Congratulations to the class of 2010! For most of you, the beginning of June will bring the freedom you’ve been waiting for since fall 2006: your high school or college days are behind you and it’s time to join the fabulous “real world” – almost. Graduating seniors have no doubt been told by now that it’s not quite all smooth sailing from here and yes, unfortunately, that is the case. However, there are lots of people who have been through it all before and who are more than willing to offer their insights and advice for the upcoming challenges.
One of these people is J. R. Parrish, author of “You Don’t Have to Learn the Hard Way: Making it in the Real World.” In his book, which he calls a “guide for graduates,” Parrish tackles many of the issues that arise after graduation. By combining stories from personal experience with general advice that could be applied to any life, Parrish offers a valuable resource for any graduate hoping to survive in the real world without, as he says, learning the hard way.
One of the first topics Parrish discusses in his book is how to achieve success or, as he puts it, how to “make your dreams come true.” Parrish relates a story about one of his first jobs and the struggle he went through to attain it. Because he did not graduate from college, Parrish was at first turned down for a job he wanted at Xerox. After that position was denied him, he went to Xerox’s main competitor, where he was given a job and enjoyed not a small amount of success. After some time at that job, Xerox got back in touch with him and offered him the job he had wanted originally, which he gladly took.
There are several lessons to be learned from Parrish’s experience with Xerox. The first is that it is highly unlikely that you will get the first job you inquire about; the second is that it is crucial not to give up. It is all too easy to experience a failure, such as Parrish’s with Xerox, and to decide that it would be pointless to keep trying. However, Parrish is right when he insists that you not give up so easily! Whether you choose to seek another route to your desired job, the way Parrish did, or to try a completely different job opportunity, the most important thing to remember is not to give up. As a graduate, you’ve put in a lot of hard work to this point and you deserve to land in a job that’s right for you.
Another main point in “You Don’t Have to Learn the Hard Way” is Parrish’s belief that marriage (or a serious dating relationship) is something best avoided at this stage of your life. Parrish shares his own experience in getting married early on: though his parents and other respected figures advised against it, he was sure at the age of nineteen that he was ready, and ignored their advice. His marriage lasted for seven years, during which time he and his wife grew increasingly distant from each other due to Parrish’s personal goals and ambition. At the end of those seven years, Parrish decided that his individual journey needed and deserved more time and attention than did his marriage.
Parrish’s includes a list of suggestions with his personal advice, to include “have at least a year-long engagement” and “take plenty of time before having children.” Though Parrish would certainly have benefited from his own advice, based on the outcome of his own experience with marriage, his counsel should perhaps be taken with a grain of salt. Some people are truly ready to get married at a young age and take great joy in facing this difficult stage of life with a spouse as a partner. It is important to keep in mind that what works for Parrish may not work for you, and what he counts as personal failures may be the brightest spots in your own life.
One piece of extremely valuable advice in this book is to “solicit, listen to, and weigh your parents’ advice carefully because they have your best interests at heart and can help you avoid costly mistakes.” For Parrish, that mistake was marriage; for you, it might be the wrong graduate program, the wrong career path, etc. Though it might feel great to finally be an adult and not have to listen to your parents anymore, it is important to realize that they have been a huge part of your life for the last however many years, and therefore are likely to be able to offer insights that you might not see for yourself.
J. R. Parrish’s “You Don’t Have to Learn the Hard Way” is ultimately a practical, concise guide for recent graduates who seek some advice on how to best reach the next stage of life. Find it in your local bookstore, and consider it as a gift for yourself or for a graduating loved one!
When Kelly Cutrone found out that a People’s Revolution intern had blogged about her working experience online (equating her internship with a “Devil Wears Prada”-type ordeal), Cutrone did not hesitate to pick up the phone, call the intern, and fire her on the spot—but not before threatening to sue her and her parents for every penny they owned. All interns who work at People’s Revolution are required to sign a non-disclosure agreement, which meant that this particular intern had breached her contract. Cutrone recalls how ten feet away from her office, the remaining interns sat frozen in their seats with their mouths hanging open, shocked at what had happened.
In Cutrone’s own words, “I believe in an occasional public firing (when deserved, of course) for exactly this reason. Usually, we hide consequences away, in prisons or in rehab. But telling seventh-graders that crime doesn’t pay is probably less effective than taking them to a prison to let them see for themselves…” This episode, which comes about three-quarters into the book, exemplifies Cutrone’s trademark no-nonsense attitude.
