My Faux Natural Face

I must have been 10 or 11 years old when I asked my mother if it would be ok if I wore just a little bit of eyeliner to school every day. Her answer? A firm NO. I accepted it without question because this was the 1980s when pre-teen girls were expected to look like children, not like mini prostitutes, and none of my friends wore makeup. Still … [Read more...]

The Watermelon Dress

Here's a little story about a red dress. It was written for submission to Elle magazine's "The ____ That Changed My Life" contest, the blank being an item of clothing. Everything in this essay really happened; however, I confess that no item of clothing has ever profoundly changed my life. Regardless, please indulge me as I explore one dress that has been with me on a long journey... … [Read more...]

Be Real Sexy

First, a little digression -- I think my brain imploded last week due to the media reportage of the VMAs and of one particular starlet whose booty popping antics created a storm. I did not read even one article on this topic, and yet I have felt bombarded by the coverage. So before diving into my topic, I would like to challenge the feminist media to NOT RESPOND to the hype … [Read more...]

The Art of Complimenting Women

Hola compañeras, I just got back from another guilt-free lazy-ass vacation, this time in Cuba, and I feel like a little flirty talk. Like many Canadians, I've been to Cuba several times. I've been with family, with friends, last year I went all alone and, this time, accompanied by my par amour. And the thing about Cubans is -- they sure know about flirting and compliments! … [Read more...]

Book Club, 3rd ed: Color Me Beautiful

Let's get one thing out of the way, I would normally spell color the Canadian way (colour!) and I will, except when referring to the title of this book and its philosophy: Color Me Beautiful. Back in the bad old days, specifically the 1980s, women would go get their "colours done". In those days, Color Me Beautiful was an empire. Today, not so much. In fact, I was surprised to see that they still exist. But even though we don't hear about Color Me Beautiful very much, its influence still lingers! … [Read more...]

Lipstick vs Feminism

"You're the kind of feminist I like" more than one man has said to me when discovering that I have a degree in women's studies, yet have long hair on my head and none on my legs. In an ideal world, a feminist can be butch or feminine or gamine or sporty or granola or whatever, but in this world a woman who calls herself a feminist invites weird stereotypes, or simplistic labels like "lipstick feminist". Yes, really. … [Read more...]

Grateful as f*ck is the new skinny

“I’m so stupid!” said the gorgeous Brazilian woman who was my coworker. “I complained about my cellulite and showed my husband. Until then, he thought I didn’t have any.” This was probably 6 years ago but I never have forgotten the lesson. To begin with, how could this young woman with her beautiful dark hair, long slim legs, full breasts, giant doll eyes and perfect pouty lips, how could SHE be so insecure about her appearance? … [Read more...]

Bjütie will save the world! [maybe]

The gloomy Russian author, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, is credited with floating the idea that beauty will save the world in his story, The Idiot. Full disclosure: I've never read Dostoyevsky (bad librarian, bad!). But I love this idea that beauty can perhaps conceivably change the world for the better. … [Read more...]