Archive | July, 2012

The Infamous “Oh, He’s Not My Type”.

28 Jul

As I am getting older and more familiar with the dating world, I am beginning to realize that finding the “perfect” guy is a little bit harder than how they make it seem in the movies. I know girls who make checklists of what they want their boyfriends to be like and honestly, a lot of the times they describe guys you can only find in Disney movies.

Having a “type”, can possibly be the worst thing you can do for your dating life. For example, lets say you want to date someone with a steady job, more or less around your age, and they can’t be smokers. Then, you meet someone that meets two of three of your requirements. Do you completely blow them off and not see them again because they don’t happen to fit your dream profile? No, no, no and NO. In all honesty, that seems a little silly. Doesn’t it?

There seems to be a certain type of guy that at one point in their life every girl pictures herself with. Tall, handsome, has a six digit salary, and a nice family. The truth is, not all guys that fit that profile are good guys, and they don’t have to fit that profile to be a good guy. The same thing goes for girls. You don’t have to cook, clean, and look like a runway model to be a catch. After all, no one really knows what they want until they have it in front of them .

The point, is that you can really miss out on someone great (and perfect for you)  if you’re looking for the “perfect” person to come along. Don’t push people away because they’re not what you think you “should” be dating. Because in the end, that “type” that you’ve been looking for might not be the right type for you anyway.

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Originally published ( a while ago) on The University Lifestyle . Edited and republished by yours truly. 

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Guys Should Not Be Touching Me.

28 Jul

Just read this fantastic post on Jezebel. So amazingly well put I had to post the entire thing. Thank you, Kara Brown, for your honesty and amazingness.

Hey, Guys: If I Don’t Know You, Then Hands Off.

Ladies, let’s see a show of hands if the following has happened to you: You’re out at a bar or a similarly crowded venue meant for socializing. You’re minding your own business, chatting with some friends, doing body shots, whatevs, when you feel a hand on the small of your back. You turn around and see a completely random guy trying to maneuver his way behind you. If you’re really unlucky, his hand might linger on your back. If you’re really REALLY unlucky, he’ll wink at you when he does this.

Whoa, that’s a lot of hands in the air. This, my friends, is some bullfuckity bullshit.

Every time this happens to me, I immediately grab the guy’s hand and fling it off me. If it’s been a long night, I’ll usually throw in a glare, because what the hell does he think he’s doing?

My problem here isn’t so much the touching; it’s WHERE I’m being touched. Although, most of the time, you absolutely do not need to put your hands on someone to get them to move a few inches. USE YOUR WORDS. Yes, bars and clubs can get very loud, which is why you try raising your voice a bit. If, then, you’re still not getting a response, that’s when you touch them. But USING YOUR WORDS should always be the first option.

If you find it absolutely necessary to put your hands on a woman you’ve never met in your life, why not try an area a little further away from her ass? MIGHT THAT BE A GOOD IDEA GUYS?

As far as I’m concerned, the only places you should really be touching a complete stranger in a non-emergency situation are their hands and shoulders. Most other places can very easily be misconstrued as something a lot less innocent.

What’s most obnoxious about this is that it’s a complete violation of personal space disguised as some sort of polite gesture. What, he’s just trying to gently guide your feminine frame and apparently the space directly above your ass is the steering wheel? Why not give me a tap on the shoulder? Or my arm? Or my UPPER back?

And yes, I’m only calling out straight men on this because, duh. In my experience, I’ve never seen a woman do this to another woman. I’ve never seen a man do this to another man. I’ve also never seen a gay man do this to a woman.

There are probably some guys reading this who don’t understand what I’m getting all worked up about. Look, when I’m touched by a man I don’t know in a way that is very easily interpreted as a sexual gesture, particularly in a hectic environment like a nightclub, it scares me. It sends the message that you think it’s appropriate for you to put your hands on me anywhere you want, for any reason you see fit.

I am not overacting with this. I can already hear someone whining “But what if I didn’t mean anything by it? What if my intentions were good and honest and I just wanted to create some space so I could move by?” I can respect that, but quite frankly, your intentions mean jack shit. When you put your hands THAT CLOSE TO MY ASS how exactly do I know your intentions are good? I don’t know you. And even if your intentions aren’t skeezy, what makes you think I want them? I don’t have to be open to your advances just because they’re coming from a good place.

So guys, stop with this. We know what you’re trying to do. Don’t try to play dumb like, “Ohh loopty-doo fiddlesticks! How did my hand end up three inches from your ass?!” Because you put it there, jerk. This isn’t an accidental boob graze; it’s a deliberate move to get my attention. Or, you’re just being a thoughtless jerk without any regard for your actions and how they might be offensive  to people around you.

