the guilt of getting a job

An office. Health insurance. Teaching full time in one place, with the possibility of tenure. Yep, I been offered, and have accepted, a full time gig. But going from adjunct to full time is fraught with emotions. First, there’s the happiness of getting the job I’ve wanted for a very long time. But there’s a lot of guilt going on in my head, too. The guilt of being one of the very lucky, very small minority, of adjuncts who get a full time job in academia in their field.

Don’t get me wrong. The idea of having an office, of being able to go to the doctor, of getting health insurance for my kid, and having a salary that allows me to save for the future, is a very good thing. I’m over the moon with my new job, happy that the school and I seem to be such a great match, and looking forward to meeting and growing with my students from year to year, forming lasting connections with my colleagues, and having at least some sort of input on the things that make academia happen. (Moving from two different places is entirely a different matter…it’s rather like trying to knit while someone unravels the work from the other end).

But.

Oh, the guilt. The feeling that my being lucky means that someone else isn’t. When the number of academic jobs with security of any sort is plummeting, it’s hard not to feel for people who  remain in my former place. In the 1960s, three quarters of the faculty in US academies were tenured or tenure track…that figure is roughly reversed today…only a quarter have any security. Even full time faculty are often adjuncts, who might have a full time job for this quarter, this semester, this year, or even a couple of years. The MLA and the AHA are both concerned with this reversal, as is the AAUP. The increased use of adjunct faculty, most of whom have little job security, access to benefits of any sort, and who are paid an average of $2700 per course, is academia’s not so secret secret. And of course, it doesn’t help that the economy collapsed in 2008, only exacerbating the decline in state support for higher education. Nor does the political rhetoric regarding unions, teachers, or education in general help matters. Education used to thought of as a public good, but that’s changed. It’s now a private thing, and why, the rhetoric goes, should anyone else pay for it? I am immersed in these conversations. I believe in the work being done by the SEIU in DC to unionize the metro area’s colleges and universities, if for no other reason than to make sure being an adjunct in higher education doesn’t mean poverty. I believe that the work of the New Faculty Majority to get these issues concerning adjuncts (contingent faculty, lecturers, whatever you call them) out there and to continue having conversations about them, and making administrators uncomfortable with their knowledge, is a good thing. I think schools cutting back on adjunct hours to make sure they don’t work enough to qualify under the ACA (aka Obamacare) rules regarding employment and health insurance is reprehensible. Don’t get me wrong…I understand the financial pressures, but there’s also simply being human, too. And given that the ACA makes it possible to create multi-state pools, why not join with other colleges to create a huge pool of faculty, thus lowering costs for everyone? I mean, there are ways to do this, folks.

To my fellow (former) colleagues in the contingency trenches, know this: I will continue to advocate for you. I believe that you deserve better, and I will support you in whatever way I can.

To my fellow (new, TT) colleagues: remember that there are those who aren’t as lucky as we are, and make sure you advocate for their inclusion in whatever ways you can.

 

Published in: on July 6, 2013 at 10:28 am  Comments (1)  

so, let me get this straight…

The Los Angeles Times had an interesting story this morning about the latest argument from the anti-gay marriage folks desperately trying to get the Supreme Court to take them seriously. So here’s their argument, at least as far as I and my roomie (two PhDs between us, mind you) can figure out.

Straight people need marriage because only straight couples can accidentally procreate. Gay couples have to plan to have children, and thus don’t need marriage, because they aren’t procreating willy nilly.  So because gay couples plan their children, marriage isn’t a big deal to them. Yep, you read that right…opposite sex couples need marriage because they make irresponsible reproductive choices. Gay couples, on the other hand, do not make irresponsible choices, and therefore do not need marriage. Basically, they’re arguing that straight people are incompetent and can’t help but reproduce without thinking about it. Marriage is the only thing keeping us from random acts of conception by straight people.

