The 30something issue

Welcome to your 30s:
A roundtable discussion with New York’s top female movers and shakers.

Who’s that Girl?

How Big Retail Chains are targeting the “new” 30-year-old.

Coming out of Hibernation: My Poorly Drawn Life:

Fashion ideas to inspire and get you out of your winter rut.

Tips from the Pros:

Over 30 pages of insider tips and links for clothing, beauty, home decor, cooking, fitness, books, the arts and more!

At home with Comic Book Artist Tania del Rio.

Spring 2010

Spring 2010

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CONTRiBuTORS LeTTeR FROM THe eDiTOR

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In Every Issue
eSSeNTiALS Spring’s essentials items by blogger Cassandra LaValle. COveRiNGS Top dress picks of the season by Denver dilletant May Wilson. FuRNiSHiNGS The lates trends in home decor by shop owner and blogger Annie Crowninshield. vANiTieS Beauty Expert, Andrea Ducharme’s working girl’s guide to spring makeup. vANiTieS Makeup artist, Ann Marie Laurendeau, selects the latest products to look your best this spring. eATS Real estate broker and part-time foodie, Michelle Mckenna, shows us how to cook in season.

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In Every Issue
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ReADS Book Reviewer, publicist and journalist, Jocelyn Kelley, recommends what’s new in print. RANTS Amber West tells it like it is. This issue she takes on a tall drink of a certain warm obsession... SWeATS Mariel McNaughton reports on what’s hot in fitness. This issue, let go of your fear of weights with BODYPUMP . LuSTS Publisher, Dana Córdova’s lusts of the season. Because, well, we all want things...



Features

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WeLCOMe TO YOuR THiRTieS A round table discussion about the benefits of saying goodbye to your twenties. WHO’S THAT GiRL? Retailers rejigger selections and concepts to capture the 30-something shopper. THe eYe OF THe BeHOLDeR The history of the ideals of beauty from the strange, painful, absurd and even deadly.

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Publisher / editor Dana Córdova Design / Photo editor Dana Córdova Assistant editor Colleen Reilly Marketing Rachel Texeira Technical Advisor Luke Peters Special Thanks / unofficial Advisory Board: Raul Córdova, Casey Hatchett, Vanessa Peck, Ben Tregoe, Adam Wynne Advertising Sales: advertising@sloanemag.com interested in Getting involved? Please send your idea pitch to editorial@sloanemag.com with the subject line: ideas for the urbane. Join the Mailing List! mail@sloanemag.com © 2010 sloane usage, mention or reproduction of any content within this publication MuST link back to: www.sloanemag.com (basically, this means: we’d love for you to talk about sloane, but just be courtious, give us credit and a link.)

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Fashion
HiBeRNATiON’S eND Relaxed boho layers to carry you through chilly mornings, warm afternoons and out on the town. BeLGiAN BeAuTieS The young women of Brussells teach us how to look chic on a dime by mixing unique vintage pieces. SPRiNGFLiNG Wake yourself, and your mate, up from a winter slumber and slip into these light and flirty lingerie pieces.

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Arts, Interviews, Essays
ARTS Behind the scenes with New York art’s writer, Jennifer Guinn. This issue: explore the Whitney Bienniel 2010 & New York Art Fairs. MY POORLY DRAWN LiFe Sloane goes inside the home of comic artist Tania del Rio. ReFLeCTiONS It’s the Worst Thing Getterly Old? by Ginna Christensen.

usage License: Attribution-NoncommercialNo Derivative Works 3.0 united States, Creative Commons. To Share: to copy, distribute and transmit the work under the following conditions: Attribution: You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work). Noncommercial: You may not use this work for commercial purposes. No Derivative Works: You may not alter, transform, or build upon this work.

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ReFLeCTiONS Making Friends, Yoga Style, by Marique Newell. Sometimes reaching out can be more rewarding than you think.

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ReFLeCTiONS Thirty-fried, by Leala C. Munson. The frazzeled working girl gets a reality check.

ReFLeCTiONS Proper Ventilation, By Joanne Colan. Just, breathe.

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contributors

letter from the editor
sloane was born from 19 years of my and utilize sloane as a resource and life and 1 moment of insanity. guide to all-things-useful online.
At age 13, I saw my first issue of Sassy magazine and knew I wanted to create a publication of my own. Flash forward to age 32: 8+ years in the publishing and contemporary art world, 1+ year of marriage and, reflecting on where I’ve been and where I’d like to go, I decided NOW was my time. The Spring 2010 inaugural edition—the 30-Something Issue— assembles some truly fantastic writers, photographers and professionals to give their take on the concept. An in depth look at how major retailers are targeting the new moneyed 30-something, to an intruiging overview of the ideals of beauty throughout the ages, to ways in which we Freed of publishing costs, logistics can remember to stop our busy lives and overhead—and, thanks to ad- and breath; endless fashion spreads, vances in technology—there truly beauty tips, over 200 shopping links seems to be no time like the pres- and more... ent. In creating my vision for the magazine I considered what I liked For, Welcome to your Thirties, Carand didn’t like about the maga- rie Mitchell gathered together a zines stacked up beside my bed. great (albeit annonymous) group of In truth, I love ALL magazines, all powerful New Yorker’s to offer their types, all styles. They are these won- take on what they love about being derful little creations filled with end- in their 30s. This particular piece reless interest. My friends will tell you ally spoke to me, given where I am in I read every caption, note and even my life, and from being surrounded the index. Fashion, health, design, by women who feel the same as they fitness, current events...but, they are do. We are not our mothers’ daughall in so many different places and so ters, we are not 25 (although we just often depict people and things with might look it!), we don’t accept the which I don’t often identify...some “settle-down” ideas of the past and too young, some too mature, others we are changing the idea of “Happily too high brow and others too low. Ever After” every day. I hope that you will find sloane is just right. This is what sloane is about. A place that combines the youthfulness you Thus, my curatorial skills came in still possess with the self-possession, handy. sloane is in so many ways, a achievement and confidence you grand exhibition—a zeitgeist, a col- never had when you were in your lection of life in progress. I hope that 20s. Please enjoy and be inspired. you will find inspiring articles, fun fashion and beauty ideas, beautiful I present to you, my firstborn. photography, thoughtful pieces to make you pause and ideas to stay healthy. I encourage you to notice that, (wherever possible) we have created useful links for shopping resources and background information on articles. Please consider

Born and raised in Berkeley, CA. Chloe got her MFA in Film Production from USC and quickly found she loved taking still photos more than working on moving ones. For Spring Fling Chloe went on location in the desert outside Los Angeles to shoot images that capture the warmth and freedom of spring. www.chloeaftel.com.

Elkie Vanstiphout was born and raised in a very small town in Belgium, in which she still spends her days taking pictures and making music. For Belgian Beauties, Elkie and her sister, stylist Suzie Vanstiphout, created sophistocated images using only affordable clothing and the ambience of the streets of Brussels. www.ellequi.com

An accomplished member of the fashion and entertainment industries, Carrie Mitchell enjoys a diverse career as a writer and producer, spanning New York, Toronto, Vancouver, Shanghai and Paris. She currently covers all things style, while photographing and travelling whenever she can. www.stylegroove.com

Dana Córdova Editor/Publisher

Felicity Byrne is a freelance photographer and photo editor living in Los Angeles. She has a degree in photography from Art Center College of Design. Her work has appeared in Dazed and Confused, Vibe, and Flaunt Magazine. For Hibernation’s End Felicity created beautiful photgraphs using natural light and a simple home setting that feel real and relatable. www.felicitybyrne.com

Suzie Vanstiphout attended art school where she specialized in painting and drawing. Her favorite hobby was always playing dressup—from spending hours composing outfits for herself and customizing affordable dresses, to helping style photo shoots for friends. She now devotes all her time to fashion styling.

Caletha Crawford is a veteran writer who has covered fashion and retail for consumers and market insiders for more than 10 years. In addition to being the editor in chief of Earnshaw’s magazine, she shares constructive and destructive critiques of her favorite television shows at blamethedvr.wordpress.com. She also writes for AskMichaelCohen.com and the forthcoming TheAtlantaPost.com.

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6. SeLiMA SuNGLASSeS $288 If you’re going to go retro—go classic retro. These clear-rimmed sunglasses from add the perfect amount of cool for beach or boulevard time. 7. DASH & ALBeRT THROWS $58 A lightweight throw in washed out stripes is perfect for picnics in the park or summer nights on the front porch. A cotton version like this one ensures the easy breezy lifestyle. By the time a new season approaches, I’ve usually already spent months sorting through new styles and trends (some of which seem to pass before they’ve even begun) to end up with an overall look that mixes my classically inspired approach to design. For spring and summer, I’ve built my must-haves around a relaxed, washed out beach style that incorporates pops of neon for a punch of fun... 1. HeiDi MeRRiCk LiNeN DReSS $ Nothing says summer more to me than a little white linen dress. The bohemian sleeves and neon stitch in this piece are pure genius! 2. uRBAN OuTFiTTeRS OuTDOOR SiDe TABLe $38 You can’t expect to enjoy the sunshine without a cool drink in your hand and a table to set it on! 8. CB2 TuMBLeRS $3.95 (each) Pick up a few brightly colored glasses for refreshing cocktails, invite your friends over, and enjoy the fabulous weather! 9. J. CReW PANAMA HAT $58 This year’s must-have accessory is the fedora. For me, I prefer the more classic shape and color like this one. It makes a trend seem less ubiquitous and more like you’ve been doing it all along. 10. CB PeRFuMe “AT THe BeACH 1966” $70 Because I’m a California beach girl at heart, the smell of Coppertone oil and ocean breezes makes for the best perfume I can imagine. CaSSandra LavaLLE began her career in event planning in 2002, moving into interior design in 2007 when she began her then blog (now business) coco+kelley. Exploring trends in fashion, decor, and entertaining, coco+kelley has received praise and recognition from publications like Martha Stewart, Lucky Magazine, and the new York Times. Cassandra lives in Seattle, Wa where she also works as a Home Merchandiser for anthropologie.

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3. keNDRA SCOTT RiNG $75 I never leave home for the evening without a fabulous cocktail ring, and neither should you. This year I’m craving the natural texture of turquoise set in shiny gold to contrast my softer wardrobe. It always makes a statement and is sure to start a conversation. 4. SiGeRSON MORRiSON SANDALS $220 Metallic shoes are a staple in my wardrobe because they absolutely go with everything, anywhere, all the time. The cutout detail on these flats adds a beautiful ethnic twist. 5. H&M DeNiuM JACkeT $ Yes, it’s true. Denim is back. But, while I simply cannot imagine myself in denim button-ups, bustiers, or dresses, there’s no way to deny a classic jean jacket. James Dean would be so proud.

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1. vivieNNe WeSTWOOD, $575 Maybe its my east coast roots, but I am a sucker for nautical stripes and this season we can all love them together because they are everywhere. I love that this dress is not your typical stripe and is very flattering for those who are frightened by horizontal stripes. 2. HALSTON HeRiTAGe, $895 I am new to this line, but I like what I see. This dress connects with my inner hippy (vErY inner). Think big gold chunky bracelet, some gold hoops and a comfortable pair of flats. 3. MiSSONi, $775 Oh Missoni how you have hurt my bank accountant, but they never go out of style. This season I am collecting my spare change and swearing off Starbucks so that I can have one of my very own. This season and beyond. 4. ALexANDeR WANG, $595 You will see a lot of these ruched dresses this season. They look very intimidating on the hanger, but take a deep breath and try it on! This style hides a multitude of sins and will make you feel sexy...I promise. 5. LOTTA STeNSSON, $135 When I see this dress I dream of farmer markets, flip flops and big sunglasses. There is nothing more comfortable then a great jersey floor length dress for Spring errands. 6. ReBeCCA TAYLOR, $325 The little girl in me will always love ruffles. I love the idea of a little tan, silver accessories and a great pair of wedges (see Jimmy Choo this season!). 7. PHiLiP LiM, $350 When I started seeing Phillip Lim in the magazines, I was not blown away. To see it in person is to love it. The rouching detail on the chest is a very flattering. This is a great day to evening transition dress this Spring.

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8. MiLLY, $316 Ever since I saw the Hérmes chain pattern I have coveted all things chain linked...except fences. This dress is no exception. 9. BANANA RePuBLiC, $79.50 I love hunting down a deal for the season and this is it for me. Oprah’s stylist said we all have to have a spicy color for the Spring and he is right...they look good on EVERYONE! Check out the detail around the collar...love.

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10. DvF, $220 Two of the big buzz words for this Spring are floral and abstract prints. I have always had trouble getting my head around both of these trends, but this DVF dress works for me. I especially love the waist wrap so it doesn’t end up looking like a muumuu.

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MaY GardnEr WILSon currently resides in denver, Co working on decorating projects ranging from pillow fluffing to home re-models. She also is involved with a variety of local and international charities. Prior to denver, May worked as a designer with Charlotte Moss in new York City. Her pride and joy is her pug Lola who patiently observes her constant desire to look her best!

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TWO’S COMPANY, $195

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DOWNTOWN, (contact dealer for price)

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WiLLiAMS SONOMA, $450

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PB TeeN, $149

annIE CroWnInSHIELd is a Boston native who was born into a family of pioneering modernists. Trained as an artist in France and Mexico, she eventually entered the world of interior design. after starting her own online sofa company in 2005, she became partner of Empiric Inc. in Los angeles, Ca where she dedicates her time contributing to their growing line of new and vintage home furnishings. She also writes the lifestyle blog relishsmallpleasures.blogspot.com

As functional household objects
or simply items of decor, the history of mirrors is long and ever evolving. Increasingly important in many aspects of design and architecture, these eye catching scalloped mirrors are no exception. An organic departure from the recent trend in sunburst mirrors, these lend a softer silhouette to the modern, contemporary, and eclectic interiors of today.

