In honor of my upcoming 30th birthday, I’ve researched countless “things to do before 30” lists. And while there are plenty to choose from, I kept coming back to “Thirty Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She’s 30.”
The List was originally published in Glamour by columnist Pamela Redmond Satran in 1997. Over the next 30 weeks, I’ll be tackling each item on The List and reflecting about it here… publicly (gulp). I hope you enjoy and we can grow together. After all, turning older is a privilege denied to many.
By 30, you should know…
24. That you can’t change the length of your legs, the width of your hips, or the nature of your parents.
Actress and model Portia de Rossi provides this week’s perspective on something all women should know — hopefully well before 30. It’s primarily about body acceptance, given de Rossi’s personal experience with body image, an eating disorder and being scrutinized endlessly about what she “should fix.”
While I’m positive every single human being has poked and prodded themselves, finding flaws and wishing they looked different, I agree that women in particular are taught at a young age how they “should look.”
The best example I can recall is from Tina Fey’s Bossypants: “Now every girl is expected to have Caucasian blue eyes, full Spanish lips, a classic button nose, hairless Asian skin with a California tan, a Jamaican dance hall ass, long Swedish legs, small Japanese feet, the abs of a lesbian gym owner, the hips of a nine-year-old boy, the arms of Michelle Obama, and doll tits. The person closest to actually achieving this look is Kim Kardashian, who, as we know, was made by Russian scientists to sabotage our athletes.”
The beauty standard is, obviously, impossible. Even if you possess one or more of these “ideal” features, you can’t possibly have them all without some extreme alterations. And isn’t perfection boring? If we all looked the same, what on earth would we read about in women’s magazines? 😉
In all seriousness, I’m grateful to have had parents who didn’t define my self-worth on my appearance. Maybe it’s because they knew it’d be hopeless for a fair-skinned, freckled, chubby, redheaded, clumsy, big-chested, four-eyed, brace-faced adolescent to find much to adore in the mirror. (At least I had the blue eyes going for me, hidden behind those glasses.)
Instead, they focused on work ethic, affirmations and kindness… although that last one took awhile, as I figured if I could bully others, they wouldn’t bully me.
The flip side of all of that positive parenting is that I haven’t always embraced what’s in the mirror. I have friends who can’t pass a mirror without stopping and “fixing” something, but I’ve also envied at times how comfortable they are staring themselves in the face.
So the past few years, I’ve been working on a balance of both: I smile at my reflection and might have some negative thoughts, but I’ll push those away to focus on what I love.
The nose I hated for years and years has a “sparkle” (my niece’s wording) and calls attention to how similar it is to my mom’s and brother’s.
The freckles i loathed provide texture and stories of sun-filled days I’m fortunate to enjoy.
The stomach I still don’t love shows I’m not shy about embracing different cuisines — and carbs— and no workout regimen can hide it.
I spend my energy focusing on a balance of nutrition and physical activity, indulging when I want and not beating myself up too much when I go overboard. I’d rather just live and accept my features, rather than worry about what magazines and pop culture tell me are flaws. The skin I’m in is mine alone — and I wouldn’t change it, even if I could.
This one’s for the ladies! Side note: Every time I say that, I think of Tina Fey’s scene in “Baby Mama” where she gets on the turntables and plays “Lady in Red” at a Manhattan nightclub.
OK, back to business:
- International Women’s Day: Yesterday’s worldwide celebration of women was, simply put, awesome. Whether you shared inspirational quotes, sentimental stories or simply a smile to the ladies in your life, I hope you had a lovely day 🙂
- Saraswati’s Hijab Transformations: Talk about talent — this Malaysian makeup artist uses her hijab and makeup to transform into pop culture icons, from Disney personalities to comic book characters. Check out more of her work on Instagram @queenofluna.
- Ipsy: My brother and sister-in-law gifted me this beauty bag subscription service for Christmas, and “obsessed” is an understatement. The bags are super cute and reusable, and I’ve already fallen for a few of the products. It’s better than Birchbox, in my humble opinion.
- Spotify’s Women in Music & Culture Playlists: My fave music service also got in on the International Women’s Day festivities. Spotify released 15 playlists from various genres, highlighting decades of iconic females. I’m really digging the Women of Pop and Women of Country compilations… what about you?
A fluffy furball, an awards ceremony to remember, an extra day to do something and a rant to end all rants. I’d say it’s a pretty good week!
- This Puppy with Braces: Brace yourself. (Yeah, I went there.) Wesley is a six-month-old golden retriever suffering from teething problems and pain. Luckily, his owner, Molly Moore, is the daughter of a veterinarian who specializes in dentistry. Voila! Cutest damn metal mouth you’ve ever seen. Now this is a “break the Internet” trend I can appreciate.
- The 88th Annual Academy Awards: Despite boycotts and ultimately, historically low viewership, this year’s Oscars provided difficult — yet necessary — commentary. From lack of diversity to sexual abuse, environmental impact and more, Chris Rock et al. were not afraid to go there. If only our Presidential candidates could speak so passionately and maintain their dignity.
