Magic Hips

This post is to continue the discussion on the previous one, but it was also inspired by the bookcover I got in the mail today for the Spanish edition of Bet Me:

Apuesta Peligrosa

Min has hips. Not skinny, mudflap girl, cartoon romance heroine non-hips, but HIPS. Okay, they could have been even bigger, probably should have been, but I love them anyway. They make me think of Sandra Cisneros’ chapter called “Hips” in The House on Mango Street, where Esperanza realizes she has hips and they have power (and if I could find my copy, I’d give you a taste, it’s a wonderful piece of writing), and of Lucille Clifton’s poem that Eric quoted in the comments to the last post (“these hips are mighty hips/these hips are magic hips”). There’s such a celebration of power and sexuality in all of this. Almost makes me wonder if society’s insistence on narrow, childlike hips and its condemnation of the sexual aspects of romance novels don’t stem from the same place: a real fear of the uncontrolled power of women’s sexuality, especially of older women’s sexuality, women who have been around the block a few times and know things.

If that’s it, give up, society. You’re toast.

106 thoughts on “Magic Hips

  1. i posted on the other site, but then it wouldn’t let me add:

    oh, and if you want three things, in no particular order:

    1. my hands, esp all the barely visible white scars. they are tiny and dumpy and perfect.

    2. my feet, which help me stand

    3. the big ass mole (which my mom always called a “beauty mark”) i have on my right cheek.

    4. my boobs, where one is a whole cup size bigger (swear to Bob, my left is a C, my right is a B)

    5. my hair

    6. my eyes

    7. my tongue (it’s just cool looking)

    8. my vagina

    9. my skin, which i didn’t even think about until everyone in my house started complimenting me about it

    10. the “hole” in my thigh

    11. my smile, including my crooked teeth…..

    hmmm, i think i was supposed to stop at 3. and while i do dislike some thing about myself physically, i still think i’m totally awesome.

    BTW, when i first learnt about vagina surgeries, i was like, WTF? making your clitoris pretty? WTH. the clitoris is about pleasure, who cares how it looks. (TMI?)

    i love the hips. i have hips. they move. 🙂

  2. It would have been so much easier if you had asked me to list things I thought were beautiful about my daughters. Or son for that matter.

  3. I think it was conscripted cherry that said in her class only one man wanted to change something and that was to be taller. Have you noticed that men don’t seem to obsess about changing their bodies like we do? They generally seem happy with what they’ve got. I agree that a lot of young men now work out but a lot of men also swagger down the road with a big gut hanging over their belt and act like they are God’s gift to women. That is where I really notice a double standard.

  4. KL: Why don’t you ask them what they think is beautiful about you? You might be very pleasantly surprised.

    And I am going to move to Spain.

  5. I would probably get a pretty nice answer from DD8, but I have a funny feeling that DD19 would answer “your money”. That one has snark down pat.

  6. That is a great cover. Very cool.

    I’ve got hips. I’ve got great hips. And while I’ve had issues with my ass as a young woman, I’ve come to love my ass. It’s round and grabable.

    Hips and ass – good combination.

  7. Can someone finish the translation for me, on the book cover? I can figure out, with my broken Spanish:

    “A Dangerous Bet” (Unedited, by Jennifer Crusie… duh.)

    and… “Because love isn’t only the most ___ bet, it’s also the most fun!”

    ‘Arriesgada’ anyone? Bueller?

    As for my bod, I’ve got good lips, good fingernails, and my butt is really soft. (Well, all of me’s really soft, but I meant the skin.)

  8. According to my DD19, the Spanish/International Relations major, it means “risky.”

    When I told her why I wanted to know, she said, “Mom, you are so weird.”

  9. Botacelli’s Venus Rising has significant hips. The Dutch school has women as woman-shaped. Maybe there’s a lesson there. When did our society change its ideal? Flapper-girl era? I don’t know.

    OK, men don’t necessarily want to change themselves except get taller. But don’t they, maybe some of them, want their women to change? I know some do. And if so, why? Maybe to increase the amount of glittery hoo ha?

  10. The things I love about my body aren’t necessarily things anyone else would love–they’re things that I love, just me. And I’ve been thinking about my physical attributes and my physical presentation, and several of the things I love best about my body are things no one else really sees or knows about.

    1. I totally love my feet and I have for years. They’re nearly flat and they’re wide, but I still love them, probably because they’re mine. (And no one else loves my feet–they’re not pretty at all.)

    2. I love my skin. I love the color–a pale gold the same color as champagne blond hair swatches they sometimes have out with the dyes in Target or drugstores. I know it’s the same color because I’ve compared it. I also love how soft it is. That’s a gift from my great-grandmother who had skin that was beautiful to touch till the day she died at 99.

    3. I love my collarbone. I love the shape. I love the little knobs at the end.

    4. I love the color of my eyes–olive green and amber, ringed in dark gray-blue.

    5. I love my butt–I’m pretty sure I have a great ass, one that is mostly the gift of heredity, but is also quite strong through my hard work.

    6. I love my muscles–they’ve grown very strong in the last three years–and I love my flexibility. And I love that my sense of balance is getting better.

    7. I love that I can see both of my parents when I look in the mirror and look at pictures–heredity is the coolest thing–and I love that I also see me, which is even better.

    8. And I still love my crooked teeth and my overbite.

  11. I’ve heard two stories about how superskinny got to be the ideal:

    1. movies. The camera adds 10 pounds, so the early starlets were smaller. They were also very childlike. Kind of weird. Anyway, as these early starlets were seen in person, the women who saw them took that smaller body as something to aspire to. This meant that the next batch of actresses had to be even thinner, to keep up with the ideal.

    2. A lot of clothing designers are gay men, and they don’t see beautry in voluptuous female shapes. So the boyish woman became the ideal. The public statement from that sector is that clothes hang better on a skinny body.

    This skinniness as ideal is strongest among white women. Black women don’t get so worried about it. Black women worry about their hair, which I think (their hair, not their angst) is just fabulous.

    If I could change myself, I’d get 20/20 vision. Yes, X-ray vision. ESP.

  12. For some reason the picture on the cover reminded me a little of Maurice Sendak’s In the Night Kitchen. Possibly the cooking and the hat, but the feeling of the enjoyment of playing with the food is maybe there too. And some people thought that In the Night Kitchen was really risquĂ©.

  13. Jenny said, “Almost makes me wonder if society’s insistence on narrow, childlike hips and its condemnation of the sexual aspects of romance novels don’t stem from the same place: a real fear of the uncontrolled power of women’s sexuality, especially of older women’s sexuality, women who have been around the block a few times and know things.

    If that’s it, give up, society. You’re toast.”

    Jenny you are always able to start a small revolution. At least from my skewed POV women have always been dismissed (in general) seen as hysterical, here on earth to bear sons and eat bons-bons and watch soap opera’s and be happy with that. Should it be a surprise that the Romance genre mainly read and written by women is seen as “less” even though it holds the highest sales in publishing? *huff*I know this is a gross generalization and I’m off topic.

    I love the book cover, she looks so sensual and think that’s how the hero saw Min, but just with the hat on.

