Thursday, April 18, 2013

Real beauty

Dove has unleashed another "ground breaking" ad in their "real beauty" campaign (going on like, 8 years now?) which features women describing themselves to a forensic artist (separated by a screen) and then having someone who just met them describe them to that same forensic artist.  The two pictures are then displayed side by side to show how warped some women's self-perception is.  The ladies in the commercial (which is like, 10 billion years too long for me) start tearing up and it's all set to swelling pianos and it's kind of the gheyest thing ever, but has totally taken Facebook by storm.

I was talking about it with the Dotytron and he made me laugh so much.  His problems are as follows:

1) The lack of rigorous control mechanisms.  He thinks the women being drawn should be describing themselves in the third person, the way a forensic artist is used to having subjects described.  Hearing someone say, "My face is kinda fat" is definitely going to impact the way the artist chooses to draw the women, versus, "She has a round face."

2) He thinks the person who describes the women "as they are" is like, way too nice.  How come there isn't someone who says, "She has that kind of stank face, you know what I mean?"  LOL!!!  I would DIE if they were described as having "stank face"

My problems:

1) it's a COSMETICS/BEAUTY company trying to sell you more crap.

2) it's SO MAUDLIN and heavy-handed.  The piano makes me want to barf.

3) I can't believe some of those women start tearing up when they see the "difference" between how they perceive themselves and how others perceive them.  I'm just like, uhhh, some people have REAL PROBLEMS, yo.  Get a grip on yo'self.

I just can't even.  But the Dotytron says my critiques are invalidated because it's clearly hitting the target audience in droves - the target audience being the great semi-conscious middle-of-the-road hordes that would buy into something like this acritically.  I am clearly not the target audience, nor would I ever be the target audience.  And because it is causing a social media storm, it's obviously effective at reaching middle America so I guess it's working.  Blech.  We deserve better.

Also: some people have real problems.

It's not helped by the fact that I read an article this week about this woman who was born with a severe facial deformity that meant that she was made fun of growing up and was super-sad because she will never have a family of her own (which probably isn't true, I mean, she could adopt or something) but compared to THAT, I was like, get a grip Dove ladies!

Note: the Dotytron always thinks I extrapolate scenarios to the most extreme unnecessarily.

The bombings in Boston are terrible.  I don't feel like I have to comment here, in this space, because there are smarter people than I talking about this, in much more eloquent ways.  I will say that my sister said that my littlest nephew, Little Big Cuz, caught some of the footage on TV and later said that he was scared.  Poor little guy.  I'm pretty sensitive to what the Big Yam takes in in terms of media.  He and the Dotytron watched Finding Nemo together not that long ago and I wasn't too thrilled about it.  I mean, he's only 2 and a half and we all know that Disney and Pixar love their matricide.  I actually think the themes in Finding Nemo are very adult and not necessarily appropriate for someone who has ONLY BEEN LIVING IN THIS WORLD FOR JUST OVER TWO YEARS.  He doesn't get the pop culture references and I don't think he should.  Even though I loathe Thomas and Friends, I think the pacing of that show is perfect for his age (if he's going to be watching anything at all).  I remember once the Dotytron was watching Twin Peaks when the Big Yam was just over one and it wasn't even a very Lynchian scene or anything, but I made him turn it off.  I figure that you have your whole life to find out that the world is a weird, gruesome, awful, beautiful, place filled with innocence and experience and the later you're exposed to the sturm and drang, the better, I think.

It kills me when the Big Yam asks me: "Are you happy, Mama?"  It just breaks my heart into a million pieces.  I've been saying that I'm not very happy with him when he does something naughty and I want to be more mindful of that and try to avoid that kind of wording.  He just wants me to be happy!  I should be more conscious of how I express displeasure.  I mean, I can't be happy all the time and present a false reality, but I can also be aware of how my words have a disproportionate affect on him.  So when he does something bad, it's not like it affects my happiness per se.  I just have to word it better.

