Posts filed under ‘Health and Beauty’

Team Snooki: “Jersey Shore” Returns for Round 2 on July 29

Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino called her “a chihuahua spray-painted black.” Cathy Horyn, a journalist for The New York Times, likened her to “a turnip turned on its tip” and described her as “incapable of serious introspection.”  A grown man punched her in the face.

Standing a mere 4 feet and 9 inches tall, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi is ethnically ambiguous (turns out she’s of Chilean descent but was adopted by Italian American parents), sexually curious, and outright boisterous.  She wears her hair in a signature bouffant, a smaller version of which can be seen on nearly every member of the 12-20 female demographic.  Snooki is the only member of the Jersey Shore cast to have her own Wikipedia page, and fans around the world eagerly await the August release of her talking bobble head.  She is like the fake-tanned, pint-sized version of reality princess Tiffany “New York” Pollard:  With plenty of curves in all the right places and a strange fascination with pickles, Snooki has a penchant for grabbing attention and inciting drama.

Message boards on YouTube and all the gossip sites are littered with trash talk about the self-proclaimed “guidette,” but Snooki seems to take it all in stride.  Although she battled an eating disorder in high school, Snooki maintains a relatively healthy body image, especially for a young woman under the media’s ruthless magnifying glass.

I hope the reality star has more hook-ups and fewer bruises this season, and I’m elated that she’s already signed on for round 3.  Jersey Shore would not be nearly as wet or as wild without her.

July 27, 2010 at 8:40 am Leave a comment

Excerpt from “The Rental Property”

“He’s like in this band called Orange Penis, and he only showers once or twice a week—but that’s okay with me—and he has this sorta androgynous hairstyle, and he went to Duke or Carnegie Mellon or maybe Swarthmore…” Aubrey inanely boasts.

“Sounds like a real charmer,” I roll my eyes and light a joint.

“And, I mean, his girlfriend has like the perfect body… I mean, I wouldn’t want a body like that (I don’t want to be fat!), but it’s perfect, you know?” Aubrey plucks the joint from between my fingers.

“He has a girlfriend?” I shove a handful of Nacho Cheesier Doritos into my mouth. “Are you like some sort of wannabe-indie-hipster garage band groupie or something?” Underwhelmed, I fall back into the neon green overstuffed beanbag chair in Aubrey’s living room.

“No! It’s like a post-modern meta-garage band.”

July 14, 2010 at 4:44 am Leave a comment

Vanity v. Thrift: Round 1

Q: I’m a 56-year-old woman who doesn’t look a day over 43. I work hard to look as good as I do, and I take pride in my appearance. However, the movie theater by my house has a “senior citizen” discount for people 55 and older. The SC tickets are 5 dollars cheaper! I love passing for younger, but I also love a good deal. Do I shell out the extra money or admit to my SC status?

LG: Duh! Saving 5 dollars is like 50% off!! Looking 43 instead of 56 is like…23% younger! (You do the math.) In all seriousness, you should go for the SC discount. Most businesses these days realize that 50 is the new 40, so they only give SC discounts to patrons 65 and older. Take advantage of the fruits of your…wisdom. Also, if you really look over a decade younger than you really are, then you will feel absolutely flattered when the cashier asks for your i.d. in total disbelief.

June 23, 2010 at 6:30 am Leave a comment

Excerpt from “The Rental Property”

I wanted to wear something special for the SAE formal, so I asked Lera if she had anything I could borrow.

Lera was the kind of woman who thought she was prettier than she really was.  You know the type: a “six” who thinks she’s a “nine,” a woman who dresses as if she’s 30 pounds lighter and 10 years younger than she actually is. She also had an inflated sense of intellect, parenting skills, and sexual prowess. In the beginning, I didn’t notice her superficial or personality flaws. Once the relationship started to sour, however, she began to disgust me in the strangest of ways.

“Try this blue cocktail dress. It’s too big for me, so you can keep it if you like it.”

The dress was a size 6, so I knew it would be too tight. I took it into the master bathroom and pretended to try it on.

“Oh, this is way too big,” I hollered. “I think I’ll just wear the one I bought.”

“Let me see,” Lera requested skeptically as she opened the bathroom door without knocking.

“Oops! Too late. Here ya go. I gotta get ready.” I casually handed her the dress and turned on the shower, hoping she’d take the cue.

She didn’t.