There are so very many problems with this, it’s tough to know where to begin. I get why they’re making this argument…their others have been shot down (tradition, it’s not *really* unequal) and the others, such as the push to allow people to vote on it isn’t looking too good either, since several states just voted the way they would really prefer states not vote. So they’re desperate. I get that. But damn.

Here’s the question…if straight people are so irresponsible about sex, why does nearly every woman who is sexually active in the US use some form of birth control at some point in her life? No, really. It’s 99%. Not exactly chump change. 62% of all women of reproductive age are using birth control right this minute. Another 31% are infertile, pregnant, or trying to become pregnant. (guttermacher.org) That’s 94% of all women who are being responsible about their reproductive choices. That leaves 6%…guess what? Those women? Well, we don’t know why they aren’t on birth control. Maybe they’re virgins who aren’t having sex. Maybe they’re using the rhythm method, or their male partner has had a vasectomy. Maybe they can’t afford birth control. Who knows? But the vast majority of straight women (and hell, that’s even an assumption…maybe that entire 6% are lesbians!) are making solid, responsible, reproductive choices. The rate of unplanned pregnancies in the US has dropped over the last several decades (with a small bump — no pun intended — in states where sex ed is abstinence only).

So by this logic, and given these numbers, straight people don’t need marriage either. Unless they’re part of the very small minority of couples not being responsible, they can forgo marriage too. Wait, the only people needing marriage are irresponsible straight people having unplanned babies. So does this mean that teenagers should be forced to get marriage (stats show that the largest number of unplanned pregnancies occur in younger women)?

This argument’s logic is so twisted, it’s tough to follow it. In fact, you can’t. Not if you’re a thinking person.

Published in: on January 27, 2013 at 3:36 pm  Comments (1)  

exiled in Gilead…um, Arizona.

So, I keep having this horrible nightmare, where I am suddenly in the middle of Gilead, Margaret Atwood’s Biblical wasteland in The Handmaid’s Tale.  And then I wake up, and realize I’m in Arizona, which ain’t too far behind, thanks to legislation that would require me, if so asked by my employer, to tell said employer why I wanted my health insurance to cover my birth control. If I refused, I could be fired.

This post isn’t about politics, not really. This post is why, for me, using contraception is medically necessary to prevent conception. Yep, you read that right. I use birth control so I don’t get pregnant, because getting pregnant again could mean I could die, my child could die, and I would most certainly become a burden to society.

Let’s start with the icky medical part, shall we? I have what’s called a septate uterus. It looks a little like a bunny rabbit, to be honest (this one isn’t mine, but mine looks like this):

Image

See that dark spot between the bunny ears? That’s the septate. In most cases, it contains few, if any, blood vessels. So if an embryo attaches there, it doesn’t grow. The miscarriage rate for women with my condition runs somewhere between 30 and 50%. And most of us have more than one miscarriage. Now me, I was lucky. I had very few complications with my pregnancy, and my daughter was born at term and healthy. The odds of that? 1 in 37,000.

Read that again. 1 in 37,000 chances of her being born at term, healthy, and mentally normal. Now, tell me again that my using birth control so that I don’t get pregnant and miscarry multiple times is a problem. Even if I don’t miscarry, I would be on modified bed rest from the 4th month on, and full bed rest, possibly in a hospital, from the 7th month. Birth would have to be (as my daughter was) by C-section. Did I mention I’m an adjunct, and if I don’t work, I don’t get paid? So that bed rest would have to be paid for by state medical assistance. You know, *gasp* welfare. Not to mention the fetal monitoring, the testing, and oh yeah, who’s gonna pay my rent?

So yeah, I’m on birth control so I don’t get pregnant. Tell me again why that’s not okay?

Published in: on March 19, 2012 at 10:36 am  Leave a Comment  

wanna make abortion go away? it’s called contraception.