When someone does this to me, it completely eliminates any chance that I’m going to talk to him. In other words, guys, this shit doesn’t work. I can tell you right now that you’ll have better luck attracting the attention of a woman if you don’t pull this lower back faux-slick bullshit move. Hands to yourself. Use your words. Trust me on this one.

When I was little I wore jumpers…

25 Jul

…and now little girls are wearing mini-skirts. 

According to an article on LiveScience (read here), 30% of girls’ clothing is sexualized. The fact that so many stores are doing it, is making it harder and harder for people to be able to tell the difference between girly and sexy. In fact, most people would say that it’s the same thing. 

The “Juicy” sweatpants are the perfect example. Juicy is widely known, and it’s a fashion statement that screams “I can wear sweatpants and still be pretty.” I’m all for that…but not when 10 year old girls have JUICY written across their ass and think it’s cute.  

Although Juicy is a brand (just like PINK) and because of that you SHOULD be able to have your 12 year old cousin wear them without hesitation,  the word “juicy” is a lot more…vivid? (Okay, it’s just a straight up porn word).

It’s hard though, because how can you avoid something if it’s so trendy? Especially when you’re in middle school and you’re so desperate to fit in. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moms & the Media, Monkey See, Monkey Do.

22 Jul

Halter top,short shorts and strappy heels. A new trend for preteen girls across America. Who’s to blame? 

On one side of the ring we have the evil media. Commercials, music videos, advertisements, and television shows. What’s a girl to do but want to be like the celebs on TV and the models in magazines? 

On the other side we have…moms? 

According to an article on Salon.com, moms should be blamed for their little girls wanting to wear over-sexualized outfits. 

Here’s a clip: 

Girls learn what it means to be a woman by watching their moms. A new study has not only corroborated that but also found that mothers are a strong predictor — even more than the amount of media consumption alone — of whether a girl will regard herself as a sex object. The study sample was too minute to be definitive and has to be followed up with future research, but it raises important questions about how to best prevent young girls from regarding themselves as Bratz dolls.

Researchers had a group of 60 girls between the ages of 6 and 9 choose between two paper dolls that were identical save for their dress: One wore revealing, “sexy” clothing, while the other wore “stylish but non-sexualized clothing.” The researchers found that “girls overwhelmingly chose the sexualized doll over the non-sexualized doll” when asked which one they would like to look like and which one would be popular. Given our sex-saturated culture, this surprised no one. What was surprising was this conclusion: “We do not find media consumption to be the primary culprit for early sexualization of young girls.” The researchers went on to say that “the quantity of TV and movies watched is not, in and of itself, a risk factor for young girls’ sexualized self-views.” Instead, it’s “the interaction between media hours and maternal self-objectification that creates vulnerability for early sexualization.”

That is to say, media-immersed girls with moms who view themselves as sex objects were more likely to pick the sexy paper doll.

This study isn’t surprising, but I don’t think one factor should be more harmful than another. Moms and the media go hand in hand in this cause. One reinforces the other. Monkey see, monkey do. 

I’m Pretty, So Life is Easy?

21 Jul

 According to pretty much everyone I’ve talked to, being pretty is a way you can cheat through life.

I don’t quite understand because by society’s standards I’m “pretty”, and I’m still working pretty damn hard to make it in this world. Sure, my smile probably scored me some free milkshakes at work but that’s about it. 

I still have to go to work and make $10 an hour. I still have to finish school so I can stop making $10 an hour. And I’m not just easing through, I have to study and show up on time. Not as easy as it may seem…

But that’s normal right? For a 20 year old to be working and going to school full-time. So then WHY am I being told that PRETTY girls have it easier? 

It has been said that “ugly” girls (who’s to say who is ugly anyway?) have to deal with  that EXTRA pressure to be” pretty”. But the truth is, EVERY GIRL has to deal with that pressure to be physically appealing. Even celebrities do. 

The bottom line will always be that if you feel confident enough to go for the things you want, you’ll get them no matter how tall, skinny, and glamorous you are. You have to work, and look for opportunities yourself because most of the time they’re not going to fly at you. Looks don’t last forever, therefore I don’t think anyone should rely on them. But your personality will always be with you. 

That’s why I want to be known as : Ashley, that smart, funny girl.

NOT just Ashley, that pretty girl. 

Curves all over the World (American culture sucks sometimes)

18 Jul

This isn’t the first, and will probably not be the last time I mention how astounded I am at how obsessed people are with their own bodies. Recently I’ve started thinking about if this is just an American thing or if it’s just a girl thing to want to be skinny. Interestingly enough, Americans are the only ones that really care about this stuff. 

