Weekly Favorites: Have a fun (last January) weekend.

Friday, January 30, 2015

I always get a little happy when January is over. I know it's bad to admit that I wish away months, but with the post-holiday slump and the WEATHER (mostly the weather), it's nice to feel that you're taking one step closer to the occasional day where going outside doesn't require an excessive amount of outerwear.

The difference between Pennsylvania (where I grew up/went to college) cold and Wisconsin (where I live) cold is you are CRAZY if you don't wear a hat or gloves at all times in the Wisconsin winter.

So, let's take solace in the fact that we nearly have a 100% winter month under our belts.
walking on a frozen Monona Bay last weekend.
A few links for your weekend/procrastinating during your very-last January Friday:

In the spirt of me just getting NetflixThe 101 Best Written TV Shows

Only in Iowa would this be a headline.

Still speaking of Netflix (#cantstopwontstop), this show is being called the most feminist show on television - and it was one of your recommendations!

How can you help kids with cancer? VACCINATE YOUR CHILDREN. (In case you need more (sad) inspiration to do so.)

On a lighter note: My new favorite hilarious instagram account.

Elle asked men inane questions on the red carpet, usually reserved for women. #flipthescript

I love how this fiction piece from the New Yorker is about a banal occurrence that's also a life-altering experience.

This story makes me love Good Will Hunting even more. (As if that were possible.)

I obviously have a thing for memoirs written by inspiring females - so I'm pretty sure I need this book.

I'm four yoga classes away from doing yoga 20 times in one month, and crossing off another item on my 101 in 1001 list. If you're bored this weekend, make a list :)

Happy weekend, homies! xx

Wednesday Wordplay: Sponsored by the Letter M

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wordplay Wednesday is a series that originated because I am an aspiring writer with a relatively pathetic vocabulary. :) Saving the world one definition/word origin at a time.

I'm channeling my inner Sesame Street and deeming this week sponsored by the letter M. Because this week? My creativity is hovering around the 4 year-old level. :) Perfect for alliteration aficionados. Oh, and bonus: cat pictures! Because Wednesday.

malaisen. 1. a condition of general bodily weakness or discomfort, often marking the onset of a disease. 2. a vague or unfocused feeling of mental uneasiness, lethargy, or discomfort.

He couldn't pinpoint the root cause of his overwhelming malaise, so he finally scheduled a doctor's appointment.

maudlin - adj. 1. tearfully or weakly emotional; foolishly sentimental. 2. foolishly or mawkishly sentimental because of drunkenness.

I was enjoying the book but then the author dipped into maudlin prose about love, and it felt so cliché.

I just want to talk on the phone without her going on a maudlin rant, you know?

maunder - verb (used without an object) 1. to talk in a rambling, foolish, or meaningless way 2. to move, go, or act in an aimless, confused manner.

The brothers maundered through life, without the slightest hint of an ambition.

miscreant - adjective 1. depraved, villainous, or base. noun 2. a vicious or depraved person; villain

It seemed he was nothing but a miscreant, as she had feared all along.

misanthropy - noun 1. hatred, dislike, or distrust of humankind

You're too young to be misanthropic.

Tywin has an obsession with licking Stephen's hair - it's amazing.
That's it! I just realized most of these words are super negative, no? Well, have a magnificent rest of your week! xx

Netflix Newbie: Seeking Recommendations

Monday, January 26, 2015

Stephen and I welcomed ourselves to the 21st century Friday night and....got Netflix!!

We held out for so long because it was thoroughly entertaining telling friends "I don't have Netflix" and seeing them react with an exaggerated, appalled gasp, as if I actually had said "I don't have running water OR electricity."

However, the winter weather, end of NFL season*, and lack o' cable got the best of us.

Recap of our progression as a couple: We moved in together in August, got a kitten in October, and got Netflix in January. Our chances of leaving our apartment for, well, anything decrease by the month! If only I grocery shopped regularly.

*I realize there's still the Super Bowl left but the PATRIOTS vs the SEAHAWKS? It's like the two most cocky boys in high school competing for Prom King. Yawn. The commercials better be legendary.

