Archive | June, 2012

Gotta LOVE that LINE, thank you Adam Carolla (no pun intended)

20 Jun

And just when I thought the media couldn’t get any worse for women…it did. Thank you, Adam Carolla, for enlightening me with your ridiculous thoughts on how you think women aren’t funny. If women aren’t funny, then maybe he should check what’s in his pants.

First of all, who the hell is Adam Carolla? Oh yeah….he’s that guy that did the voice of  “Death” on Family Guy! Yeah, he’s hilarious. Seriously speaking though, everyone knows him because he did Loveline which he left in 2005 to do his own show which wasn’t funny enough so he now has the most downloaded PODCAST ever according to the Guinness World Records.

Nice one, Adam. Read what he said here.

 

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A Letter to Teenager Ashley by No Longer a Teenager Ashley

16 Jun

To my dearest younger self,

I want you to look in the mirror and tell me what you see. Not-so-clear skin, not-so-straight teeth, curves in all of the wrong places and let’s not forget those (only) B cups. Your eyes are pretty, color-changing in the sun, but there’s too much sadness behind them to see them shine. Your best friend moved away so now you have no desire to make real friends in high school. Your mom expects too much of you and it’s making you miserable. Your dad makes no effort to take part in your personal life even though he sees you struggling and you live under the same roof. Your brother has always been your support system but now he’s a teenager so he doesn’t need you as much as you need him. And lastly, your first love dumped you four times in four years for the same girl every single time.

The only people you can turn to live miles and miles away. You can only lean on a keyboard, a pen and a collection of notebooks you will keep forever. You write songs to let go of your emotions but you won’t show them to anyone. You try to help people that don’t want help, and you open up to people who won’t help you but only want to help themselves. Everyone tells you that things will get better soon but you don’t want to hear it because “soon” isn’t soon enough and what if they’re wrong? You’re constantly looking for something, answers maybe. If what you’re looking for is guidance, this is what I’m going to say to you.

Things are going to get better, you just  need to stop trying to change everyone else’s life around you and change your own . You need to care less about everyone else and more about yourself. You need to let go of the emotions you’ve been holding onto for too long. Your heart can only take so much and someone better will come along. Until then, make your future your first priority.You have dreams and you know that you can do anything you set your mind to do. Stop trying to fix the people around you because as much as you’d like to believe that you can, you can’t and you won’t ever be able to. Remember who respects your decisions and whoever doesn’t, isn’t worth going to extra mile for in the end. Once you start taking care of yourself, everything else will fall into place. Life is only good to those who can make it good for themselves. Be good to yourself and let people know how wonderfully talented,smart and witty you are. If you can’t do yourself that favor, who do you expect to do it for you?

And most importantly, know yourself.

Much love,

Me

Men…more catty than women?

7 Jun

“…”hot” women are talismans of masculinity to be displayed to other men.”

Anyone else find this insulting? In a recent article posted on jezebel.com, Hugo Schwyzer talks about how we are attracted to what we think will attract other people. Although the article is geared towards men, women are also guilty of this which is why we’re often labeled “catty”.

As I will continue to quote his story throughout this post, I want you to think about how he himself, a man, is posting this and if you look through the comments, people are calling him “creepy”. I myself, don’t see anything wrong with his writing. I think it’s insightful, and good for him honestly. He acknowledges the body image issue in America while most men don’t.

“Eating disorders — and the broader problem of poor body image — aren’t unique to women, nor can they be attributed to one single cause. But it’s undeniable that whatever the truth about men’s desires, young women’s perception of “what guys want” plays a huge part in the pursuit of thinness. While the fashion industry deserves some blame for perpetuating an unattainable ideal, men’s refusal to acknowledge the reality of their own desires is a key aspect of the problem. In other words, it’s not that all men — or even most straight white men — genuinely prefer skinny women. It’s that for a great many men, having a thin, conventionally pretty girlfriend is a way to win status in the eyes of other men. It’s not actually about what they themselves want. Put simply, men and women alike confuse what it is that men are attracted to with what it is that men imagine will win them approval.”

Men seem to care about what other men think just as much as women do about other women. However I think in this case it’s all about winning. Guys are extremely competitive and they must always one-up each other (why do you think video games are so popular among them?).

Doesn’t reading all of this make you think that men are the catty ones?

If you’d like to read the whole article by Hugo, click here.

Let’s Review: Premiere Issue of Cosmopolitan “For Latinas”

5 Jun

Get Ready…It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for. I finally got my hand on the premiere issue of Cosmo for Latinas. You’d be surprised if you knew how many Duane Reades I had to go to before I could find it…Very interesting.

