Once upon a time (and in some parts of the world today) it was believed that a literate woman was a ruined woman. To this I respond– it depends what she chooses as reading material.

Based on the current climate of women’s interest magazines I fear this may have been a self-fulfilling prophecy. I, for one, feel intellectually ruined every time I walk by a newsstand.

To piggyback off Kelly and Jen from last week, the headlines, content and photographs are, at best– dumb and at worst– unhealthy.

Let’s take a look at the unmarketable truth:

On Female Empowerment:

While wearing a trendy shade of lip gloss will certainly brighten a face, it does not an empowered woman make. To become more empowered I suggest taking up interest in the sciences.

While wearing a little blush will certainly brighten the face, it does not an empowered woman make. To become more empowered I suggest taking up interest in the sciences.

 

On Intelligence:

While being wittier than a piece of chocolate cake is an admirable trait, it does not a smart woman make. To become smarter I suggest taking up interest in the humanities.

While being wittier than a piece of chocolate cake is an admirable trait, it does not a smart woman make. To become smarter I suggest taking up interest in the humanities.

 

On Strength:

While starving oneself is commendable when major surgery is booked for the following day, it does not a strong a woman make. To become stronger I suggest lifting heavy things.

While starving oneself is always a good idea before major surgery, it does not a strong a woman make. To become stronger I suggest lifting heavy things.

 

On Motherhood:

While dropping baby weight quickly is fine so long as it's not the actual infant from your arms, it does not a good mother make.  To become a good mother I suggest being attentive to one's offspring.

While dropping baby weight quickly is fine so long as it’s not the actual infant from your arms, it does not a good mother make. To become a good mother I suggest being attentive to one’s offspring.

 

On Beauty:

While sticking ones finger in one's mouth is understandable if there's food caught in a lower incisor, it does not a beautiful woman make. To be more beautiful I suggest being kind.

While sticking one’s pinky in one’s mouth is understandable if there’s food caught in a lower incisor, it does not a beautiful woman make. To be more beautiful I suggest being kind.

 

On Happiness:

While being slim is certainly good for fitting through narrow crevices and crawl spaces, it does not a happy woman make. To be happier I suggest being thankful.

While being slim is certainly good for fitting through narrow crevices and crawl spaces, it does not a happy woman make. To be happier I suggest being thankful.

 

On Being Interesting:

(No such article has ever appeared in a women’s interest magazine)

While careful and deliberate cultivation of a quirk may certainly win you points with some, it does not an interesting woman make. To be more interesting I suggest taking genuine interest in something other than oneself.

 

Questions:

Favorite magazine? Least favorite magazine?

From where do you get most of your health and fitness advice? (Blogs, mags, books, other?)

The same 3 headlines appear on almost every women’s interest magazine, every month, in different words– name those 3 headlines!

 

 

So, I just got back from Christine’s birthday weekend extravaganza. It was a blast. We went to Scituate, the Cape, ate the most incredible food and managed to stay almost completely Primal minus some amaaazing champagne which was totally worth the cheat. I also managed to find time to squeeze in a head injury along with all the festivities. Here’s what happened:

On Saturday, we went to a beach accessible by boat.

im on a boat post it

But the sea was choppy and our boat was on the smaller side.

*Image not drawn to scale

*Image not drawn to scale

 

Suddenly a bigger, speedier boat launched a giant wave right in our path. I braced for impact.

hold on

 

But I guess I under-braced because within seconds I was flung up into the air…

jack im flying post it1

…And then I came back down…

jack im falling post it

…Hard.

jack i fell post it

To be clear, I’m not sure if I actually have a concussion. The doctor said maybe. I’m currently monitoring symptoms.

Clueless concussion

The moral of the story: Avoid big waves in small boats.

Everybody say happy birthday to Christine!!

Have you ever had a concussion (or any head injury)?

Do you like boats?

How was your Labor Day weekend?

 

Hello!

This post is coming to you from my bed where I am nursing a bit of a back injury. You see, whilst moving heavy boxes the other day I somehow managed to pinch a nerve near my spine… which means it hurts when I walk and my left hand is expected to be numb for the next few days.

mean girls karen ew

Ugh, I know.

Like, you know when a house is mis-wired and you turn on a light switch in the kitchen and the upstairs toilet flushes? It’s like that. Or at least that’s how I picture it in my mind :)

So as I said, when you pinch this particular nerve in your back, your left hand goes numb. I have therefore been terribly clumsy lately. I have knocked over everything that has had the unfortunate fate of being on my left including- but not limited to- water, coffee, more water, etc. In fact I have just covered my entire studio in a layer of paper towels in anticipation of the next spill.

