Showing posts from June, 2019

Unpacking The Beauty Myth: How we can redefine beauty for each other

I joined a book club several years ago because I wanted to a) get out of my reading comfort zone, and b) cultivate meaningful friendships. The group has exceeded my goals and has opened my eyes to a wide range of worldly experiences and ideas. Last month, we selected a book from Emma Watson's book list called The Beauty Myth  by Naomi Wolf. Written in 1991, Wolf examines the evolution of female beauty over the last century and calls out the social, economical, and political constructs at work behind how society defines a "beautiful woman."  She lays out the dangers of buying into the beauty myth: sexual harassment normalization, eating disorders, diet pills and plans, mainstreaming pornography to target young girls, and cosmetic surgery to "fix" a perceived problem.  (** She also points out, in an introduction written in 2001, that men are beginning to feel the effects of the Beauty Myth, too.) And Wolf parallels the encroaching, ever-changing beaut

Delicious Beauty in a Box: Using a meal-kit delivery service

I am not the cook in our marriage. I've never had the inclination, intuition, or inspiration to prepare daily meals.  Gratefully, I married a man who does. Oh, I've dabbled with recipes (I absolutely *need* instructions!) over the years, but the coordination of timing, food-handling skills, and ability to manage several cooking utensils at once has never come together for me. This is why when Shawn sent me a text from work asking me to "check into Hello Fresh" I got excited about the idea of cooking. I reviewed the choices on their menu and was energized by the idea of having detailed, step-by-step instructions along with the exact amount of each item required for the recipe. Our first three meal kits arrived at our front door last week in a large box. It was filled with ice packs, insulation, and three clearly-labeled (squee!) bags of ingredients. I transferred them to the refrigerator and made plans to make the pork chop dish that night. Shawn

Beauty on the Bad Days: God will provide

Last Friday I woke up feeling awful.   I was severely bloated, my right foot was swollen so much my shoes barely fit, and my face was puffy. I felt short of breath and exhausted. I was struggling to find the beauty in the day. I have been addressing high estrogen levels for about six months, but it has been slowly ramping up the last three months. I've been gaining weight with the extra fluids, but I have managed to cope on most days. Until Friday. I stepped on the scale, and was defeated when I registered the highest number I’d seen in four years. Frustrated tears came to my eyes as I swallowed an extra dose of diuretics and thought about what I should  do. I decided to call my naturopathic doctor who has been treating me for this problem. I knew it was unlikely that I’d get in to see her anytime soon, but I wanted to talk with her anyway. When I explained the situation, her assistant told me there was a last-minute cancellation. She exclaimed, “Wow, his never happens! C

Beauty for Hire: Gratitude for the service industry

I was raised to embrace a self-sufficient work ethic. Maybe you were, too. If a job needed done, the right path was to roll up your sleeves, gather your tools, and do it on your own. There was a certain pride and sense of accomplishment in completing the task, especially if you had taken the initiative without being asked. I still get that good feeling when I finish a job. However, my chore list has shortened considerably as my muscular dystrophy has progressed, limiting my physical abilities. Several years ago, after pushing past the pain one too many times while cleaning the house, I realized it was time to hire help. Nancy has been an angel in my life as she visits twice a month to scrub, dust, and vacuum our home, yet I still avoid talking about "having a house cleaner." And when I do say something, I always qualify it with an explanation of my limitations, hoping to dispel any negative labels or guilt-inducing feelings. However, Nancy, and others like her, are av