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TARGeT, $249.99

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eMPiRiC, $275

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Once again spring is here and it is time to renew, reinvent and refresh your wardrobe and makeup. This season, I have been asked by many of my professional clients this question: “How do I translate the bold, and in some cases downright over the top, looks featured on the runways into a workable look?” Of course, as a makeup artist I am completely smitten with the matte fuchsia lip, just not sure if it will fly for the working girl at her next risk-reduction presentation at the office. Well, why not sneak some strategically placed SHEER pops of color in with your favorite neutrals? After all, a girl can still be stylish while she is conquering the corporate jungle. LiPS Cherry red, fiery orange, hot fuchsia and neon pink lipsticks call out to you from the spring makeup displays, but how do you wear these shades to the weekly management meeting and be taken seriously? Simple. Put on the bold lip color, blot down and top with a clear lip gloss. Now pair it with a classic nude eye shadow, two coats of mascara, add a swirl of a matte pinkypeach blush to the apples of your cheeks and you are ready to rule the boardroom. eYeS This go-to technique is a sure bet to brighten your eyes while still looking professional when crunching numbers. Take a neutral ivory shadow all over the lid, add a matte warm peachy brown into the crease, now add a smudge of whatever jewel tone shade you want along the upper lash-line. It is a surprisingly chic way to wear the candy-colored shadows seen at Bryant Park while presenting your latest ad campaign on Madison Avenue. CHeekS I ADORE the Spring 2010 Nars Collection featuring Amber Valetta channelling Catherine Deneuve goddess with majorly contoured bright coral cheekbones. However I realize this will look overdone in the workplace, so here is my solution. If you simply have to have wear the bright cheek color, skip the contour all together. Simply smile and swirl the coral or pink blush on your apples, then dip your blush brush into a translucent powder and go over the cheeks to soften the look even more. Who says you can’t be flush with success while looking fabulous? • • • • • • •

NARS Torrid Blush: Slightly pink, bright peach tone with a hint of shimmer MAC Shroom eyeshadow: Simply the perfect allover ivory shadow with a satin texture Paula Dorf eyeshadow in Wet Sand: A great matte warm brown to define the crease Stila Smudgepot in Cobalt: A stay all day gel liner in the perfect 80’s blue, can be softened and smudged but never budges NARS Niagra Lipstick: The perfect Pink-Coral NARS Schiap Lipstick: A beautiful matte pink Bareminerals Buxom Lipgloss in krystal: A clear lipgloss with a plumper built into the formula

Image: Spring 2010 Versace via Style.com

Image: NARS

Image: Michael Thompson via www.allure.com

andrEa duCHarME has been working in the makeup industry for over 18 years, and has had the pleasure and honor to represent Clinique, Estee Lauder, Trish McEvoy and MaC Cosmetics. She has received many awards and acknowledgments, including being named one of Boston’s five top makeup artists by Fashion Boston Magazine. While managing rouge Cosmetics in Salem, Ma the boutique was awarded the prestigious “Best of Boston for Makeup Shopping” by Boston Magazine. She also works with several Boston celebrities to ensure they look their best at their personal appearances.

Image: Elle.com

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1. PeRRiCONe MD NuTRiTive CLeANSeR $60 This luxurious cleanser removes impurities (dirt, oil & makeup) without stripping the skin of its vital moisture. Packed with antioxidants and other anti-aging ingredients such as Alpha Lipoic Acid and DMAE—proven to diminish the appearance of fine lines and improve skin’s overall texture. 2. eSTee LAuDeR iDeALiST DuAL-ACTiON ReFiNiSHiNG TReATMeNT $50 Regular exfoliation is the best way to remove dead skin cells and rejuvenate skin that feels dull and drab. This finely grained scrub is ultra gentle, yet works perfectly to reveal healthy skin cells. It will leave you with a soft glow. 3. DHC SkiNCARe veLveT SkiN COAT $21 Face primers are the secret weapon used by professional makeup artists to achieve a flawless and more youthful complexion. This unique, non-greasy, gel primer greatly enhances your skin’s overall appearance and extends the wear-time of foundation. After one use you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. 4. ANeMONe MAkeuP ANTi-AGiNG MOiSTuRizeR $24.00 (available 7/1/10) This light-weight lotion is specifically formulated to correct the appearance of aging by stimulating collagen production and diminishing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Natural green and white tea extracts work day and night to help skin retain moisture. 5. SeNNA COSMeTiCS SHeeR GLOW eYe COLOR $16.50 This sheer powder eye shadow provides intensely rich color as it glides on effortlessly, and it doesn’t crease or fade. Semi-opaque color and light-reflective finish enhance eyes to their maximum potential. (If you are searching for a pretty champagne color try Glossamer.) 6. M.A.C. MiNeRALize BLuSH $21 This gorgeous luminous powder blush contains all the benefits of pure minerals. It seamlessly glides across your cheeks without streaking, resulting in the same sheer healthy glow you achieve from a brisk walk!

7. CLARiNS JOLi ROuGe PeRFeCT SHiNe SHeeR LiPSTiCk $24 This creamy textured lipstick instantly adds color and shine to your lips. The long-lasting formula keeps color true for hours after application. Coral shades are the most popular lip colors for spring; if you are looking for a fun new color, try Melon. 8. NeuTRAGeNA HeALTHY SkiN BRiGHTeNiNG eYe PeRFeCTOR SPF 25 $13.99 This incredible illuminator highlights and brightens your complexion while working miracles on skin imperfections. Wear as a light-weight concealer or as a highlighter under the eyebrows. High-tech formula contains SPF 25 for added protection against harmful sun rays. 9. SONiA kuSHuk PeRFeCTiNG LiquiD MAkeuP $10.49 Don’t be fooled by cost, this lightweight liquid foundation offers many of the benefits of foundations with a much higher price. A few pumps of this product will provide your skin with an invisible, natural-looking dewy finish and moderate coverage. 10. COveRGiRL vOLuMe BLASTiNG MASCARA $8.99 Exclusive volume-boosting formula and ultra full brush lengthens and separates lashes without clumping, flaking or smudging, creating the long and full lashes you have always desired. Removes easily with a mild cleanser and water. Hypoallergenic and suitable for contact lens wearers.

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ann MarIE LaurEndEau is a makeup artist, hair stylist, educator, and writer with more than 20 years experience. In 1995 she founded anemone Makeup and in 2006 launched her own line of allnatural, mineral-based cosmetics which includes makeup and skin care products. Throughout her career, ann Marie has provided makeup and hairstyling for many well-known corporate clients, celebrities, and public figures. Based in Boston, she frequently travels throughout new England, new York and beyond for media, destination weddings, and events.

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Heat a very large, preferably a castiron skilet over a high flame. Add 1/4 cup of oil and heat for a moment. Add the leeks and a big pinch of salt and fry, turning only very occasionally, until they are mostly deep brown. Remove about two tablespoons of them two paper towels and season with salt. As they cool, the should become crisp. Return the pan to a medium flame (with the rest of the leeks still in it), and deglaze the pan with 1 cup of water, scraping well to get all the flavorful bits. Add the morita peppers and the honey and whisk. Reduce heat to a bare simmer and cook five minutes, adding more water if needed. Using a fine sieve and pressing well, transfer the liquid to a very small Creamy Grits with Crispy saucepan and keep warm. Dispose Leeks, Cilantro Pesto, of the solids. Reduce or add liquid queso Fresco, and Sunny as necessary to produce a thin jus Side up egg Bring the 3 cups of water and 1 cup with just a hint of body. Taste and of milk to a boil. Whisk in the polen- adjust seasoning. We’d like a balGetting together for brunch has al- ta in a thin stream, stirring continu- ance of savory from the leeks, salt, ways been a favorite tradition with ously. smoke and heat, and sweetness my friends. This recipe is a nice tran- from the honey. sition from winter to spring, a little Add a couple big pinches of salt. Resouthern take on breakfast using duce to a simmer. Cook for about 45 In a non-stick skillet, fry off two eggs. delicious mexican ingredients. (Your minutes, stirring occasionally. You Cover so that the whites cook while favorite sausage can also be added will notice a distinct change where the yolk remains runny. for a heartier meal.) they go from being “gritty” to creamy. Add more water as necessary if they To serve, put a helping of the grits Serves 2 are getting dry before that happens. in each bowl and make a well. Fill iNGReDieNTS Anytime after they turn creamy, they the well with the egg. Top with the 3 cups water are ready to serve. Taste and add salt crispy leeks and pour a couple table1 cup whole milk as needed. spoons of the jus around the edge. 1 cup polenta Add a tablespoon or so of the pesto (or grits essentially the same thing) Meanwhile, make the Cilantro Pesto and a small piece of queso fresco. 1/4 cup canola oil in a food processor, pulse until it 3 leeks, white parts only, halved forms a coarse, pesto-like consis- CiLANTRO PeSTO lengthwise, cleaned and thinly sliced tency. You might need a little more iNGReDieNTS 2 morita peppers or other smoked oil. Taste and adjust salt. Makes 2 cups, packed, of cilantro, pepper of your choice, briefly about one cup. large stems removed

1/2 cup blanched almonds 1/4 cup chopped red onion 1/2 teaspoon chopped and seeded serrano chile 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt 1/4 cup olive oil 1 tablespoon of lemon juice In a food processor, pulse the cilantro, almonds, onion, chile, and salt until well blended. With the food processor running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream. Add more oil as needed for your use. Makes about 1 cup.

Whatever you don’t use, you can freeze (delicious over pasta). Line a ice cube tray with plastic wrap and fill in the individual cube spaces with the pesto. Freeze and remove from the ice tray, put in a sealed freezer bag for future use.

It helps them last longer, they look pretty in your kitchen and they are right there ready to use. adapted from Herbivoracious NeeD iNSPiRATiON? Check out these recipes with salivating photography: www.tastespotting.com

FeATuReD ReCiPe OF THe SeASON:

toasted in a dry skillet 1 tablespoon honey 2 organic eggs 2 ounces queso fresco or other cheese of your choice

quiCk TiP Using fresh herbs can add another level of flavor. I love adding them to sal- COOL NeW FOOD SiTe: ads and pasta. When you bring your www.pictorymag.com/showcases/ herbs home from the grocery store local-flavor wash them and put them in a vase with water to keep fresh all week.

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NeW STAPLe ReCiPe
ina Garten’s Mexican Chicken Soup
People all over the country are realizing all the benefits of eating locally. More nutritious and flavorful fruits and vegetables plus you support your local farmers. Find out where there are farmers markets near you: www.localharvest.org

Today with the internet at our finger tips there are thousands of recipes to choose from it makes it overwhelming to pick out a recipe and how do you know which one is better than another? This is a great quick meal, that’s makes a big batch to have all week long. I bought a rotisserie chicken and shredded the chicken to save time. The easiest way to shread chicken is to use two forks and pull the meat apart. Don’t skimp on the toppings they take the soup to whole new level!

WiNTeR Chestnuts, Grapefruit, Lemons, Oranges Tangerines, Kale, Leeks, Radicchio Radishes, Rutabaga, Turnips SPRiNG Apricots, Avocado, Mango, Pineapple Rhubarb, Strawberries, Artichoke, Asparagus Carrots, Celeriac, Chives, Collards Fava Beans, Fennel, Fiddlehead Ferns, Morels Mustard Greens, New Potatoes, Spinach Spring Baby Lettuce Mixes, Sugar Snap and Snow Peas, Vidalia Onions, Watercress SuMMeR Blackberries, Blueberries, Nectarines, Peaches Plums, Raspberries, Tomatoes, Watermelon Beets, Broccoli, Chinese Cabbage, Corn Cucumber, Eggplant, Garlic, Green Beans Summer Squash, Zucchini FALL Apples, Cranberries, Figs, Grapes, Pears Pomegranate, Quince, Acorn Squash, Belgian Endive. Butternut Squash, Cauliflower, Celeriac Garlic, Ginger, Mushrooms, Parsnips, Potatoes Pumpkin, Sweet Potatoes, Swiss Chard Source: www.hubpages.com

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MICHELLE MCkEnna currently lives in Boston, working at a real estate firm selling high-end residential homes. She has always thought of cooking as a way to bring people together and considers it a form of expression, not a chore. Her love of food began as a child cooking with her mother and grew after a semester abroad in venice, Italy while earning her BFa from Boston university. Most days you will likely find her reading a cookbook on the “T” rather than the Wall Street Journal.