To those of you who are anti-abortion…look, I get it. You really don’t like abortion, and you want it to go away. You really, really want it to go away. So you pass laws that you think will stop abortions, like making women wait 24 hours before going through with the procedure, force them into getting ultrasounds, listening to fetal heartbeats, forcing them to listen to a long list of possible complications (some of which, like the connection between abortion and breast cancer, are actually, you know, not true), blah blah blah. You seem to think that a woman seeking an abortion will be shamed/guilted into changing her mind and going through with it.

And you might be right. Some women will be deterred by these barriers. Some of them might change their minds. But for the vast majority of women seeking abortions, who are *gasp* intelligent and believe strongly in their own autonomy, both bodily and mentally, all you’re doing is trying to score political points.

And I’m guessing that’s where you’re going with this personhood thing, too. Because you do realize what that will do to state budgets, right? When some 15-20% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, you’re going to be spending a lot of time chasing down women who miscarried, trying to determine why that fetus didn’t come to term. Let’s do a little math, shall we? Arizona has right around 6.5 million people in it.  A smidge over 50% of the population of Arizona are women, so right around 3.25 million. Let’s say that 10% of those women are pregnant (on purpose, and with no plans to end the pregnancy), making it what? 325,000 women are pregnant. Okay, now, somewhere between 4900 and 6500 of those women will miscarry. Do you really think Arizona has the police manpower to go investigating every single one of those? And what will constitute criminally liable miscarriage? Falling down? Getting into a car accident? Are we really expecting women to confine themselves, much as upper class women did in the past, just in case? Who is going to pay for all those investigations?

But you know, I digress. I really wanted to speak to those of you who want abortion to go away. It’s called contraception, and even more radically, sex ed that actually teaches people about sex. There’s a long history of people in this country thinking that sex ed in middle and high schools somehow leads to more sex. Let me take an example from my own life to explain to you why that isn’t the case. Two girls I know (friends of my daughter’s). One has parents who have constantly talked to her about sex, have been very open about the issue, provided books such as Where Did I Come From and Our Bodies, Our Selves to their daughter. The other parents, not so much. They have told her sex is a dirty necessity, something for marriage only, and within that restriction, for procreation only. Guess which girl is actually sexually active? If you said the former, you’d be wrong. Nope, she’s still a virgin. Sex education — and the open and honest dialogue about sex — are what prevents pregnancy, STD/STIs, and keeps both men and women safer.  Not talking about sex doesn’t make it go away, people.

And this is where I just don’t get you. I really don’t. I had issues back in the 80s, when anti-choice legislators were trying to restrict abortion access AND cut family help (I still maintain that if you want to say you’re pro-life, you have to care about that fetus AFTER it’s born too, or you’re just a damned hypocrite), but this whole going after contraception thing…it really needs to stop. And unless you’re some troglodite like Rush Limbaugh, who seems to think that a woman has to take a birth control pill every time she has sex (hint, Rush, it’s a prescription, and you’re supposed to take one a day, or a shot every 3 months, or insert a ring once a month, or the IUD once every 5 years or so…only condoms are 1 act players here), you’re probably aware (or at least I hope you are) that 98% of American women are using, or have used, contraception. 98%. Why? Because it works. And funnily enough, it prevents abortion. So for all of you out there who believe abortion is a bad thing (and I’m very Clintonesque in this regard…safe and legal and RARE), stop beating up on contraception. It works. It’s there. And you should support the hell out of it, because contraception is what makes the rate of abortions drop like a stone.

Now you know. Course, this won’t matter a lick to you if your issue isn’t actually being anti-abortion, but being anti-sex at all. Which is a whole ‘nother ball of wax. And I would dare to suggest, a mental issue. Just saying.

Published in: on March 4, 2012 at 9:33 am  Comments (4)  

an open letter to Rick Santorum

Dear Rick,

With all due respect, sir, shut up already. No, really. You are suffering, mightily, from foot-in-mouth disease, and really, all you’re doing is making yourself, and your party, look ridiculous.

