April 22, 2009
Ah, middle school. The hellish crucible of hormones, homework, and heartache. (It’s not fun like high school, where everyone’s always bursting into song.) So here’s the book I wish I’d had stashed in my locker: Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook, The: Middle School (Worst Case Scenario Junior Editions) (co-written by FOBG Ben Winters). Sure coulda used it, say, at eighth-grade “prom,” when my zipper broke up with my dress shortly before my “date” broke up with me.
What about you? Any real-life middle school worst-case scenarios you care to share?
April 21, 2009
Most of us are hard pressed to find one photo of ourselves that we like enough to post with our profile. Here’s a tip: When you do, repeat that exact head angle and facial expression in every photograph from then on. Paris Hilton does this, but so do other people as evidenced by these five AMAZING animated gifs.
April 17, 2009
Hitting (on) close to home February 2, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
I was dating a girl and as soon as I fell for her she decided that I didn’t meet her stringent expectations for a man (nothing to do with measurements, I don’t think). A couple of weeks later, my roommate decided to break the “roommate rule.” I walked in to find said roommate and my ex doing their thing in the living room. I am now a guy with no place to go. I don’t wanna go home cause I may find more shenanigans going on. Is it within my rights to kick my roommate out? Are people allowed to date their roommate’s ex? If so, how long do they need to wait before the couch-fest ensues?
– Battered in Boulder
This behavior is technically legal, but Melrosically tacky (see “The Tacky Factor” in last week’s column). What is within your rights is to ask them to take their business elsewhere. The two of them should have thought of that. They should also have written a letter like the next one.
Trying not to be tacky on February 2 1998...
Dear Breakup Girl,
I like one of my good friends. The problem is, he just broke up with his girlfriend K., who happens to also be a friend of mine. I know it’s not right for me to make a move and ask him out, especially because he’s not over K., and I don’t think it’s right to go out with a friend’s ex (even if we’re not close friends). But I like him a lot, and I know he feels the same about me, even though he loves K. too. How long I should wait before asking him out?
Give it at least a few months. Not only out of respect for K., but also because you don’t want to get jiggy with him until he has safely exited the rebound zone. It might feel like forever, but if there really is something between you two, it’ll last. And at least you don’t have to wait as long as Charles and Camilla do.
April 16, 2009
Ya know, I don’t automatically get offended by the word “fat,” or even the term “fat girl.” After all, one of my favorite Guides to Life was written by a body-positive fat girl.
But something about this grossly-named product from Bliss really exfoliates me the wrong way. Could it be the headline “rub-a-dub blub?” The idiotic and spurious claim that rubbing “Himalayan pink salt” on your hynee is a valid alternative to healthy diet and exercise? Maybe it’s the barely literate mis-use of single quotes.
No… no… I think it’s definitely the name-calling, and my niggling fear that tubs of this and its corrollary product, “FatGirlSlim,” will be left in the lockers of “less-than-perfect” women and girls across the globe. (All this when apparently we’re “officially over skinny.” Oh, wait.)
Hey, I’m all for kicky and edgy marketing copy. But this just sounds like advertising by way of sorority hazing.
In a new poll by teen expert Jennifer “Dr. Jenn” Austin Leigh, PsyD., 98% of teen boys said they’d rather be in a relationship with “a girl who is a great listener than [with] a ‘hottie’.”
Okay, we’re listening. “If boys want more love and less sex for sport, this is really good news because teen pregnancy is up, teen girl-on-girl violence is going up [reports thereof are going up -- Ed.], emotional abuse in teen relationships is rampant…any trend towards more civility is welcome at this point,” Dr. Jenn said in a press release that just hit BG’s inbox. “Kids want something more substantial in their lives…to be loved, respected, seen and heard deeply.”
Still listening. “We do our boys a huge disservice by not talking about male virginity or their romantic, tender emotions about sex.” says Dr. Jenn. “Our boys are more than just their plumbing. Parents need to address their boys’ hearts and souls when they discuss sex with them.”
And! “The wonderful possibilities of where we go as human beings and the future of our planet depends on whether or not we learn to honor our girls. It’s that simple.” (Just ask The World Bank.)
But. BG has to wonder: how much honor is there in being called a “hyena”? Mmm, a hyena. Kind of like a lil’ cougar. Indeed, according to her website, “Dr. Jenn” has “coined the term ‘hyenas’ to describe the new phenomenon of sexually aggressive girls, taking as her model the female spotted hyena, which is far more aggressive than its male counterpart, right down to sexually explicit taunting. It is now not uncommon for girls to strong-arm boys for sex, and that includes oral sex. Some teenage girls even collect ‘V cards’ (virginity cards) to keep score of the number of boys they’ve deflowered. It’s a growing trend. Girls like the power and thrill of being a guy’s first, even if they don’t have any feelings for him.”
Okay, now we’re not laughing. Surely there’s more than enough aggression to go around, and more than enough reasons why, in today’s porn-tastic culture, that aggression becomes sexualized, even by girls. But, you know, this aggro-girls “trend” story comes and goes like the locust. Several years ago, it was girls as perpetrators of violence, which — not that some girls weren’t perps — turned out to be more about increased reporting through zero-tolerance policies, etc. Before that, some of you may recall, it was sexually aggressive girls calling their crushes on that old-fashioned gadget, what do you call it, the corded phone? “Mean Girls.” “Do-me Feminists.” You name it. (Also, apparently, simultaneously, girls are getting more goody-goody. Go fig.) While our society has absolutely, definitely, indubitably become more more sensitized and prone to glamorized sex, violence, and sexualized violence, seems to me there have always been, and will always be, girls on both sides.
Also…hyenas? Hyenas. (Girls acting like stereotypical horny boys. Can it be coincidence that the female spotted hyena mates through a “pseudo-penis?”) Listen: you can argue, at least, that the “cougar” is, I don’t know, a majestic beast. But the hyena? Yes, the hyena is considered a skilled hunter. But the hyena is not pretty. The hyena’s pelt is not prized. There is no sleek, elegant car called the Hyena. The hyena’s vocalization has been compared to a human laugh of the “hysterical” variety.
Dr. Jenn, if you want to honor girls, do not call them hyenas. Do not coin a calculatedly, transparently, sleazily headline-courting term that will do little but promote snickering and stereotype — even if (especially if!) the core of what you’re saying about girls and boys and health and respect has some merit and comes from a place of real and sincere concern. If your message is that kids want respect, then you’ve got to give it to them first.
April 15, 2009
Lambert’s guy-liner: pro or con?
(Me: Pro, I guess, though that could explain the tracks of his tears.)
« Previous Page
The Cougar premieres tonight on TV Land.
“The enthusiasm for the ‘Wild Kingdom’ analogy is a sign of how strange and hysterically funny the idea of energetic female sexual desire is — whether it’s in the form of 34-year-old Drew Barrymore, who has cheerily referred to herself as a “pre-cougar” or “puma” because she’s dated men a couple of years younger than her, or 50-year-old Madonna, who recently dated 20-year-old Jesus Luz,” writes Rebecca Traister at Salon.com. “How sad and backward that we have to give it a nickname, animalize it as if it’s outside the boundaries of civilized human behavior, make it a trend, pretend that Demi Moore invented it. That’s not progress, and it’s not a step forward for women.”
— Next Page »