By Carrie Mitchell Illustration by Kristian Goddard

age only matters when one is aging. now that I have arrived at a great age, I might just as well be twenty…Youth has no age. —Pablo

recently overheard a woman complain about turning thirty; she bemoaned getting older, having responsibilities and less fun. “Oh sister, if only you knew!”, I thought. It was difficult to restrain myself from telling her she had no idea just how much more powerful, confident and sexy it is to be a woman in your thirties. You are a survivor of misguided, youthful folly and jubilance, thankfully arriving at 30 infinitely more sure of yourself. Although the journey of self-discovery is life-long, there is something to be said for taking those many roads that lead to so many mistakes in your 20’s. You will eventually be thankful for it all, having lived and learned about yourself. You’ll be proud to celebrate your passage by hoisting your flag atop the mini mountain that is 30! It’s an accomplishment. Your 30’s are not what you imagined during your teenage years. I look back and laugh when I recall what I imagined. What will you say to yourself looking back from 50? 60? 30 is young—enough with lamenting over birthdays! As is the case for all the decades to come: age is entirely an attitude, and if you

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find yourself in a progressive and positive state of mind, you can be any age you feel you want to be. Do not submit to an age category box! I am not here to stereotype or judge those younger than I, especially because I know some spectacularly wise teenagers and 20-something’s, some disastrous 30 & 40 year olds, and of course, brilliant, youthful and inspiring women in their 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. The frivolity of those earlier years can bring about both wonderful and difficult experiences. Reckless abandon shifts to cautious optimism, peppered with skepticism. As young women, we are busy proving

down guards, exposing your battle scars, and admitting you don’t know everything. There is tremendous freedom in that. In my 30’s it was as though the flood-gates opened and truth started to spill from the mouths of my friends as we stopped our judgmental tendencies and finally saw each other for everything we have in common as women. It is important to maintain perspective, and not get lost in the details because your 30’s are busy. You have a career, a full social life, hobbies, travel, maybe even a marriage and/or kids. You may find yourself in a position at work or at home, wondering how

an who is married with kids, I will show you five who are not but living extremely full lives. I have come to know couples in fantastic relationships, but even more who have channeled dreams of prince/princess charming into fantasies of their own making. Do we want to have it all? Yes. Will we survive with out it? Yes. But now is the time to decide what you can and can’t live without. I am lucky in my life to be surrounded by incredible women who are smart, kind, funny, cultured and driven, and who rarely get splashed across the covers of magazines. With so much to discuss, I gathered

to the world we can take care of ourselves, all the while test driving our emotions, test driving partners and defining ourselves. It’s a wild and wonderful ride, so take the time to reflect on it and be excited for all the possibilities. For most women, the person she is at 20 is drastically different than the woman she becomes by 30: the evolution is a messy but beautiful process. C.S. Lewis said, “Thirty was so strange for me. I’ve really had to come to terms with the fact that I am now a walking and talking adult.” There may be some truth to that, but if you think you are suddenly going to wake up one day “an adult,” think again. No matter your age, you continue to straddle the divide between adolescence and responsibility of adulthood. Embrace it. I don’t think it serves one well to solely fall onto one side of that equation or the other. For God’s sake, have some fun while you’re doing it all; laugh and be open with your friends; they need it too. I think there is an honesty that comes with age, letting

you got there. The new adjectives that reflect your own “maturity” and include more concrete ideals such as integrity, passion for living, principles, goal-oriented, considerate and loving. Creating the life you want in your 30’s takes work, but it’s worth it! You finally can make it on your own terms, and in collaboration with an equal partner. Your thirties (and beyond) are a force with which to be reckoned in all the right ways. Relationships change too, and whether you are married, divorced or dating, you suddenly find yourself asking questions about your future that had just seemed so far away. My friends and I jokingly refer to our lives as “tales from the dangerously self-sufficient” that include as we are building our careers, buying our homes, taking ourselves out to dinner, and managing our own investments. The majority of women in my life live in major cities from New York to Vancouver, and Los Angeles to London. There’s an abundance of incredible, single women in each city and happily so. For every wom-

these women together for a roundtable discussion and asked these friends—from journalists to producers, artists to financiers, single ladies to mothers—to share their (anonymous) thoughts on being 30something. Here are the results: What do you like about being in your thirties? —I love my 30’s because it’s all about me as an independent woman and I can do whatever I want on my own terms, living by my own rules that come from my heart and my brain! In my 20’s I was consumed by the little things in life, like what to wear, who to date and what hot spot I planned on hitting. In my 30’s I am thinking of my path to financial freedom, the countries I want to visit, my home, my family, my friends,

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looking at myself with an objective eye, evolving as a woman. In my 20’s I was always confident without reason but in my 30’s I am confident and have an understanding of it. —I feel so loving and happy in my 30’s. My 20’s were a mess for me! Everything fell into place and made sense in my 30’s. I know what I am doing here now when in my 20’s I wasn’t sure if I was coming or going, and I hear the 40’s are even better, if you can imagine, and 50’s, then

—oh God, I love my thirties. There is such a profound relief in it. not that it is easier, just richer and more productive. I was reminded on my birthday this year of a great oscar Wilde quote: “Thirty-five is a very attractive age. London society is full of women of the very highest birth who have, of their own free choice, remained thirty-five for years.” What did you think you would be doing now? What are you doing now and is it better?

experience and it is amazing to see. —Successful women in business like Producer Christine vachon. —any woman with a command of her brilliance and fierce with a vital capacity to love. Women that transcend time… —I admire angelina Jolie...she’s successful, married Brad f**king Pitt, adopted half a litter, had a litter of her own and doesn’t give a s**t what anyone thinks! also, my

can never be captured in the later years is the sparkle in your skin and stupidity. I don’t understand the obsession with youth in media. I personally find a woman that has lived out her youth more attractive. She has more substance and character. —I hardly even notice it anymore. Good for them…it is only a one-dimensional perspective, so as long as I keep that in mind, it doesn’t bother me. —I think the youth of today get it. Frivolity, gaiety, freedom to satisfy pleasures and whims is underrated -- it’s about a youthful state of mind. They’re doing all these things; they’re smart, savvy, spearheading the 21st century in a lot of ways (direct and indirect), and achieving what someone in their 30’s, 40’s and up can without context... Any lessons you would like to share? Advice? —appreciate yourself as a woman. Give love and honest friendship. accept wrong decisions and take appropriate actions so not to live with the mistake. —Be conscious of your own day-today reality, there’s art in that! and make it a personal achievement to live each decade better than the one before but never compare them. —don’t be lazy and bank on things like, “ it’s likely”

—Move past the relationship fairy tale. Embrace a real partnership, because it is infinitely more rewarding. don’t give up on romance, it is very important, but learn to love the qualities of another, do the fairy tale the right way. Connection is everything, because at the end of the day you really have to like someone, not just love, so that you still stay engaged and interested in their own journey as an individual, while incorporating it in to your own and constantly loving forward together. and at this stage of the game, if you are out there dating, if a connection doesn’t fit, then move on… —Life takes you down unexpected paths without warning. If you have good people around, you will always make it through stronger. Take time to hear someone’s story, you may be surprised at what you learn. Follow your heart even if it leads toward a difficult road. Love deep and without reserve. Cherish your friends and family neither can be replaced. regret is the worst thing to live with, so take a risk and be okay with whatever the outcome. Have faith and appreciate what you have today. S

60’s and so on. I feel able to take on whatever I need, whether from a business or personal standpoint. —Motherhood. The clarity of action/ purpose. The multi-faceted beauty of womanhood amplified is happening right now for me in my 30’s with a growing awareness of what that means in human terms. —a few things come to mind… I’ve always been a people pleaser and I’ve learned that sometimes you have to put your own feelings and happiness ahead of trying to please everyone else...as I get older this is becoming clearer to me. I’ve also noticed that my relationship with my parents has started to develop into more of a friendship than a parent/ child relationship in the past couple years. and I still have as much fun as I did in my 20s but I now have more of my own money to do it with! —as someone who is very focused on career at the moment, I love that in your thirties people take you seriously in business. Finally!

—I thought I would have a job where I am hugely successful… I am working on doing that now, in an industry I love; however I never accounted for my taste getting so much more specific and lifestyle becoming such a big factor. —I thought I would be married with 6 kids. But I am working at work, at home and on myself, and actually this is much better! I hope for a good man but if he doesn’t show up I can live out my dreams on my own! —I am continuing building my career experience as a writer, starting my own company, being a full-time mom, writing my thesis, and gearing up to be officially back to work: generally expanding my outlook. Building my own business is immensely rewarding, humbling, challenging and worth it. I’ve literally felt myself grow exponentially as a human being. What women do you admire? —I look at my mother and see how solid she is. That can only come with

dearest friend for never judging me, always supporting my decisions, never telling me what to do but guiding me with my best interest in mind, being a great listener, a truthful woman, giving me unconditional love and being a great friend. What questions would you ask of your peers? —are we really grown ups? —My concerns are that I might not carry a child of my own at this point. I would ask my peers if they have the same concerns and how they feel about the possibility of never conceiving a child. —I generally ask spontaneous questions when together with other girlfriends-- I like the ones that are based on day-to-day life experiences, of the now. Thoughts on the youth obsessed media? —The one thing about youth that

For more on Carrie Mitchell, visit www.StyleGroove.com

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Who’s That Girl?
Retailers rejigger selections and concepts to capture the 30-something shopper. By Caletha Crawford
time span—so they have the same history defined by coming out of World War II. Younger demographics like Gen X and Y don’t have as consistent a background.” Without this shared experience, it’s challenging to identify the desires of a whole generation, but a few generalizations may be safe: we’re past the slouchy logo sweats and Uggs phase although we are not ready to morph into our mothers quite yet. Combine that with the new pragmatism everyone’s adopted (thanks to the recession) and today’s 30-year-old consumers are shopping a lot differently then we did a decade ago. “In my 20’s, I was very trendy and now I have more of a classic look,” explained Carla Stocker, a single 40-year-old Wells Fargo banker from the Atlanta area, adding that she turns to funky accessories to punch up her look. “In my 20’s, if I saw it and wanted it, I bought it. There wasn’t a thought process. Now, I think about if I need it or have it in my closet already.” This idea of stopping to consider a purchase—based on quality, aesthetics or need—is a hallmark of 30-plus shopping. Meredith Levy, a 35-year-old New York mom and founder of the Pint Size Social online magazine, demands more from each purchase than she did in the past. “Ten years ago, I was buying trendier items, but now the longevity of the item is more important to me,” she said. “You realize you have a closet full of things that are very one season, and you don’t want that anymore.”

needs of this demographic, which spans many life stages (including singles, marrieds, moms, stay-athomes and career women). Some have taken the Urban Outfitters approach to appealing to shoppers who’ve graduated from their initial store concepts. Like Urban, which begot Anthropologie—an outlet that draws a wide range of ages with it’s trendy but accessable product and cozy store format—American Eagle Outfitters launched Martin + Osa in 2006. Unlike American Eagle shoppers who typically measure time in semesters, the new 28-location chain seeks to lure 25-to-40-year-olds with more sophisticated denim-focused merchandise. Currently the store is chockablock with the season’s safari-inspired trends, including utility pants and tees emblazoned with animal illustrations that coincidentally recall the outback aesthetic competitor Banana Republic launched with decades ago. Though the sales help is friendly and the layout inviting, M+O has left some shoppers cold.

ge—like size—is a very touchy subject in fashion. Just look at the deep sartorial waters Eileen Fisher found herself in last Fall after attempting to ditch her eponymous brand’s image as your mother’s clothing label. Beyond the sleeker, more hip fits of the clothes, she created a splash by jettisoning the usual silver-haired Boomers in the company’s ad campaigns, literally trading them in for younger models. Devotees like Rosie O’Donnell were not amused. But really who

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could blame her? The brand had grayed to the point of a punch line, earning a notorious place on Broadway in Nora Ephron’s play “Love, Loss and What I Wore” with the line: “When you start wearing Eileen Fisher, you might as well say ‘I give up.’” OUCH! With this cautionary tale in mind, it’s no wonder that fashion types are skittish about discussing age. “People tend not to want to say they’re targeting people in their 30s just like they didn’t want to say they’re targeting 40-somethings or 50-somethings,” observed Wendy Liebmann, CEO of marketing consultancy WSL Strategic Retail. “There are companies that are doing it but not liter-

ally calling out: ‘If you’re 30, come here.’ They’re addressing a fashion sensibility, a wearability and a value proposition that communicates to that life stage ‘We understand what you need and we’re delivering it.’” Pinpointing the needs of customers is a safer option than bracketing them by age; no group is homogeneous, especially today. “We’re seeing more fragmenting in age groups than there used to be. They’re breaking up and becoming submarket groups,” explains Dudley Blossom, Ph. D and associate professor at LIM College, which focuses on the business of fashion. “The Baby Boomer generation was born in a narrow range—about a five year

iNTRODuCiNG THe NeW kiDS ON THe BLOCk Retailers are responding to these shifting demands, aiming stores and collections towards the various

Thirty-eight year old Jennifer Vallez of Connecticut describes herself as an impulsive shopper who prefers to fill her closet via the Internet thanks to her time-strapped schedule as a mother of two young

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girls and owner of the Sophie & Lili children’s clothing and accessory company. Though she says American Eagle is way too young for her now, she thinks Martin + Osa might have skewed too far in the other

the location in the Mall of America in Minneapolis,” she said, “and I did see nice things that I would buy but I thought the stuff was overpriced.” Monogram, Banana Republic’s more tailored (read: mature) collec-

stodgy, if not younger image. Last fall, the store blanketed women’s magazines with ads touting “The New Ann.” Turns out, this meant more trend-right pieces that extended beyond the store’s former business-attire niche. For instance, this spring bright corals and yellows beam from racks while simple sheaths and ruff led tops beckon. And whether it was the marketing or merchandising, consumers seem to be taking note. Vallez, who lists Anthropologie as one of her favorite stores, stated a renewed interest. “I’ve been shopping more at Ann Taylor lately. I think they have a new designer; things seem more modern and more of my style.” At Ann Taylor, the company says that it’s seeking to woo “modern women” though it doesn’t pinpoint an age. Similarly, Neiman Marcus’ Cusp concept acknowledges that its core customer is probably in her 30s but the aim is for multigenerational appeal. “We don’t talk about age because we believe that in contemporary [fashion] we know we can dress a wide range of ages,” said Russ Patrick, managing director of Cusp. “It’s about her lifestyle and how she perceives herself.”

