Sunday, August 30, 2009

All my ladies put your hands in the air!!!

Hi everyone! I’m Kristen Bartlett and I am a junior in the Ad/PR program here at UCF. I love fashion and I plan to live in NYC in the future. I have an amazing boyfriend named Jeff, who I have been with for two and a half years now. I am so proud to be a woman and I am very excited about this class. I can’t wait to get my service-learning project started! Sometimes I get very upset about how much women have to fight for everything. Why has the world made it so that we are afraid to walk alone to our cars at night? I am looking forward to what I hope to be an empowering experience in this class.

Sittenfeld, Curtis. “Your Life as a Girl”

Right away I thought I would not be able to relate to this story because I was never really good at sports, and I never wanted to get dirty playing outside. I was pleasantly surprised as I read on. Sittenfeld writes, “Everything about you is horrifying: your voice, body, hair, inability to be witty and panicky desires for approval and companionship.” That statement is something I can relate to. I remember feeling SO awkward for SO long. I envied the pretty girls and craved approval. As I began to develop I yearned for companionship and attention. I never want to go back to that age! I was not totally confident in my body at that time, but my feelings were nowhere near figure dimorphic like Anna seems to be in the story. I work in retail and some of the things girls say about their bodies’ just makes me want to cry. I had a girl about to start high school come into my store (American Eagle) for the first time to buy jeans. When she opened the fitting room to show me how they looked her first comment was about how gross her thighs were. She was in a size six; I am a size 6. I pleaded with her to reconsider and see just how beautiful she was. She just didn’t see it. I heavily identified with the story when Sittenfeld wrote, “… and now you know that you’re a statistic, not a freak.” There were many things I did and feelings I had that I thought no one would understand. Now that I am older I know that so many other girls were feeling that exact same way, and doing the exact same things.

Goldwasser, Amy. Red

I loved the stories from the Anything Extracurricular chapter in Red. It’s nice to read about real girls writing things exactly as they feel. Defining moments are very important for young women, and the writers of these stories handle them gracefully. I loved them all, but two really stood out for me. The very first sentence of The Management made me laugh out loud! “Every teen girl gets her fair share of bad jobs. (195)” Even though I am not a “teen” anymore, I do have a “bad job” right now! I am often lamenting about how much I hate my low paying retail job, and how I would give ANYTHING to do something that I am passionate about. I’m sure this is something everyone goes through, and I understand that if I put in my time now, my dream job will come eventually. The other story I really connected to was Alone. I loved my alone time in my house when I was a young teen. Just like the girl in the story I enjoyed not having anyone around to tell me how to use my time. “If time spent with others is to learn and improve oneself, then time spent alone is time to relish what you already are.” I love to relish all that is Kristen when I am alone. “Only when I do not need to label myself for any audience can I truly relax.” I think this is something that is true for everyone. It is only when I am alone or with my man that I love so much, that I feel like I can be %100 just me.

1 comment:

mhendrix said...

Hi Kristen,

I too felt the same way at first about the readings as I was the girl who was never good at sports. But, like you I related to the statement by Sittenfeld “Everything about you is horrifying: your voice, body, hair, inability to be witty and panicky desires for approval and companionship.” When I was in middle school I hit that really awkward age where no matter what I did I did not feel beautiful. After all, beauty was defined by stars like Britney Spears and I was no Britney! IT is sad how society has made these unattainable standards for girls to feel beautiful. Your story about the girls who is a size 6 and still feels she is fat saddens me greatly. It is these standards that cause girls younger and younger to develop eating disorders. I also connected with “The Management” and like you have had my fair share, and still do of crappy jobs! What stuck out the most to me in this story was in the end where she thanked her boss for showing her the type of person she never wants to be. There are so many people out there who are just nasty in all aspects and seem to care nothing about people, I have encountered many. I can say that through interactions with them I have learned to be the exact person I do NOT want to be.