Annie Lennox Is Here, You’re Welcome

I want to be Annie Lennox when I grow up.

Annie Lennox gives zero fucks. You are welcome for her presence. She will sing when she wants to sing and she’ll take the exciting harmony. She’ll dance when and how she wants to.

And you’re welcome.

Bodies, Confidence, Self-Care, Sisterhood

You Look Like Nature

I love this so freaking much.

And this set.

I love any artistic reminder that my body is a part of nature, just as perfect as a planet or a star or the milky way.

I dearly wish that people would view their bodies as they view flowers…

Veins everywhere?



Skin patches? Birthmarks?


hella rad~

Scars? Stretch marks?



Freckles? Moles? Acne scars?


heckie yeah~

Large? Curvy?



Small? Thin?



Missing a few pieces?


handsome as ever~

Feel like you just look weird?


you’re fantastic looking~

Do you think that what makes you unique is a flaw? What nonsense. If you weren’t so specific then you’d be just like everyone else.

I’m gonna get really real on you guys here for a minute. I’m a Jewess with Jewess body hair. It’s something that I don’t do much about, I’d rather turn away guys who are turned off by that (and therefore me), than have to change myself for someone else in a way I don’t even enjoy.

However, as strongly as I feel about it, as much as I don’t intend to change it, I still battle with embarrassment about it every time I have a new partner. Even when a guy tells me he loves that quality about me I have a flash of insecurity about it. I doubt it’ll ever really go away (congratulations Gilette advertising team, you’ve internalized that shame in me forever).

One of my best friends runs the opposite way. She hates having any hair on her body. She actually just got a groupon for lazer hair removal (I should ask her how that’s going). She has the exact situation I prayed I had when I was in high school and starting to get naked with people. Every time we talk about it I get a pang of jealousy. Life must be so easy for her with no shame or fear about getting nakey with someone new.

“I’m really insecure about my labia. Guys have teased me because they’re too big.”

My jaw dropped.

And then I realized that having insecurities about your body isn’t special at all. Everyone has something that makes them feel as embarrassed as your chicken legs make you feel. So you don’t need to get over your insecurity. Try of course, but no need to beat yourself up for failing. Instead, next time you get that feeling think of the things your friends hate about their bodies but which you think are beautiful. And remember that this person thinks your legs are as beautiful as you think Rachel’s hair is.

I just remembered this story; I was seeing this guy who I thought was so cute. Gawky and awkward and smart and smiley. The first time i saw him with his shirt off I found a big scar on his chest. I asked him about it and apparently he needed heart surgery when he was a baby. He told me this story and for some reason imagining him as some helpless beautiful baby made me just want to take him in my arms and cover him in kisses all the more. “That’s so attractive” I said to him with a big smile on my face and a fresh kiss on our lips. The sigh of relief that came out of him surprised me. Who wouldn’t find such a thing sexy?

I’ve also been known to find intense vitiligo and half chopped off digits attractive. What can I say, I like flawed characters.

Lastly, I want to remind everyone that labia come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. There’s no need to make someone feel bad about their completely normal, healthy body. If you are having a hard time loving your large lips check out this tumblr,, it’s sure to make you feel better.

Never change, Beautiful.

Art, Bodies, Confidence, Gender

Objects Can’t Bruise Themselves

Unpopular opinion: It makes me really mad when men are upset by my bruises.

I do a pretty physical job and I’m also pretty clumsy. I drop heavy equipment on my legs, bruise my knees crawling under stages and cut my hands open on aircraft cable. I get hurt using my body to do damn cool things.

And on a number of occasions men have approached me telling me how their biggest pet peeve is seeing a woman bruised or scarred, offering me tips about arnica and whatever other herbal remedies.

It’s not like I don’t know why they do it, they’re bragging about their protective capabilities. They’re anti-domestic violence. Well good on them. Way to clear a VERY LOW BAR.

This has always annoyed me. I get really proud of my injuries. They’re mine. Ask me about them. I’ll tell you the story of how I got them because I’m really cool and I got them doing really cool things.

I take pride in my bruises and scrapes so why should some guy get to have opinions about them? I realized the other day why these comments offend me so much.

If I meet a guy with scars and bruises I’m not going to assume it’s from a domestic spat with his wife. I’m going to assume it’s from something he actively did, snowboarding, dropping a leko on his head, misfiring a staple gun. But when that bouncer sees a bruise on me he also makes the assumption that it’s something done by a man. Because men do the doing.