Here’s what I found on 4healthylife.com,


Waist to Hip Ratio

An important factor that measures the level of woman’s attractive is waist-to-hip ratio. Waist-to-hip ratio is calculated by dividing the circumference of woman’s waist by circumference of her hip. However, the preferred ratio is different in different countries. Like in Western countries, women with waist-to-hip ratio of 0.7 are considered most attractive. In Asian countries the ratio is 0.6 while in Latin American and African countries the ratio of 0.8 is found most appealing. This shows that hourglass figure is most liked by men.

…Wait, there’s more from an amazing post on lemondrop.com
South Africa 
For the women of South Africa, there was a brief moment in the post-Apartheid 1990s where the emulation of Western culture meant a distinct rise in eating disorders. But since then, a radically different, pro-body-image movement has arisen, due in no small part to the fact that the spread of AIDS has caused thinness to be associated with illness.”When you lose a lot of weight there, people immediately start asking if you’re sick,” Savacool said. An interesting consequence of this is that Levi’s have begun selling a special cut of jeans to flatter curvier South Africans; the style is not yet available in the United States, but does well overseas.

Fiji
The Fijian nation’s leaders have striven to connect the once-isolated island with the rest of the world, but the influx of American and Australian television and films has begun spreading an unhealthy body image in a culture that has always embraced eating — to the point where every visitor to a home is immediately greeted with a gift of food. There are pro-curves movements afoot, but the culture has been compromised by Western society.

Jamaica
For young women of this Caribbean nation, it’s socially essential to have a little junk in the trunk, as the dance styles most popular in the country rely heavily on being able to shake what you got. As a result, curves are most definitely embraced, but naturally thin women are occasionally driven to consuming high-fat “chicken pills” in an effort to gain weight.

Afghanistan
Savacool is quick to point out that the body-concealing burqa used to be a personal choice for women, but is now a matter of national law. Beyond that, curves are definitely embraced. Additionally, a woman’s face and hair are given equal emphasis when judging her beauty. The longer a woman’s hair, the better, it’s believed, but it is often true that Afghani beauty is more defined by a pretty face that a toned body.

I’m not going to say that these countries don’t have their own body image issues, no one is perfect. But at least they’re all promoting curves as something beautiful and healthy, not like Americans who see them as wrong or disgusting. 

Luckily, as this “trying so hard to diet and exercise to be thin, not healthy” trend is progressing, there are more and more women becoming aware of body image issues amongst not only grown women, but ESPECIALLY in teenage girls. I just came across an article in which they ask their readers to send in a picture of a body part they’re dying to change on Huffington Post, LOVING IT. They’re asking for it to be completely unedited and it’s working! Click here to read the whole piece. 
And I will leave you with this, I have gained ten pounds, (maybe twelve) over the past year. AND I F***ING LOVE IT. 

Why Can’t We Be Friends?

18 Jul

Girl on girl hate; you’d think it would get better as one gets older right? Usually with age comes maturity, wisdom, security. Wrong. While thinking about the issue and sifting it out internally, I happen to come across a show called The Bad Girls Club (BGC), and if that show doesn’t epitomize the ever living presence of girl on girl violence I don’t know what does.

So, why do we do it ladies? Why must some feel the need to overshadow, belittle and oppress others when we ourselves everyday are shown how unworthy we are? What with media force feeding artificial femininity, and what high fashion magazines portray and what beauty experts claim? It seems as though we are becoming people who are pre-programmed in self-hatred. What exactly does it stem from? I have some ideas: a) insecurities, b) a fear of failure [in
attaining desired appearances], and c) an unwillingness to tolerate or accept difference.

The reasoning varies among the ages of girls, but the one that always seems to burrow its way to the core is my third suggestion, an inability or rather refusal to accept or tolerate difference. When people are confronted with things that are slightly altered from the norm, whether it is presentation, personality, lifestyle, sexual orientations, morals etc., it tends to create a rather overdramatic clash. The girl who enjoys a good book instead of a “good time” is more than
likely getting the cock-eyed look from her neighbor if she happens to be someone who spends more time at the H&M than Barnes and Nobles. A lot of this became apparent as I watched a couple of episodes of The BGC. For a lot of the women, the equation was simple and explosive:difference = potential threat, which means that difference + intolerance = oppression (or a lot of unnecessary violence in this case.)