    Also, OH- I love the fact you were brave enough to put number 8 on your list. I love mine too. TMI, but whatever.

  14. The Night Kitchen is really voluptuous, so that might be it. They thought it was risque because it had full frontal nudity of a toddler. It’s a gorgeous book.

    And no talking about changing ourselves, either. We even love our nearsightedness.

    Okay, that may be going too far.

  15. Got no problem with my hips — I may be short, but my lovely pear shape enabled me to spit out five babies with noooo problem.

    And we won’t talk about my butt, which at last check was headed for Brazil. Damn gravity.

    Oh, my husband bitches about his appearance way more than I do. He’d like to be taller, less fair (he’s Irish, it’s a curse), have a deeper voice and — these days — have the flat stomach he used to when he taught ballroom for Arthur Murray back in the Paleolithic age. I point out that, hey, I’m ten years younger (so he’s already got his trophy wife, heh) and gave him all those kids, and he still makes me tingle, so what’s his problem?

    And I bow at the feet of your Spanish cover god. I do zaftig gals, too, but they’re always miraculously Jenny Craiged by the time the art dept gets through with them.

  16. Oh the many discussions my friends and I have had along these same lines…..

    As for me, there are a few things that I love about myself.
    1. My hair. I love all the many colors that come together to make a rich dark blonde. And I love that in the summer it gets a more honey tone.
    2. My muscles. Especially the one muscle in my upper arm that really stands out when I shovel. Oh and the muscles in my calves.
    3. My shoulders. I love how smooth and curvy they are.
    4. My Skin. I just love the color. A nice warm tan in the summer and creamy milk color in the winter.
    I’m sure there is more but those are my favs.

  17. katy: i can look at my brother and see my dad very easily. it’s so weird. and people always say i look like my mom/dad [depending which one i’m with, i look like the other one :)]

    Lambie: actually, the worrying about hair for black women goes into both racism (a combination of factors but mostly that their hair was seen as “unnatural” and that it wasn’t the “beauty standard”) and the fact that until recently there was very few hair products out there that where made for black hair (and they needed other products, because the products used for white women ruined their hair). it’s also a false idea that black women don’t worry about their body shape (studies, interviews, etc are helping to change that perception that black teenagers aren’t just as f*ed up as their white counterparts). plus, skin color also has a role in their standards- the lighter the better. (the “black is beautiful” phrase is a relatively new idea in the U.S. history)

    and i could go more in depth but those are the basic highlights as i know them.

    Stressed-Out Cherry: thanks. 🙂 (of course, you’re looking at the woman who helped lead the “love your vagina” movement on my HS campus; if you ever want to test your guts stand up in front of 200plus classmates and say, “i love my vagina”)

    i’ll be back to talk more but i really smell. (TMI?) and Jenny- i love myself, but i could do without the eyesight problems. 🙂

  18. Three things hey? This is going to be a stretch…


    My eyes are nice.

    I do love my smile – particularly because of the small gap between my front teeth and my lips – because it’s my Dad’s smile merged with my mum’s smile. The same smile that each of my siblings have. The smile that people who have met one of us can instantly identify the rest of us. The Anderssen smile.

    One more… do ears count? (g)

    Seriously, though, I love my hands. They’re nothing special, but they are utterly me and through a perfect partnership with my imagination, they carry me to the most amazing places.


    Ok, stop laughing.
    I didn’t mean it that way. I was talking about writing. Jeeze.


    Jenny, I am a member of the Cherry Forums, but have been lurking there for a long while.
    I love the great writer thread – I got teary just reading it!

  19. On the when did skinny become better, I don’t think it’s the movies. I just saw some silent films tonight (funnily enough) and there wasn’t a skinny one in the bunch.

    I heard that fat and pale was attractive when the lower classes worked outdoors and didn’t have enough to eat. Skinny & tanned became attractive when the lower classes worked indoors and didn’t see the light of day. The flapper (IIRC) maybe the first example of this, but my grandmother who dated through the 20’s (or at least half of them – she got married in 1925) used to tell us stories about how she would try and gain weight all week long only to lose it by dancing all night Saturday nights. She was happy we could gain weight. (No, I did not get her metabolism – my sister did) And 1950’s actresses had curves and hips.

    I think designers argument is a little stronger. They certainly seem to be designing for teenage boys more than me.

    I love my eyes. I love my breasts. I love other things like my arms and legs because of what they can do, but I love the way my eyes look especially when I wear blue. I love my hair which finally went white and I could stop dying it. I would say I love my skin (because I kind of do) but I’m also Irish and fair and I can’t say I wouldn’t love to walk in the sun without fear.

    And Jenny? I love love love that cover. Some things are better with butter.

  20. OH said, “if you ever want to test your guts stand up in front of 200plus classmates and say, “i love my vagina”

    Does it count if I put it on my blog?

    Anyway, about character’s getting Jenny Craiged on the cover is absured. When did eating become such a taboo? Having the hips of a goddess become “overweight”? I mean honestly if I went by the charts of how much I should weigh by my age and height I’d look like a cracker would give me a stomach ache.

    I think that’s why I give Dove so much kudos and why I’m really considering moving to a country that accepts women with curves and salvitate over them. Hmm, how is Spain this time of year?

  21. “it’s also a false idea that black women don’t worry about their body shape (studies, interviews, etc are helping to change that perception that black teenagers aren’t just as f*ed up as their white counterparts).”

    Well, damn.

    All this time I’ve been thinking, man, I wish I were as free about all this as black women are, when they’re no better about it than the rest of us? Yeesh!

  22. Stressed: yep, it counts. 🙂

    ok, these are kind of random, and long, so i really hope i don’t break blogger:
    Naomi Wolf (“The Beauty Myth”, circa 1991): “We are in the midst of a violent backlash against feminism that uses images of female beauty as a political weapon against women’s advancement: the beauty myth.”

