Self Love and Big Lips

Self Love and Big Lips

Mkay. I’m back.

I’d like to say that my month-ish hiatus from blogging is because I was traveling the world to find myself, or to understand the meaning of life. But, truth be told, I was just too conflicted on how to present the topic of this post.

So, I’ll come out with it.

Guys.

I got lip injections.

There.

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Thanks Glam MedSpa!

Overall, I struggled with not how to present this relatively uninteresting detail about myself, rather than if I should. Do I talk about the actual procedure? Meh. Do people truly care that I even had a cosmetic enhancement? No. Probably not. But, the more that I mulled over how to approach my experience, the more it became apparent that I was struggling with my mantra of body positivity, while simultaneously surrendering to society’s checklist of the ideal female body.

I asked myself, can one still promote female body positivity and yet, look in the mirror and want desperately to change a laundry list of characteristics? Do I exist as a contradiction to scream from the crowd that all ladies should love and embrace their bodies? But at the same time, creating a budget to determine how much I would need to save for Botox? Is body positivity and the desire to alter your physique mutually exclusive?

It sure felt like it.

GROWING UP GIRL

Being a girl in today’s world is difficult. Though, society’s beauty demands have been strong since Eve got hungry.

When I was in middle-school, I remember watching the Titanic scene where Rose’s mother, Ruth, laces her tightly in the corset. The audience is well-aware at this point, how disgusted and unhappy Rose is not only in her relationship with Cal, but the expectations set before her for simply being a woman. “Of course it’s unfair. We’re women. Our choices are never easy,” Ruth’s cutting words are a statement to bring Rose back down to reality. Rose turns around and Ruth resumes her motherly duties to ensure her daughter’s waist is as tiiinnnnyyy as it can be…even if it means one of her lungs may collapse.  Rose winces with each taunt tug. I remember thinking . . . I’m so glad women don’t have to wear those things anymore.

Have to. Even in middle school, my mind was already clouded with a version of what an ideal woman should look like. I think we’ve all been Rose at some point in our life. Wincing in pain as we sauntered through the room in heels too small or too big. Relaxing your hair because God-forbid you had to explain what it meant to go natural. Shaving your legs when you were 12 years old because your olive skin contrasts with your hair and girls can be quite mean. Wearing Spanx to hide the ever so slight bit of pudge for an hourglass figure and just. fucking. miserable.

But, we believe we have to.

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rupi kaur can articulate truth so well.

#BOPO

Social media is often criticized for saturating newsfeeds with unrealistic expectations of the female physique. An equally powerful force, body positivity, stands as the hero to combat the narrow standards.

Body positivity is a movement that empowers men and women to celebrate their bodies and appearance and still acknowledging their self-worth. It is the idea that your identity is not associated to how you look. Love who you are, in the body you are in, without hesitation and without apologizing. On the surface, it is a message that seemingly cannot be flawed. It is essentially the millennial reincarnation of “Beauty is what is on the inside.”

Sometimes I really think that branding and marketing is just recycling old phrases and adding a hashtag . . . but what do I know.

The problem with body positivity is that there can be misconceptions and double standards that can result in the movement creating the very feelings it seeks to destroy.

DOUBLE STANDARD

Truth be told, when I had my lips enhanced I received little negativity. At least not to my face. Sure, there were a few people that would look at wide-eyed and say, “Ugh! WHYYY would you want to do that?”

Bitch, because I want to.

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Bitch, because I want to.

I liked the idea of having fuller lips to apply makeup, a passion I enjoy, though not necessarily good at. I believed that a bigger pout would make my narrow face look a bit more proportionate, especially from my side profile.

“But, you don’t need them. Don’t do that. Just accept yourself for who you are.” Says the person that doesn’t know their own hair color since sixth grade.

Here’s the thing. Honest hour. Sit down. We need to talk.

The double standard with body positivity and cosmetic procedures is that there is some judgmental gossiping that can be difficult, yet obvious to spot at the same time. Highlighting your hair and contouring your face is okay but, getting new titties and lip injections is where the line is drawn. If you love yourself and your body, then the areas that you wish to change should be ignored. You just need to chant your way to acceptance. Why is that?

Body positivity has become complicated, especially when you’re trying to articulate and identify emotions that may conflict with the message of body-image acceptance. Branding and marketing unfortunately does not make the conversation any easier, especially when the  underlying messages to women suggests, you should love your body, but really you can’t possibly like the way you look now. You should look like THIS girl and THEN you’ll achieve ultimate body acceptance Nirvana. Now sign up for our monthly subscription for just . . . blah, blah, blah.