“This idea of stopping to consider a purchase— based on quality, aesthetics or need—is a hallmark of 30-plus shopping.”
direction. “Martin + Osa is really boring. It’s too safe, and I’m not a crazy dresser,” she said. “No one piece stands out to me at all.” Vallez does credit the chain with having covetable accessories, which are often branded goods like Ray-Ban, Havaianas and Dolce Vita. Though based on the selection, she could see herself shopping there, Stocker was ultimately turned off by the M+O’s prices. “I shopped tion, has received a similar reaction among shoppers who question the value. Vallez, who used to shop at Banana Republic before it became “boring”, said Monogram is also underwhelming. “I’ve looked at the collection online, and I think Monogram is too pricey for what it is.” Patrick said the Cusp model, which launched in 2006, offers a carefully edited selection of contemporary fashion for active women. “She is extremely busy with such a busy calendar she’s constantly looking for things to updated her wardrobe,” he stated, explaining that the stores are laid out for expedience. TAkiNG A ReFReSHeR COuRSe “If she’s shopping for something to Ann Taylor is among the established go out in that night, we could take retail names looking to project a less her to a specific room in the store,

and everything would be curated for her and appropriate for that.” The Cusp team shops hundreds of lines, cherry picking the pieces that are best for their customer. According to Vallez, the tactic works. “I think Cusp is more my style. I grew up in New York, and Cusp is more like a boutique,” she said. “Everything feels really well edited. There’s a lot of thought going into J. Crew or Madewell product, but [unlike Cusp] you feel like it’s all mass produced.” Cusp’s goal of outfitting shoppers from weekend casual to a night out on the town is also a strength of J. Crew, which shoppers and industry insiders alike credit for its staying power and cross-generational appeal. “J. Crew seems to have a very broad audience because of the mix of styling from good-looking everyday wear going up to the classic pieces for more special occasions,” noted Liebmann, adding the range of price points means there’s something for everyone. “Martin + Osa struggles with that. When you see the quality and presentation, it is a really pleasant place to shop. But is it worth the price or too high priced? J. Crew has different price and quality points in one store.” J. Crew is also praised thanks to its push into new markets like kids and weddings. “J. Crew looks much better and the quality is better,” Levy confirmed. “I love shopping the locations with Crewcuts. It’s one-stop shopping.” SeTTiNG THe TONe Convenience is key when catering to the demands—work, children and social—that pull 30-somethings in different directions, but it’s only part of the puzzle. Increasingly retailers are focusing on consumer experience. Patrick said the differences between the Neiman Marcus stores and Cusp locations are designed around the type of shopper each is trying to lure. “The physical plan is different from Neiman Marcus.

There’s a lot of energy in the Cusp store, and we pay a lot of attention to music,” he said. The challenge for Cusp, which operates six standalone locations, will be to bring that experience into it’s newly announced shop-in-shops within select Neiman Marcus stores. Blossom points to places like Apple stores and Barney’s as leaders in creating environments suited to their target customers. “Barney’s creates a luxurious experience. Apple creates an Adventureland for shoppers whether they’re buying or not,” he said. “Stores are realizing that one of the only ways they have left to remain competitive is to create a customer experience that the shoppers wants to be a part of.” Levy, for one, can list the characteristics that make for a pleasant shopping experience. “I don’t like music that is too loud and lighting is key. I enjoy really good dressing rooms and skinny mirrors,” she said, adding Lululemon offers one of the best shopping experiences. “I was blown away by the staff and the clothes. Shopping for workout clothes is like shopping for bathing suits. You need a helpful staff. Other stores should model around them.” Liebmann said it’s important for retailers to remember that women shop for a variety of different reasons. “Sometimes shopping is about necessity and sometimes it’s about needing a moment to your-

self,” she explained, adding that the tone and merchandising have to work. “Things like the noise level, type of music and the experience level of the staff are all really important in determining if a store is for you or your younger sister.” S

For more on Caletha Crawford visit blamethedvr.wordpress.com. She also writes for askMichaelCohen.com and the forthcoming TheatlantaPost.com.

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by Amber Hurwitz

mages of feminine beauty are everywhere. History, culture, media, industry developments—whether a woman chooses to or not, she is presented with overwhelming images of beauty in her society. The dream of ideal beauty is chased and regarded as a standard by which women are so often measured. Narrow definitions of beauty make it difficult to imagine alternatives. Yet a spectrum of idealized beauty exists throughout history and the world, defined by different characteristics both praised and definitive. Physical characteristics considered alluring in one milieu might be seen as undesirable in others. A glance into the mainstream perceptions of the beauty ideal in different societies unveils an incredible clash of tastes, and diversity of appeal. Outside of any predominantly accepted vision of beauty there lie other cults of beauty worship, despite the seemingly singular onslaught of imagery in a given culture. A study of differing perceptions of beauty cleans the slate in the eye of the beholder, and opens a grand array of what are considered to be coveted characteristics of beauty. There is a famous episode of the Twilight Zone called “Eye of the Beholder” which illustrates a society with clear-cut values regarding appearances. In the surreal hospital

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room of the Twilight Zone, the main character awaits the results of her ninth procedure that attempts to make her look “normal.” In the fictional society of the Twilight Zone, she will be sent away from society to live with others who are deformed if her final treatment has not achieved the desired result. To her despair and horror, the last attempt at fixing her face fails. A stunningly beautiful woman appears as the bandages are removed. The doctors and nurses are repulsed by her appearance, and their faces are revealed to be monstrous looking. The woman faces Dita Von Tesse (Image: Limité) a life of banishment from society, and she is greeted by Of course, perception of beauanother victim of “disfigurement” (in ty is subjective and largely a part of Twilight terms), who is, of course, a personal taste. However, conformity very handsome man. He tells her to what is considered ideal physical that he will take her away to live with beauty is pursued to a rigorous and others of “their kind,” where she will overwhelming extent. A uniform, feel a great sense of belonging and uncompromising view of beauty is being loved. He says to her, “there’s often pursued to the extent of health an old saying. A very, very old say- risks, surgeries, time—consuming… beauty is in the eye of the be- ing and expensive beauty rituals, holder.” Though it’s obviously an mutilation, self-destruction, eating extreme and bizarre mind trick, the disorders and even death. Women episode contemplates themes of have long suffered in attempting conformity to cultural norms. to embody impossible standards.

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admiration and desire. Viewing the idealized beauty through a number of lenses reveals an ever-changing, highly subjective, and far from the singular image emblazoned in mainstream media. Considering the vast spectrum of worshipped ideal beauty, it is like comparing the Lily to the Rose. What is beauty? According to Webster’s Dictionary, the word beauty is derived from the latin “bellitas,” which comes from the word “bellus,” meaning “fair, pretty.” Beauty is said to inspire feelings of mental well-being and harmony. It is used to describe good looks, any attractive feature; the quality which makes an object seem pleasing or satisfying in a certain way.” Beauty is also said to invoke feelings of love and desire. It can also describe a particuLizzi Miller’s “body-image-revolution” (Image: Glamour) lar graceful quality.2 estimate their attractiveness. Some It’s interesting to note that the Webstudies have estimated that up to ster definition of beauty repeats the 80% of adult women believe they word “fairness” and serves as part of are overweight and aim to achieve a the word’s origin, whereas today’s figure that is approximately two sizes Western culture idolizes tan skin. smaller than the body size most men Though tans are portrayed as actually find desirable. The odds are desirable, it’s usually tan Caucasian that you are more attractive than you skin, which is shown in mainstream think!1 Western culture—sometimes ex Exploring different standards of tremely light complexioned minoribeauty presents a reality of diverse ties. The overwhelming portrayal

The ugly side of beauty—where women who are literally dying for approval, is something most women have felt to some degree in many cultures. Unfortunately, a majority of women today report having poor body-image and many under-

of white skin as the standard and ideal relegates non-white beauty to be considered “exotic.” White Western beauty standards certainly affect other ethnicities ideals significantly, so not only are beauty standards narrowly defined but widely portrayed as the norm. American beauty standards are hugely influential around the globe. Lack of diversity in the idealized standard is significant. Under-representation of black women (not to mention other minorities) in Western fashion and beauty industries continues in America—despite the fact that, according to estimates from 2007, black women alone spend over $20 billion on apparel annually.3 Indeed, body size and shape is paramount in the ubiquitous images of what makes a woman desirable. The portrayal of a single body type as the norm and standard also has a powerful impact on women of all backgrounds. Throughout history, what is considered not only attractive, but, acceptable or tolerable, has changed immensely. The shift in perception during the past century towards desirable body shape has been drastic. Marilyn Monroe exemplified the epitome of femininity as shapely and busty in the 1950’s. Being underweight, for the first time in history, became the ideal in the 1960’s, giving way to “heroin chic” waif-like models such as Kate Moss a few decades later. The last half of the 20th century found thinner and thinner figures in the spotlight— quite a contrast from the times when softer, more curvaceous, voluptuous bodies were deemed the epitome of femininity and sensuality. The September issue of last year’s Glamour Magazine featured a

single picture that sparked an enormous response from readers all over the world. “The Lizzi Miller Phenomenon” resulted in hundreds of readers flooding the magazine’s website the moment after the image first appeared, lauding their approval and appreciation with comments like, “I love this picture. I was starting to despair of ever seeing real women in magazines and it made me reassess how I look at myself. I have a similar tummy which I hate—but look at her, she’s beautiful.”4 The model was pictured smiling to her naked self, looking comfortable and carefree in a 3x3 photograph on page 94. The featured model, 20-year-old Lizzi Miller, was a size 12-14, coincidentally about the same size as the average American woman. The response to Lizzi’s picture was so intense and widespread that Glamour referenced it as sparking their “Body Image Revolution.” It wasn’t just female readers who were raving about the picture, but men writing in to request “more like her!”5 Even more glowing reactions appeared in over 1,000 postings on Glamour.com all joyously praising the picture.6 Women have always been under pressure to attain their society’s ideal of feminine beauty. The history of beauty and examinations of cross-cultural values show the extreme measures taken by women to live up to what, from an objective perspective, can sometimes seem capricious and inane ideas of attractiveness. Defined in a given society by an array of social, traditional and historical elements, there is a sheer trendiness associated with any mainstream image of beauty. For example, certain bust sizes have gone in and out of fashion throughout American history. As the fashion, politics, industry and social climate have changed (among other things), so has the desirable woman’s body. By the 1920’s, the ideal of a Victorian hourglass figure was replaced with the flat washboard

Artist Kelis has been admired for wearing her hair au natural (Image: Curlista)

profile of the flapper. The flat boyish figure exemplified by the flapper style inspired women to bind their breasts, slim down (diet) to get rid of their curves and undergo breast reduction surgery. By the 1930’s, however, a full bust was back in style. In fact, the bigger the better. Some actresses acquired expensive breast implants, but they were not discussed. By the 1950’s, a thin woman with a large bust line was considered most attractive.7 8 Ideal American beauty in the 1950’s was exemplified by full, pointed breasts, and long legs, usually clad in high heels. Breasts, not weight, were the main point of concern to young women.9 Modern actress Kiera Knightley, largely regarded as beautiful, has said she is very jealous of women with long legs. “I hate my body. I like so many other people’s bodies. I like legs—a good pair of legs on someone else always makes me jealous!”10 Interestingly, with a flat chest and short legs, Kiera Knightley’s features would be significantly undesirable by the beauty standards of America in the 1950’s.

A small bust, however, was ideal during the Middle Ages, when the coveted size was compared to apples. Previous centuries showed beautiful women as having minimal chest development combined with a bottom and upper thighs that were rich in fat.11 In recent times this ideal has been reversed, pairing a big bust with a narrow, androgynously thin torso and hips. Both beauty ideals, ironically, are not realistically attainable, because body fat is not naturally relegated to one half of a person’s body! In Brazil, women were traditionally expected to have a fuller bottom and a smaller bust. For Brazilians, large breasts were regarded as vulgar in the past. However, in the last several years the Brazilian beauty ideal has been influenced by the American ideal, and breast implants in Brazil have become larger and more popular.12 During the Victorian era, the ideal woman was soft and full—figured. Corsets were used to minimize waists while simultaneously accentuating the hips and buttocks. Corsets caused a variety of health problems related to breathing and digestion.

