Tag Archives: United States

You’re Like A Suburban Midlife Crisis In America–No Middle Class

peacock mid life crisisHooray! Last week I entered my midlife crisis! No Saturn Return, no Pre-Midlife Crisis, no Late Onset Puberty; I’m talking the exciting big mirror in the aging face “Oh $hit What Am I Doing With My Life” Crisis. I’m at the point where adults finally become mature and live out those inspiring second chance stories that give people hope and aging rock bands one last chance to tour. And since so many people before me have been through it, I know I only have to survive some existential hell for a couple of years until I come to the conclusion that what I really need is to get rid of my old life and start a flashy new one! Problem is that with the middle class going extinct, middle class protégés like myself are finding that we are no longer able to afford the kind of satisfactory crisis that we are accustomed to. While some fear that with the demise of the middle class, motivated stoners and Teva wearing revolutionaries will finally rally to overthrow our current capitalist system, I fear that it will cause my midlife makeover to suck.

Without the same time and resources the middle class once enjoyed, the peacocky crisis we’ve come to know and mock will soon be a thing of the past. Of course there will still be two others available. There is the Rich Man’s Crisis carried out by those in the upper stratospheres of rich. This crisis as opposed to others, does not question career paths taken since the wealthy have always had the money to do whatever they’ve always wanted to do. These enviable midlifers are only subjected to the fear of losing their youth and the promise of impending death. So with a few new spouses (each one younger than the other), Botox shots and some hot sweaty yoga their midlife crisis is complete…ly Zzzzzzzzz.

Then there is the Poor Man’s Crisis, also known as The Struggling Artist’s Crisis. These are the ones who in their 20’s and 30’s did everything people in the other classes of crises try to emulate at 40 or 50. These creative types always dated much younger people but for like-minded conversation not for youth-sucking purposes. They chose day jobs that required little commitment so that they could concentrate on an artistic career that nearing 40 they discover never happened. Tired of living with roommates for 20 years and wishing for a few creature comforts they once scorned (Brookstone foot massagers), these once rebellious folks suddenly question their lifelong misgivings of society’s norms and immediately want to shed all semblance of their nonconformity. Ready to prove that they can succeed in a conventional way, they suddenly work hard to find someone their own age to marry, find a “real” job and settle down by buying a home or a fuel-efficient car in place of the incredibly cool beater or Volvo station wagon they swore they would keep until they died. Even less exciting than the rich, the poor man’s midlife crisis makes me go through another midlife crisis just reading about it.

It is because of the rich and the poor man’s midlife crises that we need to safeguard the middle class. Theirs is the iconic American midlife crisis. They followed the rules for so long they’re ready to break them! With 80’s style self-reflection and real jet-ski consumerist pizzazz, here in the middle you are promised toupees, red hot convertible sports cars, motorboats, cheesy young dates, divorces and the chance to sell that suburban home to buy yourself a downtown loft and finally live like all those cool artist types you stood in line with at the coffee shop and hated on your way to your 9-6-or-more job. You can go out to nightclubs, get college-style wasted on Manhattans and Old-Fashioneds because that’s what you last heard was hip from a temp a few years ago, leave your job in corporate America and make a new small business venture in something cooler like a distillery that makes bacon flavored whiskey with kitschy bacon flavored fruit roll-ups or by making specialty facial hair clips for wine tasters in Napa Valley, then get photographed in Sunset Magazine and show it off to your new family you just made with that temp you met a few years ago in your long-gone corporate job! That my friends, is a real crisis! Something I was ready to join in until I realized I couldn’t.

mid life crisisLike a chubby girl who lost weight but still sees herself as chubby, I like so many others raised middle class, learned that I had been mistakingly considering myself middle class when financially I am nowhere near it. So when my crisis turned up as a 16-year-old me to evaluate what I had made of her life and was unimpressed, I couldn’t escape or hurriedly make things better in a colorful, over-the-top, expensive way. I was sorry to let Young Me know that Now Me can’t just pack up and move my family to Paris or New York and live the life she wanted because I can’t afford to. Instead, the two of us have had to settle for lying in bed to piece together what makes sense from my past, discover what traits hold me back, support the ones that move me forward, take a close look at what’s important, what I want to spend my time working on and how to go about doing it. I discovered that I am part of a new class that is gaining traction in America, and our Lost Class Midlife Crisis is completely…ho hum practical.

*16-year-old me is completely over me and has moved on to her next victim.

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Take My Maternity Photo, It’ll Last Longer (Part IV-Yoga)

Continued from Take My Maternity Photo, It’ll Last Longer (Part III Sweet vs Sexy)...

Healthy Yoga Girl

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Women love yoga. Especially pregnant ones. There is no other exercise that speaks to their cycles and need for new age music while breaking a sweat. It also provides just enough sweat to receive praise for taking care of themselves and their precious babies.

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You don’t even have to do yoga to say you practice it. Just take your maternity photos outside in yoga pants and a tank top to bask in maternal strength and beauty. See the power in the woman below?

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Sure you do. That’s because yoga connects pregnant women with nature. You can tell by how well they suddenly blend into their surroundings when meditating.

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So put together your best mix of Indonesian chimes, grab that yoga ball, and breathe–soon you’ll be in labor and looking just as radiant as your healthy yoga maternity photos.

