Of all the doctor appointments I hate the most, it is the gynecologist. It's not the pap smear, it's not having someone manhandle my breasts while making small talk, it's everything that happens in between. I've been to a dozen different gynecologists, from fancy practices with glass walls and high-tech to state college health centers to more than one Planned Parenthood and plenty in nondescript office buildings with vinyl chairs and ads for diapers and fertility trackers. At almost all of them, I've been spoken to more than having discussions about my body and my health. So many assumptions about children, and so much discussion about my weight, either without the doctor looking at me in the eye, or looking at me as though I am a fat, clueless idiot. The only time I felt like a valued human was when I was pregnant and went to midwives. I go because I should, but I can't say I have ever had a good experience (which is why I keep bouncing around from provider to provider).
I have new insurance this year, so I needed to find a new gynecologist. I've had too many doctors feel they know what I want better than I regarding pregnancy, even after age 40, and I was over it. I went through the list of covered providers to try to find an OB/GYN or gynecologist that didn't have obstetrics as their focus. I visited practice sites, pored over doctor bios and went to websites that review doctors for additional information. And I found one that looked promising – female, focus on gynecology, and in her bio she mentioned finding the appropriate care for each woman by talking to her. I went this week and omigod, I didn't know that an annual could be so great! We talked about my IUD not as a ridiculous choice, but just noting the date for removal and how it's working for me and maybe a possible cause for my occasional spotting. She said my vitals are great and there wasn't a single mention about my weight. We discussed perimenopause, endometrial ablation, and overall well-being and how to continue it as I head towards menopause. We chatted about trendy sneakers for women over 40, I shared a podcast with her, she suggested a book and a YouTuber for me. I left on a high, like I just had a date or met a new friend.
My experience shouldn't be as rare as it is. Most women I know dread going to the doctor. We're not truly seen or heard by many of them, especially if our weight is higher than some outdated BMI chart. Our aches and issues are often dismissed and attributed to something completely unrelated, and the older we get the more educated we are about our bodies but the less we are seen and respected by our medical providers. I am lucky to live where I am, just a few miles from one metropolitan area and a half-hour from another. I know most in this country do not have such availability to hospitals, specialists, and a large choice of providers. I don't know the answer, but I do know we deserve better. And I am so glad to know that in a sea of assholes, there are still some great doctors out there that care about the whole person and truly listen.
So… a journalist found one of my previous Weekend Reads, interviewed me, and wrote about how influencing isn't as easy a job as it appears. I've received a bit of flack for it but it's clear those who are judging haven't seen my blog or my Instagram and are just generalizing. I have to say, this job, whether one thinks it's a “real” job or not, has taught me how to have tough skin! (Buzzfeed)
Speaking of influencers, Bryanboy was one of the first bloggers I followed, way back when he was this rainbow-clad kid in Manila. He can be very polarizing, but I love how blunt and opinionated he is, and how he continues to kill it in this game. I really enjoyed this profile on him. (GQ)
My gynecologist suggested the YouTube channel by Dr. Barbara Taylor, better known as “Menopause Barbie.” She says a lot of the information is super simplistic, but she covers almost any topic you can think of related to menopause and is a great start if you have questions. She says Dr. Taylor's book is also good.
Did you participate in the Pizza Hut’s BOOK IT! initiative as a kid? If so you may enjoy this story. (Food & Wine)
For those of you who like me, love the look of a classic pair of Converse “Chucks” but you find them too narrow… Converse makes wide widths! While only available in white and black, they offer both the low-top and high-top versions on their site. Chucks are a great choice of an everyday casual sneaker and also fab for those of us who lift weights. I ordered a pair of black low-tops for Mondays at the gym (leg day) and also a lightweight trendy sneaker for spring and summer looks.
Will the millennial aesthetic ever end? (The Cut)
A federal report says women in prison receive harsher punishments than men. (NPR)
One of my favorite celeb couples is Rick Owens and Michèle Lamy. I think they are so interesting and have so few f*cks to give and are incredibly creative. Michèle especially fascinates me, her style is incredibly unique, and this bag she carried around at Paris Fashion Week is… well it's totally unique! (Vogue)
The RealReal is a destination to get designer for less, offering items consigned by customers. However, their business model is changing with some of the items available from the actual brands. (The Fashion Law)
If you keep your bras for an extremely long time, you're not alone. (The Cut) For me, my old reliable for a decade has been this one from Fantasie, but it has a built-in expiration by digging into my armpit and cutting at the band when it's time to be retired (6-12 months depending on how often it's worn)
The Internet finally wore me down. I'm loving the classic chain necklace trend this season, it reminds me of high school when I used to wear my silver curb chain with my Champion sweatshirts, but grown up and sophisticated. I got this curb chain from BaubleBar and adore it. I kept seeing their Hera Link Necklace on social and felt I didn't need it, I didn't need it… and then I saw a similar one on Karlie Kloss and liked how it was lighter than the curb chain, a bit more dressy but still bold so I bought it. I bet BaubleBar's $44 pricepoint is a lot lower than the price of the one Karlie was wearing!