It was bad when you backed the personhood amendment idea. Okay, I get that you’re Catholic, but other people aren’t. And okay, I get that you’re anti-abortion. Funnily enough, as a pro-choice woman, I am too. I think abortions should be rare as birds’ teeth.  But until your party is willing to support those women whom you would refuse abortions (with things like parental leave, welfare benefits that actually allow someone to get off them without still being in poverty, child care subsidies, etc), the fact is, we aren’t going to stop them by fiat. Even if abortion is illegal, desperate women will still have them, safe or no. And rich women will just fly off to countries where their autonomy is respected. And there are, sadly, girls in this world who are far too young to be mothers who are victimized by the very people who are supposed to protect them…or who are raped (and no, a baby is not God’s way of making up for being raped, as you seem to imply), and you want to force those girls to spend 9 months carrying that reminder, being traumatized and victimized every single day for nearly a year? Shame on you.

And never mind that study after study shows that when people have access to contraception, those abortions you are so incredibly worried about go down. WAY down. Oh no. You’d like states to be able to ban contraception, too. Are you kidding me? Are you really trying to argue that if people don’t have access to abortions, or contraception, they’ll somehow simply stop having sex? How many kids do you have? DId you only have sex once for each? I’m guessing not. Sex feels good…that’s nature’s way of making sure we procreate. But in a world that has too many people already, you pull out Nancy Reagan’s old canard of ‘just say no’. That someone who wants to be president of this country (which I adore as much as you, by the way, so no pulling out the ‘you’re unpatriotic if you don’t agree with me’ card) is so clueless about human nature defies belief.

But now you’re going after schools, and not only are your ideas just plain silly, but you’re flat out wrong, wrong, wrong. Schools did not start with the Industrial Revolution. In fact, children worked right alongside their parents in those factories, because they were smaller and could get inside machines, and they were cheaper. The first child labor laws were a joke, and continued to remain a joke well into the latter half of the 19th century. Oh, and by the way…the Industrial Revolution started at the end of the 18th century. You’re off by about 100 years, you know.  Schools in other parts of the world are better, I’ll grant you. And you know why? Because they teach, not to some fill-in-the-bubble test that studies have shown prove absolutely nothing about what someone has learned (beyond how to fill in bubbles), but actual things. You know, like how to think. But then again, you don’t really want people to think, do you?

And about that ‘colleges are indoctrination factories’ bit you’re throwing around now…Rick, dude, that’s just pathetic. As someone with 2 bachelors’ degrees, and a masters and PhD in History, I’ve been in a lot of college. Not once, ever, did I have anyone try to indoctrinate me into being liberal. That happened because I learned how to read critically and think even more critically. I learned how to look at the primary sources (letters and such) and figure out what actually was said.

Oh, wait. That’s exactly what you mean about indoctrination. People who can think critically will actually pick apart what you said, and realize you’re an idiot. I get it now.

Happy campaigning, and i hope you won’t hold it against me when I say that I am praying that you will either drop out, or lose to Obama. I’ve got my issues with him, too, but at least the man understands history. I feel sorry for your kids if you do indeed home-school them. It’s pretty clear they’ll have a hugely distorted view of our nation’s history.

Sincerely,

Melissa

Published in: on February 25, 2012 at 9:53 am  Leave a Comment  

what rough beast, its hour come at last?

Over the last year or so, there has been an assault on women I have not seen in all my 43 years of being on this planet, one that has intensified since 2012 rolled around. This is not to say that there haven’t been moments: I remember my mother crying in frustration when it was clear that the ERA was not going to pass in the 70s. I remember in the 80s when the Moral Majority railed about women being out of the home and into the workplace, and the horrible damage it did to the American family. I remember the 90s, where one White House intern’s affair with the president raised, for a brief moment, yet another conversation about whether women should ever be president.

