I used to weigh twice of what I weigh right now.
Note: This is an extremely difficult post for me to write about an extremely personal journey, so please – if you have nothing nice to say, please don’t say it. Feel free to click “More” to hear about my roller coaster couple of years and share a moment in having a think about the messages we send about women & their bodies. Thanks!
Julia Child would have turned 100 years old today, and my social media feeds were abuzz all day with delicious recipes (like this one. and this one. and this one…), funny YouTube videos (like this one), and clips from Julie & Julia (like this one).
But there was also quite a bit of discussion about whether or not Julia advanced feminism or set us back. This boggles my mind. The thought process, it seemed was that since Julia was a woman cooking on TV, and making cooking and being in the kitchen her primary business, she turned the clocks back a few years.
I understand the thought process – really, I do. But I don’t agree with it – not one little bit. Here’s why.
1. Julia wasn’t exactly your average stereotype of a meek Holly Homemaker. At 6 feet tall, Child was a formidable life force. She was vivacious, with an appetite for life – it just so happened that her greatest passion was great food.
2. Julia didn’t play into gender stereotypes. Sure she loved to cook, but she also never had children; finding fufillment in her career, friends, and marriage to her completely adorable husband (seriously, if you haven’t yet, read My Life in France – THEY ARE THE CUTEST EVER)
3. Julia built an empire. Talk about a savvy businesswoman! Child wrote a number of books and was the star of a syndicated TV empire from the 1970’s until her passing.
4. Julia was FEARLESS. She walked into a culinary world in a foreign country that was entirely male-dominated and made it her own. She de-boned ducks, cooked live lobsters, and sliced up fish with the best of them – heck, some days I’m still grossed out by stuffing a roast chicken! Julia revolutionized the world of food in American culture. Speaking of which…
5. Julia not only made it OK to spend time in the kitchen again, she made it an art. Just watching one of Julia’s TV shows makes you marvel at her culinary prowess and ease in the kitchen. She was a strong, independent woman in the kitchen and in life, and her enjoying cooking had no bearing on her capabilities outside the kitchen. This is also the issue I take with the idea that if you’re a strong independent woman, you can’t be a good chef also. I love to cook and love to be in the kitchen, but part of why I love being there is because society places less of a pressure on me to fit into that conventional role of homemaker than it did on my grandmother or mother. Julia helped create that divide – that food and cooking should be enjoyable, a treat, not a chore.
So happy 100th, Julia! You were an incredible woman and one of my biggest role models. You taught me to love food, enjoy preparing it, and above all to enjoy life. I hope you were pleased with my celebration of your life – cooking your roast chicken recipe, watching an episode of your old cooking shows, and drinking a tres large glass of wine with my meal.
I sincerely apologize for my terrrrible blogging habits lately, but I have two REALLY GOOD reasons this time – promise!
- I just started a new job at the NWLC – which just posted my first blog today! Read it here. And while you’re at it, contribute to our blog carnival about Title IX’s 40th anniversary!
- I’m starting up a new blog with some pretty fabulous ladies (spearheaded by the magnificent Danielle Burch) which will launch fully sometime this summer. WE ARE GONNA BLOW YOUR MIND!
As for BTA, it isn’t going anywhere – and once July rolls around, I’ll have loads more time to catch up both here and on Couch Potatoes with a Cause.
Yours until the Peanut Brittles,
Obvious statement of the day: I am a giant nerd. I can quote Star Wars and Indiana Jones to you like it is my JOB. I belong to a science-fiction book club. But why, oh why oh why, does every girl in nerd culture have to wear skin-tight outfits and pose in the most “sexy” position possible? Which is why when I saw this, I instantly guffawed:
It is 100% genius, and I love it. Look at the Hulk. LOOK AT HIM.
But seriously. What is up, nerd-merica? I understand that nerd culture does unfortunately focus on pandering to men, and that I am not the first to write about this by any means, but every nerdy guy I know has acknowledged at least a little bit how ridiculous the imagery of women is in all things nerd-tastic. But why does Hollywood seem to think that this is the only way that men will be interested in seeing a woman on screen in an action movie? Newsflash: it’s an action movie. Those who are interested were going to go see it anyway. Scarlett Johanssen in black spandex, while it doesn’t hurt (seriously – that girl is SMOKIN’), doesn’t make or break people’s decisions to see the movie.
What are your thoughts? Leave ’em in the comments.