Archive | January, 2014

It’s Goin’ Down, Just Got a Tinder!

31 Jan

Lies, I’ve had tinder forever.  Also SR’s interpretation of our blackout song de jour, Timber.

Today, I’ve got literally nothing for ya.

Here is a hilarious video about 2 of my favorite things: Tinder and Disney Princesses.

Enjoy! xx

The ‘True Love Tester’ (and no, it’s not a BuzzFeed quiz)

30 Jan

A Japanese lingerie company has come up with a TRULY revolutionary idea, ladies: a bra that only unhooks when the lady wearing it is truly in love. Sensors inside the cup detect the level of Romantic Feelings based on your heart rate, send them to a smartphone via Bluetooth (still don’t understand what that is) and only if the romantic feelings are genuine does the bra open.

You can (and should) watch the promotional video for this product – a promotional video that presumably cost a legitimate corporation more than 4 yen to make:

So, I have a few questions.

1. First and most obviously, what if it’s every Friday night and I want to sleep with a guy I have zero romantic interest in? This is a design flaw. Don’t the Japanese have, say, back burner bros or boring nice guys for whom one, unfortunately, must sometime unhook one’s bra? Can I trick the thing into unhooking? Is it like faking an orgasm?

2.  The video makes it appear that the bra unhooks in the presence of True Love no matter what. Like you see at the end when it just pops off the mannequin? So like, what if it’s every day of my life and I’m in the presence of a guy on whom I have an unrequited crush and the thing just…does its thing? Oh my god. Is this what it’s like to be a guy and get unwanted boners at awkward times??????

3. It would appear that this device does not function without a smartphone. What if I am Lady Gaga in Just Dance and I lost my keys and phone? Will the app realize that I am somewhere far away from it and oblige by unhooking my bra at the right time? This all assumes, of course, that the situation in point #1 does not apply and that I have left the phone at the club in order to go hook up with someone for whom I feel True Love. But if I’m that wasted then let’s face it…it’s probably a stupid rando and we’re back at square 1.

I will say that the general idea behind this contraption seems like it has potential. It’s like a coat that you can only unbutton when the computer chip determines that you really aren’t cold anymore. Hey, that’s not actually such a bad idea. (Will my stone-cold heart fool it into thinking I need to keep the coat on?)

The Skinny on Being Normal

29 Jan

By now, most of you have heard of Aerie’s campaign to use “Normal” girls as their underwear models. These girls’ bodies are not photoshopped and shown just as they are naturally. The standard praise and typical backlash has thus followed over the past few weeks. My opinion? Great marketing, bro!! I think it’s smart to show girls how bras will fit them based on the size they actually are, and not just how the model looks wearing it.

I’m not writing to discuss the pros and cons of using plus sized vs normal sized vs thin sized models in advertisements. They each have their place. I believe it is society’s job to give every girl the self-confidence they need to appreciate a healthy body type – wherever that may fall. However, something I saw on facebook troubled me a little bit.

My cousin, who yes, is quite overweight, and is not aware that I’m writing this, or even that I have a blog, posted the following status: “I think it’s great and all having models that are not stick thin, but please stop calling them “Plus Sized”. I haven’t seen one that is above a size 12. The average size in America is a 16. So, really, it’s just “Normal Sized”. Which, is great! But I think “Plus Sized Model” should start where they do in stores-a size 20.”

First thoughts? I somewhat agree. A size 8 (or whatever) model shouldn’t be considered “Plus” because that is generally a perfectly healthy body type. People don’t look at you as a “size”, they look at you as a person. But even so, studies have shown that a size 16 is not necessarily a “healthy” average to be at. (Yes, I do understand that it depends on the individual.) But on top of this, I was more-so bothered by a comment she later posted on this status: “It’s very disappointing and I don’t want anyone growing up in this. It’s just getting worse AND FAKER. Which is ridiculous because we’re getting bigger.”

This is where I really started disagreeing. I don’t like “excuses” when it comes to how you look. Sure, there are cases where you simply can’t help gaining and losing some weight. But most of us have control over what we put into our bodies and how active we choose to be. Since coming to DC, I’ve noticed that I have become less healthy. As a result, I’m trying to be pro-active by living a better lifestyle. So don’t for a second think I will use the excuse of what’s “normal” to justify increasingly tighter pants…

We live in a world where there is fat shaming, unrealistic role-models, and low self-esteem. And let me be clear… I am NOT promoting any of that. However, we also live in a world where “average” can be synonymous with overweight. Did you know that women’s waistlines have grown 6 inches over the past 60 years? People assume that this new normal is not a cause for concern. Just because those around them are heavier, that must mean it’s okay for them too. Shouldn’t we start changing this mindset?

