Tag Archives: aging

So Many Things!

It has been quite a while, my dear Internet friends. I’d apologize for the absence but I’m having way too much fun at my new job to want to apologize for it. The Matilda Effect is still ongoing and I’m truly hoping it lasts forever.

That said, I’ve missed sharing my new stuff with you! So… A few things that have happened since we last spoke (… wrote? read? communicated via pixels?). From newest to oldest:

Show up. Just do it. I wrote about the simple but often un- or under-appreciated value of showing up, especially when it’s cold, you’re busy, and Netflix is calling. This was partly inspired by Wait But Why and Eric Liu’s phenomenal book A Chinaman’s Chance (really just one chapter of it, but seriously, read the whole thing):


On Ego and Exercise. After running my first (and probably only) half-marathon, I wrote about why I exercise and the intersection of ego and self-care.


On slutty slutty Halloween. Every October (this now seems woefully out of date), there are endless think pieces about why girls dress so scantily. I’m so bored of this conversation, so… I wrote another think piece.


On the pay gap and “trusting the system.” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella got into trouble by suggesting that women should just work hard and wait around to be recognized and failed to acknowledge systemic and cultural reasons for the pay gap. Oh yeah, this was at a conference for women in tech…




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Filed under Body Image, Chicago, Gender, Media, Politics, Sports

Pelosi Rolls Deep

Obviously, I’ve been a little behind the ball this week on the blog. Busy things afoot!

I am currently sitting in the Michigan student union with my family while we spend quality family time tapping away at screens of various sizes. I jest, it’s actually pretty nice. Also, best part of traveling with family? “Dad, can I have money for the soda machine?”

Anyway, some BAMFery for your Saturday morning:

That would be the definition of “rolling deep.” You tell him, Nance. As has been pointed out, it’s not wrong to ask about young leadership and cultivating the next generation of political minds. It is not cool, however, to call out Pelosi ’cause she’s a lady, or you don’t like her, or whatever. What about McConnell, huh? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Related Post: Elizabeth Warren in 2 minutes.

Related Post: Nancy Pelosi’s reading habits. 

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Filed under Gender, Media, Politics

But How Old Is She Really?

This is Thylane Loubry Blondeau and she’s been causing quite the controversy. She’s a French child model and she’s 10.

This is Haley Clauson, she was fifteen when this photo shoot took place. It’s now on Urban Outfitter t-shirts.

I can’t find this model’s name, but she’s 18. This is for Roger David’s clothing line New Love Club.

The Roger David ad was banned this week  because it “‘inappropriately depicted a young girl in a sexualised manner”. Um… yeah. It does. And so do those others. And so do most advertisements these days.

This Roger David debacle would suggest that the actual age of the model isn’t the issue, because she’s legal. It’s the intention of making her look younger that crosses a seemingly arbitrary line. So here’s my question, where is that line exactly? How is the fifteen-year-old with her legs splayed okay, but the eighteen-year-old with “Slave” tattooed on her shoulder not? What about the 10 year old making pouty-face?

I know I’m getting prudish in my old age because I huff and puff at Gossip Girl billboards. When a Victoria’s Secret writhe-a-thon comes on before 9pm a big part of me wants to hurl popcorn at the TV and shriek “What about the chiiiiildren?” I don’t mind sexy ads. In fact, I totally dig sexy ads. I just don’t like them in front of less-discerning audiences, like ones who don’t know what “Photoshop” means and can’t spell “misogyny.” I also don’t like them when the perceived sexiness is about girlhood instead of womanhood.

Roger David’s PR people said this in response to the ban: “The relevant audience for this advertisement is young men. Roger David strongly believes that young men would relate to this image, and would not see it as shocking or exploitative.” Hey Roger David PR guy, do you not see that it’s a problem when young men (or women) see images of woman intentionally aged-down in sexulized contexts? Yes, she’s actually 18, but when you start seeing an 18-year-old who looks 14 as “sexy” it warps your standards of what, and how old, real-world sexiness looks like.

I don’t necessarily have an answer. At the very least, sexualized images used for advertising should adhere to age laws we use to regulate who can dance in a strip club. What’s qualifies as a sexualized image? See Potter Stewart.

Related Post: Here’s the wrong answer (one of them anyway) about why teenage girls dress “like prostitutes.”

Related Post: Oy. Let’s hope these Tangent models are 18.


Filed under Advertising, Gender, Sex

Cradle-Robbers, Sugar Daddies, MILF-Hunters, Cougars… Where to Draw the Lines?

Wage gap? How about the age gap?*

This week on the GMP I attempted to address these crucial dating questions: How old is too old? How young is too young? Incorporating horrifying OkCupid data (i.e. I’m over-the-hill at 23…) and internet lore about finding the sweet spot, I arrived at my definition of my range. I called it “life stage compatibility.” I even managed a 30Rock “Milf Island” reference, so go have a read.

*Kidding… the wage gap is some serious business.

Related Post: Kudret wrote a great guest post about aging into her body and growing more confident.

Related Post: More OkCupid data about how we change over time. This one correlates body image and sex drive.

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Filed under Gender, Republished!

Sunday Scraps 11

1. SPORTS: In the wake of a whole bunch of sports-related gay friendliness, Charles Barkley added his two cents, “I’d rather have a gay guy who can play than a straight guy who can’t play.”