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Wearing a corset constantly gradually altered the structure of a woman’s body to fit the hourglass ideal, contorting a woman’s waist to the size of a hand span after several years of “tightlacing” and “corset training.” 13 In the Renaissance era (1400’s— 1600s), it was considered a sign of intelligence and beauty to have a high forehead, which led women to pluck their hairlines often halfway up the scalp.14 This is exhibited in portraits of Queen Elizabeth the 1st and in Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Sometimes, the plucking didn’t stop at the hairline either—eyebrows were often completely eliminated. Other characteristics of beauty in renaissance Europe entailed a full figure with an ample

high contrast, with bright red cheeks “like the color of poppies,” white skin “like white snow,” clear, lustrous eyes “like a falcon,” and black eyebrows “like a sable’s tail.” (Pushkareva97) and (Kireyeva). Modern Japanese women believe their skin is the key to true beauty. Miki Okae, one of Japan’s most famous beauty experts, says the ideal is fair, smooth skin. “Everyone demands that,” she says.17 Creams claiming to lighten a person’s complexion are very popular in Japan. “You see a lot of products that advertise whitening because [Japanese women] want that porcelain, that very, very fair, light skin,” says another expert.18

surgery, sometimes even referred to as “plastic surgery addiction”, which demonstrates habitually seeking cosmetic surgery. Artists and architects of the Renaissance used an equation known as the “golden ratio,” a mathematical finding that goes back to ancient times, to design many works of art. Modern scientists have adopted this mathematical formula to explain why some faces are considered beautiful. Some researchers have determined that we identify human facial beauty using a very specific ratio called the phi ratio or the “Golden Ratio.” We look for a specific mathematical ratio between the eyes, mouth, nose, jaw, forehead, etc., and this ratio is

bosom, rounded abdomen, and wide hips.15 The upper echelon of society pursued porcelain skin, which was viewed as a mark of modesty and virtue. The ideal beauty combination was a white face with red lips (symbolic of passion) and cheeks. A pure white complexion, however, is impossible for a healthy person to attain naturally, so women used various methods to whiten their skin, some of which were dangerous and even deadly. One popular technique was the use of white lead powder, (also used by the Ancient Roman’s despite knowing it was potentially lethal). Women all over Europe covered their faces, necks and chests with lead powder.16 Thinness and pallor were signs of illness in Russia, and were also associated in Russian culture with mean behavior, bad habits or depravity. The similarity between blednost (pallor) and bliadstvo (harlotry) was noted in ecclesiastical texts. Russian women aspired to a look of In contrast, half way around the world, American women have been sunbathing and going to tanning beds fully aware of the likelihood of skin cancer as a result. Fake-tanning creams, tanning lotions and oils are highly popular where the Western ideal of beauty is browned skin. Not only is tanning seen as fashionable, but it is also thought of for many as a way to relax. Last August the International Agency for Research on Cancer moved tanning beds to its highest cancer risk category, calling them “carcinogenic to humans.”19 The desire for tanned skin and the use of tanning beds has led some to a habit which is difficult to break because the UV rays cause endorphins to be released from the brain; some people also experience not being able to tell when they are “tan enough” leading to a spiraling fixation.20 Similar to the “tanorexia” fixation, the modern Western ideal of beauty has also been associated with a preoccupation with cosmetic phi, or 1.618033… The symmetry and the ratio of the proportion are considered innately aesthetically pleasing.21 Many studies claim the golden ratio relates to an instinctual attraction based on recognition of a face as both human and healthy on a primal biological level. Yet other studies have proved that distinct features which vary from the average or most attractive, showing why actresses like Derryl Hannah, Penelope Cruz, Sophia Loren, Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Uma Thurman and Drew Barrymore are widely considered to be very beautiful women. Appearances deviating from the ideal or average are often seen as highly alluring, and exotic inspirations of intrigue. General characteristics of attractiveness like lustrous hair and smooth skin are also symbolic of health and seem to serve as qualities of attractiveness across the board. Heather Locklear, regarded as an exceptionally beautiful woman by modern standards, has

been quoted as saying, “There are beautiful women, and then there’s me. I’ve seen this face in every mall I’ve ever been in. I’m not that special.”22 Some modeling agencies will not hire women who have had nose jobs, and furthermore look for beauties with quirky and uniquely admirable features. “A face that [is] so beautiful, but not beautiful in a sense that all America thinks it’s beautiful…it’s the type of beautiful that the fashion industry appreciates and loves,” noted Tyra Banks, in discussing a contestant chosen for her show, America’s Top Model in 2005.23 One effect of a ubiquitous image of a white beauty ideal is the prominent practice of relaxing and straightening naturally textured hair. Additionally, in Japan, straight hair is considered “the norm,” and thus, more attractive—so great lengths are gone to in order to make hair straight if it isn’t already.24 Historically, in West African culture, afros were considered a distinctly feminine trait and black hair was very culturally important. Some African nations viewed a woman’s afro as being similar to the thickness of the forest, reflecting the identification of women with the Great Mother Earth and female principle of God.25 Various hair colors have been viewed as enchanting, or distinctly undesirable, in different times and places. Ancient Egyptians dyed their hair and wigs a variety of colors, with blues, greens, blondes and golds being their favored choices. In ancient Greece many dyed their hair red with henna and sprinkled it with gold powder, often adorning it with fresh flowers.26 Lizzie Siddal, was the model for John Everett Millais famous painting “Ophelia.” (1852). The red haired beauty was a muse to many artists and in her rejection of oppressive Victorian standards of beauty she set, rather than followed, a new ideal of beauty. “She changed the

face of fashion. Her tall, boyish figure, with no breasts and no hips, was not at all the Victorian standard of beauty,” writes one of her biographers.27 During a time when red hair was often seen as a stigma associated with the devil and witch-craft, her “coppery golden” hair was very influential.28 Siddal became a trendsetter of the “aesthetic” movement, and the typical fashionable aesthetic lady had red hair (often enhanced by henna), a pale face, green eyes and wore heelless shoes. The idea of red hair was thought of as social suicide Suicide Girls fill the “alterna-girl” void online (Image: suicidegirls.com) and her appearance was both mimicked by trend fol- naissance with a series of tortured lowers and mocked in cartoons.29 love poems addressed to a mysteriIn fact, while red hair has been per- ous “Dark Lady” whose true identity ceived as a mark of the devil and/or has never been revealed. Although a fiery temper in some cultures, hu- black hair is the most common mans have tried to redden their hair natural hair color, it is rarely found in other societies for thousands of in Westerners, which may have givyears. Ancient Egyptians and North en black hair an air of mystery and Africans used henna, mineral com- glamour in modern western culture. pounds, and other natural materials Those with very dark hair, natural or to go red.30 dyed, are often regarded as having a Dark haired women have long uniquely exotic beauty.32 been perceived as possessing an un- Consider the use of man-made paralleled degree of sophistication, beauty enhancements to achieve poise and intelligence. For decades, the appearance of a dream woman, women striving for respect and such as false eyelashes, fake nails, achievement have darkened their hair extensions, padded bras and, hair because of these perceptions.31 of course, implants and plastic surThe romantic connotations of black gery and fake tans. Comparably, in hair begin with the ancient Egyptian the country of Georgia during the ruler Cleopatra, who is believed to 17th century, high society women have enhanced the starkly black tint often donned false teeth, false hair, of her hair with henna and indigo. false bosoms and false calves. It was Shakespeare immortalized the black thought beautiful to induce large haired beauty ideal during the Re- eyes, which they dilated by using

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terestingly, too, are counterculture beauty queens like burlesque star Dita Von Teese, who ignites beauty ideals from the past, such as the popularity of corsetry and other vintage images. Images of the epitome of feminine beauty are everywhere, and they make for some of the most prevalent symbols in our society. It is nearly impossible to escape from the idealized version of what a woman is supposed to look like, what is considered to be the norm, and what is decidedly sexy. A glance into the past and other cultures reveals how subjective and changeable these seemingly infallible visions of beauty actually are. S —amber Marie Hurwitz attended american university’s School of Public affairs in Washington dC, where she earned a bachelors degree in Political Science. amber got her start as a professional writer working as associate Editor for Community development Publications in Silver Spring, Md. She covered legislative updates on Capitol Hill and at the national Press Club. amber has also written articles for female audiences in numerous publications and currently lives in Ithaca, nY where she works as a freelance writer.

1940’s sex symbol and Hollywood starlet, Rita Hayworth (Image: Suspensemovies.com)

belladonna extracted from the deadly nightshade plant.33 Another popular beauty mark of the 1600’s was the use of patches to cover smallpox scars. Small dots of black taffeta or velvet were shaped into symbols such as stars and moons. This fashion which began as a way to cover up smallpox blemishes lasted well into the 18th century and turned into a mark of beauty and decoration.34

Modern beauty marks and beauty art which does not conform to a standard “ideal” can be seen to take on their own terms of conformity and beauty worship. Piercings and tattoos, which could be considered marks of rebellion against expectations of female beauty, have taken on their own cult of beauty worship (for example the popularity of the Suicide Girls models). In-

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Photographs by Felicity Byrne, Styling by Ashley Glorioso

tep out of your winter rut with beautiful layered pieces that can easily be mixed and matched to work for chilly mornings, warmer afternoons and nights on the town.

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Kite and Butterfly jacket, Maggie Ward tee, stylists own harness and socks, Blue Life by Planet Blue lace shorts, Deena and Ozzy boots.

Literature Noir fringe Dress, ReCollection black fringe Vest, Cosabella Socks, Opening Ceremony Boots, Elizabeth and James (knife) necklace, others, stylists own.

Society for Rational Dress cotton and leather cardigan, Anne Valerie Hash lace bustle, Louise Manna body chain, Yfb slip, stylists own socks, Opening Ceremony Boots, Elizabeth & James cross ring, rose gold rings Campise, other rings stylists own.

Vintage bra, Myne skirt, Bulgari gold ring, long silver ring Soixante Neuf, cross ring Elizabeth and James, rose gold spike and diamond band both Campise, necklaces stylists own.

Kite and Butterfly Jacket, ReCollection silk top, Elizabeth and James shorts, Jennifer Shon body chain, Free People leather gladiator sandals, ReCollection cotton bra.

Kite and Butterfly top, Yfb slip, Free People sandals, BB Brush necklace, vintage hat from Screaming Mimi’s NYC.

Elizabeth and James Blazer, Fluxus T-shirt, Kettle Black studded Bustier, Splendid Bike Shorts, Deena and Ozzy Boots, socks and necklaces and bracelet, stylists own.

ReCollection flannel shirt, vintage bra, Herve Leger skirt, Louise Manna chain suspenders, Deena and Ozzy boots

Model’s own jacket, New Look shoes.

Photographys by Elkie Vanstiphout Styling by Suzie Vanstiphout

he land that bore us Audrey Hepburn and Rene Magritte has a new breed of beauty to share. Take a tip from the young women strutting the streets of Brussells—mix and match unique vintage finds with affordable off the rack pieces for a unique look you won’t see on anyone else.

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Zara jacket, American Apparel dress, vintage belt.

Zara jacket, American Apparel dress, vintage belt.

THIS PAGE: Model’s own jacket, American Apparel jumpsuit, New Look shoes. LEFT: All pieces vintage.

Model’s own jacket, Urban Outfitters bra, top and belt vintage.

All pieces vintage.

THIS PAGE: All pieces vintage. viNTAGe SHOPS iN BRuSSeLS: Episode, Rue de la Violette 28 Sussies, Rue Du Lombard 74 Foxhole Vintage, Rue des RichesClaires 4 CLiCk FOR MORe viNTAGe SHOPS iN BRuSSeLS

Photographs by Chloe Aftel Styling, Djuna Bel / Hair & Makeup, Megumi Wakabayashi

Ray Ban Sunglasses, Chloe Top.

othing celebrates a women’s form quite like beautiful lingerie. These vintage inspired, flirty pieces are sure to wake you (and your mate) up to languish in the change of season.

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See by Chloe top, Maiden’s Belt panties by Strumpet and Pink, ROSEARK necklace (designer, Diana Orr).

See by Chloe top, Maiden’s Belt panties by Strumpet and Pink, ROSEARK necklace (designer, Diana Orr).

See by Chloe top, Maiden’s Belt panties by Strumpet and Pink, ROSEARK necklace (designer, Diana Orr).

Garden of Delights panties by Strumpet and Pink

BOTH PAGES: Rosy Posy Posy Rosy panties by Strumpet and Pink

Christian Dior vintage glasses, Fox and Fawn vintage tulle crinoline

Fox and Fawn vintage tulle nec rhoncus vitae, ultrices et crinoline. lacus. Maecenas ultrices velit sed eros volutpat ac consectetur mi elementum. Pellentesque urna massa, tincidunt ut dictum quis, tempor id dui. Nullam sodales, arcu non pharetra luctus, dui velit pharetra metus, nec imperdiet est nisl suscipit nisl. Nulla ac interdum eros. Vivamus id elit vel tellus feugiat mollis. Donec suscipit libero nec velit elementum sodales. Vivamus vel neque quis

Often characterized as a chick-lit writer, Anna McPartlin’s latest novel, Alexandra, Gone, offers much more emotional depth than is often found between the candy-colored covers of her contemporaries. McPartlin tackles regret, fear, loss and heartbreak in her very readable and captivating novel. This story centers on the disappearance of Alexandra Kavanaugh and the effect it has on her family and friends. Four people discover themselves while searchThe Lake Shore Limited, Sue Miller’s ing for a lost friend. (Alexandra, first novel since her phenomenal Gone by Anna McPartlin, Downtown bestseller The Senator’s Wife, is Press, April 13, 2010) about how tragedy and fate affects our lives individually. The catalyst for this heart-wrenching novel is a terrorist attack on a train, similar in scope and reminiscent of the public mourning of 9/11. Four unforgettably authentic characters allow readers into their imperfect lives and into the deep emotional landscape of their hopes and fears. The lives of each character intersect at poignant moments captured with the grace and simplicity of pitch-perfect prose that only Sue Miller is capable of creating. This novel is certain to strike an emotional chord with readers every- Kristin von Ogtrop is the editor of where. (The Lake Shore Limited by Real Simple and spends her life Sue Miller, Knopf, April 6, 2010) helping people simplify their lives. What we discover in her debut memoir/self-help dictionary, Just Let Me Lie Down: Necessary Terms for the Half-Insane Working Mom, is that her life (and the lives of women everywhere) is anything but simple. Kristin handles the obstacles and pitfalls of mixing motherhood and career with humor, grace and last but not least, simplicity. Any woman who has ever found themselves tethered to their Blackberry, unable to keep their life in order and always struggling to find the elusive “balance” they keep hearing about, will

find Kristin’s words to be a soothing antidote to their worries. This is a woman who has been there, done that and written humorously and honestly about it along the way. (Just Let Me Lie Down: Necessary Terms for the Half-Insane Working Mom by Kristin von Ogtrop, Little, Brown and Company, April 1, 2010)

Elizabeth Berg writes with such fluid grace and honesty that when reading one of her novels you truly feel like you are listening to a close friend. Berg’s latest, The Last Time I Saw You, is no different. This novel centers on a fortieth high school reunion. The story is told from the points of view of five classmates, each with very different high school experiences, each seeking answers to very different questions. The characters in this heartfelt novel come to the reunion carrying their burdens of regret, fear, loss and ultimately hope and curiosity. As in life, the answer’s each classmate seeks will bring about a newfound joy and hope that only Berg can deliver with exquisite detail and an incomparable attention to dialogue. The Last Time I Saw You will have you calling up old high school memories and reconnecting with long lost friends. (The Last Time I Saw You by Eliza-

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Falling Off the Wagon
Another cold day in the office. Cold Here I sit, stomach feeling a little unenough to drive me to flee to Star- easy, reminding me why I stopped bucks for a Venti Caramel Macchiato. drinking these things in the first place. The Venti cup stands high, Starbucks and I are in an abusive re- proud; he knows that he has won lationship. today. I tell him that I don’t want to see him ever again. He casts a I haven’t been drinking coffee for smug glance in my direction, insusome time now. The caffeine was lating sleeve pulled high, because disagreeing with my stomach, and he knows I won’t leave for long. The my penchant for the polysyllabic weather will turn cold again, or an drinks filled with sugar and dairy early morning will catch up with definitely played a part in the 30+ me…And he will be waiting. pound weight gain while in Seattle. With whipped cream on top. But this morning, I was too cold to care about the ill effects I might have to suffer. Hot frothy goodness was calling to me. There was no fighting its siren song; my strength had been sapped from trying to stay warm for the past several hours. (Sidenote: Ladies, have you ever noticed that when you are cold, it always seems to be your hands and feet that are the coldest? I know you are thinking, “Duh, those are like, almost the only parts that aren’t covered.” You are now also wondering why I made you all sound like dumb valley girls. The point is, scientists believe that the female body is wired to send all the heat available in the body to the midsection, to protect the womb. This is why when I stick my cold feet on my husband’s side of the bed he yells at my stomach, “There is no baby!!” Also, he is crazy.)