    “The qualities that a given period calls beautiful in women are merely symbols of the female behavior that that period considers desirable: The beauty myth is always actually prescribing behavior and not appearance. Competition between women has been made part of the myth so that women will be divided from one another. Youth (and until recently) vrginity have been “beautiful” in women since they stand for experiential and sexual ignorance. Aging in women is “unbeautiful” since women grow more powerful with time, and since the links between generations of women must always be newly broken: older women fear young ones, young women fear old, and beauty myth truncates for all the female life span. Most urgently, women’s identity must be premised upon our “beauty” so that we will remain vulnerable to outside approval, carrying the vital sensitive organ of self-esteem exposed to the air.”
    one thing to also look at is male beauty standards. While there are more males than females with guts, pudge, etc, being “god’s gift to women”, not only do about 10% of men suffer from anorexia and bulimia, evidence is coming out that men are especially vulnerable to muscle dysmorphia (a condition in which one obsesses about lacking muscle definition and mass, even with a muscular body). More men are also getting lifts, tucks, and other cosmetic surgery. And men’s eating disorders are often misdiagnosed. An estimated 6% of male eating disorder cases result in death.
    Mary K. Bentley wrote this short piece about mannequins. “[a man in charge of dressing displays] was a wealth of information and gave me a fascinating account of the historical evolution of the mannequin…mannequins that had exaggerated body parts, like cinched waists and large hips and breasts in the 1950s, mannequins that were actual body casts of models complete with genitalia in the 1970s, and the advent of the girlish flat-busted form of the 1980s…He explained, ‘The waif-like heroin addict is the look that dominates most of the young women’s displays’. He further added that in some displays they now ‘add a substantial breast to the form, the Pamela Anderson kind of thing, for more provocative displays’.” (She goes on with the sizes: 5’8″ tall, 30″ bust, 23″ waist, and 32″ hips; 6 ft tall, 32″ bust, 23″ waist, and 31″ hips.) “When i asked how the proportions of the mannequins were determined, he replied, ‘They were made so the clothes fit right and the way they are suppossed to.’…The average woman in the U.S. is size 14. According to international sizing charts, this means she has a 38-39″ bust, 29-31″ waist, and 39-40″ hips, more than six inches larger than this mannequin (32-23-31).” (The Body of Evidence- Bentley, 2003).
    i don’t remember where i read this, but someone compared the models of today to that of boys- no public hair, thin, no bust, “childlike”, etc. if someone knows who i’m talking about, it was a really amazing piece.

  23. Well, this country was founded by Puritans, right? We haven’t gone too far from that.

    You’d think seeking religious freedom would mean being free to celebrate big-hipped, sexual women, but unfortunately, it seems to have gone the other way: having once rebelled, we as a country are afraid of living up to our rebellion.

    It’s a shame. We have so much promise, as a nation.

  24. Oh, we’re getting there. I think the Dove commercial is getting good press, and I don’t think it would have even been filmed five years ago. Three of the women who were finalists for the Oscar were over fifty and fabulous. And we have a viable candidate for the presidency who’s a woman.

    I really do think that Dove commercial is shifting a lot of things for a lot of women. Wouldn’t it be lovely if it were the tipping point and all the other cosmetic companies stopped treating age like a disease? If we started seeing a spectrum of bodies on film, actresses who were past fifty and could still frown (as I believe all the Oscar finalists can), characters on TV who were size fourteen and nobody remarks on their size, if ads started looking like real women?

    You know, high definition TV might take care of some of this, too. It’s damn hard to hide flaw on HD.

  25. Oh, that is such a cute cover! And I would be much more likely to believe the whole Dove advertising thing if the woman you put up wasn’t thin with young person hair. I mean, aside from the wrinkles, nothing much has changed. Ho hum.

  26. I think we’re getting there too. Didn’t I read something not long ago about the European fashion industry setting ‘minimum’ weight requirements for models?

    The thing that always gets me is that so many women tend to associate being super skinny with looking young.

  27. McB, that was probably the Madrid Fashion Week 2006 that you were thinking of:

    “The Spanish Association of Fashion Designers has decided to ban models who have a BMI of less than 18.

    Unhealthily skinny models at last year’s fashion shows led to protests from doctors and women’s rights groups.

    The association agreed to use the BMI – a calculation based on height and weight – in response to local government pressure.” (BBC – see link below)

    That lead was then followed by Milan Fashion Week:

    “Italy’s fashion capital, Milan, has announced a new catwalk code of conduct to protect young models vulnerable to anorexia and exploitation.

    The move follows the ban slapped on so-called skinny models by the Spanish government earlier this month.

    The new code was launched as the city marked the start of Milan fashion week and will take effect in February.” (a href=””>BBC and the link to the article on Madrid Fashion Week is to the right, from 13 September 2006, ‘Madrid bans waifs from catwalks’)

  28. Oh, and here’s another item from the BBC about the way celebrity body-shapes have changed. Twiggy was possibly one of the first very thin models. The article also points out that trend for men to aspire to six-packs is something relatively new. Sean Connery didn’t have a six-pack when he was being James Bond. And apparently lots of men do have body image problems nowadays: ‘nearly half of men today did not like their overall appearance, in contrast to just one in six in 1972.’

    Jenny doesn’t objectify her heroes and make them tall and in possession of six-pack abs, muscular thighs and great pecs, but I think that is something you’ll find in quite a lot of romances (as well as on quite a lot of romance covers). I wonder if that promotes a particular ideal of male beauty?

  29. That is one hot Spanish Min. Love it.

    Yes, I think it’s interesting the way men perceive themselves. They can be old, fat and bald and still look in the mirror and think “yep, still got it.”

  30. Thanks Laura. On this subject, I saw an ad on tv this morning for Jenny Craig. Because of this line of comments I paid more attention than usual when they said “We believe in hips, not hip bones.” So what with one thing and another I think we are starting to see things turn around. Baby steps, but maybe women can soon go back to looking like women and not anorexic 12yo boys.

  31. As a woman who was married for more than 10 years to an emotionally and verbally abusive man, I am relearning to see myself and my body through my own eyes now that I left him. You see, for years I defined who I was and what I looked like based on the subtle yet constant barrage of negative comments, criticisms, and put-downs; when I looked in the mirror, I saw 15 extra pounds around my waist, pale skin, and small breasts because my husband would say things like “oh, you look OK but you’d look better if you lost the baby weight– you could join a health club or something”, “sit out in the sun more often– you need a tan”, and he’d watch and make comments about women in magazines and on TV based on their more well-endowed figures. After a while, it took a toll on how I perceived myself. So, in the continuing effort to define MYself as I truly am:

    1. I love my eyes because I have the confidence in myself to look other people straight on. No more looking down at the floor.

    2. I love my spine. I use it to stand up straight and proud because I love who and what I am.

    3. I love my hands. When I talk to people about things that I’m enthusiastic and excited about, my hands wave all over the place and, now that I don’t have to hide who I really am, that happens a lot more often.

    4. I love my mouth because it’s really fun to laugh and smile. I had forgotten how.

    5. I love my pale skin. It’s from wearing sunscreen all year round because I respect myself enough to protect it.

    6. Yes, I even love my small breasts because I get to sleep on my stomach. Priorities, priorities!

    I’d say that I loved my extra 15 pounds but the stress of ending my marriage caused me to lose them and then some. I don’t have the small waist that I did pre-child but you know what? I don’t care. I’m beautiful exactly as I am and I know it.

  32. “Baby steps, but maybe women can soon go back to looking like women and not anorexic 12yo boys.”

    I think the ideal situation would be when we can accept that women (and men) come in a wide variety of different shapes, sizes and colours. The Marilyn Monroe shape was curvy, but it excluded skinnier women and made them feel ‘unwomanly’, and so on.

    On the issue of hair, I still don’t understand why women are under so much pressure to shave/remove body hair. There was a huge fuss some years ago when Julia Roberts displayed some armpit hair. Isn’t body hair a sign of sexual maturity? And the ‘ideal’ for head hair goes in phases. Sometimes straight hair is ‘in’, then everyone wants waves and so on. And, as orangehands mentioned, this can be particularly tough on women in groups which never have the type of hair that’s generally held up as the ideal.