I tried to find a picture of Karlie Kloss in the pink suit and gold chain and had no luck but I wanted to share one of my favorite resources for figuring out what individuals are wearing on TV: WornOnTV.net. I use this all the time for shows like Blackish, Grownish, and The Bold Type when I see fab fashion and want to know who designed it! Here's the list of all the shows they track.
A peek into Stacy London's Brooklyn apartment. (The Coveteur)
See, Hear, Read
I think I'm too old to have really gotten into Jessica Simpson as a singer. However, I remember her wedding dress being THE inspiration when I was dress shopping for my own wedding, and I tried on so many strapless lace overlay fit and flare styles. My husband and I watched Newlyweds together for at least the first season, and I've owned many shoes from her fashion line. But I haven't followed her career, and when her memoir, Open Book, came out I wasn't terribly interested. But then friend after friend raved about it so I got it to be a light read for the bus trip to and from NYC. And I have to say it was one of the best books I've read in a while. My nightstand and my Kindle are littered with half-read books that have been recommended for being enlightening, entertaining, or inspiring and I just can't get into them. I was wondering if I was lacking concentration because of perimenopause, from too much time with screens, but this book made me realize I just wasn't reading anything that grabbed me. And I can't believe it, but Jessica Simpson grabbed me. It was written in a way that you felt you were sitting in her living room with a cup of coffee listening to her chat about life. She delved into her early start and auditioning for The Mickey Mouse Club, body image and pressures to have a perfect body, her marriages and boyfriends, and much more. You know those parts of celeb rags where they show pictures of actors pumping gas or walking out of Trader Joe's? Stars, they're just like us! Well, Jessica Simpson is a billionaire; she has a successful clothing company, Top 40 hits, wrote a bestseller and more but this book makes you realize even with money and fame she's really the same as the rest of us and if anything, money made a lot of things more difficult. And if Jessica can get over being seen by the world as stupid, washed up, fat, and “sexual napalm” and continue to be successful and find happiness, we can push through the shit going down in our lives. It's an easy read, I finished 90% of it on those two bus rides and it's the kind of book you can read while brushing your teeth or waiting at the bank and there aren't photos and such which makes it easy to read on Kindle (and when you don't have your Kindle, read it on your phone while in line).
Colleen Rothschild has a flash sale where their Discovery Collection, a toiletries bag with TSA-sized versions of their bestsellers is on sale for $69 (usually $95). I love this kit; it has some of my absolute favorites from the brand like the Radiant Cleansing Balm and Extreme Recovery Cream and almost all the containers (including the vial for the oil) are refillable.
J. Crew has 40% off select items at this link and an additional 50% off sale items with promo code GETAWAY. I'm hot and cold with J. Crew but this season is coming in hot. I just bought this blazer, these matching pants, and also these matching hoops and love them. From the vacation picks, I own this Breton top and these shorts in a great not frumpy yet long enough to prevent chub rub length. I'm also pretty obsessed with this suit coverup/caftan which comes up to size XXL.
American Eagle has 20% off jeans, joggers, and shorts through the weekend. I think AE is great for jeans even for us grown-ass women. Good pricepoint, good fit, and a good size range (up to 24 with lengths).
Lands' End has 40% off with promo code WARMUP. You may have caught my rant about my daughter's LE backpack not lasting through a single school year, but that doesn't mean I don't still love the retailer. My heart especially goes towards Lands' End's swimwear, which has a great size range, styles for large busts, mastectomies, and all sorts of silhouettes and cuts for modesty, athletics, comfort, and looking chic on the beach. My top pick is their Tugless Tank which is classic, chic, flattering, and holds up through surf, chlorine, and those rough concrete sides of the pool. You can read my Lands' End Tugless Tank review here.
For Your Entertainment
Alanis Morissette is back and continues to create songs that speak of a generation – her generation, mine, and for many of you, yours. Damn. Like I usually write more but you likely already know who she is and this song and the video speak for themselves. So yeah, watch the video. Damn.