Friday, January 25, 2013

My Boobs Have Nothing to Do with You

According to twitter, clearly the world’s authority on everything ever, today is Cleavage Appreciation Day. Obviously some women have gotten really into it, tweeting shots of their cleavage (or even just their bra-clad boobs), with the hashtag #CleavageAppreciationDay. Other women are pretty against it, and they’re calling out basically all women who show cleavage ever as 1) lacking self-respect 2) being desperate for attention and/or 3) acting slutty. Some men are all “Woo, boobs!” and some men are all, “How darest these harlots cause me to have sinful thoughts?”

This is a pretty clear example of a larger debate in American society. Hell, to an extent, it’s an example of a lifelong issue within Christianity. Women are either the Virgin or the Whore, and we are criticized heavily regardless of our choice.

But I’ve already discussed the prude/slut dichotomy. This post is about boobs, a companion piece of sorts to my previous rant on boob-shaming. If I write this correctly, I will somehow tie together my problem with the Church’s view on modesty, my support of female sexuality, rape culture, and body autonomy. All with pictures of my cleavage and pissed off indignation that some people have the audacity to think they know anything about me based on my aforementioned cleavage. 

Age 19, Delta Nu* Initiation Banquet. An outfit heavily criticized for showing "too much" cleavage.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: I'm a Size 2

The Good: Saturday I start training for my new part-time job as the “Front Desk Specialist” at the JC Penney salon near where I work my full-time job. The extra money from working 15 hours a week will be nice, but I’m mostly excited about the health care benefits. I’m still on my parents’ insurance, but I know I cost them a lot of money. Plus, since I no longer live in the South, I’m out-of-network. Getting my own health insurance will be life-changing.

Of course, dress will be a little different than my current job, where I show up in jeans and a hoodie most days. For my new job, dress code is business casual, in a black, white, and gray color scheme. This would have been a problem for me during my pre-French days, but my current winter wardrobe is pretty dark after absorbing Parisian fashion. I have several cute tops that will all be suitable.

The Bad: However, the only appropriate bottoms I own are two identical black pencil skirts. A pair of nice black slacks was definitely in order. Thus tonight my best friend and former roommate/co-intern, Lauren, and I hit up The Loft, a store we both adore. We had both received an email this week announcing 60% off sale items and 30% off new arrivals. Perfect!

Their petites section had two different styles of slacks. I tried them both on, and Lauren & I agreed one was better than the other. I purchased them along with three black/white/gray tops that were all on sale. I dropped $100 on the whole purchase, which isn’t too bad considering I bought only quality work clothes, but isn't great when you're trying to save money.

The Ugly: I’m a size 2. For the first time since I was 16.

I’m a size 2 because I still haven’t gained back the weight I lost in November. I’m a size 2 because I was sick. I’m a size 2 because I might still be sick.

I know it’s hard to believe, especially for my readers struggling with weight loss, but being unable to gain weight is terrifying. It is worse than trying to lose weight. I should know. Past treatment for Crohn’s has caused me to gain weight, and I hated the struggle of working out & eating well just to maintain an “average” body. But it was never as bad as trying to gain weight.

I can’t even feel vain about being skinny. I lost my ass! It was never a big booty, but it was always nice and proportional to the rest of my curves. It’s almost flat now. My boobs are less full too, although, let’s be honest, they are still the envy of women everywhere and the fantasy of many men.

Please, dear God, let me gain 5 lbs. Please, dear God, let me be healthy again. I can’t be sick again.

I just can’t.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

New Year, New Apartment, New Belle

Wow, it's 2013 already. When did that happen?

2012 was crazy. Just like 2011. And 2010.

In 2012, I lived in New York for the first two months, then Toronto for four months, home in the South for three weeks, and finally in the Midwest for five months, with a whole week of that being in my new apartment.

I went from being a live-in au pair to doing social media and assorted IT stuff for a start-up company. Yeah, I'm still confused about that too.

The boyfriend and I went from very long-distance (an airplane) to long-distance (a six-hour drive) to medium-distance (driving two hours!).

My twin brother was diagnosed with a brain tumor that miraculously went away with surgery.

My car died. I became an emotional wreck. The boyfriend gave me a car for Christmas. I finally figured out humility

Both my twitter followers and blog readers grew by leaps and bounds. I expanded my blog posts a little bit. I don't always talk about only virginity. I write about books, and feminism, and family, and sex, and politics, and fun stuff like that. 

I even GULP participated in a giveaway.* You know, one of those shameless promotions to gain followers who sometimes keep following you, but often unfollow you when the giveaway is over? You know, one of those fun things where you can be generous to other people?

Awesome giveaway hosted by Bonnie!

I even survived the Apocalypse!

I live a crazy life. It's how I roll. I'm pretty sure 2013 will be just as up and down as my previous years. Some changes I can anticipate. Others will be unexpected challenges.

For my readers, you'll notice a few changes. I'm not going to focus as much on only blogging about sex/virginity. I did expand some this past year, but I feel more comfortable now writing like a real blogger, and not just some funny academic essayist. Of course, this is partly because I will be writing a column for HI! Magazine. A funny academic essayist column on virginity. So... there's that.

As much as I will strive to keep up my 3-7 posts a month range I've got going on, I can't make any promises. See, another change I'm (hopefully) making is getting a second part-time job for a little extra spending money... plus health insurance. This will eat into my writing time. 

That, and my only New Year's resolution is to read Les Misérables. En français. Also, my non-resolution, just regular goal of reading 53 books this year. I read 51 last year, with a goal of 52. Reading is important.

Edit: I totally forgot to mention one of the biggest changes. I didn't just move into a new apartment--I moved into my first apartment without a roommate. Turning it into my own little home will also be totally time-consuming.

All that said, big changes are in store for Belle and Beau** in 2013. Who knows, we might even experience coitus for the first time.***

Whatever happens, I'll be here, blogging away. This is, after all...

Confessions of a Virgin. 

*When the boyfriend donated to How to Lose Your Virginity, our prize packages included two cherry pendants. I gave one away. I briefly reached 51 blog followers by participating--I'm down to 48 now. But. I'm following one young woman who followed me and gave me crazy-awesome compliments on my blog. Genna's super-cool.
**If you're new here, that's me and the boyfriend.
***Kidding. Mostly. 


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