Well this is depressing: How much time do you really have left?

via EXEC blog

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Skinny Gurls are Giving Back to World Hunger One Skipped Meal at a Time

I found this blog called Skinny Gossip last night that repulsed me to the core. According to Skinny Gurl, the misguided person behind this controversial site, “the idea was to create a gossip site with a snarky counter-view to a culture that glorifies excess consumption.” By “excess consumption,” Skinny Gurl is referring to girls who maintain a healthy diet and have normal, natural curves. Apparently, Skinny Gurls should only be bones and skin. No meat, no thickness, no volume allowed ANYWHERE. Anything more than skin is “excess.” Need an example of what Skinny Gurl considers the average fat-ass? See below:

Commenters on the site are no better. In a post about Lindsay Lohan’s Playboy shots emulating Marilyn Monroe, “Bryony” writes:

Oh NO! LORD FORBID. Lindsay Lohan weighs 120 LBS at 5’2″…WHAT A “VILE” HUMAN BEING! I think I just vom’ed in my mouth.

The even sicker thing is that devoted followers of Skinny Gossip laud and encourage each other to consume an exorbitantly meager amount of calories to get even skinnier. As I was browsing the forum section of the site, one girl was concerned that she looked fat even when she was getting through her days with negative net caloric intake (burning off more than she was taking in). If that’s not anorexia, body dysmorphic disorder, or some sort of mental illness then I don’t know what is.

Self-proclaimed skinny gurls or skinny gurl wannabes advise each other on starvation tips and how to avoid eating at social gatherings.

Skinny gurls must fit into size 0 jeans. Size 00 is better. Triple zero? Even better. The ideal situation would be to disappear completely.

Skinny gurls must look like prepubescent boys. Big butts and big boobs are for fat girls, which means Kim Kardashian is atrocious. How is she even able to stay afloat in a bikini with that anchor dangling behind her?

Skinny gurls must do whatever is necessary to maintain their figure. Smoke cigarettes, endure hunger, look at pictures of Kim Kardashian’s behind so they will feel sick and “not want to eat the rest of the week”, lock themselves in their closets, etc. Putting food into their bodies is just like throwing away good food in the trash. In other words, skinny gurls are garbage cans. Seen in a different light, they are food conservers. They eat only what is “necessary.” The world should champion them for their humanitarian efforts. In fact, if everyone ate just like skinny gurls then hunger problems would be globally irrelevant, because everyone would look like famished African orphans by choice. It’s all about self-control, people.

Here are some more examples of people who skinny gurls believe are “hurt” by food (see quote above for clarification):

“We get to see her belly sticking out, her thighs touching and her fat hanging out over her shorts – gross!”

“I think she would look much better if she lost about 15 lbs, then she would gain skinny status.”

“You would think she would know that eating cupcakes makes you fat – but I guess she just isn’t that smart. Now I know where she got her mommy arms and big fat thighs.”

No one is spared. Not even Victoria’s Secret models…

“…personally, I can’t get past her thighs and belly.”

What belly?! What thighs?!

So what do skinny gurls consider “skinny” then?

This…

and this…

and this…

What upsets me the most is seeing how our generation has completely distorted the connection between the human body and food. Food has become the enemy instead of a fuel source. Food is bad. Food tempts us. Food is not enjoyed. Food elicits guilt. Food is out to get us, to make us fat, to lower our self-esteem, to make it impossible to be “skinny” and “happy.” Food is the monster, and we have become the victims.

I have no overarching advice. There will always be days when we feel fat, and there will be days when we feel thin. There will be tubs of ice cream we wish we hadn’t eaten, just like there will be buckets of tears we wish we hadn’t cried. There will be mornings when we stand before a mirror scrutinizing the surface area of the body like a crime scene. There will be nights when we realize our bodies are mason jars filled with light. There will be hands that pinch and probe us until we are bruised and purple as corpses. There will also be hands that roam our bodies trying to learn the architecture of what they have set out to love. Let the first hands to find the answer be your own.

22 ways to get your Hepburn on

I just finished reading How to Hepburn by Karen Karbo, and I must say, I quite enjoyed it. It was altogether a completely different sort of inspirational biography. Perhaps what Karen Karbo does best is show us how Katharine Hepburn‘s staunch (and often incomprehensible) adherence to her peculiarities, her work, and her married lover has granted her immortality in American film history. What I have learned to truly admire and respect about Hepburn is that she not only knew what she wanted, but she knew herself best of all. And she refused to compromise any part of herself for anyone else even in the face of criticism and hostility. For example, Hepburn loved pants even when society thought she was a mad woman for never taking off her trousers. But through her love of pants, Hepburn revolutionized the meaning of being a woman, and that is more than any of those skirt-wearing cinema sweethearts, the ones who have long since faded into history, can ever say about their fashion dogmas.

