Do I have time for a selfie?

New Yorkers love themselves ... who can blame them?

The selfie phenomenon.

All the way from Istanbul, to Buenos Aires, to one horse towns and villages all over the world. It’s here. And it’s here to stay.

From the young to the elderly, from blue-collar workers to the Commander-in-Chief.
The selfie taking practice is being embraced by all. So much in fact, we can’t but wonder if it confirms we’re a narcissistic society.

Looking over my son’s shoulder as he browsed through Facebook this morning, I couldn’t help noticing the dozens of selfies of his young friends. Young women, in an array of poses, ranging all the way from the “head cocked to the side” position, to the “OMG, is this still going on?” duck lips.

Later today, just seconds after I posted my own selfie to Instagram, I pondered the reasons that motivate us to share our mug with, for the most part, strangers.

Do we do it as a way of recruiting external validation, or does vanity propel us to use the selfie to document our beauty?

Were these selfies to be unedited and “au naturel,” perhaps the subject wouldn’t bother me.

Yet, looking at my own Instagram selfie, edited with various filters and a blur effect, I realize we aren’t presenting our “true” selves to the world.

The selfie appears to be another way to conform to society’s definition of beauty; one whose sad message is that you’re only beautiful if you look a certain way.

“Not everything is motivated by the evils of society, mom,” chided the Son when I broached the subject at the dinner table. “Sometimes,” he said, “a selfie is just a selfie.”

But is it? Thinking back to the heavily edited selfies I saw this morning, I’m not so sure.

In all fairness, I’m certain there are those who take selfies for the sake of documenting a bad hair day. Others might take them to evidence what they look like at a certain age.

Yet the fact that so many of us partake in the selfie phenomenon raises the question of, do we need others to tell us we’re beautiful?

And that makes me sad.

Sad because, even words like “You’re beautiful,” aren’t going to help if we don’t believe it ourselves.

Sad because we may always depend on someone to validate us.

Sad because we are placing so much importance on physicality and so little on what truly establishes our worth.

Sad because the majority of selfies aren’t true representations of what we really look like.

Sad because in hiding behind an edited selfie, we fail to show the world our true beauty, complete with enlarged pores and imperfections.

We may not be able to stop the selfie phenomenon, but we can refuse to play by the rules of peers, society, and our own insecurities.

We can turn the selfie on its head and instead, use it as a tool to affirm, “This is me. This is what I truly look like and I am beautiful.”

Inspired by my sister, who posted a selfie of her beautiful, unedited self on Facebook, I took a selfie tonight.

No make up.
No edits.
Just me.

Join me in the effort to turn this phenomenon into something positive by posting your own beautiful unedited selfie.

Let us effect positive change in how the world defines beauty.

Show the world the beauty that is you!



Note: If you post a selfie, please leave a link in the comments section so other readers can see it.

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Who wants a helping of Arrow with a side of Diggle?

cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by NiteLynx

I wanted to start off this post expressing my gratitude to all of you for asking me how my knee is doing.

I also wanted to give you an update.

After four months of being diagnosed with a tear in the meniscus, I seem to be improving slowly.

Very slowly.

There are days I think my knee is never going to produce scar tissue and I’m going to be left hobbling like a hobbit forever.

Nevertheless, I continue to wear my brace, elevate my leg, and sleep.

I find myself sleeping a lot.

Which is funny, given I’ve suffered from insomnia for most of my life.

And because I find myself dozing off during the day, I’m awake at odd hours of the night.

So, much like a vampire, I find myself limping meandering through the house, looking for something to nibble on, donning my blanket as a cape.

Sadly, little Roxy has also adopted this sleeping/non-sleeping pattern and seems to be eating round the clock.

We’ve come to embrace this way of life.

So much in fact, that we’re ready to audition as extras in the next Twilight sequel.

But I digress.

Last night, as I tossed and turned on the uncomfortable little couch in the family room, I thought it best to get up and find a way to induce sleep.

As I browsed the list of the many TV episodes I haven’t watched, I came across one of the last episodes of Arrow.

I don’t know what made me think watching this show was going to make me sleepy.


Because one minute into the episode, watching the protagonist train bare-chested and glistening with sweat, I was salivating like one of Pavlov’s dogs.

And no, on this occasion I will not apologize for objectifying this amazing specimen.

Glued to my computer screen, hot tea dribbling onto my pajama shirt, I sat mesmerized looking at the most sculpted abs I have ever seen.

Roxy, aware of my drooling, jumped on the couch to see what was causing my hypnotic state.

Halfway through the episode, the desire to sleep long forgotten, Diggle, another male character, appeared shirtless.

At this point, I frantically looked around the room searching for anything that could substitute for a paper bag.

You know, in case I started hyperventilating.

Yet, it seems unfair to objectify discuss these characters without giving a synopsis of the show.

The show Arrow, a modern depiction of the DC Comic character Green Arrow, features billionaire playboy Oliver Queen, who after being shipwrecked on an island for five years, returns home to Sterling City. His family soon comes to realize that Oliver is a changed man. However, Oliver is not the only one who has changed. His beloved city has taken a turn for the worse–overwrought with crime and corruption, it is now at the hands of criminals who exploit the innocent. With the help of his bodyguard John Diggle, Oliver will assume the identity of Arrow, a vigilante whose mission is clean up the city and right the wrongs committed by his father. The show airs on the CW on Wednesday at 8pm, eastern standard time.

