Friday, April 27, 2012

lady things

 I'd like to formally go on record saying that I enjoy Jezebel, and respect the way they (and many others, recently) are bringing issues like this to the forefront - at least to the population that reads blogs like Jezebel, which is maybe not quite the point, but anyhow. Jezebel put out this article yesterday, about People magazine's Most Beautiful issue, which features some celebs sans-makeup inside.

Articles like this one simultaneously validate my own hesitations with regards to feminist issues while leaving me a bit empty. It seems like the trending approach to Lady Topics (and, let's be fair, many hot button issues like race, sexuality, etc) is to acknowledge the problem...and then leave it, an open ended question not really up for discussion. We the women are supposed to be comforted, I guess, by knowing that others see these problems for what they are, but still struggle with understanding a reasonable plan of action to deal with them. The cool-kid feminist MO (I'm looking at you, Tina Fey) strays from any solid stance for fear of being too militant, but still skewers old-school standards of beauty. Which is fine. Honestly, I count myself in this camp. I like silly things too much to really, solidly abstain from many parts of pop culture that are "bad" for the ladies. But that doesn't make it any less frustrating. Is it weird that I crave solutions from these women that I look at as able to understand, to make sense of how to deal with these issues?

Stewart writes "...the female-on-female gaze, in this context — we hid the people without makeup on the inside, so as not to scare you! — feels strange. There's very little text accompanying these images; the photos themselves are the point. Look at these women! No makeup!! If the cover, or the entire issue featured women without makeup, it might be a lesson, reminding us how most of the images we see in magazines are based in reality yet completely unreal. But this way, it feels like bait, the kind that we, as highly visual creatures, can't resist." I suppose I agree with her, but I can't help feeling that she's missing the problem within the problem here. Why are we even looking at this, pointing at People and criticizing them for doing exactly what we've been asking for? It's interesting to see famous, beautiful women without makeup because it allows us to see them in a more realistic light - in which they are still famous and beautiful. Maybe there's some sinister undercurrent of wanting to level the playing field, but as Stewart points out herself, that's more the business of those awful photos in tabs like Us or Star - these are natural beauties set in a context that allows them to look as beautiful as the made up stars. Baby steps, or something, right?

Clearly I'm having trouble tying all this up in a nice bow. But for me, it all comes back to that 30 Rock episode discussed here (a transcript of a Fresh Air interview with Fey) that really makes me want to bang my head against the wall. Yes, obviously, it's good to begin a discussion. But what point are we making? What takeaway is there, really, when the same people will be arguing the same sides, while 95% of the people who watched that show will just think Liz is pathetically unable to articulate her point of view and then is proven 'wrong' (or something)?

Who is going to tell me how to wear lipstick and curl my hair and watch trashy television and still feel comfortable as a feminist with intelligent answers to good questions about my choices?
 And, most importantly, why do I feel like I need that validation in the first place?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

first signs of summer

If there's one thing that makes me sad about our great little apartment in Los Feliz, it's that we lack an outdoor space. We've got a little grassy area out front that I can take over for a quick sunbathe in a pinch, but it's shared and not as quite as...glamorous as a lady would hope for. Luckily, we've got some fancy friends with a killer patio. They're designers as well (in case the barbeque layout didn't tip you off). Scott made his patented taco salad (EDIT: Scott has informed me that this is called "Doritos Salad", don't get it twisted) - that would be one part nacho cheese Doritos, one part cool ranch - I contributed my limited mixology skills to the margs, and Greg and Sarah grilled the crap out of a bunch of vegetables. Mona, the resident dog, oversaw the proceedings with dignity. It was a lovely, boozy beginning to the porch-sittin season.

Monday, April 23, 2012

back to the grind

Well, I'm back! After a whirlwind trip out to Minnesota for a week - and the resulting exhaustion-sickness upon my return - I'm comfortably back in the saddle (and loooovin ittttt). Dude and Chick made some significant strides in the Cool Stuff to Put On Cards realm, and some of the fruits of our labor should be available to purchase in a timely matter.
In other news, I got an iPhone and began chugging the Kool-Aid immediately. This thing is amazing. If this were a movie, you could insert a nice little montage of my nerdy self running around Instagramming and tweeting about everything. But since this is not a movie, you can experience that IN REAL LIFE just by following me @dudeandchick and the_ladykatharine on Instagram.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Spent a lovely weekend with a great friend in town from Portland. Los Angeles is still such a new home for us that just taking a few days to enjoy the city feels like a vacation. We spent a whole afternoon walking around Santa Monica, had an impromptu pedicure, went to dinner at a few new restaurants, and topped it off with a lazy day at Hermosa and my first sunburn of 2012 (cheers). The relaxation was welcome - I've kept my head down with work-related excitement recently, and it turns out all I needed to relieve some stress was a chatty visit with one of my best ladies. Note to self, I suppose.