What I'm Reading

Two Must Reads: Just The Facts, Please

I love to share what I'm reading with you, because my life isn't only about organizing! Today, I just have two pieces I strongly believe will bring you a lot of value. They have in common a strong grounding in objective research, as well as a subject that a lot of us stress out about. I don't know about you, but I find all the conflicting information spinning around the internet to be so overwhelming that it's functionally useless. i also get really frustrated with the fact that if you're just trying to be better at something and following what you think sounds like a good plan, you will still be told that you are doing it wrong in a zillion different ways.

So, without further ado, here are two definitive guides, based on facts and presented reasonably. Get rid of the guilt and get the real info!

Photo courtesy of grubstreet.com (Bobby Doherty)

Photo courtesy of grubstreet.com (Bobby Doherty)

The Last Conversation You'll Need To Have About Eating Right

As a friend of mine said to me the other night, "I know what I should do... I just don't always do it!" This article is even more proof that you don't need to buy fancy ingredients, follow complex instructions, or starve in order to have a healthy diet. It also helps reframe diet goals from "I need to do everything perfectly" to "I want to live a healthy, long life."

Photo courtesy of flickr.com (miltedflower)

Photo courtesy of flickr.com (miltedflower)

14 Sustainable And Ethical Fashion Myths That Need To Die

Less is still more, and quality is still better than quantity, but it turns out there's a lot of nuance that many of us overlook. Read on for seriously good reasons to become a more thoughtful consumer, practical ways to do it, and a nice side of absolution from some of the worst of the wannabe ethical shopper's guilt.

I'd love to check out any other fact and research based articles you might have come across on related topics - please share!

LMW

What I'm Reading

Image courtesy of Getty Images and Victoria Warnken/Bustle

Image courtesy of Getty Images and Victoria Warnken/Bustle

How About We Don't Expect Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle to Get Along

As usually happens when I read a piece by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan, I started cheering in my head when I got into this one! More great work here on the outsized expectations we have of women and the strangely specific roles they are forced to play.

Is Wokeness In Fashion Just Another Illusion?

I will not be including a picture of the Instagram post in question here, but if you click through you can see what the uproar is about. Personally, I find it incredible that in our connected world anyone could possibly claim ignorance on so basic an issue as usage of the n-word. If you speak English, spend time in the United States, and do business with Americans, it is your responsibility to behave in culturally appropriate ways - just as it would be if you were occupying space in any other country and culture.

Sex Work Has A Class Problem

I don't have strong feelings on the concept of sex work in general. They call it the world's oldest profession for a reason and I know it will never go away, but the intricacies of how to protect people who might be victimized and still enable people who feel empowered by their choice of work are complex. This is a great take on how some of these issues play out in the actual practice of sex work.

The Strange Brands in Your Instagram Feed

Can I be honest? I haven't for one second thought that any of these brands were worth purchasing, even before I knew the details about how they came to be.  If something is too good to be true, it probably is!

What I'm Reading

Photo courtesy of lithub.com

Photo courtesy of lithub.com

Anne of Green Gables: Patron Saint of Girls Who Ask Too Many Questions

The depth of my love the Anne of Green Gables and her world knows no bounds. I've read the entire series many times over and wholly identified with her from the start. As a kid, I read pretty much any historical fiction I could get my hands on, and there was lot of prim and proper behavior and bonding with horses and stuff,  but Anne was always real to me. To this day, I use the term "kindred spirits" and look for them everywhere.

Me as a debutante with my grandma in 2000.  We bought the dress in the bridal department of Saks, which was... bizarre.

Me as a debutante with my grandma in 2000.  We bought the dress in the bridal department of Saks, which was... bizarre.

The Curious Plight of the Modern Debutante

So, uh, fun fact: I was a debutante. Twice: in Ventura, where my dad's family has lived since the 1880's, and in LA, where my mom grew up. Even eighteen years ago I found it weird, dated, and irrelevant. I agreed to do both balls because they meant a lot to my mom and grandparents, and because I got to wear a poofy dress with lots of hair and makeup and force a boy I had a crush on to hang out with me for a night. I mean, I was 17!

