Tuesday, December 19, 2006

"I need an old priest and a young priest."

Yours Truly had an absolute blast on The Lisa Birnbach Show this morning. Lisa is a very funny lady, and her cohorts at the studio all contributed to a very cool experience. Many laughs were had.

If you'd like to hear me wax philosophical on the nutcluster that is my life, click here! The interview is in two parts, "MISSGINGER1" AND "MISSGINGER2". Enjoy!


Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Color Purple

You Are Grape

You are bold and a true individual. You are very different and very okay with that. People know you as a straight shooter. You're very honest, even when the truth hurts. You are also very grounded and practical. No one is going to sneak anything by you. People enjoy your fresh approach to life. And it's this honesty that makes you a very innovative person.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Fantasy vs. reality



The above photos are the work of a professional retoucher. He's very good at what he does, and his portfolio page should be required viewing for anybody who's ever looked at a beauty ad (that would be just about everyone on the planet).

I work in marketing; photo retouching is part of the business, particularly when you're dealing with clients from the entertainment industry.

I often get calls and emails from both male and female friends, who ask: "Is it true that celebrity photos and beauty ads are always retouched and airbrushed?"

Readers, there is only one answer to that question:


"Do celebrities and models really look like that?"


Can I get an "Amen?"

Readers, gather 'round. I'm going to let you in on something.

I have a friend who used to be a retoucher for a certain skin mag that lauds itself for the "natural look" of the models that it features.

Yeah, right.

Here's the process by which a woman achieves this "natural" look:

1. Model is chosen to be photographed by editors.
2. Publication will sometimes provide breast augmentation prior to the shoot.
3. Model is made up by a professional makeup artist. Hair is done by a professional hairstylist (hair extensions and pieces are often used).
4. Body makeup is applied.
5. Model is shot through a flattering lens, under flattering lighting, by an experienced photographer.
6. Photographs go to retoucher, who trims her waist/increases the size of her (often augmented) breasts, removes cellulite, reduces size of thighs/upper arms, enhances/reduces size of ass (as current trends dictate), brightens eye color, warms skin tone. Much more may be done; for example, a head from one photograph may be stripped onto the body of another photograph for a more appealing result.

And that, poppets, is how to achieve the "natural" look. No woman can do it on her own. An entire team is needed.

Now, I don't think that basic retouching is evil. A mole that looks normal on somebody's face in real life, or in a photograph, will truly look like a mountain when it's blown up on a poster. Digital photography can be extremely unflattering, highlighting every wrinkle, exaggerating undereye bags and whatnot. All those of us who've seen unflattering photos of ourselves and exclaimed, "Do I really look like that?!" knows that the camera sometimes does lie.

So does advertising. Don't forget it! As long as capitalism exists, there will be products to pitch and images to create. Know that ads hope to inspire some cashflow by tapping into your insecurities, particularly if you are female. Never compare your living, breathing self to a sales tool.

Ain't nothin' like the real thing, baby.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Upcoming interview!

Mark your calendars!

Yours Truly is scheduled to be a guest on The Lisa Birnbach Show this Tuesday, December 19th at 11:06am, EST/8:06am, PST.

The Lisa Birnbach Show is a brand new nationally syndicated radio talk show for women. Recent guests on the show include: Robin Williams, Harry Shearer, Director Barry Levinson, Eve Ensler, Joan Rivers, Former Governor Mario Cuomo, Billy Baldwin. Reoccurring contributors are Jamie Lee Curtis, E. Jean Carroll of Elle Magazine and Jane Fonda.

GreenStone Media Network is the first women's national FM talk network by women and for women. Gloria Steinem, Jane Fonda, Rosie O'Donnell, and Billie Jean King are among the founders, investors, and Board of Directors.

That is illustrious company indeed. I'm very excited! I do have so much fun doing radio interviews. I hope you'll tune in; I will update this post in the event of a date or time change.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Random insnanity

Glad I'm not going to her house for Christmas.

Looks like the zombies already got to her brain...

Physician, heal thyself.


And for the piéce de resistance:
The law is not for breaking! Karma will get your sorry ass. Of course, this dude must be one of the world's dumbest criminals.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Q: What does self-delusion look like?