2. PUBES: Pornstar Ashley Blue just published a memoir, Girlvert. Fifty limited editions actually have one of her pubic hairs embedded in the cover. What ever will they do next?

3. FOOD: Guess how many calories in an average school meal? I’ll say this, it’s embarrassingly high and embarrassingly low in nutritional value. GOOD Magazine has a comparison between school meals and prison meals. Who comes out on top?

4. NEWS: This Newsweek piece does a good job of laying out the rising price tag of disaster journalism against the backdrop of slashed budgets, “Covering Charlie Sheen is cheap; covering Afghanistan is expensive. Boots-on-the-ground reporting may win awards, but it doesn’t pay the bills.”

5. GRAY: Oddity Central has a profile of Daphne Selfe, an 82-year-old supermodel whose career has only gotten hotter as her hair has gotten grayer.

6. TUBE: Ever wonder how the intricate televisions schedules are created every fall? Here’s everything you ever wanted to know about balancing the comedy blocks, crime dramas and reality drivel.

Related Post: Scraps 10 had Asian dude angst, Adele covers, video game chicks and gorgeous illustrated recipes.

Related Post: Scraps 9 had Jersey Floor, immigration vs. gay marriage, vintage ads and Twitter trends.

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Filed under Body Image, Books, Food, Hollywood, Media, Sex, Sports

Guest Post: “Something as Simple as My Wardrobe”

Looking for an outlet during MCAT season, Kudret decided to emulate some of her favorite style bloggers and snap a daily photo to inspire fashion creativity and jump start her brain. Four months later, she’s reflecting on the origins of the project and the personal and cultural journey she has already taken:

I know that I’m not ugly. Far from it. But growing up South Asian in American society, not fitting into white norms of beauty, I think that my perception of self is severely dysmorphic.

I moved to Pakistan when I was 6 years old. When I moved back to the US, at the age of 11, I was in the middle of full-blown puberty. I probably had a distorted accent due to my dramatic transcontinental moves, and still showed the lesions from a full-body outbreak of reptilian Psoriasis. My hair had decided to change its nature, going from straight to wavy overnight. Puberty had only highlighted the problem that most South Asian women have, with my upper-lip hair and unibrow growing darker and thicker by the day. My teeth fell out, but never grew in properly, and I had an adorably unevenly spaced smile.

This project was a way of cheering on that 11-year-old girl, and telling her that she is beautiful. She was never a “not” and she is so much more than just merely “hot”.  The simple act of photographing myself in the morning, and putting myself out there, made me take the time to invest in the external. It would be cliche to follow that with, as I focused more on my appearance, I began to feel inner beauty too. But like most cliches, there is a degree of truth in that sentiment.

This project has fueled some interesting debates about morality and modesty, and how modesty is a fluid concept. My older family members see a young girl who has grown into a confident woman, but I see this project as a way to reconcile my bicultural identities in something as simple as my wardrobe. It’s a way to exist more comfortably in this body, in this skin and with these looks, undictated by magazines or TV shows.

Kudret at 11, 14 and 17 (Photos: Courtesy of Kudret)

Related Post: Guest post from Amanda on bridal boot camp and wedding pressure.

Related Post: Guest post from Matty, thoughts on penis size.


Filed under Body Image, Guest Posts

“Curvy”/”Skinny”: Sex Drive vs. Confidence

Whether you’re into online dating or not, the OKCupid Blog OkTrends should be on everybody’s must-read list. OkTrends makes up for its sparse posting schedule with amazing content analyzing the messages, preferences, habits and opinions of 1,000,000+ users. Among the latest charts to come from this goldmine of human behavior:

First, clarifying our terms: Green represents women who self-identify as “skinny” (note: this is distinctive from “thin,” a different self-reported category), and yellow is the self-identified “curvy” group (distinct from “a little extra” or “full-figured”). Yellow is a bigger dot to reflect the larger pool of women.

This graph correlates sex-drive and self-confidence across time for these two groups of women:

  • At 18: Skinny women have slightly above average self-confidence, but slightly below average sex drive, while curvy women are exactly the reverse, slightly low self-esteem, slightly high sex drive.
  • At 30: Both groups are reasonably self-confident, but the sex-drive of the curvy women is twice as high.
  • At 40: Curvy women are more confident with higher sex drives, a stasis that remains until both groups’ sex drives tank by 60.

Does this mean that curvy women are better in bed or like sex more? No. As OkTrends points out, “Curvy, as a word, has the strongest sensual overtones of all our self-descriptions. So we’re getting a little insight into the real-world implications of a label.” So basically, it comes down to choosing your label. Women who pick “curvy” among the myriad of similar labels will likely also have above-average sex drives. We’ve got correlation but not causation.

Here’s my theory: There’s evidence that links self-esteem and body confidence to better/more satisfying sex. This makes intuitive sense to me, fewer body hang-ups = willingness to look silly = open to experimentation  = higher likelihood of enjoyment = wanting to do it more. I think the selection of “curvy” over the other label choices and higher sex drive are both consequences of the a third variable… basic body confidence.

Related Post: More linguistic play around the “plus size” demographic. Thanks Tyra!

Related Post: See, body confidence is hot as hell!

Related Post: More thoughts on online dating. Who pays? And does it matter? (yes)


Filed under Body Image, Really Good Writing by Other People, Sex