This bouncer who daily commented on how upset my (well earned) bruises made him even saw me doing my job. He knew it was physical, that I was running around bumping into stuff and yet he still looked at me and thought “A lady shouldn’t be bruised.”

Once again I’m all for men who are anti-domestic violence, but I’m not getting in domestics with my boyfriends, I’m living my life in a world full of inconveniently placed coffee tables. There’s a difference, and apparently some men can’t imagine that.


Dance With Me

Last night I went out to a bar and ended up dancing with some girls I met through work. They’re really lovely and we had a great time.

I’m a person who… tends to make anyone nearby look shy by comparison. Last night that thing happened that always happens. One of these women said she wanted to dance. I said, “Great, let’s go” and stood up. She got all flustered, “Oh, I can’t. You can. There are just so many people.”

I found us a clear spot to dance where we weren’t going to get knocked over or drinks spilled on us, I put our bags in a safe zone and then we started dancing with each other, jumping up and down singing dumb 90’s songs and being utterly ridiculous. And my favorite thing happened. By sheer force of happiness we started a big dance circle. I moved some tables out of the way and we ended up in a game of limbo with some guys nearby.

My new friends looked so beautiful and happy and comfortable. I know I’m an extreme extrovert and sometimes I have to stop myself from forcing my introverted friends to do things they don’t want to do. But when I see people I care about getting to have fun doing something they wouldn’t normally push themselves to do, it is my absolute favorite thing in the world.

Confidence, Dating

Amy Schumer Love

I just marathoned season 1 of Inside Amy Schumer and then thanked my lucky stars that I get to live in a time and place where that amazing piece of media exists.

She is a hot mess in the best possible way, in the way we all are She just has the guts to do it on camera.

She is the queen of that rape joke quality I love. She can talk about “sensitive” issues that some comics trip up on and get offensive with, and she can make you laugh while doing it. She can show us qualities in ourselves that we don’t like without being hurtful. And she told this story at the Gloria Awards and Gala this year.

Right before I left for college, I was running my high school. Feel it. I knew where to park, I knew where to get the best chicken-cutlet sandwich, I knew which custodians had pot. People knew me. They liked me. I was an athlete and a good friend. I felt pretty, I felt funny, I felt sane. Then I got to college in Maryland. My school was voted number one … for the hottest freshman girls in Playboy that year. And not because of me. All of a sudden, being witty and charismatic didn’t mean shit. Day after day, I could feel the confidence drain from my body. I was not what these guys wanted. They wanted thinner, blonder, dumber … My sassy one-liners were only working on the cafeteria employees, who I was visiting all too frequently, tacking on not the Freshman 15, but the 30, in record-breaking time, which led my mother to make comments over winter break like, “You look healthy!” I was getting no male attention, and I’m embarrassed to say, it was killing me.

But one guy paid me some attention — Matt. Matt was six feet tall, he looked like a grown-up von Trapp child, and he was five years older than me. What?! An older boy, paying attention to me? I must be okay. Uff. I made him laugh in our bio lab, and I could tell a couple times that we had a vibe. He was a super senior, which is a sexy way of saying “should have graduated, but needed an extra year.” He barely spoke, which was perfect for all the projecting I had planned for him. We grew up in the same town, and getting attention from him felt like success. When I would see him on campus, my heart would race, and I would smile as he passed. I’d look in the mirror and see all the blood rise to my face. I’d spend time analyzing the interaction, and planning my outfit for the next time I saw him. I wanted him to call. He never called. But then finally, he called.

It was 8 a.m., my dorm room phone rang. “Amy, wassup? It’s Matt. Come over.” Holy shit! This is it, I thought. He woke up thinking about me! He realized we’re meant to start a life together! Let’s just stop all this pretending that we weren’t free just to love one another! I wondered, would we raise our kids in the town we both grew up in, or has he taken a liking to Baltimore? I don’t care. I’ll settle wherever he’s most comfortable. Will he want to raise our kids Jewish? Who cares? I shaved my legs in the sink, I splashed some water under my armpits, and my randomly assigned Albanian roommate stared at me from under her sheets as I rushed around our shitty dorm room. I ran right over to his place, ready for our day together. What would we do? It’s still early enough, maybe we’re going fishing? Or maybe his mom’s in town, and he wanted me to join them for breakfast. Knock-knock. Is he going to carry me over the threshold? I bet he’s fixing his hair and telling his mom, “Be cool, this may be the one!” I’ll be very sweet with her, but assert myself, so she doesn’t think she’s completely in charge of all the holiday dinners we’re going to plan together. I’ll call her by her first name, too, so she knows she can’t mess with me. “Rita! I’m going to make the green bean casserole this year, and that’s that!” Knock-knock. Ring ring. Where is he?

