Reading List: Hobbies Just For You, And Other Zen Victories
My dearest darlings! I hope your week has treated you well. I’m pleased to report that there is just so much for you to read this weekend, so whip out that instapaper-to-kindle browser extension and let’s get to work!
Amanda Mull, America Is Too Glib About Breast Implants (The Atlantic) - You know, I never sat down and actually thought about how a procedure that is advertised to women from cheesy highway billboards is an invasive, expensive surgery that inserts foreign objects into a human body with many risks. And according to this piece, did you know that “Not everybody putting breast implants in across the country is a board-certified plastic surgeon”? Because I sure as heck didn’t. Look, electing breast augmentation is a personal choice, and it should be noted it is also a procedure that helps women regain some normalcy post-masectomies. But I think I’m going to stop making glib cracks about boob jobs.
McKay Coppins, The Resistance Media Weren’t Ready for This (The Atlantic) - In terms of the Barr memo and Mueller and everyone everywhere making insane speculation without having any idea what is actually in the damned report: sigh. That is all.
Edith Zimmerman, It’s Okay to Be Purposeless (The Cut) - I spent a great deal of my 20s fretting over the fact that many of my college classmates seemed to understand exactly what they were put on this planet to do. I read Facebook post after Facebook post espousing the #hustle and how their #workfamily was helping them #changetheworld and #livethedream. I, in the meantime, gave up on playing guitar because I was never going to be a professional musician, taking portraits of my friends because I was never going to be a professional photographer, and attending theater because I was (sad I was) never going to be a professional actor. But this piece makes the excellent point, “The idea of demoting passion is sort of sad but also funny. I don’t have to dream of becoming an amazing artist; it’s enough to enjoy using these pleasant pens.” And that in itself is a more humbling approach to hobbies and is therefore liberating. Did I play guitar for half an hour last night because I’m performing, or somehow striving to be the best? No, I played guitar for half an hour last night because I was excited I figured out the hammer-on Em7 from “Heart Of Gold” and that felt good, for me. There’s contentment in that.
Kaitlyn Tiffany, A decade of leggings controversy, explained (Vox) - As an individual prominently featured in a 2016 Bloomberg story about athleisure wear, you KNOW I have opinions on this subject. But they are best summed up by a line from this glorious history of tightsteria: “Where you stand on leggings may not have anything to do with how you feel about whether women ought to constantly protect men from visual stimulation or whether you personally think they are flattering on others. It may have more to do with how obsessed you are with general propriety.”
Rowan Jacobsen, Is Sunscreen the New Margarine? (Outside Magazine) - Friend of the Missive Tre shared this one, and it is fascinating. And heck, I need no extra excuse to go sit outside in the sun, as someone whose anxiety has definitely increased during this past rainy month. And have I wondered before how any of us survived anything before sunscreen? I sure have. Does this story complicate the issue? It sure does.
And finally, Friend of the Missive Colin wants to start a national canoe dancing team and you know what, I am here for it.
Be kind to each other, my loves, and to yourselves.