August 26, 2012
I was driving home after having dinner with a good friend and decided to listen to my music, instead of the radio.
Even though my iPod has all my favourite songs on it – I sometimes feel like I’ve heard them a million times. But the only station I listen to, Triple J, was playing really thrashy, heavy metal with a-man-screaming-into-a-microphone type of song. No. Not for me.
It turned out to be a great decision because when I put my songs on ‘Shuffle’, my Ally McBeal song came on. Anyone driving next to me would have seen a crazy woman singing with much gusto!
Ally McWhat? I hear you say…
Well, to those of you who were born ‘recently’, this great series (1997-2002) was targeted at women my age – at the time I was in my late 20s.
This show was about Ally (played by Calista Flockhart), a lawyer in a firm, who was a success in her career, but who was now looking for love. Doesn’t sound like anything special, right?
Well, it resonated with a lot of women my age (at the time) because we all felt like Ally did…well, I can’t speak for all women – but I was thinking, “I hear ya!”
I remember being told at my all-girls high school, when I was about 16/17, that “we didn’t need a man” and that “we should go and get a career for ourselves.” Great advice, actually. It made us go out and find our place, make our mark and NOT be reliant on anybody but ourselves. Nothing worse than being a weak, ineffectual woman, having to be carried by a man…or anyone else, for that matter.
So this show gave us Ally. A woman who had done just us many women in that time were advised to do – but despite all her success, she felt a void – she wanted to find the love of her life.
This show was quirky too – it was a cack! Ally famously saw the dancing baby, they had unisex toilets that they sang and danced in at times, there was an obsession with Barry White, equally odd-bod characters – all whilst trying cases in their law firm.
In one episode, Ally is told by her psychologist (played by the wonderful and very funny, Tracey Ullman), to pick a theme song. She was to then listen to it, in her mind, at times of worry, distress, feeling down etc.
Ally picked the old classic, Tell Him – a song that could help her with her trials with love.
So the other night, my Ally McBeal song came on, Jamiroquai’s, Canned Heat. Oh, how this song speaks to me.
“Dance! Nothing left for me to do, but dance
Off these bad times I’m going through, just dance
Got canned heat in my heals tonight, baby.”
I love to dance – and do it in the kitchen with my girls when I can. At any party with good dance songs, I tend not to move far from ‘dance floor’.
Question #84: What’s your Ally McBeal song? Why?
Below is a clip I found of the show…if you’re a youngin’. Enjoy!
Deep Breath and DANCE!
August 22, 2012
No, I have not dropped off the end of the Earth.
I am, however, living through the most intensely busy couple of weeks…ever.
At the moment, I’m away from school for two weeks as I’m involved in HSC Drama marking. The week leading up to me leaving, was chaos embodied and resulted in the sorest, most hideous, volcano of a pimple, make an appearance on my chin.
It’s still with me – over a week later. Awesome.
My hubby turned 40 on the weekend – that was a nice break from the ‘full-on-ness’ of it all – but then it was back to work.
In less than two weeks, I’ll be screening the documentary Miss Representation. I’m running this completely on my own – amongst all this lunacy – and I haven’t even secured half the people who I need to break even.
Even though I’m starting to feel a tad stressed (and then some), I organised this screening because I think it’s something we all need to see…plus the fact that I wanted to see it for myself too! So I’ve concluded that whatever happens, happens - and it’s all good.
Anyway, nothing you haven’t heard, felt and/or experienced before – but I just wanted to touch base and say that I’ll be ‘back’ in a few days.
I’m sure some of you were pining away without me – hang in there…it won’t be long! Hee heeeee.
Ever feel like the cartoon below? I do. And I LOVE going out. That’s how tired I feel….so I’m off to bed now.
zzz z z z…..
August 14, 2012
OK. Time to get a little more light-hearted. The previous post had a bit of a confronting image in it (but was necessary to make my point and hopefully made some people, especially women, think)…BUT it’s time to have a bit of a giggle.
So here we go…Female Body Hair.
I am of South American background and have been a fairly, hairy human from when I can remember – well, my legs especially.
I recall the serious discussion with my mother and grandmother, as to whether I was old enough to shave or not. Being ‘too young’ at the start, I began my hair removal journey with creams. That smelly, stinky stuff – and this was around 1980 – you can only imagine how bad that stuff was back then.
I then graduated to razors and have pretty much had to stick to them ever since.
Why not wax? Well, I have tried. Many times. But many years of sunny, Aussie beach exposure have rendered my leg skin a tad leathery and have, in turn, made my legs a haven for in-grown hairs. No amount of exfoliation and cream seem to do the trick. So it’s shaving or nothing.
The final bummer? That if a shave in the morning, I can feel the buggers poking their heads through by late afternoon. Haha! OK, a slight exaggeration…but only slightly.
So, the other night, I was shaving my legs in my teeny, awkward shower; balancing precariously on one leg – such a pain. And I felt this annoyance, even though I’m in my ‘down time’ of shaving. Winter affords me a lovely window because I can let the legs get a bit gorilla-like, as they’re always covered.
So when did this irritating and expensive habit begin?
An article entitled “Caucasian Female Body Hair and American Culture” by Christine Hope, says that:
…businesses began “encouraging” American women to shave their underarms around 1915, when sleeveless fashions became popular. Harper’s Bazaar featured an ad stating: “Summer Dress and Modern Dancing combine to make necessary the removal of objectionable hair.” Yet another revenue stream made possible by human insecurity.