I’m not going to talk about how Zoe Saldana is on the cover because everyone else who had anything to say about this mag already made such a big deal about it. However, I do have a lot to say in regards to what else was within these pages or should I say paginas? (jajaja)

So, we won’t start with the cover but how about we start off with the very first ad-

A very pale Sofia Vergara. Funny right? Stereotypical Latinas – dark skin. The “ideal” Latina, Sofia- now white? No entiendo. 

The magazine had no real music section however on pages 30-31 they feature a “Cultura Clash”- I must say say that this is probably the only part of the mag that I genuinely liked. The article covers the different types of Latino dances: Merengue, Salsa, Bachata, Tango and La Quebradito.

But on that same page what do I see at the bottom? :

Mexican Slang of the Season” (SEND US YOUR FAVORITE!) – Nalgaso: the beatdown that’s coming when Mami finds your birth control pills. 

-although this one was funny (and I could relate). I’m not sure if picking on the Mexican race for using slang would be the best approach to attract Latinas…

The next page made me say “Wow, really?”A quiz titled “Which Telenovela Star Are You?” And guess what guys….I’m “La Fea”….Dios. 

The Stylista section wasn’t nearly as insulting as I had expected. It does give suggestions on how to shop for jeans but being that shopping for jeans gives me anxiety, I didn’t mind the pointers.

The beauty section was pretty general, with the exception of “Baby, Get Back”- Yes, that’s right muchachas, all about our Latina booties. How to scrub, conceal, tan and lots moer to make our butt (apparently the only part of us that matters) flawless!

The REAL TALK Feature was disappointing. “How to be La Loca” was the title…Not even gonna go there.

I had fun with the Divertida section of the magazine. It was Mexican themed. How to throw a Mexican fiesta, recipes (actually good ones, not tacos and quesadillas but pozole and empanadas)

To end my review, let’s look at the last page shall we. “Mami Says!”  ” Your mom says what? Post her craziest thoughts!”

Hm…no thank you Cosmo. Anywho, we’ll see what happens in the next issue (if they have one). Hasta luego !

PS: if you have some time….watch this video.

The Thing About Porn

4 Jun

After reading an article ( a very good one)  from the LA Times- The Porn Effect on Young Men, I’ve decided to write something similar but of course, more towards us ladies.

It wasn’t until recently that I thought about how porn really affects us. It’s kind of like Photoshop in a way (and we all know how I feel about that), It makes a not-so-always-glamorous-looking ( or feeling) thing, seem oh- so-glamorously hot and sexy. If you’ve had sex before, you know that this isn’t always the case.

Aside from creating this ideal sex scenario for guys, it also makes a lot women feel like they cannot perform “well” in this department. What we all have to remember is that pornstars aren’t real people and they aren’t really having sex.

I know, sounds crazy right? Let me explain. Although this may seem obvious, these unrealistic expectations during sex set by porn, are becoming more and more problematic because people don’t understand the following.

Pornstars are actors. Having sex is their job. A lot of the times, they’ll do things that don’t necessarily feel amazing, but they just look amazing on camera. You know that sex position that you’ve been trying and you’re wondering if you’re doing it right because you’re not getting anywhere with it? Yeah…probably not your fault.

So,  here’s what I have to say: when it comes to sex, or when it comes to anything actually, you do you. Don’t try to look or act like anyone else.

PS: If you like this post, check out Sam Hogan’s post about Women and Sex.

Latinas and Sex: A Call for a Shift in Approach and Experience for Girls by Samantha Hogan, Co-Founder of TWSS

4 Jun

Let’s have a discussion, a true and honest one on the topic of sex and girls. One that mama always seemed to avoid having. One that can help alter and shape the experiences of young Latinas everywhere and their encounters within the realm of sexual relations. Girls younger and younger are becoming more sexually active within our communities. The stigmatization surrounding the “sex talk” is so thick that in many cases, for mothers it takes a lot more effort than they feel its worth. Yet in a world where the Latina body and its expression falls under so much scrutiny, there are more reasons than ever before to break down these barriers and to be open to a topic that has long been discussed by everyone but the subject, US and our experiences with sex…

Sex vs. History

Of course like many aspects of our culture, views of sex and tradition are tied almost indefinitely to the past, more specifically colonialism in Latin America. Views on sex are strictly tied to religious beliefs, implemented by European countries. Catholicism and Christianity (the two reigning belief systems in Latin America) view sex as a means for procreation, not recreation. As a result of this, mothers also seem to be internalizing this view as well, perhaps partly because they were also raised with the same values, but mainly because this is what their faith teaches as right. In today’s society though this is far from the case; in fact, the attitude towards sex has been gradually evolving more towards means of pleasure rather than babies, especially among young women ranging from high school through college. In order to be able to better prepare girls to be responsible in thought and empowered in action, mothers must be willing open to conversation and concerns about it.