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Take My Maternity Photo, It’ll Last Longer (Part III – Sweet vs Sexy)

Continued from Take My Maternity Photo, It’ll Last Longer (Part II-Haunted)

The virgin and the whore–never shall these two meet except in maternity photos. Women complain about being labeled as one or the other, but when it comes to photos who cares. Being pregnant gives you the power to be every woman, so try both limiting views of our sex!

The Sweet and Virginal

Photos by Evi T’Bolt

No matter what set of looks you go for, the Sweet and Virginal is a must. Forget about how you got pregnant in the first place, you’re about to have a baby! These shots help build your own personal mommy pedestal for friends and future children who prefer their pregnant women as naive sacred beings rather than experienced women of the world.

Of course those countless years of tasteless hook-ups that led you to your new bump in the road can make it hard to be a born-again-innocent, but for photos, you don’t have to be innocent, just look it! So go for make-up free looking make-up, dress in your pastel baby shower best with relaxed comfy preggo jeans and  dazzle everyone with how impossibly fresh and unjilted you can still look. Because pregnancy isn’t about preparing to raise a child, it’s about taking grade school photos in a park to be a child again.

It’s even better with flowers…

…or a large phallic tree.

TMI Sexy

Now let’s get to what every woman getting a maternity photo really came for: to look hot as hell. After months of yoga pants and ultrasounds, a girl has got to let that inner sexy roar. In the States that means looking raunchy and showing off way too much skin. Doesn’t matter how universally beautiful or not a preggo may be, when they see models posing with their bellies like this…

…they can’t help but one-up that model and make it look even sexier.

Photos by Evi T’Bolt

Although we fear having a big stomach on off-pregnant days, when we are pregnant it becomes like a sexy third boob demanding exposure.

The general onlooker might not want to know this much about a pregnant woman‘s sex life, but the pregnant woman doesn’t care. You may not think you find her alluring anymore, but she is certain that one look at these pics will change your mind.

Tomorrow’s posting, last but not least: Healthy Yoga Girl.

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Take My Maternity Photo, It’ll Last Longer

At last a couple of weeks ago, I was finally able to participate in the new American tradition of taking maternity photos! Aside from senior year or weddings, maternity is the only other time when it’s socially acceptable for women to splurge on a professional photographer to commemorate a life-changing event. And what better way to look back on those nine grueling months of nausea, fear, body enlargement, restrictive diet, bad maternity clothes, stretch marks, acne, swollen ankles, daily aches and gas than with beauty shots! Women it seems are never more beautiful than when they hate life.

To demonstrate how precious pregnancy is, maternity photos must exude the mythic glow preggos can’t help but blind people with. Sure I personally have only been complimented on it when my hair and make-up is done, but it’s one of the few carrots pregnant ladies get, so BACK OFF!

Pregnancy is magical, precious, empowering. Forget seeing a woman live in action mid-contraction–there is no glow in that! Stick to far away looks and dream somewhere deep inside that you’re Bambi while posing half-naked.

We want our American preggos to be hot lioness earth mothers with enough virginal frailty to not sully our puritanical ideals of motherhood. And who better to perpetuate this unattainable image than pregnant women themselves? In spite of their crankiness and pain, pregnant women are still women, and hell if they’re not gonna do their damnedest to look good. They know how to do it—and if you’re new to walking with a fetus, you had better follow suit.

MY PHOTO SESSIONS

It is well known that every pregnancy is different, but maternity photo sessions are not the time to distinguish yourself from the tribe of mothers-to-be. Just like everything else to do with the breeding lifestyle, when it comes to taking photos there is a right way and a wrong way. The right way—you’ll be mom of the year; wrong way—give your baby up for adoption and never try having children again.

So I met with my photographer and friend Evi T’Bolt to review the best way to photograph the way I’m supposed to be feeling about being pregnant. We stuck to five of the six common looks: The Fairy, Sweet and Virginal, Haunted, TMI Sexy, and Healthy Yoga Girl. There is also the classic Demi Moore naked profile pic but due to various constraints, we had to pass. Still, with the looks we did shoot I hope everyone can see just how beautiful and delicate pregnancy has made me.

Let’s begin with…

THE FAIRY

My primary inspiration for this look was this photo:

Isn’t she just lovely? Even the water sparkles at the sight of her. Photoshop can barely contain the glow she feels from holding her baby. That’s because pregnant women happily frolic through the fields when no one is looking until they take their maternity photos.

Posting tomorrow: Haunted. Stay tuned…

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Free and Milking

Some countries see the parenting style of the United States as one that creates spoiled children and postpartum ladies void of any womanliness. But if you take a closer look at what our baby-making markets provide, you’d see a whole different picture. We live in a consumer driven nation, so we can assume we are what we buy. Well American mothers apparently can do it all because we buy Simple Wishes Hands Free Breastpump Bras.

According to the very existence of this item, we are a nation of practical good-looking milking machines. Thanks to our country’s ingenuity, postpartum possibilities are endless. New mothers can still check their email.

Go to work.

Play with their kids.

Dress up and go out.

Relax whenever they need to.

No other product symbolizes just how strong women are in our great country. We were even a deciding voting block in this year’s elections. Had the GOP paid more attention, they would have known that Simple Wishes Handsfree Breastpump Bra lets women vote now too.

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