Fierce Women Dish

an artist, a journalist, an activist, a psychologist, a student, and a diva place a cup of nourishment on the table.

Magazines and books that do women justice June 4, 2008

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Books and Magazines

 

Crystal:   “Are Men Necessary?” by Maureen Dowd; “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert (it’s almost cliche to cite this one, I know); “Good in Bed” by Jennifer Weiner; “Candy Girl” by Diablo Cody (don’t judge it until you read it); “The Good Body” by Eve Ensler; “Love Walked In” by Marisa de los Santos.

 

Donna:  I will have to come out at this point and admit to being a magazine junkie. At one point some years ago I had eight subscriptions of a combination of different fashion, beauty, fitness and health mags; there is nothing that I love more that taking a stolen hour (or fifteen minutes, or whatever to sit and thumb through and read them) I realize that I have such a love/ hate relationship with them; many of them consistently send a mixed messages. I now read them with a more critical eye and have discontinued my subscription to many of them over one offense or another. (Ex: I will never forgive ‘W’ Magazine for printing a horrible comment about Kate Winslet’s appearance at an event in the late 90’s.) I have new criteria for a subscription: unless a fashion magazine regularly features women of all sizes and includes racial diversity on the cover as well as inside the mag, I won’t subscribe. I also can’t take the fitness mags anymore at all. They leave me with the feeling that I am not doing enough and I really hate that feeling, so I don’t read them.  A magazine I love: Marie Claire. It consistently features articles about women doing great things in the world and women that have lived/ are living through extraordinary circumstances as well as some fun fashion-y type things. In honor of my upcoming 40th birthday I have been picking up More magazine and really am loving it as well.

 

Janine:  I love the publications that honor women from “More” (for women over 40) to “Essence (celebrating women of color) to “O” magazine (that offers self-empowerment to women)—they all in some way help me keep my sanity. Even though we aren’t still where we should be in honoring our women through the media, I take pride in enjoying the small doses sent my way.  Even the music I choose to listen to, from India Arie to Angie Stone to Beyonce (sometimes) there are mediums that ‘get it’ and understand that women have a place in this world and it should be honored.

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Television Shows that Do Justice to Women June 3, 2008

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In New York last week, a good friend told me that she makes her choices about what to watch based on whether or not the show or movie features a strong woman.  Which led us to a discussion about what media is out there right now celebrating women.  So that’s the question posed to our Fierce Women this week.   What books, mags, television shows, and movies do you flock to in order to get your dose of fierce women and what media makes you bolt?  Today, we’ll talk television.  Come back later this week for our take on movies, magazines, and books.   – Rosie  

 

Donna:  I don’t really watch much—we put our TV upstairs so we have to make a real choice to go up and watch it, but have recently discovered Netflix on Demand and am able to keep up with some great shows this way. What I despise the most: reality tv for sooooo many reasons. First of all it isn’t “REALITY” to have a camera shoved in your face all the time. I think these shows thrive on pitting people (women especially) against each other in various competitions for the big prize: usually a date with some bachelor or washed up TV /movie/ rock star. My most hated reality TV show ever: The Swan. Ugh. Another show I cannot believe is still on daytime: Jerry Springer. Who is still watching this? Obviously someone must be, because it is always on at least one of the screens at my gym and is usually featuring girl fights of one kind or another over things and relationships unimaginable to most normal people. Why do people enjoy watching people fight like this? It makes me uncomfortable just to see it at the gym without the sound on.

 

Shows I like, currently on TV on the other hand: I do like Heroes for the fact that their ‘cheerleader’ although both cute and blonde, is very smart and a positive example of a teen on TV.  Of course, I love Ugly Betty and this one is such a no brainer…we all have a Betty in us. Not only is the show produced by a Latina (Selma Hayak) but it also stars America Ferrera who has to work really hard to appear ‘ugly’ and Vanessa Williams who is both a woman of color and over 40—wahooo! And I love 30 Rock because Tina Fey’s character,  Liz Lemmon, is real and vulnerable while being in charge; she makes mistakes and has to recover just like regular people do…although her recovery is probably much more funny than most. She is constantly playing with character stereotypes on the show and I love watching them play out. Brilliant TV.

 
Janine:  I totally love Oxygen and Style Networks. They are completely FOR women and ABOUT women and to that I say,  "It's about time!" I just saw a promo the other day for a new TV show on Oxygen promoting women over 35 who 'STILL HAVE IT' and are modeling--showing their natural beauty!!! Then there's TLC’s What Not To Wear--a TV show that helps boost women's self-esteem and self-image by beefing up their total appearance--new clothes, new hair, new look!!
And I can't forget about How to Look Good Naked which features making over the 'everyday full-figured woman' helping her to feel more comfortable about her body by posing NUDE!! It seems so liberating! While I don't always celebrate some of the 'men-hating' themed shows on Lifetime Network, I love their positioning statement--the network for women! I love the fact they make no apologies for celebrating everything about WOMEN!!
Crystal:  My Cheers: The way the mothers (and families) are being portrayed on Friday Night Lights and Medium; watching the liberation of the women in Mad Men; Holly Hunter in Saving Grace; Kyra Sedgwick in The Closer; the character of Miranda Bailey on Grey's Anatomy (she's the only reason I watch the show).  My Jeers: Reality shows where women use sex as a weapon or strategy; the way the women are portrayed in "Brothers & Sisters" (is it me or is this show starting to reek of "Dynasty"?); "Gossip Girls" and "The Hills"

 

Rosie:  My addition on a cheers list would be Olivia on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. 

 

What current shows do you cheer and jeer for their portrayal of women?       

 

Aging Gracefully May 1, 2008

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So, I was eating my breakfast this morning while watching a little television when the often played Sally Field Boniva commercial came on.  Sally was on screen, doing her thing, when it occured to me how refreshing it was to see a woman in her sixties who was comfortable with going gray and having some wrinkle lines.  She’s absolutely lovely.  Now, I have been trying to think of other famous women who seem comfortable with their aging– because what is mirrored back to us in our media is often what we then try to emulate.  So who else is out there spreading the message to be comfortable with the changes in our body?  Jamie Lee Curtis comes to mind.  But surely the list is longer than that.  HELP! 

Rosie