Monthly Archives: February 2013

Three cheeries.

Hi there, fancy folks! (Wall down, wall down!)

Look like all that DDPing led to some good karma, because I just landed a full-time gig writing and editing in the service of a certain domestically inclined former inmate (hint, hint). BITE is alive and well, but my presence around here may be sparse while I ease back into the 9 to 5 routine. We all know work-life balance is not my strong suit (pregaming the gym, anyone?).

In the meantime, I wanted to get Britney’s bald head off the top of this page, because I’m feeling anything but desperate at the moment. So in the spirit of health and happiness, enjoy some organic cheeries on me:

The cheeriest.

Because organic weepies are out of season, ya hurd?

What’s got you feeling fresh and excited?

Dance-perate times.

On a scale from one to Britney, this week is 2007.

Me.

I know I’m not supposed to flaunt my disasters on The Internet, so while I think we passed propriety when I decided to talk about excrement, I’mma stick with second-person narrative today. Just know it’s been one for the books. Or blogs, I suppose, once the wounds aren’t so fresh. I’m okay, but I think the universe is trynna give me some perspective. Oh, universe. Always trynna.

I’ve been chanting clichés like it’s my job. All’s well that ends well! Stop comparing your behind-the-scenes to everyone else’s highlight reel! Funnily enough, tweeting these vague, “inspirational” statements actually was my job when I worked in women’s empowerment. I’m not big on quotes, myself – I’d prefer that my words derive their significance from me alone – and I’d sooner turn to YouTube than Chicken Soup for the Soul. Because when you’re minutes from losing faith in humanity and yourself, you don’t want to hear that tough times don’t last, but tough people do! You want to do the adult thing and pour whiskey into a bottle of Mike’s Hard Lemonade. At 11:42am.

And dance.

Somewhere amidst my high highs and low lows, I perfected the art of the Desperate Dance Party (henceforth referred to as DDP). My DDP habit saw me through heartbreak, all-nighters, heartbroken all-nighters, and more Jason Derulo choruses than I’ll willingly disclose. This is The Internet, after all. I have a reputation to uphold. (Ridin’ solo, ridin’ solo!)

Any halfhearted hand jive will release a few endorphins, but not all DDPs are created equal, and nor are the divas who inspire them. Before engaging in any DDP, you must answer a few questions: How desperate am I right now? Do I feel shaving-my-head insane, or just a little bit plastic baggy? Have I taken any mind-altering substances? Is my roommate home? Are my neighbors home? Do I want to punch a wall? Would a person do the trick? Is this a feasible alternative? Just how many bottles of Mike’s do I have on hand?

Once you evaluate, choose your soundtrack, and don’t hold back. Also, lay off the combo high-knees-one-two-punch. That’s my move.

The Emma Aubry Roberts Scale of Dance Party Desperation

Or, Top 40 for those who feel hopelessly, spastically lost in the world.

Level One: Beyoncé. What? you cry, outraged. Beyoncé, at the bottom of this list? Here’s the tragic thing about Beyoncé: Nothing. She’s a perfect specimen with no place in your pathetic life right now. A BDP is a beautiful thing, but save it for Keg night with your gurlz.

Level Two: K. Perry. Do you ever feel like a plastic bag? I do, and it’s a specific, schizophrenic strain of desperation. Katy kills it for capital-M Moods where you don’t know what you’re all worked up about, but your teenage dreams have been crushed and you need to do ponies/grapevines/angry bicycle crunches until you feel like a firework again. Go ahead, get hot ‘n’ cold. Unleash your inner extraterrestrial. And next Friday night, do it all again.

Level Three: Robyn. Now we’re talking. If your desperation stems from romantic troubles, “Dancing on My Own” is an obvious choice (see one of the most iconic scenes from Girls’ first season), but don’t underestimate the healing power of “Time Machine” and “Don’t F*cking Tell Me What To Do.” This is some next-level, feeling-all-the-feelings shit. Move your body in ways you never thought possible. Then call your girlfriend. It’s time you had the talk.

Level Four: Gaga. Say what you will about Lady G, but know this: She gets it. She gets caught in bad romances with men named Alejandro (I mean, really?), then puts on her poker face and marries the night cuz she was born this way. Whatever awful, destructive thing you did, Gaga did it first and probably better, so quit whining and just dance. It’s gonna be okay. You’re on the edge of glory. And everyone knows you like it rough.