June 5, 2010 at 10:00 am Leave a comment

Lolly Gaga’s Weight Loss Tips

  • Go on the two-finger diet  – that way, you can have your cake and not eat it, too! (Says Lolly Gag-gag)
  • Contract mono, pneumonia, or the bubonic plague.
  • Scrape off your taste buds with a straight razor.
  • Get hooked on crack, speed, or methamphetamine.
  • Chop off a limb or two, but make sure to purchase dismemberment insurance first. The larger the limb, the greater the weight loss.
  • Squeeze out massive pus tumor on your back.
  • Remove excess organs: appendix, tonsils, one kidney, etc.

I have one query for those who find these tips extreme: How badly do you really want to be skinny?!

February 28, 2010 at 5:50 am Leave a comment

The Real Melting Pot

All so fluid
Ship sliding over

Welcome to the identity diaspora.

September 15, 2009 at 6:08 am 2 comments

The (Out of) Shape of Things: Part II

Lester Burnham: (running astride fit neighbors) I figured you guys might be able to give me some pointers. I need to shape up. Fast.

Jim Olmeyer: Are you just looking to lose weight, or do you want increased strength and flexibility as well?

Lester: I want to look good naked!

-from American Beauty

When I made the decision to stop “running seriously” three years ago, I realized that I had only been running for one purpose for too long. I asked myself, “If your body were to look the same whether you ran or not, would you still run regularly?” An unequivocal “no” resounded through my disturbed mind. I put my shoes into my closet and laced them up twice a week at most.

I have always conflated my body image into my sexual identity. The unhealthy marriage was consummated in 1995 when I hit puberty. I felt extremely uncomfortable in my own skin. To make a long story short, I made my period go away. The thought of developing breasts and hips absolutely terrified me, so I started exercising and virtually stopped eating. A year later, running saved my life. I felt entitled to eat again, and I gained self-confidence from excelling at something other than schoolwork (Athlete” sounded better than “bookworm.”).

“Bootylicious” topped the charts the summer before my senior year in high school. Its sexy, charismatic message failed to reach me.

Fast forward two years.

Competing in collegiate sports put me in the best physical shape of my life, but I managed to keep subtle “lady lumps” throughout the years of intense training. Never before had I received so much attention from the opposite sex. I felt at once exhilarated and horrified. After three progressively problematic incidents, I started forcing myself to throw up. My experiences and surroundings seemed to convey to me that my body and my desires had provoked predatory behavior: My burgeoning sexuality could and would be used against me. When my breasts and hips refused to disappear, I tried to “act like a man.” I felt more attracted to women than ever before and feigned apathy toward “catching feelings.” I became aggressive, power hungry, and, occasionally, hateful. None of these pretenses worked, of course, and I started to fear the monster I was becoming.

I quit bulimia cold turkey when I left New Haven. My distance runs became fewer and occurred further between. I gained a nominal amount of weight and an immense amount of self-respect. I now run mostly to feel good. Looking good is just a fringe benefit.

 See also “The (Out of) Shape of Things”

September 6, 2009 at 6:32 pm 1 comment

The Sexism Behind “Sexy-Ugly” (Updated)

“You don’t have to be beautiful to turn me on.”
– Prince, “Kiss”

In Kissing Jessica Stein (2001), Helen describes Harvey Keitel as “very sexy-ugly.” Urban Dictionary defines the term as “a person (usually male) who is not conventionally good-looking but who is, through their idiosyncrasies, charisma, attitude or other mystery factor, sexually attractive.”

I take issue with this concept for a number of reasons. First of all, pseudo-lesbian movies like Kissing Jessica Stein are – to me – mostly fodder for heterosexual male masturbation and not accurate depictions of the LGBTQ community. Exploiting a group of people for capital gain and trying to pass it off as art is not cool in my book. Aside from that, why are only males usually “sexy-ugly?” I can think of quite a few reasons.

For better or worse, society assigns a much higher value to the attractiveness of women than to that of men. To an extent, this makes sense because men tend to be more visual than women, but I cannot help thinking of how it is the exact opposite in the animal kingdom (male birds’ vibrant plumage attracts mates). In addition, most women would find the description “sexy-ugly” offensive (if applied to them), whereas men might see it as a compliment. Implicit in this double standard is that–unlike women–men don’t have to adhere to as many social conventions to be attractive. Bottom line: It’s somehow OK for men to be “sexy-ugly,” but women have to be “sexy-sexy” to be considered attractive.