Instead of pushing sex towards the realm of marriage there needs to be recognition that for many young girls, this is not the case. Unfortunately the views on pleasure in sex have also become very outdated. Previously, sex was an act seen as a way of pleasing a man; the woman’s pleasure was never a standing factor. As time moves forward, as the shift from procreation to recreation has taken place so has focus on the individual. Sex is about two now instead of one. A man is expected to please a woman just as much as a woman is expected to please a man. The patriarchal undertones of sex are slowly beginning to wither away.

Sex and the Media

Since the beginning of the silent film era sex and Latinas have been almost immediately linked together. This assumption of the early 1900’s has only become more normalized since then, giving us extreme sex icons like Sofia Vergara and Eva Mendes to constitute the features of a “true” Latina. Who are young girls to look up to, if not these celebrities? Shows and movies (both Hispanic and American) constantly perpetuate this idea of the highly sexual woman; young girls are bound to conform to the idea that they are supposed to be sexually active, with these people as they’re role models. Latinas are always dressed promiscuously, short skirts/dresses, tons of cleavage and legs, and loads of makeup. These are the markers that we have come to be known by in the public eye and entertainment’s mind. What should be expected of the young when this is the only image that they have to relate to?  Having this talk with girls at an early age can give them a foundation to compare things to, as opposed to taking these images as the truth. Again, being more honest about this will give girls more agency and control over the decisions they make as women with their bodies as they head into developing years.

*Que Pasando Ahora?

In order to put this in reality’s perspective, I took a small survey of 20 young girls, ages ranging from around 15 to 22. I asked how many of them had ever had a sex talk with their mothers at all, and came across some very interesting and somewhat disturbing results. Twelve out of the 20 girls answered no, while only 8 of the girls said yes, and what’s more? Sixteen out of the 20 had already been sexually active (including oral and intercourse). These numbers stand for more than half in each of these categories, which says that weather girls are having the conversation or not, the activity is still carrying on.

It could only benefit us and future generations to have open conversations and create safe, comfortable relationships between daughters and their mothers. If mothers become the prime source of clearing of questions and concerns, the mistakes that a lot of young Latinas find themselves in may be at the very least lessened if not eradicated. Teen pregnancy is a growing epidemic here in the United States. If girls were taught different ways of protecting themselves at home, it would foster wiser decision making tactics on the parts junior high and high school students. The good that can come from this shift in attitude is endless. Yes, it is true that many schools have and do offer sex education classes for young people between these age groups, but the impression that it has on the kids, especially girls, could never be more influential than a relationship at home.

 

The Shortcomings of Sex Ed.

Sex education is a development that in a lot of ways works within a very public and political sphere. It is a curriculum made by the school, which must be approved by someone of a higher seating than the principal of the establishment. This means that the sentiment they feel about sex education will usually reflect what is being favored at the moment and like many other education programs, are definitely subject to change. The focus varies across the board according the area of the school is in. In my high school, on Long Island, there was no sex ed. class, just a mere 2 days dedicated to STD’s and the proper way to put on a condom. It was a strictly hetero-normative course and there was no talk about birth control or other ways in which a girl could learn to protect herself.

While in a close friend of mine’s school, in the Bronx they were giving out free NYC condoms just as Hunter’s establishment does at many times throughout the year. The classes she attended had quizzes on how to properly apply a condom. Could this have helped me? As a woman and as Latina, of course it would have. Students always learn better when they are given the opportunities to take what they’ve learned and demonstrate it. She was given the opportunity to see what a birth control regiment actually looks like, and told the benefits and in some cases the downfalls of them. If all schools aren’t on the same page as far as, what their perceptions on sex are (abstinence, tolerance, acceptance etc.), how can we as a community trust that they are preparing young girls appropriately? The fact of the matter is that girls are becoming active at younger and younger ages, and to deny the phenomenon does nothing but put girls, especially young Latinas at a disadvantage.

 

A New Proposal?

Perhaps it is time to turn to a new conclusion in the present day and age about the sexual experience and expression of the Latina. She is more than what the media has made of her, and definitely more than what the church has expected of her. By opening up the floor for these kinds of dialogue to take place, it does more than educate, it enlightens and gives power and stability to those who are become a part of it. Do not wait until our young girls have made a mistake that could’ve been avoided. Give young Latinas a voice that society takes from them, and let them show through action that we are indeed more than a pregnancy statistic. We are women,madres y hijas, and together, we can make the statement that has been denied from us for so long: this is my body, and I am capable of making decisions for myself.

*what’s going on now?