Violence against our fellow females only results in a bigger setback for US. We become too wrapped up in the very ideals that a lot of women including myself, consistently and mindfully try to reject every day. These ridiculous ingrained desires to be or become something that in all actuality does NOT exist (i.e. the “model type”, the “dime piece”, the “bad bitch”), seems to be rotting the female from the inside out. These terms and labels are all subjective, and it is you as
an individual and as a woman who can define yourself and by showing acceptance you allow for other females to do the same. It’s a move towards both empowerment and agency for all and brings more security and happiness than violence against another can ever bring one.

Disney Makes Us (Girls) Boy-Crazy

16 Jul

I had an epiphany today at work while watching about 50 nine year old girls sing along to “Call Me Maybe”.  

Preteen and teen girls are more boy- crazy than ever. 

Between Beiber-Fever and the One Direction-Infection, girls ages 9-16 are completely OBSESSED with the hopes of maybe one day talking to these celebrities who they will swear are their true love. 

A lot of older people think it’s silly, pointless, it might even make them mad that their daughters are head over heels for these teen pop sensations. But it’s not their fault that they’re boy-crazy! I can prove it! 

Name one show on the Disney Channel that isn’t about a boy-crazy (or girl-crazy) main character? …exactly. 

Now here’s the better one…How many of the Disney Princesses (or characters in general) end up madly in love with a Prince Charming and live happily ever after? TOO MANY OF THEM. 

Jeez, even Simba gets his happily ever after!

So my dear friends, I blame every boy-crazy teenage girl on Disney. Disney has been teaching us FOR DECADES  that there is nothing more important than finding true love and living happily ever after. And now that this new princess Merida, from the movie Brave, finally takes a stand and doesn’t want to get married and the media starts calling her a lesbian?

Oh please people. It’s 2012, get a grip. 

Pimp my…Toddler? A look at Tots and Tiaras

15 Jul
After watching countless episodes of Toddlers & Tiaras on Netflix, I still can’t seem to understand the necessity of these kiddie beauty pageants.
Here’s a little something I would love to say to those pageant moms out there:
I get that you want your little girl to feel like your princess and wear a crown and all that jazz. And you know what? She should feel like a princess because all little girls are princesses. What I don’t get is how sticking a four year old in a tanning booth and getting your seven year old flippers (fake teeth) is necessary. 
By all means, dress them up in rhinestones, after all it’s coming out of your pocket, not mine. Just know that those thousands of dollars you just paid for that bedazzled piece of cloth could have paid for a year of her college tuition.
Not only are you pointlessly wasting money, but you may also be damaging her emotionally. Beauty pageants are competitions that make outer beauty a priority and what happens if your little girl loses? It’s not uncommon for pageant contestants to develop a low self-esteem or become obsessed with their looks.
Aside from setting them up for potential body image issues, these pageants also put an enormous amount of pressure on little girls. A day that they could have spent playing with their friends or running around in a park, is a day of hours of rehearsals and preparation for their big day.
As much as I love the idea of making every girl in the world feel beautiful, I’m not sure if these beauty pageants are helping the cause.

Faux Lesbianism

15 Jul

Have you ever hit a club somewhere with your friends, been having a great time, and then noticed two girls that you swore were straight, kissing? Has that ever made you wonder why? Have you ever been that girl? Newsflash ladies, playing the faux sexy lesbian role, may cause more harm than it does good…for all parties involved.

We can all pin point lots of reasons as to why it occurs, but the one that probably sticks out the most and is usually the top reason for it is male attention. Now I understand the need to want to be found attractive, duly noted, but why go to such extremes? If you wouldn’t do it while your sober, what makes you think it would make sense to do it while tipsy? I think it’s
time to reevaluate the length that so many girls go to for male approval…

Firstly, the image that a girl makes about herself doing things like that is far from a classy one. It gives off all the wrong impressions, and it brings attention for all the wrong purposes. Ladies if you want to attract a man and KEEP him, showing him how wreck less and sloppy you can be, is NOT cute.

Secondly, it can be a bit insulting and definitely annoying to women who identify as bisexual or lesbian. It not only gives straight girls a bad rep but also makes the space uncomfortable for other women to be in as well. It becomes an assumption for men that all women “pretend” to be gay, which definitely causes friction and awkwardness for your lesbian and bisexual counterparts. It also becomes an unintentional invitation as well (which I’ve had happen to me personally), where men find it completely normal to try and impose themselves on two women who seem like they are intimately involved.

My proposal? STOP DOING IT. Ladies raise the level of standards for both yourselves and the men you meet. Be sensitive to the idea that there are women who can and do act the way you do drunk, when they’re sober. Look at it this way, if you need that “liquid courage” to engage in these activities and behaviors, clearly it is not a part of your character. Be yourself , because in the long run, you’ll look better and be better for it.