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June 15, 2018

I’m writing this in the morning. This seems to be a very good time for me (inbox not open) to be writing. This week I’ve been mindful about how I spend my time and what tasks I put where. Trying to churn out a blog post in the low-slung hammock of the afternoon has not been successful for me, but still sipping on the dregs of my coffee I am finding the words are here! Hello! It’s like being able to use my legs again after an 8-hour car ride. I feel light. Hello again!

  1. Plus Size, Curvy, Fat: How Do We Talk About Size? Racked.  This piece and the one below are from Racked’s Size Conversation package. More great reads there! This is a helpful roundtable conversation about the words we use for ourselves and others, and about how crappy clothes designers and advertisers treat plus size people. For example, they reference this (honestly sinister) move that Everlane did – they used a plus size model to model their underwear, but they don’t sell underwear that would actually fit anyone plus-size. “You know what they’re trying to do? They’re trying to get you, or you, or you, or me, to squeeze ourselves into this XL and then not feel good about ourselves. Because when we get it in the mail and we put it on and we’re falling out of it, and it doesn’t fit the way clothing should fit, we’re like, I need to lose 10 pounds to fit into this underwear that was supposed to be targeted and catered to me, and it’s absolutely not.” And there’s this great quote about hiring people for your marketing team who know what they’re talking about: “You can’t just have our money, without actually listening to us — like for real listening to us.”
  2. Body Positivity is a Scam, Racked. “That these later ads leave out any larger agent responsible for the body image epidemic isn’t a mistake. Dove and its ad agency had picked up on something important in the positive response to its first ad: They didn’t need to take responsibility or propose a solution…The cultural narrative about women’s bodies was so bad that simply identifying the problem would get Dove full credit and move plenty of product, but the urge to talk about a broad cultural problem while refusing to name a bad actor left the blame squarely on the shoulders of the women who had the temerity not to love themselves sufficiently.” This is such a good breakdown of the BS that is modern “body positivity,” which like the self-care movement – is trying to sell you an aesthetic without addressing ANYthing that might be making a girl feel like she needs to care for herself. “Body positivity in 2018 rushes right up to the line between aesthetics and politics but puts not one toe over it.”

    By the way, I saw a ThirdLove bra ad on Instagram the other week that really pushed me into fed up: “A bra so good it’s practically self-care.” No!

  3. The Woman Who Gave the Macintosh a Smile, New Yorker. “The marriage of craft and metaphor” is what Susan Kare calls designing the icons used for original Macs.
  4. When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, Daniel H. Pink. This book has so much good stuff about timing
    and the patterns of your everyday life. I can’t recommend it enough, if
    only for the personally-revolutionizing visualization of a day in
    peak-trough-recovery terms. He also talks about the power of effective
    breaks and scheduling the right kind of work for the right time of day:
    analytical, vigilant work like writing, research, and surgery for first
    thing in the day; admin and rote work for the slumpy, sleepy afternoons;
    creative, insightful work like brainstorming after dinner and into the evening. For most
    of us, that’s the way to make our brain energy and our tasks come into
    harmony. There’s so much more in this book about working in groups,
    harnessing the power of beginnings, and why we like our happy endings
    with a little poignancy. Read this book! (And if you can’t get your hands on it, here’s a summary of some of the most helpful points.)
  5. A New York Times Opinion Writer Shares What She’s Learned About Time Management.
    And related to the above, there are some great practical tips on managing time here. I’m very interested in the idea of not being on the internet during my prime writing times. Also: “When you’re trying to decide between several options, pay attention to which one energizes you and which one makes you feel tired just thinking about it. (I learned this from a life coach, Janet Orth.) This isn’t always feasible; practical factors can intrude and there are things you must do. But it’s worth weighing the “energy” factor, too. Even as a grown-up, it’s okay to choose the option that seems like more fun.

Bonus features:

  • Free Hand Embroidery Patterns. Cool resource for some free embroidery patterns, along with free knitting and cross-stitch at the link. Needlework is definitely on my list for learn-to-do. Maybe it will be this winter’s hobby? I’m glued to my sewing machine this summer.

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