Dove conducted an experiment about how women perceive their own beauty. Very interesting to watch.

[Update 4/18/2013: I have heard as much negative about this ad as positive over the last several days. Posting was not an endorsement but rather a spark of conversation. My personal opinion: On one level, this is fascinating to see the difference in how people view themselves from how they’re viewed by strangers. To me, the difference in the second drawing was more a tone, a confidence, that makes someone more ‘beautiful’. On a different level though, I’m bothered by the homogenous subjects (just women in their 30s and 40s of mid-range weight and appearance with no normal blemishes or other noticeable appearance features) even though Dove usually does a better job than most with showing a range of women, and also the idea that beauty means narrower face, less freckles, fuller hair, etc. At the end of the day, I don’t think this ad/experiment is really helpful, and the interesting qualities would be better served outside of the beauty brand context. That’s my take.]

There is no passive-aggressive, conditional, manipulative nonsense behind my statement. I mean what I say. She doesn’t have to hug or kiss anyone just because I say so, not even me. I will not override my own child’s currently strong instincts to back off from touching someone who she chooses not to touch.

Katia Hetter, on how she gives her 4 year old daughter the choice between hugging/kissing people, or not. She emphasizes the need for a child to be respectful but also for parents and others to be respectful of the child’s personal comfort zone and instinct.

Although I think the article goes a little far with the implications of allowing a child to choose their own polite greeting, I respect its perspective and agree very much that it should never be seen as disrespectful if a child – or anyone, really – is not physically affectionate; people should not feel hurt or offended if other respectful measures are there. Further, I respect the view asserted here that conforming to convention just to please someone shouldn’t be taught; kids will learn on their own through observation and practice, and can then make their own decisions on how they’d like to conduct themselves.

Of course, it’s not that simple – certain things are a parent’s job to teach and discipline can be taught if not self-imposed – but social conventions learned by instinct and trial and error rather than instruction are much more openly embraced (so to speak).

(But, what do I know! This isn’t a parenting blog!)

simple things i take for granted and for which today I say “thank you”

– family members who care and are present

– friends who know how to be there and are amazing individuals

– a cozy home in a great neighborhood that I love coming home to every night

– a job that provides vocational stimulation and stability

– money for clothing, food, rent, and some fun stuff in between

– an understanding of budgeting and personal advocacy

– wonderful taste in people, places, and things (so, in nouns in general)

– skill in both math and writing

– the ability to communicate clearly and use all of my senses

– a kickin’ bod, complete with auburn hair

– a strong sense of self, including an appreciation for my own abilities and limitations

– people who have provided quality mentorship

– the ability to make lifestyle choices like vegetarianism in healthy ways that are supported by my environment

– desire. passion. faith. enthusiasm.

The Eyetwitch

I’m nearing the end of day 7 of eye twitching. A few things have come of this curious bodily function:

– I’ve over-explained it to people who haven’t noticed it

– I’ve researched eye twitching and still don’t know the cause

– I have been moving my right pinky involuntarily at increasing rates as this has continued.

– I don’t know how long is too long before I consult a doctor

– I hope there is nothing more than laugh about it that a doctor could do, because that’d just be crazy.

I like eyes. I do not like creepy eyes. Like mine [but not mine].