Archive for February 28, 2012

Annual Oscar wrap-up: getting my hopes up all over again

In my post-Oscar wrap-up two years ago—called “Where are all the curvy white women?”—I wrote about how it often seems like only women of color are allowed to be curvy in Hollywood. That year Mo’Nique had won an Oscar for Precious and eight women of color—JLo, Mo’Nique, Gabby Sidibe, Queen Latifah, Mariah Carey, Zoe Saldana, JLo, Penelope Cruz, and Cameron Diaz—had walked the red carpet.

But all but two of the twenty “white” women on the red carpet that year were super thin, and both of them—Meryl Streep and Sigourney Weaver—would qualify for the senior discount at the multiplex, making their “curvy” designation much less impressive.

The message was clear—white women are not allowed to be curvy in Hollywood, as if curves are somehow tied to race and ethnicity, which, believe me, they’re not.

And then last year, things just got worse. I wrote then—in my post called “2011 Oscars: Playboy Barbie edition”—about how there were ONLY THREE women of color (Halle Berry, Jennifer Hudson, and Penelope Cruz) and ONLY TWO curvy women (Jacki Weaver and Penelop Cruz) on the red carpet that year. (At that time, Jennifer Hudson had just lost a bunch of weight and was too thin to be called curvy.)

I had thought it was bad enough the year before when there were no white curvy women on the red carpet under the age of sixty, but at least that year there were NINE curvy women total. But 2011 saw the red carpet sink to new lows, and at that time, I wrote, “I can’t help but wonder if we are regressing.”

But, much to my surprise, this year curvy women and women of color bounced back. Believe it or not, there were no fewer than ten curvy women on the red carpet this year:

Meryl Streep, JLo, Octavia Spencer, Penelope Cruz, Maya Rudolph, Sheri Shepherd, Melissa McCarthy, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Virginia Madsen, and Julia Ormond.

And—as I’m sure you’ve already figured out—FIVE of these women are considered “white.” FIVE! That’s a big deal, people. It means that we’re finally starting to move away from the notion that white women must be super thin to make it in Hollywood.

Also good news is the fact that there were at least eight women of color on the red carpet Sunday night:

Cameron Diaz, JLo, Octavia Spencer, Penelope Cruz, Maya Rudolph, Shelia E, Sheri Shepherd, and Bérénice Bejo.

This is equally important, for it’s a sign that—this year at least—Hollywood said you don’t have to be blonde and thin to be one of us, and expanding the definition of the Hollywood celebrity also means expanding the definition of beauty.

Don’t get me wrong—it was a horrible year for women inside the Academy Awards. There were no women nominated in the best picture, best director, and many other categories. And only one nominee in the writing category was female—Kristin Wiig and Annie Mumolo for Bridesmaids (and they obviously didn’t win).

So, no, we’re not at our 2010 level of gender equity when Kathryn Bigelow was the first woman to win an Oscar for best director, AND we saw many women of color and curvy women on the red carpet. But this year was certainly better than the last, which means that—like Charlie Brown getting ready to kick the football—I’m naively getting my hopes up for next year. Keep your fingers crossed that no one pulls the ball away before I kick it.

 

THE RED CARPET BY THE NUMBERS:

2012 Oscars . . . Curvy women: 10 / Women of color: 8

2011 Oscars . . . Curvy women: 2 / Women of color: 3

2010 Oscars . . . Curvy women: 9 / Women of color: 8

Levi’s Curve ID jeans—best thing since sliced bread? Or all walk no talk?

No less than THREE different people told me yesterday about the latest controversy surrounding how women are depicted in the media.

This hullabaloo is about Levi’s advertising for their Curve ID jeans.

I wrote about these jeans a while ago—in my “All asses were not created equal” post—but if you don’t know, Levi’s introduced this line a little over a year ago to offer women more than one shape of jean. Curve ID jeans are, in fact, available in four different fits: slight, demi, bold, and supreme. (Sounds more like a fast food menu than a clothing line, doesn’t it?)

Obviously, it’s great Levi’s is recognizing what we’ve all known for years—that women’s bodies are as wonderfully diverse as our personalities. But what’s strange is that their ads for the Curve ID line don’t demonstrate that diversity.

The ads claim “‘hotness comes in all shapes and sizes.’ But underneath that message of empowerment, are three models with very similar, slender body types. Aside from slight differences in backside protrusions, none of the models reflect the size 14 shape of the average American woman.”*

In fact, the differences between the three very skinny women featured in the ad are basically unnoticeable unless you’re looking for them.