And there you have it.

If you haven’t seen this show, I highly recommend it.

It is action packed, the acting passes muster, and it features men who are more than willing to whip off their shirts.

Nevertheless, because the show doesn’t feature a warning, I feel it my sisterly duty to provide one.

Not recommended to those battling insomnia. Viewing the male characters may cause heart palpitations, impair your ability to speak, and produce sweaty palms. Use care until you become familiar with the plot and the protagonist’s insistence to bare his chest and perform the “salmon ladder” stunt, in which he hoists himself up a series of metal rungs whilst only holding a long, metal bar. Other symptoms might include vertigo, excessive salivation,and biting of the lips. Proceed to watch only after you have passed a physical exam and/or your physician has given you green light. Repeated viewing may cause addiction and drooling. It is recommended you have a paper towel with you at all times. Interrupted viewing may result in withdrawal symptoms.

Watch at your own risk!

Have you watched the show Arrow?

Disclaimer: The following post is written for entertainment purposes only and does not offer real psychiatric or medical advice. Information provided in the post should not be construed as professional advice. In addition, while I don’t support the objectification of men or women, comments provided in the post serve to confirm that the CW has been successful in targeting a female demographic.

And the killer is…

cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by ben matthews :::

Hello everyone!

As you know, this past week, Monica and I hosted a “Who dunnit” activity on our blogs.

The premise was simple: Create a character, add to the story line, and prevent being singled out as the killer.

At the beginning of our story, Lupita Davenport, married to Thurston Davenport, aka the Pickle King, lay in a puddle of blood on the ballroom floor of a cruise ship bound for Barbados.

Every member of the 1992 graduating class of the Gene Kelly School of Performing Arts was a suspect.

I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve laughed out loud reading the story lines added by all of you.

Moreover, this story has not only brought me joy and laughter, it has also become one of the conversation topics between the Son, the Significant Other, my family, and myself.

I’ve lost track of how many times my mother and the Sister have called and asked, “Do you know who the killer is?”

“Did they find the candlestick?”

“What’s happening with Denise Diamond?”

“Did Thurston get away?”

Your additions to the story have been so good, that you have made it extremely difficult for me to identify the killer.

You have all excelled at creating funny, mysterious, intelligent, and crafty characters.

I have been blown away by your mastery, folks!

If this isn’t writing, I don’t know what is.

Nevertheless, the killer must be revealed.

I consulted with Monica to see who she thought the killer was in our story, and she admitted that she didn’t have a clue.

And so, after pouring myself a cup of coffee, I sat down to read over the story a few times.

I even took notes.

After studying the actions of the characters, I have come to the conclusion that the killer is…

Susanna, the character created by Eloise!

How did I reach this conclusion?

Read on to see how it all happened.

Susanna started plotting her revenge from the moment she received the invitation to the 20th reunion of the Gene Kelly School of Performing Arts. After all this time, she would finally have the chance to show everyone who Denise Diamond really was. The tiresome and demanding diva had spent every day of the past twenty years reminding her that it was thanks to her, that she had a job. If only people knew who Denise Diamond really was! The fraud! She had everyone in Hollywood fooled, but Susanna knew better. Working as a receptionist for the plastic surgeon who had performed the thirty odd procedures on the starlet, she had been able to obtain Denise’s earlier photos as Esmeralda Snodgrass. Tonight, she would exhibit blown up “before and after” photographs of Denise for all to see. Susanna smiled as she thought of the humiliation this would bring Denise. Everyone would laugh when they saw her hook nose, frizzy hair, and acne scarred face. She would finally feel what it was like to be humiliated and laughed at. Susanna pushed the ladder on the stage, unaware that Lupita had come into the ballroom. Just as Susanna was about to hang one of the photographs, Lupita asked, “What are you doing?” Startled, Susanna replied, “None of your business.” But Lupita, undaunted, had pulled the banner- like photograph from Susanna’s grasp. “I’m going to report you to security.” Susanna panicked. She tried to reason with Lupita, but the do gooder wouldn’t allow her to explain. As Lupita turned to exit the ballroom, Susanna grabbed the first thing she saw: a candlestick. Without stopping to think of the consequences, she struck Lupita on the head as hard as she could. As Lupita fell to the ground, Susanna quickly covered herself with the tablecloth from the reception table, not noticing that her flamboyant red Jimmy Choos remained exposed. She exited through the backstage door, but not before the blinding flash of a camera snapped her photograph.

And there you have it, folks!

I sincerely hope this was as much fun for you as it was for us.

Monica, thank you for collaborating with me on this post, sister.
I loved working with you and I know you’ve laughed reading these stories as much as I have!

Eloise, know that your character will live on in our minds forever.

Please drop by Monica’s blog so you can discover who the murderer is in her story.

To all who participated, thank you!

And this also includes anyone who took the time to read and leave a comment.

You’re a wonderful bunch!

I’ve included a poll at the bottom of this post and would be grateful if you took the time to vote.

The results will help us determine if we should do this type of activity again in the future.