I believe one of the most attractive qualities is when someone knows when to ask for help. So, I beseech thee, what am I supposed to watch on Netflix!?

Tywin is so not impressed with our new sedentary Netflix lifestyle.
So far the series deemed necessary to watch by some friends are:

1. Sherlock
2. House of Cards
3. Orange is the New Black
4. Gilmore Girls

...any other must sees? Which is the best?

I'm reading the memoir Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison now, so decided to hold off on watching that immediately, but I should finish the book up this week. Stephen and I started House of Cards and are almost done with Season 1 (oops! Very Important Question: How does one go to sleep at a decent hour when one has Netflix? Also: who knew I could give a crap about a show about politics? So addicting!)

We also watched two documentaries** that were really eye-opening: Food, Inc. and Living on One Dollar. My whole life I've been an "I eat-whatever-then-I-exercise-a-lot-to-make-up-for-it" person but Food Inc. has me considering vegetarianism. Very disturbing how food is mass-produced in this country. Watch it! But be forewarned: you're not going to be able to look at a chicken the same way.

**Because getting off the couch on weekends is so overrated.

Living On One Dollar followed 4 college boys as they lived in Guatemala for 56 days, mimicking making $1/day, and trying to live in the extreme circumstances. I've had some exposure to the horrendous levels of poverty around the world, because I've sponsored a World Vision child for a while now (and my parents have sponsored one for my whole life). Still, it's always good to keep things in perspective and expose yourself to what's going on in all parts of the world. Check out the Living on One website and if you have any interests/questions about World Vision Child Sponsorship feel free to let me know!

So, we've enjoyed Netflix so far but I feel like it's a huge, deep well that I've only barely skimmed the surface of the water. What should we watch? What shouldn't we watch? Assume I know nothing about television. Let's face it, I don't. I got Netflix in calendar year 2015, after all.

Friday Field Trip: Lessons from Yoga

Friday, January 23, 2015

For Christmas, Stephen got me an unlimited monthly pass for yoga at The Studio in Madison. This is a very good gift! Especially in January (when gyms are packed and it's usually unbearably freezing out.) It's also on my 101 in 1001 list to do yoga 20 times in a month and can I just take a second to say WTF WAS I THINKING WHEN I RANDOMLY PICKED THE NUMBER 20?! I'm pretty sure I've done yoga 20 times IN 26 YEARS before this month (see detailed love/hate relationship here), but now I've done it 11 times so far in January (yes, I'm a little behind, but I do have until February 2.) All that to say: be ye not so stupid when setting arbitrary fitness goals.

There's tea in the waiting room before & after class.
Still, my experience with my month of yogi-hood has been a positive one! The only bad part is now I'm worried about hitting my goal, and find myself focusing on metrics rather than enjoying my yoga practice itself. So I would encourage you to "hit the mat" if you get a chance, just don't make it about counting classes, make it about taking time for yourself to help your mind and body.

I thought I'd share today a couple memorable gems from my yoga instructors today.

"You can't force your body to relax, but you can invite it to." 

I've had trouble sleeping lately (I think it has to do with too much screen time before bed), and I've found when I get worked up about not falling asleep right away, it only makes things worse. That's when I remember this quote, and focus on relaxing different parts of my body and my breath* and it can really help me fall asleep.

*Breath is very important in yoga. If yoga places had liquor licenses, I'd propose drinking every time an instructor says breath.

"Shed the negative dialogue."

One of my teachers is really into this concept and at first it sounds cliché but I actually really like it.

First off, it's very applicable during yoga because a lot of times I'll think "I can't wait to get out of this stupid pose." or "Ugh, we're going to have to do this all again on the other foot!" or "For the love of God, can we just have a single class WITHOUT doing pigeon?" These example thoughts are coming a little too easily.