“The company doesn’t seem to understand what ‘different’ means,” said Jezebel‘s Anna North. Activist Shelby Knox adds, “If you put the words ‘Bold Curve’ next to a woman, I expect her to have, um, bold curves and preferably legs that don’t look like toothpicks.”

Levi’s admits the ads are not “representative of all women’s body types across the globe” and claims a gallery of “real women” is available on their Facebook page though I can’t get that page to load. And even if I could, is that enough? And why are they so unwilling to show this diversity in their ads?

Clearly, Levi’s is willing to walk the walk with their Curve ID line, but they aren’t yet willing to talk the talk. Probably because American advertising still doesn’t reflect reality that is the average woman in this country.

Don’t get me wrong—I’m not saying we should hate Levi’s. At least they’re trying to do something for curvy woman, which is more than we can say for most retailers.

But that doesn’t mean I still don’t want to let them know that we want more. The Curve ID jeans are a great idea, but it has to be just the beginning if Levi’s wants to keep us happy.

Bottom line: Levi’s needs to put up—in advertising as well as in their product line—or shut up.

*http://shine.yahoo.com/fashion/jeans-ad-sparks-controversy-levis-models-come-other-202400157.html

High on You: A Husky Boy Finds Out He’s Been Living in a Fantasy World. . . a guest post by Alex Poole

Two Huskies (or one Husky and a Malamute)

 

Like many husky boys who were spawned in the 1970s, I spent a lot of time fantasizing about how good life would be if I were thin while listening to cheesy ’80s songs. One of my favorites—and I even feel squeamish mentioning it now—was (and still is) Survivor’s “High on You.” If you are not familiar with this little gem, you should know that it involves a young man declaring that his ecstatic love for a girl is so great that he must be high and delusional. At the time, I didn’t catch that part; I was just thinking about how awesome it would be to have a girlfriend.

But it would be a long time before I finally got a girlfriend, not only because I was in elementary school, but also because I was, to use comedian Jim Norton’s words, a “meaty-breasted zilch.” I was constantly panting and looking for ways to hide my sweaty back and armpits from my classmates so they wouldn’t laugh.

Of course, I couldn’t hide anything, so I was blessed with a daily smorgasbord of insults including—but not limited to—the following: “fat ass,” “fat fuck,” “fat motherfucker,” “fat faggot,” “fat Al”, “fat Albert,” and “fat boy.” In seventh grade sewing class, a quite attractive female classmate asked me if I was gay because I didn’t have a girlfriend, which made the whole class roar. Most humiliating, however, is when some future hippie would lash out at the bullies for hurting my feelings, making me feel like an even bigger loser.

And then there was the physical part. Balls from various sports (e.g. four square, kickball, soccer, basketball, baseball) were thrown at my head, as were the fists of many future jailbirds eager to show me that even though I was big, I was just a “pussy” and a “faggot.” The violence really didn’t start until adolescence, which is when I really started to blow up. In middle school, my body was so sweaty and stretch-marked that I looked as if I had been oil wrestling with Chester Cheetah. Added to this hell was a face that could provide enough grease for all the world’s McDonald’s for a year and a full-body pelt that earned me comparisons to the missing link.

It should be understood that not everything was bad. Many hours of SCTV, The Higgins Boys and Gruber, and The Kids in the Hall made me forget that I was El Porko. And I also liked sports; well, one sport—tennis. I idolized Ivan Lendl, John McEnroe, and Jimmy Connors. The action, intensity, and fluidity of the game fascinated me, and surprisingly enough, I was pretty good at it. At the same time I really started to enjoy tennis, I really started to think about girls. However, for five years, I went on playing tennis, overeating, and listening to Survivor, just wishing that girls would look at me.

Right after I turned 15, I decided to lose weight after a routine appointment with my allergist. It was there that I learned that I was 5 ft. 10 in. and quickly approaching 270 pounds. I also noticed that my size 44 jeans were starting to leave a permanent tattoo around my gut and the waist was curling over. In a matter of weeks, I would have probably been sporting a stiff pair of 46-inch Plain Pockets.

In the first seven months, I lost 80 pounds. Within two years, I had lost a little over 110 pounds. I went through various body phases: slender but doughy, ripped, and finally, Stewart Copeland thin.

An odd idol for a teenage boy

 

(Copeland—pictured here—was the drummer from The Police who famously wore bun-hugging shorts that accentuated his flamingo-like legs.)