In the last chapter of How to Hepburn, Karen provides us with a list of 22 ways to get our Hepburn on.  These 22 are some of the best advice that I’ve ever come across, because they dare us to live happily, honestly, audaciously and, most importantly, unapologetically. Because we should never have to say sorry for being the most fabulous person on this planet.

  1. Have a Credo
  2. Find Yourself Fascinating
  3. Find a Sport(s)
  4. Say What You Think
  5. Don’t Confuse Self-Improvement with Self-Remodeling
  6. Realize You Can Go Forward Blindly
  7. Assume the Answer is No, Unless You Can Find a Reason to Say Yes
  8. Be Frugal
  9. Strive to Fully Inhabit Your Life
  10. Prefer Dark Chocolate
  11. Develop a Concept of Fun That Includes Not Just Play, but Work
  12. Find Danger Exhilarating
  13. Master the Headstand, and Keep the Skill Sharp as Long as Possible
  14. Wear Sunscreen
  15. I Cannot Emphasize This Enough, WEAR SUNSCREEN
  16. Find the Type of Clothes You Feel Best In and Never Take Them Off
  17. Cold Baths, Pros and Cons
  18. Surprise the World and Yourself by Enjoying a Good Cry
  19. Waste Time
  20. Never Pass Up the Opportunity to Give Someone a Good Sock in the Jaw
  21. Care for Someone Who Doesn’t Deserve It
  22. Make It Count

Since everyone’s buzzing about healthcare right now, here’s something to consider:

Should we have a fat tax? Yes, that’s right…a tax on obesity.

The globe perceives the United States as the land of the fatties: the human beings that are so large, their fat seems to ooze beyond every space they inhabit. The United States strives to see itself as The Biggest Loser when it comes to the battle against obesity, but the truth is, the number of fat Americans is growing larger day by day. Let’s face it, obesity is a massive blood clot for our country.  So what if we start taxing it? Can a tax on sugar-laden junk foods and beverages save lives like the tax on cigarettes did?

What if I ate 100 cupcakes every day?! Would I have a skinny wallet and a fat belly?

Personally, I prefer this version of the fat tax: charge obese people a higher health insurance premium. When the overweight individual starts showing signs of a healthier lifestyle, he/she can apply to have that premium lowered. This way, weight loss is incentivized for everyone who is fat and paying (literally) for his/her poor choices. What I like about this variation of the fat tax is that a) the tax doesn’t or shouldn’t discriminate across socioeconomic classes b) healthcare providers are able to offer their expert knowledge and measurements and c) I believe the tax can give people that extra push to get healthy.

If the duty of the government is to increase, improve and enhance the welfare of the American people and a growing portion of the American people are suffering the ailments of obesity, then a fat tax could really be the spandex-wearing Superpolicy that swoops in to save the day (or some major U.S. arteries).

inspired by “Stuff You Should Know” Podcast

Don’t give your money to KONY 2012

This 30-minute video has been bombarding every corner of the internet for the past couple of days. There is no hiding from it, there is no running from it, and there is no denying that its message is laudable. HOWEVER, the problem is not KONY 2012, the problem is Invisible Children, the nonprofit organization behind KONY 2012.

According to the Daily What: On Kony 2012

The organization behind Kony 2012 — Invisible Children Inc. — is an extremely shady nonprofit that has been called ”misleading,” “naive,” and “dangerous” by a Yale political science professor, and has been accused by Foreign Affairs of “manipulat[ing] facts for strategic purposes.” They have also been criticized by the Better Business Bureau for refusing to provide information necessary to determine if IC meets the Bureau’s standards.

Additionally, IC has a low two-star rating in accountability from Charity Navigator because they won’t let their financials be independently audited. That’s not a good thing. In fact, it’s a very bad thing, and should make you immediately pause and reflect on where the money you’re sending them is going.

By IC’s own admission, only 31% of all the funds they receive go toward actually helping anyone [pdf]. The rest go to line the pockets of the three people in charge of the organization, to pay for their travel expenses (over $1 million in the last year alone) and to fund their filmmaking business (also over a million) — which is quite an effective way to make more money, as clearly illustrated by the fact that so many can’t seem to stop forwarding their well-engineered emotional blackmail to everyone they’ve ever known.

My verdict:

I am always dubious when social activism campaigns go viral and garner so much support in so little time. It makes me question whether the people who are retweeting #stopkony, circulating the KONY video on facebook, liking each other’s statuses, and joining “blanket the city…” events a) have actually taken 30 minutes out of their day to watch the video from start to finish and b) are well-versed enough in Joseph Kony and Invisible Children to fully understand what they are rallying for/against. The rapid domino of KONY 2012 events makes me wary, because I can’t help but feel like I am witnessing a mass brainwashing. With that said, I do think the campaign has some merit. I applaud the people behind Invisible Children for creating a powerful inspiration-generating machine to unite a world that too often leans towards apathy. At the end of the day, it’s better to care than to let the invisible stay invisible. However, I will still say this: keep your money safe. consider donating to more transparent charities like MercyCorps. there are other ways to support KONY 2012 than with your money.