Tag Archives: feminism

Why No One Was Ready For Love

I won’t blame it all on my friend Anna but she definitely made it easier to feel okay about watching the new reality show, Ready For Love. Admittedly, I’ve watched The Bachelor/Bachelorette; I was in a low place when I surrendered to Emily and her search for love (and later for Sean’s shirtless journey). If you’ve lost respect for me because of these admissions, well, I understand–I’m sure I hate myself for it even more.

Either way, I know bad reality television (its been over two months since I’ve watched Dance Moms and I just feel healthier!). Eva Longoria is supposedly the mind behind this new dating show, where three of the self prescribed “best matchmakers in the world”–Amber, Matt and Tracy–try to find love for three men. Amber, having been married for twenty years is as qualified as anyone else who has been married for twenty years, while Tracy has the most viewed article of all time on Huffington Post so, jealous much? Matt’s specialty is being young handsome and British and of course, vocalizing the inner workings of the sexist complicated male psyche.

As a side note, can we briefly acknowledge that ALL reality dating shows require you to be under the national weight average and above the national attractiveness average (cue my roommate Zack walking in living room to ask, “are there any uggos?”) I’m not an idiot–television isn’t reality and reality television isn’t reality. However, wouldn’t it be so much greater if we had some prime time shows with average looking people?

To begin with, the intro for Ready for Love is like having a seizure on the floor while someone frantically and repeatedly takes snap shots over your head. When I’m forced to watch three “matchmakers” smile for the camera, turning and posing at every angle like they’re in the running for Miss Universe for ten minutes at the beginning of each episode, I’m automatically skeptical.

These matchmakers act as that voice inside your head dissuading you from being yourself–“don’t voice you’re insecurities, now it’s in his head forever!”–Sure, sometimes in the game the matchmakers want you to take out the ‘be yourself’ card (let that hair down, girl! Show the sexy you!) but that’s not the game plan. Shouldn’t that be the game plan? Instead, the show is like your judgmental grammie reminding you how to be a lady–“that hair color makes you look like a Russian hooka!”
(Don’t even get me started on the validity of the ex-girlfriend of one of the guys who “couldn’t stand to watch the process on television without being a part of it.”)

I just feel like being a lady was a thing for a while but that’s just not real life anymore unless you’re Judy Garland or the Queen. Sure, I’ll put a napkin on my lap when I eat at a table but I’m sure as hell not holding in my gas to make you feel more comfortable. I’m SORRY! I know this is a hard thing for some people but we need to face facts: women poop and fart and burp and get pit stains and sometimes have hairy legs.

The reason I’m taking it here is because for two full episodes I watched one poor women get berated for saying the words “fart” and “puke” on a date. I won’t lie, watching Hailey tell the story of an escaped fart was one of the more uncomfortable moments in my life but it was also AMAZING to hear a woman tell a dreaded fart story. As she was lying on a the couch with her boyfriend she moved her legs out popped an innocent fart–come on, it’s happened to us all, whether you’re ready to admit it or not.

My own experience feels worse, and yet i’ll tell it to anyone who will listen: as me, my first boyfriend and his two best friend sat on my purple couch shoulder to shoulder watching The Notebook, I sneezed, not knowing my sneeze would push out an audibly awkward, mood ruining fart that actually broke the tension of watching a love scene at sixteen with your boyfriend and his friends as your parents roam in the background making sure you weren’t getting high. But STILL, I remember the moment as if it were my first time farting because at the time, I thought: girls don’t fart.

I’m thankful now to have a mother that would fart in the other room then poke her head in and say, “good one huh, Al?” But not all women are so lucky and I can’t imagine how many stomach aches were caused by the held in fart. It’s a shame.

This is a picture of me farting without knowing it was being taken. You're welcome.

This is a picture of me farting without knowing it was being taken. You’re welcome.

After the date where homegirl Hailey was asked to tell an embarrassing story and ended up sharing her fart attack, the matchmakers eagerly weighed in on what just doesn’t help you get the guy. “You said the word F-A-R-T on a date. And that is something a woman should NEVER do,” said Tracy, the one matchmaker I could imagine being in a room with without vomiting. But with proper observation–bitch is crazy!

