To introduce our new vintage online clothing store- Outside the Box Vintage– Maria and I decided to explore the vast urban jungle of my backyard. Using found objects as props we decided to play dress up on one of the hottest days of the year so far this summer. We were melting, sweating, and oh so shiny. Why didn’t we wait another day? We had finally shaken our procrastinating ways and were in determined work mode. This is our feminist take on Vogue fashion shoots.
Today is the day. Fashion Food Feminism is producing a fashion show in Chicago and it’s happening tonight. In January Maria and I brainstormed up the idea to put on a fashion show with vintage clothes and have it be a fundraiser for a new local theatre company, Sankofa, that we are both involved in. The show evolved and now the runway will feature not only vintage, but also clothing from local designers.
It has been a fun, but sometimes stressful production. There is so much work that goes into a fashion show, but at least I was aware going in. I’ve volunteered at many fashion shows, but this is my first time putting one together myself. The hardest task was finding a venue on a very limited budget of zero dollars. However, by reaching out to a few friends I was able to secure an awesome location in downtown Chicago on the roof of the building courtesy of friend and designer Gabrielle Zwick. The location is perfect for enjoying a Chicago summer night and looking out at the lake or the sparkling city.
Being a feminist produced fashion show we want to do things differently. We will be debuting our new vintage collection- Outside the Box Vintage. It is a reminder to ourselves and to others to remember to think outside the box, to challenge traditional thought, and to be free to express yourself. All the designers and vendors are women. The theme for the night is playful and not sexy. I kept hearing the word sexy so many times during the planning of this event and I constantly had to say no we are not selling sex, I want it to be fun and playful. It is important to us to use fashion as a tool to empower women and not cater to the idea of what is sexy.
Another challenge I encountered was finding a local plus size designer. There was only one in the area I was able to find and she was unavailable for the event. It just made it blatantly obvious to me the lack of options available to women who are plus size and want to dress their best.
There is going to be desserts and sangria. I’m excited to try the desserts and the sangria is delicious. It is not going to be the typical runway experience and there isn’t going to be your typical runway. I’m not going to reveal all the details, you’ll have to come and find out!
So I’m inviting you to come join us for a playful summer’s night mingling amongst Chicago’s skyline. Your exclusive view will include a fashion show with the best vintage and local designs Chicago has! Celebrate supporting local Chicago culture and promote diversity. In addition, since it’s Chicago’s Pride Weekend we will be celebrating supporting equality and gay rights. You know you wanna come. You can purchase tickets here.
I have a confession to make…I don’t own any tennis shoes. Not a single pair. So how did I find myself at Self’s Workout in the Park? I volunteered to go and write about it. I was swayed by the thought of exercising outdoors downtown surrounded by Chicago’s beautiful skyscrapers. So, I headed to the event in cut off jean shorts, a casual shirt, and flats. I was going to document other people working out, be an observer of this phenomenon of working out. I could immediately identify who was also going to event as soon as I got off the train. These women were decked out in their lycra and sports bras and power walking as though they were on a mission. They were ready to work out and I was ready to photograph them.
It’s not as if I’m opposed to working out. It just comes in phases or cycles for me. The last time I owned a pair of tennis shoes was in 2009 when I was a coach for Girls on the Run. Twice a week I would meet up with my group of girls at their school and try to get them to run, to move. It was a challenge and I’m worried for kids. Before that college was the prime of my gym time. When a gym membership is included with your tuition and it’s within walking distance it seems more reasonable to go work out. When you live in Chicago and the nearest gym within walking distance is a mile and you have to pay for the gym membership it’s not exactly convenient to go work out.
Instead I just make physical activity part of my routine. I walk to the grocery store and ride my bike as much as I can. I don’t think women should feel pressured to work out so they can achieve a certain look. Working out should be about moving your body for health, because it’s not healthy to be too sedentary. The women at Self’s Workout were there because they wanted to be. They were super excited to be working out. Everything was fun and upbeat. The Laughing Cow and I started a friendship.
Ladies could indulge in facials.
I signed up for a facial dermascan so I could see how much the sun has damaged my skin.
The left side shows blood vessels and growths. The right side show all the sun spots that could pop up. I was advised to protect my eyelids and lips more. I do generally avoid putting sunblock on my eyelids because if I sweat, which I do cause I bike, it burns my eyes.
