On My Radar: Chelsea Handler

Photo: The Insider

I’m kind of obsessed with Chelsea Handler right now.

She’s a master of the kind of dry wit and stone faced sarcasm that I love most. She’s bold, honest and absolutely hilarious. I’m not gonna lie, those are three of my favourite personality traits in other women. She has built a nice little niche for herself by daring to say what everyone else is thinking. And it doesn’t hurt that she’s a total babe.

The Jersey girl has three very awesome comic memoirs to her name (all of which were on the New York Times bestseller list at one point and all of which have caused me to laugh my hiney off at various times in their largely vodka-and-unresolved-childhood-rage-fueled proceedings). Funny and  completely brilliant. I couldn’t put them down.  I hope to hell that Chelsea is working on her next piece of work as I write this.

If you’re looking for some good reading material for the beach this summer, I highly recommend all of Chelsea’s books. I guarantee you’ll laugh out loud. There’s  a very good chance I’ll read them all over again before the summer ends.

I’m also pretty sure that if I ever met Chelsea in person, we would instantly become best friends and subsequently drink copious amounts of vodka together. I heart you, Ms. Handler.

I Want A Perfect Body, I Want A Perfect Soul

Photo: LayoutLocator

Today as I was busting my ass on the elliptical machine at the gym, trying to avoid the guilt I felt for sneaking a cookie after dinner last night…I started thinking. I was looking around at all the other girls working out in that gym; staring into the mirrors, their reflections looking back at them. Were the same feelings of inadequacy going through each of those girls heads? Why do we do this to ourselves? Why don’t we ever feel like we’re good enough?

In the moral order of our media driven society, the definition of what constitutes beauty, or even an acceptable body, seems to become more inaccessible all the time. We live in a universe where you could bounce a quarter off the well toned abs of any celebrity, and magazines are filled with airbrushed photographs of emaciated models with breast implants. We are constantly bombarded with images of Nicole Richie and The Olsen’s among other twenty somethings who look like they need feeding tubes. How is any normal girl supposed to feel attractive or desirable when these ladies set the bar?

The pursuit of beauty has become an obsession for so many. It is an obsession that gnaws at the insecurities of most women; even those who are, by any objective opinion, drop dead gorgeous. Nobody wants to acknowledge that in our sophisticated decade, something as superficial as beauty can propel one person forward and hold another back. Society needs a revolution in its values. Beauty needs to be defined with much broader parameters. We need to avoid being trapped into the suffocating vanity that cuts off oxygen to the brains of so many girls (myself included!)

Beauty is nothing we can ever hold onto, yet we’ve panted after it through the ages, eager to drink it in and swallow it down in huge, hungry gulps- like the very breath of air itself. I’ve realized that if I have to sacrifice having fun and doing things that I enjoy in life to look a certain way, the choice is clear. Living fully and being happy is what life is for. Perfection is an illusion.
And in my experience, many of those who appear perfect to the outside world are merely camouflaging a plethora of imperfections on the inside.

I’ve come to the conclusion that you’ve got to have a healthy relationship with your body if you want to be happy with it. This has been an ongoing struggle for me. I wish I could say that I love and accept myself as I am, but the truth is, I have spent much of my life worrying about how I look and feeling insecure about my body.

We all come in different shapes and sizes, and the grass is always greener on the other side; two cliches that, like most cliches, happen to to be true. We are all different, and we all wish we had something other than what we have. What we women need to do, instead of worrying about what we don’t have, is just love what we do have. Get to know your body. Love it, respect it, treat it right.

Because really…doesn’t the world have more important issues to focus on?

(Originally posted: 6/30/07)

Smart Girls Have More Fun

I have found yet another reason to love Amy Poehler (as if I needed one…)  Amy, who is currently glowingly preggers with baby number two, runs Smart Girls at the Party, a website dedicated to empowering young women to be themselves and achieve their dreams. She co-produces a weekly web series that highlights girls with “a unique talent, community interest or point of view.” It’s done with a fun, quirky style that’s pure Poehler, and totally accessible to girls.