Level Five: Britney, bitch. Forever stronger than yesterday, no one can dance her way to a comeback quite like Brit. She’s the ultimate symbol of resilience; the queen of white-walled, windowless dancehall glory. Motherhood has only taken her music from slutty to sluttier, and jazz squares to “(You Drive Me) Crazy [The Stop Remix]” are as timeless as mountain climbers to “Womanizer,” which prove no less satisfying than moonwalking in circles to “Piece of Me.” Scream, and shout, and let it all out. Keep dancing till the world ends. It gets better. Your hair might even grow back, too.

* “Starships” gets an honorable mention (I recommend it for those at the Katy level), as does any intersection of Sia and D. Guetta (“Titanium” and “She Wolf ” are the move here). Remember, though, a DDP candidate must satisfy different needs than your Sweaty Gym Jamz and Songz 4 Puttin’ Mah Sequin Topz On (yes, these are real playlists, as are Feeling Sry 4 Myself and ~*~SeXiiTiMe~*~). The juvenile punctuation is optional, but the anguish is not. Work yourself up. Dance your way back. Beyoncé will still be there when you return.

** Yeah, I listen to pretentious indie shit, too. These is desperate times.

And on that note, I’m off to Chicago for a soul-soothing weekend with some of my favorite people. If experience is any indication, Katy, Robyn, Gaga and Britney will still be there when I return. Oh, divas. Always trynna.

Do you DDP? What’s your jam? Your signature move?

The C-word.

Three weeks ago (give or take), between the hours of 12am and 2am (the final window for action), I was hanging out (in bed) with a (not so platonic) friend when a certain C-word escaped his lips.

The kickback was instant. “Don’t call me that,” I snapped.

“But you are,” he protested, sadly watching my lady boner deflate.

You can probably guess which cockblockingly offensive C-word I’m talking about. It was..oh gosh, I don’t want to type it. All right, fine: curvy. As in, Look at that gorgeous, curvy body. Well, I never! How dare you, sir!

Summer 2008. The prime of my curves and the winter of my discontent.

Curvy. The more glamorous cousin of “big boned” and “sturdy” (see also: “appears to consume solid food”). Controversially applied to figures ranging from Lively to Sidibe, the jurisdiction of curvy is as tenuous as it is subtly offensive. Curvy, my ass.

Well. Exactly.

My (not so platonic) friend is right. I’m a small person, but a curvy one. You’ll never catch my jeans hanging off my hipbones; no matter how many miles I run, I’ll always lay claim to a thick-thighed hourgl@$$ shape. And please, know that I say that with appreciative self-awareness. My body works hard for me, and it doesn’t seem to pose a problem for anyone else. I also fall down a lot, so all that padding serves a practical purpose in the end.

And yet. And yet. The C-word awakens a shallow, defensive impulse. While misguided, it makes sense when we consider the many faces of curvy women:

A 70-pound gradient of curves and hair.

From my perch at the far right end of this spectrum, I can look to its Botticellian left and see an attractive girl—albeit one who might be called “curvy” in lieu of less generous terms. Having been on the wink-nudge side of curvy, I find it hard to shake the connotation. To shrink from double-D’s to barely-B’s is jarring; for the two to share a common label seems unequivocally wrong. Put me back in your thin bin, dammit. I was born this way!

But why should I care? Beyoncé is curvy, and I don’t see anyone complaining. Blake Lively is curvy. They’re curvy because their bodies have curves. “Curvy” wasn’t meant to be a euphemism for “fat”; politically correct society has made it one in recent years. While good intentions may drive our use of the C-word over the F-word, what about the consequences for those on curvy’s slighter side? If so-called curviness can lead me to question a healthy figure, is this linguistic revolution really for the best?

I don’t always love my body, but I respect it, curves and all. In my rational mind, I feel no shame about looking like a grown woman who eats. I don’t weigh myself. I care about my jeans size, but mostly because I can’t afford to buy new pants. If I can ignore a number, why can’t I ignore a word? Perhaps semantics carry more clout than we realize. The pen may well be mightier than the scale.

I don’t know what the solution is, and I won’t deny my heightened sensitivity to the language surrounding women and weight. I think “real women have curves” is bullshit – what are skinny women, imaginary? – but “skinny” is a vague and, for me, unrealistic ideal. I’m not a skinny girl. I’m a curvy girl, and I’m fine with it. I swear. Just don’t, you know, say it to my face.

Does the C-word bug you? Why or why not?