And I found the lone male that was working out at the park with the ladies.
Maybe next year I’ll own a pair of sneakers and attempt to work out.
For whatever reason, there is a slight misconception in public opinions that masturbation is more of a male activity than a female one. This perception comes from everything from movies and television, to music and literature, and even people’s personal experience. Unfortunately, however this leads to the indirect but still improper suggestion that while men can and do get themselves off whenever they choose, women rely more on their sexual partner to get off. This simply isn’t true. Female masturbation may not be as popular of a topic in pop culture and entertainment, but that doesn’t mean women aren’t doing it. In fact, you may be surprised at a number of studies that indicate that a huge proportion of women admit to getting themselves off on a regular basis – and really, why shouldn’t they?
Look, as you know, having a partner in bed is great. It opens up the possibility of all kinds of sexual sensations and activities that you just can’t gain on your own, whether you’re a man or a woman. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t still generate a great deal of pleasure by yourself. Chances are, you know your body better than anybody, and that also means that you know what kinds of touches and movements get you off best. This is something that you should certainly take advantage of, because women everywhere are doing just that – and because masturbation, while pleasurable and fun, is also proven to be very healthy and relaxing.
Another perk of satisfying yourself now and then is that you can try some things that might be harder or more uncomfortable to try with a partner. For instance, you might consider heading to a sex shop like Adam & Eve, and looking into the various toys and accessories they have available to help you with getting yourself off. Many of these toys can actually be fun with a partner as well, but the majority of them are meant somewhat for personal pleasure.
Again, there is no substitute for the satisfaction of having a good partner in bed. But at the same time you shouldn’t limit yourself sexually, and you are not dependent on anyone for pleasure. Try experimenting with yourself, and try out a few sex toys designed to help you maximize your pleasure. You may be surprised at how much fun you can have getting yourself off, and again, you may find that it both relaxes you and increases your sexual appetite. Pay no attention to the false assumption that masturbation is for men – women everywhere will tell you that couldn’t be further from the truth.
This is the 19th year SELF magazine has been putting on their workout in the park. It is suppose to be a fun filled day of building community with other ladies. A ton of activities will be on hand such as the newest workouts. Ahh, that’s the key word in this activity WORKOUT. I’m not exactly a consistent workout person. I don’t have a daily fitness routine. My workout is made up of walking or riding my bike. I’ve always wanted to find an enjoyable fitness class that I would be able to attend consistently. A class where I could make new friends and look forward to going to. A workout that would help to feel good mentally and physically. I’m sure it exists maybe I’ll find it at the workout in the park.
I’m not a person that likes fast exercise so cardio is out for me. I once attended a ballet boot camp class and almost died. Of course that’s an exaggeration, but that is how I felt during that class. It was the arm and ab exercises that really killed me. I was just not capable of doing half of them so I would just take a break when I needed to. I think that it’s really important to listen to your body and stop when it tells you to instead of feeling pressure to continue because other people may be watching you.
The classes I will definitely not be taking part in at this event are the Rock Bottom, Ab Attack, and Tabura. What is Tabura? The description actually completely terrifies me and assures that it is an exercise I will never take part in. “Inspired by Swahili military endurance and strength training, this class uses kickboxing combos and basic West African dance moves.” Excuse me, but no even though I am curious about the dancing part. I think I will make sure to be an observer, but gladly not a particpator in Tabura.
Dance to me is the perfect workout though! There will be plenty of dancing going on at the park. I want to check out Fly Girls inspired by those girls from In Living Color, it will be bumping to 90s pop music.
There will also be Masala Bhangra inspired by Bollywood and La Blast created by Louis Van Amstel of “Dancing With The Stars”.
Since a balance is necessary to working out there is the Quiet Zone. These classes focus on yoga and pilates. There will be stretching and sculpting. I will be taking the path of least resistance and that means more relaxing and stretching for me. I plan on taking part in Sunrise Salutations since I want to maintain flexibility and increase my strength. Hippie Yoga will be going on, but not that kind of hippie yoga. This is yoga designed to open up your hip area.