13 Things You Should Know About HIV, But Probably Don't

As a teenager in the 90's, I was absolutely petrified of AIDS. It was finally publicly acknowledged but it was still basically a death sentence. I remember the AIDS quilt and Ryan White, and Pedro on The Real World, and scary sex ed. I'm glad we've come so far, but AIDS remains a global health threat and we should all be informed about how the disease is currently impacting our world.  Spoiler alert: it's not just for men who have sex with men anymore.

Image courtesy of thecut.com

Image courtesy of thecut.com

The Other Women's March on Washington

It's not enough to march, we need to run and vote, too.  I'm looking forward to participating  in the political process in 2018.  And I happen to love this author, Rebecca Traister - check out her book All The Single Ladies if you haven't already!

What I'm Reading

Wrapping up a few holdovers that stuck with me at the end of 2017...

We Might As Well Talk About Taylor Swift's New Single

The Fug Girls are some of the smartest pop culture critics out there, and their take on Taylor Swift both resonated with me and brought up points I hadn't even considered.  I doubt Taylor will ever read this... but I sincerely hope she does.

Elaine Welteroth, Teen Vogue's Refashionista

I wasn't the only one who noticed that a lot of the best written, most intelligent articles bubbling to the top of my social media feeds in mid-late 2017 came from Teen Vogue.  It's all due to their excellent writers and this woman, who I greatly admire.

Why I Finally Gave Up My Nightly Cocktail

There's a strong argument here that hits home with me.  The concept is being taken under consideration in the LMW household!

How the Sandwich Consumed Britain

I'm actually obsessed with the type of sandwich this article discusses: individually packed, cut into triangles, fillings generally mayonnaise-based.  So of course I greatly enjoyed this deep dive into why these particular meals became so popular and how they're made and distributed.

What I'm Reading

Image courtesy of wired.com (Getty Images)

Image courtesy of wired.com (Getty Images)

Why Men Don't Believe the Data on Gender Bias in Science

If you, like me, have ever been frustrated by interacting with a man who prides himself on his pure, logical mind and yet seems to be completely ignorant of the realities of prejudice, this is news you can use.

Photo courtesy of racked.com (Jessica Pons)

Photo courtesy of racked.com (Jessica Pons)

My Super Sweet 15

Growing up in Southern California, I always knew about quinceañeras, but I didn't know they had become this much of an industry.  This is another fascinating look into one of the ways immigrant populations add to the cultural tapestry and diverse economy of the US.

Photo courtesy of vulture.com (Sergi Alexander/Getty Images)

Photo courtesy of vulture.com (Sergi Alexander/Getty Images)

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About "Despacito"

Given that this article is now over two months old I would have thought it would have lost relevance... but based on the pop radio station in San Francisco, "Despacito" is still going strong.  To me the song seemed to come out of nowhere, but this article explains in depth how clueless that perception is.

Photo courtesy of newyorker.com (Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty)

Photo courtesy of newyorker.com (Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty)

What Le Cirque Will Be Remembered For

Almost 20 years go, I ate at Le Cirque in Vegas with my parents, and I remember thinking it had to be the pinnacle of fine dining.  I never knew the real scoop on the NYC original!  And if you didn't already think Ruth Reichl is a badass, you will now.

What I'm Reading

Photo courtesy of npr.org (Martin Grimes/Getty Images for Grey Goose)

Photo courtesy of npr.org (Martin Grimes/Getty Images for Grey Goose)

Louise Linton Said She "Sacrifices" More Than Other Taxpayers.  It's Not That Simple.

We could all use a refresher on the economics and political principles that underlay the latest scandal-of-the-week.  And if you, like me, post about fashion on Instagram, I hope you can join me in taking a renewed look at our content and remembering that the ability to wear a wide variety of things just for fun is an incredible privilege.

Photo courtesy of racked.com (Greg Finck for Sarah Haywood)

Photo courtesy of racked.com (Greg Finck for Sarah Haywood)

Weddings of the 0.01 Percent

Even though It's been over seven years since I planned my own wedding, I still love reading and talking about weddings - especially when there's as much juicy insider detail as there is in this article!  But as with so many things, I finished it remembering the sociological research which tells us that, past a certain point, money doesn't actually buy any additional happiness.