In other news: I FINALLY HAVE AN APPOINTMENT AT THE MULTIPLES CLINIC!  I saw my midwife and the last ultrasound was great.  They're measuring bang on for their gestational age, in the 40th percentile for size/weight, and practically identical in relation to each other.  I passed my gestational diabetes test, which made me happy.  See: that's why I continue to see my midwife even though I've transferred care to an OB.  My OB just says, "everything's great!" and doesn't go into any details, but my midwife goes over the results with me and just all around takes the time.  My OB was like, "I recommend you get an epidural" whereas my midwife is like, "depending on the situation, we can put in the catheter for the epidural but we don't have to administer drugs until you want to or the need arises."  INFORMED CHOICE!  My appointments with my OB are like, 10 minutes long.  My midwife appointments are 30-40 minutes long.  My iron counts are a little low - okay for someone who has had a baby already, and not at the supplement stage, but I need to incorporate more iron in my diet.  NO WONDER I WANT BURGERS ALL THE TIME.  Looking up the top 10 iron-rich foods made me VERY happy.  It's all oysters and mollusks and shrimp and red meat and liver.  YES PLEASE!  More trips to Diana's and more razor clams in my belly!

I met a friend for lunch yesterday and we went to this place called I Went to Philly.  They sell authentic philly cheesesteak sandwiches.  HOOOEEEE.  This was so good!  I got the traditional, which is cheese whiz, onions, and the beef.  Combo'd it with some fries and a ginger ale.  Fries were good - salty and crispy.  The sandwich was tasty as all get out.  The softest bun, the most tender meat, all soused in onions and tangy whiz:

Dinners have been healthful around here, prior to me getting the upping the iron intake edict.  This is a red quinoa and wild rice broccoli chicken casserole.  Kind of like the back-of-the-soup-can chicken divan recipe that's so popular.  This was really good.  I can post the recipe below.

Chocolate pecan pie bars in the not-so-virtuous news.

Last night's dinner was that broccoli rabe (blanched, and then sautéed with garlic and chili flakes), fresh mozzarella, and tomato jam grilled cheese sandwich with a raw kale salad.  Super into the raw kale lately.

Tonight is our inaugural Meat Club experience at Richmond Station.  The organizer of Meat Club has gotten the chef to prepare a special, 4 course, meat-heavy menu for us, consisting of the following:

- charcuterie, made in-house w/pickles, mustards, crackers, beet relish
- station burger on a milk bun w/pickled onions, pommes kennedy
- côte de bœuf w/brown butter hollandaise, mushrooms, fingerling potatoes
- cinnamon buns w/smoked bacon, timmies an"glaze", drunken raisons

Yum!  Can't wait.  A burger AND rib eye in the same menu sounds about right to me (hello iron!)

I'll report back.



Chicken Broccoli Quinoa Casserole
serves 6-8

1 c. quinoa (I used red, but you could use whatever you liked), rinsed
3/4 c. wild rice
2 heads of broccoli, chopped into small pieces (I also am thrifty and peel and cut the stalk into small pieces as well, after cutting off about 1" of the bottommost part)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, roasted in the oven until cooked (you could also use leftover roast turkey, chicken, whatever)
1 can of cream of broccoli soup (I used the reduced sodium kind)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup milk
1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese

- cook the wild rice in a pot of water, until it's done (grains will be al dente but have burst).  If you haven't cooked wild rice before, it's not like cooking regular rice.  Look it up on the internet!  Drain and place in a large mixing bowl.
- in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the quinoa.  When the quinoa is ready, add the chopped broccoli to the pot and blanch quickly.  Drain the quinoa and the broccoli and put into the large mixing bowl with the wild rice.
- cut up the cooked chicken and add it to the bowl. 
- add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and stir so that everything is tossed together and mixed through.
- put it into a 9 x 13 casserole dish (I actually split this up - half in an 8" square casserole and the other half in a square foil brownie pan for wrapping and freezing for a future meal).
- at this point, you could definitely top the casserole with breadcrumbs tossed with parm, or crushed Ritz crackers, or croutons or panko tossed with olive oil and parm if you wanted a crispy topping. I got lazy.
- bake the casserole at 400F with the old, foil on/foil off treatment for about 30 min/20 minutes.  

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