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rupi kaur is mesmerizing

We live in a world, despite even the best hashtags, that demands and constructs women must look a certain way, I believe there is an opportunity to champion the core values of #bopo, while not completely condemning those that wish to alter their looks to make themselves feel better.

SELF LOVE AND BIG LIPS

So, I think it is important to expand the idea of body positivity and recognize that a person can very much feel confident with who they are, today, but also have a desire to want to have Kim Kardashian’s ass.

First and foremost, it is a ridiculous expectation that any of us will love ourselves every second, of every day. Some days I put on makeup and I think . . .why did I even get up? Other days, I am sorely disappointed that no one commented on my dress and the fact I gave a shit about my hair. Bitch, I look good! It’s just not possible and it’s not supposed to be.

To be body positive, you have to accept that your appearance and how you feel about how you look is separate from your self-worth as a person.  On the days that you feel like a busted can of biscuits (totes there today) you do not deserve any less respect. How you look does not excuse you to be a dick. Be a decent human and be kind and love others. I think that it is the Bible somewhere.

You can love your body today, and still work toward your goal of losing weight or getting a nose job. The core of this movement is that you should do it for you. No one else. No amount of plastic surgery or Botox will make your relationship better. If your significant other is suggesting you change your looks or they will leave . . .

Hunty. . .

Go ahead and open the door for him/her to leave. Seriously. Do not let someone else crush you to feel powerful.

What another female chooses to do with her own body is her own business. People that live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, remember?

In her book, The Beauty Myth, writer Naomi Wolf explains, “Her love for her body will be unqualified, which is the basis of female identification. If a woman loves her own body, she doesn’t grudge what other women do with theirs; if she loves femaleness, she champions its rights.”

Beyond looks and putting on a bikini when you are larger than a size 8, the body positivity movement has to extend to be more than about looks. Wolf highlights the gap that exists in #bopo today: It has to be inclusive of those that otherwise are marginalized in our society. All bodies should be accepted and that is inclusive of dark-skinned, disabled and without regard to sexual orientation. It is going beyond the narrow focus of media labeling something as body positive, while still discriminating those that don’t meet the standard. It is about inclusively.

Be a champion for another woman. Be a cheerleader for wanting to feel better about yourself. Be an advocate for self-love and self-worth without the toxicity of judgement.

And love yourself too. . .

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Vegas Thirty

Vegas Thirty

Vegas is disgusting. The city smells like a trash can left in a heated garage and people treat the streets like a toilet bowl. It is a shameless place where seemingly, anything goes. Which is good news for the lady wearing a nuncostume half-nun costume and big-fat “X”s on her nips. Imagine the “Best Of” attendants from your recent state fair packing like sardines on the four-ish mile long strip, chugging beer and dressing up. By dressing up, I mean, not really having anything on. By chugging beer, I mean drinking an alcohol-infused slushy at 7 a.m. in the morning and throwing it up near in the Bellagio Conservatory by 10 a.m.

Is that flower arrangement glistening? Um, no, that’s Jimmy’s $12 washing-machine cocktail.

But. Man. I LOVE Vegas.

Seriously. I love the intoxicating lights highlighting the debauchery and strangeness along The Vegas Strip. There is almost like a natural high that hits you when you arrive in Vegas . . . will I win big on the slots? Will I meet “the one” here and get married within 24 hours? Will I meet a celebrity and become BFFs?! Will I be able to drink into oblivion for three straight days without a hangover?

The answer for the latter is always a solid, “no”.

Since my first Vegas trip, at the tender age of 25 (deep sigh for the longing days of youth!) my adventures along The Strip have certainly changed as I have grown older. Comparing my Las Vegas adventures and expectations as a mid-twenty-something to, ((UGHH)), early thirty-something is as interesting as it is hysterical.

Allow me to pull the curtains back and play the Vegas shit show in my 20s and then the less anticipated, straight-to-DVD adventure of Brittany’s Vegas Vaycay 3.0.

The 3.0 is for thirty.   Get it?  Do you get it?

Travel/Packing/Accomodations

Full disclosure: I have never been to Vegas for an event outside of purpose for a bachelorette party. This is both something I am proud about and also disappointed. On my Bucket List is to just go to Las Vegas to enjoy the city on my own terms. You should also know my Bucket List is relatively uneventful, and embarrassing realistic. Y’know… so I can actually cross wishes off….