In efforts to resolve this gender bias, I have composed of list of male and female “sexy-ugly” celebrities. But, first, I want to express my feeling that “sexy-ugly” is a misnomer: There’s nothing ugly about being sexy! Instead, I term it “unconventionally sexy” or “uniquely attractive” because these people have some kind of physical feature and/or intangible quality that makes them attractive beyond traditional standards.

Men: Steve Buscemi, Billy Bob Thornton, Sean Penn, Lil Wayne, Benicio del Toro, Adrien Brody, Jack Black, Tommy Lee Jones, Alfred Molina, Christopher Walken, Dennis Hopper, Willem Dafoe, Philip Seymour Hoffman, John Malkovich, Tom Petty, Stephen King, Peter Dinklage, David Spade, Quentin Tarantino, Jason Segel, Kevin Smith, Dennis Rodman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Joaquin Phoenix, 50 Cent, Lyle Lovett, Elijah Wood, Thom Yorke, John Lithgow, Sid Haig, Tommy Lee, Trent Reznor

Women: Francis McDormand, Lucinda Williams, Chrissie Hynde, Sandra Bernhard, Liza Minnelli, Missy Elliott, Natasha Lyonne, Christina Ricci, Sandra Oh, Amy Winehouse, Pink, Heather Matarazzo, Courtney Love, Anjelica Huston, Joan Cusack, Toni Collette, Siouxsie Sioux, Margaret Cho, Nia Vardalos, Juliette Lewis, Tilda Swinton, Mariel Hemingway, Martha Plimpton, Lili Taylor, Whoopi Goldberg, Amanda Plummer, Cher, Cassandra Peterson (Elvira, Mistress of the Dark), Patricia Arquette

I’ll add more as I come up with them. Any suggestions?

August 28, 2009 at 1:48 am 10 comments

“Jumbo Jessica” and the Marlon Brando Paradox

Jessica Simpson needs to fire her stylist. Ever since the singer donned a pair of high-waisted jeans and double-layered leopard print belt to the KISS Country Chili Cookoff, the tabloids haven’t given her body a break. The New York Post described her as a “corpulent country star” and assigned her the hurtful “Jumbo Jessica” moniker. Us Weekly eagerly repeated the nickname, and People used the same series of unflattering pictures to publicize “her new fat curvy body.”

Days before her humiliating and oh-so-public breakup with Tony Romo, Jessica sang the National Anthem at the AT&T National golf tournament in a horizontally striped Michael Kors dress. The Daily Fix commented, “As the ditzy blonde singer’s career shrinks, her bottom line continues to expand.” Not to be outdone, Perez Hilton blogged, “Is JSimpleson finally pregnant with her dream baby?…That’s an ass you could serve Thanksgiving dinner on!”

Just under 5’3″, Jessica is a petite woman who has been blessed with curves in all the right places. Minor weight fluctuations become exaggerated on her small frame. Case in point: Within the same month, OK! ran stories on Jessica’s wardrobe woes, Romo breakup, and “revenge diet.” She “look[ed] like a blimp” one week and boasted a fit physique the next.

This repulsive practice of inventing weight problems for female celebrities certainly takes its toll on the common (wo)man. I’ve found myself turning down desserts lately and worrying about how I look in form-fitting jeans. It also serves as yet another example of our society’s rampant sexism and double standards: Tom Cruise’s diminutive stature and Jack Nicholson’s gut receive little press/criticism. This is what I call the “Marlon Brando Paradox.”

Marlon Brando is rightfully considered one of the greatest actors of all time. The Academy Award winner’s career spanned over half a century, but his svelte form progressively widened throughout. At almost no point, however, did the media criticize Brando’s weight or deny his talent because he wasn’t as conventionally attractive or as physically fit as he had been as a young man. With performances as “Vito Corleone” in The Godfather and “Paul” in Last Tango in Paris on his impressive résumé, we didn’t need him to look a particular way. But if he had been a woman, he almost certainly would not have landed comparable roles.

The Marlon Brando Paradox perpetuates our society’s commodification and fetishization of the female body.  By scrutinizing the female form in this manner, we are preventing progress and gender equality. While Jessica Simpson is the latest victim, almost no one–celebrity or not–escapes being viewed through this perverse, distorted lens: I am anxiously waiting for it to shatter.

August 17, 2009 at 4:16 pm 2 comments

I Want Your Jello to Jiggle

I want your cherry

Jello to jiggle like a

Chicago heat wave

May 20, 2009 at 4:03 pm Leave a comment

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