Image: Jevett Photos

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Feature: BODYPuMP created by Les Mills
Power to Venus and Serena on the courts, but while we want to be stronger, we don’t necessarily want to be bigger. Over time, these thoughts have morphed into the gym phobia that says by increasing the weight we lift, we’ll increase the number we see on the scale and the tag in our jeans. All the while, our desire to have toned Mrs. Obama arms continues to tempt us back to the weight room. “You have a handbag that you pick up every day that can weigh around 25 pounds; your body can handle more than a 3 pound weight at the gym,” says Lexi Fournier, personal trainer and group exercise instructor, who is certified by The American College of Sports Medicine and has worked with leading health clubs throughout Boston, Massachusetts, for over six years. “The most prominent fear of women at the gym is bulking—this anxiety over getting big by lifting weights—and it’s simply a myth.” The truth about lifting: when done properly with weights that challenge your muscles (no more 3 pounders!), it will burn fat by boosting metabolism, building lean muscle, improving balance and posture, and changing your entire body composition. More muscle means a faster metabolism, which translates as more calories burnt (even when you’re sitting at home indulging in Real Housewives of New York City on the couch).

“You have a handbag that you pick up every day that can weigh around 25 pounds; your body can handle more than a 3 pound weight at the gym...”

Image: munfitnessblog.com

Images: lesmills.com

Fournier has three suggestions: a body fat test prior to beginning your exercise regimen, working with a trainer or in group exercise classes, and finally, the “Pants Don’t Lie” rule. Your local gym can give you a body fat test that will show your body’s lean and fat masses. This will serve as a benchmark for your progress. Women ages 25-45, should be around 25-30% body fat. Then comes the actual work. Enter, the world-renowned BodyPUMP . BodyPUMP is a 60-minute, group fitness program that works the eight major muscle groups through the use of free weights, barbells, plates, and aerobics. Upbeat (think American Idol meets stadium sports meets 90s nightclub) music keeps the class moving at a uniform pace, so you’re lifting correctly but also getting the

most bang for your gym-time-buck. “Group exercise is great because it feels like an appointment. There’s a set time, you’re there to work, and if you don’t go, someone might notice,” says Fournier. When you’re in a group exercise class like BodyPUMP picking your , weights wisely is crucial. Fournier recommends testing out weights with the following criteria: if you can do more than 12 repetitions easily, it’s too light; if you can’t do more than 8 repetitions, it’s too heavy. After six to eight weeks of your new exercise regimen, you might be tempted to step back on a scale to see your progress. Instead, take another body fat test. Or, just try your jeans back on. Here’s why: Muscle weighs more than fat—it’s smaller and denser, and therefore confounds the scales. Your jeans, however, will

be the best marker of your progress, and will fit so perfectly to your firm tush that you could bounce a quarter off of them. S

Image: modestocourtroom.net

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by Jennifer Guinn
As the title implies, 2010, the 75th edition of the Whitney Biennial is deliberately restrained, defined overwhelmingly by its time, and an inverse of the institution’s prior bombastic, sprawling editions. As the mission statement declares, the aim is to give a “cross section” rather than an overview of the state of contemporary American art, and to “underscore the idea of time as an element of the Biennial and to demonstrate the influence of the past” within which the artists establish “diverse responses to the anxiety and optimism” of our era. Co-curated by Francesco Bonami and Gary Carrion1.

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Murayari, this exhibition has been labeled the “Women’s Biennial” with an unprecedented majority of the represented artists women, as well as an unusually high inclusion of established artists and painters, creating a more intimate, physical and layered feel. Interestingly, it is the pared down approach that along with the strength of the artwork manifests the impact of the varied yet cohesive and interwoven dialogue. Of the women’s contributions, some of the strongest also best exemplify the concept of time: legacy, ephemerality, identity, transition, regeneration. Many of the works give as much weight to the tangential theme of space, both private and public, in order to communicate ideas of interiority, community, vulnerability and dignity. Walking among the galleries, one is struck by the highly personal and specific nature of the works, the overall absence of irony and sexuality, the smallness in size and simplicity of many of the selections. This subtlety is a bit of a trick, however, and along the course of the exhibition an impressive discourse develops about who we are in this day and age, our struggle to overcome our limits, to define and distinguish ourselves, to

mark our world and be conscious of the weight of heritage—what we perpetuate and leave behind for the generations to come. It is this reckoning heralded by the Biennial and its espousal of traditionally feminine themes which marks a significant
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shift within the contemporary mood about gender associations, the collective unconscious and hierarchy. Two of the few works included which do explore sexuality to illustrate identity in very different ways are Aurel Schmidt’s Master of the universe/FlexMaster 3000 and Dawn Clements’, Mrs. Jessica drummond’s (My reputation,1945). Aurel Schmidt, with her humorous and bizarre drawing of the trashcomposed minotaur, has become something of the Biennial’s it-girl.

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1. Aurel Schmidt, Master of the Universe/FlexMaster 3000 2. Dawn Clements, Mrs. Jessica Drummond’s (My Reputation, 1945)

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The young artist’s tongue-in-cheek image of the man-beast, his body constructed of refuse (including cigarettes, beer cans, condoms, vaseline, and a Blackberry), straddles a number of opposing ideas: masculinity and impotence, beauty and ugliness, life and decay. Alternatively, Clements’ wry, intricate ink drawing of a woman’s boudoir, replicated in sections from the 1940s film about a “fallen woman” who has taken up with a soldier following the death of her husband confronts the construct of womanhood as a trap, a prison. The panoramic view into her life and objects is both highly detailed yet incomplete: working from film stills, Clements reproduces images that are side-by-side yet non-continuous, taken from different angles, deliberately fragmented. Both works demonstrate the limitations of gender identity, the inherent contradictions of traditional roles (the impotent beast, the sexualized woman), and fuse the modern (recycling, reproduction) with the past (mythological beast, antique belongings). Interpretations of American identity

(continued) arrive in varying media: photography, painting, and sculpture. In Tam Tran’s series, raising Hell, her young, pajama-clad nephew fights off an imaginary foe armed with cape and broomstick, the photographs alternately capturing the forceful warrior and the little boy with his outsized weapons. Maureen Gallace’s small paintings of New England homes at first glance seem dainty and pastoral but the lack of any facade detailing on the homes gives them a subversive undertone; they are missing their inhabitants and any means of entry or view, merely semblances of a home, insubstantial and exclusionary, Norman Rockwell via the Twilight Zone. Jessica Jackson Hutchins’ sculptural work, Couch For a Long Time, consists of 4. a sofa from her childhood living room which the artist “reupholstered” with newspaper articles about Barack Obama occupied by awkward ceramic objects positioned on the cushions as stand-ins for the family, the political encroaching on the importance of family or home. Each demonstrates through distillations of American iconography— superheroes, regionalism, family identity/childhood memories—the disparity between how things look and how things are. Finally, there are the (re-)constructions: the reclaimed statue, the found-art environment, the dreamworld tapestry. Huma Bhabha’s totemic piece, My Skull Is Too Small, made of detritus looks ominous and dreary at first glance, but marries the dystopian with hopefulness in that this reconstituted object of

decay finds new life in the creature that semblance makes of it, a survivor’s character study. Aki Sasamoto’s Strange attractors installation uses science as a springboard (the Lorenz Attractor, a fractal structure in a dynamic system) upon which the artist’s interactions with the artificial environment transcend the ordinary into something new: a performance art version of Pollock’s action painting, controlled but playful chaos. Pae White’s exquisite tapestry creation Still, untitled, almost painful not to touch, combines digital photography with the loom to result in a lustrous, evocative large-scale textural work. The ephemeral smoke wisps curl and dance along the surface in a cool, sensual depiction of fleeting metamorphosis, which the artist describes

say about the state of American contemporary art, in particular, as well as a larger possible paradigm shift in our society? The female artists included in the show are both Ameri5.

strain that runs through their works’ messages is about what it means to be an American and an artist; female artists now have the advantage of hard-won equality and get to move beyond the gender narrative to represent society and make personal messages that are universal—what it means to be human, not what it means to be a woman. Our time is an era marked by stagnation as much as change, floundering in war and recession, socially discontinuous, technologically dominated. While much of the art in this year’s Biennial is psychologically weighty, the pervasive mood is one of strength: of rising to meet challenges, the idiosyncrasies of personality, of making patterns out of the chaos, moving away from passivity to resuscitate, to reconsider, 7. to bring life back to the realm of the essential. The women artists in 2010 have moved beyond the gender war to focus on larger, universal issues while still communicating them in intimate, intuitive, sensitive works; these contributions speak of people uncomfortable in, unsettled by their world, but determined to examine it, in on the joke. The show celebrates a new breed and mood in contemporary American art: adeptly integrating old and new, positing an holistic, re-

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can born and immigrants, ages ranging from early twenties to mid seventies, and of varying ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds. The most significant and evident change in their artworks is that they aren’t hampered by or advocating their femaleness or the gender war; the images of women by women where found here are fluid and what one encounters at 2010 is a focus on form, style and experimentation with techniques. These women stand comfortably on the shoulders of giants because of the last seventy years’ toiling of other women who fought to have a voice and place for themselves within the institutions and markets of the modern to contemporary art world. The curators were in a position to include more work by women because more women are able to work as artists now, they chose works based on their strengths and scope rather than topicality, and we, as the audience, get a more interesting, representative and accessible show and dialogue. The

silient, quietly willful vision, making the otherness into something beautiful and dignified. The Biennial feels hopeful because it shows progress is being made despite our problems, and while the naysayers love to argue about the medium’s irrelevance and politics, the curators found a way

as the “fabric’s dream of becoming something else.” All three communicate our transience, the longing to be protean and timeless, our human need to personify the natural world and be less alien to ourselves, one another and our environments. So, what does the demographics profile of this “Women’s Biennial”

to redeem and make the show fresh again by taking it back to the basics: good art. S Images: Whitney Museum of american art.

