Cardio Queens: for Fierce, Fab Family Women Focusing on Finances and Fitness

Everyday there is a new dieting fad, a new fitness miracle, or a new surgical procedure that promises to help keep busy women fit and looking their best. Typically, with minimal effort. Some of these trends come and go with such speed that if you blink you may miss them. Others still seem to stand the test of time being passed down like secret family recipes amongst the most fabulous circles of women…who make it all seem deceivingly easy.

It’s no secret, staying fit and fabulous is a struggle for most women. However, add to that a budding family and career and this challenge goes from difficult, to seemingly impossible. Furthermore, I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the fact that there are stricter beauty standards for women, worldwide. Not only are women expected to be perfectly fit, but they’re also expected to be plump in all the right places, with perfect makeup, and of course, whilst sporting all of the latest fashions… Yeah, gimme a break!

Rather than to continue to point out the many obvious obstacles to women being perpetually fierce and fabulous (i.e. time constraints, child birth, child rearing, etc.) suffice to say the true struggle most women face when trying to balance family, work, and their own vitality; is how to define these things for themselves. All too often childless, single men/women are put in the position of advisor (and seemingly judge and jury) of working mothers. It’s easy to say what the perfect mom looks like, or how she should behave when you may likely never face the same barriers. Many women put too much pressure on themselves based on such recommendations and ultimately suffer.

Overall, rather than harp on what the actual barriers to superficial beauty that most women face I’d like to point out that every woman is beautiful. Cliché perhaps, but honestly the only barrier that women face in terms of realizing their true beauty…is the fact that so many are still allowing others to define and mold us into what they think we should be…

Venus L

"Aging Gracefully" ≠ Never Changing

 

There is something wrong with the way we look at women aging. On a feminist website, there’s an article titled “Meryl Streep, 1979 and Now, Same Dress.”

My first thought was “I love Meryl Streep! She’s so talented and classy and…” Then, I did a double take. The only line in the “story” besides the two pictures of her in the dress was “She is gorgeous!”

Look, I love Meryl Streep. She’s considered one of the most talented actors of all time. My problem has nothing to do with her. The problem lies in the idea that women should be able to fit in dresses worn over 30 years ago, and feel comfortable.

This isn’t a new idea. Many women have dreams of fitting in their wedding dresses for their 10th+ wedding anniversary. Such absurdly high standards have been internalized by our society so deeply that we don’t ordinarily question them.

Besides the issue of weight, which wearing the same dress is indicative of maintaining, there is also the concept of women not otherwise aging. We expect our celebrities to remain stuck in a time capsule. Yet, when they get plastic surgery there are scolding articles written. If they don’t choose to get plastic surgery there are different scolding articles written.

Essentially, it is a losing battle because women will always be seen, first and foremost, as visually appealing ornaments. Even in the case of one of the most renowned actors of all time, whose beauty is not the reason behind her fame, but exists nonetheless. Recently, a pro-women website decides that the most amazing aspect of her personhood is the fact that she can still wear a 35-year-old dress.

Greatness comes from pure talent, not a dress size. Meryl Streep is an amazing woman. But not because of her dress size.

http://viralwomen.com/post/meryl_streep_1979_and_now_same_dress

http://wp.me/p3eIPI-HA

Micaela Gardner

Scarlett Letter

21st Century Scarlet Letter

 

Last week, a story came out regarding a teen who after attending a Florida school for 3 days after moving from Oregon was punished in a disrespectful way for violating the dress code she didn’t yet know about.

She wore a skirt that was considered too short, and she was taken to the nurse’s office right after first period, and was forced to wear the “shame suit.”

The shame suit is a huge, neon green shirt that reads “Dress Code Violation” across the front and baggy red athletic pants. The 15 year-old was not offered the option to go home and change and was instead, forced to wear this outfit, which the school openly admits is used to embarrass and publicly humiliate students who violate the dress code.

Dress codes are commonplace and make sense. While they are abused in a manner as to police women’s bodies in an unfair way, the point of this story has nothing to do with whether or not the code was violated. Rather than allowing the student to go change and fix the problem in a reasonable way, the school has instituted a cruel punishment that far outweighs the violation itself, even acknowledging that the code is based on a shaming system.

Once again, the idea that women’s bodies are something to be controlled and feared is reinforced. A terrible message is sent to this student as well as the rest of the student body (no pun intended) that it is okay to shame women for what they wear. I wonder how often the male students are forced to wear the shame suit?