    Another thought is that I’m currently reading Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique and she explains the marketing tricks used in the 1950s to convince women that (a) they should be fulfilled, happy housewives and (b) to be really happy, really good housewives, they should keep buying new products. The manufacturers would then make specialised cleaning products, so that instead of new technology (e.g. washing machines) saving her time, the housewife, would use different types of polish, soap, etc in different places round the house. This meant that she spent a lot more money (as well as a lot of her time) on housework.

    I suspect that advertising of beauty products is rather similar. We’re told that we need certain products, that they’ll make us feel better, that there are specialised techniques to use on different parts of the face and body. And a lot of these products are really very expensive and not much better than some equivalent (but cheaper) products. Here’s an article on how the cosmetics industry can be misleading in the claims it makes for its products.

  33. And another problem with using lots of cosmetics (apart from costs and the time involved) is that there are concerns about some of the ingredients used. For example there are suspicions about parabens and breast cancer,

    “Parabens are synthetic chemicals used as a preservative to inhibit the growth of bacteria, yeasts, and molds. Parabens are known to disrupt endocrine (hormone) function. More than 12 research studies show parabens to have estrogenic activity in animals and in tissue culture. Recent research detected five types of intact parabens in human breast tumors. Although not a conclusive link between exposure to parabens and breast cancer, this new research signals the need for a precautionary approach to the manufacture and use of these compounds.

    The international research community is beginning to question the safety of parabens in consumer products, based on new evidence of their endocrine disrupting effects. These ubiquitous chemicals are used as preservatives in a host of consumer products: food, pharmaceuticals and personal care products, including shampoos and conditioners, sunscreens, and deodorants (from a briefing by the Breast Cancer Fund).

    It’s not a conclusive link, and the parabens may be in some products and not others, but it does suggest that there may be things we don’t yet know about the chemicals in the products we use.

  34. If love is the most dangerous bet, might that be the reason why the girl on the cover looks as if two of her fingers are bandaged? Or are those supposed to be eggs? (Now I won’t tell you what the word ‘egg’ stands for in colloquial German.)

  35. Karen – Kudos to you for getting out and saying something here. I think you are a very special lady.

    I know all to well how beating down a person (or child) can destroy self-worth and self-esteem. Rebuilding can be a life long battle that is well worth the trouble. I grew up in a world were looks meant everything. Body was everything. I was a competitive dancer and spent a fair amount of time in the pagent/modleing world. I was considered too fat, not enough breast and my looks were only average. Do I believe that today? I suppose to a certain extent I do, but I’ve also learned to see beyond the imperfections and see the person I am. Cuteness and all. Saying I’m a good-looking woman makes me think I’m being concieted because while I want to be youthful and vibrant, I want to be real. I want to be taken seriously. Not just because I’m a pretty face. Funny, I would have loved to be seen as just another pretty face when I was in my 20’s.

    About the cosmetic companies and the anti-age thing. I guess I look at this from a different prespective. For me, I’m not really looking to take years of my looks, but to take care of what I have. Not so much slow down the age process as much as trying to keep what I have looking healthy.

    I want to be good to my body now, so it’s good to me later. Make sense? Eat right. Take care of my skin. My bones. My body. Everything.

    Anyway, I love the idea behind Dove and the pro age.

    I still love my hips. I’ve got really pretty blue eyes. And I’ve got a great ass.

    Now, about this vagina thing. I spent the other day in the Doctors office. Actually, the entire morning and into the afternoon (don’t ask, very long and yucky story) anyway, it was the GYN doc and I asked him about this whole thing. Should have seen the look on his face. It was classic. Anyway, it someone how reminded me of this movie I saw where one of the characters went to this woman’s type metting and the topic of the day was loving your vagina and they took out their mirrors to check it all out.

    I can honestly I’ve never given my vagina much thought other than exersizing it regularly.

  36. Well, this country was founded by Puritans, right? We haven’t gone too far from that.

    Actually, the American Puritans were much more interesting than we see them now in mainstream media. I apologize for all that’s to follow, but this tends to be one of my hot buttons. Between Hawthorne and Miller et al, we have a pretty skewed view of the Puritans.

    Laurel Thatcher Ulrich wrote a wonderful book called Good Wives about the changing roles for women in early America, and those roles were sometimes more fluid than they have been for much of the last 100 years. Young women often married already pregnant (because you wanted to make sure you could have kids!), and as long as you married before the quickening (second trimester, approximately), you were not fined (that’s right, all you got was a fine). In less populated areas where there was no magistrate, couples basically lived together as they do now, changing partners when those relationships came to an end for whatever reason (Richard Goodbeer wrote a great book called Sexual Revolution in Early America). Abortion was legal and accomplished with herbal intervention, again, when done previous to the quickening. In fact, I’ve read that the founding fathers didn’t even think to include it in the constitution because it was so widely accepted in the colonies and didn’t become an issue until doctoring became the province of professional men instead of midwives.

    This isn’t to say that the Puritans didn’t have their problems. Women’s roles, for example, fluctuated depending on the time and the community context. Also, because families routinely apprenticed their adolescent children out to other families, sexual and physical child abuse was a very real concern (see Kai Erikson’s Wayward Puritans — he’s Erik Erikson’s rebel son, by the way). And heaven knows the Puritans terrorized the Catholics, the Quakers, and the Native Americans.

    But then there’s the poetry of Anne Bradstreet, for example, which I find quite fascinating and beautiful at times:

    To My Dear and Loving Husband

    If ever two were one, then surely we.
    If ever man were lov’d by wife, then thee.
    If ever wife was happy in a man,
    Compare with me, ye woman, if you can.
    I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold,
    Or all the riches that the east doth hold.
    My love is such that rivers cannot quench,
    Nor ought but love from thee give recompense.
    Thy love is such I can no way repay;
    The heavens reward thee manifold I pray.
    Then while we live, in love let’s so persevere,
    That when we love no more, we may live ever.

    Yep, those Puritans could be quite passionate, and not just about God.

  37. When I need a reality check about my body, I watch Casablanca, White Christmas or any old clasic movie.Ingrid Bergman was stunning in Casablanca as was Rosemary Clooney in White Christmas. Neither one of them were asize 0.

  38. Yes, “The Crucible,” and “The Scarlet Letter” helped form people’s notion of the Puritan society, but in addition I think a lot of people’s perceptions about the Puritans were formed in school by books such as the Norton Anthology of American Literature. Anne Bradstreet only got a page or so in this massive tome, while Jonathan Edwards’ “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” took up a lot more room. Plus it had more of a catchy title than anything Bradstreet wrote. (Not to disparage her poetry.)
    Yikes. Just had a sudden vision of someone trying to film “Sinner in the Hands of an Angry God.” shudder
    Robin, thanks for mentioning those other books; they sound fascinating.

  39. Anne Bradstreet only got a page or so in this massive tome, while Jonathan Edwards’ “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” took up a lot more room. Plus it had more of a catchy title than anything Bradstreet wrote. (Not to disparage her poetry.)