3. Tam Tran, Battle Cry 4. Maureen Gallace, Cape Cod, Early September

5. Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Couch For a Long Time 6. Huma Bhabha, My Skull Is Too Small

7. Pae White, Smoke Knows

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arts

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up to the transgressive theme of this year’s title, no Guts no Glory. Standouts for me: GL Brierley’s metamorphosing forms at Madder139, Anita Beckers’ booth for Maria Jose Arjona’s performance, Israeli artists Yuval Pudik’s hybrid collages at Kim Light/LightBox and Tamara Kostianovsky hanging meat fabric sculptures at Y Gallery. Scope, over at the light-suffused space at Lincoln’s Damrosch Park, about which I was most intrigued by the program including film, fashion and an auction of opportunities/ mentorship for young artists, but this ambitious interdisciplinary approach needs to be better integrated to feel more finished. The film room in the back seemed an impromptu addition and was too small, the “sweet shop” bus out front had no one around but the nonplused driver (artist?) and the fashion exhibit in the annex got little traffic despite being a collaboration with Chicks on Speed--again, German, and renowned for imaginative work. Scope was friendlier and more Pop than Volta—more L.A. less L.E.S.— and less resonant for it. Favorites here for me were the Asian and Italian galleries/artists for their high quality and formalism: Kwang Sung Park and Doyang Zu with their large-scale abstractions at Gallery Yeh, Fulvio di Piazza’s biomorphic

Image: The Armory Show

by Jennifer Guinn
If you are an art world insider or art enthusiast then Armory Arts Week (AAW) is fast becoming the pinnacle, amassing the largest, most impressive and diverse collection of international contemporary fine art for one week each spring in NYC. Despite the U.S. economic collapse over the last couple of years, AAW reported record attendance for 2010 and good sales, though the ostensibly lowered pricing surely accounts for some of the resurgence in the art market. This year, new satellite fairs announced themselves—Independent, the Korean Art Show and Dutch Art Now—alongside familiar fairs like ADAA Art Show, Pulse, Scope, Volta, and smaller, less structured and market-driven ones like Fountain, Pool, Verge and Red Dot. Furthermore, this year the activities were expanded across the boroughs with galleries open late, lectures and tours, installations, performances, and parties. Inarguably, if you can only make it to one, the Armory is the “grande dame” in terms of scale, professionalism and diversity, but the smaller fairs feature a broader range of lesser-known artists, are more collaborative and willing to take risks, and give new collectors opportunities for relatively affordable buys that the Armory does not. work I saw all week, especially in Pier 94 which housed the contemporary. While Pier 92 showed many established names with appropriately lofty price tags, I found the overall selection not as impressive as I’d anticipated, though there were singular standouts in recent pieces like Joan Mitchell’s red Tree at Hollis Taggert, and Robert Rauschenberg’s collage, Mirthday Man at Faurschou. Overall, the New York galleries and some of the German had the strongest offerings, but the intermingled periods made calling Pier 92 the “modern” somewhat of a misnomer. Pier 94, however, was stronThe the twelfth edition of the Armory ger and more heterogeneous than I Show was the largest yet with nearly had expected, many galleries focused 300 galleries from over 30 countries on single-artist representation which and showcased some of the best art- kept it from feeling overwhelming,

and photography and painting were prominent. Jessica Rankin’s luminous dark Star at Carlier Gebauer became one of my favorite finds of the week; the artist’s “embroidery painting” on organdy creates translucent, floating thought—transitory, personal, and abstract. There was the “cross-pollination” of MOMA-feature Marina Abramovic and Whitney Biennial’s James Casebere at Sean Kelly, as with other Biennial artists Dawn Clements at Pierogi and Maureen Gallace at 303. The new addition, Armory Focus, this year featured 22 Berlin galleries, a savvy statement since the Berlin art scene is known for its idiosyncratic and daring nature; perhaps wary of becoming obsolete the organizers are looking to associate the fair with bold counterparts for inspiration and support.

Volta, the sister-fair to the Armory and an invitational show which complements the Armory’s structure with its carryover of the singleartist focus. Volta is much smaller in scale and approachable; many of the artists were on-hand at the galleries to speak about their work and had editorial input on their representation in the catalogue, significantly more collaborative in process and presentation than a fair the size of the Armory can afford to be. Volta, to me, felt cool and more European in its aesthetic, and somewhat dark. The crowd was more hip and less Louboutin-ed than the Armory, the champagne less prevalent and the prices more accessible. This show is the American version of the successful Volta Basel begun in 2005 but this year felt a little safe, not quite living

1. Alex Prager, Rachel and Friends (from the Week-end series) 2. evol, Hof 4, Gerichtstr

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(continued) painting at Bonelli ArteContemporanea Mantova. I was most pleased to see the popular art inclusion of R.Crumb, Robert Williams (also in the Whitney Biennial), and Evol— the last of which, a German street artist, showed some of the freshest works around: spray paintings with stencils on cardboard done so deftly they transcend photo-realism.

subversive photographs at M + B, Miki Taira’s glass-encased creatures and Chiharu Nishizawa’s twist on traditional Japanese painting at Tokyo Gallery + BTAP , Julian Lwin’s Stasis installation of static-filled tvs (a deceptively simple commentary on the endless utility value, noise and production of garbage in our lives). Of all the satellite fairs, this one felt the most thought-out, relevant in content and engaging. Pulse showed From the entrance in, Pulse NY ex- that it is not necessary to feature a hibited a marked shift in seriousness- specific theme or region in order to -the selected artists more confident make a fair cohesive, instead showin technique, mature in style and ing how the spirit of democratizawith distinctive points of view. While tion—an international roster of exhibitors presenting 2. high quality works of widely varying media, scale and style from both emerging and known artists—can be used to accentuate the integrity and differences of the artwork showcased.

follow the focus on Berlin? This fair could supplant Art Basel Miami’s esteemed position. If satellite fairs like Pulse further distinguish themselves as the platforms for new talent by keeping the fairs distinctive, fresh and intimate, the Armory may prove to be the old guard: the staid, overblown affair that has little bearing on or connection to the emerging art scene, more market- than artistdriven with little to offer but “good buys.” Finally, the competition and recession recovery could continue to drive down prices, force galleries to work harder internationally for discoveries and the fairs to become more innovative, daring and interactive, and ultimately change the hierarchy of the art market/world. More immediately, December will reveal whether or not the Miami fairs acknowledge the challenge and endeavor to steal the attention back from New York. S —Jennifer Guinn studied German and austrian fin de siecle art and culture at the university of Texas at austin. She lived in Germany for a few years after her studies and is now back in the uS, living in Brooklyn. She spends as much time as possible looking at and writing about art and is currently at work on her first book of essays.

As the recession levels off, we shall see how AAW evolves through the formation of new fairs, collaborations with different institutions and scenes abroad and within New York, and what the competition means for Miami’s fairs. It was a pragmatic move there was no imposed thematic ap- by the Armory this year highlighting proach, the element of sound fig- some of the same artists featured in ured into some of the works, espe- the Whitney Biennial and opening cially the site-specific installations. I within a week of one another, and have many favorites from this show with this mutualism and new probut to highlight a few: Alex Prager’s grams like Armory Focus—what will

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ania del Rio is a graduate of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design with a BFA in animation. In 2003, her manga entry, Lovesketch, was selected to appear in TokYoPoP’s rising Stars of Manga anthology, volume 2. She quickly moved on to working for Archie Comics as the writer and artist for the comic Sabrina the Teenage Witch, a monthly comic that was given a complete shoujo manga makeover in 2004. Over the course of 5 years she completed 42 issues, ending the series with issue #100. Del Rio has also done additional work for Archie, including work on, Sonic the Hedgehog, Josie and the Pussycats, and on the forthcoming Cheryl Blossom and katy keene. During this time she also did some writing for Marvel on Spider Man/arana Special: The Hunter revealed, and edited the Mangaka america book featuring some of the hottest emerging North American manga artists. She currently resides in Los Angeles with her two corgis and husband, award-winning graphic designer, Will Staehle. Del Rio’s personal projects include the web comic, My poorly drawn Life, and a Victorian-inspired art business, The Bazaarium, she runs with her husband.

T

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What has your experience been like working in a traditionally male-dominated industry? While comics is still a primarily male-dominated field, I think it’s easier for a woman to break into the industry than ever before. The manga boom helped a lot with that because there was a sudden influx of shoujo comics aimed at girls specifically, and more girls started getting into comics for the first time. This created more of a market for female creators to step in and make the kinds stories that girls would want to read. In addition, archie comics, unlike some of the other major publishers, has always had a high percentage of female readers, so I was already working in a very supportive environment where I had a lot of creative freedom to tell a girl-oriented story filled with magic, romance, and adventure. I feel fortunate to be a creator in this field, not necessarily because I happen to be female, but because the industry itself is extremely competitive regardless of one’s gender. at the end of the day, it’s all about making a good story and creating good art, and I take pride in the fact that I’ve been able to make comics for an audience that has largely been overlooked by the industry.

Q

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You seem to have an interesting partnership/collaboration with your husband—how has your life’s direction and profession helped you to redefine the “traditional” idea of marriage and home life? We met in our freshman year of art school and our relationship has always been very collaborative, art-wise. While we were still in school, we formed an LLC to self-publish our comics that we would sell at conventions during the summer. I guess you could say our marriage was never set up to be a “traditional” one, despite the fact that my husband works at an office, and I work from home. neither of us would be content with me being solely a homemaker. Personally, it’s important to me to contribute to the household income, even though comics doesn’t pay well. as for my husband, he has always pushed me to have the most successful career that I can. Whenever freelance is slow, he encourages me to take advantage of the time to work on my own art projects. Given that I am home most of the time, I do tend to take care of most of the household chores, but to be honest, I dislike housework and cooking. That said, he hates it even more than I do, so I take it on as a way to give him time to work on his personal art projects when he gets home from the day job. It’s almost like we take “shifts” where we give each other time and space to create art. I think that’s what a good marriage is all about - supporting your partner individually while collaborating on common goals.

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Ironically, I come from a family that embraces and encourages plastic surgery. My mother had her nose and boobs “done” when I was 4, her eyes “These guys,” he continues point- “done” when I was 14, and her face ing to a table of men similarly dress, lifted when I was 26. Most of my aunts “can all ride 30 miles and just sit, and and cousins have had similar surgerorder pancakes and eggs and sau- ies; some of the men have had work sages. I have to stretch, or I won’t be done too (boob jobs excluded). able to walk for a week.” So: why does my body have such a Looking at him, I began to wonder visceral reaction to the thought of doif it was the aging that is so bad, or ing the same? Perhaps it was seeing is it that as we get older, we begin the aftermath of my mother’s face lift to notice the things in our lives that surgery: the swelling, the pain, and are lacking and that really matter like sitting up while sleeping. Or perhaps purpose and love. it’s that I suspect that my relatives would look just as beautiful without But, aging is a difficult thing, for any of the surgeries. Or perhaps it’s women in particular. I see it ev- that I really want to believe what my eryday on the faces of women my parent’s taught me as a child: ”It’s age—and even younger–who, have what’s on the inside that counts.” already begun to have their skin, peeled, pulled and pricked. To me, Honestly, thus far, I love getting oldthey all begin to look alike, and I’m er. With each year that passes, I birth reminded of Nicole Kidman in the a new part of myself that I never movie Stepford Wives. knew existed. At 30, I started creat ing collages, at 33, I started writing I am fortunate that at 36 the only poetry, and at 35, I started sharing it effects of aging that I feel are hang- with people. overs now lasting 3 days rather than three hours, hips that are soar after a My boyfriend often says that he beday-long hike, and noticeable laugh- lieves that death could be our greatlines around my eyes that are, how- est adventure. I think the same could ever slowly, turning into wrinkles. be true about aging. S While I may not opt for injections of Botox or Restylane, I do use the best creams I can afford. I have also (miraculously) given up coffee for Matcha tea (anti-aging properties!) The —Ginna Christensen is an organic foods aficionado, avid cook, blogger, and the founder of 27ground.com, a custom rug manufacturer based in Los angeles, Ca.

“It’s the worst thing… getting old,” an elder Persian man uttered in my direction. I was sitting on a bench in front of the Beverly Glen Deli staring up at the clouds. He was dressed in a racer’s biking uniform stretching out his hamstrings with the assistance of a near by trash can.

thought of going under the knife, however, makes my stomach feel as though it’s crawling up the back of my throat.

When I was growing up, my father constantly told me, “Make friends with everyone; never limit yourself to one group or one way of thinking.” Perhaps this mentality is why my father’s high school senior class voted him most popular. My father’s words stuck with me. Throughout high school, I had my athlete friends, my fellow English junkies, as well as the pretty, popular, partying girls with whom I’d known and with whom I’d socialized with since sixth grade. Different weekends went to hanging out with different groups, and I prided myself on being able to walk into any classroom or get-together and feel comfortable because I was friendly with most everyone. What can I say? I have always been my father’s daughter. Throughout my twenties, my ability to make friends didn’t wane, but I certainly chose more selectively. Time is precious; I can only give so much love and attention to so many people. And, admittedly, these days I give a lot of time to my yoga practice.

any given day. Yoga was my peace, my quiet—it is that for most yogis, I think. More often than not, I strode into the studio, dropped my mat, and laid down, rested my eyes, my mind, and my body before standing up and working for 90 silent minutes. I had no interest in “making friends” or becoming buddies with my fellow yogis—I kept to myself. As did most everyone else. And, frankly, I liked it that way. These days, it’s a different story. The proof? My new friends from yoga. Recently, I met up with two fellow yogis for a class at a studio I don’t normally attend, led by a teacher whose classes I don’t often make. We spent weeks e-mailing and arranging this get-together—a 10 a.m. “boot camp” class with a notoriously tough teacher, followed by an indulgent brunch. On my walk to the studio, my stomach flipped excitedly a few times. Yoga with friends! What a rare treat!

Graphic: Kristian Goddard

Considering how many hours I spend in the yoga studio, you’d think I’d have made a real yoga friend or two I can’t say much for my practice that by now. morning—10 a.m. is an odd time for me to hit the yoga mat. In hindThe truth? Not really. sight, I should have woken up early enough to eat a light breakfast beWhen I first started Bikram yoga, cause my blood sugar was too low. I was too caught in my own head Although I didn’t feel my best, my and my own practice to think about two friends fed me great servings of those around me. My studio stood their own strength, focus, and calm, as a safe, quiet, peaceful refuge, cool steadiness. They helped me rein which I didn’t have to make idle member to smile, to shrug it off, to chit-chat, or be “outgoing,” or be let go. They carried me through… anything other than how I felt on As friends oftentimes do.

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(continued) Afterward, we faced the cold and walked to a nearby restaurant for brunch. Great conversation ensued, the kind that happens between new friends, the kind that carries itself in a rush of shared stories interrupted with fits of laughter and a flurry of follow-up questions. We covered yoga, of course, as well as house renovations, fashion, blogging, nutrition, Amsterdam, American medical practices, outdoor markets, English cuisine, and child-proofing a home.

and practice with yoga bloggers “in real life,” to introduce myself to complete strangers in the hot room, to attend parties and happy hours hosted by fellow yogis, to give out my e-mail address and my phone number so that fun post-yoga plans can be made.