The war against nature’s leg warmers came a bit later, as changes in clothing allowed women to display more than just an ankle. According to Hope, convincing women to shave their legs was more challenging, so advertisers pulled out all the stops. “Some advertisers as well as an increasing number of fashion and beauty writers harped on the idea that female leg hair was a curse.”
A curse? How absurd, right? Anything to get women to buy…and they do. In my earlier post Beauty is an Attitude, I reported how women in Australia spend $100, 000 on razors and $30, 000 on waxing – a year.
So in the big scheme of things – centuries actually – this is a really recent event and seemingly more of a western culture thing.
When I think about all the women in history, who were loved – adored – worshipped…they would have ALL had hairy legs, hairy pits…the works.
All. Of. Them.
Question #82: Isn’t it a shame that so many ‘beauty necessities’ for women, are SO entrenched?
Because it didn’t seem to bother the men (or the women) of the past.
So am I saying that I’m going to stop shaving my legs?
For starters, it’s not a good look with my dark, luscious South American hairs. I have to say, I always envied all my fairer Aussie girlfriends…with their invisible leg hair…
…but the main reason I brought this up, is the mere FRUSTRATION that it’s just another thing we have to spend money on to make ourselves conform to a very recent norm.
So on I go – with razor in hand…
…Oh, look! A photo of what my legs look like after a few days.
Deep Breath, girls!
August 5, 2012
Question #79: Is our media, and in turn reality, teaching our kids that the only way to succeed, is by feeding our Deadly Sins?
I look around and I feel surrounded - like I’m in the middle of an old-fashioned, cowboy-style ambush.
* Greed * Lust * Wrath * Sloth * Gluttony * Envy * Pride – transgressions that I read are ‘fatal to spiritual progress’.
Yes, they’ve always been around. Of course. The Deadly Sins weren’t written a few years ago in a boardroom – they’re ancient.
I’ve always seen them as a warning – that to indulge in them would lead to chaos. Hell on Earth.
I don’t think we’re quite there yet.
There is one society that is yielding to them more than others…and it’s our capitalist one.
While the majority of the planet wallows in poverty/war/despair of some sort (due to their rulers participating in some Deadly tastes of their own) - we basically live in a luxury that’s unfathomable and unattainable to them.
You’d think we’d be satisfied, wouldn’t you? And yet…according to studies, we are the most affluent we’ve ever been in history – but the most depressed.
Doesn’t this ring any alarm bells?
Our predominant drive? To make money.
Am I saying we shouldn’t? Absolutely not!! I could always do with a little more – couldn’t we all? It IS the world we live in - we need it to survive here.
But at what price?
Our society’s hunger for more of everything and the latest of that, is giving me the uneasy feeling that we are starting to flirt with danger.
Not including the majority of ‘have-nots’ equally inhabiting this planet – we are spoilt. And we are few, in comparison to the big picture.
Yet we consume at a pace that is starting to become insatiable and is being bred into this generation of children and young adults.
So as the ‘line to cross’ has to move further behind to get an ‘edge’ on consumption – how is it done today?
By tapping into the taboo, the naughty, the violent, the lazy, the greedy, the depraved…then market it and SELL!
So, yes, I’m starting to feel boxed in by our media and how it’s becoming the teat from which our society suckles.
The frustrating part is that I know that there are many, many of you who can see how things are travelling down a soul-less path, as I do; who are doing the very best they can with their children and share my frustration…
…but we’re obviously not enough. We are in the minority.
I can only look at the evidence before my eyes:
1. What I’m seeing in my daily life through (predominantly, but not exclusive to) TV and its ads, Internet, Magazines etc. etc. etc.
2. The choices our youth are making through their behaviour and appearance. Choices that make me question: Where are their parents in this equation?
Today I saw something that chilled me: A book being sold by Amazon (but has since been removed) giving a world guide to sex laws called,
“In some countries it is even illegal to have sex outside of marriage, with severe consequences if you are caught doing so! On the flip side, there are many countries on this planet where the age of consent is as low as 12 or 13…whilst one country has no age limit whatsoever! Before travelling, whether you are going as a backpacker, for business purposes, or as a sex tourist, you need to invest in this comprehensive guide to the age of consent laws in every country in the world! It will keep your fun legal!…This $3.49 will keep you out of jail, possibly the most important few dollars that any red blooded testosterone pumped traveller will spend.”
This utterly sickens me – because what I keep questioning is how did something as disgusting as this get printed in the first place? HOW?
Now, I won’t bore you with a list of how consumption is dancing with the Seven Deadly Sins – but it feels like we’re going down a slippery slope and picking up speed.
There is too much evidence.
How do we slow down this beast/machine, that’s bearing down on us?
Simple. Don’t buy into it!
Those Sins are in all of us – we all feel them at one stage or another…I know I ceratinly have…
Question #80: So why are we allowing them to take over?
The following images are of the Seven Deadly Sins from a 2008 ImageFX competition. These three connected with me – I can easily see how these are very present in our lives. The curious thing, however, is that when I looked for images on the Net – they predominantly featured women only. Interesting.
August 2, 2012
I know that there are possibly only a small number of you who actually live in Sydney or thereabouts, but I’ve secured the license to screen the documentary:
It’s on Monday 3rd September at 6.30pm and it will only cost $20 pp. This covers the cost of the license and the wonderful venue, Dendy Cinema Opera Quays – near the Opera House!
A pretty amazing deal, I think!
This is a great opportunity for parents to see the effects popular culture is having on both our girls AND boys. It also explores the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America, and challenges the media’s limited portrayal of what it means to be a powerful woman.
Spread the word!
If you, or any people you know, are interested in coming along, just look at the comments to this post, as it tells you how to pay to secure a seat.
I hope to see you there!