Because we’re getting bigger”… This downright bothers me. I’m not ignorant to the growing obesity rate (especially among children) in this country. And the excuse “because we’re getting bigger” is at least partially to blame. I’m not saying you can’t eat a bag of M&M’s, a Twix, and a German Chocolate Brownie one afternoon, because Hi, I just did! But know your body’s limits! I can snack like a champion, and I love binge eating cheese, but I am also quite aware of the benefits of an active lifestyle and healthy foods. You shouldn’t wake up one day, realize you’re 10 lbs heavier, sigh and say,”No big deal! I’m still below the average size!”

I love confidence. I love that women have increasing confidence in their bodies. But there is a line that we are treading dangerously close to crossing. Beauty encompasses all shapes, sizes, and looks – and everything in between. And every girl, no matter what size dress they wear, should feel that they are beautiful – Because they ARE. But it is integral to promote a healthy lifestyle to all of these beautiful women. This need far exceeds just “looking good”. The whole reason this topic has me fired up is not because I feel we should be cookie-cutter people – it’s because I want us to live longer, and healthier. When we promote health (not looks), we can also start cutting back on heart problems, diabetes, cholesterol, etc. There is such a thing as being “too fat”, just like there is such a thing as being “too skinny”, and each come with their own line of problems. Most importantly, there is a thing called self-control. And I think America needs to start remembering that.

America is getting bigger. We’re getting more and more unhealthy. And the excuse that this is the new normal is only going to make matters worse. I’m not saying we should all look like models, or professional athletes… But we should be more aware of what is happening around us. We need to promote a different kind of normal: Simply put, a healthy one – which will bring so much more life and confidence to girls. Because what can be more beautiful than that?

Not Tonight or Not Ever?

28 Jan

By now it’s evident that I have strong thoughts about sex and the role it plays in relationships. I can’t speak confidently on the role of sex as part of the fem-lib movement or other similar movements, as I don’t want to speak with such a lack of education (book recs being accepted though!). But we’re more liberal about sex, we’re more adventurous and carefree. I don’t intend to comment on the sanctity of sex (as I don’t particularly feel strongly about it) but it should be noted that the socially accepted norm has shifted from waiting until marriage to the three date rule.

Anyways, the point of this preamble is to discuss a very important topic that relates to us. Us who? We’re in our 20s, living in an urban environment with active social lives and even more active professional lives. We are probably dating and not thinking about moving in with someone, yet.

My friend Mackenzie has been dating this guy, James, for a few months now. She’s introduced him to her friends and is attempting to incorporate him into our bigger social circle. They live within the district, not too far away from each other and both work really hard. I asked her how often they see each other. She says they spend on average three nights together a week.

They haven’t had sex in a couple of weeks. He’s just too tired, she got back too late, they fell asleep watching a movie. There are plenty of reasons. And I get it; sexual drive is certainly not constant across individuals. But what happens when there’s ZERO desire to just get on top of someone and fool around, given that precedent was set differently? There’s a dynamic shift in the relationship.

I guess the thought is that there are a couple of primary components to the relationship I’m stereotyping: the friendship and the romance (by the way google defines romance as “a feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love” – I’ll be ignoring the definition of love at this point). Traditionally, we look (though perhaps without realizing it) for a friend in a partner but who makes us excited “in the biblical sense” or whatever. These components are not always or usually balanced: one will dominate the other. Personally, I let the romantic component play the primary role, and usually don’t let the friendship ever develop.

Like my friend Mackenzie, I’ve now been seeing a guy for a few months. I’ve kept him much more in the fringe of my social circle than Mackenzie did with James, mostly because I don’t know how to incorporate the two, but also because I am not particularly keen on the idea of him being everywhere my friends and I are.

I’ve started to notice that a couple of times, I’ve thought consciously “ugh” when making sleepover plans. I have a theory. Because of the time we’ve been spending together and because we’ve been getting to know each other better, the friendship component is starting to develop and compete with the romantic component. It’s also becoming apparent that if we were just friends, we wouldn’t be friends.

But I refuse to have a sexless sleepover. One: because I like sex. But two: because it keeps the sex from taking a backseat to friendship. I mean, in the end, the sex is still good, once we get around to it. I like to think that I have fabulous, strong, lasting relationships with my friends and therefore, I don’t want or need another friend. I want a lover that can provide what my friends can’t: intimacy, romance, and sex.