A: This.

Hat tip: Shakespeare's Sister.

What she said.


Friday, December 08, 2006

Bollywood with afros!

Groovy, man.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Ginger presents The 28th Carnival of Feminists

Welcome one and all! I'm honored to host this edition of the Carnival. Readers, some of these posts are downright juicy; Yours Truly is quite pleased, and very grateful to all of the bloggers who contributed such thoughful posts. I'd like to give a special shout-out to Nimue of Recollections Blog, who wrassled some very high quality posts for me at the eleventh hour. That said, dive in and enjoy yourselves!

DISCLAIMER: but of COURSE the illustrations below are meant to be ironic. I may not be able to change negative stereotypes all by myself, but I can and will make fun of them, n'est se pas?


Let's have some laughs straight away! Madeleine Begun Kane of Mad Kane's Humor Blog starts us off right with her brilliant poem, "Ballsy Limerick":
Although males come equipped with two balls,
There are men who ain’t ballsy at all.
Folks with guts are quite rare,
And they don’t need a pair.
In fact, some gals are brimming with gall.

snark scribe is a fairly new blogger whose writings I find utterly addictive. A sample of her acerbic wit can be found in her post, Grim Reality: Some advice for the naive male.

Shakespeare's Sister submits Wicked Witch of the West, a superbly sarcastic skewering of the outdated idea that if it's wearing a skirt, and it dares to enter the political arena, then it MUST be innately eeevil! Shudder.

Shannon over at Egotistical Whining has written Jurimprudence for feminism, a satirical yarn in which she pontificates on the "Murphy's Laws" of feminism. My personal favorite:
The Faux Card Cred Law: Anyone disavowing their various prejudices by using the phrase "I'm not anti-_____, I have _____ friends!" or some variant thereof will summarily lose the argument and be subjected to a vicious fishbeating by members of the group in question. Double fishbeatings will be enforced if the "faux-cred card" is utilized more than once in one argument.

The whip-smart Twisty Faster shows us how it's done with Sod off, God!, in which she explores the supposed "deep human need" for ritual.


One of my very favorite bloggers is Shark-Fu of Angry Black Bitch. In her post Get found... she talks about her volunteer work at a local women's shelter, and how it changed her life:
I had never witnessed feminism in action in my community, working through me and yet still empowering me, until I began working at the shelter. Theory was replaced by reality, rose-colored glasses got new lenses and bullshit was hosed down to reveal the world as it is for many of my sisters. The struggle was made clear to me…my own and my fellow sisters…and we were united through our oppression.

Pamela Taylor at Warped Galaxies shares Men and Women in Islam: Complementary or Equal?, in which she challenges Muslim views regarding traditional gender roles:
People like to see things in black and white, but reality is always, always gray. Thus we like to divide humanity into men and women, rational and emotional, intellectual and instinctive, dealing with the outer world and dealing with the inner world. Of course, the reality is far, far more complex than that.

Kelly Bell from For Whom the Bell Tolls submits Ms. President, in which she examines the unique goals and challenges facing women who want to serve the people, and addresses her dreams for her own daughter.

Marcella from abyss2hope attacks rape apologists and the concept of consent with People Who Refuse To Believe Certain Rape Scenarios Enable The Rape Scenarios They Do Believe. Sound confusing? It's actually very simple. Go read.

Ellee of ProActive discusses whether brothels should be legalized in this post. Like many feminists, I'm torn on this issue. I believe that prostitution is inherently harmful to women. The fact that some men feel entitled to purchase women's bodies makes my skin crawl. However, I recognize that economic, social and class hardships can create a desparation that drives women to rent their bodies to survive. Until certain societal problems are eradicated, the "profession" will always exist. While it does, sex workers should have legal rights and protection. Ellee also submitted a good post about sex trafficking.


Laurie and Debbie at body impolitic submit Where Did That Grunt Come From? an interesting look at how the Planet Fitness gym chain applies a social policy to its members that is directly at odds with the kind of physical activity required to burn calories in the first place!