Photo courtesy of the guardian.com (Alexandra Iokovleva/Getty)

Photo courtesy of the guardian.com (Alexandra Iokovleva/Getty)

Why We Fell For Clean Eating

I completely cut out sugar and processed grains for a solid three months about five years ago, and continue to minimize both of those things as much as my inherent tendency to being a sugar monster allows.  I've never really thought of this strategy as a health panacea though - it's really a weight maintenance tool for me.  I generally avoid extremes, and this article reassures me that that's a wise strategy.

Photo courtesy of racked.com (Claire Zulkey)

Photo courtesy of racked.com (Claire Zulkey)

Shopping For Boys Cloths Is So Boring

This article also brings up an excellent point to me: why does "gender-neutral" skew so masculine?  My sister and her wife dress my niece in all kinds of things, from frilly dresses to onesies that are clearly from the boys' department, and that just seems like a progressive strategy.  But I wonder if they or anyone else would put boys in pink and glitter sometimes in the name of gender neutrality.  I wish they would!

What I'm Reading

Photo courtesy of thoughtcatalog.com

Photo courtesy of thoughtcatalog.com

The Definition of Hell for Each Meyers-Briggs Personality Type

Having gone to business school, Meyers-Briggs is A Thing. Every MBA can to rattle off their combo of letters.  I don't think this particular paradigm is the be-all, end-all - there's not a lot of room for gray area, for example.  But when this article made the rounds of my friends, I laughed and was shamed but just how true the prediction was for me!  (For the record: I'm an ESFJ.)  Don't know your Meyers-Briggs type?  There's a relatively quick test here.

Photo courtesy of manrepeller.com

Photo courtesy of manrepeller.com

Is Wellness a Fad, and Is It Over?

You may have already picked this up if you've been a reader for awhile: I am an extremely practical person.  I do not go in for much in the department of woo.  I do my very best not to judge those who do, because different people find comfort in all kinds of different things, but I am at heart something of a skeptic.  So, I have noticed, and been somewhat exhausted by, the wellness trend and am hopeful it might be moderating in the near future.

A Very Confusing Makeup Guide for Scientists

I'm not a scientist, but I can definitely identify with the women described in this story.  I'm pretty feminine, and I embrace that about myself - but I get frustrated with the still pervasive ideas that as a woman who cares about my appearance I'm too girly to be taken seriously or too shallow to be a feminist.  

This Startup May Have Just Solved The Biggest Problem In Plus Size Fashion

The biggest surprise to me about the plus size fashion industry to me continues to be: why does it barely exist?  The money is there!  I know the people who are willing to spend it!  The image the fashion industry continues to have of plus size women as poor, sad, and dumpy has to end.  Here's hoping Universal Standard is a runaway success!  I'm out of their range, but would love to hear from anyone who's tried them.

What I'm Reading

Photo courtesy of goop.com

Photo courtesy of goop.com

Can This Simple Tool Banish Cellulite?

You guys.  I just... I want this not to be too good to be true.  I've had cellulite as long as I can remember, and even at my absolute thinnest it remained present and accounted for.  I am loath to pay $89 for something that might become a useless piece of junk, but I really want this to work!

Photo courtesy of newyorker.com

Photo courtesy of newyorker.com

Why J. Crew's Vision of Preppy America Failed

I am a prepster from way back, but like many of J. Crew's former core customers, I feel like I've matured away from the brand.  I had felt like I was maybe the only one and should be getting on board with GIANT ruffles, sparkly tutus, and boy pants, but it appears that a lot of consumers like me are part of J. Crew's larger struggle to stay relevant.

The Unhealthy Truth Behind 'Wellness' and 'Clean Eating'

My parents raised me to be a skeptic, and my grandma's favorite saying was "everything in moderation," so I haven't latched onto any of the various health fads that have happened during my lifetime in a serious way.   I'm counting myself lucky, and hoping that people who are starting to spiral into the world of health scare tactics can read this article and pull themselves out.

