All she wants for Christmas is you..to pay attention!

This week, staff writer Stephany Salinas discusses how to get it right for Christmas.

 

Holidays are right around the corner, and I’ve already been approached by male friends asking what they should get for that special someone.

Should I get her jewelry? Clothes? A Louis Vuitton purse? Coach?

Well, for some women, all of the above would be ideal, and I honestly couldn’t tell you if those are the right or the wrong gifts. If my boyfriend bought me a Coach purse, I wouldn’t be super excited about it, but I would definitely not be mad about it, either.

However, for a lot of girls, it’s more about the creativity of the gift. I know, I know, “Oh no, you mean I actually have to think about it?”

To put it simple, yes. If we see effort, and not just money, put into the gift, we are that much more appreciative of it.

Let me give you an example. I’ve gotten many gifts over the years. Necklaces, jewelry, stuffed animals, gift cards, etc. You name the typical boyfriend gift, and I got it. After all the years, the stuffed animals got put/thrown away. The necklaces got tucked in a jewelry drawer, the purses thrown away, the rings were given back, and everything was gone.

NOW. One Christmas, a few years back, my boyfriend at the time went all out. And not all out as in dropping money or making it rain, but got me gifts that I actually needed/want.

I was in college, and my printer was terrible. BOOM, brand new printer with Bluetooth capability, so I can print from anywhere in my apartment. At the time, I was taking 21 credit hours. BOOM. Here’s a huge George Foreman grill so you can make dinner quicker and easier. Not only store-bought things, but he also made a picture booklet of pictures of us throughout the time we had known each other. It was the cutest thing I had ever seen in my life. On top of that, he made…MADE..a snow globe with a picture of us in it. I couldn’t take these items anywhere, and I couldn’t show them off when I went out, but every night before I went to bed, I shook that snow globe and smiled.

Last but not least, my major was Music Business. He bought me an adorable eighth notes music necklace that I still wear to this very day. Not because there are still feelings there, and not because it’s such an extravagant piece of jewelry that I MUST show it off, but because it represents a part of who I am. I love music, grew up on it, studied it, and majored in it. Music has and always will be a part of my life, and for him to incorporate that into a gift meant the world to me.

So gentlemen, instead of asking other people what you should get your girlfriend, do yourself a favor and pay attention to her. As her boyfriend, you should know her better than most people. There are so many things you can get, that finding something that will mean something to her shouldn’t be a problem, especially if it’s something that comes from the, you guessed it, heart.

Good luck! ❤

Me, My Date, and OH MY EYES!

 

We all have some idea of what “looking good” means to us and have some sort of standard by which we measure any and all people we might want to get to know better. Sometimes it’s as simple as falling for an attractive face until they smile and you’re faced with a mouthful of bad teeth; sometimes it’s as simple as falling for an attractive body until you meet in person and find out that the picture was of someone else entirely   or taken a long, long, LONG time ago; sometimes, you run into people who are masters of appearances and are good until the clothes come off and the alcohol wears off and you’re faced with a “hairy situation”. So do yourself and your date a favor, be upfront about how you look. If your date doesn’t like the way you look, then it wouldn’t have worked out no matter what, but at least you save yourself and your date an unnecessary and awkward situation.

What Size Is Beautiful?

In a society that praises thin, you have to wonder: is there a magic size or weight that gains you entrance in the hallowed club of beautiful and if so, what is it? In thinking of this, I think of this quote from Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “This above all: to thine own self be true.”

Now what does this really mean? How can one be able to be true to himself/herself? My interpretation of that quote would be to embrace what makes me ME. I have a quirky, off-beat sense of humor that can be a little dead-pan and biting. I use humor, wit, and sometimes sarcasm to make up for what I feel are my shortcomings, especially my biggest one, my weight. I’ve been many sizes over the years and have had different views of myself at those sizes. When I was a size 6, I felt flirty; I was more likely to buy short skirts to show off my legs and felt powerful and sexy. When I was a size 8, I felt a little more womanly, I had more curves and got a lot of attention on two specific areas: my chest and my butt. Now, let me tell you, I felt conflicted about how exactly to feel about the extra attention on these areas. For one thing, I’m a black female; I don’t want a big butt, a nice firm curve is great, but a big bubble butt is something I’ve never wanted. Secondly, I’m a black female with female family members who tend to have large chests; I thank God daily that I missed the hereditary butt; however, I didn’t escape my family genetics scott-free, I got the family breasts. I’m a 25-year-old female with no kids and natural size 38D breasts. I will admit that I’m not necessarily complaining about having my assets appreciated, but I’m not blind or deaf to the common conception that a woman who might be no more than a size 6 with my breast size tends to be more the ideal.

I have seen in my journey to MY ideal beautiful size that what I see in the mirror does weight heavily my decision on who I’ll consider dating as well as the clothes I buy. When I’m at my “skinny weight”, I tend to lean more towards the cocky bad boys who were made for quick flings. When I got more curvy, I tended to lean more towards the “nice guys” who were made for long-term relationships in which I felt secure in the knowledge that in their eyes, I was always beautiful even if I wasn’t model skinny. When it came to my clothing, I would dress more girly when I was “thin”, but when I was “fat”, I did the cardinal sin of “big girl fashion” and dressed to hide the lumps with baggy clothes and essentially dressed like I hated my body rather than make the best of how I was in that present moment and give myself the courage and honesty to work my way to a size and body I could love and felt that “yes, this is the true me”.