Finally, the door opens. It’s Matt, but not really. He’s there, but not really. His face is kind of distorted, and his eyes seem like he can’t focus on me. He’s actually trying to see me from the side, like a shark. “Hey!” he yells, too loud, and gives me a hug, too hard. He’s fucking wasted. I’m not the first person he thought of that morning. I’m the last person he called that night. I wonder, how many girls didn’t answer before he got to fat freshman me? Am I in his phone as Schumer? Probably. But I was here, and I wanted to be held and touched and felt desired, despite everything. I wanted to be with him. I imagined us on campus together, holding hands, proving, “Look! I am lovable! And this cool older guy likes me!” I can’t be the troll doll I’m afraid I’ve become.

He put on some music, and we got in bed. As that sexy maneuver where the guy pushes you on the bed, you know, like, “I’m taking the wheel on this one. Now I’m going to blow your mind,” which is almost never followed up with anything. He smelled like skunk microwaved with cheeseburgers, which I planned on finding and eating in the bathroom, as soon as he was asleep. We tried kissing. His 9 a.m. shadow was scratching my face — I knew it’d look like I had fruit-punch mouth for days after. His alcohol-swollen mouth, I felt like I was being tongued by someone who had just been given Novocain. I felt faceless, and nameless. I was just a warm body, and I was freezing cold. His fingers poked inside me like they had lost their keys in there. And then came the sex, and I use that word very loosely. His penis was so soft, it felt like one of those de-stress things that slips from your hand? So he was pushing aggressively into my thigh, and during this failed penetration, I looked around the room to try and distract myself or God willing, disassociate. What’s on the wall? AScarface poster, of course. Mandatory. Anything else? That’s it? This Irish-Catholic son of bank teller who played JV soccer and did Mathletes feels the most connection with a Cuban refugee drug lord. The place looked like it was decorated by an overeager set designer who took the note “temporary and without substance” too far.

He started to go down on me. That’s ambitious, I think. Is it still considered getting head if the guy falls asleep every three seconds and moves his tongue like an elderly person eating their last oatmeal? Chelsea? Is it? Yes? It is. I want to scream for myself, “Get out of here, Amy. You are beautiful, you are smart, and worth more than this. This is not where you stay.” I feel like Fantine and Cosette and every fucking sad French woman from Les Miz. And whoever that cat was who sang “Memories,” what was that musical? Suze Orman just goes, “Cats.” The only wetness between my legs is from his drool, because he’s now sleeping and snoring into me. I sigh, I hear my own heartbreak, I fight back my own tears, and then I notice a change in the music. Is this just a bagpipe solo? I shake him awake. “Matt, what is this? The Braveheart soundtrack? Can you put something else on, please?” He wakes up grumpily, falls to the floor, and crawls. I look at his exposed butt crack, a dark, unkempt abyss that I was falling into. I felt paralyzed. His asshole is a canyon, and this was my 127 Hours. I might chew my arm off.

I could feel I was losing myself to this girl in this bed. He stood up and put a new CD on. “Darling, you send me, I know you send me, honest, you do …” I’m thinking, “What is this?” He crawled back into bed, and tried to mash at this point his third ball into my vagina. On his fourth thrust, he gave up and fell asleep on my breast. His head was heavy and his breath was so sour, I had to turn my head so my eyes didn’t water. But they were watering anyway, because of this song. Who is this? This is so beautiful. I’ve never heard these songs before. They’re gutting me. The score attached to our morning couldn’t have been more off. His sloppy, tentative lovemaking was certainly not in the spirit of William Wallace. And now the most beautiful love songs I’ve ever heard play out as this man-boy laid in my arms, after diminishing me to a last-minute booty call. I listened to the songs and I cried. I was looking down at myself from the ceiling fan. What happened to this girl? How did she get here? I felt the fan on my skin and I went, “Oh, wait! I am this girl! We got to get me out of here!” I became my own fairy godmother. I waited until the last perfect note floated out, and escaped from under him and out the door. I never heard from Matt again, but felt only grateful for being introduced to my new self, a girl who got her value from within her. I’m also grateful to Matt for introducing me to my love Sam Cooke, who I’m still with today.

