My Latest Snag: The Pregnancy Pillow.
You’re Sooooo Popular: Le Pearl Sandal.
The most popular items on le blog this week:
+I now wear this sunscreen daily. One of the silver linings of running into a wall and getting nine stitches in my face: I’ve been backed into a skincare routine I should have been doing for decades.
#Turbothot: Well-Behaved Women Rarely Make History.
If you’ve been a reader for some time, I’m guessing you can intuit my reaction to the aphorism above. I agree with the underlying ethos, as I consider myself a feminist in a narrow sense of the word and believe that a lot needs to change in order to accomplish a greater measure of equity between the sexes — much of which requires the mindful disabuse of conventions and norms of generations past, and much of which could therefore be perceived as “misbehaving” within the context of prevalent social and economic “rules.” But there is something charged, freighted in the phrasing that makes me cringe. I imagine a willful child pounding his fists on the ground in tantrum, or an unwieldy woman being carried out of a bar, arms swinging. And while I presume the author of the phrase chose the word “well-behaved” carefully, archly aping the sentiments of a domineering male figure in its coinage (“behave yourself!” this phantom male might tsk at his book-reading wife — ugh), I sometimes wonder whether its subtext is lost, and whether there is now a presumption that to be heard, one must be loud and garish about it.
The movie Colette stirred this internal debate in me. (Have you seen it? It is exquisite in aesthetic — the clothing, the set design, the hair, the music, even the sound mixing! — and the screenplay is gorgeous. There were several times Mr. Magpie and I turned to each other, repeating what we’d just heard in delighted bemusement.) The protagonist Gabrielle (or Claudine, or Colette, come to that) is a fascinating study in gender herself but I was principally interested in the deft sketch of her mother, a quiet but strong-minded woman who speaks her own mind — but civilly, politely. Within the opening few moments, a loud and personable Willy barrels through a conversation on a play by insisting that it’s not worth a viewing. Gabrielle’s mother smiles gently and says: “I’d like to see it and make up my own mind nonetheless.” Later, her daughter comes to her complaining of marital strife, concluding that “I must learn to get used to marriage.” And her mother replies: “Or marriage must get used to you.”
I love this character and her discreet but pointed way of creating space for herself and her daughter. She was a reminder of a lesson I learned while still in the professional world: that sometimes a well-timed question or a thoughtful observation, delivered calmly and humbly, can be more powerful than a booming declaration. It can stop traffic, quell conversation. It can change the trajectory of a decision or an afternoon or an entire season of work.
I suppose what I mean to say is that I am by nature a reserved, rule-abiding, and conflict-adverse person, but I also feel passionately about certain things — equity between the genders being one of them. I will never forget when a colleague at my same level told me to take notes for him, or when countless investors turned to my husband for questions about our shared business that I could just have easily (and occasionally more competently) answered myself. I take grave issue with the presumptions that underlie these experiences, but I would never have responded in kind, in person. It’s simply not in my genetic makeup to stop and take someone to task on the spot. Instead, I redirected: “I can answer that question best” or “Let me jump in here” or “No, why don’t we both take notes?”
Does this make me a non-feminist? Does this mean I’m part of the problem?
Maybe it takes all kinds of kinds to affect change of the magnitude many of us imagine, but I’d like to be counted, whether I perceive myself as loudly misbehaving or quietly creating space for myself and the women around me.
#Shopaholic: White Sandals for an Outdoor Wedding.
+I’ve received so many similar questions from either brides-to-be or guests at weddings asking for comfortable heels to wear for an outdoor or beach ceremony. These are your ticket.
+Speaking of sandals — OMG.
+This dress is chic in the cream/white color in particular. I can imagine wearing it to a wedding-related event as a bride-to-be OR pairing with sharp flats for work.
+These look like those Nicholas Kirkwood flats but cost less than half the price.
+These ceramic vases are gorgeous. Also, the styling in that snap makes me want a navy wall very badly.
+This denim jacket is SO cool.
+For mini: this is currently in my Amazon cart. No idea on quality but I love the collar!
+Doesn’t matter how many highlighters I have in my cosmetic kit — I’ll always make space for more. This is at the top of my beauty lust list.