No More Inspirational Videos!

Are inspirational videos for women and young girls peaking? Just in the past month, I’ve watched videos from Always, Pantene, Verizon, John Legend, and now Colbie Caillat. (The Elle interview with Colbie is worth a read.) All try to drum up support for female empowerment. I’m not sure why these are all being released around the same time, but I worry that each new video detracts from the effectiveness of others. It’s still a little shocking to see made-up women go au naturel, but less and less so.

Honestly, I find these videos pretty boring. They all start to blend together. I’m not even the most confident girl (growing up as an Asian girl with curly hair will do that to you), but a three-minute video doesn’t really mean anything to me. It doesn’t give me any action to take. What I really wonder is what young girls think about these videos. Does it make them think twice? Does any of it feel familiar? Does it plant a small seed that pays off when they go through puberty or their 20s? Or does it help teenagers feel more secure? Maybe I’m just too jaded and old.

As a consumer and creator of media, I’ve always mindlessly defended “the media.” I don’t like this idea of evil media corporations creating ideals that women squeeze themselves into, but that’s the reality, whether or not people do it mindfully. As an adult now, I know what I’m getting into when I read a women’s magazine or look up workout videos. I know you could critique the purpose behind those things, but I also choose to have faith and find outlets that support my overall health.

I applaud artists and corporations for showcasing females — regardless of their motivations — but eventually I’d like to see more support for men and boys. The male gender ideal is also super complicated. I don’t care if men already have more societal power and opportunities than women do, blah blah blah. They still deserve some messaging that redefines masculinity and tells them it’s okay to be themselves as well.

What Makes Your Heart Sing?

I am just plain tired.

I often say it all started after Daylight Savings. My sleep schedule was screwed up, and I never recovered or felt productive at work again. I woke up late, showed up late, and stayed late. (Even though our hours are flexible, it was late to me.)

But if I’m being truthful, I’ve been tired ever since I started at Credit Karma. I was always working to answer some crazy amount of tickets and I loved it more often than I hated it, but holy eff, that can be exhausting. I never worked for the weekend, but I often waited for the week to pass: “It’ll all be better once this week is over.” “After this month, things will be less crazy.”

And of course, things never - stop - being - crazy.

Binge Eating: I Hate You

I have an eating problem — not a disorder, but it’s still a problem.

I binge eat. I eat when I’m bored. I eat when I’m already full.

I joke about that spring quarter when I got through classes on Ziploc bags of Red Vines. I laugh about how I had to wean myself from polishing off one jumbo-sized bag of Bare Fruit Apple Chips every week or two. (That spree lasted about two to three months earlier this year.)

Last night, I ate straight out of a pint of coffee ice cream when I had already eaten too much pasta for dinner. This led to some of the worst stomach (abdominal?) pain I’ve ever experienced. I laid in bed at 6:30am holding my Kaiser card, wondering if I should call the advice line. I probably got a total of three hours of sleep last night, and I was paranoid, grumpy, and achy all day today.

Ironically, I had been feeling strong yesterday. I did two different workouts and even went out for a brief run. But just because you exercise doesn’t give you permission to eat like a wildebeest.

People assume that petite people like me are healthy. We’re small and seemingly skinny enough. But that doesn’t mean I treat my body well, nor does it mean I can run a mile without stopping or do ten push-ups. (Now that I’ve started lifting light dumbbells, push-ups seem even more difficult!) I’ve been trying to mix up my exercises, but I know I’m still not getting enough cardio, even if I’m carving out muscles I’ve never had before.

I want to say that I’m going to stop snacking altogether now, but I still think about my last Red Vine (I recently picked up the habit again) and my mouth waters. I have little self-control and need to learn how to do right by my body.

I need to learn mindfulness, and this post — for whatever it’s worth — is my one tiny baby step towards that.

GRAAHHH

I hate you, HTML. I hate you so hard.

Hanging on the couch all day with Kiba.

My brother and his girlfriend spend a lot of time and energy taking care of Kiba, who has anxiety and allergy issues, so I got called in today. Reminds me of parents with newborns :P

One of my favorite moments was reading with him curled around my legs, sleeping. Every time I tried to move away because my butt had fallen asleep, he’d lean in. No wonder people love dogs.

Mindy, Oh Mindy

It was the holiday episode of The Mindy Project that reeled me in. Danny’s red glasses, his smooth moves, even the cringe-worthy man trap business: all of it made me laugh out loud — a rarity.

I was hesitant to jump on board during the first season. Mindy Kaling was loved by everyone, so naturally I hated her for no reason.

But dammit, she was hilarious.

Soon after, I moved out and my TV schedule immediately expanded, with all the freedom I had. I started watching The Mindy Project regularly to erase the sour taste of New Girl from my mouth. 

Even now, I still struggle to describe the show’s appeal to me. I don’t typically go for the career woman in arrested development angle. But my best attempt would be because of its sharp honesty cloaked in one-off lines. The wittiness and delivery feel like an after-thought, as if this is just how these characters happen to talk in real life.

A paraphrased example after Charlie accuses Mindy of taking $20 from his nightstand:

Mindy: I earned that money.

Charlie: You’re talking about yourself like you’re a prostitute. Stop that.

Mindy: I know, I really need to stop.

(This isn’t even the best exchange, but it’s fresh.) Mindy says a lot of inappropriate things, but she isn’t trying to be inappropriate, and she makes me feel like it’s OK that I think those things too (not the prostitute example, specifically).

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(Image Credit: Ralph Hockens)

Like all of the shippers out there, how could I not enjoy last night’s finale? (Spoilers ahead!)