At this point, the matchmakers start urging Hailey to let her sexy out–be your sexy true self not that fake farting girl who likes to quote Dumb and Dumber! While,in the background Julianna and Bill Rancic squabble over who asked out who first in a public display of uncomfortable foreplay. (There’s so much more depth than The Bachelor!) I also love how it’s the matchmakers and not the contestant who picks the bottom two cause its like this vindictive game of whose girl is more of a lady–I’ll send my farter to the bottom but you send your crazy stalker with a kid!

Inevitably, the show was cancelled. I guess viewers enjoy watching roses get handed out more than random people scolding women for using the word ‘fart’. I’m actually really proud that this show got cancelled because do we really need more people/television shows setting unrealistic expectations for women on how to act and be sexy. My boyfriend thinks it’s so ridiculously sexy when I have a healthy digestive tract! How about you?!

FAQ: Are You Wearing a Bra?

Every single time I get asked this question (quite a few times, actually) I wish I could say no because I am in a constant state of wanting to be braless. Whenever I can be, I am without a bra. It just makes sense; It’s just natural. I mean, it’s not like we’re making wire supported boxer briefs for the balls and penis–and those things are a lot floppier. Also, last time I checked, man boobs do not require men to wear bras in public.

The dress code at my work states that I must wear “professional, appropriate” attire and even has specifics when it comes to what I wear UNDER my clothes: “Undergarments must be worn at all times, must be covered by appropriate clothing, and color and/or design must not be visible through clothing.” I’ve accepted that I work with kids at an Elementary school and sometimes people can lose sight of that–I’ve had a substitute teacher come in wearing, legitimately, the same stained grey sweatpants two days in a row. Those sweatpants were a crime and this oaf was just being lazy. But undergarments are a whole different thing and I’d almost prefer if I didn’t have someone telling me I needed to always wear them. 

I should probably say that for most of my childhood I refused to wear socks or underwear because of how uncomfortable I found them. I just didn’t want to have to worry about the seam of the sock moving out of place and sticking into my toe–it was a super big deal. Underwear was bad too because of the waist band. It felt to me like a cage around my privates, holding me in so tight and so uncomfortably it had to be wrong. I felt like I couldn’t BREATHE. But then my mom discovered those smooth, thicker waist bands that don’t feel like you have rubber bands wrapped around your stomach. She also forced me into skirts and dresses so I’d be too embarrassed to not wear underwear. That plan often backfired on her. At five, as a little girl, not wearing underwear made more sense than the inevitable trauma of your skirt blowing up on the playground, exposing your little girl parts. Exposing your private parts at five was almost the cool thing to do. It was like talking back to your teacher in high school, inciting laughter but inevitable punishment.

Either way, at some point, I accepted wearing underwear and socks. (Wearing underwear definitely comes in handy when you laugh so hard you pee yourself just a little bit, just enough for it to show if you DIDN’T have underwear on.)

But I didn’t sign up for the whole bra thing. As I’ve mentioned before, I developed my bossom quite early. To be specific, it happened in the Galvin Middle School cafeteria because that was the microcosm of sexual realization and maturing. It wasn’t until I saw a picture of me in profile from the year before that I realized I had already been developing and that not having a bra on for a side profile picture was a really bad idea; it looked almost like those Nat Geo specials except I had on a shirt.

So I started wearing bras around seventh grade and it was okay until the initial excitement of having breasts wore off. These days, at work I see third grade girls wearing bras and I have to actively stop myself from retching. It’s like, what the fuck? Training bras and shit. What does that even mean? That you need to train your boobs to be inside of a bra? Shouldn’t THAT right there tell you that bras are an awful oppressive piece of clothing. (Unless you really like the feeling which is then OKAY with me).

As it stands, I am forever grateful to the bandeau as a fashion trend because it made it possible for me achieve some middle ground: minimal physical discomfort as possible for the whole day without showcasing my nipples to schoolchildren. Now, I am LUCKY: In the morning, I nanny for the most adorably genius two-and-a-half-year-old boy that never graced youtube or reality television and I am able to get ready for my day during his nap time. It’s perfection because he doesn’t care if I’m wearing a bra so I don’t have to till my next job. And it’s an easy transition from no bra to bandeau. Minimal digging into your side.

