Month: August 2014

Why 2014 is a great time to be a female with a little junk in the trunk

*Get ready for some girl power feelings. You’ve been warned.

 

On my morning blog scan I read an article on US Weekly’s website with the headline, Demi Lovato: Kim Kardiashian “Revolutionized Our Generation’s View of What Beautiful Is.” At first I rolled my eyes. I read the article and I rolled my eyes again. Then I thought about how much body image and celebrity has changed since I was a teenager and I realized that Demi Lovato might actually be right.

Look, I love me some Kardashians. I’m on a first name basis when I talk about Kim, Khloe and Kourtney with my sister Marie. I even follow all of their makeup artists and hairstylists on Instagram (Jen Atkin I’m talking to you!). I get how some people don’t think the Kardashians are kool and that’s totally OK so I’m not here to convince you to drink the kool-aid. Is that too many K’s? K, I’ll stop.

I’m here to take you on a trip down memory lane. When I was in my late teens and early twenties, celebrities looked like this.

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I know what you’re thinking, “But Lib, half of these girls were doing drugs and lived on a steady diet of whiskey and their birth control pills!*”

Probably true, but these women were EVERYWHERE! They were the starlets! The A-list!

When I was young it didn’t matter HOW these women stayed so skinny. All I knew is that they were on every red carpet, every boy in high school said they were hot, and visible hip bones and pin thin legs were always in fashion.

Those were dark times. Like, fell asleep in the tanning bed dark.

Growing up as a Caucasian female, the only two women in Hollywood that defied the skinny Hollywood stereotypes were Jennifer Lopez and Beyoncé. It was great! Finally there were women with curves and a booty. However their bodies were always celebrated and coveted within another set of stereotypes for their ethnicities. I was being fed the idea that skinny was for white girls, curves were beautiful so long as you were Hispanic or African-American. It seemed like nobody could win. We each had standards to live up to no matter the colour of our skin. It was bullshit. I was a seventeen year old Irish-Italian girl without a thigh gap. Was I beautiful or not?

Fast forward to 2014. These are the women on the covers of magazines and starring in hit movies and TV shows.

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What do all of these women have in common?

No visible rib cage. They’re beautiful without a thigh gap.They make serious bank.

Want to know what’s awesome? I had to limit the number of images to include. There were so many women to choose from. I could have included Lena Dunham, Gabourey Sidibe,  Nicky Minaj, Christina Hendricks, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler… the list goes on and on!

Is all of this because of Kim Kardashian? No. Not at all. It’s because of women like you and me voicing our outrage over the limited definition of beauty represented in the media and demanding change. It’s because women have finally been recognized in Hollywood as being smart and funny and for that having more value than their measurements. It’s from you and me sharing our stories and our struggles and finally discovering that nobody and no body is perfect.

Even though the standards of beauty in our society and the representation of women in the media have changed, the struggle is far from over. For every size 12, 14 and 16 that we see on television there’s still 100 more size 0’s. There’s the 00 jean and the 000 jean. There’s still trolls online slamming the photos we share on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram forcing us to make our accounts private and block users.

What’s it going to take to win this war?

It’ll take you and me drowning out the noise, looking in the mirror and loving ourselves first. Then we pass that love along to one another by giving a compliment to a friend or a stranger.

And then what?  

And then we band together and do what Beyoncé told us to do and run the world.

It’s only a matter of time. 

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NOTE

* I would like to note that I’m purely speculating that these women were on drugs and that illegal substances caused their weight loss.

+ I’d also like to give a shout out to the naturally thin women of the world. You’re in this too, boo. Your body image issues are valid. I don’t want you to feel hated on because I love you and your naturally pin thin frame.

 

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My week as a single lady (sort of)

This week my lovely boyfriend, Matt, traveled up North to visit his grandfather.While a majority of my family lives within a 50km radius, Matt’s family lives in Australia, Montreal and the ultra-glam Sault Ste. Marie.Since we’re always spending time with my family I’m excited that he’ll have seven days and nights to fish, go on hikes, dabble in archery and catch up with his Papa.  

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Matt & Me

This means I’m sort of… kind of… pretending to be SINGLE. 

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Don’t get your gitch in a twist and alert the church elders. I’m not saying I’m putting on my freak-em dress and heading to the club. I love Matt very much and am finally at that stage in our relationship where I don’t have to shave my legs everyday and can send him on emergency tampon runs. Do you really think I would mess that up?