Why the 1980's Anne of Green Gables is Such a Hard Act to Follow

I adored the Anne of Green Gables books as a kid - I saw myself in her, and read the entire series so many times that my paperback copies have horribly bent spines and dozens of dog-eared pages.  And the mini-series holds a special place in my heart because I wasn't allowed to watch much TV growing up but my beloved babysitter let us see the whole thing.  Anne was and remains a revolutionary character and I'm thrilled she's getting a new vision, even if I'm afraid it won't stand up to the PBS original!

What I'm Reading - My Recent "Beach Reads"

Life is good when you have back to back girls' weekends with different groups of excellent ladies.  And for all that relaxing time, I needed some solid reading.  Over the past two weekends, I made my way through back issues of some of my favorite magazines (Vogue, The Atlantic, perhaps surprisingly SF Magazine) as well as a giant hardback book.  Here's what I loved!

Bolshoi Confidential: Secrets of the Russian Ballet from the Tsars to Today

Every year, my dad gets a stack of hardback books for the family for Christmas.  He generally hands them out to the people he thinks will be the most interested in each book, with instructions to read and return to our family condo at Tahoe for everyone else to enjoy. This year he chose Bolshoi Confidential for me, a perfect fit for my lifelong love for (and jealousy of) ballet.  The book is a comprehensive history of Russia's (in)famous Bolshoi Ballet and I enjoyed it, but I wouldn't classify it in the same category as compelling, almost page-turning nonfiction works that have taken popular culture by storm.  It's great for ballet fans, but maybe a bit dense for the average reader!

Photo courtesy of vogue.com (Annie Leibovitz)

Photo courtesy of vogue.com (Annie Leibovitz)

How Tennis Star Maria Sharapova is Getting Back in the Game

I don't follow tennis, but it's hard not to know about star player Maria Sharapova and her recent fall from grace.  Because I'm such a joiner, people like Sharapova who keep to themselves and completely separate their professional and personal lives are a bit off-putting for me.  But this article makes a fairly convincing argument that Sharapova's behavior on the tennis tour would be judged much less harshly if she were male.

Image courtesy of theatlantic.com (Kevin Tong)

Image courtesy of theatlantic.com (Kevin Tong)

Welcome to Pleistocene Park

File this one under the category of mind-blowing.  It's always amazing to me just how many people are working on the distant future of our planet, in ways that seem harebrained, but are based on hard science and supported by experts all over the world.

Photo courtesy of modernluxury.com/san-francisco (Matthew Millman)

Photo courtesy of modernluxury.com/san-francisco (Matthew Millman)

This High Tech Boutique Wants To Make Real-Life Retail as Addictive as Online Shopping

The brand Reformation has been fashion girl bait for some time, and this new development in retail just makes me want to check it out that much more.  Here's hoping I can withstand the so-called addition and still only purchase things I love and know I will use for a long time!

What I'm Reading

Photo courtesy of elle.com

Photo courtesy of elle.com

Kate Middleton's Engagement Dress May Have Triggered the Downfall of the Brand Issa

I own one Issa piece, a gorgeous peacock green gown with cap sleeves and a plunging back, and was a fan of the brand's simply elegant aesthetic.  It's too bad the brand disappeared, but this article is a sobering reminder that fashion is above all a business.

Photo courtesy of marieclaire.com (@ashleybouder)

Photo courtesy of marieclaire.com (@ashleybouder)

Ballet Has A Sexism Problem - But I'm Fighting Back From the Inside

I've had season tickets to the San Francisco Ballet for at least five years now.  In that time, I don't recall seeing a single piece by a female choreographer.  And I'm pretty sure there there have been few if any pieces created by people of color.  These are both serious problems.

Photo courtesy of theguardian.com (Popperfoto)

Photo courtesy of theguardian.com (Popperfoto)

"London Bridge is down:" the secret plans for the days after the Queen's death

This is fascinating.  Royals lover, hater, or not-carer, there is a lot going on here for everyone!

Restaurants Banning Children: Is It Good For Business?

As a child, I would have been outraged by this.  My parents were sticklers for table manners and took us with them to all kinds of fine dining restaurants starting when we were quite young, and I was really proud of being a well-behaved child in an adult environment.  However, my adult self realizes that not every kid is restaurant ready and that paying customers deserve the kind of experience they've sought out and paid for!