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You Can Blame Me For Our Sexist Society, And Stop Calling Me Beautiful

by Katina Hubbard

Ashley Judd had a bad face day. If that’s even possible…

Ashley Judd lashed back at the media when they took her “puffy face” and turned it into a rumor frenzy

So the media did it’s usual thing and went nuts jabbing, jeering, and judging her, including alleged “obvious” plastic surgery and how her husband’s probably looking for a new wife because she’s become “fat.” The American media turned a slightly puffy face into a failed person and a failed marriage. So Ashley Judd did the uncanny, she told the media how it made her feel.

With all due respect, considering how horrible media blow-ups can be, this one is a cakewalk compared to egregious treatment other celebrities (with actual plastic surgery and verified wandering spouses) deal with. But I do feel slightly bad for Lindsay Lohan and think Ashley is right in using this incident as an indicator that we’re all suffering, every day, from a toxic atmosphere of body consciousness.

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Single or Paired-off: It’s Time to Get Engaged

By Joshunda Sanders

Graffiti helps some of us cope with the deep sadness and pressure associated with finding “The One”

*****

This Valentine’s Day, I’m thrilled to host my first guest writer, Joshunda Sanders. Her blog regularly takes my breath away, inspiring me to delve deeper into the love and pain in my writing. She has worked as a  journalist at the Houston Chronicle, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the San Francisco Chronicle, in addition to publishing articles at Bitch Magazine, VIBE Magazine, and many others. You can currently find her teaching in the Journalism Department at the University of Texas. I dare you not to lose/find yourself in this post.

*****

In my twenties, I lived on the West Coast.

Around the year I turned 25, I was living in California, land of the free, home of the hippies. The Bay Area Joan Didion made come alive for me was not the post-dot com environment that I slurped soup in. But what I loved about it was that I could just do whatever I wanted. I could work out with a group of other single people on steps overlooking Lake Merritt down the street from the Peacock Building where I lived in a cramped studio. Or I could run around the lake, when I got strong enough. I took a meditation class, and learned to love the Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning, with a cup of Peet’s Coffee afterwards.

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Being Loved from the Inside Out

by Katina Hubbard

We know what it feels like to be loved by our parents, friends, and/or significant others. But what does it feel like to be loved from the inside out?

At a young age, I learned how to ‘play small’

I grew up as a “pretty” girl. I was skinny, with a nice complexion, and had fortunate genetic makeup from 16 generations of white men fathering children with Native-American and African-American women.

And I remember feeling beautiful. I danced in public without fear of judgment. I ran around the beach in a swimsuit without noticing my bare skin. I crouched by the creek to find frogs without wondering if I was normal. I felt beautiful because I had no definition of what beautiful was. I was just me.

This is how we all start out, every one of us. We come out of the womb exactly perfect. All unique, but generally accepted as cute, adorable, and lovable. Then at some point, someone clues us into what “beautiful” is. Whether it’s at age 4 when someone points at our belly hanging over our tutu, or at age 3 when we compare ourselves to our Barbie dolls, or when we’re even younger and we intuitively hear the silent thoughts of others comparing us to a standard definition of “beauty.”

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Marriage: As Meaningful As You Make It?

by Katina Hubbard

I’m basically obsessed with marriage, probably because of my parents’ divorce and my Disney-princess ideas about love. I was proposed to about 5 times before I turned 25. I was engaged once, and felt how heavy a lifetime felt. My ideas about marriage have evolved since then, even to the point where I’m okay if I don’t get married or have kids. My life is about me and my purpose, and if I can’t fit statistically prevalent life events into it, I can still have a fulfilling, prosperous, and meaningful life.

From Disney movies to reality TV…the purpose of marriage is elusive