Want to Lose Weight? Inject Yourselves!

4 Apr

*I know I’m a little late to the party on this one, but cut me a little slack considering I didn’t have my very own blog until recently.

Apparently drug users aren’t the only ones incorporating syringes into their daily routines. According to the New York Times, women are injecting themselves with hCG, a pregnancy hormone, to help take off the pounds in a timely manner. This weight loss regimen has proven to be enticing to a predominantly female audience because there is a near guarantee of losing one pound a day, and participants supposedly won’t feel their stomachs rumbling in hunger. Of course, this is the dramatic result of daily hormone injections after a $1,000 doctor consultation, not to mention a 500 calorie-a-day diet. Sounds more like a means of torture than a dieting technique.

This new phenomenon takes extreme dieting to a whole other level. There are a myriad of reasons why this simply isn’t a healthy or safe option to shedding a few pounds here or there, regardless of its prescription-only exclusivity. The specific problems that come to mind are obvious; first and foremost is the initial warning from the Food and Drug Administration circa 1970, that was recently reiterated and is printed on all hCG packaging: It has not been shown to increase weight loss, to cause a more “attractive” distribution of fat or to “decrease hunger and discomfort” from low-calorie diets. A spokesmen for the F.D.A. recently told the public that, “the hormone carried risks of blood clots, depression, headaches and breast tenderness or enlargement.”

Dr. Lionel Bisson of New York City offers the hCG diet program and charges $1,150 for the whole kit and kaboodle: “an examination, injection training, a month’s supply of the hormone and syringes, and blood work to monitor for possible trouble.” Another NYC Doctor, Scott M. Bryer, told a patient that the hormone injections would manipulate her body “into a state of pregnancy; it burns off fat so the fetus can get enough calories, but it protects muscle.” Tricking your body into thinking something that’s actually not true is not only mentally and emotionally damaging, but it can be physically dangerous. Continue reading

Lazy Sundays

3 Apr

I don’t feel like writing today, so take a look at some of the stuff I’m reading instead:

Julie Hubbard discusses the long lost art of the nap on her personal blog, Real Housewives of Cambridge.

A must read article by Courtney Martin in Alternet about the critical issue of women hating their bodies, and the future of this social movement.

Jessica Coen provides us all with some seriously hopeful news: Charlie Sheen was booed off the stage at his tour debut in Detroit.

Isabel Kaplan describes the story of her mother’s rape and how it eventually became her story, too, in The Huffington Post.

Jessica Valenti argues that “we need to start treating fathers like the parenting partners they are” over at The Daily.

Favorite Angelou Poem

2 Apr

I’m going to see Maya Angelou speak tonight at Christ Church in Greenwich, Connecticut, and featured below is Angelou’s famous “Still I Rise” in honor of this occasion. Enjoy!

The poem begins at 0:47 seconds

Read the poem after the jump.

 

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Happy Birthday Mama!

1 Apr

April 1st is a popular day to celebrate gag gifts and other jokes, all thanks to April Fool’s Day. It’s also a much more important day in my life because it’s not just about a few simple jokes. It’s my Mama’s birthday.

I wrote this article last year claiming that I should celebrate my Mom on my own birthday, seeing as she actually gave birth to me and did all of the hard work. I just had to show up and look cute (mission accomplished). In an effort to celebrate my Mama on her birthday, here is a list of things that I want her to know:

  • She’s breath-takingly beautiful. And everyone always tells me that I’m my mother’s clone, so I take this as a huge compliment.
  • She’s the most selfless person I’ve ever known, almost too selfless. My mom is constantly worrying about everyone else’s needs before her own, and obtains more compassion in her heart than one would think is possible.
  • Her strength holds my entire family together, specifically myself. She doesn’t always realize it, but my mom really is the strongest person I know and provides the stable groundwork for my life as I know it.
  • 100% of the time, she’s always right. Often, I’ll try to rebel against my mom or fight her on a certain issue, but the woman always knows best. Seriously.
  • I hope that when I become a mother, I can be just as kind, patient, and full of wisdom.
  • My mom is my ultimate mentor. While I find guidance and inspiration in other women [and men] in my life, I strive to be just like her in many ways.

The list continues, but at the end of the day I just want my mom to know that I love her more than anything and am so proud to call her my Mama. Happy Birthday, Jude! Stay classy and embrace this 47th year of your life!

Geek Bucket Shout Out

31 Mar

Just want to give a quick shout out to one of my very best friends, Beckett, who started his own WordPress blog too. This is how “meant to be” our friendship is–we both started our own blogs and didn’t even tell each other.

