Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Princess No More

Hey Brainiacs,

Sorry it's been a while, again, but I am finally done with finals!  And with the completion of finals comes the completion of my undergraduate career.  This means no more late nights stuck in class, no more studying material I couldn't care less about, and no more pretending to listen to professors who bored me half to death.

To celebrate the end of this little slice of hell, I've been doing basically nothing.  I'm literally sitting on my patio and scrolling through the websites of Vogue, WWD, and Bazaar.  However, this brought me to my writing topic of the day: Princess Mako of Japan is giving up her royal title.

While studying at the International Christian University in Tokyo, Mako met Kei Komuro, a paralegal (not a royal).

As is Japanese imperial tradition, in order to marry Komuro, Mako would have to give up her official title and role as a princess, which she has decided to do.

Initially, I wasn't sure how I felt about this.  Giving up her entire destiny for a man?  However, lately I've been softening up to the idea of love.

Why should Mako have to marry someone she likely doesn't care about in order to keep her title?  And what exactly does the title of "Princess" do for a girl anyway?  Free tiaras?

I think it's bold of Mako to follow her heart and pursue the man she truly loves.  Connections like that don't come around frequently, and you can't just throw them away.  If she has met someone she wants to spend every day with, wants to share her secrets and quirks with because he will love her at the end of the day no matter what, then she should be happy.  She should be with the paralegal, crown be damned.

What do you think about this?  Does this matter to you at all?  I'm not sure why I care so deeply about Princess Mako of Japan's love life, but it's a slow Wednesday.



Thursday, May 4, 2017

May 4

Today is a special day, and not because it’s May the Fourth. I’m not a Star Wars nerd, so frankly I don’t give a shit.  Today is May 4, and that marks two months of recovering from anorexia.

I could tell you that this has been a miracle, that this has been a happy sixty days, but that just wouldn’t be the truth.  The truth is that this has been the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to go through, and the only thing pushing me along is the knowledge that this is the right thing to do.

The truth about recovery is that it isn’t pretty.  You don’t start eating three balanced meals and suddenly become normal again.  You have to go through hell—payback for the hell you put your body through all those years.

When I first began recovering, I thought I was dying about fifteen times a day.  It begins with the increase in metabolism, which is sudden and dramatic and you are just not ready for it. 

Starting out, I couldn’t eat like a normal person.  Based on the danger my body was in, I had to eat like a teenage athletic boy just to make any semblance of progress.  No matter how much I ate, it wasn’t enough.  My metabolism, which I had so cruelly ignored for three years, was back and vengeful as hell.  My eyes would glaze over, in desperate need for food almost every hour on the hour.  I would shake until I got something in my stomach.  My heart rate would rise and fall drastically throughout the day, a reminder that I was still at risk for a heart attack (and still am).  I went through a period where I swear I could literally feel my food metabolizing and disappearing before I had even finished swallowing it.  I had to keep eating, eating, eating, but don’t forget: I have a disorder.

“Have,” because even though I’ve chosen to recover, I’ll still live with anorexia.  The experts say you can never get rid of an eating disorder—only learn how to manage it.  “Have,” because even though I want to get better, I want to be happy, I want to be healthy and normal again, there’s a voice in my head that will never stop telling me to put down the food.  The voice in my head will never stop telling me to exercise longer, to run faster, to drink more water instead of eat.  The voice is getting duller, but it’s still there.

After the metabolism began to regularize, I noticed another wonderful (note: heavy sarcasm) side effect of recovering: it all goes straight to your stomach at first.

A doctor explained this phenomenon to me: when you starve yourself, the first thing to break down is your muscle.  Next, your bone density.  Then, brain chemicals are messed with.  Eventually, your stomach lining begins to deteriorate, causing your organs to sag.  When you begin to refeed, your body isn’t sure whether or not you’re going to put it through a deficit again, so to protect itself, the fat all goes straight to your stomach to protect those vital organs.  After you’ve been eating regularly for a while, it begins to redistribute and you have a normal, balanced body again.  But this can take months—even a year. 

