Self-Love

Happy Love Your Body Day! *

Loving your body doesn’t mean you have to love every minute you’re in your skin – we all have bad days, big zits, water weight or a regrettable hair coloring decisions to contend with. Now and again, we all look like a hot mess on a wet day and there’s nothing we can do about it, no matter what your mother or the commercials say. Entire industries are built on the idea that you’re not enough – not thin enough, muscled enough, manly enough, feminine enough, good enough – for the faceless Them. It’s enough to depress even the most esteemed of individuals.

I had another twelve paragraphs of rambling personal actedotes and encouraging words, but then I stumbled across this:

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, ladies – just because the Miss Universe competition uses these characteristics doesn’t mean we all do. Someone out there loves you, you can be sure of it. [via]

Truer words are rarely spoken, especially on the Internet. Hey, I feel better already.

Perspective is important. In the words of Mary Schmidt: “You are not as fat as you imagine.” But remember, loving yourself entirely is just as, if not more, important than just loving your body. There is so much more to who we are beyond how we look. When others think or speak of you, the size of your heart and the way you treat others will weigh more heavily on their opinions than the size of your ass or the way you walk.

Need some guidance?

See also: The Society Pages: Love Your Body Day

Be free.

* Okay, Love Your Body Day was actually yesterday but I left my post draft on another computer, so here we are. Also, I’d like to take this opportunity to say Happy Birthday, Snoop Dogg! Snoop’s always been a big proponent of being yourself, living confidently and learning from your mistakes.

Baby girl wanna be grown
She got a Facebook page and a cell phone
Her daddy getting money her momma on the go
She moving too fast but she really don’t know
Life is a trip lil mama don’t drink that
They telling you it’s cool baby don’t take that
Cause if you do ain’t no telling
You’s a good girl why you fighting and rebelling
If you keep that up you gonna end up spread
Misled better yet sick in the head
So stop trying to be like them and be yourself
Stop look and see yourself

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Sex trafficking: Won’t someone think of the children?!

Jezebel’s (blessedly now employed elsewhere) Irin Carmon asks: Do Anti-Sex Trafficking Ads Really Need To Be This Graphic?

Short answer: Yes, obviously.

Longer answer: For many in America, sex trafficking looks like this:

These two yahoos are behind The DNA Foundation, created to promote awareness and stop child sexual slavery and trafficking, using other celebrities, YouTube and ass kissing media articles to get the word out. You may have seen their PSAs online. Their website is vague and clearly self serving, but gosh is it all so nice and clean, attractive and funny.

DNA claims to be global but the PSAs make it clear this is a wholly American campaign. The “real man” stereotype is popular in US movies and TV shows, the videos are exclusive to YouTube and their “action plan” conducted entirely online.

No real screen time is given to why we’re watching all these well-known American movie stars bumble about for 45 seconds. The uncomfortable conversation of millions of children raped, kidnapped, killed and drugged is never broached. Americans, generally, don’t like actual sex or, to a lesser degree,  violence. Combining the two is a recipe for disapproval and complaint letters, so the otherwise explicit  subject becomes glossy and easily digestible; an unfortunate side effect of our collective delicate sensibilities is that it also becomes easily forgettable, like any other part of the media machine.

We prefer such shiny posturing over the much harder realities of life, so is it any wonder that’s what we get? Is it any wonder why nothing is ever accomplished, why nothing gets done?

No man, real or imaginary, should rape children, regardless of their grasp on the concept of cereal. Women should not only prefer but demand a man who does not engage in sex with prostitutes, especially underage. These are not radical words or ideas, so there is no need to soften their impact with fluff. Bradley Cooper is not realistically standing between a man and his final decision on if he is comfortable buying a child prostitute, so why involve Bradley Cooper at all?

Meanwhile, around the world, governments and non profits are working to show the reality and repercussions of sexual slavery – even on humorous but relevant levels – and America clutches her breast and gasps, “Is this too graphic?!”

No, it is not too graphic. I wish it were possible to make it more graphic. It isn’t easy to talk about, but it’s happening everywhere, and the victims deserve more than half baked gender jokes and a lot of lip service. Real men, and women, are facilitating this violence every day.

I bet some of them even know how to make a sandwich.

Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs

I’ve always been curious about the origins of ‘The quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog’ but never bothered to find it out. Turns out its a pangram dating back to 1885.

Firstly: a pangram is a sentence that uses every letter of the alphabet at once, making them ideal for testing typewriters, keyboards and selling you on fonts. They exist in almost every language and can be complete proper sentences, like the dog and fox, or a perfect pangram, using each letter a single time, ex: Cwm fjord bank glyphs vext quiz, technically considered an anagram of the alphabet. There are even phonetic pangrams, focused on the pronunciation of the language rather than the letter itself.

It was first seen in The Michigan School Moderator in March 1885 as a suggested writing exercise. Since then, it has been redone (The original sentence began A quick brown fox, not The quick brown fox) and reused by everyone from Western Union to Microsoft. It maintains a firm place in American pop culture.

As I said, panagrams aren’t unique to English, and almost all languages have at least one popular panagram – even Klingon!  Sadly I am unable to reproduce it in the original Klingonian (?) characters, but it appropriately translates to: Because of your apparent audacity the depressed conqueror is willing to fight you.

If you’re bored to death of the fox and the dog, here’s a few other  pangrams to help test out your fancy new pen:

  • Jack, love my big wad of sphinx quartz!
  • My ex pub quiz crowd gave joyful thanks.
  • A quick chop jolted my big sexy frozen wives.
  • Watch “Jeopardy!”, Alex Trebek’s fun TV quiz game.
  • Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs (my personal favorite)

Women be misrepresented

Just last night I read a Cracked article about obnoxious and stereotypical traits given to nearly all women in Hollywood productions. This morning I woke up to a similar story in the New Yorker. Who knew the go-to guide for the cultured and sophisticated would be so in sync with your average college-aged stoners’ favorite website?

We’re really not that different, you and I. Got a light?

Shel Silverstein: Everything On It


[via]

I cannot see your face,
But in some far off place,
I hear you laughing, and I smile.

Years from Now

The estate of Shel Silverstein, my beloved companion throughout grade school and the first writer I ever fell in love with (followed shortly by Dr. Seuss), has released a new book of poetry called Everything On It.