the modern woman

(the first post in the modern woman series can be read here)
Remember that one time when we traded our body image for our right to vote?
Okay, I have a degree in history, and I know that is not exactly what happened. But it’s kind of what happened.In this post, I would like to pose a few questions. Do you mind? Let us take a quick jaunt through history, if we may. We will start with these women:

photo via
These women you see here, did not have to worry about swimsuit season. By golly, they did not even have to worry about cellulite, or stretch marks, toned legs, back fat, knee fat, ankle fat, fat calves, or flat abs. The only way these women could even know that another woman had less cellulite, or thinner thighs, was if they were in the same room getting dressed together. Isn’t that the craziest thought? A world without half-naked women with “perfect” bodies shoved in your face on a daily basis is kind of hard to imagine, isn’t it?
Sure, there were other things to worry about back then. Like giving birth naturally. And getting the vote.
But, for all the good these women were trying to do, equality, unfortunately, is not dictated by Congress. We may have won the right to vote…but has the way society views women changed for the better?

The women’s suffrage movement began in the late 19th century, and after years of determined campaigning, women finally gained the right to vote through the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, in August of 1920. It was considered a triumph for women, and women were hopeful the world was progressing to new heights.

However, approximately 30 years later, advertising would cause one to wonder just how far we had come in the movement of women’s rights and equality.


And 30 years after that…

And 30 years after that…

I chose this ad because it is nowhere near the more common, racier ads we see in magazines.

 However, as some of you may know, this ad featuring 17-year-old Dakota Fanning was banned from the markets in Britain.

If we only had advertisements to tell us what happened in the United States during the past one hundred years, how would you connect the dots between these photos?

Even with our knowledge of history, how do we connect the dots between these photos? Is this what the leaders of the women’s suffrage movement were fighting for? During the suffrage movement, women argued that men did not value them for their brains, yet, women were not portrayed as objects of sex in advertising. Arguably, that did not start until a couple decades later (at least to the extent women are sexualized today). So now that we can vote, what have we done with ourselves to show that we are self-respecting, competent individuals? And, if it matters, who’s to blame?

I am not saying that women have not done great things for the greater good. I am being critical of society as a whole. I have strong opinions about these things, but I think these photos speak for themselves, and all I am really trying to do is ask questions…

and suggest that if advertising and reality TV are telling young girls that they have to look like this, maybe, we haven’t fixed things yet:

Freaky, life-size, amputee Barbie images aside…for all the good society thinks it has done for women, maybe, we still have a long, long way to go. Thoughts? I would love to discuss.
P.S. Have you seen this?

P.P.S. The beginning of this book has some pretty hilarious things to say about female body image. I laughed out loud in Barnes and Noble. People might have stared. Do you know which part I am talking about?


Eric and I have been loving this beautiful weather, and taking advantage of it whenever we can. We’ve been taking a lot of walks, and he’s been taking a lot of pictures. He is still editing the ones from our nightly visit to the National Mall from a few weeks ago…and those are just my fav. But for now, here are a few of his from Eastern Market and the Capitol.
Happy Thursday to you all….Thunder is going to win tonight!!















I just love, love, love that last one. The colors, the light. Ah!

the mystery of the quotables

“It is better to have a permanent income than to be fascinating.”
– Oscar Wilde 
Ehh…debatable. I don’t see what could be so bad about being poor and fascinating.
Speaking of quotes, here’s something: when I was little, I was reading a book of quotes my parents owned. And being the super discerning child that I was, I determined that people became famous because of their succinct quips about life and such. And not the other way around. 
I hoped one day, that I would say something witty enough for someone to remark, “Well, wasn’t that clever. I do believe your name shall be put into The Quote Book, along side those words you just said. And you shall forever be known as Jenny, the girl who said that clever thing that one time.” And then I’d be set for life.
And yes, there were times when I did think to myself, “That person said that, and they got to be put into The Quote Book? Where do they (the quote judges) draw the line? I’ve said smarter things than that.” It took me a while, but I eventually did solve the mystery of the quotables.
I have since learned, of course, that you are often remarked wise and worthy of repeating, just because you are famous. The world is interesting like that.

I love food, I do.

I did something a little risky tonight. I sort of combined two recipes that looked good (mainly because they used ingredients in my kitchen), and then just went for it and hoped it tasted good.
Guess how it turned out. You combine blackberry jam, balsamic vinegar, chicken broth, and fresh basil, pour it over chicken cooking in the skillet, and let it simmer. Meanwhile, you have rice boiling in coconut milk.
I wasn’t sure about the blackberry jam and basil. The recipe called for thyme.
But the minute it hit my mouth, I knew it was love. Eric even liked it. He is not a picky eater, but you never know with him and fruit.
This is not a food blog, but occasionally I cannot help myself* from sharing my love of the stuff that nourishes. Or grows our thighs. Eric makes fun of me because I am always taking pictures of food. But food is so beautiful! The colors, the textures, the possibilities…it is so ordinary, and we depend on it daily, but it just never gets old. Ever. I might shed a tear over my love of food. I know most of you can relate. That is partly why we are friends.
Speaking of food, I have not forgotten about that give-away I mentioned that one time. Oh, I didn’t mention it was food-related? Well, it is. But don’t rush me. I don’t need the pressure.
*I cannot speak or type the words “I cannot help myself”, without hearing Greg Kinnear in you’ve got mail, when Meg Ryan asks him if “is she a Republican?” It’s this YGM curse (blessing?) I live under.