First off, let me just say two words: silly me. S-to-the-I-to-the-double-L-Y me…Back in April 2011, when I wrote this post, I was under the impression that my anxieties about child rearing would somehow subside once I was married. After all, I would be fully committed to the love of my life – a man who happens to be my best friend in the whole world and loves me unconditionally for me (not for the power of my uterus) – and I thought this would provide unshakable comfort in the face of procreation pressures. Not only did I make this faulty assumption, but I also thought our move to Los Angeles would bolster me with the drive to put my career on the front burner and leave talk of children in the dust. However, even in this fitness-obsessed city where mom jeans and birthing stretch marks are considered shameful, I find myself surrounded by more messages than ever that I should be able to do it all – messages that tell me I am defective if I can’t figure out how to be both a successful artist, mom, and sex-pot wife. With these societal naggings conspiring alongside biological urges and ticking clocks, is it any wonder that family planning remains on the forefront of my mind? And, if an otherwise confident, career-oriented person like me is plagued with this anxiety, how on Garp’s green earth is everyone else out there coping with their own cognitive dissonance on the issue of work/life/family balance?
Women In Media
Images of women and infants have permeated human culture since the beginning time – from cave drawings, to the Madonna and Child, to photos of the Material Girl and her very own brood. These images have whispered subliminal messages to me my whole life, but none quite so clear as the recent photos of Gisele Bundchen and her newborn son in Vogue Magazine. These photos basically scream at me (and any other girl who views them for that matter), “Motherhood is sexy, and you are not a real, sensual or whole woman unless your womb bears forth babies.” Perhaps I’m being a tad dramatic and this isn’t exactly the message Vogue was trying to convey, but why would they have renowned fashion photographer, Patrick Demarchelier, capture Gisele bra-less and caressing her own pregnant belly (and post-baby-skinny riding a horse on the beach with a bare midriff) if they weren’t trying to sexify motherhood? Not only does Vogue’s sexification of Gisele and Child stir up an array of emotions and primal urges in me, but it makes my practical side ask this simple question: are airbrushed glimpses of motherhood really what our society needs right now?
Do you ever need help psyching yourself up to conquer the world or just make it through the workday? I know I sure do, and this is one of those weeks when I’d really love to feel as though my life is set to an upbeat soundtrack not to mention feel my to-do lists are capable of being tackled in montage form. Although I have nary a spare second (between plotting a cross-country move, planning a marriage and searching for jobs), my psyche is demanding that I carve out a few hours to indulge in empowering, Motown-pulsing movies tonight. Making the time almost seems like the easy part, however, because very few films of this ilk are actually geared toward my demographic (a.k.a., that pesky 49.76% of the population that is female). While there are thousands of go-get-’em-tiger movies for men (such as, every single “Rocky,” sports movie or war flick), it’s hard to find films about women that get the “you can do it” attitude just right. The few movies led by females often focus too heavily on the romantic stories or don’t pay love interests any attention at all. I used to think the latter was what it took to make a good girl-power movie, but I’ve since changed my mind; negotiating the waters of sexual politics is key to any female’s coming of age, and learning to love yourself with or without a man is a crucial part of becoming a woman. With this in mind, here are my top movie picks for when you want a little girl power in your life…