Feb 022022
 

By now, you’ve all heard the story of how Cheslie Kryst, the 2019 winner of the Miss USA Pageant, took her own life. She left a note leaving everything to her mother. She wrote a post saying, “May this day bring you rest and peace.” And then she jumped from the balcony of a Midtown Manhattan high-rise.

I admit to sitting and crying as I read this story. Cheslie was a beauty-pageant winner, a TV news reporter, an attorney and many other things. Cheslie was what little girls dream of becoming and, quite frankly, that’s an amazing list of accomplishments for a 30-year-old woman. But society said it wasn’t enough. Everyone wants to know why. But I think the clues really lie in an essay she wrote for Allure magazine in March of 2021 as she approached her milestone 30th birthday.

Milestone. 30. If that’s a milestone it’s a beginning milestone. And as I’m almost 40 years older than this beautiful young woman, I’m sure my thoughts are very different. In Cheslie’s world, things were very different. Society disapproved.

NOTE: I put Cheslie’s words in italics to distinguish those words from mine. I have complete quotation marks around each excerpt as I’m not sure if these quotes are in the exact order written.

I’m Too Old

“Each time I say ‘I’m turning 30,’ I cringe a little. Sometimes I can successfully mask this uncomfortable response with excitement; other times, my enthusiasm feels hollow, like bad acting.”

“Society has never been kind to those growing old, especially women. (Occasional exceptions are made for some of the rich and a few of the famous.)”

That’s definitely truth up above, but again. . . 30 is old? Really? Society has a lot to answer for.

When Cheslie was crowned Miss USA at age 28, she was the oldest woman in history to win the title. Pageant fans immediately petitioned for the age limit to be lowered.

“A grinning, crinkly-eyed glance at my achievements thus far makes me giddy about laying the groundwork for more, but turning 30 feels like a cold reminder that I’m running out of time to matter in society’s eyes — and it’s infuriating.”

“Society’s eyes.” Society once more. Running out of time? She had her whole life in front of her. Cheslie, you mattered. You mattered in the eyes of your family and all who loved you. You mattered to all of the little girls who watched that pageant and wanted to grow up to be just like you. Your life mattered. Screw society.

Growing Old Is Supposed To Be A Treasure

“After a year like 2020, you would think we’d learned that growing old is a treasure and maturity is a gift not everyone gets to enjoy.”

“Far too many of us allow ourselves to be measured by a standard that some sternly refuse to challenge and others simply acquiesce to because fitting in and going with the flow is easier than rowing against the current.”

Oh, how well I know this one from my own family. Took me way too long to realize there’s no shame in being different. It’s even refreshing in this day and age of cookie-cutter people.

Norms

“I fought this fight before and it’s the battle I’m currently fighting with 30. How do I shake society’s unwavering norms when I’m facing the relentless tick of time? It’s the age-old question: What happens when ‘immovable’ meets ‘unstoppable?’”

Here we go again. “Society’s unwavering norms.” Society. Who IS society? When did it start caring about people? The answer is that society doesn’t care. It just sets a false standard that most are afraid to challenge. Cheslie challenged it. She should still be here fighting the good fight.

Attorney, MBA, Pageant Winner, TV Host – Sorry, Baby, Not Enough

Please keep in mind that this beautiful young woman earned a law degree and an MBA at the same time at Wake Forest University. She was a track athlete in her undergrad years at the University of South Carolina.

“I joined a trial team at school and won a national championship. I competed in moot court; won essay competitions; and earned local, regional, and national executive board positions.”

“I nearly worked myself to death, literally, until an eight-day stint in a local hospital sparked the development of a new perspective.”

“I discovered that the world’s most important question, especially when asked repeatedly and answered frankly, is: why? Why earn more achievements just to collect another win? Why pursue another plaque or medal or line item on my resume if it’s for vanity’s sake, rather than out of passion? Why work so hard to capture the dreams I’ve been taught by society to want when I continue to only find emptiness?”

Cheslie Kryst was the American dream. She busted her ass to obtain the trophy — the degree or, in her case, DEGREES. Isn’t that what we are taught is important? Grab that brass ring at all costs. Who taught us? In some cases our parents, but in many. . . society, but only if you do it when and how they want you to.

