Tag Archives: Looking Thin And Pretty

Funny hoo-ha

I realize that anybody who is anybody on the internet has already blogged today about the “Who Says Women Aren’t Funny?Vanity Fair article, itself a response to the VF article “Why Women Aren’t Funny” by Christopher Hitchens. [Full disclosure: Christopher Hitchens will always be a god to me because he devoted an entire book to putting down Mother Teresa. Who else would have the audacity to do that?] Nevertheless, I want to weigh in on this important debate contrived to sell magazines. Are women funny?

Let me start by saying that all those SNL hotties were ugly in high school. I lack the evidence to back up that statement, but I feel in my gut that it’s true. They were ugly and that’s why they cultivated their personalities. And I have to put that out there because a large portion of the latest Vanity Fair article, supposedly extolling the comedic talents of the fairer sex, is about how pretty these funny ladies are. Alessandra Stanley writes:

It used to be that women were not funny. Then they couldn’t be funny if they were pretty. Now a female comedian has to be pretty—even sexy—to get a laugh.

At least, that’s one way to view the trajectory from Phyllis Diller and Carol Burnett to Tina Fey. Some say it’s the natural evolution of the women’s movement; others argue it’s a devolution. But the funniest women on television are youthful, good-looking, and even, in a few cases, close to beautiful—the kind of women who in past decades might have been the butt of a stand-up comic’s jokes.

Of course female comedians are beautiful. Vanity Fair loves to take pictures of beautiful people. Vanity Fair gets to pick and choose who to put on its cover. Vanity Fair gets to slather the funny women in makeup and dress them in revealing “costumes” and Photoshop them into oblivion and then slap rubber chickens in their hands and pretend that their sexuality is not being exploited.

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Hallmarks of good gym etiquette

I recently joined a gym, and boy would I be looking good if working out didn’t make me so hungry for Mexican food. And it’s not just any gym – it’s the most state-of-the-art, LA/Manhattan/Madonna-worthy gym in Virginia. I get a discounted membership because of my mob connections. Also, my sweat doesn’t stink.

I have been loving the gym, but here are some tips to make my personal fitness experience even more enjoyable.

1) If you can get away with wearing only short shorts and a sports bra when you work out, please mount the machine in front of mine. This will inspire me to work harder so I can have your body.

2) I feel a lot of goodwill between strangers at the gym. The natural amiability seems totally asexual, which is understandable because everyone looks so gross. But boundaries can still be crossed. If a girl is doing a stretch that involves bending over or spreading her legs, it’s not appropriate to talk to her. Whatever you have to say, she is going to feel self conscious about you looking down her jog bra or into her perspiring crotch area. Wait and talk to her when she is performing a less provocative stretch, like the neck stretch:

Neck stretch

3) If you like to make locker room conversation, at least make a show of getting dressed while you’re talking. For most people, it’s hard to think of smart and funny things to say when staring at a naked body. Putting on clothes should be your first priority, not making small-talk, clipping your toenails, or blow-drying your hair.

4) Be creative with your gym outfits. It always makes my day when I run into the guy who works out in jeans, bare feet, and a halfshirt.

5) Don’t leave clumps of your hair in the shower. I am actively trying to contract a foot fungus as a gym rite of passage, but I still balk at stepping on other peoples’ hair wads. Figure it out, ladies.

6) If you are way into Nia dance aerobics classes, try not to look like such a dork. Just kidding – dance is all about free expression. And you can do what you want because I won’t be taking any more of these types of classes.

7) Please spray down my machine after I use it.

8 ) Don’t throw down your iron barbells after every set. The loud noise scares me to death when I’m on the treadmill trying to watch Drumline. Last time I had my headphones on so I couldn’t hear myself cursing, but everyone else could. If you’re strong enough to lift the heavy weights, you are strong enough to set them down gently.

That is all for now. Does anyone else have advice for uncouth gym-goers?

Homecoming weekend in Williamsburg

I am going to my five-year college Homecoming, but ONLY so I can blog about it. Also it is rainy, dreary, and I am hungry for pancakes. This is the existential recipe for Williamsburg, Virginia.

I have two friends who are also going to Homecoming, but they’re not appearing until tonight and tomorrow, respectively, so this afternoon I am going to a religion lecture at the University Center and then I will either wander alone from bar to bar, trying to look pretty in case I am spotted by ex-boyfriends, or I will go back to my hotel room and watch cable TV. I am half-tempted to crash the football game tomorrow with my friend Diana, because she is from Armenia and has never seen a game of football. Especially a game of William & Mary’s caliber. My mother tells me she has “a friend” on the team that I should support, however this is a source of filial concern, not school spirit.

Last night I made business cards so I can do some networking during Homecoming. I think they turned out really well considering they are DIY and I don’t actually have a business.

The miracle of makeup

These pictures make it painfully obvious what a little foundation can do, but I have “straight from the shower into the underpants into the car” genes. I can’t help the way I was born. I also missed the shopping and shoes DNA. I am going to go ahead and start the rumor that my exquisite-looking sister Margaret probably has a different father.

Birthday workout

Does it still count as a workout if you walk on the treadmill for 20 minutes and then climb back into bed in your gym shorts?