Of course, reducing the amount of fat I consumed, exercising for an hour every day, and avoiding sweets helped me shave off quite a lot of blubber.

But my self-loathing led me to levels of masochism unimaginable to me now.

During some periods, I would eat a cup of granola and a cup of vanilla ice cream a day; during others, I would eat only cereal with skim milk. Regardless of what it was, there was little of it. Added to this was frenetic exercising consisting of a daily regime of jogging, weight lifting, and tennis, often exceeding sixteen hours a week. If I screwed up and over-ate—i.e. when I ate normally—I would do an extra session and berate myself the whole time.

I imagined that the constant cravings, tinny breath, and stress of maintaining such a rigid daily regime would be worth it. Like the Ugly Ducking, I would suddenly transform into a studly swan, Survivor would start playing, and girls would surround me.

Yet after a few years, I realized that there was no high. No amount of thin could take away my low self-esteem and having washboard abs didn’t make girls fall in my lap. I felt disappointed, but relieved. Losing weight was good for me, and having a healthy weight is certainly better than being overweight. But happiness is so much more complicated than looking good.

To be sure, weight is still something I struggle with, and that will probably never change. I try to watch what I eat, but sometimes I eat too much ice cream. I run about 20 miles a week, but sometimes I miss a day. Instead of ripping myself a new one, I tell myself that I’ll do it tomorrow. And I’ve realized that always focusing on myself is horrendously irritating and draining for those who care about me.

I don’t know how many boys/men have eating disorders, but I sure don’t hear about much them in the media. I realize that this lack of coverage is due to many factors, but to me it seems like there is a still a callousness towards males who grapple with these issues. There are probably more of us than most people would imagine.

 

Happier times reading with my older girl

 

ALEX POOLE (Ph.D.) is an associate professor of English at Western Kentucky University, where he also directs the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) program.

Score one for the supermodels:
Cindy Crawford pulls her daughter off the runway

Cindy Crawford and her daughter, Kaia

 

We all know about the fiasco that is stage mothers, as has been documented in gruesome detail on TLC’s Toddlers and Tiaras.

Because of this, it was with great relief this week—the same week that the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue came out—that I read about Cindy Crawford deciding her ten-year-old daughter, Kaia, is too young for a modeling career. (Mother and daughter are shown above.)

Apparently, Kaia modeled for Versace new children’s line last year, appearing in this cropped jacket and miniskirt . . .

After the photo was published, it was picked up by media outlets around the world, rightly causing Crawford to freak out. Crawford claims she had no idea that one photo would get so much attention. Not long after that, she put the brakes on her young daughter’s modeling, saying Kaia will have to wait until she’s 17 to model again.

I admire the heck out of Crawford for protecting her daughter from an industry that thrives on taking advantage of young women. After all, how messed up would it be if Crawford let her ten-year-old daughter continue in a business that breeds eating disorders and requires models to bare everything for fashion? As supermodel Paulina Porizkova points out, “What people called sexual harassment, [models] called compliments.” I think we all know that the world of modeling is no place for young women, who need the space to grow up in a healthy, nurturing environment rather than one that treats them like moveable mannequins.

Despite Crawford’s wise move, there are still too many young women in modeling—last week, Marc Jacobs featured both a 14- and 15-year-old at fashion week, blatantly ignoring the Council of American Fashion Designers‘ request that all models be over the age of 16.

But maybe more mothers will follow Crawford’s example and let their daughters enjoy their adolesence without the extreme pressure of the catwalk. God, I sure hope so.

A valentine’s gift for you from the Grammys . . .

The Grammys were Sunday night, and though I’m not someone who keeps up with the music scene, I caught some of the highlights. And I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw—women of all sizes and shapes, all different styles and ethnicities, being recognized not for their beauty but for their talent. In that sense, it was a great night for women, many of who are helping us expand our notion of beauty.

Of course, the biggest news of the night was Adele who won six Grammys including album, record, and song of the year while also delivering a show-stopping performance—her first since recovering from vocal chord surgery.

This triumph came on the heels of a hellish week for Adele, a week in which every media outlet in the world seemed to be covering the story that Karl Lagerfeld had called her fat.

But Adele responded to Lagerfeld’s negativity with a positive message: “I’ve never wanted to look like models on the cover of magazines,” the 23-year-old told People. “I represent the majority of women and I’m very proud of that.” I could not agree more: I am so damn proud of Adele for being comfortable looking like those of us in the majority.