Beauty Is Not Always In The Eyes Of The Beholder

Here’s another part of the equation. Cheslie won her title with a “five-foot-six frame with six-pack abs” and a “head of natural curls” while “pageant girls are supposed to be model-tall and slender, don bouffant hair, and have a killer walk.”

“My challenge of the status quo certainly caught the attention of the trolls, and I can’t tell you how many times I have deleted comments on my social media pages that had vomit emojis and insults telling me I wasn’t pretty enough to be Miss USA or that my muscular build was actually a ‘man body.’”

So society taught her she didn’t count because she didn’t fit what the gawkers wanted to see. She was black with black hair. She was shorter than most. She had an athlete’s body. And she was SMART. Can’t have SMART women running around despoiling their beauty, eh? And to add insult to injury, she wasn’t afraid to speak her truth.

She Had An Opinion (SHOCK, HORROR, GASP!)

“Women who compete in pageants are supposed to have a middle-of-the-road opinion — if any — so as not to offend. I talked candidly about my views on the legalization of marijuana, the Trump Administration’s immigration policies, anti-abortion laws, the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett, and the successes and failures of criminal justice reform.”

Cheslie Kryst spent her 30th birthday in her apartment, “parading around in a black silk top, matching shorts, and a floor-length robe while scarfing down banana pudding and screening birthday calls.”

“I even wore my crown around the apartment for most of the day knowing I’d have to give it back at the end of my reign as Miss USA. I did what I wanted rather than the expected.”

“Now, I now enter year 30 searching for joy and purpose on my own terms — and that feels like my own sweet victory.”

And Now Her Light Is Gone

I wish I knew what happened to take that “sweet victory” away from this amazing young woman, why she thought she had no other choice but to jump off that balcony. I pray comfort and peace on all who loved her.

And I call down curses on “society,” this narrow segment of the population who feel it’s my way or the highway — no highway option. Conform or else. Cheslie chose the “or else” and we are all the worse for it. But while she was here with us, she spread her light. We needed that light. Damn society straight to hell!

Society Kills

Society kills. I shudder to think who its next victim will be. Please don’t make it you. If you are struggling with thoughts of self-harm or suicide, please get help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours: 800-273-8255.

The night of Cheslie’s “sweet victory.”

Jan 292022
 

Those of you of an age will know where that title line came from. That lyric came from the musical “Hair” way back when. All of us who were hippies can relate. Hair became the end-all-be-all of both women and men alike. Shampoo, conditioner and specialty product sales went through the roof in the 60s and 70s. And EVERYBODY wanted that streaming, flaxen, waxen hair.

🎵Gimme a head with hair
Long, beautiful hair
Shining, gleaming
Streaming, flaxen, waxen
Give me down to there (Hair!)
Shoulder length or longer (Hair!)
Here baby, there mama
Everywhere daddy daddy
HAIR!!!! 🎶

In The Olden Days

I am a teen of the 60s. You know, the days of Cher and Twiggy, right? I had long hair, but it was curly. I spent my entire allowance on a product called Curl Free, which didn’t really work on me, but hope springs eternal. I wrapped my hair on orange juice cans and slept with the devil’s own headache to get it to flow and not kink up. HAH! Who remembers the pink tape? You used to wrap your hair around your head, i.e. using it as a big roller, and tape it down. So much easier to sleep on but after about 20 minutes my curls were bouncing once again. And we won’t talk about how many times my mom chased me with a hair brush, trying to beat my ass for laying my hair out on an ironing board. Ahhhh yes, good times.

Now I’m an old lady and I would LOVE my curls back. Sadly, due to illness, age and a few other things, my hair fell out. SHOCK, HORROR, GASP!!!! And it’s not only me. While searching for a hair loss group on Facebook, I found an entire world of female hair loss out there!!!! And the wig groups. . . oh my. Some folks like wearing wigs for fun. That’s great, provided there’s something underneath that wig. But for many of us, there isn’t. And therein lies the rub, as they say.