    Yes, I’ve often found it sort of deliciously ironic that later generations have been so successful at “purifying”
    the Puritans that we now see them in much the same way we see the Victorians — as only half their own story, and the boring half, at that. Sort of like how Cotton Mather (in Decennium Luctosum) has to deal with the fact that Hannah Dustin actually scalped and killed a number of her Indian captors in order to escape, bringing back the scalps for a bounty. Mather can’t really condone the violence, especially as it’s committed by a woman, but he wants so much to tell her story as a triumph of Christian over “heathen” that he ends up revealing the way her story exceeds his own moral, even as he tries to conceal that fact. Beautiful. One of the reasons I so love the whole concept of the rapture. And Derrida.

  40. I love Sinners in the Hands of Angry God. It’s such a character study, especially since, as I remember, Edwards was quite passionate about his wife. Everything within boundaries. You can just hear him thundering that sermon. Plus, as Mary said, great title.

    So I tried a lot of the Dove Pro Age stuff and it’s wonderful, which is such a relief. The only real quibble I have–besides the hideous color, is that they packaged the shampoo, conditioner, and body wash in the same container, so this morning, blinded by the water and half asleep, I washed my hair in the body wash. Doesn’t seem to have hurt it but that may be the conditioner, which is terrifc.

  41. Joining in on the “3 things (or more)” movement…

    I love my feet. Also my ankles, and legs in general. I go barefoot as often as possible, and when I’m lying around reading or watching movies I’ll stick my leg(s) up and pivot my ankle(s) just to look at them and my feet. Love them.

    I love my hands, and especially my fingernails. My nails are really strong and grow fast, and I love gesturing and talking and dancing with my hands.

    I love my eyes. They’re green, except for when they’re blue. I love my eyebrows, too — I think the way they arch up over my eyes is the most beautiful thing about me, physically.

    I love my hair, especially when it’s down. (This took a long time to be able to say.)

    I love my height.

    Now I’m a little worried that the physical things I love about myself are too “peripheral” — that I don’t *really* love myself because if I *really* loved myself I’d pick more “central” things to adore publicly. Argh. How have I managed to convince myself that even the way I love myself isn’t good enough?

    (vital stats post-script: I’m 25, 6 feet tall, weight 300 pounds)

  42. Um it is very hard to name three things that I like physically about myself.

    But here it goes:

    1. My eyes. I love how they have different shades of brown in them, and would love to paint them one day.

    2. My skin. It is pale and smooth. I love that when I touch it it glides.

    3. My back because it is beautiful to me.

    I think the reason why I love my skin is because I love that luminous quality that pale skin has. And I also love skin that is not perfect. Judi Dench, Helen Mirren and Diana Rigg have to be to me beautiful people. And their skin wow!

    I once got approached in the street about a radio thing they were doing about age and beauty. They asked me if I thought that only young people could be beautiful. That is idiocy! Again I think that the things that make you different make you unique and beautiful this has NO age limit.

    I love my dad and think he would be interesting to paint. His skin sags he has lines round his eyes. But when he smiles the whole place lights up. I love it when he is in deep thought because it makes him different. I dislike those people those people who think perfection is an ideal to attain, give me the warts of someone. To me and I think lots of other people it was makes us different from other people that makes us who we are and that we chould celebrate it! So that is what I am learning to do (it’s hard but i am getting there).

  43. As to the Dove packaging, I wonder if they were going for burgundy = women aging like fine wine.

  44. Gotta love a blog where the topics range from Derrida to dandruff, Cotton Mather to conditioner, beauty to burgundy.

  45. Robin – that’s a lovely idea! Mellow, rich and complex, with the influence of the surroundings and the natural development of internal characteristics.

  46. Except it’s butt ugly dull mauve-burgundy.

    Really, it’s an ugly color, not a that deep rich red of wine. It’s very grandmother’s-drapes.

    But ten points for positive thinking.

  47. Too bad, because (and I’m sure this isn’t new), the more I think about the wine simile,the better I like it – mere sweetness tranformed into intoxicating power. Unless, of course, it’s treated badly, in which case, it may go sour.

    Oh, well.

  48. The May issue of Ladies Home Journal features Meredith Viera on the cover. I think it’s the first time I’ve seen a cover that wasn’t retouched and airbrushed. Meredith is 53 and hasn’t had her eyes surgically dewrinkled, doesn’t use Botox, etc. Her picture shows a lovely, successful woman — complete with lines and wrinkles. Good for her!

  49. Jenny wrote: “Except it’s butt ugly dull mauve-burgundy.”

    Yes, it is. But what I noticed when I bought some at the store last night was that I noticed it right away. It was almost defiant in its sheer drab ugliness. I mean, that stuff damn near jumped off the shelf at me, it was so unlike everything that surrounded it.

    It seemed to be daring me to judge it for its appearance rather than its contents. I think it might just be the most clever color selection I’ve ever seen.

  50. Oooh, look, something shiny! Time has been added to the comments.

    It adds a sense of relativity, if not relevance.

    Thanks, Mollie!

  51. Did you notice Mollie added a preview window, too? If you look at the bottom, you can see how what you’re typing will look in the window.

    She’s good.

  52. Thinking about fashion, what was behind the bustle and the huge panniered skirts? Were they to make all women look like they had hips and butts or to hide any possibility of glimpsing the real shape?

    On men wanting to change things, how many men wish they had a bigger penis. I’ve known a couple really big guys, like tall and muscular, that felt really cheated in that. They weren’t guys I was intimate with, so I have no clue as to whether they were really size-deprived or just thought they were, but I think that kind of judgement is even more insidious than anything women have to go through. I mean, we could starve ourselves skinny if we were foolish enough to want it, but barring some questionable surgical augmentation, there’s nothing a guy can do about his size.

  53. “Thinking about fashion, what was behind the bustle and the huge panniered skirts? Were they to make all women look like they had hips and butts or to hide any possibility of glimpsing the real shape?”

    They definitely increase the contrast between waist and hips. Tight-laced corsets eroticised the tiny waist. I wonder if it had something to do with the waist-hip ratio. There’s some evidence that there may be a correlation between the waist-hip ratio and fertility, so that may mean that men find women with the optimal ratio more attractive.

  54. Laura Vivanco said…

    six-pack abs, muscular thighs and great pecs, but I think that is something you’ll find in quite a lot of romances (as well as on quite a lot of romance covers). I wonder if that promotes a particular ideal of male beauty?

    I like the eye candy as much as the next woman, but when the hero is described as tall and sinewy and the cover model looks more like he was blown up with a bicycle pump, you gotta wonder what the heck they were thinking. Do they think women wouldn’t buy the book if the hero wasn’t overblown? And does there have to be a six-packed male torso on every cover? We know there doesn’t. And I’ve always preferred the slendy, wiry guys anyway. So there. /;+)

  55. Laura Vivanco said…

    There’s some evidence that there may be a correlation between the waist-hip ratio and fertility, so that may mean that men find women with the optimal ratio more attractive.