I’m also happy karma worked in Adele’s favor on Sunday night. As many have noted since then, we need more heroes like her.

But Adele wasn’t the only woman at to admire the Grammys. There were many others who expanded our notion of beauty . . . Jennifer Hudson, for instance, who lost weight without giving up her gorgeous curves . . .

Kelly Osbourne rocking not only her curves but also her norm-defying grey hair . . .

Taraji P. Henson . . .

Kelly Clarkson . . .

Alicia Keys and Bonnie Raitt . . .

This raises the question, if the music industry can embrace so many women who don’t fit the traditional notion of beauty (read: skinny and blonde), why can’t the media and Hollywood do the same?

Don’t Just Stare—I’m Not The Window Dressing

Last night I went back to one of my favorite local restaurants—440 Main—in my hometown of Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Bowling Green isn’t really a city, and it isn’t really a town—it’s somewhere in-between with some of the benefits of a college town but not all of them. The square downtown feels like a great little funky city neighborhood some nights and an abandoned ghost town others.

For that reason, 440 Main was pretty empty on a thirty-degree Wednesday night in February—only two other tables were occupied the entire time we were there.

As a result, it wasn’t that surprising we were seated pretty close to the front of the restaurant—just twenty feet away from the sidewalk.

Like most downtown businesses, the front of the building has floor-to-celing windows, but it also has what I can only describe as a glass room—reminiscent of an old retail display window, it looks like a giant glass box. Only instead of featuring suits and hats and shoes, it displays a single table clothed in a traditional white tablecloth and two flickering candles. It’s like a romantic movie waiting to happen.

Though I am enchanted by the idea of people dining inside such an intimate little room, I am not so drawn to it that I want to sit there myself. And the reason is because I can’t fathom eating my dinner on such a stage, while people on the sidewalk pass and surely gawk at anyone who is brave enough to dine there.

I’ve seen other tables like this—last summer, we noticed one restaurant in Annapolis, Maryland, where tables were shoved up so close to the front window that it felt like I could take a bite off of the customers’ plates as I strolled casually by.

I never know what the etiquette is in those situations—am I allowed to peer inside, inspecting not only the diners but also their food? Or am I expected to politely look away as if dining is a private matter?

In truth, I do often feel like dining is a private matter.

I don’t really enjoy a meal as much if I eat it with anyone besides my husband or close friends, and I always hate it when I feel like people are watching me eat.

I feel so strongly about this that Dave and I have a rule—no staring at each other while we eat, especially if you’re the first one finished. I probably don’t have to tell you that one of Dave’s favorite things to do is finish first and watch me until I finally look up, notice his eyes trained on me, and say, “Stop it!”

That’s why it’s almost unbearable to imagine sitting inside the glass box at 440 or anywhere else like it.

Still, I see people dining there from time to time, lifting their forks as nonchalantly as if they were eating at home.

I wonder what it is that separates me from them—is it simply that I’m a very average American in the sense that I’m uncomfortable with eating? Or is it more than that? Is it that I’m more private than other people?

Whatever the case, I think this is a fear I need to face. I’m the first person to admit that I let fear control too much of my life as it is. I’m not going to add this to the lsit of the things I avoid doing.

So if you see me sitting in the glass box at 440, do me a favor: please do not stare.

It takes a village: what we can learn from Roseta, Pennyslvania


I’m currently teaching Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers to my freshman composition classes.

I’ve read—and taught—Outliers before, but this semester, it hit me that Gladwell’s introduction makes a point I’ve never really discussed on this blog. And it’s one we should discuss.

In his introduction, Gladwell tells the story of Roseta, Pennsylvania, a place he describes as “outside everyday experience . . . where the normal rules did not apply.” And that’s because for many years in Roseta people didn’t get heart disease and they lived much longer than the general population.

Of course, the big question is, why?

What did Rosetans do differently than everyone else?

Did they exercise all the time or eat better than the rest of us?

Nope.

To their surprise, researchers quickly found that Roestans didn’t really exercise much at all, they ate a diet in which 41% of their calories from fat, AND they had an obesity problem in their small town.

The next most obvious guess was that they had good genes.

But that wasn’t the case either.

In fact, researchers found that their Italian ancestors got heart disease at a greater rate than Rosetans and didn’t live any longer than anyone else and not nearly as long as Rosetans.

Another possibility was the region where Roseta was located.