And so, as long as I have my 20-something stamina and my family pack of rubbers, I’ll be making it work every. single. time. Because if I’m going to end up with another friendship and occasional sex, I’d rather not have to also share a bed with that person.

Cold-hearted? Yes. Do I care? No.

To bake, or not to bake?

27 Jan

by Capitol Jill

Inspired by Betty’s opus on gender politics in the office, I thought of another example of the gender issues and office relationships, something that comes up in my office at least once a month, and which I have had several conversations about.

Baking.

Or really, is it OK to bake for your colleagues?

This might seem like a really easy question on the surface. No one is going to say that baking for others is a bad thing, certainly. But does it play into the idea that women are better at cooking? That women should be responsible for making cakes and brownies for birthdays, while men are not expected to help at all? Will I be looked down upon if I bring in a cake? Will I blow my shot at the corner office if I make muffins?

These are real concerns.

Personally, I love baking for my friends, because I like to make other people happy, and I enjoy baking. The benefit of taking these things to work is to make your coworkers happy, and also to get the treats out of your house before you eat them all yourself at 2 AM in your pajamas…

Just me?

I had a conversation with one of my female coworkers about a year ago on this topic. Shes excellent at networking and work-related advice, so I really took what she said to heart. I asked her about the idea that baking, or in general being womanly or mothering, will ruin your chances at the “corner office”. (Theres a book about this, Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office. Can’t say I’ve read it, but we’ve all heard about it, right?)

Her question to me was, “what do you get out of it? If it doesn’t benefit you, but could possibly hurt, then whats the point?” Initially this struck me as very self-serving, but I kind of understand what she means. Bringing in sweets that I’ve made just reinforces some gender stereotypes, which I have since seen played out in my office over and over again.

Our office celebrate birthdays, and usually one of the women (often on the all-female admin staff, but that’s another story) bring in goods they have made for the birthday person and everyone to enjoy. Its almost expected — i think that most people in the office have never even helped to plan one of these parties, and certainly not the men. They just assume that someone will bake something, and I honestly can think of only one instance in which a man baked something.

*On a side note, I do find it SUPER SEXY when a man can cook. just sayin’*

Will I get looked down on as a woman, as someone who should work in admin,  and not handle meaningful legislation?

It might be subtle, but I do see that the women who routinely bake get pigeonholed into certain roles and therefore certain careers. I don’t want that.
So I don’t bake for my office. Ever. Is this the right way to handle the situation? I’m honestly not sure, but in a male-dominated field, I can’t concede any territory.

But I do miss baking.

How about you, friends? Do you bake for coworkers? Am I reading way too much into this? Let me know in the comments!

XOXO,

Capitol Jill

Crimes Against Humanity

24 Jan

*please take this with a grain of salt, my loves. these are merely suggestions based on what i feel appeals to humans’ eyeballs. i’m all about making people feel good and helping others, you know?

Have you ever been personally offended by an outfit?

I have.

And let me tell you, it sure doesn’t feel great. Last weekend, I saw so. many. crimes against fashion, I was forced to do something drastic: call Joan Rivers write a blog post about it.

Ladies and gentlemen of DC, why? WHY? Most of us are gainfully employed by people who care very much about their image (if you claim you don’t, somebody’s lying to you honey). Not to mention, most of us are always on the lookout for potential power moves. Ahem, Betty’s post yesterday? All of that being said, why do some of us dress in the most unflattering, terrifying clothing?!

Dressing well is, contrary to popular belief, not always expensive. One of my favorite places to shop is Target (pronounced Tar-jay, a French couture fashion house, obvs). A few weeks ago at Nordstrom Rack I snagged a $648 blazer for $19.99. Yes. A penny less than TWENTY DOLLARS. 97% off. See?

Please allow me to share some of the horrifying things I saw last weekend.

Flared jeans with converse at a party on a girl my age. And I’m not talking Kourtney Kardashian bell bottomed, wide legged jeans, I’m talking the things of Abercrombie & Fitch circa 2004. Homegirl could have so pulled off her converse with a slightly less sugary sweet attitude, a completely different non-Loft shirt (don’t get me wrong, I love Loft, but her peplum didn’t work here), and skinny jeans. Throw on a casual white blouse, skinny jeans, and a studded necklace with your converse?! YES PLEASE!

