Mama Said

Conversations with the most beautiful woman I know, my mom.

It had been a while since I had talked to my mom. So when I called her this past Sunday, I was disappointed when she didn’t answer. Disappointed, but not surprised. She works hard, and she takes care of herself by giving herself Sundays off. So, sometimes, her phone is tucked away on the weekends.

Happily, she called me right back, but she was not pleased. Apparently, there was some important football game going on (who knew?) and her most favorite football player in the whole wide world was playing (yes, she loves her some Peyton). So the ring of her phone had distracted her from watching the game, and that, my friends is just not ok. I apologized profusely and vowed to check the football schedule before I called next time. That seemed to appease her. My lesson:

Dont call your mama on game day
Peyton says, “Don’t be calling your mama on game day.”

Then she asked for my opinion on Peyton’s father, Archie Manning’s behavior recently. Apparently, at a critical point in a recent game, Archie covered his face and turned his back on the field where his son was making a very important play. My mom has a degree in Psychology, and is very interested in body language. So she thought that, while it might be understandable for Mr Manning to be nervous and maybe cover his face a bit, the act of turning his back really rubbed her the wrong way. I agreed that people often “can’t watch” tense moments, and I realized that we cover our face just in case the people we are watching fail. So the very act of hiding our face is basically communicating that failure is a very real option–probably not something we really want to communicate. And turning one’s back is even more powerful. Our conversation turned to body language in pictures, and how it people’s feelings for each other are very clear in photographs. Our natural tendency is to lean in to whoever we are in the picture with, so anytime I see one person leaning away, even ever so slightly, I have to wonder if they are really that into the other person. This is especially interesting with pictures of couples. Next time you are scrolling through Facebook, pay attention to people’s body language in their pictures!

archie manning can't even

body language

 

 

 

 

 

Then my mom shared a couple of revelations she recently had.

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Dear Reader

So my goal with OperationalizeBeauty is to encourage a dialogue whereby women and girls think about what being beautiful really means. If they can see truly beautiful traits in other women, maybe they can recognize them in themselves, too. And then maybe, just maybe, the mean old so-and-sos of the world won’t be so powerful after all. And that will be beautiful.

I have worked with kids for close to a decade. I have worked with them in classrooms, on playgrounds, and at a crisis nursery (yes, it was as heart-breaking as it sounds). One thing that always bothered me was when a kiddo would come up to me complaining about some terrible thing another kid called him– “Mrs. Blair!! So-and-so said I was bad at baseball!” (I know, terrible, right?)

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National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month

During National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, we stand with the survivors, advocates, and organizations dedicated to building a world where our people and our children are not for sale. Together, let us recommit to a society where our sense of justice tells us that we are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, where every person can forge a life equal to their talents and worthy of their dreams.

Our people and our children are not for sale.

It ought to concern every person, because it’s a debasement of our common humanity. It ought to concern every community, because it tears at the social fabric. It ought to concern every business, because it distorts markets. It ought to concern every nation, because it endangers public health and fuels violence and organized crime. I’m talking about the injustice, the outrage, of human trafficking, which must be called by its true name — modern slavery.”

President Barack Obama, 2012

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8 Things (Part Two)

In 2016, don’t let the expectations of others determine what comes out of your mouth, or what you put on your body.

Tara Carr’s SHOULD number five: dish out compliments, just like to female characters from 1950s sitcoms did. She notes that, while compliments should go both ways, “men should receive way more compliments than women because they are way more sensitive and insecure than they let on.”

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8 Things You Should Definitely Do In 2016 (Part One)

And although we sometimes have to do things we don’t love, you should never feel like you HAVE to cook because you were born with a vagina. You can always order take out.

It is that time, folks. Time to reflect on the year that is coming to a close, and set goals, intentions, or even resolutions for the coming year.

Not too long ago, I came across an article that got me thinking about the things I should maybe be doing on a daily basis. The article’s author, Tara Carr, lays out some very specific things she thinks I, as a woman, should be doing. In the intro to her article  Carr seems to praise the ladies depicted in the movie Mona Lisa Smile, who went to college not for a degree but to find a man, “get married as soon as possible and put those Home Ec skills to good use!” She mentions that now it is ok to have a career, and your own mind, and “what not,” but encourages women to do at least some things the “old fashioned” way.

I disagree with pretty much everything she says. But, make no mistake, I don’t necessarily disagree with Carr’s “shoulds” as much as I disagree with the WHYs behind them.

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8 Things Women Should Actually Be Doing

And although we sometimes have to do things we don’t love, you should never feel like you HAVE to do some particular thing because you were born with a vagina.

Not too long ago, I happened upon this article floating around Facebook. I knew– I KNEW– I would not love it. But I clicked on it any way. It did not take long for the article to get me heated.

8 Things Women Just Don’t Do Anymore (that they should!)

Let’s start at the start, shall we? The title is, “8 Things Women Just Don’t Do Anymore (but should!)” Immediately I sensed this could potentially set us back decades. My mind was swimming with images of that article from the 1950s about how to be a “good” housewife. You know the one…

Image and text originally from Housekeeping Monthly. This image from j-walk.com.
Image and text originally from Housekeeping Monthly. This image from j-walk.com.

In the intro to her article, author Tara Carr seems to praise the ladies depicted in the movie Mona Lisa Smile, who went to college not for a degree but to find a man, “get married as soon as possible and put those Home Ec skills to good use!” She mentions that now it is ok to have a career and your own mind and “what not,” but encourages women to do at least some things the “old fashioned” way.

To delve into the “meat and potatoes of the article, lets play a little game of “she says, we say.”

Are you ready?

Continue reading “8 Things Women Should Actually Be Doing”