28 February 2010

thank you for being a friend

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Sex and the City was a copycat, and a sad and pathetic one at that.  What's so original about four single women living in the same city, sitting around talking about their sex lives (or lack thereof) over the vice of their choice?


You know why?  Because the Golden Girls did it first and they did it better, which is why I love the fact that there's been huge public demand to have Betty White host Saturday Night Live. 

I don't think there are enough words in the English language to describe how awesome that would be. She's been in show-business for eight decades, and yet, she has never hosted the show.  I guess the producers and Lorne Michaels were too busy trying to convince the athlete du jour to host (and suck out loud.)

I don't know about you, but given the choice between a butterface who swam and won a few pieces of gold in a Communist country who couldn't act/host his way out of a paper bag or someone who is legitimately hilarious and knows what she's doing, I pick the latter.  This is a woman who sent flowers to her co-star (who happened to be recovering from a stroke) with a message that read, "I hope you die so I can be the last Golden Girl."  I'm sorry, but that is awesome.(Also awesome is the fact that her co-star found it hilarious as well.)  How can you not want someone that wickedly funny to host your show?

Apparently, this dream is almost a reality.  Rumour has it that SNL is talking about putting together a "Women of Comedy" episode that would have her working alongside two of my other favourites, Amy Poehler and Tina Fey.  Excuse me while I have a nerdgasm.

I thought Sandra Bullock and Betty White in the same movie was awesome, but Amy Poehler, Tina Fey and Betty White on the same show...that's just too much  Betty's dry, caustic wit (a phrase an English teacher used years ago to describe my writing style) is as funny now as it was back in the day, when women were allowed to be funny, but not "mean."  Plus, she's got this twinkle in her eye, even at 88 years of age, that tells you that she'd be up for anything.  I have a feeling she would fit in quite well at our local Ladies Curling Bonspiel.

Oh, Betty White, your sense of humour and your love of animals is legendary. Never ever change.

27 February 2010

i'm a slave for you...not.

Am I the only one who thinks this photo is about 47 different levels of wrong?
Apparently this is what passes for an anti-smoking ad in France.  I can't even begin to tell you how much it angers me just to look at it.  The campaign loosely translates to read. "To smoke is to be a slave to tobacco." Ok, I get that.  But at what point did people start equating being a slave to tobacco to being a sex slave.  Yes, I know, I'm reading too much into it, but you tell me what they're trying to imply with people's heads at crotch level, a hand on the back of their heads as if to guide it, the glances upwards...now, I'm no religious expert, but I'm pretty sure they're not praying.

I get that the point of the campaign is trying to show young people that smoking is, for lack of a better term, really fucking stupid.  I can almost appreciate the fact that the VP of the advertising firm that created the ads is aware that young people (she says with the age and wisdom of 34 years on this planet) like to push their limits and see how far they can go. I'm still a little unclear as to how the ads show that smoking is an act of naivete and submission, or how they decided that the only logical way to show this naivete and submissiveness, was to show a young girl and boy being forced to go down on a middle-aged pedophile. 

Um, WHAT?!?!

Smoking is bad for you but smoking is a choice. The ads are telling teenagers that if you choose to start smoking you are choosing to become a "slave to tobacco" and thus, choosing to submit to its influence.  Right on. On the other hand, sexual abuse is so far from being a choice it's not even on the same planet as the word 'choice', and as such someone who is forced to perform oral sex did not choose to be in that submissive role, so to even imply that they are the same thing is just disgusting.

(steps off soapbox)

26 February 2010

these boots were made for walking

Confession:  I have shoe envy.  Not, "Gee, those shoes are cute" envy, but "Those shoes are so sick, I must have them or it will consume my life" envy.  Unfortunately, due to my genetically inherited rectangle feet, those shoes are completely and totally lost on me.  I don't think people with normal shaped feet even understand how lucky they are.  They can walk into any store, point at a pair of shoes in their size and walk right back out of the store with them, sometimes even wearing them, while carrying the shoes they wore into the store.

Not me.  I have to slink all the way to the back, past the rows and rows of funky printed shoes to the dark corner reserved for wide widths.  To say that those shoes are unattractive is being nice.  Have you ever seen a nice pair of wide width heels?  No, you haven't.  And do you want to know why?  Because they don't exist.  Those of us cursed with "EEE" and wider width feet are blessed with shoes that are just as boxy as our feet are.  This is where I think the shoemakers have gone wrong.  If we wanted to wear boxes on our feet, we'd pull a Howard Hughes and do it.  Can't you picture yourself sharing a romantic evening with your beloved while sporting a matching pair of Kleenex boxes on your feet?  (You all know the ones I mean; they've got the little white persian kittens on them...)