Fishnet stockings and a too-short, neon, skin tight skirt with motorcycle boots on a 30+ year old. Honey. HONEY. That may look good on your college aged sister, and I’m not saying it looked TERRIBLE on you, because your body definitely can wear a form fitting skirt. Remember that rule from high school where your skirt had to touch your fingertips? Apply that, plus a few inches after college, ESPECIALLY after 30. The boots cut her off in a very unflattering spot. I’m just saying, she had better options and could have looked HOT.

Remember this picture?

I saw way too many girls wearing the same color nude leggings this weekend. They will never look good on anybody. I understand they are popular. They do not look okay. Thank you.

Now, some are opposed to leggings as pants. I am generally not one of those people. Personally, on me, I prefer my Joes jeans legging resembling pants with zipper and pockets, but on some girls, leggings as pants do look good! That being said, don’t push it. Your leggings should not be able to multitask as tights or to go running. (exceptions: bumming around with your girlfriends, a gross grungy hungover brunch). Parties and bars? Pass on the cropped yoga leggings with boots that barely reach, PLEASE.

I’d probably let Belle wear these.

Boys. Boys, boys, boys. Just a few comments for you.

1. Pull your pants up. Is it the 90’s? Is MC Hammer your close personal friend? What about Justin Bieber? No? Then pull them up. If I want to see your underwear, you will know.

2. What do you need all those pockets in your cargo shorts for? Are you building a house after you go to the bar? Aside from the unnecessary space, they are just simply not flattering, and they are very very casual. Please wear them to do yardwork, that is fine. Back away from me at St. Ex if you are wearing them.

3. Sometimes, sneakers at a bar are okay. Most times are not sometimes.

4. The truest crime of the weekend I saw were CARGO JEANS. On a non-European male. I was not okay. I needed my childhood inhaler. And I just don’t know that I’ll ever be able to trust a man ever again.

5. Sometimes men in DC dress phenomenally. Button ups and khakis, I’m lookin’ at y’all.

In sum, dress for your body type, dress for your personality (it’s okay to venture out sometimes! but make sure it still LOOKS GOOD), dress in what makes you COMFORTABLE and CONFIDENT. Don’t show your underwear, and don’t have too many pockets.

Are We Networking, Or…?

23 Jan

Loyal readers will recall that my very first contribution to this blog was a riff on Lean In in which I predicted that none of us would ever actually read it. Well, I read it! And as a result, I’ve been thinking a lot about gender and the workplace.

I work in what you might call a male-dominated field, where it’s only recently that people are becoming sensitive to gender imbalances and making efforts to have more women at the table and things like that. And on a micro level, for my own part, Sheryl Sandberg has really inspired me to take control and to ask for the things I want – both at work and outside the office.

But I’ve also been thinking a lot about weird gender dynamics when it comes to my professional life. I recognize that in a lot of ways I am at a systematic disadvantage. It was just pointed out to me last week that someone very high up at my workplace has been observed to be routinely sexist when it comes to his female employees, and that this has been the case for many years.

However, on a smaller and more personal scale, I’ve found myself a little freaked out by the fact that being a woman seems to be able to help in a male-dominated workplace – in ways that, frankly, I find a little disturbing, because they have nothing to do with merit.

Here’s a list.

(A disclaimer before I begin: by NO MEANS AT ALL am I saying that this is a good thing. BY NO MEANS am I happy that it’s possible to put together this list. Not one bit. Am I benefitting from these weird gender dynamics? Probably. Is it more than offset by years, nay, decades of women having to work twice as hard to prove they can do the same work men can? Almost definitely. And that’s not even taking into account the yawning pay gap that, having only been in the workforce a few years, I haven’t really started to experience yet (it only starts to really affect women the higher they get in company hierarchies). 

No, I’m not arguing that some sort of reverse sexism exists that gives women an advantage, nor am I condoning the possibility that women could derive some advantage from these factors. Ultimately, they don’t, because these things all take place under the glass ceiling that still very much exists. This is  just a list of more trivial observations that have nothing to do with the larger social dynamics at work.)

My list after the jump:

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Review: Brunch at Teddy and the Bully Bar

22 Jan

This past weekend was spent celebrating MLK Day Capital Jill’s birthday in every way possible. Naturally, this included a surprise house party, H street, U street, glow in the dark drinks, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and (of course) brunch. We wanted to try somewhere new, so we made reservations at Teddy and the Bully Bar.

We arrived at noon for a bottomless brunch that lasted until 3:30. A fairly generous amount of time to consume every food item on the menu and at least 10 mimosas and 2 bloody’s. Or at least that was the goal. We aren’t bottomless noobies so we wanted to take it slow in order to avoid the 2:30 vomit feeling.