- Leap Day: What else am I late to the game to comment on? February 29 was Leap Day, AKA an extra day to get shit done and be amazing. Of course, it was a Monday, so I grumbled through my morning routine and was exhausted by dinnertime. All I can say is, I’m glad it’s only every four years (and the next one’s a Saturday)!
- “Last Week Tonight” Makes Donald Drumpf Again: I often refrain from public commentary about politics and absolutely refuse to tolerate disrespectful comments about this. Take 20 minutes with John Oliver’s brilliant takedown of Donald Trump and recognize the reality we face with this election. I’m not into scare tactics, but let’s prevent a living nightmare.
I write today still recovering from the past weekend’s shenanigans and prepping for what’s coming in the days ahead. So just bear with me:
- Tinder: Well, duh. Even though I’ve already mastered it — and the game aspect isn’t all that exciting anymore — I still have to applaud its creators for appealing to millions of ADD millenials.
- “Chrisley Knows Best”: I was intrigued by the previews for this new show with its patriarch retorting to one child that he’s “been there, done that and got the T-shirt, son, and you’re just doing reruns.” Trust me, it doesn’t disappoint. Catch new episodes Tuesdays at 10 EST on USA.
- Magz Coming to Visit: My one and only, favorite momma is spending a week with me starting tomorrow! I can hardly contain my excitement to show her how grown up I am.
- Christopher Walken Dance Now: I’m told this video went viral yesterday (a year in Internet land), but I discovered it today so LISTEN UP. Umm, it’s a mash-up of Christopher Walken dancing. Not much else to say.
This week has been pretty rough — like a same shit, different toilet kind of week. I am in serious need of a vacay. Lucky for me, I’m headed to San Francisco next week for play (oh, and work). Until I get to The City by the Bay, here’s what’ll keep me happy.
Mila Kunis: I’ve loved Mila since her spoiled Jackie days on “That 70’s Show.” Her roles in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and “Black Swan” were great, but 2011 has treated her best. She’s agreed to attend a military ball with a Marine, was fantastic in “Friends with Benefits” and she just told off a reporter on behalf of JT — in Russian —удивительный (or, awesome!)
My Scrabble Ring: Arguably the best $5 I’ve ever spent, I absolutely adore the Scrabble ring I purchased from robotsnappingturtle on Etsy. It’s simple, sweet and it showcases my word-nerdiness … many thanks to Rachel for the find!
The Triumphant Return of “Jersey Shore”: Viva Italia! I know we’re still a day away from the premiere, but I can already guarantee that the guidos and guidettes will provide endless entertainment this season. Putting a bunch of Italian-Americans in a foreign country = let the clusterfuck begin.
All Things Football: The lockout is over, and America has been celebrating for a week straight. From a local strip club’s marquee (“Our girls won’t lock out NFL players”) to “The League” having something to film this season to the fantasy draft I just calendared, it’s about time the frenzy began. Let’s. Do. This.
Hope your week is swell, mothatruckas!
My iPod has been pissing me off lately — from its defunct headphones to periodic skipping to ripped case — but luckily, a little songstress and her crew have kept me from throwing MC Hammer against the wall.*
Grace Potter was recently on “Chelsea Lately,” so I Googled her stuff (natch) and fell in love. You may be familiar with “Paris,” as it’s appeared on a few TV spots here and there.
Seriously, if this song doesn’t get your blood pumping, check your pulse.
Some other singles to check out:
She’s got so much talent that I kind of want to hate her for being stunningly beautiful too. But alas, she’s super sweet with just a bit of bite.
Easy, breezy and all too cool — her sound is made even more interesting when you hear of her upbringing in New England on a family-owned compound.
Welcome to Potterville, population: you.
*I name all of my devices. I don’t want to throw the king of harem pants, nor do I have the physical prowess to do so.
This week has already been positively cray cray, and it only promises to get more hectic. Here’s what I’ve been perusing to keep myself in check:
Maxi Dresses: Easy and breezy, I’m all about this still-happenin’ style. Paired with sandals and a cardigan, they’re office-appropriate. Ditch the sweater and shoes for a statement necklace and wedges to stand out at night.
This Damn Song: After appearing in a few commercials (and my head for the past 28 hours), I can confidently say that I still adore “Young Blood” by The Naked and Famous. It’s catchy and so stinkin’ cute.
Ladybug Push Pins: I got these for my desk a while back, and they still bring a smile to my face each day. Yes, I work in a cubicle. No, I am not confined to these walls. A memo or sticky note is just so much more pleasant when secured with ‘em.
Moustaches: After celebrating my roomie’s birthday with a full-on ‘Stache Bash, I’ve acquired quite the collection of upper-lip art. From those Urban bandages to this corkscrew (available at Target for $10), funny facial hair is a new fave. I just need to find my very own Wooly Willy.
Hope you and yours are having a splendid week!