You are currently browsing the monthly archive for June 2008.

In our modern Western society, fat=bad, and weight loss if you are fat=good. I myself have tried to lose weight, and I am sure most females of all races and ages have also done the same more than once. Most of the time, when someone finally succeeds in losing their excess weight, we congratulate them and tell them how good they look, which they do, especially in pictures.

But in person I would dare say that at times seeing close friends, acquaintances, or family lose weight has created some cognitive dissonance for me. Imagine my shock to see a college friend of mine (she used to be a healthy size 12) who had moved away for awhile and moved back to my city to get married, who was now a gaunt size 6-8. And when I say gaunt, I mean gaunt, as in shriveled. When I asked her about it, she shrugged and said that she lost weight for her wedding. To her credit she never gained it back, but it took me several months to get used to seeing her as a wisp of her former self.

I am not saying this because I am jealous; rather I just think that some people look better with meat on their bones. I felt the same way when my dad had to lose weight because of his diabetes. Somehow, when he got skinnier, he just didn’t look the same any more. His cheeks were a bit sunken and he, like my college friend, both slouched, which made them look even emaciated.

Traditionally, in Chinese culture, being chubby meant that you were prosperous, and it was a good thing. Wives were expected to feed their husbands well and husbands were expected to put on some girth, unless he was a hard-laboring peasant. Nowadays, that view has mostly been abandoned, even though some may still compliment a man’s wife for feeding him well.

I wonder if I am the only person who reacts this way to others’ weight loss. I think if someone loses weight and exercises, so that their body is toned, they look much better than someone who lost weight but has no muscle tone. Also, in my observation, the person who lost weight seemed like an overall happier person (i.e., more cheerful) before rather than after they lost weight. I would welcome your thoughts on this subject.

Advertisements

Setting up a new blog (especially one where I pay for the hosting) turned out to be more delightfully challenging and rewarding than I expected, and yes, I fussed over the design for the site numerous times, obsessed about the colors, whether it looked right in both Firefox and Internet Explorer, how to change the header image, etc. I even submitted a theme request to one of my favorite theme designers, Sadish Bala of WPthemland, who had requested ideas for themes. I can’t wait to see what he does with a celebrity blog theme, since most of his themes are so clean and technically or nature-oriented, which I love.

Needless to say, I have learned a lot recently about web hosts, WordPress, design, CSS (I barely know it), plugins, SEO, marketing, image licensing, Adsense, social networking, promotion, writing, writing, writing, did I say writing? And there’s a lot more for me to learn. But about the writing–two days into working on my celebrity blog and I realized an essential element that almost every blog requires–the personal element.

Coming from a journalism background, my tendency when writing a blog post is to follow what I learned in school–research my facts, be as objective and unbiased in my writing as possible, etc. However, I noticed that the blogosphere doesn’t quite work that way. Yes, facts are important, but as one blogger said, “it’s all opinion.” Celebrity bloggers and tech bloggers alike give their personal views on the topic they are writing about. (I applaud all the brave souls who dare to bare their heart and soul to the public via the internet, and risk inviting criticism or controversy.) So I realized that what makes a blog interesting is the unique perspective of the individual who is writing it. In the same way, I need not be ashamed or hold back my views on the topics I blog about.

A blog, then, seems to be a mix of a diary, news article, and editorial all in one web log. Back when I was going to journalism school, blogs didn’t exist yet; I wonder what my college professors think of it now? But I think it is fantastic thing that frees up the writer to express themselves in a way they couldn’t before, in real time. In the future, who knows what other marvelous invention will come along to revolutionize the writing process?

I am now on Twitter! I decided to give it a try after reading someone else’s blog, and I love it! In this day and age we can all connect via blogs, email, IM, cell phones, Twitter, forums, MySpace, Facebook, and whatever the next social networking avenue will be. I am a knitter, so I joined Ravelry, a new but fast-growing knitting/social networking application for needle workers like me. And I’m sure there are many more such applications and web sites for people with all kinds of interests. Your friends and family can follow you around and keep tabs on what you are doing all of the time.

But likewise, certain undesirable people can also follow you around the net too, such as stalkers, spammers, bullies, ex-whatevers, and just plain old-fashioned annoying people. How much anonymity can one sacrifice for the convenience of keeping in touch? And what if you wanted to bring certain friends together and not others?

I ran into this dilemma yesterday on Twitter, when I casually mentioned that I had more than one blog and Twitter account (mistake, perhaps). One of my Twitter friends, P, kindly offered to follow me on my second one, which posed a conundrum I was hoping to avoid–to keep my worlds separate. I have another slightly more controversial blog about a singer and his fandom. Why don’t I want my friend to follow me there? Under normal circumstances I would be delighted, but unfortunately, in this case, I started that blog because some fans were cyberbullying a friend of mine. The bullies, all being grown women, shocked me with their behavior and by the lengths to which they went to hurt my friend. Naturally, I and anyone who defended my friend were also subject to their crude abuse.

One of the traits that stalkers and cyberbullies have in common is that they have an insatiable curiosity about their victim(s). My friend’s abusers posted her home address, phone number, her place of employment, and anything else they could find online on MySpace, with the intent of harassing her and causing her harm. They even found her teenage children’s MySpace pages and harassed them about some comments their friends made on their profiles. They also went into Photobucket accounts and saved pictures and made lurid, humiliating Photoshopped pictures of not just my friend but other friends.

So what’s an honest blogger to do in this situation? Create two separate blogs (and identities), of course. One to expose the cyberbullying and another one to chronicle one’s life and interests, and never shall the twain meet. For my friend’s bullies keep an ever watchful eye on my other blog, and probably now also my associated Twitter account, since I let my fellow fan friends know about it (another lesson I learned the hard way–you may or may not be able to trust friends on the internet–they gossip). If my friend P starts following my other Twitter account, one or more of these bullies may look though my followers list, see him, look at his friends list, and then notice my la-metrogirl account. Then all they have to do is read my comments and put two and two together and then see my blog here and they have me. Then they will be able to spread whatever details they find out about me around–to my detriment. And in case you think I’m merely being paranoid and that those bullies aren’t capable of doing all this, rest assured that they have and they can.

I would dearly love to link all of my social networking and other web sites together, to let everyone know that it is me, because I have so many interests and I would be hard-pressed to not talk about them here. Also, I am sure it would help drive more traffic to all of them. But currently anonymity and safety are more important, due to the situation with my bullied friend. So my friend P, I hope you understand why I hesitated to list all of my blogs, or to have you follow me on my other Twitter account.

In the Bible, Abraham’s wife Sarah was so beautiful that even in her old age she was wanted by the rulers of Egypt and Canaan. For some reason, our modern society tends to relegate older women to into the dowdy, frumpy, or just “plain” category. So I was delighted to hear of a television show called She’s Got the Look that was an older women’s version of America’s Next Top Model. All of the contestants were aged 35 and up, including mothers and grandmothers who had the confidence to parade themselves on a fashion runway.

Celeste

Can you believe that she is 50?

It’s about time! Now, if only they would have an older adults version of American Idol, that would be great! I think it should never be too late for you to pursue your dreams, be they singing, modeling, acting, getting your college degree, or whatever it is.