Midweek Mashup: Let's get naked

Each week, Jamie and Nikki scour our laptops, phones, and bookshelves to share a few of our current favorite things. We'd love it if you did the same in the comments! 

What happens when you undress in front of your mirror? I hope you strip naked and marvel at your body. Lately, instead of wishing I could see a lithe size 2 in the mirror, I've been thinking about how my body looks a lot like the beauty ideal of Ancient Greece. Buzzfeed did a video compiling mostly white, Western beauty ideals for women. What is most striking is how gorgeous women are, but also how the only thing consistent about beauty standards throughout history is the absolute crock of cunt shit they all are. 

What's Underneath

whats underneath rosalyn lionhart

Recent, the mother / daughter cofounders of StyleLikeU and What's Underneath series came to New Orleans to feature women of color from our city. This week you can see New Orleans queen, Rosalyn Lionhart, a musician whose light, ferocity, and sense of humor shine in her interview. Even more remarkable for me is the gift of viewing an elder's unadorned and unhidden body. We shun the full spectrum of human experience from public view when this particular beauty should be celebrated as its true gift. The more photographs I see of elders, the more voluptuous and sensual they look, sumptuous skin draped over in love and warmth. What could be sexier than that kind of surrender?

Claire Rudy Foster

Claire is my new ultra-badass ladycrush. I've been listening to her and Kristi Coulter (another favorite) on Since Right Now, a recovery podcast in which the two women took over and riffed for two hours about books, films, getting sober, and being disliked. Claire's voice takes up space like a dude sprawled on the subway. That voice does not give a fuck. She's also an insightful, unapologetic feminist with a rapid recall on great fucking books, the fastest way to my heart. Her new collection of short stories  I've Never Done this Before places her dazzling and dark prose at the forefront of heartbreaking stories of addiction and loss. 

Kristi Coulter

 Kristi Coulter, author of the forthcoming collection  NOTHING GOOD CAN COME FROM THIS

Kristi Coulter, author of the forthcoming collection NOTHING GOOD CAN COME FROM THIS

Kristi is the author of a piece at Medium called Enjoli, something she lovingly refers to as the essay heard round the world. Within hours of publishing, Enjoli scorched the internet, attracting vehement haters and diehard fans. In it, she calls bullshit on the idea that we can do it all: raise the kids, run the company, buy the bacon and cook that shit by 5, all while wearing heels and the perfect shade of red lipstick.  Her writing is acerbic and funny, the kind of honest that slices your most tender parts. She's also one of my favorite tweeters. Her essay collection NOTHING GOOD CAN COME FROM THIS is due out in 2018. Go. Read her now.

Kelly Harris-DeBerry

I think of Kelly Harris-DeBerry as New Orleans intellectual royalty. Her writing spans advocacy, activism, raw emotion, and culture. She is the founder of Brassy Brown, a website collective that places women of color at its center. (They're looking for a content intern right now, so if you're interested in writing engaging, thoughtful content with the guidance of an experienced editor, go apply!) On social media, I immediately look to Kelly for insightful commentary when shit goes down. Kelly is the driving force behind many community events in New Orleans, so she's highly worth the follow. She's also a pretty good sports critique if you catch her on the right day.

Last but not least, she is a phenomenal poet. You can watch Kelly deliver searing poems on YouTube or support her work on her site.

Art & Costumes at the Music Box Village

This weekend the Music Box Village hosts a costume and art market free and open to the pubic. If you live in New Orleans, you get a two-for-one deal: explore the intricate, eclectic miniature houses that make up the Music Box village without paying admission and peruse a collections of costuming and art. It all happens this Saturday, 11-4 at 5547 North Rampart in the Bywater.

Other things I'm doing this week: 

  • Reading THE GLASS CASTLE by Jeanette Walls. I love the quick pace of the story, the simple audacity of her unhinged, bohemian parents, but - I don't know - there's something lurking under the portrayals I can't quite put my finger on. My opinion might be colored by my roots in poverty, book snobbishness, and the fact she was a gossip columnist for years. I think gossip columnists do a rather mean thing in the world. 
  • Going to one of my favorite meetings in the New Orleans recovery community. (Email me if you'd like the details.)
  • Ordering a half-used Passion Planner because I just need it, okay? (Post coming soon about what my obsession with writing supplies has taught me about what you should do and should not do with your money.) This is my planner soulmate and I don't why I ever cheated on it with that scheming harlot, The Desire Map Planner. Actually, it's a wonderful planner with great journal exercises. I'm just stuck in my ways. Anyone want a gently used Desire Map Planner?
  • Finally running again. Thanks to Nikki's suggestions, Twitter encouragement, and the fact that I just bought a bunch of clothes for my new job and don't want to buy bigger ones already. My body is also crying out for it. I sit at a desk all day, and my only way of dealing with stress at the moment is burying myself in a whole pint of Ben & Jerry's Salted Caramel Core ice cream, which may be the second coming of Jesus, just sayin.