The atmosphere was lively to say the least – complete with a DJ who played a continuous stream of upbeat music which, although it immediately spiked up our energy, sometimes made it really difficult to hear each other without shouting across the table.


Service… Hmm… the service. I arrived about 15 minutes after the rest of the group, so I missed the initial drink and food orders. However, the waiter, who, I’ll just say it, was a dick, didn’t make his way back to our table for at least 25 minutes. And even after I ordered my first Bloody Mary, I didn’t actually have it in my hands until after 1 pm! Now, I’m fine with paying $40 plus for bottomless drinks and food – but I would like a drink in my hand. Constantly. I am certainly not willing to wait over an hour for my First Drink. And after that, my refills better be more than once every half hour! Needless to say, I put my grouchy pissed off face on… very visibly. Maybe the death stares to our waiter is what changed his tune about how frequently he visited our table from that point on. Because after that, our mimosa glasses never stayed empty for long.

As for the food… it was decent. Five orders of mac n’ cheese around the table, smoked salmon, and BLT grilled cheese certainly do go down well. But I also can’t say that it compares to the incredible food I’ve had at other bottomless brunches, like Agora and Ambar. So I guess I can just say… I’ve had better?

And finally, there’s the people. There were some solid weekly brunch crews that managed to find their way to Teddy and the Bully Bar. Lots of GW grads, yo-pros, and classy ladies in their early 30’s. Particularly, we noticed a table that we simply referred to as “The Beautiful People”. Their hair was perfectly curled and newly trimmed – whereas we wore baseball hats to cover up our hair that still probably had beer particles in it. When they laughed, they covered their mouth with their hands – we broke a mimosa glass 45 minutes in and couldn’t breathe from laughing so hard. They wore Burberry, we wore plaid and leggings. They smelled like Calvin Klein and champagne. Or… at least that’s how I imagine they smelled – I didn’t actually get that close. They were the epitome of bougie brunchers. But that’s what Teddy’s is… it’s definitely a bougie brunch place. Not for the likes of us who want to act a little less formal on Sunday afternoons.

Going Out In College Vs. Going Out Now

Will I go back? Eh. Maybe. But let’s be honest… I’d rather spend less money on bottomless drinks at Southern Hospitality and enjoy their food a lot more. All the while not being privately judged for (maybe too loudly) talking about the British guy’s pimple from the night before.

Belle’s rating: C… unless you wanna bouge it up.

Don’t You Worry Child

21 Jan

by Stacie Smack

One of our very own here at SR pointed me to an article published by the New York Times that celebrates the lessons learned during two decades of what she describes as solitary years.

The short story is that in her 40’s, she takes the leap, moves in with a boyfriend of six months, and eventually is married and relatively happy. She’s obviously now able to look back and see that being single for the majority of two decades was not a only a bad thing, and that this had a lot to do with the success of her current relationship. Huzzah!

I rolled my eyes too at first. But don’t give up yet.

Honestly, her article is pretty fantastic, and you should read it. Unlike everything I write (and Jezebel writes), this article is not about having sarcastic, cynical things to say about relationships or singledom. It’s a relatively charming love story with a fairy tale ending that reminds you that spinsterhood is not your destiny, and that being in a relationship does not mean you’re giving up as an independent woman.

As a 20-something year old who generally has similar thoughts to those mentioned in the article, I appreciate every opportunity that reminds that I’m still a child with so many years of life still ahead of me, and that what’s happening right now is me learning, growing, and becoming The Real Me, or whatever. Just because I read this and this, I should not be writing now as if this is the culmination of my romantic experiences. This is just the beginning of a long, long, journey, and I plan on enjoying it. 

Teach Me How To Tinder

17 Jan

It’s no secret that Tinder is part of the postgrad in DC’s plan to #getlaid after a dry spell. Almost everybody I know has a fantastic Tinder tale to tell.

even mindy does it!

I’m not here to tell a Tinder tale today, no, but I am here to share a fantastic blog (again) called “How to Lose a Guy in One Tinder”. It’s as hilarious as it sounds.

The Many Stages Of Drunk Texting

My personal favorite (trust me, it’s hard to choose just one) is a line Em gives about wanting to date a Jets fan because her dad is a Pats fan and she “really likes conflict.” BSCB warning lights for 1,000 Alex?! Much like our favorite Goldie Hawn Kate Hudson movie, NOTHING detours these guys from [attempting to] going for the gold.

And it. is. hilarious. I may or may not have read nearly every page at work the other day….Happy Friday! Enjoy!

#brohugs