Monday, February 28, 2011

Join the Brownie Rebellion

Something struck me watching the Oscars last night - yes, I admit to my cheesy devotion to awards shows, which is about as close to glitz and glamour as this mama is going to get - and it wasn't just the silliness of such self-congratulation.  (That I willingly took part in.)  It was the women.

What I noticed was a sameness among them.  Most of the actresses looked like carbon copies of one another... minus the variations in gowns.  Non-existent waistlines (except for Natalie Portman in her glowing, pregnant glory), polished skin, chiseled cheekbones, taut upper arms, graceful necks and perfectly styled hair.  I know, I know; it's their job to look glamorous, an effort through which we can live vicariously and prepare our own acceptance speeches.  (On that note; wasn't the King's Speech director adorable in thanking his mother?)  But if that's the ideal, let me just say... I'm bored to death.  I like women with laugh lines; I love hair that's a bit disheveled; a cool, understated dress. Call me crazy, but I'll take my real, every day, every woman look over theirs.  Mainly because... well, I love brownies.  I love to swim under the baking sun; I love laughing until I can feel the wrinkles creasing.  And it shows.

Now, don't get mad at me here.  It's true;  I was blessed with a high metabolism,  but I have body issues like every woman I know.   According to my evil twin sister's voice in my head - we'll call her Dierdre - my calves are way too skinny, my stomach's too squishy, and my liver spots are, well, too many.  Come to think of it, I never once met a woman -  even those raised by mothers who marched with NOW - who loved her body.  Who didn't obsess about some aspect of her weight, skin, hair, hips, thighs, backside, whatever.  But the older I get, the more I look at my body with reverence.  It was created not for adornment, but for enjoyment.  To fulfill a purpose.  I've got three of them to prove it, my perfect little excuses for eating cupcakes.  I want them to remember their mom licking all the excess icing off their slices of cake, instead of turning away an opportunity to score the serious pleasure of chocolate.

I'm all for heathy eating habits, and I enjoy my week-end runs.  But these days, I exercise to blow off the steam created by the endless demands of my life, not to achieve some impossible picture of myself.  So I can drink red wine (in moderation of course!) and live my life fully in it's endless possibilities.  Won't you join me, and love your body instead of finding fault with it?  Admire it's power, resilience, strength and beauty.  Let's leave the obsessing to the starlets; their colossal paychecks command an effort to look gorgeous every minute of the day.  As for the rest of us, let's revel in this... we are "fearfully and wonderfully made."   To jump in the pool and mess up our hair.  To give birth to the next generation and do serious damage to our tight tummies.  To scale mountains, serve the needy, write a book, get that promotion. To eat brownies.

Your turn!!

"There is no cosmetic for beauty like happiness." - Lady Blessington

Friday, February 25, 2011

We're all Sisters in Here

So, I've got the answer to the age old question.  Why do women always visit the restroom together?  (Picture two guys sitting at a restaurant table, shaking their heads.)  Well, allow me to solve the mystery.  It’s the perfect excuse to snag a quick break and “plug in” to our instant camaraderie… where we effortlessly trade compliments and labor stories, relationship advice and lipstick....  fix a menacing bra-strap or release a few welled-up tears.  Or just take a moment to re-calibrate so we can tackle the world once again.  Mothers, professionals, great-grandmothers... doesn't matter.  Ours is a common bond; we're just trying to live up to our potential despite that nagging voice in our heads.  The one that insists we're not quite capable enough, smart enough, thin enough, whatever enough.  Not in here, ladies.  This is our sanctuary.  

Of course, gentleman (emphasis intended) are welcome to enter and learn.  If you knock first.  And enter with reverence.   This is our space.  Listen, learn and share.

Welcome to The Powder Room.  Jump in on the conversation.  Get inspired.  Giggle like a middle-schooler.  Blow off some steam.  Fend off the small hands pounding at the door…  blow off the dirty dishes or management reports for 5 more minutes.  This is your time, my time, our time together.  Come on in; there's no line!