The one reason though, that I have endured such bra wearing for so long was because of the promise of its’ benefit: perkier bossoms! My boobs had been a source of great pride to me over the years; not that they aren’t still it’s just a bit different. They don’t control me anymore, let’s say. But now, the myth has been shattered and “I’ve never been happier”(was literally the text I sent my boyfriend when he, like a badass feminist, sent me this link because he didn’t want to do it publicly and maybe embarrass me which was amazing in a different way).

In a fifteen year study, French professor Jean-Denis Rouillon found that “medically, physiologically, anatomically – breasts gain no benefit from being denied gravity…On the contrary, they get saggier with a bra.” IN YOUR FACE.

A recent conversation with my best friend from college, closet connection to Hollywood, and only person I know who enjoys the constriction of bras, Mackenzie:

Me: I’m writing right now about that new study that shows wearing a bra makes your boobs saggier and you’re in it obviously

Mackenzie: A writer came in a few days ago…

Me:  Yes! I need to hear more about your glamorous life!

Mackenzie:  ..and I greeted her and I was like do you want coffee or water? And she goes “wearing a bra doesnt make your boobs less saggy.”
Mackenzie:  “I’m telling you because you’re young. There’s still time for you” and I was like great! Thanks.
SO, for all you ladies out there: There’s stil time! Let those sweet chariots swing low! Be free young ones!

Fratire: This is Not a Joke

The reason we’re here is because of Tucker Max. Kind of. If you’re getting excited right now because your bro feelings are heightened by the sound of this name then I’m sorry for you.

A few weeks ago we had some people come to our Eastside mansion and that’s where I met, –what should I call him?– let’s say Phil. Phil is a really nice guy. Really, he is. My criteria for whether a guy is nice often consists of whether or not he talks to me when he finds out I have a boyfriend. In this case, Phil passed. Go, Phil. And then comes Phil’s wow moment, the moment he looks forward to more than anything when he is out brocializing, the moment Phil gets to tell me what he DOES.

“Have you heard of Tucker Max?” His eyes are hopeful, like he can’t see my brain transmitting emergency abort signals to my gag reflex.
I had not discussed this man since my best friend in high school brought his book to read by my pool, promptly eliciting my shut the fuck up and get that book away from me dance in front of the shabana (shed + cabana). Something about stories that celebrate a frat guy who forces a poor overweight naked woman out the door or through a window out of embarrassment just never sat right with me.

“Wait, you’re serious.” I mean what could he expect? I am A). of the female gender B). a human being C). a person with intellect D). Not gonna sleep with you. My new friend Phil tried explaining to me the invention of fratire– apparently one of Tucker Max’s many successes. I’m sorry, what? Fratire? You mean being an asshole and calling it smart? Or? Am I missing something? Anyone? I had to steer the conversation somewhere else and this is kind of just when it becomes personally offensive. In this moment, I am thankful for the topless woman spinning her hula hoop THAT IS ON FIRE behind us because how much cooler is she than Tucker Max? And also because no one is focused on this awful conversation I am having with Phil. I ask Phil about what he wants to do in life, like really do.

“I tried the acting thing but I didn’t want it enough,” he says, “and you’re a writer?” Of course! An actor! How did I not know! This guy was full of surprises and he was just about to force me into “go hide in my room and pretend to be sleeping for the rest of the night” territory.

His tone was a painful mix of James Spader in Pretty in Pink and Robert Downey Jr. in Avengers as he asked, “Are you one of those people who likes to write or you know, has to write.”

And at the moment I took my top off and joined the amazing godess dancing with fire in the corner of our shit and glass covered backyard, both of us oozing cool and sex appeal, while Tucker Max’s assistant watched confused and turned on by the display of powerful and talented females, contemplating the impact that “fratire” would never have on the world. Actually, that last part didn’t happen. I could never spin fire topless or spin fire for that matter, but I’m writing without a bra right now and man, I really have no choice, I just HAVE to do it.

(Do you all remember when Tucker Max tried to get a Planned Parenthood named after him for a crazy lot of money and they turned him down? I did not. Check it out. )