But that wasn’t the cause either because people who lived in nearby towns didn’t have the same longevity or the same almost non-existent rate of heart disease as Rosetans.

So what was it that allowed the people of Roseta to have such long, healthy lives?

It was their community.

In Roseta, everyone knew each other. And not only did they know each other, they took care of each other.

When people in Roseta met on the street, they talked to each other, and they held REAL conversations, not just a simple “hi” or “goodbye.” When someone needed help, they gave it. When people got old, they took care of them. In fact, in Roseta, multiple generations of a family often lived under one roof. As Gladwell explains, in Roseta, there was a “powerful, protective social structure…insulating [these people] from the pressures of the modern world.”

In other words, it was their sense of community that made them live longer, that allowed them to deal with stress better than the rest of us and ultimately live longer, healthier, and happier lives.

Does this mean it takes a village to be healthy? Maybe. And maybe our stress level—or more clearly our inability to deal with stress—is a greater contributor to early death and heart disease than anything else.

I’m not saying we should all start eating whatever we want or stop exercising. That would be nuts. But the story of Roseta does give one pause.

We live in a society that nurtures autonomy. We lock our doors and our windows, put our aging relatives in nursing homes, turn on our air conditioning all summer, and sit alone in front of the TV too many nights.

What would happen if we turned off the TV, opened the front door, brought Grandma home, and walked over to visit the neighbors every once in a while? Would we all live longer?

I’m not sure, but I do know it’s something we need to seriously consider.

People who know their stuff: Fitness expert Allison Millett shares her secrets for healthy living

Today marks the first day of a new series on I Will Not Diet called, “People who know their stuff.” From time to time, I’ll post interviews with people who are experts in the areas of body image, fitness, nutrition, and healthy living.

Up first in this series is Allison Millett (shown above in a recent picture with her family). Alison is the owner and founder of Bowling Green Backyard Bootcamp. It’s also her birthday today, so a big happy birthday to Allison!

*

I WILL NOT DIET: The main premise of this site is that none of us can be healthy—mentally or physically—until we learn to like ourselves the way we are—even if we’re not as thin or fit as we’d like to be. What do you think of this philosophy?

ALLISON: I totally agree. God made each of us unique and wonderful in our own way. Self acceptance is vital to being healthy–mentally and physically.

I WILL NOT DIET: As a personal trainer and fitness instructor, how do you feel about your clients who make it a goal to be healthy rather than be thin?

ALLISON: I encourage all clients to set goals but definitely encourage those goals to be realistic and focused on overall health. A dress size and a small number on a scale aren’t the things that we should look to for indicators of good health.

I WILL NOT DIET: Why do you think so many Americans believe we can look as good as wealthy celebrities who often don’t have to cook their own food or take care of their own children and can also afford to work out several hours every day with a personal trainer? Does it hurt us as a society to buy into this belief?

ALLISON: This baffles me. I have never been a “keep up with the stars and what they’re doing” kind of gal. I can’t name many big stars…I don’t watch their reality shows….I have no idea what kind of cars they drive and quite frankly…I don’t care! The lives they lead are portrayed as perfect and magical, which is what sucks the majority of Americans in. We believe if we look like them, we’ll be as happy as they seem to be. The truth is….we hear all the time that most celebrities are not happy and turn to substances and lifestyles that are very unhealthy while looking for happiness. They don’t live typical American lives. And Americans putting them on pedestals is most definitely hurting us as a society.

I WILL NOT DIET: What do you think of the childhood obesity problem? Can anything be done about it? It is as simple as getting kids to move more and eat better? Have you heard about the idea that some of it is chemical? (For more on the latter subject, read “Chemical planet = round planet” or “Rethinking baby fat.” And for more on childhood obesity, read “Letting go” and “Don’t be an enabler.”)

ALLISON: I have many opinions about childhood obesity. In a nutshell, Americans like convenience….Americans like easy…Americans want it now. Whether the subject is work, food, or a healthy lifestyle, Americans want it to be easy, fast and NOW! Hard work is not harmful, and a little sweat is good for you! Stay up late one night and watch those crazy infomercials….”take this pill and lose the weight”…”buy this gadget and use it for 5 minutes a week for six pack abs”…we’re passing this crazy way of thinking on to our children!