20s

Pack everything. Do I need 10 pair of underwear? Maybe. Are these heels uncomfortable? Yes! Throw. Them. In. The. Bag. The ease of packing in your 20s is that your wardrobe has not quite transitioned to work-appropriate-only attire. You still have a few sexy, sultry cocktail/club dresses that expose your best features.

Even if you’re second guessing you’re #OOTN, never fear! You’ll be able to compare the eight dresses in your suitcase with the other seven girls…. Because you’re all in the

Same.

Damn.

Room.

That’s right. Vegas is expensive and your broke-ass is sharing the bed, the sofa or even the air mattress Becky packed with a hoard of other women you will probably never talk to again. You figure, why not? It’s not as if we are going to be in the room anyway. It’s Vegas, Baby! But, be sure to make at least one friend on this trip, because you’ll probably need to travel to the airport together at the crack of dawn Sunday morning. After all, you’re just going to go straight from the casino to the airplane. Still drunk. We can sleep when we are dead! VEGAS BITCHESSS!!

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Dirty Thirty in Vegassss

30s

Do I need 10 pair of underwear? Yes. You see… these are my Spanxx that will go well with this dress and if I pull the straps jusstttt taunt enough, goes at least above my knees. But, I have another pair of undies that really smooth out my ass and work better with this other dress….annddd….

Packing for Vegas now is the mid-life crisis that you didn’t anticipate in your 20s. Where the f*ck is that dress that you were a little anxious to be wearing at the last conference meeting because it was a little short? Dammit. . . it has sunflowers on it. Then you look at yourself in the mirror and wonder … why the f*ck do I have a dress with sunflowers on it? Where did you go, sexy, carefree 20-something? Oh yeah, I strangled her with my Yoga pants that I wear to every occasion besides yoga.

When I landed in Vegas and discovered that the waiting bachelorette party was at the casino with dresses and heels, my heart dropped. I sat on the plane thinking how ridiculous those girls must feel to be out of their athletic wear and uni-boob-making sports bra. (It’s comfortable, okay?!!) I thought there was an unspoken agreement that entering age 30 also meant that we were a force that could not waiver against comfort! Dammit! I thought we were a team! Again, I feel like I am missing a lot of these life memos.

(Side note. . . this was at least the thoughts in my mind. Truth be told, the ladies I met on my more recent Vegas trip were hot as hell! See evidence! Dressing as a 30-something is a post for another time…)

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My best friend Brooke at Encore Beach Club

Entertainment

20s

Your objective is to have as much fun as possible in the most inexpensive way, cramming every opportunity for questionable decisions in a very small window of time. Getting arrested is not necessarily on your agenda, but as long as it’s not you, then it makes for a good story.

Sitting at the penny slots and milking the free drinks is an absolute must. You have no money to gamble and only a small amount to spend on drinks, but you know what you do have? Focus. Focus to get as lit as possible.

Pool clubs equal daytime shenanigans that can play favorably into the night when you attend an actual Vegas Nightclub. Both events are elevated beyond expectations in comparison to your pool-bash held at your apartment complex (maybe these only happen in Arizona?) and the local dive bar that happens to play hip-hop or EDM after midnight. In Vegas, it is all about finding the sexiest, co-ed group to take selfies with. Making friends with a promoter is a must! No cover fee and a free cosmopolitan at entry… Done. Sign me up. Make that drink strong-as-hell!

Remember the heels that you packed? Yes, girl. You are going be wearing those and stomping the ground by 3 a.m., looking like a clydesdale horse trying to walk your drunk booty back to the Flamingo. SMH. You swear it was worth it though.

30s

Remember in Lethal Weapon, when Roger Murtaugh says, “I’m too old for this shit”? But at the end, Martin Riggs and Roger decide they are, in fact, not too old for said shit? That’s basically me in Vegas as a thirty-something.

On the first night, my best friend and I stayed out until 2 a.m. in the morning! My 20 year-old self is rolling her eyes right now, but unless you are a mother, 2 a.m. is a foreign time continuum that you speak about like a war story. Those you don’t know question your truthfulness, but you swear 2 a.m. bar hopping happened and you have the battle scars to prove it.

 

But, I paid for it the following morning. Thankfully, at this age, many of the fellow 30-somethings understand and value the importance of comfortable accommodations. Praise the Lord for that because I needed a nap each day that I was there. As I placed my head on a firm pillow, complete with allergen barrier cover..because..#health #comfort #bestrest… I thought. . . “I’m just too old for this shit.”