The goddess Echidne graciously offers The Arid Land Of Politically Correct Debate. I'm not going to summarize this post, but I'll just quote from the article: "Gimme sterility or gimme cunt." Does that whet your appetite or what?! As usual, the goddess delivers.

Ann Bartow of Feminist Law Professors documents the lawsuits of flight attendants who were suspended for gaining weight in her post, Thin Air. Please! If flight attendants were all male, you know they'd be allowed to have beer bellies and ear hair.


Alyx of Mad Sheila Musings asks, "How are women pitted against one another in a woman-hating society?" She counts the ways in this post.

Suzanne at Thus Spake Zuska takes a young engineering student's denial of institutionalized sexism to task with her post, Let Her Eat The Oppressor's Cake:
It is frightening to admit that there might be something to all this. To admit that there might be something that is going to affect your career that is completely outside of your control and that has nothing whatsoever to do with how talented and accomplished you are, that does not respect how hard or how long you work. It sucks. It is much more comforting to pretend that such things do not exist. In that sense, your near-hysterical sense of denial is completely understandable.

History Geek expresses rage at how the gaming industry falls back on tired gender stereotypes when it markets to females.

Marcella strikes again with Empowering Women Or Blaming The Victim. This one really hit home for me; a very good friend of mine was date raped not long ago. After a night of drinking, she passed out, waking up to find her date penetrating her. She told him to stop, which he only did because he couldn't maintain his erection. To my shock, all of her other girlfriends blamed her for what happened, even though she and her date were both drunk, and she was unconscious (unable to give consent). I urged her to report the rape, but she didn't think she would be believed. After all of her closest "friends" except me turned on her, I can understand that. For her own sanity, she decided to write the whole experience off as "bad sex" instead of the RAPE that it actually was. Read Marcella's post - it's amazing.

Speaking of blaming the victim, the Wannabe Indian Punkster sends us What is Essential is Invisible to the Eye, and expresses some righteous vitriol at a very scary precedent set by the Supreme Court in India. A must-read.

Belledame of Fetch me my axe presents Secretaries, a morality tale that examines the ways in which women enforce sexism. Almost all women have experienced pressure to suppress anger, to get along with others, to always be a "good girl." Good girls don't get angry! They aren't selfish! They sacrifice! They starve! They beat themselves up, and then, like true sorority sisters, sometimes encourage their friends and daughters to seek out the same suffering - for their own "good."

Appropriate Aunt from Tiny Cat Pants responds to "Secretaries" with this post, and she has an important question to ask of other women:
Do we really want things to be different or do we just want to be the ones with free reign to hurt whomever we want?


Hugo Schwyzer talks about how men can become effective members of the feminist community through self-transformation.

Laurie and Debbie at body impolitic submit Big Brother is Watching You Pee, which chronicles the hullabaloo going on in Norway over a school rule that boys must sit when they urinate. Laurie and Debbie ask, "Who is enforcing this rule?" Dear readers, I'm not sure we want to hear the answer!

Alan Baumler explores the creepy gender dynamics of ancient Chinese sex advice. "Women conquer men as water conquers fire"...sounds eerily similar to the Christian concept of Original Sin, doesn't it? Watch yourselves, men, or we'll steal your essence! (insert wicked cackling here) Muahahahaaaaaa!

Adam at Daylight Atheism discusses a subject very near and dear to my heart - the harmful effects that organized religions have had on women's rights. He ends with a provocation:
There is only one realistic way to end religion's harm to women, and that is to cut it off at the source: every feminist should be an atheist.

Not sure if I agree with Adam, but it bears repeating that being religious and being spiritual aren't always the same thing.


snark scribe gives all of us singletons some ammo for the "Holiday Inquisition" with this hysterical post.


Natalie over at Heartless Bitches International submits Socialized Stupidity: There IS a Cure!, a fabulous dissection of the societal pressures that obstruct women's progress in math, science and engineering. All too often, young girls are taught that they should start "playing dumb" once they reach puberty:
They don't need to make laws that keep women down and prevent equality. They just have to keep us preoccupied with ludicrous activities that distract us and keep us from learning, improving our brains, developing our physical strength, and asserting our right to equality by simply being there in equal numbers. Unfortunately, too many women are still in front of a bathroom mirror, instead of a boardroom table, or a lab bench.