Beyond the fact that I’ve been wandering around the past two months looking slightly pregnant, I’ve been experiencing a resurgence of hormones.  Another thing that happens when you starve yourself—your body stops producing enough hormones.  Get down to a low enough body fat percentage and you lose your period, too.  This sounds like a dream come true, but it’s a nightmare.  Imagine not feeling like a woman anymore.  Beyond just the loss of sexuality is the loss of feelings in general.  Happiness, sadness, anger—it’s all numbed.  You’re not really a person anymore.  You’re not really living.

Recovery is the exact opposite.  About a month in, I began to feel thirteen and raging all over again.  Mood swings, random fits of anger/sobbing/hysterical joy.  Deep depression for what I put myself through, followed by delirious happiness that I’ve been able to pull myself out.  And then, after three years without, I got my period.

As of today, I am the minimum “normal” weight for my height, gender, and build.  I am menstruating again, I’m experiencing life, and I’m eating enough to make it through the day without collapsing mentally, emotionally, and physically. 

I know I still have a long way to go.  Shit, I haven’t even really gotten past the stage of looking slightly pregnant at all times.  I have a lot to learn, a lot of fears that remain to be tackled, and a lot of physical and emotional damage to repair.  But two months ago today I decided to live my life again, and I’m really proud of myself for sticking to that.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Met Gala 2017

Hey Everyone,

It's a shame that the Met Gala was last night while I was stuck in class.  However, the beautiful thing about social media is that it was so widely covered, I was practically there anyway.  Except, you know...not at all there.  Like not even slightly close to being there.

But it's okay! That small detail doesn't stop me from compiling a list of the best dressed at the Met Gala, OR from judging the people I deemed not good enough.  In no particular order, here is my verdict:

1. Rihanna

It's tough for me to admit this, but someone beat out even the queen (Lady Gaga) this year, and that someone is Rihanna.  As far as I'm concerned, Rihanna won the red carpet. 

If you follow my blog or have any sort of interest in the fashion world, you know this year's theme was Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons.  Kawakubo is known for her wild, imaginative, textured designs.  She is also known as the designer to create clothes that no one would actually want to wear. While most guests last night stuck to safer ensembles, Rihanna wore Comme des Garçons and truly paid homage to who the exhibit was honoring.  And she looked fantastic.

2. Joan Smalls

Nowhere near as daring as Rihanna, but still gorgeous in Alexander Wang.

3. Lily Collins

Not sure how I feel about this one.  She does sort of look like she belongs on a wedding cake...but maybe a really bad ass Gothic wedding cake.  It could work.

4. Kerry Washington

I barely recognized her in this look, but she really pulled it off.  The daring new bob paired perfectly with the multi-textured (nod to Kawakubo) gown and choker.

5. Cara Delevigne

Not exactly sure what's happening here. She's wearing Chanel and that's usually enough, but I'm not crazy about the tailoring of the jacket.  Also, she's shaved her head and painted it silver.  This would have made more sense last year.  Maybe she's forgotten the theme has changed.

6. Katy Perry

The co-host of the night.  This a little much. Maybe next time leave the headpiece at home.

7. Adwoah Aboah

One of my favorite models and she NEVER gets it wrong. A fun fact about Adwoah is that she started gurlstalk, a website devoted to making women feel empowered, loved, understood. Not alone. She's pretty fantastic for that.

8. Lupita Nyong'o

This color against her skin is absolutely breathtaking.  Lupita tends to wear bright colors and they work so well for her.

9. Grace Hartzel

Okay, now that's Comme des Garçons. Thank you Grace. 

That's my list of favorites, whether that be because they did it well or did something just...sort of wrong.  What do you think? Do you agree? Do you think I'm a moron? Comment about it!