But damn. Maybe it’s because I’m paying more attention, but I don’t think so. Personhood amendments which would not only outlaw abortion (and whatever you think about abortion, Roe v. Wade is still the law, and they are still legal), but possibly some forms of birth control, and require law enforcement to investigate every single loss of pregnancy — and by that, I mean miscarriages — to make sure the woman did nothing to cause the loss of her fetus.  Women could go to jail for, say, not wearing their seatbelts, or falling down stairs. The fetus would have more rights than the woman herself would.  Come on, even Mississippi turned it down…yet the Virginia legislature passed it.  And refused to consider an amendment to it that would make sure birth control was still available.

And even birth control is under fire from some corners of the political sphere. Rick Santorum, a contender for the presidency of the country, claiming that birth control is immoral, and that the states should have the right to ban it if they so choose.  Very wealthy white men joking on national cable networks that aspirin prevents pregnancy (and then completely not understanding at all why people don’t think it’s funny).  And then there’s those transvaginal ultrasounds for women seeking abortions in Virginia…ultrasounds they cannot refuse, which amounts to state-sponsored rape (Virginia law says that insertion of an inanimate object without consent is rape) and when asked why it shouldn’t be considered rape, one legislator basically said that if a woman allowed a penis into her vagina, she doesn’t have a right to refuse entrance to anything else. Even my teenager could see through that one…she asked me ‘but what if the woman was raped?’. yes, indeed. What if the woman was raped…can she then refuse the ultrasound because she didn’t consent to something being in her vagina before the vaginal probe?  In Pennsylvania, a law is making its way thru the legislature that would require women seeking abortions to have an ultrasound, and to hear the fetal heartbeat. And then be given a copy of the ultrasound and wait 24 hours before going ahead with the procedure.

There have been calls to boycott the Girl Scouts because they don’t require a pledge of religious affiliation, and because some troops have opened their doors to transgirls.

I don’t think these attempts to regulate abortion, or birth control, or condemning the Girl Scouts are about those things at all. They are about controlling women. If we cannot control our fertility, it becomes okay to require us to go back home and just keep having more children. We don’t need to be educated (well, a little, but certainly not as much as men) to do that. If someone screams that Planned Parenthood and the Girl Scouts are godless, liberal, socialist…remember that they are not actually screaming about that. What they are screaming about, out of sheer fear, is that women are actually equal human beings. That they have a right, a fundamental right, to autonomy and body integrity, and all sorts of things that these people fear. Regulating the uterus, and screaming for defunding organizations that teach women that they matter, that they have rights, that they are equal, is a fear reaction.

And my question to them is: what are you so horribly afraid OF?

Published in: on February 21, 2012 at 10:49 am  Comments (4)  

wedding cake making, part one

So I’m making a wedding cake. And I decided to go big. Three tiers, fondant covered, gumpaste flowered…oh yes. And funnily enough, I like it. But I realized something. Those cakes that you see on Ace of Cakes? Now I know why they’re so expensive! It’s not about the ingredients (although fondant ain’t cheap), it’s about the time. For instance, to make the centers for the 15 ranunculus flowers I’m attaching to the cake takes about an hour. But the petals for just ONE flower take about 3 hours. That’s 45 hours of time.   That may be because they’re complicated flowers, sure, but I have to handcraft each and every one of those petals.

But despite that, I’m loving this. I’ll be posting pictures of the process soon. Stay tuned…anyone want a slice of vanilla bean buttermilk cake?

Published in: on October 2, 2011 at 3:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

reconciling 9/11 & reality

Ten years ago today, America’s vision of itself changed.  The last time anyone dared to attack us on our own soil, we bombed them with something so frightening that everyone agreed that maybe we shouldn’t do that again.  Instead, we sent our young men and women, disproportionately poor and non-white, to them, expecting capitulation. It didn’t happen. Because we are not fighting a country, but an idea. One that crosses borders and nationalities, and, quite frankly, changes constantly to fit what is truly a stunning combination of ideology, disenfranchisement, and anger at the universe.  It is not a fight anyone can win, I don’t think, without a massive loss of life.  Did we really think it would be different for us than it was for the British, or the Russians? Afghanistan and Iraq were created, without regards to tribal boundaries, by white imperialists who of course knew better than anyone who actually lived there. 9/11’s roots lie in the imperialism of the late 19th and early 20th century.