Then, there's life in general, when it's so easy to have a sound track of negative thoughts playing in the back of your mind, which can be, of course, limiting. But sometimes we get so used to them we're practically immune to the self-negativity -- and shedding those thoughts is so freeing.
the waiting room over looks a (now frozen) Lake Monona
I like that she doesn't say "Stop thinking negatively!" which can come off as abrasive, and lead to further rounds of self-criticism, e.g. "Oh my gosh I can't believe I'm thinking that, I'm such an awful person for having that thought."  Rather, "Shed the negative dialogue." Accept that negative dialogue will likely be there, and just cue Elsa and Let. It. Go.

So, there you have it, my friends, one of the least-likely people to say "OM" in the entire world learning something from yoga. :) Physically, it also has made me pretty sore (teacher-dependent) on days. Overall, I'm really enjoying the mental aspects more than I anticipated of practicing regularly. Wishing you a happy weekend! Namaste, homies.

Let's Read...Poetry?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Do you read poetry? The reason I ask is, even as an English major, I somehow avoided taking a single poetry class. I mean, I'd get all jazzed up over The Nineteenth Century English Novel and could talk for days about unconventional reads in Topics in Gender Studies but....poetry? Poems? 22 year old me just couldn't get into it.

Well, 26 year old me (thankfully) has some different interests than 22 year old me. And poetry is a newfound one.

In Tiny Beautiful Things Cheryl Strayed is asked to give one piece of advice to people in their twenties, and she says: "To go to a bookstore and buy ten books of poetry and read them each five times." This got me thinking about how little time I've spent with poems, and I became determined to change that.

I picked up these 3 books of poems for Stephen for our 5 year anniversary in January:

I am really enjoying reading each of them, especially Birthday Letters. Do you know the story of Ted Hughes? Stephen got us tickets to see a play by him, Alcestis, at American Players Theatre this October (crossing off an item on my 101 in 1001 list!), which piqued my interest. He was married to poet Sylvia Plath (who famously committed suicide, allegedly in part because Hughes was having an affair) -- and all poems in Birthday Letters except for two are addressed to her. As you might imagine, many of the poems are darkly enchanting.

I find it relaxing to read a few poems before going to bed, and realize that in the wide world of poetry -- I'm still a newbie! What poets should I check out? Any modern poets? Any old-school poets? I'm all ears!

p.s. I am also enjoying the whimsical illustrations, quotes, and poetry in Something Like Magic by Brian Andreas.

Want to Fall in Love? Here's how.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Ok, I know you're all dying to know how to fall in love, and, since my middle name is Aphrodite, you've come to the right place.*

In short, there was once a psychologist named Arthur Aron who made two complete strangers fall in love in a laboratory with a series of 36 questions. After the strangers asked and answered these questions to one another, they stared into each other's eyes for 4 minutes. Six months later, they were married. Don't believe me? Read this New York Times article: To Fall in Love with Anyone, Do This.

*That's a bold-faced lie. My middle name, like everyone's middle name, is Elizabeth.

Image by Paul Proshin
So, now that you've read the piece, you are armed with what you need to corner a man in a bar, launch into increasingly intimate and vulnerable discussion, do some staring, and go forth and wed! Woo hoo. Happy registering for gifts!

But why stop there? Hallie from Corals and Cognac challenged us to take (a sample) of these questions and answer them in the blogosphere as a way to get to know each other better. Why not? Here are my answers to a few of the selected questions. I'm also providing a close up picture of my eyes for your staring pleasure.**

**I'm absolutely not doing that.

Without further ado, grab some coffee and let's start this riveting Q&A sesh:

Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?

Ellen DeGeneres. I think it is amazing that she is consistently funny in a non-vulgar way. Being funny in a non-offensive family-friendly way is incredibly difficult. I imagine it would be a hilarious dinner.

For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

My immediate family and my boyfriend, Stephen.

If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?

I thought about this one, and it makes me sound incredibly vain but I'd probably want perfect skin. I just worry so much about my skin, and without that factor, I could totally forget about it forever and then focus on my important things.

Is there something that you've dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven't you done it?

Since I was in first grade, I had a hunch I wanted to be an author. All I'm going to say is right now I'm currently (finally) working on it.