Poehler, the  “actor, mother, dreamer, list maker, part time lipsyncher and full time goofball” and her two best friends, Meredith Walker and Amy Miles, aim to celebrate young girls who are “changing the world by being themselves.” The idea is to show girls that being smart is cool.

I think the whole concept is aboslutely brilliant and I sure as hell would have LOVED a show like this when I was a kid. I would have wanted to be one of those girls on there talking about my passions, for sure!

Amy told the Huffington Post, “The idea [for the show] came out of us wishing we had a time machine so we could go back to the younger versions of ourselves and let them know it was gonna be okay. We wanted to do a show that we would have wanted to watch at that age. And we knew we wanted to have a dance party at the end. We basically started with the dance party and worked backwards.” (I love this, because I admittedly have a dance party once a day!) Also, look for her hilarious husband, Will Arnett and friends from Parks & Recreation and SNL to pop in for dance party cameos!

Amy, Meredith and Amy represent real female friends and celebrate that stage of life where you write down what you want to be when you get older, before too many people tell you no.

Poehler says of her subjects, “We looked for girls that had passions, girls who felt passionate about stuff, no matter what that was.” Each episode showcases an average “smart girl next door,” with guests such as a young writer, a robot builder, a dancer, a chef and a gardener.

The overall message of the show is:  “Be yourself! And then tell us about it! And then let’s dance!”

With all the negative female images saturating our media these days, let’s just take a moment to say, “Thank you, Amy Poehler!”

If anybody knows how to bring the awesome, it’s Amy P.

Check out the link to an episode of Smart Girls at the Party.

Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress

Photo: Revolution

Khloe Kardashian is known for being the loudest and most outspoken of the Kardashian sisters. I got hooked on their two E! reality shows, Keeping Up With The Kardashians and Kourtney & Khloe Take Miami a while back (guilty pleasure style), and it didn’t take me long to identify Khloe as my favourite family member.  While her personality definitely makes a bold statement, her fun fashion choices certainly do as well.

When it comes to their closets, all three of the girls tend to go for what’s trendy, expensive and high fashion. Of all the sisters though, Khloe seems to have best mastered the art of taking something basic to a whole new level. This girl can put on a boring black tee and make it fabulous. She has a seemingly endless array of fabulous hand bags  and smokin’ hot kicks to accessorize every outfit with too.

Khloe also knows exactly how to dress for her body.  Although she towers over her two older sisters (I can relate), she still regularly loves to accentuate her 5’10’’ frame and flaunt those amazing gams in heels.  Statement jewelry and black nail polish are staples, and have really become her signature accessories.  Plus, she’s got her handsome hubby Lamar Odom on her arm these days too. Cute!

Photo: Zimbio

Photo: Handbags 101

Photo: Khloe Kardashian

Decision Day

Photo: AFAH33

LeBron James’ big moment is here- not as an NBA champion but as a free agent. There will be no parade, no ring ceremony, no banner raising. He  became the king of all media earlier this week, as he launched a new website, signed up for Twitter, and concluded matters by getting into the TV business.

More than two years of hype, drama, conjecture and expectation have dwindled to a few more hours.

All the coy responses and dubious speculation have come down this. Tonight, on a prime time made-for-TV special which will air on ESPN, King James will announce where he’ll play next season and beyond. Fans from coast to coast will tune in to watch, with the ones in his home state of Ohio praying they won’t have their hearts broken again.

You can watch “The Decision” at 6pm Pacific.

Photo: Nike

As a Bulls fan, I’m hoping my prayers will be answered and that James will end up in Chicago. It broke my heart a little when it was announced that Chris Bosh had decided to join Dwayne Wade in Miami; however, the Bulls signed Carlos Boozer yesterday, which  is huge. I think that a nucleus of James, Boozer, point guard Derrick Rose, center Joakim Noah, small forward Luol Deng and power forward Taj Gibson certainly rivals what the Heat has in place.

Even though the growing feeling around the league is James will announce he’s staying in Cleveland, the same source said the Bulls believe they’re still in play, although they aren’t sure what their chances are. The stage has been set for a dramatic dénouement. You better believe that I will be in front of my television tonight. One thing is for sure, LeBron is a serious drama King.