—Marique newell is a writer, blogger, and yogi based in Boston. an avid fan of live music, literature, local designers and artists, and the hot yoga studio. read more on her blog: hannahjustbreathe.wordpress.com.

Thirty-fried by Leala C. Munson
It has been said that “40 is the new 30.” Does that mean 30 is the new 20? Absolutely not. The 20’s were the party years, the road trip years, the multiple boyfriend years and the “find yourself” years. They were fun and necessary in our lives. Now we are in our 30’s. History tells us we should be married with a couple kids at this point. Throughout history women who were single, independent and intelligent were frowned upon and called names like spinster, hag, witch and old maid. But those ideas and beliefs do not apply anymore. Today, women in their 30’s are all over the map. Many women marry and have children before turning 30; however, the majority of thirtysomethings in the United States do not. Dr. Terri Orbuch, a relationship expert and author of Five Simple Steps to Take Your Marriage From Good to Great, states, “Educated women tend to be more confident about who they are and less willing to settle for a man who doesn’t meet their standards.” We are the new breed of 30; we are changing the way people look at age and life roles. Here we are, in uncharted territory with no guidebook to tell us how to deal with the issues we will face. Should I get married now? Do I want to have children? Is this where I want to stay? How come I didn’t get that promotion? All these thoughts take over the already churning minds of today’s women in their thirties. What toll do these overwhelming thoughts have on us physically and mentally? Regardless of our incomes, occupations or education, stress can sneak into our lives without out our knowledge. Alvin Toffler, Bureau of Labor Statistics, womenowned small businesses will generate more than half of the 9.72 million new small business jobs and approximately one-third of the 15.3 million total new jobs anticipated by 2018. Currently there is an increase in the number of women taking colBuSiNeSSeS AND eDuCATiON lege courses. Adult education and It is not enough to be busy. So are degree completion programs are the ants. The question is: what are thriving all over the country and onwe busy about? line. Whether starting college, fin—Henry David Thoreau ishing a degree or obtaining graduate degrees, more women in their In the book, The 10 Women You’ll 30’s through 50’s are registered at Be Before You’re 35, author Alison colleges and universities across the James explains what we will all go country and on the internet. through from college into the thirties. It is a must-have book for all of CeLL PHONeS, COMPuTeRS, us in the thirty age range. She lists BLACkBeRRieS AND HeALTH the 10 different women, or stages of Beeped and pinged, interrupted and life, we will go through. Finding your inundated, overloaded and hurried true self is the goal of these stages: —that’s how we live today…What’s needed is a renaissance of attention 1. New Graduate —a revaluing and cultivating of the 2. Dollarless Diva art of attention to help us achieve 3. Worker Bee depth of thought and relations in 4. Party Girl this complex, high-tech time. 5. Body-Conscious Babe —Maggie Jackson, new York Times, 6. Chameleon June 22, 2008 7. Crisis Chick 8. Ms. Independence When you stop and think about 9. Wirl (half woman/have girl) your daily routine, with how many 10. True You electronic devices do you come in contact in a 24-hour span? Now Some of us are in high-ranking po- multiply that by 365. That is a pretty sitions at major corporations while large number, and that is only one many others are breaking away from year! According to an article in Total the ‘norm’ and starting their own Health by Dr. Sherrill Sellman, a nabusinesses. In the midst of these turopathic doctor, psychotherapist difficult economic times, women and author, “The 100 trillion cells of who started their own businesses the human body communicate with have been doing quite well. Accord- each other by subtle low electroing to a study by the Guardian Life magnetic signals as well as through Small Business Research Institute biochemical reactions. These signal and based on information for the pathways carry the information that author of the book, Future Shock, states that people will experience more stress when subjected to a lot of change in a short period of time. Change is inevitable and constant in all of our lives, especially in the fastpaced world of today.

I don’t know whom to thank for all of this—my yoga teachers for encouraging such behavior, or my fellow yogis for showing such interest and warmth, or the universe for putting me in such close proximity with so And then, after two decadent hours many fascinating, friendly people. of visiting, eating, and giggling, we gave one another tight hugs and Or, if I should simply thank my yoga, made promises to plan another for helping to remind me to stay yoga-and-brunch date soon. open, to anything, to anyone, just as my father always said. S I stumbled home exhausted, elated, and carrying a slice of coconut cake to enjoy later. My body hummed from the deep yoga rinse; my heart felt as full and happy as my stomach. I made a mental note to send my two new friends a quick note thanking them for a lovely morning. And then I thought: “It is funny, this community of yogis.”

We share in so much together—in the hot room, in the locker room, on our blogs—and yet we all experience our yoga so differently, so individually. We stand so alone on our mats. I used to think yoga was so very solitary. And yet, with enough effort—or, sometimes, hardly any effort at all— we connect. We share our yoga. We share ourselves. We make a community; we work as a team; we become friends. I understand this now. And this understanding has enabled me to meet

Photo: Colleen Reilly

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(continued) then become translated into all the biochemical and physiological processes of the body. Continuous exposure to electromagnetic radiation (EMR), in particular information car rying EMR, can drastically distort and disrupt these cellular communication pathways resulting in abnormal cellular metabolism and, ultimately, disease. Cell function deteriorates; cell membranes harden; nutrients can’t get in and toxins can’t get out. The breakdown of healthy cellular processes leads to biological chaos in our bodies.” Find a way to cut back on all the devices and

give your brain a break. Even something as innocuous as a digital alarm clock on the night stand next to your bed can affect your brain and cause sleep disturbances. Another major issue we face is our biological clock. Within the past 20 years, women have been getting married and having children later in life. One recent study from the Department of Health stated that over the past decade, the number of babies born to women aged 40 and over has nearly doubled from 13,555 in 1998 to 26,419 in 2008. Since many of us were focused on

education and careers, we didn’t jump into the carpool lane right away. Now some women are realizing they want children before they pass 40 years old. If you are lucky enough to already have your ideal boyfriend or husband, you may be able to start having babies immediately. However, the new trend is becoming motherhood by artificial insemination or adoption. Now, instead of the stress of family inquiries (I am sure I am not the only 35 year old woman tired of my grandmother continuously questioning when I will marry and produce grandchildren) you face the new stressors of family life and motherhood. BuSYNeSS AND STReSS If we are unhappy, busyness makes a convenient excuse so that we don’t have to acknowledge what’s not working in our jobs or our families. —Marc Lesser, Less: accomplishing More by doing Less Something women in their 30’s tend to ignore is free time. Just a couple hours of relaxation and “me” time can make a significant boost in your mental and physical health. In the book, The overworked american, economist Juliet Schor points out the importance of leisure time and how we have less time for it now. Schor mentions that despite all the new innovations and technology that could make our lives easier, we actually take even more time to do finish tasks now. Maybe we forgot how to relax. Opportunities for relaxation, free time and hobbies are all over the place. Yoga classes are becoming as common as Starbucks and many companies are offering yoga classes in the workplace. Spend a couple hours a day reading a book, taking a slow walk along a waterfront park or challenge yourself to some unplugged time. Start with

one hour away from all electronic devices. Every week: increase the amount of time away from devices. Try it and note how much better you feel after one month. Stress can kill. It can lead to emotional problems such as depression and anxiety. It can cause increases in physical problems such as heart palpitations, fatigue, heart attacks and strokes. Removing stress is crucial for a longer, healthier life. Our thirties, should be wonderful. It is the new beginning of our lives so enjoy it! S —Leala Munson is a child and adolescent advocate, an academic, writer and singer. Her experience includes working in higher education at Concoria College and Harvard university and with at-risk adolescents. Her dream is to open a center for teen girls where they can learn leadership skills, confidence, life skills and realize their full potentials.

1 unplug yourself from all electronic devices for at least 1 hour every day. 2 Schedule personal time into daily routines. 3 Close your eyes and do not think about work or family issues. 4 Listen to music. 5 exercise daily. 6 Go for a short (or long) walk through a park. 7 Be kind to a stranger. in your busy life, find some way of being someone’s surprise benefactor by giving change to a homeless person, helping someone cross the street, donating time or money to a cause. 8 volunteer to help someone or a nonprofit organization of your choice. 9 Try to cut down on caffeine and sugar. You’ll be less jittery. 10 Hang out with friends and DO NOT discuss work. 11 See a comedy movie. 12 Laugh, laugh, laugh. 13 Go to your local library and sit in the

children’s department for a little while. Listen to those children’s conversations. Look up your favorite book from childhood. 14 Handwrite (not email or text!) a letter to someone you haven’t talked to in awhile. 15 Discover your passion (reading, writing, journaling, singing, knitting, etc.) and do it at least once every day. 16 Play a game. A real board game. Online games if no other people are available. 17 Write lists about yourself. The jobs you’ve had, the names of the boys/men you dated, or the names of friends with whom you’ve lost touch through the years. 18 Learn something new—a new language, a musical instrument, painting. (Something you have always secretly wanted to do but never invested the time or effort in.) 19 visit a museum. Go back to see the whale hanging from the ceiling at the Museum of Natural History that you saw during your 5th grade field trip. 20 Clean clutter from your house or apartment. When your rooms are clutter-free, you have more incentive to make your entire life clutter-free.

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Graphic: Kristian Goddard

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Proper ventilation. by Joanne Colan
Sighed lately? Think about it. When was the last time you consciously allowed yourself the luxury of a deep, long, gut-extending breath? And then released it audibly, slowly, purposefully, mindfully? It might have been the last time you took a yoga class or ascended to the top of a flight of stairs. Perhaps it was an involuntary It occurred to me I hadn’t sighed in the way it occurs to me to open a window and let fresh air into a room where the atmosphere has become thick and stuffy. I needed fresh air! Indulging in a rich, delicious sip of air and then surrendering to the sensation of it releasing from me brought a stillness that felt all at once or exhaustion. We sigh when one of life’s more intense episodes—a horrid argument, a bone-racking sob— finally lets up and we can actually breathe again. Indeed, to sigh is to acknowledge the burdensome c’est la vie kind of suffering we must sometimes endure. But the intentional mindful sigh is another animal altogether. It’s not news that oxygen keeps us alive. Taking a deep breath is cleansing, yes, but it’s also vital for living. We breathe around the clock without thinking about it, yet breathing is never on our To Do list or scribbled down at 2pm Tuesday in our appointments book. Our breathing is just always there, keeping up with us no matter what comes our way. It kicks up a notch when we have to run to catch a train, or bowl after our toddler, and it slows down to a comfortable state of invisible when we watch TV or sit at the computer. In reality though, all that auto-pilot, mindless breathing is robbing us of some essential health benefits. We don’t often indulge in the kind of breath that makes us feel we’ve inflated our entire upper body like a balloon. Rather, the rapid in-and-out that best describes how we typically breathe is known as chest breathing. On a physical level, shallow breathing doesn’t allow for a complete exchange of gases through the lungs. That only happens when we do what’s called diaphragmatic breathing where the diaphragm fully contracts downward, thus expanding the chest cavity and causing the belly to extend outward. When we’re not used to diaphragmatic breathing, it can feel like pumping air in and out at balloon-bursting capacity! However, by not engaging the diaphragm, abdomen and chest cavity when breathing, we are adding stress to our body, compromising our immune system and creating a shortage of oxygen to the blood. Sounds pretty dramatic but surprisingly it doesn’t kill us; we survive quite well considering! Nonetheless, in order to alleviate some stress, rid our lungs of gaseous toxins and let in some fresh air, it certainly doesn’t hurt to permit oneself some conscious mindful ‘sing out loud’ sighing once every so often. As well as providing our hard-working body with some purifying ventilation, sighing can be used as a useful “reboot.” The sigh, I happily (re)discovered, is a handy portal to the now of any given moment. That rich full diaphragmatic breath properly oxygenates the blood, thus calming our nervous system. The inflow of oxygen nourishes our brain, we feel less fatigued and emotionally balanced. A conscious deep sigh also means a full awareness of your breath, which helps shift your focus into the present moment. Puffed up with cleansing air, you disrupt your internal non-stop chatter and upon exhaling you, release some of that built up tension. In more ways than one, it feels great to breathe a sigh of relief. When is sighing useful and how can you apply it? For starters, when you feel you need to let in some fresh air! Each day can presents choices, deadlines, problems, decisions, burdens, relationships and attention. We leave little room for ourselves, and we are always chasing what’s next. Inevitably, the weariness, sorrow, or exhaustion of life’s challenges can cause us to sigh rather heavily. It is, after all, a good way to let off steam and release a little pressure. Better, though, to punctuate the day with purposeful healing sighs of relief. A mindful sigh in all its diaphragmatic glory can become your very own portable on-the-go retreat. Let the thorough exchange of air cleanse you from the inside out. Be conscious of the calm that exists somewhere in between inhaling until you feel comfortably full, and exhaling as you let go of preoccupations and fears. Breath awareness provides an imperceptible shift in focus and energy. Properly ventilated, you’ll feel centered, present and still. S

Photo: Colleen Reilly

sigh, nothing out of the ordinary. But if you put down what you’re doing for a moment, mark a physical and mental pause, and bring your attention inward, what happens when you let yourself consciously sigh? Try it. Inhale through the nose until your belly is full, and then gently expel the air through the mouth in a steady, slow, discernible sigh. Notice anything? When I did this recently, I noticed I hadn’t sighed in a while. And this got me thinking.

familiar yet long forgotten. I was instantly calmer; I was relaxed; I felt refreshed. “Did I also have a slightly different perspective than just moments before? Was I slightly giddy on all that new oxygen?” Whatever it was, I decided in that contented state, that sighing was worth a little investigating. Commonly, we associate involuntary signs with weariness, sorrow

Graphic: Kristian Goddard

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