Sunday, August 30, 2009

Artist and Accountant


My name is Tara Anderson and I am in my 5th year as an Art major here at UCF. I am recently married and my husband and I both work at UCF. I work in the CAH Dean's Office as an Accounting Assistant (an Art major working as an accountant, weird I know!). I have also been doing a little design work on the side such as making wedding invitations for several of my friends and designing T-shirts. I enjoy going to baseball games and going dancing. I also LOVE to sing. I'm a master at flip cup even though I'm a lightweight. My favorite shows are Dexter and Project Runway. I love my boxer Rocky :). And I kind of hate sweating. Over the summer I took Intro to Women's Studies and I absolutely loved it! I loved it so much that I decided to minor in Women’s Studies. I am super excited about Girl's Studies and can't wait to get to know everyone a little better!

In reading Your Life as a Girl, I think that Sittenfeld captures "girlhood" perfectly, and there we several things that hit home with me personally. Throughout the story it is made apparent that Anna is very conscious of boys and what they think of her. "You play on the soccer team, but if boys ever watch, you make only half hearted attempts to kick the ball" (5). "You stand in front of the mirror, bleeding and stinging and knowing full well that the boys in your class will never think you're beautiful anyway" (7). The fact that boys seemed to rule Anna's world is something that I also dealt with when I was younger. I can remember as far back as kindergarten having crushes on boys. It was probably around 5th grade though, that I really started wanting a "boyfriend". I started wearing make-up shaving my legs and generally becoming far more concerned with my appearance than I had ever been. In sixth grade I convinced my parents to get me contact lenses so I wouldn't have to wear my glasses and look like a "nerd". I also remember realizing that boys liked boobs, and I didn't have them. It literally wasn't until just before college that I stopped caring so much what boys thought and just tried to please myself.

As for the stories from Red, I really liked how it gave me a chance to look into the girl's lives for a second. It made me much more aware of the fact that young girls all around the country regardless of race, class or socioeconomic status went through (and are going through) the same things I did when I was a teenager. I can relate to the way Mini felt that a few of the girls in her climbing class "had some sort of higher quality about them" and wanted to fit in with their group (Red 178). I can also relate to Erika's revelation that "the most sweet-faced, sweet-voiced, seemingly most sweet person you could ever hope to meet can be a totally different person around boys" (Red 185). I think that compared to Your Life as a Girl, I enjoyed reading Red a little more. To me, the stories from Red seemed more relevant to me and to today. Like I said earlier I really liked being able to peak into the life of a younger girl and see commonalities that I shared with them. It also kind of makes me laugh to think about things that I thought were a huge deal when I was younger, and know now that they don't matter nearly as much as I thought back then.

1 comment:

mhendrix said...

Hi Tara,

While I can not say that boys ruled my world when I was younger, I can relate to the constant insecurities in appearance. I was not one who really liked boys at a young age, but like you I was in 5th or 6th grade when I became obsessed with my appearance and started wearing make up. I remember in the 6th grade friends stuffing their bras with toilet paper. Sadly, it seems younger and younger these days girls are becoming obsessed. You see girls as young as 7 becoming concerned about their weight, it is a scary thing. I like how you pointed out Mini’s desire to fit in that is another area where girls are constantly struggling. Everyone wants to be popular and as time goes on the standards for fitting in become higher. You have to have the right clothes, hair, and appearance. I hope we can encourage girls to truly learn to love and embrace who they are and not desire so greatly to be something else. It is alarming what girls go through now a days to fit in.