We are always talking about women’s twisted relationships with their bodies as a society. Unfortunately, this story is another confirmation that our institutions do nothing to help, and, in this case, actually worsen the situation. The teenage years are formative and the relationship a teen has with her body is already a complicated one. A body is nothing to be ashamed of. Although what are considered appropriate outfits for appropriate times do exist, the outfit forced upon this girl was not appropriate.

Makes me wonder if The Scarlet Letter is assigned reading at this high school, because it seems that the faculty needs to brush up on their reading.

Student Forced to Wear ‘Shame Suit’ for Dress Code Violation
http://www.wkrn.com/story/26453658/student-forced-to-wear-shame-suit-for-dress-code-violation

Micaela Gardner

Stop Threatening Your Daughters Boyfriends

Stop Threatening Your Daughter’s Boyfriends

 

It’s a very common occurrence, when a girl starts dating a guy, brother or uncle will threaten the man with, “If you ever hurt her…” and then describe some sort of very specific and oftentimes creative punishment to scare him off from ever harming her, psychologically or physically.

I have no doubt in my mind this is an entirely well-intentioned act. After all, who wants a loved one hurt; especially, someone you have nurtured and taken care of?

Unfortunately, this philosophy only reinforces patriarchal notions that are harmful to men and women. Although it is perfectly natural to feel protective over someone you love, this feeling also makes it a man’s responsibility to take care of and protect the girl, merely because she is female. Women are more vulnerable. However, if anything, a woman should be raised to believe she can protect herself, and set her own boundaries without a male authority figure dictating for her.

If anyone (male or female) hurts someone you love (male or female) then it is your problem too, merely because you love them and because you are compassionate. It’s true, people should be able to ask for help, always, from people they love, although this doesn’t necessarily mean they always get it. On the other hand, threatening violence from the offset with someone who wants to court your daughter is patronizing, rather silly, an old-fashioned way of thinking. Such thinking also doesn’t make it okay to go hunt someone down vigilante-style, because frankly, how will going to prison help anyone?

Want to protect your daughters? Raise them to be kick-ass, confident women who demand respect and aren’t shy about stating their personal boundaries.

Micaela Gardner

Devastating Losses For Women's Reproductive Freedom

Devastating Losses For Women’s Reproductive Freedom

The last couple of weeks has been rough for women’s rights.

On Thursday June 26th, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a Massachusetts law stating that protestors outside of abortion clinics had to respect a 35 feet buffer zone between them and the facility.
The decision was unanimous, which was a surprise, and it was assumed that votes were swapped for the upcoming Hobby Lobby ruling.

Following this decision, Dr. Dell-Bovi, owner of a clinic in Brookline said, “It doesn’t seem to me that the first Amendment rights include being able to force someone into a conversation with you that they don’t want to have.”

On Monday, June 30th, the Hobby Lobby ruling came through with a 5-4 decision allowing private companies that provide health insurance to deny contraception coverage on religious grounds.
Essentially, preventative measures for contraception will be restricted under workplace health insurance. Women will also feel more intimidated and shamed when having to get abortions that could have been prevented in the first place. Corporations are gaining more choices than women.

As if the rulings needed more verification the decisions are intended to control women, the Wisconsin Gazette pointed out on Saturday, June 28th, “Hobby Lobby does not object to covering male employees’ costs for vasectomies.” What have we gleaned from the decisions of these past few weeks? Women are supposed to repress their sexuality or else they will face consequences; men, on the other hand, do not.

Companies are allowed to inflict bigotry upon their employees in a shroud of religious freedom. Women are not safe from heckling, public shaming, or fear while seeking medical attention regarding their reproductive systems.

God bless America.

 

Bufferzone story:

http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/06/26/supreme-court-throws-out-massachusetts-abortion-clinic-buffer-zone-law/VTTYHYD8oiVJJNreAPyKAN/story.html

Hobby lobby

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/06/30/us-usa-court-contraceptives-idUSKBN0F51IZ20140630

Wisconsin Gazette

http://www.wisconsingazette.com/trending-news/supreme-court-rules-monday-on-hobby-lobby-suit-claiming-a-religious-right-to-deny-contraceptive-coverage-for-women-workers.html

 

Micaela Gardner

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