But I digress.  What bothers me about the tenth anniversary of 9/11 is not that it happened, and not that we choose to remember it, but because of two things…how we choose to remember what was a horrible event, and the reality of our country today.  Let’s start with how we choose to remember.

First, nearly every single TV station is showing some sort of 9/11 movie, documentary, news program, and/or memorial broadcast.  I’m all for remembering, and commemorating, and even celebrating the lives of those lost.  But does it all have to be so very Lifetime Movie of the Week? And what about the heroes, the men and women who did NOT die on 9/11, but who lived through it, and went on to create extraordinary things, such as scholarships and foundations to help others? Art?

And this brings me to my second point. Perhaps I’d be more with the spirit of things if I did not feel as though it’s a bit of a sham.  When first responders had to fight for nearly 10 years to get medical care, and Guantanamo Bay is still open, when we argue amongst ourselves about who should bear the burden of spending cuts, when the idea of closing tax loopholes on the very rich instead of cutting essential services to the poor has become a mantra, when our national credit rating is held hostage to ideology, when teachers and public employees have become scapegoats, and the frontrunner for the Republican nomination calls Social Security a ‘ponzi scheme’ (clearly not understanding either Social Security or a ponzi scheme) and at one time threatened succession…the list is very long.  And at the same time, we are bombarded, on this day, with the idea that we are one nation, one people, one country…

I wonder. And find myself avoiding the 9/11 anniversary the same way I avoid the Super Bowl. Not because I don’t think it’s important (and I’m certainly not trying to conflate the two, or compare them in any way), but because both are overdone. Overwrought. And out of synch with reality. If 9/11 truly brought us together, then why, ten years later, are we so very far apart?

Published in: on September 11, 2011 at 9:10 am  Comments (3)  

low carb high fiber muffins

Okay, so as many of you know, I’m doing mainly a low carb diet because whenever I eat sugar, white foods, or pretty much anything with more than about 5 grams of carbs a serving, I feel like I’m hungover the next day.  But sometimes, just sometimes, I want BREAD products. One of the easiest things to grab in the morning is a muffin…what’s a low carb girl to do?  Well, find a recipe online and PLAY!  These two recipes are both delicious, and both of them contain somewhere around 3 net carbs each, and are LOADED with fiber.  Enjoy!

Cinnamon Vanilla Muffins

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

1 1/2 sticks of butter (or if you want low cal, too, you could use 3/4 c unsweetened applesauce)

2 large eggs

1/2 c water

1/2 c sugar free french vanilla syrup (I use DaVinci’s…and if you wanted to play with flavor, you could use any of the SF syrups–and if you’re using applesauce, I’d try a SF maple flavor for a maple apple muffin…um, yum!)

1/2 c granulated Splenda

1 T vanilla (and please, none of that crappy fake vanilla…this is NOT the time)

melt the butter and cool slightly (obviously, if you’re using applesauce, skip this step) and add the splenda, water, SF syrup, eggs, and vanilla.  Mix throughly.

3/4 c vital wheat gluten — I like Arrowhead Mills, but several places make this, & a lot of health food stores sell it in bulk)

2 c flaxseed meal (Bob’s Red Mill & others make a golden flaxseed meal that’s lighter in flavor…remember to store in the freezer, as it goes bad at room temp)

2 t baking soda (aluminum free is better for you, just so you know)

1/2 t salt

1 T cinnamon (honestly? I don’t really measure this…but a tablespoon is about right)

Mix the vital wheat gluten, flaxseed meal, baking soda, salt & cinnamon in a bowl, and add to the wet ingredients.  Unlike regular muffins, which have a lot of gluten from flour, this is not a delicate batter…mix that baby!  Let sit about 5 minutes while you either grease your muffin tin or put paper cups into it.  Scoop 1/4 c of batter into each cup (it’s just about right), and bake for 35 minutes.