Rubbing sticky bodies against another in a casino pool, in 99 degree temperature suddenly did not appeal to me this go-around. Thank God we were able to splurge on a cabana at the Encore’s Beach Club. Seriously, get the cabana ladies. The cabana offered freedom to roam around in and out of the sun and dip in the pool as much as one so desired. As I stood on the balcony (judging everyone like I was Tyra Banks on ANTM) overseeing the chlorinated water pulsing from the young’ins dancing to the DJ…all I could think about was how much body fluid was floating around in that water.

Thankfully, my attitude is easy to wash away with a few drinks. One of the great things about being 30, is that your tolerance of alcohol is much less, so if you play your cards just right (see what I did there? It’s VEGAS!) you can get sloshed on a few drinks in half the time compared to you 20s. On the other hand, in your 30s, you have a low tolerance.

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Get the cabana. Worth it.

Clubbing is different. The lines are probably just as long as they were a few years back, but damn if these heels don’t make the wait seem much longer. I’m joking, I didn’t wear heels. I seized the night in flip-flops and would have busted out some Dr. Scholls if I had any. But, damn isn’t it fun to walk through the crowd, full of confidence and better fitting Spanxx and think, “Maybe, I’m not too old for this shit. I can still club! I can still dance the night away!”

P.S….Do people still say, “Going clubbing”? Please let me know. My desire to use relavent language is strong.

Alcohol and Food

20s and 30s

For me, despite my age, my affinity for good food at inexpensive prices has remained unchanged. Unfortunately, Las Vegas is last on the list when it comes to cheap dining and booze. Though I have to say the craftmanship of any cocktail that is set on fire in small, artesian glass is Instagram worthy. I lose much interest when you say it is $16. My frugalness cannot be broken, regardless of age or income.

Dependent upon the group you are with will ultimately determine the restaurant you venture to. Some of them are ridiculously priced and you will have to sell your ovaries when you return home, but for the most part, you will only have to donate plasma to come out even with dining out. Regardless of your age, there is no shame with shoving a few crackers and fruit snacks in your purse to curb the hunger without sacrificing the buzz.

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Living our best lives in Vegas!

The hangover in your 30s is something to be discussed, however. As you near the big 3-0, many notice the recovery time from a night of annihilation continues to increase. Whereas, “the hair of the dog” was well versed and implemented earlier in life, sometimes the idea of starting the morning with a mimosa after a night of Jack and Diet binging makes you gag a bit.

Here’s the thing. Now that I am in my thirties, I am terried to be hungover. It sucks. The headache is horrid and I am running out of first born children to give up so that my recovery is quicker. I stopped drinking much earlier than I would have ever considered in my 20s, because I know that pounding a few more beers or liquor-infused cocktails will just increase the liklihood that I’ll be blowing chunks by 9 p.m. or having to turn the lights off in my office on Monday morning.

Not to say that bottomless mimosas aren’t a blessing from Above! Whether your 20, 25, 30 or 55 . . . always. get. bottomless. mimosas. There is no wrong that can come from that, except when you drink two bottles of champagne by yourself and can’t find your bestie at the blackjack table. That was me. That was me at age 31.

Some things never change.

Departure

20s

Leaving Las Vegas can be a sad moment. Either your rushing to throw all your shit in the bag and get to the airport by 6 a.m., or you feel that you didn’t quite get to enjoy the city because you were too busy hugging the porceline throne. You swear you’ll return and venture beyond the slot machines and nightclubs. Maybe your next visit will be a bit more lowkey and you can actually enjoy the pool club and not the bathroom. But, lets be honest, if you come back under 30, it will be the same wild-crazy adventure….as it should be.

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Cheers, Vegas!!

30s

For me, I was a bit more eager to get to my bed this time. In fact, I ran up to the ticket counter like I was in the Olympics, praying that there was an empty seat on the next flight out. I like to think that it was my Oliver Twist hopelessnes… “Please! Sir! Get me out!” that landed me a seat. . . but it was probably because about eight flights leave a day from Vegas to Phoenix.

As with any vacation or getaway, there is some saddness. I still make promises to Vegas that I know in my heart I’ll never hold up… like… I promise I won’t hoard all the champagne at Drag Brunch next time… or… I promise I’ll lose weight and actually enjoy wearing a dress along the strip. But, I know it’s not true, and Vegas…well she could care less ….

Sin City has a unique way of growing old with you. There is no short of excitment or entertainement, regardless of your age. I hope to enjoy this amazing, filthy, intoxicating city as I get older and make memories that will be just as embarrassing as the first time I visited.

Thanks for reading about my adventures!

-b