What Society Teaches Us

Women are supposed to have long, luxurious locks. That’s what makes us women, right? Our worth is in our hair. Let me be the first one to call a great big BS on that. It’s just like your size. Only certain sizes and looks qualify to get you in the hottie club. These days, it seems you either have to be a Taylor Swift. . . tall, skinny & blonde. . . or a Kim Kardashian. . . dark, sultry and all T&A. Not one of those? Oh well, you don’t count.

So If You Lose Your Hair. . .

But let’s get back to hair. If you have not experienced hair loss for ANY reason, be thankful. Women bust their bank accounts to zero purchasing products found on the internet or in doctors’ offices that don’t work. Oh, sometimes they do, but most times they don’t. Minoxidil, once a heart drug, is now the holy grail of hair loss. Does it work? For some it does. For many it doesn’t. There are lots of other drugs docs prescribe for hair loss, too. But. . .

Depends on how you lost your hair. Many women lose their hair from chemo. That usually grows back. There are many other reasons women lose their hair. In my research I learned that there are as many kinds of alopecia as there are stars in the sky. They each have their own pattern of loss and other symptoms. Some can be helped, some cannot.

If you’re getting the idea that your hair pattern is a crap shoot, you’d be right. The problem is women are valued for their hair. I’ve seen the stories of women who attempted suicide due to hair loss. I’ve also seen women crowing about weight loss while they have Stage 4 cancer, that they finally lost weight. HUH? Girl, if you have Stage 4 cancer you have more things to worry about than losing weight.

My Solution. . . May NOT Be Yours

Sadly, I’m not immune to all the crapola. I’ve bought more than my fair share of non-working “cures.” I’ve bought tons of wigs, some of which I liked and some which I didn’t and passed on. And then a light bulb went on in my brain and it said, “Cut your losses and shave your damn head!!!!” So one night, while the urge was upon me, I asked my husband to take a clippers to my head. I thought I would hate it. I thought I would cry, scream and hit people. I didn’t. I just went to bed. The next morning I put on a hat and that was that. Pretty soon, the hats started coming off. I don’t wear a wig every day either, although my new “do” sure makes it easier to wear a wig!

The Moral Of This Long Tale Is That. . .

✨Female pattern baldness exists.
✨Alopecia in many varieties exists.
✨Snake oil salesmen are out there because they know how vulnerable women are.
✨There is helper hair out there, sometimes better than your own was.

AND. . . THE BIGGIE. . . YOU ARE NOT YOUR HAIR. . . YOU ARE YOU!!!!

You hair or lack thereof does not make you a subpar woman. What’s inside you makes you who you are. If you’re a POS, I don’t care how gorgeous your hair is. You’re still a POS. People should be accepted for their uniqueness and qualities. Sadly, we’re not. We are a very superficial society. However, I have decided to stop playing. Now I do me. And if you don’t like it, you can look in a different direction. You have lots of choices. Keep it up and you will get my mouth and I warn you. . . I passed Profanity 301 with flying colors in a couple of languages. I may be old, but my middle finger still works just fine.

Beautiful Ladies, you are NOT your hair. You are your brains, your heart, your capacity to love, your inner strengths. In other words, woman, you are the bomb dot com!!!! Please don’t make yourself something less because you are too fat or too skinny or. . . heaven forbid. . . your hair is falling out. That’s the icing on the cake that is you. And the cake part of that you is pretty yummy. People need to take a bite of that cake and forget that the icing up top can be fake.

I love my wigs, but bottom line. . . I love ME. I’m a complete woman, with or without hair.

And, yes, that pic at the beginning of this rant is me in one of my favorite wigs.  🙂

And here’s that dastardly song that started all this hair *stuff*. LOL

Jul 242020
 

My email box is overflowing with ad after ad after ad.Okay. I get it. Retailers are in business to sell product and online buying has blossomed during the pandemic. In fact, so many people are buying online that many small-to- medium brick and mortars are closing their doors for good while Jeff Bezos and his Amazon Empire get richer and richer. Sad, but the way it is right now. And just like everyone else, I’m shopping online more and more. These retailers send me emails. LOTS of emails. Six or more per day. Why are they bugging the snot outta me? Folks, this is email marketing gone wild.