So in case you one day find yourself in a similar situation, behold my official guide to dealing with a pinched nerve:

pinched nerve guide

Step 1: Even though it doesn’t help, shaking your left hand furiously with a limp wrist feels like it helps, so, do a lot of that. Sing Florence & The Machine’s hit tune “Shake It Out” simultaneously.

Step 2: Watch lots of HGTV and learn what light fixtures to put in your extreme eco-friendly tree house that is made purely from indigenous wood and suspends itself in mid-air over a waterfall. Because ‘natch.

Step 3: Watch lots of Food Network. Learn what to- actually, just get really hungry. Order thai food.

Step 4: Spill said thai food. (Because you reached for your phone too fast when a new snapchat came in.)

Step 5: Congratulate yourself on having that layer of paper towels that caught the spill before any real damage was done to your comforter.

So remember kids, bend at the knees and no twisting while you’re lifting. No back protection is whack protection!

Ever had a back injury?

What TV channels/ shows do you watch when you’re stuck in bed?

Whats your favorite food to order in?

 

I just love a good flashback montage*, don’t you?

(*Due to the fact I majored in french and creative writing in college, and not filmography, by “montage” I mean “collection of photographs with snarky captions attached” rather than “collection of film clips set to kicky music”.)

For a person who dedicates all her free time to reading and writing about fitness and healthy body image, I find it really interesting to look back at the transformation of body image standards over the last century.

When it comes to beauty pageants, everyone has their own opinion. To slightly misquote Mitch Hedberg and take his joke completely out of context, “you either love them or you hate them. Or you think they’re okay”. But they’ve been a big part of American mainstream culture for the last 100 years and they do a great job of documenting the basic beauty trends and standards of each time period.

So let’s take a look shall we? Beauty and body image throughout the years flashback montage (with commentary made up by me):

To the confusion of her friends, Gladys always swore by her jet black nylons and sweater dress on beach days. Her flair for dressing for winter in 90 degree heat without breaking a noticeable sweat ended up winning her the title.

To the confusion of her friends, Gladys always swore by her jet black nylons and sweater dress on beach days. Her flair for dressing for winter in 90 degree heat without breaking a noticeable sweat ended up winning her the title.

 

Frances wondered if she should have rescheduled her photo shoot for a less humid day. In the end, her confidence in the face of fly-aways won her the hearts of the judges.

Frances wondered if she should have rescheduled her photo shoot for a less humid day. In the end, her confidence in the face of fly-aways won her the hearts of the judges.

 

While Dolores was a natural at lining up, her lack of direction was always most apparent when the photographer would say, "now everyone turn to the right"

While Dolores was a natural at lining up, her lack of direction was always most apparent when the photographer said, “now everyone turn to the right”

 

"See that, Miss Maryland?" Asked Miss Iowa "No," said Miss Maryland without breaking her smile. "I'm blind as a bat, but boys don't make passes at girls who wear glasses"

“See that, Miss Maryland?” Asked Miss Iowa
“No,” said Miss Maryland without breaking her smile. “I’m blind as a bat, but boys don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses”

 

Susan and Tammy just smelled it. Donna just dealt it.

Susan and Tammy just smelled it. Donna just dealt it.

 

The group on left were all terribly embarrassed when they all showed up in the same bikini, hair style, facial expression, shade of tan, and body type.

The group on the left were all terribly embarrassed when they all showed up in the same outfit.

 

Ashleighee Neveah Miley Cyrus Heaven Eden Smith was horrified when, at the age of 3 and a half, the judges asked her if she was 27.

Ashleighee Nevaeh Miley Cyrus Heaven Eden Smith was horrified when, at the age of 3 and a half, the judges asked her if she was actually 27.

 

Personally, I would like to see a pageant that doesn’t allow any beauty helpers. I think contestants should be asked to roll out of bed at 6am and march straight down that stage donning both their PJs and a whopping dose of confidence before quickly running home to shower, change and get to work by 8. Now that woman deserves a crown.

Pageants: love ’em? hate ’em? think they’re ok?

Body image: Overall, our definition of beauty has evolved from a softer frame to a more muscular, leaner figure- is this a good, positive change or are we losing sight of the natural roundness of the female form?

Should makeup and spray tans and hair styling be allowed?