Saturday, September 3, 2011

The more things change, the more they stay the same!

I love daughter is taking me to see Swan Lake in April as a birthday gift. So I was excited when I saw a brochure from the Detroit Opera Theatre advertising the upcoming series. There on the second to the last page was a picture of Swan Lake.....with a digitally enhanced picture of the lead ballerina. Her boobs had been enhanced to appear larger.

Now anyone who loves ballet or has seen a performance knows that ballerinas are very thin. I don't hold that against them. They have to be thin to be lifted gracefully into the air and probably because of the amount of work that they put into their craft, so why did they make the ballerina in this picture so well-endowed???

I know that sex sells but, seriously, they had to make her appear curvy to draw more attendance from the ballet-going crowd? I'm so disappointed.

I'm already seriously bothered by the fact that women and most young female children are constantly sexualized in the media. I've heard that Abercrombie has created a push-up bikini for 12 year olds, and I've seen Toddlers and Tiaras.  I also know that they cannot report on a news story without identifying the female victim, the female heroine, the female executive, the female politician, the female missing victim as beautiful (they almost never describe males in the same situations that way). I know that TV show are full of fat, old/young men with Playboy bunny wives/girlfriends. I know that women over 50 and women over size 2 are non-existent on TV and movies (one show in decades does not count). And I know that this has been going on forever but when will it stop.

I laugh at the parents who wonder out loud why their daughters dress provocatively and post explicit photos on the Internet on one side of their mouth while they're probably commenting on their daughter's weight, clothes, dating status with the other. Of course not all parents are doing this but I think the prevailing message that we send our daughters is that you are the sum of your parts and not to be judged on what you do but on how you look or if you have a boyfriend.

I don't know how to end this blog because I don't have all the answers but I know that when I raised my daughter not only did I focus on her strengths as a human being like her compassion, intelligence, and humor but we also had many discussions (with my son too) on how females are portrayed in all the forms of media out there...I hope she passes that on to the next generation.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My cat is getting old...

He's 13 years, he sleeps a lot, hardly eats, and has gotten very skinny. I think it's the End of Days for Reilly.

I remember when we got him11 years ago. My family and I were at Pet Smart looking for a kitten, not sure what we were looking for, but wanting to have an animal in the house again. A house is a lonely place without an animal in it. Schneek, our other old man, had died a few years earlier and we were ready to have someone else in the house meowing in the morning, greeting us at the door, sleeping in our beds, and winding his goofy body around our legs.

I remember walking down the aisle of cages and looking at all the cats and feeling like I was going to cry because I wanted to take all of them home with me.  Suddenly I see an orange arm sticking straight out from the the cage like he was trying to stop me and say, "Hey, check me out!" I took it as a sign and he came home with us.

We always say that Reilly isn't afraid of anyone or anything.  When there's fireworks or thunderstorms, 73 pound Roxy is shaking and panting...Reilly is asleep somewhere. The first time they met each other Reilly slapped Roxy in the face and her claws stuck...that was it, the boundaries were defined.

I remember when my sister was dying of lung cancer, every night when I got home from the hospital I would just lay on the couch and cry and my usually aloof cat would jump up on my chest until I was done. I think he recognized that I felt sad and he wanted to comfort me.

I hope that I'm brave enough to do the right thing when its his time. Sometimes I just look at him now and I don't know what to do. I know that if I take him to the vet, she will want to do tons of expensive tests on him just to tell me that he's old and dying. Sometimes he seems like his old self when he tries to sneak out of the house or jump up on the sink or sneak some food off of the kitchen counter and then I think he must be ok. But then I realize that somehow I'll know when it's time and I'll take him and stay with him when they put him down...I owe him that much.