A few months ago, I got to my heaviest weight ever and was a solid size 12. Now at 5’10, this wasn’t a complete and utter travesty; but when I stood in front of the mirror with my naked body staring back at me, I realized that I had let things go too far and I didn’t feel beautiful anymore. In the past couple of months, I’ve lost nearly 30 pounds and have started to see the “old me”, the me that wanted to stand out and be fearless in how I presented myself. And let me tell you, it felt damn good. I realized that part of my decision-making process in concern with who I chose to date had less to do with certain winning attributes and more with those that wouldn’t make me feel fat because to society, they like myself were less than perfect physically and in the eyes of that same society, I was “the hot one” in the relationship. Sad, but honest and that is what I have based my blog on and my new journey in life, honesty.

So in answer to the title question, the size that is beautiful isn’t what society tells you is beautiful; it is the point at which you know without a doubt that you are being true to yourself. Don’t be a follower of the “should be”, be your own leader and step out of the shadows and embrace the true you.

Confessions of an Avid Purger

Purging, good for the soul AND heart? New staff writer Rachel Brownjohn gives a good argument for this in her first post for the blog. Enjoy and if you can relate, comment on the post!

Purging is the best. Like, the BEST.

And no, not the kind you’re thinking.
The purging that comes from cleaning out your closet, or finally sorting through the contents of your neglected refrigerator, or organizing your pencil

bag (you guys remember elementary school), or my FAVORITE, getting rid of the artifacts of a failed relationship.

When I was in second grade my mom and I lived in a duplex with another single mom/kid super duo. That mom dated…. All the time. And she was a regular pro at getting rid of ex’s stuff. She would regularly (about once every 2 months) dispel a box of items, which presumably belonged to the most recent former beaux, from her second story window and onto her side of the lawn. Sometimes those clothes would stay there for a few days. Sometimes they would be gone by the morning. My favorite time, they were gathered by an underwear clad fellow with a cardboard box as he alternatingly offered beseeching apologies and creative slights.

She was a rock star of purging.

I’ve never reached her level of commitment when it comes to ex-boyfriend paraphernalia removal. I tend to keep my irrational actions isolated to late night text messages or boy bashing nights with my girlfriends. When it comes to returning items I’m like Martha Stewart. I package their items attractively and smelling fresh and clean!

It’s a ritual:  Break up. Sort out a time to return items, and go to TOWN! Laundering and folding neatly, being very careful to ensure that all items are returned in PEAK condition, and (depending on the extent of our relationship and the method of return) possibly writing a well thought out note to seem extra graceful. Or dramatic. Depends on the occasion (Once my note read, “I’m sorry, I just can’t keep them, they deserve to be loved”…. It was in reference to sweatshirts, DRAMA!).

Do you remember the musical South Pacific? Or more specifically that catchy old tune that went, “I’m gonna wash that man right out of my hair, and send him on his way!”. This is the break up mantra I follow, and for me, those neatly packed boxes of laundered clothes are my shampoo and water. “I’m gonna pack that box all full of his shirts, and send him on his way!.”

Does getting rid of their stuff erase the heartache? No. Does it erase the memories we shared together? Of course not. But it’s starting fresh, cleaning out the closet, and making room for a new tooth-brush and pair of athletic shorts, a new too-big-T-shirt to fall asleep in, and a new hand to hold.

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SUCKING A CAN OF SPAR VARNISH

For those of you who swear by your makeup bag and won’t be seen without mascara and lipstick, this article by staff writer Rigby Rat is for you!  

While having dinner in a quiet NYC restaurant recently, my friend and I couldn’t help but overhear a young shrew rant about her guy’s facial stubble, unkempt head of hair, and hideous chest tattoos. What set her off?  He stated that he preferred her without makeup – that he liked the natural look.

Some women hide their flaws with makeup, while others may insist makeup enhances their beauty.  Whatever your reason for applying war paint,  know this – some guys just don’t like the artificial look.

So, what exactly did this guy mean when he said he preferred her without makeup?  Unfortunately, he didn’t say, but I’ll take a stab at it:  “Your black eyeliner is a wee bit too Elvira, and your lips – they look like you’ve been sucking a can of spar varnish for the past week.”

Face it ladies, some of you just don’t know how to apply makeup.  So, when your guy tells you he prefers the natural look, instead of becoming defensive, wonder why your gal friends don’t have your back.

 

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Label or Individual

We are all well aware that “what’s in” and “what’s not” are determined by society; but these things are mostly decided by a select few that tried something and made it work. And as a result, gained a following that showed the public how it should be. Two areas in which this is heavily shown is fashion and body image; more times than not, these areas coincide and merge to become the same issue.

With fashion, we are told that to be sexy, edgy, elegant, or professional we have to have a certain look, a certain designer brand, even certain hairstyles. While there are instances in which following a trend can be a game changer for us, it shouldn’t be at the expense of erasing everything that makes us stand out from the crowd. A person’s worth shouldn’t be determined by how many designer labels are in a person’s closet, but should be determined by what that person brings to the table.

There’s a saying by Mark Twain: “Clothes make the man.” This quote has almost been made into a religion. The fashion industry has become a ruling force in society in more ways than the quest in maintaining sartorial perfection. It also affects us mentally and emotionally by making us relive our fears and insecurities about acceptance. We’d like to think that we’re above the need to fit it; after all, we’re adults. We have jobs, responsibilities, and other adult rites of passage. We have friends; we’re well liked at work and have a good life. Logically, we KNOW this; but let’s face it, the junior high/high school experience never ends. The only difference in adulthood is that your parents and teachers can’t help you. The field is wider, there are no real rules, and the gloves are off. It’s truly a matter of who has the stronger mind and personality. So in this final thought, are you a label or a person?

 

 

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