Being a parent is not easy, but it’s a title I take seriously. It’s my job to help my children learn what a healthy lifestyle looks and feels like. It’s cooking healthy meals and eating together, taking bike rides and going outside to play together instead of allowing children to hold a game controller in one hand and a highly processed hamburger in another. Children need role modeling to learn what a healthy lifestyle is and need to be fed more from gardens and less from cardboard boxes. Chemicals, lack of parental involvement and guidance, and sedentary lifestyles are the culprits in the childhood obesity epidemic.

I WILL NOT DIET: Ninety percent of the people who go on diets gain back more weight than they lose. How do you feel about diets? (A diet is defined as a temporary change in one’s eating habits that is designed to help one lose weight fast.)

ALLISON: I don’t agree with “diets.” I DO agree with a healthy diet. (“Diet” being defined by the foods taken in to fuel your body.) I have seen it happen countless times….folks take drastic measures for a certain amount of time to help them lose weight that they can’t maintain. They lose weight, they go back to their old ways, and then they gain weight. It’s all about a healthy lifestyle that works for the individual.

I WILL NOT DIET: How do you stay so fit and healthy? What are your secrets for staying in shape and feeling good?

ALLISON: After gaining quite a bit of weight in college, I fell in love with group exercise and became a certified fitness instructor after taking hundreds of other instructors’ classes. It’s been something I have always loved and has been a good fit for me. I like the social aspect, the music, and the energy from the other participants! Teaching classes keeps me motivated and fit. I love what I do and enjoy helping my participants reach their fitness goals.

Having a family has also helped me stay in shape and helped me focus on good health. I don’t want to teach my kids that a lazy lifestyle is ok or fill my kids up with junk. I want to teach them to move and fuel their bodies for health. We love to ride bikes, play sports, take walks and spend time together as a family. I want to be fit and healthy to be the wife and mom God calls me to be!

I WILL NOT DIET: Are there things you would recommend for people who are trying to stay healthy as they age (and their bodies become less willing to cooperate with rigorous exercise)?

ALLISON: Find something you enjoy doing and JUST MOVE! Focus on less processed foods, more whole foods and finding activities that keep you moving, thinking and having fun.

I WILL NOT DIET: What kind of person do you think would be a good candidate for boot camp?

ALLISON: Bowling Green Backyard Bootcamp is for anyone looking for motivation, support, and a challenging AND fun workout! The name can be a little intimidating but the class is not! I guarantee bootcampers will smile during their workouts while feeling the burn!

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For the past fourteen years, ALLISON MILLETT has been improving lives, instructing classes and helping people reach their fitness goals. In April of 2010, after years of teaching at several gyms around Bowling Green, Kentucky, she decided to branch out and start Bowling Green Backyard Bootcamp. Allison says she loves what she does, especially helping bootcampers become stronger and healthier. She prides herself on making workouts fun, challenging, and different each time and says participants are guaranteed to see and feel results. Visit her website here: http://www.bgbackyardbootcamp.com/

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and the beholder is YOU

What is it that makes one feel attractive?

Is it only when we look like the people in the movies?

For men, is it when they have a McDreamy-like thick head of hair?

Or a sculpted Brad Pitt face?

For women, is it having the big-but-not-too-big boobs of ScarJo?

Or eyes as seductive as Mila Kunis?

Tonight I heard about a little boy who wonders why his mom doesn’t dress like the other moms because she spends her days in yoga pants and t-shirts. He also worries that he’s not handsome because he has moles.

Marilyn Monore had a mole that defined her.

So did Cindy Crawford.

And people actually complained when Sarah Jessica Parker got rid of her famous mole. (To those people I say, get a freaking life.)

That’s because, as most of us know, determining what is beautiful really all depends on who you’re asking.

As for the little boy’s other concern, according to Glamour magazine, the majority of men find women most attractive when they’re wearing jeans and a t-shirt. It turns out, we wear dresses and heels for us rather than for them.

But isn’t that okay? Isn’t it okay if we all like different things about ourselves rather than trying to be just like McDreamy or Scarjo? Or just like each other?

I know I feel fabulous when I arrive at work or go out on the weekend in killer heels and a clingy dress, but I also know plenty of other women who would hate to wear that kind of outfit and feel more at home in Levi’s and cowboy boots.

And even though I think my husband would look amazing in a Justin Bateman v-neck sweater . . .

or a black vest a la Dan Humphrey . . .

he won’t wear either one.

From my point of view, that’s what makes us interesting—we’re all different, and we’re all beautiful in incredibly individual ways. And it’s good that we don’t want to look exactly alike.

So what it is that you like about you? What is one of the things about you that makes you feel good?

I’d really love to hear it.

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