What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?

Human trafficking. I'm no expert, but it's a very serious problem, especially in Southeast Asia. I actually make monthly donations to The Exodus Road, an organization committed to helping people out of the unthinkably horrible situation. Interest piqued? Read this story by Roo from Semi Proper, who went to SE Asia to promote the Exodus Road.

Phew. That got real heavy real fast. Back to the questions: What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?

I earned a Division 1 college basketball scholarship. Meaning my degree was free and I don't have college loans. It was an incredibly hard 4 years, but I am proud I stuck it out and made it through.

What do you value most in friendship?

The ability to respect one another's differences in opinions, interests, etc. I don't like "group think" mentality. 

Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?

First off, are we one hundred percent sure that Tywin is safe? I actually think a lot about rescuing my cat if there ever was a fire. (I'm essentially obsessed.) But, if my kitty is totally 100% safe and purring and happy, then I'd actually probably rescue a journal I've been writing in since 2001. I don't write too often, but I like how I can flip through and read various highs and lows from my life.


That's it for me! Your turn. Read the article, write a post, and link it up to Hallie's! Or just corner someone in a bar and get married. Your choice. 

The Bechdel Test: A fun (feminist) way to watch movies

Thursday, January 15, 2015

So my sisters and I were chatting over Christmas about Mayim Bialik's distaste for Frozen and my middle sister argued that Frozen does pass the Bechdel Test. "The what?" I asked, unsure if she was referencing some modern-day pop-culture phenomenon that my 26 year-old-self had somehow missed.* Of course, my youngest sister knew exactly what the Bechdel test was.**

Essentially, it's two simple questions you can ask when evaluating movies:

1. Does the movie have 2 female characters, with names?
2. Do the two female characters have a conversation in the movie about something other than a man?

That's it. A simple pass/fail. The (not too surprising) thing is so many movies fail.

Let's start Disney:
Aladdin? Fails. There isn't a single named female character other than Jasmine.
Beauty and the Beast? This is when we start debating whether Belle conversing with a female teapot counts. Even so, do they talk about anything other than the Beast? I say fails.
Frozen? Some sister conversations between Elsa and Anna (both named) that don't revolve around boys! Passes.

The origin of this test is fascinating. Cartoonist Alison Bechdel introduced this test in her long-running comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For as, well, a joke.

*Comic by Alison Bechdel, image here

As  you can see, the requirement added after the fact was that both women have to have names. That way, a movie with two unnamed females chatting about shopping for five seconds on the sidewalk doesn't count.

This comic went "viral" (if that phrase was alive back in the 80s) and people started using it to evaluate female frequency (and relevancy) in fiction. Today, there's even the Bechdel Test Movie List website, containing over 5000 movies and their pass or fail. (Apparently, Unbroken and Amazing Spiderman 2 both fail from 2014.)

Obviously, this test isn't perfect, for example, Gravity, which has a central female figure, fails due to lack of other characters in general. But, it is an eye-opening way to think about females portrayed in fiction and gender inequality in the media. That is, if you hadn't already heard of it. If you're anything like my two younger sisters, this is old news for you. ;)


p.s. 10 Famous Films that Surprisingly Fail

*For a while, I knew Ariana Grande existed, but had no idea what she did or how she looked. Aka, I'm getting old.
**I'm practically a Neanderthal.

Wednesday Wordplay: Game On

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Now that I'm officially moved in with my boyfriend, I watched a lot of football this year. Raised in the steel city, I'm a 'lers fan. But, living in Wisconsin for over 3 years now, the Packers have admittedly grown on me. Let's face it, any team symbolized by an enormous cheese-shaped hat can't be that bad. So, I decided to round up some football terms that initially tripped me up for this week's Wednesday Wordplay. That way, even if you aren't a football fan, you can still go forth to playoff/Super Bowl parties emboldened with sports jargon knowledge. It's worth going for the buffalo chicken dip and guac, trust me.