Is Email Marketing Even Still Relevant?

Yes, I believe it is. Even in this day of texts, FB ads and Instagram, there’s still a place for emails. Plus, you don’t have to make the extra click as you do on a text ad to see the product. You can see it right on the email in most cases. Yes, you have to click if you want to explore further, but you can make that decision almost immediately. And everyone checks their emails, right? Don’t you do that first thing in the morning? I do.

The Old Reliables

There are reliable companies like L.L. Bean. One email every other day, maybe every day if they’re running a hot sale. No “Hey, you forgot this!!!” No “Why are you not buying? Do you hate us now?” None of that. Just an email a day or every other day pointing out something they think I might like or that’s on sale. And I can deal with this. I even like it. They are a good, reliable retailer with quality products, fair prices and fast delivery. And they don’t bombard me with useless emails!!!

The Repetitive Emails

I subscribe to a lot of stores because, buying online, I want the best deals possible. I don’t mind one email a day with features and special purchases. In fact, these emails are welcome. BUT SIX TO TEN A DAY? Cut me a break!!! I had to ditch one place that sent one every single hour on the hour for 24 hours straight. Do they really think this “pester marketing” is going to win them loyal customers? They must.

The Reminder Emails

It used to be if you looked at something but didn’t purchase, a day or two later you’d get an email saying it was available if you were still interested. Nice. Friendly. Non-intrusive. And if you were lucky, they’d offer you a small discount to go and complete your order. Now? Within an hour (sometimes minutes) after looking at something, I get, “Hey, did you forget this?” or “This is yours, right?” or “You left this in your cart!” And if I don’t go purchase the product more emails come in a regular progression throughout the day. To answer the questions they feel they must ask, “No, I did not forget this” and “No, it’s not mine as I haven’t bought it” and “No, I didn’t leave it in my cart. I don’t want it.”

The Guilt Emails

The ones that really get me are the ones that attempt to hang the guilt. . . on the CUSTOMER!!! Again, haven’t purchased in a while. I got one that said, “Why don’t you like us anymore?” And then there was, “Did we do something to make you hate us?” That was a good one, even I have to admit. No in both cases. Maybe I just don’t need anything right now. Novel concept, eh?

The Threat Emails

So I don’t buy something from a company for maybe a week. Then cometh, “We’re going to have to drop you from our email list since we haven’t heard from you.” HUH? Wanna drop me? Go for it! If you hit me with this one I don’t want your stinkin’ emails or product anyway.

So What’s the Answer?

STOP SENDING SO MANY @(&$&)(@*#$ EMAILS!!! Quite truthfully, if you bombard me with 10-12 emails a day, I’m off to a competitor to find that product. You just lost a sale. Do you care? Probably not. How do I know this? HERE COMES ANOTHER EMAIL!!!!

Retailers send you way too many emails to get you to buy something!

‘Wow! I’ve got one from someone I know!’

May 152017
 

My Head ShotPanties, undies, choners, unmentionables or whatever you call them, we all need ‘em unless, that is, you’re a commando type of gal. There are a gazillion styles out there now in all sizes. But if you don’t want granny panties and you’re not quite ready for what I lovingly call butt floss, how do you find something comfortable in between? What follows is a humorous look at my (frustrating) hunt for the perfect panties.

Body Oddities

Due to surgery and stomach muscle removal from a nasty little thing called MRSA, I am plagued with Jabba the Gut and the relatively flat ass I was born with. Therefore, while I don’t quite want grannie panties, hipsters and bikinis don’t work for me. They’re uncomfortable and create more rolls than Pillsbury. However, I do have certain demands for what is under my jeans. No tighty-whities. I was forced into white undies from diapers till I left home. I was taught you gotta be able to bleach “da curse” outta them. Well, I’ve been spayed since 1998, so no more. Now I like ’em wild and colorful!!!