    Then I should have been the bomb. My waist was 18″ smaller than my hips and 15″ smaller than my bust. No little boy shape there. Five foot nine with a 22″ waist. Ah, those were the days. I’d be happy to hit 28″ again. LOL! No wonder I made all my own clothes. No manufacturer came even close to fitting me in a single garment. Huh, no wonder I get so worked up over the way people treated ANS.

  56. I agree with Najida that the colour of the Dove packaging reminds me of garnets. I like garnets.

    When I went into the ob/gyn for my first visit for my first pregnancy he measured my hips with the ice tong things and commented that I was built well for having a baby. (38-28-39)He assured me I would have no trouble delivering but I could give up 20 pounds to my sister, who was also a patient of his. BTW he was wrong. I had nine pregnancies and two living children. I just couldn’t get it right.Wide hips didn’t help here. I think that is a common misconception. My girlfriend had very narrow hips and had her babies with short labour and she had no problems.

  57. You know, looking back over my comment reminds me why it’s a good idea to check grammar and wording before posting.


    Anybody got a red pen?

  58. Geez, Crusie, you and I must have been hungry on the eve of the nineteenth and the morning of the twentieth, we both wrote blogs that mentioned having been around the block a few times (that wasn’t the hungry part … I don’t think, *grin*) and ended the blog with the word toast. Maybe I’m picking up on your terminology from hanging out on the blog too much. Yikes! Next thing I’ll be saying Argh!!! Actually, I think I did, last week.
    Anyway, love the cover. Love the continuing comments. And at the National in Reno I washed my hair and conditioned it with the little bottle of body lotion instead of conditioner (cause I didn’t have my glasses on and I’m as blind as a bat without)and I couldn’t figure out why it felt strange and sticky. *grin* I just sprayed it with hairspray and said, “What the heck. Nobody will be looking at me.”

  59. It’s not the width of the hips, it’s the opening in the pelvis – and how far it can stretch. I happen to have huge hips and I guess my pelvis was fine, because I didn’t have too much trouble. (Penny, lots of belated hugs and love for the lost children. I had one miscarriage and was a mess for a long time after).

    Even though the Victorians (and southern belles) had the bustle, etc, it was was to show off how skinny the waist was. So big belly still wasn’t so great. I remember vaguely from an art history class that the big hubbub with some of the Impressionist painters in France was that they showed women as the currently fashionably thin and not classically adipose.

    As for the original topic:

    1) I like my eyes. Lots of colors, leaning toward blue-green.

    2) My hair is a good color and texture and a bit wavy. It took me until adulthood to realize that if I just let it grow and didn’t try to keep it styled, it looks best.

    3) I am tall and though I am heavier than I want to be, I generally feel OK about how I look (though I’d like to weigh less!)

    4) I like my brain. It gets blue and confused and such, but it generally gets me where I need to go 🙂

    5) It’s not my favorite… but DH is OK with my large, flabby butt. So I guess it’s OK. I want it a lot smaller, but don’t ever expect it to be tiny and pert! I wouldn’t know what to do with it if it were. I’d be brusing myself by sitting down too hard, I guess.

  60. I keep reading that about ‘small breasts, but at least I can sleep on my stomach’. Is that an urban myth? I happen to have large breasts (F cup), and I have no trouble sleeping on my stomach. Breasts squash flat you know. At least, they do if they just grew.
    What I envy small-breasted women for is the ability to go bra-less in hot weather. I can leave mine off at home, of course, but when I go out I have to strap those tight elastic bands around my chest. And that is very sweaty when it’s 30 degrees Celsius and muggy.

  61. I hear you Ingrid. Would love to go bra-less but I’m a double-d. Not at all attractive flopping all over the place. But, the minute I get home, off come the shoes, halfway through the day the bra is usually off and folded nicely next to the computer (just in case the UPS or FED-EX man rings the doorbell, I mean heck, I’m not into scaring the natives) and I yearn for the younger days when I was a 36C cup and could go proudly bra-less.
    And in reference to Jenny’s original comment on narrow childlike hips and the condemnation of the the romance novel, it reminded me of a wonderful highly sexual, very passionate, Latino heart surgeon I once worked with, who spoke of his partner as being homosexual because he craved women with artificial breasts and slim narrow hips like a boy. Hmmm?

  62. Me too – I’d love to be able to go braless. But take em out of the over shoulder boulder holder and they head south – Brazil, wasn’t it? I’ve got a friend who just had some breast augmentation who’s always loved my boobs. I couldn’t convince her it was all about the bra. Take those puppies out and they’re not pretty. So as much as I like taking the damn thing off when I’m at home, I know it’s practically my best friend out in the big bad world. Bra’s hide a multitude of sins.

  63. Just a few quick comments.

    If you want to see body image insecurity in a guy, just mention balding. I swear, just that one word, and you will hear some real angst. Even among younger guys — ’cause they know it’s inherited. Although, I think some guys have come up with clever adaptations to the old balding issues.

    Braless and relaxing? Just toss on a vest or an apron if you have to answer the door. Quicker than trying to squirm into a bra (-:. (I’m a D or DD, US size, and go braless regularly. But it ((they?)) looks much nicer when I’m in a bra.)

    Thanks for the time thingies! Will check out the preview window, too.

  64. Oh for crying outloud. I’m an A cup. Really. A 36A and going braless isn’t an option. They go south too.

    Here comes my vanity again. You really shouldn’t go braless. I did from the time I was about 16 until I had my first kid. Not sure I owned a bra until I got pregnant and between that and the breast feeding, well they went south.

    And I don’t think it’s cool anymore to have the nipples popping through clothes anymore, you know. I mean, I have a teenage daughter and she and all her friends wear bra’s under a camisole to make sure this doesn’t happen. I guess that is not in fashion anymore.

    I keep coming back to what my mother used to tell me as I went braless, “Jenni dear, someday you will regret this decision because no matter how small they are, gravity will take it’s toll.” Yeah, I know, I’m really vain, I get it. So, as an A cup, I don’t go braless. And I even feel uncomfortable braless.

    Oh, and I have great hips, but not a big pelvic area. With the first two kids it was no big deal. they were premies at 5 pounds and 7 pounds. Both 5 weeks early. The 3rd kids was 9 pounds and he kind of got stuck. Wasn’t a pleasant experience but he was well worth the trouble.

    I love me.

  65. JenT – so right. Age and gravity have done their bit on my D cups, but relatively little saging considering. I wear a lounging bra at least unless I’m sleeping. Not as good support as a real bra but more comfortable than nothing. And too many women wear a bra as if it were a t-shirt; it gives them no shape or support. You pay for that over the years.

    Cup size is deceptive, though. If you have a narrow chest, even a C cup can make you look big because there’s no place for it to go, if you get my meaning. Like extra weight on a short person v a tall person. It shows more on the shorter person.

    And lastly, the sleeping on the stomach thing is not a myth. I can do it if the pillows are just right but otherwise that squshing hurts.

  66. I’m sorry, but I have never heard of this sleeping on your stomach thing. I don’t sleep on my stomach, can’t. Pretty much sleep on my back and the running joke is “that’s why your breasts are so far apart.” It’s a joke people. Actually, because I’m broad shouldered, well, the placement of my breats means no cleavage. Besides that, asi mentioned before, they are small.