Pick 6 - This term apparently also has lottery and horse racing implications, but let's ignore those. A "pick"in football is the exact same thing as an interception (aka a turnover when the defense catches a pass thrown by the quarterback). My whole childhood, everyone said "interception." I, personally, said "intersection" - but I was close. Then, suddenly and inexplicably, everyone around me started calling them "picks." Picks to me are synonymous with screens in basketball, which have nothing to do with catching or defense. Alas. A pick 6 is an interception that is returned by the defense for a touchdown (which is worth 6 points.)

Wide Out - This is the exact same thing as "wide receiver." It's an offensive position. They essentially run routes and try to catch passes. WHY they need to be called both wide receiver and wide out is beyond me. I tried just calling them all "wides" but, much like "fetch," it doesn't seem to be catching on. So for now, despite my best efforts, one position with two names.

Play Action - This one's tricky (for me). It's when a quarterback fakes a hand off, keeps the ball, and then passes to one of his receivers. It's called a "play action pass" shortened colloquially to "play action." If I were the commissioner of the NFL, I would hereby rename this a "fake handoff." Reason number 432 I'd be a better commissioner than Roger Goodell.

Sack - A more well known term, but the origin of the term is pretty cool. (And if liking word/phrase origins is wrong, I don't want to be right.) A sack occurs when a QB is tackled by the defense behind his own line of scrimmage. There's a couple different origin stories, but most people credit Hall of Fame defensive end Deacon Jones for popularizing this term in the 60s. He claimed that a sack devastated the offense, just like sacking a city devastates the city. Makes me want to watch some Game of Thrones!

*image from Sack of Astapor. (obvi)
Monday Morning Quarterback - this is an idiom I just love. It's someone who criticizes/passes judgment with the benefit of hindsight. Most NFL games are played Sunday (not all! There's also Monday night, Thursday night, and Saturday playoff games), so that's what Monday morning refers to. I just think of a group of guys standing in the break room at work saying things like "I could have made that throw!" Also, the definition is on this wikipedia of sports idioms which is pretty great!

So, there you have it. Five football terms so you can go get your guacamole on and pictures of Rachel McAdams and Emilia Clark because duh. Happy Wednesday!

p.s. Just re-read this Wednesday Wordplay for fun, and now I'm seriously considering a re-read of Tiny Beautiful Things.

My favorite music video of 2014

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

I loved Taylor Swift before everyone loved Taylor Swift (I went to see her open for Faith and Tim McGraw way back in the day! She sung her hit "Tim McGraw" coincidentally. I didn't wait to meet her and get a signed copy of her first CD...because I already had it. Regrets!) But, this year, my lusted-after "favorite 2014 video" award does not go to the world-conquering country-turned-pop star. It goes to Keisza, who you've maybe never heard of, but I can't get enough Hideaway:

And, let's not forget to take a second to marvel at perhaps my favorite video of all time:

Released in 2011, but still unbeatable in my book: Countdown by Queen B.

If you were doing an awards show, what star would Kanye interrupt when you presented video of the year?

12 Things I've Found to Be True

Monday, January 12, 2015

I'm 26 years old, and certainly still have a vast amount to learn about the world. But, I got this book from my sister for Christmas:

And it inspired me to do some quick list-making of my personal life "truths." This is probably the closest I'll ever get to writing poetry, and I am clearly still a far cry from Emily Dickinson. ;) Still, I hope you enjoy:

1. Money doesn't buy happiness.

2. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. But if your grass is dead, it's worth the risk.

3. Almost all magazine pictures are photoshopped (a lot) and in most photos, the girls have hair extensions.

4. Learn to be happy for others; you will be happier for it.

5. You will have very few (if any) life-long friends from high school.

6. Energy is a very attractive quality.

7. You can bite the hand that feeds you if that hand is also strangling you. You'll just need to find another source of food.

8. You likely won't marry your first boyfriend; you probably will think you are going to.

9. The only time you should make yourself seem dumb is when you are playing poker.

10. It's better to have a good outlook than a good hair day.

11. Forgiving other people often helps you the most. Grudges are ugly things to carry around.

12. It is much easier to criticize someone else's work than to create something for yourself. It is far more satisfying to do the latter.