My Preferences

(1) MUST be cotton
(2) MUST be stretch cotton (due to said problem with Jabba the Gut)
(3) MUST have a fairly strong waistband
(4) MUST come all the way up to my waisted line
(5) MUST not need a personal loan from the bank to afford
(6) Did I already say they MUST be loud and colorful? 🙂

The Perfect Panties That Were
My first good panties

These were the Avenue originals I was happy with for years until I found Lane Bryant’s

I found the perfect panties that met all these requirements a few years back at Avenue. And then one day I found an even better version of the style at Lane Bryant. So I started buying them there. I would wait for the semi-annual sales and buy 6-8 pair at a time.

Last year, my body told me it needed to be smaller. I have movement issues and it’s not rocket science to know that a smaller body is easier to move through the time/space continuum. The birth of a very feisty grandbaby to chase brought this home even more. So when I could pull my fave Lane Bryant panties up over my boobs, I happily trotted back to LB for new ones, a size smaller.

And then came the day that I happily trotted back to Lane Bryant to get the next size down. . . only to discover there was NO next size down. “No problem,” says I. I will simply find them elsewhere a size smaller. “HAH HAH HAH,” says the fashion industry.

What I Wanted

These are the Jockeys I wanted for history’s and other sakes, but couldn’t find in a size to fit me

I decided I needed Jockeys.  Growing up, undies were called jockeys in my home. Then I discovered that Jockey isn’t overly fond of fat folk. The largest I found were a size 7. Maybe with stretch, but as they were? Not even with a prescription! I should clarify that they don’t seem to like fat women. Their mens’ undies come in a much wider size range. Oh, and did I mention that a 3-pack is $22.50? So no Jockeys for me. I should note here that I have just discovered that Jockey does indeed make plus sizes. Of course, these cost even more and you have to order them from their website as most stores only carry the smaller sizes.

The Hunt

Finding any type of decent full briefs is a pain in the butt (yes, pun intended). I repeat. . . I will NOT wear white granny panties. Yes, I’m a granny but. . . as previously noted more than once, I like bright colors, a decent fabric and a good waistband. Yes, I am willing to pay a little more for these features. But finding it? Nobody wants my money. . . or so it seems.

First stop, the internet. I decided to search. And search and search and. . . . well, you get the idea. Yes, my searches were specific. I would put in “stretch cotton ladies briefs” and would get. . . microfiber panties, nylon panties, bikini panties, hipster panties, the aforementioned butt floss and on and on and on and on. Did you not notice, Google, that I said stretch cotton briefs? And I thought you were my friend. 🙁

Hours were spent at Walmart, Target, JC Penney, anywhere they sold ladies underwear here in Lower Cowpie Heaven. As my old ones were wearing out and/or falling down, I needed something fast. I should note here I tried a variety of specialty undies, different fabrics, cuts, etc., just in case I could fudge my standards a bit. Nope. Didn’t work.

What I Got

So I finally decide I have to buy something and pick up a package of el cheapos at Wally’s. They were high cut but it was all I could find in the size. They were very, very thin and as see-through as a sheet of Saran Wrap despite their bright patterns and colors. Actually, they fit well, but I am not a gentle old lady by any means. I tend to yank things up and down and the waistband tore on the first wearing. Oh well, they’re tucked away for when I forget to do the wash. I should note here for those who can wear them, there is a new brand at Walmart, Target, etc. called Fit For Me that are wonderful. They start at size 9. I would have adored these a few years ago.

Next came Fruit of the Loom. Good ‘ole reliable Fruit of the Loom. We hunted. We searched. We damn near threw packages of underwear on the floor looking for the correct size. Finally, my husband spotted a package that said “briefs” and not “modern briefs,” code for just try to get these puppies up above your belly button! The Holy Grail lives! Well, all I can say is that they are somewhat better than the first ones. Nicer fabric, softer. But. . . they are much larger in the size than the first batch and still see-through thin. And a few bucks more per package.

The one-offs. I have purchased singles in a variety of places, all very disappointing. Had I found one that fit all my requirements, I would have gone back and purchased every pair in the store.