    Now, when shoppihng for a bra in a store that will remain nameless I almost smacked the sales person when she pushed her palm between my two breasts explaining why I couldn’t go down to a 34B as explained to me by someone when I complained no stores carry a 36A. True, most stores do not carry a 36A. Not a popular size and a friend of mine said to go and try on a 34 B and see if it fits okay. This wasthe plan, but because I’m broad, it didn’t work out so well. Worse when the salesperson had to person had to point out the lack of cleavage. Stupid woman.

    Still, I love me.

  67. It’s so very hard to find A’s.

    I have a friend who was humongous. She had reduction done and is now simply very large. She loves it. The shoulder and back pain are gone.

    Oooh, love it, Mollie. The time stamp and the preview. Thanks so very, very much. Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country. Love it tracking each keystroke.

  68. Micki you are right. How could I forget that men obsess about their hair. My DH had beautiful, thick,curly mahogany-coloured hair when we married and he was very vain about it. When he started going bald he was devastated. Now that he has almost no hair left he jokes about it because he still has more hair than his younger brother…he says. And unlike penis size, balding is something they can do something about.

  69. I was going to complain that I didn’t have the preview, and it popped up! Very clever.

    I have fairly large breasts (D or so – Glamour geek would scold me for not having a proper fitting in a long time) and sleep on my stomach all the time. I have a fairly flat pillow and I put one arm under it and I’m fine. And I’ve gotten so I mostly wear a tank with a shelf bra even to bed, especially in the summer, because I feel as if I get less sticky that way, as well as reducing uncomfortable bouncing. Baby powder helps, but any place where skin is in contact with other skin becomes uncomfortably hot.

    I sleep on my back more in summer, since it seems to generate/ hold in less heat.

  70. the links between parabens and breast cancer are very interesting; going to send the articles to my mom.

    Scope: very sorry for your losses.

    i sleep on my stomach. and my back. and my side. i wear a bra outside, but like going braless when i’m at home.

    i remember learning that stuff about Puritans. very cool stuff.

  71. I leave for a day and it’s all about breasts again. Didn’t this happen on He Wrote She Wrote last year? What is it with you people? Sigh.

    Okay, go ahead and talk about breasts. I was waiting on Mollie to finish something before I put up the next post, but I may have to move ahead here or God knows where you’ll go next.

    The Dove body wash is quite wonderful. The jury’s still out on the shampoo and conditioner.

  72. “Give it a breast,” Jenny groaned.”Haven’t we milked this topic for all it’s worth?”

  73. I thought we were talking hips. I love my hips. I’ve got great hips.

    Haven’t bought the Pro-age line yet. I’ve got so much of the regular Dove products that I’m waiting. Wonder what hubby with think of the new colors since he’s the one how uses it most. if he even notices.

  74. (-: I love my hips, too. And for the record, I don’t wear a girdle, either. Does this mean my butt’s going to be hanging around my ankles when I hit menopause? Horrors!

    Oh, yeah, that’s right, I was raised in a no-vanity zone. I don’t care! (-: I’m so lucky to be me! LOL!

  75. Didn’t girdles go out with stockings and suspenders forty years ago?

    If you need to worry about something, Micki, I’d choose your stomach over your bum. With me that seems to be the growth area, my backside just stays where it was. But maybe that’s just my luck.

    Jennifer, you seem to suffer from selective memory. You were also the one who said she’d never heard of this sleeping on your stomach thing.

    I’ve got nice hips too.

  76. Ingrid,

    Girdles have never gone out of style. They still make them for the larger sizes and have added smaller sizes because size 2 women don’t like having the belly pooch out. They also make something called a waist cincher for people who want a skinnier waist.

    My 3+ things….

    I love my hair for its color, body and the fact that it grows fast. (I can go from chin length to waist length in a little over 2 years — quicker if I don’t keep it trimmed.)

    I love my hands and nails, even if I have to buy men’s gloves.

    I love my hourglass figure.

    I’ve got great legs.

    I love the fact that I look like a pre-historic fertility goddess. Better pictures and clueless verbage can be found here.

  77. You know what I would like to see? A recognition that every body type is and can be beautiful. That zaftig on the right frame is just as attractive as elfin on the right frame, and vice versa. There are ladies out there who are naturally “waifish” … small, delicate, and perfect. There are others whose genetics are best expressed as a celebration of lush and just as perfect. Rather than aspiring to be something that you can’t ever be, I wish we as a culture could come to the realization that you are beautiful as god and nature intended you to be, and the only thing you should have to aspire to is the healthiest expression of your body type that is possible for you.

  78. A Monday morning poem dedicated to all of us.

    From “I Sing the Body Electric” by Walt Whitman:

    This is the female form;
    A divine nimbus exhales from it from head to foot;
    It attracts with fierce undeniable attraction!
    I am drawn by its breath as if I were no more than a helpless vapor—all falls aside but myself and it;
    Books, art, religion, time, the visible and solid earth, the atmosphere and the clouds, and what was expected of heaven or fear’d of hell, are now consumed;
    Mad filaments, ungovernable shoots play out of it—the response likewise ungovernable;
    Hair, bosom, hips, bend of legs, negligent falling hands, all diffused—mine too diffused;
    Ebb stung by the flow, and flow stung by the ebb—love-flesh swelling and deliciously aching;
    Limitless limpid jets of love hot and enormous, quivering jelly of love, white-blow and delirious juice;
    Bridegroom night of love, working surely and softly into the prostrate dawn;
    Undulating into the willing and yielding day,
    Lost in the cleave of the clasping and sweet-flesh’d day.

    This is the nucleus—after the child is born of woman, the man is born of woman;
    This is the bath of birth—this is the merge of small and large, and the outlet again.

    Be not ashamed, women—your privilege encloses the rest, and is the exit of the rest;
    You are the gates of the body, and you are the gates of the soul.

    The female contains all qualities, and tempers them—she is in her place, and moves with perfect balance;
    She is all things duly veil’d—she is both passive and active;
    She is to conceive daughters as well as sons, and sons as well as daughters.

    As I see my soul reflected in nature;
    As I see through a mist, one with inexpressible completeness and beauty,
    See the bent head, and arms folded over the breast—the female I see.

  79. Pam…

    Lovely poem to the ladies!
    Walt Whitman was a great poet.

    And Ingrid…

    Suspenders haven’t as yet gone out of style. Know quite a few men that wear them, as I do.

  80. Yes, but Louis, I think Ingrid was talking about what Europeans call suspenders – that is, garters, for the holding up of stockings. I think what we call suspenders, the British, at least, call braces.

    Once again, communication complicated by sharing a common language!

    And I think more women wear (at least occasionally) stockings and garters than did in, say, the ’70s, though some can wear the elastic top things, with which I have never had much luck (or comfort).

  81. I wear garters when I have to wear stockings. I hate regular stockings and do not wear them.

    But we are talking about hips. I love my hips.

    And Dove Pro-age. Haven’t tried it yet. So, Jenny. Tell me how the shampoo and condition are. I have very dry, frizzy, curly hair and I do a lot of damange with the straigtener. Think I will like it?