Nimue of Recollections Blog discusses the common tendency that many people have to refer to adult women as "girls." I'm often guilty of this, but I also refer to grown men as "boys" a lot. Lots of food for thought in this post.

In the same vein, LibraryTavern Liz submits Men and girls and dirty words.

Faith at Feminist Nation offers "...a place for all women and men who have been the victims of male violence - be it physical, emotional, sexual or psychological to discover that they are not responsible for the abuse they have endured and allow them to begin or further their healing." Her blog is brand spanking new, and from the passionate tone of her introduction, I think that we'll be treated to plenty of intelligent, intense posts in the future.

Veronica from Nine Pearls takes on the porn industry. In her post Porn And Not Getting It, she recounts the effect that the ubiquitous "Girls Gone Wild" culture has had on her social life.

stroppybird also explores pornography in Galloway, Portuguese porn and naked Courtney Love... The comments thread is particularly interesting. (WARNING: Post contains a picture that may not be safe for work).


Kate of Babylune has a terrific post up called Covert Motherhood Activism. Like so many women, she is a working mom who struggles to balance career and parenthood. One day, she found herself sans childcare, and couldn't take the day off. She found a creative way to handle the problem...a heartwarming story.

Laurie and Debbie at body impolitic have hit a triple in this edition of the Carnival! Politics and Recovery discusses the concept of disease as social control. Check it:
To say that our agonies are caused by a society that mistreats and frequently tortures us in childhood (not to mention later in life) is not to say that help is not possible. It is rather to say that help which ignores or denies the context of the larger social issues will frequently tend to be both palliative and limited.

Finally, from the archives: LaLubu of Feministe gets a standing ovation for her post, Like a Natural Woman.


I hope you enjoyed my version of the Carnival! Many thanks to Natalie at Philobiblon for allowing me to host. Thanks once again to all those of you who contributed! Please forgive my humble self if you submitted something that wasn't chosen...there was so much to sort through!

The 29th Carnival of Feminists will be hosted by Sandy at the imponderabilia of actual life on December 20th. Be a good doobie and get your submissions in early!


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Today's brain fart

Be wary of a man who wants to put you on a pedestal - he might just want a peek up your skirt. – Ginger

Monday, December 04, 2006

"Mikey likes it" - my 100th post!

Readers, I've been agonizing as to how I would herald my 100th post on this blog. First of all, I can't believe I've gotten to 100 already. Dear readers, the freaktastic roller coaster that is my life is even worse than I thought! (Or better, if you're one of my loyal readers who enjoys my weird little stories). Secondly, I should have known that my 100th post would have dropped right into my lap when I was least expecting it.

I work right next to a mall, which is a genuine blessing-and-curse scenario. On one hand, convenience = good! On the other hand, holiday clusterfuck = bad! Shopping is not my favorite activity; Yours Truly has been permanently scarred by a short career in retail. Fighting screaming children and their (understandably) harried parents just so that I can get in and out of a store is a tad draining. However, I'm not done with my Christmas list, so today I gritted my teeth and ventured out to run errands on my lunchbreak.

It's actually a lovely day here today - in the 70s and sunny. I was enjoying walking through the mall (it's an outdoor), despite the expected crush of shoppers.

While on my way to the Gap, I noticed a pair of dudes staring me down as they walked towards me. You know, the up and down thing. Whatever. I hate the up and down stare, but wasn't going to let it affect the beautiful afternoon that I was enjoying. Maybe they work in retail, and taking inventory is second nature - ?

No such luck; as they passed by, one of them sucked in his breath and said in a low voice, "Oooohh, I liiiiiiike."


What could have drawn their attention? Must have been my button-down men's style shirt and jeans. 'Cause we all know that when a woman covers up, she's inviting that kind of....oh, wait. I guess he was just an ass.

Lordy lord. I had a few quips bouncing around in my head that I could have fired back at him, but I had the sun on my face and the breeze in my hair; an oddly peaceful feeling on a Monday afternoon. I didn't think he was worth the wasted breath.



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