My woman within panties

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner! For now, these fit the bill from WW

Catalog to the Rescue

While perusing the Woman Within catalog for my first blog review, I thought I saw something in the panty pages. I thumbed right by. Then I went back. Surely, it couldn’t be. . . BUT IT WAS! The same kind of  (yes, by all that is holy, it said stretch cotton briefs!!!) panties I had purchased at Avenue and Lane Bryant. And wonder of wonders, they came in a size smaller than what I had! A coupon made them reasonable, shipping included, so I placed an order. Panty heaven, at least for now.

How About You?

What style undies do you prefer? Why? Where do you get them? Help an OBH out here, K?

See ya next time!

BTW, I am not affiliated with any of the companies featured here. I put the links in for your convenience should you decide to check ’em out. 🙂

Aug 282015
 

Pic of Zendaya from her instagramThe magic of social media has brought us many great things, like the ability to keep in almost constant touch with family and friends. Sadly, it’s also brought out a whole load of people who should seriously be seen and definitely NOT heard. Cyberbullying has become a problem of epic proportions. People hide behind a keyboard and say things they’d never ever dream of saying to someone’s face. It’s ugly.

Fans of Dancing With the Stars will remember last season’s champion, Rumer Willis, tearfully recalling how she was called vile names in the press because she was not as pretty as her mother, actress Demi Moore. She related how all three of the daughters of Moore and Bruce Willis had terrible, hateful things said about their looks. It should be noted that Rumer has a body that some would kill for; however, she doesn’t have the face to go with it and, therefore, she is open to criticism and hate. One must have it all in Hollywood, right?

The latest instance of internet hate came to light this morning, once again, via the beautiful and talented Zendaya. What can you call Zendaya out on? The former Disney star and all around fantastic performer doesn’t leave much to criticize. So. . . . they went for her parents. Her parents? Oh, yeah.

Zendaya is the daughter of Claire Stoermer, who is white, and Kazembe Ajamu, who is black. They are teachers, both very tall and. . . . shock, horror, gasp!. . . don’t look like Kardashians or whatever is thought to be beautiful today (and which could easily change tomorrow). One photo was captioned, “They made a gorgeous ass child lol.” That was one of the nicer ones. Most called them ugly and one tweeter ever went so far as to say he or she “would cry” if his or her parents looked like Zendaya’s.

Zendaya loves her parents and her parents love her. They were in the audience every single week as she danced on DWTS, cheering her on. They have been with her every step of her journey, even giving up good careers of their own and moving so their baby could have the best. Here’s what the lovely (and smart) Zendaya shot back at her parents’ detractors.

“While you’re so concerned about what my parents look like, please know that these are two of the most selfless people in the world. They have chosen to spend their entire life, not worried about trivial things such as looks and insulting people’s parents on Twitter, but instead became educators who have dedicated their lives to teaching, cultivating and filling young shallow minds.”

She followed this up with, “Please, log out, go to school, hug a teacher and read a textbook…and while you’re at it, go look in the mirror and know that you too are beautiful, because such hateful things only stem from internal struggles. Bless you.”

I say, “Right on, Zendaya!” Her parents did indeed make a “gorgeous ass child.” What’s more important, though, is that they made a smart child with her priorities in the right place and a good dose of common sense.

And this isn’t the first time Zendaya has come under criticism. Zendaya wore her hair in dreadlocks for the Academy Awards last February and Fashion Police’s Julia Rancic took exception to it, saying that Zendaya’s hair must have smelled of “patchouli” and “weed.” Zendaya came back on that one, too, and quite respectfully put Ms. Rancic in her place, garnering an apology. You can read that beautifully-crafted response HERE.

Something I’ve often wondered. . . where is it written that the internet gives you permission to make fun of people for whatever you feel is the issue of the day? Zendaya and Rumer Willis live in the public eye so it’s right out there for all to see. But what about all the everyday people that suffer these slings and arrows daily? Do they fight back? I’m sure some do. What about the ones who keep getting trashed and hide? And what about the ones who do the unthinkable? And for what? Someone else’s opinion of them?

Folks, if you stop and think before you shoot your mouth off in public, try and do the same before you get a case of diarrhea of the fingers online. They used to say sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me. NOT TRUE. Words hurt, and oftentimes more than physical blows.

Can we start showing just a little bit of class out there?

QUOTE SOURCE:  People magazine