  82. All winter I had a great time hiding right wing “books” behind the real books at my local bookstores, for the benefit of humanity.

    What say we get to the drug store and do the same kind of thing? Pull the Dove products out to cover up all the “anti-aging” anti-real women gunk?

    Yes, that will be my new project. Love it. This blog is so full of great ideas. Thank you all. Now, off to Walgreen’s.

  83. Thank you Diane, that is indeed what I meant. In the mid sixties I graduated from little girl tights to big girl stockings, and they were held up by suspenders which were attached to a girdle. It was horrible, and cold in winter, because skirts were very short at the time. But that was also my salvation, because the short skirts brought tights for grownups, and of course also for big girls. And the girdle became superfluous as well.
    Oh god, you probably don’t say tights, either. Do you call them pantyhose or something?

    Do you really call suspenders garters? I always associate that word with those bands that people tied around their stockings above or below the knee. You sometimes see the lovely embroidered 18th-century ones in museums.

  84. mary: LMAO. have i ever told you how much i love your sense of humor?

    we can probably raise bail money fairly quick, Lambie, so no worries. just remember, if the cops come and you throw shampoo at then and run, Dove will get more airtime. (ok, maybe not good airtime, but airtime none the less).

  85. Hi, Ingrid! I was being a bit snarky in my post — I believe a woman should choose all by herself whether to wear a bra (or a girdle, or a body-shaper, or a corset for that matter). Every fat deposit on the body is affected by aging, and it will go south no matter what kind of constrictions you use. As for me, I don’t like being fenced in.

    Let me clarify: I go braless regularly in the privacy of my own home. I do own great-fitting bras (which I always wear when out) and a girdle and a body shaper (which I wear when I dress up in clinging fabrics). I bow to public opinion.

    But I’m aghast at Jen T.’s opinion (I realize where you are coming from, Jen T., and I like a lot of your other opinions). What if a woman can’t afford a good bra? They are pretty expensive items. What if a woman would rather buy a good book than own a bra? What if she is allergic to Lycra? What if she just doesn’t like it? Should we allow a bunch of teenagers to dictate fashion to us? Sorry, it’s just disturbing to me on several levels — just as I’m sure “going braless on a regular basis” was disturbing on several levels to Jen T. Let’s agree to disagree on that point. I don’t think scientific cites would save us, because it looks like even the scientists disagree about the usefulness of the bra.

    Ingrid again: “garter belt with suspenders” got shortened to “garters” in the U.S. But it also refers to the leg-decoration. Tights refer to thick pantyhose. Pantyhose is usually not opaque. Suspenders usually refer to some elastic you clip to your belt to prevent your trousers from falling down.

    Shawn Reed: I agree, it would be great if we could accept all beauty as valid. But people always seem to want what they don’t have. My daughters and I have great hair — but I want ringlets like the little one, the little one wants a shining waterfall like big sis, and big sis wants waves like Mom. (-: What’s wrong with us?

  86. Thanks for the offer of bail money, but I’ve not been caught yet.

    Trouble is, I found out earlier today, is that drug stores are harder to sneak around in than bookstores. There are concave? convex? SPY MIRRORS everywhere.

    So, look, you guys buy lots of Dove (I’m at an age where I’m still fighting zits, for godsake, I personally don’t need more moisture, YET.), and I’ll go back to doing my good deeds among the books.
    Unless I just happen to see an opportunity to do a good deed for my future, older self, and improve Dove’s placement.
    However, I could never throw anything, even at a cop, because I am completely non-violent.

  87. Jenny said…

    I leave for a day and it’s all about breasts again. Didn’t this happen on He Wrote She Wrote last year? What is it with you people? Sigh.

    Well, we do each have two of them, even the guys. So…

  88. Lambie Pie on April 23rd, 2007 at 3:13 pm
    All winter I had a great time hiding right wing “books” behind the real books at my local bookstores, for the benefit of humanity.

    Lambie Pie
    Do you realize that book store employees really don’t like people shifting books around on them? Or adding to their stock? It makes it harder for them to help the customer that walks up and says “I can’t find _____.” The best thing you can do is turn the “good of humanity” books already on the shelves cover out and make the rest spine out. Moving stock (or adding to it) annoys both the casual browser and the in-store staff.

    The local Waldenbooks manager is a friend, and she says that 99% of all readers don’t read outside their preferred genre (that includes non-fiction, too.) So putting something where others will stumble over it while pursuing other things is wasting your time and annoying the natives.

    I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to annoy my local book pushers.

  89. And, lambie pie, your skin needs moisture whether you have zits or not. Take it from one who tried to dry out her acne (long time ago, we swore on baby soap and powder make-up until we had flakes in our faces) only to find out that it wouldn’t work but hurt your skin terribly.

  90. Golly!
    Where do I start?
    a. I sleep in all positions because boobs do squish flat (even DD’s)
    b. I have a THE worst body type (as far as romance goes)
    short, short legs, a long torso, big boobs and very wide hips. I look like a pear on 1 foot piers. Or a pyramid on blocks.
    c. I don’t wear a bra when I’m home alone, just cuz. And yes, the girls are heading south. Guess I need to find a ‘leisure’ bra.

  91. That’s the authors’ main vice, going into bookstores and moving our books face out or to better positions. We’re shameless, all of us. My agent’s little girl know how to find my books and turn them face out at six.

    Lambie, when they’re grilling you and you’re confessing, try not to mention the blog. Then call and we’ll bail you out. Although Dove should do that, really.

    I’ve never slept on my stomach. They don’t squash that much.

  92. For proper care and feeding of the girls, I recommend a Select Comfort (aka sleep number) mattress (since it’s really the lower back that suffers when you sleep on your stomach on a regular spring mattress) and the La Mystere “Tisha” bra, which, as a very busty woman myself, I find keeps them both comfy and perky.

  93. I can’t claim original thinking about rearranging the shelves a bit.

    I got it from the February blog about Ann Coulter.

    But it really rung my chimes, you know?

    So, turning faces out on good books and turning bad books to show their spines is okay? But anything other than that is too annoying for our friends the booksellers? I want to have fun an foment rebellion, but I draw the line at being annoying. Honestly.

  94. I want to thank all you ladies. I stumble across this blog, last night, by accident. As I read the wondreful diverse reasons that you love yourselves, I was shocked at my self. I have become so accomsted to focusing on the things that I’m not happy with, that I couldn’t even think of anything I loved. So last night I stood in front of my full lenth mirror and really, really looked at myself. And you know what I found things to love. So here they are:

    1. I love my lips. They have pretty shape.

    2. I love my feet. They have nice arch and look damn good in sandles.

    3. I love my bossy toe (what my husband calls my second toes that are at least 1/4 inch longer than the big toes)

    4. I love my back. It is nicely toned.

    5. I love my calves. They are musclely and really sexy in high heals.

    6. Lastly and completely off the physical I love my smart brain and my equally smart mouth!! 🙂

    So thank you ladies for helping me find some of the reasons I love my body. You are all wounderful.

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