Now I feel strong and beautiful. I walk proudly down the streets of Manhattan. The people I love, love me. I make the funniest people in the country laugh, and they are my friends. I am a great friend and an even better sister. I have fought my way through harsh criticism and death threats for speaking my mind. I am alive, like the strong women in this room before me. I am a hot-blooded fighter and I am fearless. But I did morning radio last week, and a DJ asked, “Have you gained weight? You seem chunkier to me. You should strike while the iron is hot, Amy.” And it’s all gone. In an instant, it’s all stripped away. I wrote an article forMen’s Health and was so proud, until I saw instead of using my photo, they used one of a 16-year-old model wearing a clown nose, to show that she’s hilarious. But those are my words. What about who I am, and what I have to say? I can be reduced to that lost college freshman so quickly sometimes, I want to quit. Not performing, but being a woman altogether. I want to throw my hands in the air, after reading a mean Twitter comment, and say, “All right! You got it. You figured me out. I’m not pretty. I’m not thin. I do not deserve to use my voice. I’ll start wearing a burqa and start waiting tables at a pancake house. All my self-worth is based on what you can see.” But then I think, Fuck that. I am not laying in that freshman year bed anymore ever again. I am a woman with thoughts and questions and shit to say. I say if I’m beautiful. I say if I’m strong. You will not determine my story — I will. I will speak and share and fuck and love and I will never apologize to the frightened millions who resent that they never had it in them to do it. I stand here and I am amazing, for you. Not because of you. I am not who I sleep with. I am not my weight. I am not my mother. I am myself. And I am all of you, and I thank you. [x]


Bodies, Confidence, Self-Care

I’m Perfect, The Garment Sucks

The other day I was shopping with my mom and tried on these overall-shorts things that looked really cute on the mannequin but not so much on me.

And she was like “You need those crazy butt-lift underwear for those shorts.”

To which I said, “My body is perfect, the garment is wrong.”

Lately when I go shopping that’s my favorite line. This garment is not sentient, I don’t have to worry about it’s feelings. It’s clearly not paying attention to me and my needs. it is wrong and a jerk and I have no place for it in my life. It is the weakest link, goodbye.

Bodies, Confidence, Self-Care, Sex

What Gets You Through

Last month I spent some time with a guy I have a bit of history with and he basically told me that while I was very attractive, he likes girls who like to wax or shave, often. And a most miraculous thing happened. I felt nothing. Or, more accurately, I thought, “For you I’m supposed to put in that much effort? Fat chance.”

I didn’t think, “THIS IS SO INCREDIBLY EMBARRASSING!” which is exactly what High School Me would have thought before burrowing under the covers, putting on all her clothes plus a coat and hiding in the bathroom and crying.

I didn’t even think “I can do better” which is what One-Year-Ago Me would have thought.

This interaction was exactly what I had spent my entire post-pubescent life fearing and when it finally happened I felt a strange mix of apathy and self-confidence.

This is the way I like my body and if it isn’t the way you like it then I’m not gonna change it, but you can go find another one. Free country. No judgement. No harm, no foul.

Then I asked him if I could write about this and he said he’d be surprised if I didn’t. Ah, friendship.

Also, this. I know that people are allowed to have preferences about whatever they want. Just ask all the guys I didn’t date because they had short haircuts or perfect tiny noses or a habit of breathing on me, however, health, it’s important.

Sometimes it’s the strangest things that make you get over huge hurdles, or realize that you’re there already.


Fully Aware

This morning my roommate and I were talking about self-esteem and I said sometimes it’s hard for me to imagine truly hating yourself or your body the way some people I know do on a daily basis.

The truth is that isn’t exactly true. I love myself and my body more than just about any woman I know and yet I still have days where I loathe it as much as they do.

But she gave me a great compliment.

She thanked me for being able to recognize that even though my self-esteem might be great other people’s aren’t and that needs to be addressed.

She said that a lot of people with high self-esteem don’t like to talk about the lows. But it’s important for everyone, regardless of where they fall on that spectrum to be able to feel like an important part of the conversation.

May you be fully aware of your beauty inside and out this year and may you stick it to everyone who isn’t.


Bodies, Confidence

A Hairy Chested Tale

Last week I got to know (biblically) someone with a very hairy chest. Like really hairy.

So hairy that he shaved it. Which is really so very much worse.

And I told him so. My skin considers this level of scratchiness unacceptable.

If you’re a guy with a hairy chest, own it.

If you’re a guy with a hairless chest, own it.

The only thing you can’t do is pretend to be the other.

And as the thought went through my head I applied it to myself, because I want to feel that way about my own body.

You can have big breasts or small ones but you can’t pretend they are what they aren’t.

You can have curly hair or straight but faking the other one will always fall short.

Your body is incredible. Bring it here and I’ll show you.