And let me tell you, you’re going to want to read his stuff! I can’t say that it’s exclusively feminist, but maybe I can bribe him to write something gender related. Chances are slim, but he’s truly brilliant and hilarious!

Check out Geek Bucket, here!

Goodbye, Jersdays

31 Mar

Yeah, 'cause my boyfriend throws my bed outside when he's mad at me too...

*Update, this has recently been cross-posted at CollegeFemme.com

In honor of what has now been dubbed “Jersday” by fans of MTV’s hit reality series, The Jersey Shore, I wanted to provide my final thoughts on the colossal relationship that is Ron and Sam. After sitting through three full seasons of this abusive relationship, it was painful to watch the season three finale last Thursday, and I will officially not be watching the fourth season. Nor will I write about it again.

MTV has made it clear that as a network, they obviously care more about ratings over content—that is the sole reason why The Jersey Shore continues to broadcast. But they are also responsible for relaying the message to members of their young and impressionable audience that this behavior is unacceptable. It’s never been more clear to me how harmful the cast and characters can be for young female and male viewers.

I used to find the show kind of entertaining, but it eventually turned into a dramatic scene beyond anything healthy or sane. Ron and Sam are involved in an abusive relationship and are enablers to each other. I am by no means Sammi’s biggest fan: she’s constantly yelling, controlling Ron’s friendships, and has even punched him in the face. As much as I’d love to rock her stupid boyfriend square in his dome piece in my fantasies, it was wrong of her to actually do it; she exhibits an extremely unhealthy attitude toward her significant other.

Ron, on the other hand, takes their situation to a whole other level. Not only is he a disguting human being for hooking up with multiple randos every night in Miami and finding his way into Sammi’s bed, but he went from a cute, sweet boyfriend, to a mental/emotional abuser, and then grew into a physically harmful individual all in the public eye. His physical abuse consists of pushing Sam into corners, preventing her from moving or walking with his own body, and destroying all of the personal contents in her room. The double standards he holds for her are equally astonishing: while he cheated on her throughout the entire second season and put her through intense pain and emotional confusion, she wasn’t allowed to send one text message to one boy during their break-up. It all sounds pretty muffed up to me.

"Nobody said it was easy, but it doesn't have to be this hard"

The cast members might be fist pumping their way to the bank because of their eratic behavior, but Ronnie and Sam are heading in a danerous direction as individuals, let alone as a couple. My concern is that young women will watch this relationship dynamic spiral out of control and perceive it to be normal and acceptable, and that dudes will watch Ron’s treatment towards his partner and act as if this is normal.

It is also incredibly disconcerning how Snooki is the only cast member ackowledging this abuse and takes their relationship seriously. Vinny constantly rolls his eyes at Sammi and complains of her being a trouble maker. He only places blame on the female involved, but when Ron was in Miami they all thought his treatment towards her and his general, crazy behavior was hilarious. Pauly D jokingly suggests eating popcorn to watch “the show” unfold—this show happens to be the insufferabe abuse between his roommates.

Here’s a little advice for the dysfunctional pair. Sam: girl, you were on the right track when you left Seaside to be with your fam. Get yourself together, and far away from Ron. Ron: avoid Sam at all costs, and remember that she’s not only one woman you’re hurting through your actions. You’re a reality star, bro, and that ain’t nothin’ too special.

“Remember the Ladies”

30 Mar

Letter writing has proven to be an effective form of activism since the creation of our country. Literally. Check out this image below, the famous letter from Abigail Adams to her husband, with the simple yet urgent request to include women into The Declaration of Independence. If only he had listened to her wisdom, maybe we wouldn’t be dealing with this deep-rooted gender inequality hundreds of years later.

I’ve always been a huge fan of writing letters to those in power as a means of social change. I think that it is an activist tactic that defies economic class, social status, and race issues. There are obviously some forms of oppression that sneak their way into even this simple act, like those who do not obtain as much knowledge as others to even complete a well-written letter and find the correct way to reach their recipient. Aside from a few technicalities here and there, most anyone can write a letter to someone. Especially in our modern digital age, it’s become easier and easier to get in touch with people we normally wouldn’t be able to; emailing is even less expensive than the 44 cents it costs to mail a physical letter.

So, in honor of Abigail Adams and her courageous attempt to encourage her reluctant hubby to “remember the ladies,” remember that letter writing is a kick-ass form of activism. The next time you feel frustrated or overwhelmed with a larger issue, remember to write a letter to your local representative or national figurehead. A simple, personal statement can make the largest of issues seem that much smaller and more feasible to conquer.

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