Homer Simpson Muffins  

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

These were christened ‘Homer Simpson Muffins’ because they taste remarkably like a spiced cake donut.  Yes, that good.

2 c almond meal (you can get this at Trader Joe’s, which I recommend, or a more refined almond flour at health food stores…I like the stuff that still has skins, and is a bit heartier), or if you want even more fiber, 1 c almond meal and 1 c flaxseed meal.

1 T baking soda

1 T cinnamon

1 T pumpkin pie spice (if you don’t have this around, you can use 1 t each cloves, nutmeg, and allspice)

1/2 t salt

Mix these all together in a bowl, and then set aside.

4 large eggs

1 stick butter (or 1/2 c applesauce, although for this muffin, I’ve not tried that!)

3/4 c granulated Splenda

1/2 c water

Melt the butter and let cool slightly, then add the splenda, water and eggs. Mix, and then add the almond meal mixture.  Stir.  Again, let sit a few minutes while you grease or paper your muffin pan.  Fill the cups about 2/3 full (it’s also about 1/4 c each).  Bake about 20 minutes.  To get a true ‘donut’ taste, when these are done, brush the tops with melted butter and dip into a mix of Splenda and cinnamon…but I usually skip that.

At any rate, bake and enjoy.  I’m still working on a low carb, high fiber pizza dough.  When I perfect it, I’ll let you know!

Published in: on August 28, 2011 at 10:41 pm  Comments (1)  

why I’ll never be a fashionista

I’m watching last week’s Project Runway right now…and the winning outfit consists of a asymmetrical gold lame top with navy pants. Every week, they find the damned ugliest outfits to be ‘gorgeous’ and ‘fashion forward’, while things real women would wear are ‘boring’ and ‘dated’.  No wonder my friend Ori, who just finished at LA FIDM, said she’d never go on the show.  And it’s getting worse.

But really, I’ll never be a fashionista because insanely high heels, giant earrings, teeny tiny hemlines, and random patterns are not going to work in the everyday world unless you work at a fashion magazine, or in high end retail sales (where you’re selling the same thing you’re wearing).  The women I know want shoes that they can walk in, or even stand in for several hours.  We want pockets. We want bras that hold up our boobs and make them look good (without costing an arm and a leg) and underwear that stays in place (and that whole bare elastic thing? OUCH).  We want pants and dresses and skirts and tops we can move in, that don’t have to be dry cleaned, and most assuredly don’t cost a whole paycheck.  We want things that we can wear for several years without looking dated.  And yes, we’d like our buttons to stay on, our zippers to be a reasonable length, and oh, yeah, could designers please make clothes for hips, butts, boobs, and upper arms that aren’t the size of wrists?

I’ll admit, I’m more aware of fashion now than I used to be.  I used to wear nothing but baggy jeans and men’s t-shirts.  My daughter admitted that she was thinking of putting me on What Not to Wear.  But Stacey and Clinton (despite Stacey’s undying love of heels) actually find women clothes that work, that look good, and that accentuate the positive.  Even for women who are a size 20, or a 12, women with boobs — or none, hips — or none, tall women and short.  In short, REAL WOMEN.

I subscribed to Glamour last year, intrigued by their promise to feature women with real bodies.  So far, the only time they do that is when they laud themselves for talking about plus sized models, or say ‘wear the latest trend’ and then how to do it if you’re not a size 2.  None of their fashion spreads (those things they call ‘editorial shots’) show a woman with an ounce of body fat, or with a wrinkle, or even with boobs (unless it’s a lingerie spread).  I won’t be renewing my subscription.  Even the spreads in magazines such as Better Homes & Gardens show well-preserved — but always thin –older women.

And while we’re at it, does anyone know where a teenager can find more grown up shoes in a size 3? The D is getting pretty tired of wearing little girl shoes, and I don’t blame her!

Published in: on August 25, 2011 at 9:14 pm  Comments (3)  
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