What do you think? Any to add? If you liked this list, I encourage you to write your own. It's a nice little reflective exercise (that can easily be done during an NFL game;)

Wishing you a wonderful week! I'll leave you with my favorite "secret" from Brian Andreas' book:

p.s. You may recognize Brian Andreas' name from my Shop Small gift guide, and my general love for his prints, four of which are hanging in my apartment!

Weekly Favorites: Have a hater-free weekend.

Friday, January 9, 2015

I've come to the conclusion that weather apps become obsolete the second anything of interest starts happening with the weather. Social media explodes! It's like that age-old desire to talk about the weather to, well, everyone, is innate in all of us. So, if you haven't heard, it's freezing outside. Which is an understatement. If it was freezing, it be 32 degrees and I'd probably be going for a run outside due to the warmth. It looks like the Madison, Wisconsin high today is 1 degree Fahrenheit!

Photo taken last weekend skiing at Tyrol Basin. Way too cold to ski this weekend!
Might as well just stay inside this weekend, no? Some links to browse through from the warmth of your couch:

2014: The Year in Pictures (Hoping for a less violent 2015)

The heartbreaking attack in Paris is, sadly, a violent start to the year. Vigils held around the world.

We saw El Capitan in Yosemite and it was breathtaking. However, I can't imagine climbing it (and without ropes!) 

What 2000 Calories Looks Like at Restaurants. (Alternate title: the inspiration you need to just start cooking, already.)

For those struggling to write dialogue (just me?): 239 Words to Use instead of "Said"

ICYMI: These 3 instagram accounts are hilarious (and occasionally vulgar): onetwothree

Could this be another compelling reason to loathe group projects?

Amy Poehler and Tina Fey: Everyone's fave girl-mance through the years (They have a movie coming out this year!)

I wrote another Thought Catalog article! On long distance relationships.

Blockin' Out the Haters!!! (Alternate title: The best 5 seconds of your day.)

Just stay inside, T. Note the layer of SNOW on the inside of our window. :)
Happy weekend, friends!

Mom's Meals: Homemade Pizza Crust

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Of all recipes, this easy pizza crust recipe is one I essentially have memorized. Growing up, homemade pizza was one of my favorite meals. Even as an adult (wait, really?),  if there was one food I had to eat everyday for the rest of my life, I'd undoubtedly choose pizza. (All other answers to that hypothetical and highly impractical question are hereby proclaimed incorrect ;)

And, although I've enjoyed trying essentially every pizza place in Madison (Salvatore's Tomato Pies newly opened on E. Johnson being my new favorite!) there's something extra special about making the dough from scratch. And, as I always mention, if I can make it, so can you!

Ingredients (for crust)

1 package dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 ½ cups flour
2 TBS oil
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
A pizza pan with tiny holes (not too big)
Grease for pan

Recommended Ingredients (for toppings)
Tomato Sauce
Garlic, Basil, and Parsley
Shredded Cheese
Any other toppings! (pepperoni, peppers, and onions shown)

What to do:

1 Sprinkle yeast on top of water and sugar in large mixing bowl.  Let sit a few minutes. 

2 Stir in flour, oil and salt.  Beat about 25 strokes. 

3 Cover bowel with towel and let rise in warm place about 15-30 minutes. (You can actually preheat the oven for ~2 minutes, then turn it off, and put covered bowls in the oven while it rises)

After the dough has risen.
4 Preheat oven to 425oF.

5 With well greased fingers, spread dough on a greased pizza pan.  Prick dough evenly with fork.

6 Bake at 425oF in lower portion of oven for about 7 minutes, until crust is slightly brown.

7 Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack.

I recommend trying Penzey's Spices if you haven't!
8 Top with tomato sauce, basil, garlic powder, parsley, shredded mozzarella cheese and other toppings.