Each week Matt and I run our schedules past each other but not this week! This week I’m doing
whatever I want, going wherever I want and spending however long I want inspecting my pores in the mirror. You know, girl things. It’s going to be seven days of girls nights in (wine, gossip and candy) and  girls nights out (wine, more gossip and candy runs at midnight). 

This long weekend is going to be busy! Tomorrow I’m working a wedding as part of my internship with a wedding planner and event stylist in Burlington, travelling to Guelph to visit my niece, and then of course going to the concrete jungle of Toronto for some much needed catch up time with my best girls. 

Even though I’m going to miss my guy terribly, we’ll be reunited next week and will be going to see Miranda Lambert at the Molson Amphitheater (my birthday gift from the boy). 

Alright ladies, tell me what you think. What do you do when your partner’s away? 

Don’t talk to me, I’m too busy eating Kraft Dinner

Every once in a while I’ll do things purposely to feel like a kid again.

I’ll re-watch the Wizard of Oz, I’ll bring my beloved Teddy bear out of his safe spot in my closet for a catch up cuddle or I’ll go to my neighbourhood park to hang upside down on the monkey bars flashing my gitch for the whole world to see. Those moments are probably the closest I’ll ever get to time travelling (seriously, how has someone not figured out how to do this yet?) because for a few minutes, sometimes even just a few seconds, I’m six years old.

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Today I had one of my time travel moments. I was at the grocery store in the hot foods section buying lunch when I decided to go wild…I bought Macaroni and Cheese.

There’s two things you should know about me to understand how out of character this is for me:

1. I despise pasta. I’m the world’s worst Italian girl. My poor Nonno’s heart breaks a little every time I tell him I won’t eat rigatoni. Add this to the fact that his dreams of me becoming a nun went up in a slutty puff of smoke, and it’s amazing he’s even still alive.

2. I’m a VERY picky eater. If it’s not lettuce, broccoli or peanut M&M’s I want nothing to do with it.  That being said my weakness is cheese. I will do anything for cheese. Like, if I was ever down on my luck and turned to a life of prostitution it would be  just so I could earn money for cheese (and probably to pay for my Netflix account).

I couldn’t help it. I zeroed in on the Mac & Cheese and immediately began shoveling spoonfuls into my take-out container. I came back to the office to sit at my desk and eat lunch and immediately was overwhelmed by a sense of calm. Yes, I know it’s considered comfort food but at this stage of my life the only thing I really consider comfort food is the wedge of lime the bartender serves when he gives me vodka.

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Lunch was bliss. I started talking (literally, to nobody) about the days of Kraft dinner and ketchup, having to go to your friends house and asking your friend’s mother not to put cut up bits of hot dog in your bowl of KD and singing “The Blue Box Blues” as you sprinkled the orange dust over your boiled pasta. Ah, I was in heaven.

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I started asking my friends if they ever did things like this to feel like a kid again. One friend said that whenever they get stressed they go outside and stand between sheets drying on the clothesline. They said something about the sheets made them feel small and comforted. I immediately tried to relate to them by sharing how when I was five I got lost in a Zellers department store and was found hiding in a rack of men’s pants. My friend politely told me this was not the same at all but I gave no reply. I was too busy remembering how I pretended cargo pants were my fort protecting me from store employees running around calling my name saying they knew my Mom and would take me back to her. I’m was no dummy. I knew stranger danger was real.

Since my afternoon of Mac and Cheese brought me such joy I’ve decided to make an effort to get in touch with my inner child more often. Next up: Pancakes and Sailor Moon.

I’d love to hear what makes you feel like a kid! Leave me a message in the comment section below!

The Earth is flat. Life ends at 30 #fact

A week and a half ago I turned 27. I celebrated by throwing a myself a party, dancing suggestively for Luke Bryan at a Luke Bryan concert (I don’t give my bedroom eyes for just anybody) and by going to therapy.

Sure, I was surrounded by great people and felt an incredible and overwhelming love from my family and friends but if I’m being honest (and that’s the title of the blog) turning twenty-seven sucked. It sucked hard.

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Before you put on your judge-y jeggings, let me first say this:

1. Yes, I know growing old is a gift. I’m healthy, I have a great support system and there are many people who don’t live to be twenty-seven. I acknowledge all you people and to you I say: You’re right. So stop reading here.

2. I know that I’m part of a generation with an inflated ego and incredible sense of entitlement. I can’t and won’t say that I’m any different from any millennial. Instead I’m acknowledging this and choosing to continue complaining anyway.

