious grammar. (Lesson #1: Never trust a dude with two first names.) He argued that the power dynamic between teacher and student that normally makes such relationships verboten isn’t the same in yoga because… yoga.
If you haven’t seen this yet, it’s pretty awesome.
Eyes! EYES! Nose! NOSE! Ears! EARS!
The roar of teenage girls filled the small room at my church last night as we ended our seminar on self-defense. I wish I could say that their roar was defiant, strong, a unified cacophony of empowered (pre) women. But that’s a lot to expect from young girls who’ve just had a lesson on a very uncomfortable subject that skirted all the uncomfortable parts. There was a lot of giggling, play fighting, teasing, bluster and, to my chagrin, very little questioning.
The teacher, a 4th degree black belt from a local martial arts studio, did a great job in the limited amount of time he had. One hour is a pitifully small amount of time to cover something with the implications to be so life changing. (But one hour is better than nothing, yes?) He was better than most I’ve seen. He was smart, funny, and gave some great tips for physically defending oneself. But as I stood back and watched – my eyes less on the teacher and more on the faces of the girls watching, scanning them for any sign of panic or shutting down (there’s usually one set of eyes in every group that looks a little too cynical or a little too wise) – I couldn’t help but be disappointed. It was your standard self-defense for women class. And that’s a shame.
Even babies do better pull-ups than I do! (And look way cuter doing them too! Awww!)
This past Monday found New Gym Buddy Kari (everyone say “Hi Kari!”), trying her best to follow my weird directions, standing on a weight bench and doing jumping pull-ups, which if you’ve ever tried them, can be plenty hard. As she boinged up and down, a gentlemen (known for doing multiple sets of pike pull-ups) walked past her and commented, “Do those even count?!” I’m sure it was meant as a joke. Probably. But I snapped. “Not all of us can be dudes!!” I yelled across the weight floor to him. I meant it as a joke. Probably. To his credit, he walked over and apologized, saying, “I’m sure you girls could kick my butt.” To which I replied, truthfully, “No, we couldn’t, but thank you all the same.” And then he left before the conversation could get any more awkward, as conversations with me tend to do.
If thinking stupid thoughts about strangers was a crime we’d all be arrested by the morality police. From judging parents based on the ill behavior of their children to judging drivers based on their obnoxious bumper stickers (true story: My brand-new reader tested out his cool new skill by announcing loudly to the rest of the car “Look mom – that person’s in the army! It says ‘My girlfriend’s husband fights for your freedom!’ ” #facepalm) to the ubiquitous judging of strangers by the way they’re dressed, people watching is an international pastime. The problem for me isn’t that people judge others unfairly – who hasn’t done that? – but that the advent of the Internet has given all of these dumb thoughts a voice. A loud one.
The broom method! Haven’t tried that one yet!
Ladies: I have big news! Gents: I have a huge overshare! So consider yourselves informed and warned.
I got my Mirena IUD out.
For everyone who is not breathlessly following the status of my uterus (can’t imagine why), the Mirena is an intra-uterine device that prevents pregnancy by releasing a small amount of synthetic progeterone (progestin). I’ve had one for years both between babies #4 and #5 and again after Jelly Bean was born two and a half years ago. (I KNOW.) Up until just a few months ago I would have told you that I unequivocally loved it. I might have even recommended it to you. Indeed there is a lot to recommend it: totally fuss-free, completely stopped my periods and has the lowest failure rate of any contraceptive.
Air out your shoes! Get your bike out of the garage! Locate that tri suit that you got on a great sale and then felt too pretentious in it to wear it in a real race and so now you have guilt every time you look at it! ‘Tis the beginning of race season! While I’ve mostly sworn off of exercises I have to pay extra for (sorely limited budget + workout ADHD = drastic measures) there is a new race on the roster that caught my eye: The Women Rock Minnesota marathon/half/10k. Sure I like the timing (September is perfect running season here) and the choices of distances is nice (I love me a good half) but what really caught my eye? The race bling. Winners get a pink women’s cut* jacket and a pink diamond pendant for a finisher’s medal! Squeeee! (*This is a big deal since the last race I ran assumed that women = children and gave everyone who ordered a “woman’s sweatshirt” a youth XL. I look like I have monkey arms in that thing the sleeves are so short.)
Warning: pics in this post probably NSFW and definitely NSFK (not safe to look at with kids around). And that is a warning I hardly ever have to use on this site.
Confession: I love Bodyrock.tv. When I first came across them a few years ago (see below), I had mixed feelings about the sexified-to-the point-of-exploitation videos and pictures used to demonstrate the workouts. But then I got hooked on their unique and hardcore workouts – bonus: they use minimal equipment and can all be done at home – and the Gym Buddies and I have done a “Zuzana workout” (named after the eponymous Polish girl who modeled all of them) at least a few times a month for the past two years. While her trademark heavy breathing and heaving bosoms became punchlines (there was one workout that she did in a sports bra with the straps purposely removed, something we all found hilarious because what exactly is the point of a “high support” bra with no straps??), I kinda came to feel like Zuzana was a friend in a way. And when she came out about her traumatic erotic modeling past as a vulnerable teen in Eastern Europe, I loved her the more for it. And only suffered slight cognitive dissonance wondering why she still chose to use such provocative poses.
On Monday a farmer in Northern Ireland, upon meeting the international pop star Rihanna, did what I imagine very few red-blooded men would: he publicly admitted to not knowing who Rihanna is. Okay, that’s true, but my great uncles would probably all say the same. No, his real shocker was kicking Rihanna out of his grain field where she was filming a music video. Her crime? Looking too sexy. Alderman* Alan Graham explained that when he saw the singer strip down to a red bikini top and jeans he “felt things were getting inappropriate.” He added, “I had my conversation with Rihanna and I hope she understands where I’m coming from. We shook hands.” And the hand shake makes three things most men would never do if they met Rihanna.
note: I am not posting the lingerie ads nor the more risque of the Vogue photos (of which the above picture is a part) because I find them deeply disturbing. I’ve linked to articles with some of the pics if you are curious.
Children don’t have a voice. From the moment they are born, we are putting words in their mouths, telling them what to say and how to say it and teaching them how they will speak about themselves for the rest of their lives. Some parents take this power very seriously while others hold it lightly, almost in disregard. This past month has seen an explosion of sexy pictures of very young girls and while the focus has been on the children themselves – is it even possible for a little girl to be “sexy”? – I think the spotlight should be on their parents.
Remember when people were upset about the “artistic” Vanity Fair photos of 16-year-old Miley Cyrus in nothing but a bed sheet? Three years later those are downright boring compared to the shots of the 10-year-old French model Thylane Loubry Blondeau in a racy (but tongue-in-cheek?) photo spread in French Vogue and then more recently of her modelling topless (or “implied nude” as they say). It doesn’t help that her “official” site is titled “F*** Yeah Thylane Blondeau.” (The site has been recently taken down.)