9 Bake for about 7 more minutes, until cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

I've had multiple dinner parties where I make pizza crusts and guests bring over toppings - this works out really well because there are all kinds of different toppings for pizza, and guests tend to bring over things I would never think to buy: prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, and tomatoes being some of my favorites. Any other pizza toppings (or crust recipes) I should try? Would love to hear! I'm always looking for excuses to indulge in more pizza.

What Made Me Angry About The Bachelor Episode #1

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

And now for everyone's favorite sport: love.

The Bachelor Season 348* premiered last night {spoiler alert!} and I actually just accidentally watched it (wasn't planning on it), but now I'm hooked for a number of reasons.

1. What was twitter before The Bachelor?
2. What was The Bachelor before twitter?
3. What came first, twitter or The Bachelor?

The world will never know.

*actually season 19.

More than reignite my love of the 140-character insult, the 2-hour premier last night also did something else: it made me rather angry. It started as a slow, subtle anger, buried beneath usual, shallow thoughts that occur on a show that's literally designed for the national judgment of 30 (desperately-seeking-love) girls.

She wore cowboy boots!
She wore a pig snout!
Look at those tattoos!
Does that dress even cover her butt?

And other profound realizations occurred throughout the show, but it was only today when I was chatting with a friend on the phone re: our favorite Monday night sport post-NFL season that it hit me: last night was a pretty offensive episode when it comes to weight/size of women.

Ok, ok, I know, I know, I know, girls on The Bachelor are ALWAYS skinny. Farmer Chris requested skinny girls. That's his preference. I KNOW.

But, still, let's do some exploring of the show. The show wasn't 100% full of skinny women.

There was a group of women from Chris's home town being interviewed as part of the Live audience. They weren't all skinny. Which was fine, but they seemed to be there as an obvious juxtaposition. As if to say "Oh, and as Chris hangs out with super models in a fantasy suite, let's show you what women look like where he comes from." The (obvious) comparison left a bad taste in my mouth. Did those seemingly nice women get the same stylists, hair, make-up, and budget as all the girls on the show did to prep for the evening? I think not.

Chris also made many comments about how few choices he had in Iowa. How his whole life he had "So much time and so few women; and now he had so many women and so little time." Him dissing his Iowa options of women just added insult to injury. (I did live in Iowa until I was 7 after all ;)

Then there was Bo, the only contestant that wasn't thin, whose job was "Plus-sized Model." Bo got about 15 seconds of face time with Chris where she's talking about (wait for it) eating and said of her modeling career, "I gotta keep my curves."

Bo went home rose-less, unfortunately, but I'd like to think she and Chris in real life talked about something other than food. And, I'd like to think you can be curvy, and have meat on your bones, without having to mention it. Like the elephant in the room is your weight, and you must mention that your career depends on it. Don't get me wrong, I'm not blaming the girl. I'm thinking Bo had plenty of things to say that didn't involve her own curves, but when the show got edited, someone thought their conversation needed to be solely focused on addressing her weight.

And, furthermore, when you're selecting girls for this show, I'd like to think you had plenty to choose from who were a little overweight, and maybe had a job that didn't require them to be as such. And maybe had a job other than "model." It's like the producers were saying "Yes, she's big, but she's a model, so maybe she has a chance on this show."

AND I'd like to think that you didn't need to choose 29 super skinny girls and 1 big girl. Maybe you could have an in-between sized girl. A medium sized girl. A very tall girl. A very short girl. I'm not suggesting there's anything wrong with being skinny (I've always been pretty thin, personally, but extra tall), I'm just suggesting that maybe size could just be a little more diversified on this show so girls who don't fit the mold of "The Bachelor contestant" don't feel unnecessarily pressured into fitting that mold.

I think women of all sizes can "find love." However, right now, I don't think women of all sizes can find love on reality T.V. The good news is, since I believe really hardly anyone can find love on reality T.V., I guess they aren't missing much.

p.s. This post obviously doesn't even address the total and complete lack of racial diversity. But I guess my point is, this show isn't even showing diverse WHITE girls. It's absolutely homogenous, which, in my opinion, is a very bad thing.