I read a couple of things that hit close to home this week. For starters, there was a post by the always incredible Justine Musk that broke down some of the misconceptions around femininity. She talked about how growing up, she rejected things that she believed to be “girly” because for her, “girly” was synonymous with “weak.” It was an interesting read for me because lately I’ve found myself doing things that for the last few years were deemed more “girly” than I wanted to be. While I’ve always considered myself feminine (my love of any article of clothing that reveals my hips, my strut, and my soprano speaking voice prove that), I never wanted any version of femininity that involved frilly things, fussing over my hair for longer than 5-10 minutes, putting a bunch of powders, creams, and colors on my face, or taking longer than 35 minutes to get dressed.
But recently, I’ve taken to behaviors such as collecting new nail polish and taking pictures of my manicures. And spending time on the internet figuring out what kind of undertones my dark skin has (Yellow, which I never would’ve guessed on my own) and seeing which lip colors pair best with it (brownish pinks and warm reds). I never thought I’d become the kind of woman who had much use for these things, but now I’m doing manicures while watching NFL Sunday Countdown.
I still have zero desire to take longer than 40 minutes tops getting dressed.
Oh. And speaking of NFL, how about that Peyton Williams Manning?
The next thought-provoking read came from a 2009 article in the Los Angeles Times about the allure of French women. I discovered it while reading up on minimalist living and it caught my attention with this quote: “Less is more. That’s the essence of French style and the reason the little black dress is so iconic. Because it’s not about the dress, it’s about the wearer.”
I work on taking this approach to life in general: what matters most is that you wear your life well, no matter what you have.
Another piece in the article that appealed to me was this bit about French women and relationships:
Fewer than half of all French women tie the marital knot, yet they’re more likely to sustain long-term relationships than Americans, who cherish their notion of happily-ever-after.
‘It’s because there’s more personal space,’ she says, chatting on her deck with a 180-degree view of a distant hillside. ‘It’s that old cliche — if you let something go, it comes back to you. If you give people space to be who they are as opposed to leaning on them to be a certain way, they’re going to be more comfortable hanging around.’
I posted that quote to my Tumblr and received a response on Twitter that said: “So basically, because of their culture, it seems that they are more prone to be with men who have multiple lovers….. Throughout the life of their ‘relationship.’ To each their own.”
I don’t understand why or how the concept of personal space in long-term, non-married relationships immediately equates to men having multiple lovers. Or why the idea that you can love and be committed to someone without wanting to become a name-sharing unit and look at them every. single. day. for the rest of your life seems so wrong, but like homegirl said, to each their own.
Back to the minimalism thing: I’ve always had tendencies toward “less is more,” but now that I’m trying to cut spending I’ve become more interested in the lifestyle. I don’t know that I’ll ever be one of those people who can live out of a suitcase, but thinking of areas where I can simplify and de-clutter excites me.
Also, this week, one of my favorite Twitter people, @Vandalyzm released a song that everyone should add to their #cuttycarols playlists. I’ve played it on repeat for hours at a time in the last few days. Trust me. Go get it.
In case you didn’t notice, my city played a huge role in getting the coolest President to ever sit in the Oval Office, re-elected.
My friend Lau, the genius behind Whipped Body Goods was featured as Black Enterpise’s Entrepreneur of the Week after only being in business for herself for three months. Her body butter is part of the reason why my “health and beauty” budget is expanding but it’s so worth it. Clap for her and check her out.
This weekend, I’m heading down to the Nati to celebrate my homeboy’s 30th birthday. Drinks will be consumed. Couches will be stood upon. Great times are ahead.
By the way, I typed this while rocking pink nail polish. And I’m still a thug.