3. Spoiler Alert! I totally understand that nobody really has their shit together. That’s is why I’m writing this piece. I feel we need to be more open about our imperfections and struggles otherwise we’re going to continue believing bullshit about how we’re not good enough or how new shoes and expensive jeans (even expensive judging jeggings) will make us happier. So keep reading now that you’ve ruined it for everyone, Judge Judy.

Now that THAT’s out of the way…

For a full month leading up to my birthday, I was an irritable mess. I was asked several times by several different people if I was on my period. A thirty day, crampy, emotionally blood clotted period.

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Like most people, I’m terrified of failure. I know, I know: there’s no such thing as failure. That’s great, and most likely true, but when I’m alone at night in my mother’s house (Yes, I still love at home) thinking about the job I have, the job I wish I had, the husband and kids I don’t have and the last ten pounds of fat I can’t seem to lose, I feel like a failure. It’s not like I sit on my ass doing nothing ( although doing nothing is my favourite…maybe do nothing with The Bachelor on? Sweet Jesus, that’s my idea of paradise) I made changes to my life:  I went back to school for my post grad , I hired my expensive and wonderful shrink and I highlighted my hair. I basically did what any girl would do to turn her life around.

I tried. Nay, I try everyday to fight that feeling of not living up to the expectations I have for myself. Most days, I succeed. I actually do. I listen to my Eckhart Tolle, I have my subscription to O Magazine, I exercise once every six months, for the most part, I want for nothing.

Even though I’m relatively happy with my life, whenever my birthday approaches I start doing a year-end inventory of my life and I’m overcome with case of The Shoulds: I should have made more money this year. I should have moved out into a Pinterest worthy house. I should have been married by twenty-seven, I should have an instagram-ably cute baby of my own. The Shoulds only seem to get worse the older I get. At 24 they made their first appearance. By 25, I felt the Shoulds kick me in the ovaries. At 26, I bargained with the Shoulds to leave me alone for one more year while I got my life together. At 27, they came to collect.  Anticipating their return I made an appointment with my shrink for the morning of my birthday, August 18th.

My mother and co-worker was disappointed. “We’re having a birthday lunch for you and now you won’t even be here?”  I politely told her that if I didn’t have a mental massage on my birthday they would have to call a medic because I would suffocate myself with chocolate cake. Dramatic? Yes. Effective? Yes.

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On the 18th I sat in Dr. Kevin’s office wearing my ridiculously bright Von Trapp curtain dress. After we exchanged pleasantries and I sank into his leather couch the floodgates opened. I put my waterproof mascara to the test. “It’s my birthday, and I tried dressing up to feel happy, but I’m not happy at all!” I cried for my bare ring finger, my unemployed uterus and my DIY Pinterest board that served no purpose. Basically, I cried about everything I thought I ought to have. There’s nothing more unattractive than a girl having the ugly snotty sobs about how she’s scared that by the time she gets married everyone in her family will be dead and won’t be able to see that she went with the naked cake and midnight sliders. Trust me.

Over the next hour he talked me off of my metaphorical ledge. I would tell you what he said, but then you would have to pay me $185 dollars an hour.

The Spark Notes version is this:

I’m ALMOST done school. I’m doing everything I can to prepare  for any opportunities that come my way.

I’m nowhere near ready for marriage or kids. I’m little in the middle but I got much back

We made a plan to work on defining what I want, what I think happiness is, and ways to practice mindfulness.

Why am I telling you this?
It’s been a little over a week since my 27th birthday and three friends have already come to me echoing my fears. These are people who I thought had it together and they were being vulnerable with me, the crazy crying Sound of Music dress wearing 27 year old.

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We didn’t solve each other’s problems. That wasn’t the point of our discussions or late night texts of frustration. All it did for a brief moment was show us that there was someone who could say, “I hear you, I know what that’s like.”  And for that moment, it was enough .

We’re fed bullshit on a daily basis. All of that noise will drive you insane if you let it. This year I say we get rid of the expectations, stop comparing ourselves to others and ban the word “should” from our vocabulary. I’m tired of living my life terrified of aging, worried that my 30th birthday will be like New Years Eve 1999 and that I should stockpile canned food and bottles of water.

You and me? We’ going to be OK. If you find yourself needing a little connection or a break from your own thoughts come pay me a visit.

That’s what this blog is for! To get out of my own head, create something and exercise my sass muscles.

Turning 27 sucked.

Being 27? Doesn’t seem so bad.