Tag Archives: Meryl Streep

On Wrinkles and Love Your Body Day

Today is National Love Your Body Day, which is fitting because I was going to write about wrinkles anyway! Hoorah for convergence! Use the hashtag #lybd on Twitter to participate in the conversation.

Last week, Sociological Images pulled an awesome example of “wrinkle washing” of female celebrities:


Smooth vs. wrinkly, right? I think it’s particularly stark when you annotate like this:


SocImages pairs this image with an excellent Susan Sontag quote:

The great advantage men have is that our culture allows two standards of male beauty: the boy and the man. The beauty of a boy resembles the beauty of a girl. In both sexes it is a fragile kind of beauty and flourishes naturally only in the early part of the life-cycle. Happily, men are able to accept themselves under another standard of good looks — heavier, rougher, more thickly built…

There is no equivalent of this second standard for women. The single standard of beauty for women dictates that they must go on having clear skin. Every wrinkle, every line, every gray hair, is a defeat.

A few other examples:



That is not to say you shouldn’t attempt to take care of your skin. For the love of God please wear sun block. Moisturize. Drink a lot of water. But, you know, but don’t let a laugh line or crow’s foot be a defeat. The men certainly don’t. On the other hand, it’s not just a question of internally changing perceptions of self, is it? Here’s something by Gloria Steinem re miley Cyrus that seems relevant:

“I wish we didn’t have to be nude to be noticed … But given the game as it exists, women make decisions. For instance, the Miss America contest is in all of its states … the single greatest source of scholarship money for women in the United States. If a contest based only on appearance was the single greatest source of scholarship money for men, we would be saying, “This is why China wins.” You know? It’s ridiculous. But that’s the way the culture is. I think that we need to change the culture, not blame the people that are playing the only game that exists.”

This stuff is damaging for so many reasons. The pursuit of youth (and beauty, if you’re already young) is distracting us, literally, from all the other things we could be doing with our minds and hearts. It’s part of the reason that we’re behind, because “they” (and by “they,” I mean the “industry,” the advertisers, the media, our friends and family too, sometimes) have convinced us that how we look is related to what we can do. And to Ms. Steinem’s point, playing along isn’t weakness or vanity; in its own way, it’s smart. The appearance game is the only game in town so what the fuck else are we supposed to do?

So… yeah… sorry for the bummer, but it’s a bummer kind of day. Go do something nice for yourself. Buy a book. Take a walk. Eat something delicious. Call someone you love. Write a nice note. Make plans to look forward to. Listen to good music. Look at yourself in the mirror and be like, Yeah, it’s pretty cool that I get to have this body, because this body enables me to do all this other stuff that makes being human pretty fucking cool.

Related Post: Love Your Body Day in years past

Related Post: Why I will not be joining your gym



Filed under Body Image, Hollywood, Media

Gift Guide, Rosie Style

So I’ve never done a gift  guide, but damn, I’ve got some awesome Pinterest boards and 10,000 items flagged that I will likely never buy. But you should! You’re welcome!

hillaryLady Love: We are all fans of ladies around here, or we would not be reading a blog with Rosie the Riveter at the top (all you haterz, GTFO). In that vein, purchase the framed “selfie” of Meryl Streep and Hillary Clinton and support girl-friendly charities at Shutter to Think. Buy some really insanely beautiful pieces directly from artists at the female-founded Of a Kind. How about some super cool engineering toys designed by women for women? Into scarves? These from BlueSilk.org are amazing and also supporting a cool group. And best for last, a gif recap by the inimitable Ann Friedman.

atwoodBooks: I like them, so do you. Here’s a few from the year I’d recommend. Try Baratunde Thurston’s light-on-the-surface, heavy-on-the-inside How to Be Black (which he so graciously signed for my brother that one time). Did you know that 24% of first time home purchasers are single women? Get Eric Klinenberg’s fascinating sociological exploration of the phenomenon of single living, Going SoloHow about this gorgeous, and expensive (but whatever, the holidaaaaaze) illustrated edition of The Handmaid’s TaleHaven’t read them yet, but I’m super pumped for both National Book Award winners this year, Katherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers and Lousie Erdrich’s The Round House

neighborhoodKids like presents, right? Make a playmat that matches their neighborhood! Get them an awesome book, literally An Awesome Book by Dallas Clayton. Is she a self-rescuing princess? Yes, of course, you are only friends with cool kids. Would children be into making cheese? I’m not sure, I clearly don’t know any kids. Shark socks!

More categories to come. Note, this is not a denominational list, so file this shit away for the next few years of birthdays, holidays of all kinds, and just-becauses.

Related Post: Platinum Birthdays

Related Post: Crazy shit to buy on Etsy

1 Comment

Filed under Art, Books

Meryl + Ellen + Deborah

Does it get any better than this?

When Meryl tarted talking about the first woman to take a bullet for the United States, I had a sudden and overpowering urge to raise my hand and shout “Call on me! Call on me! I know the answer!”

You can tell I was really fun in elementary school, right?

Growing up in Massachusetts, we often skip crucial parts of American history (Alamo what?) in order to review, for the seventh consecutive year, the Revolutionary War. What can I say, proximity rules. Of the many, many books we read about colonial New England (Johnny Tremain, April Morning, etc) none sticks in my mind more than Ann McGovern’s The Secret Soldier. Deborah Sampson was the shiiiit.

I love when Meryl and I are on the same page.

Related Post: Here’s how not to teach eighth graders about slavery.

Related Post: How many essays could you read an hour, if you really had to?

1 Comment

Filed under Books, Education, Gender, Hollywood, Media