What I’m most looking forward to is the pampering and the food samples. Working out is nice and all, but after I like to treat myself. There will be beauty consultations and style workshops. Spa services will be provided-perhaps a mini facial?! And of course there will be give aways and who doesn’t like free things.
If you’re in Chicago this Saturday you should come check it out. It will be held downtown at Grant Park from 11-3. All the details can be found here. What could be more fabulous than working out downtown outside in a park making friends with other fabulous ladies?
So there’s a hot debate going on about vaginal ultrasounds being mandated by the government for any woman seeking an abortion. Here’s the thing that no one has bothered to tell you: vaginal ultrasounds are a routine part of the abortion procedure. Yes, this type of ultrasound is performed at most abortion clinics already. It’s just that Republican politicians are trying to be even bigger jerks by making it seem like they are forcing you to get a “medically unneccessary procedure”.
In reality, an ultrasound before an abortion is a medically necessary procedure. The doctor needs to have the most accurate reading of how far along the pregnancy is. And most doctors get this reading with a vaginal ultrasound. This is standard practice at Planned Parenthood of Illinois. All medication and surgical abortion patients will receive a vaginal ultrasound before their abortion procedure. The pregnancy has to be visible on the ultrasound machine for an abortion to be performed.
Here’s another thing no one has bothered to tell you: ultrasounds are really just guesstimates and approximations on how far along the pregnancy is. They cannot 100% determine how pregnant a woman actually is.
And one more thing you should know. If you choose to do a medication abortion you are required to return for a follow up appointment where another vaginal ultrasound will be performed to make sure the pregnancy has passed. This is the most accurate way to determine that.
I want to share this excerpt from lifenews.com, yes those pro-life people that would call me a pro-abortionist(?). What they have to say here is valid and I always admire intelligence:
“Yet, while abortion backers say having an ultrasound is like getting raped, a 2003 study shows 99% of Planned Parenthood abortion facilities do them beforehand.
Published in the medical journal Contraception in 2003, researchers with the pro-abortion group IPAS, the University of North Carolina, a consortium of Planned Parenthood clinics and the National Abortion Federation surveyed staff at 113 Planned Parenthood affiliates and independent abortion businesses between February and April 2000.
The study specifically concerned the use of the dangerous abortion drug RU 486 (mifepristone) and the survey indicated the drug could be given to women at Planned Parenthood centers and abortion clinics because of vaginal ultrasounds.
Surveying 72 of the abortion businesses that sold the abortion pill to women, the researchers found abortion facilities frequently use vaginal ultrasounds before an abortion to determine the gestational age of the baby or afterwards to determine if the abortion was complete. In fact 99 percent of the abortion facilities surveyed always or sometimes performed an ultrasound in association with the surgical abortion — while just one percent did not.”
So the real question is what are they trying to take our attention away from? The government is trying to pass a law on a medical procedure that almost all doctors already follow…
Snarky Cards! “Brutally Honest Greeting Cards that will crack you the fuck up”. They are hand painted postcards with typewritten sayings. I discovered these awesome cards about a year ago when I was searching Etsy for feminist art work. I was sending out interviews and sadly did not do one with Alisa the creator of Snarky Cards.
What other company makes an abortion card? She’s on to something. I mean what do you really say to a friend? Why not have a little laugh courtesy of snarky card. After your girlfriend’s abortion and at the after party you can present you friend with this. High fives all around-it’ll be a hit.
There are 22 different mother’s day cards. You’re sure to find the right one for your mom. She’s got one for the crazy mom, the bitchy mom, the overprotective mom, the woman who is like a mom to you, the baby mama, and the deceased mom. And I’m sure I missed a few. Check them out they are delightful.
This is definitely the card I would give my mom. This card speaks the truth. I was a lunatic as a child, wild and stubborn. I’m so grateful for my mother and so sorry about what I put her through. I wonder if she would appreciate this card…
This card cracks me up. It seems so sweet with the rose and then bam.
I would not want to be the mom to get this card.
The name of the card is “I love my Dead Gay Son“-so good, adore Heathers. If you’re a gay who has something they want to get off their chest this card may help you achieve that. Put the blame where it rightly belongs.
A touch of whimsy for the enjoyable and delightful mom.
And as an added bonus she’s got a card for marijuana lovers! This is the best card company ever.