In my mind I am far more glamourous than I really am.  In my mind, I have places to go where   pair of $300 Louboutins is mandatory and failure to wear them would result in termination of some sort.  Of course, in my mind, I also possess the dexterity to stay upright while wearing said shoes. (Another drawback to my rectangle feet - anything higher than a half inch heel, and I'm walking on my ankles)

In reality, the closest thing I have to "dress shoes" are my beloved Doc Martens or my flower printed Birkenstocks (shoes made for the wide foot..)  There's nothing wrong with that, but just once I would love to walk into a room, leopard print heels on and scream "Check me out!"..and then  muster up all the dignity I have to fall flat on my face with style, and wish I'd worn something more comfortable.

25 February 2010

viva la vida!

I'm not going to lie - when I heard that two of my favourite artists were chosen as the spokespeople for M·A·C Makeup's Viva Glam Campaign, I was thrilled.  I mean, who better to promote HIV and AIDS awareness (as well as some pretty sick lipstick shades) than Cyndi Lauper and Lady Gaga?  Every cent of the selling price of Viva Glam Lipstick and Lipglass is donated to the M·A·C AIDS Fund to support men, women, and children living with HIV and AIDS, which is pretty awesome.  I know, I know, it's not like they cured it or anything, and it's not like being a M·A·C Viva Glam spokesperson is an exclusive club (hell, they chose Fergie last year), but I think that given their places in pop culture history, they're perfect.

For starters, you've got Cyndi Lauper who rose to fame in the 1980's.  What else did we learn about in the 1980's?  Right. HIV/AIDS.  Of course, back then, they thought only gay men got it, but look how far we've come in that thinking.  (Well, most of us)   She has influenced and empowered an entire generation of women to take no prisoners and along the way, became somewhat of an icon.  She founded the True Colors Fund, which raises money for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, and I swear that only makes me love her more (even though, like her, I'm straight..but not narrow.

And then there's Gaga.  Oh, Lady Gaga..is there anything out there you won't wear?  She's a polarizing force of nature - you either love her or hate her, and I love her. There's no doubt that Cyndi had a hand in turning little Stefani Germanotta into Lady Gaga, and for that, I say "Thank you."

But this isn't about their clothes or their makeup, this is about two of my favourite artists using their fame and their love of image to educate women about HIV and AIDS. (Ok, so it is a bit about their makeup).  I'm not going to bore  you with the stats about women and HIV/AIDS, but  I will tell you  that women account for almost half of the HIV/AIDS cases around the world. The Viva Glam Campaign (cheekily subtitled "From Our Lips") focuses on helping women living with HIV/AIDS not just in North America, but in other parts of the world, particularly Africa, where AIDS has become pandemic as a result of huge populations of women being infected through rape (a tactic used by soldiers throughout the continent as a means of intimidation)

Given such bleak realities, it almost seems flippant to attach the cause to something as luxurious as a lipstick, but it's not the strangest thing to attach a message to.  After all, the target demographic that would purchase the shade named after their favourite is the same demographic that could use having some messages reinforced.  For example: AIDS can happen to anyone, and that although people mistakenly think it isn’t a straight-person’s disease,  no one is immune.  Also important - erasing the stigma attached to the "no condom, no sex issue".  All women should carry condoms in their bags.  It doesn't make them a slut, it just makes them someone who cares about themselves.  You can't always be sure that the guy you're with will happen to have one at his place.

You can say ‘Abstain from sex,’ but the truth is, we are all sexual beings, and people don’t.  In a perfect world, maybe, but in 2010, not everyone is abstinent.  And remember: just because you are a sexual woman doesn’t mean you are dumb.

Case in point:  Lady Gaga and Cyndi Lauper.

the first cut is the deepest

I'm reasonably sure this is the zillionth time in the last six months that I have attempted to get a blog off the ground.  I don't know why I've been having so much trouble finding my groove, but a blank screen was so intimidating that I'd write anything, just to fill it in.  The problem with that is everything seemed so forced and my voice didn't ring true. 

I'd tried to convince myself that I was too "random" to create a blog that has its focus on one aspect of who I am, but all roads seemed to lead to my feminist sensibilities and opinions, and I've come to realize that the cliche "Write what you know" was never more appropriate than at this moment.

So, here's what I know:  I am woman, hear me roar...or at least meow really loudly.

I am a woman who likes "frivolous" things like shoes, although my rectangle shaped feet don't leave much for me in the way of cute shoes  (This has led to quite possibly the worst case of shoe envy ever.)  I like makeup, although I don't wear it all the time.  I will actively seek out reading material that is for women by women in an attempt to not only feel more connected to myself, but to my gender as a whole.

 I will more than likely come off as abrasive or self-righteous, but that's only because I'm prone to hyperbole and no one has developed a sarcasm font yet.  As soon as they do, however, it will become the only font I use.

So, um...if you're reading this right now - thanks!  If you're not, then I really am just doing this for me, and that's ok too.