What makes If You Have to Cry, Go Outside an especially compelling read is the heartfelt advice Cutrone offers her readers. Young women especially have a lot to learn from this book. All too often, we second-guess ourselves and end up allowing others to make decisions for us. Even when these decisions are based in good intentions, they may not be the plan of action we need to move forward in the right direction. Cutrone recalls how even when her heart was set on her career, her parents were determined to pressure her into a domestic lifestyle, replete with marriage and children.
Cutrone devotes a solid amount of her book to lamenting the state of women in modern society. She is appalled by the way women treat each other, by how women seem to take every opportunity possible to criticize their female friends and colleagues with overused words like “bitch” and “slut.” What sets this book apart from so many of the other self-help books out there is the realization that career advancement means nothing if an individual is not also prepared body and spirit for the greater responsibility and hard work that lies ahead.
Cutrone understands that to be successful is first and foremost an inner battle with oneself. As one of the most powerful women in the fashion industry Cutrone is, of course, a shining example of this kind of spiritual awakening. In a few years’ time, she went from being a country bumpkin to a homeless, carless drug addict living in New York. She partied in New York’s most risqué clubs until 4 in the morning, drinking, taking on multiple lovers, and enjoying life in the Big Apple. There were essentially two turning points in Cutrone’s tumultuous rise to fame. The first was Cutrone’s accidental run-in with heroin, which led to her waking up unexpectedly in someone else’s bed. The second was Cutrone’s painful detox and the spiritual enlightenment that followed, in which she saw the Universal Mother floating above her body. However, these experiences constitute a small part of Cutrone’s larger message: that people should always listen to their inner voice, to their gut. We young women should not allow this instinct to be subdued by what we hear from friends, colleagues, coworkers, and family – no matter how much we love them.
The book, beyond being a celebration of women, is also a practical guide for recent grads still on the lookout for a job. Cutrone offers tips on what to wear, how to act in front of one’s superiors, and how lower-level employees can make the most of their job, even when all they seem to do is drudge work. Readers are guaranteed to take away an assortment of lessons and experiences from this book, among the most important of which is extracted right from the title: If you have to cry, go outside.
By Janie Dumbleton
When Spring and Summer roll around, there are endless opportunities for spontaneous picnics, beach trips, pool visits, etc. Each of these occasions warrants some preparation, therefore a cute bag to pack food, towels, sunscreen, and all other warm weather necessities is a must-have.
To make a cute carry-all tote personal, gather some cute letter stamps and a plain canvas tote (both available at craft stores) and get to work. This is a quick and easy project that takes about 10 minutes. The result is a fantastic addition to a spring wardrobe.
Typically spring ushers in great new music and albums fit for a summer soundtrack. Choose a favorite album (new or old) and look at the song titles and decide if they are clever enough to display. Decide on song titles from the album and start setting out those letters. With an inkpad (black works best) and letter stamps, start stamping song titles to the canvas tote. Arrange them however you please in order to create patterns, shapes, and so forth. Use the creativity the cold weather had suppressed.
The two totes shown have song titles from Johnny Cash and “Rabbit Fur Coat” by Jenny Lewis and The Watson Twins.
Prior to the advent of Coco Chanel, women wore floor-length gowns that practically screamed opulence and over-the-top decadence. Women’s bodies were draped in fabrics ranging from chiffon to velvet taffeta, and padded with cloth, girdles, and corsets that all but suffocated their wearers to death. With the arrival of Coco Chanel, however, all of this changed. Chanel’s clothes liberated the female body, allowing women to wear clothes that were chic; flawlessly tailored, yet deceptively simple.
Over the course of her lifetime, Chanel inspired a wealth of trends, ranging from faux pearl necklaces to tweed jackets to jersey sweaters. She singlehandedly changed the face of women’s fashion, all while courting some of the most illustrious men in history. Her fearlessness, inner strength, and confidence, however, are what has made her legacy one of the most fascinating stories in the world. Karen Karbo highlights this point repeatedly in her book, The Gospel According to Coco Chanel.
Karen Karbo’s writing radiates energy, wit, and humor, and readers would be hard-pressed to find even one section in the book that does not reflect her personal enthusiasm for the legend that is Chanel. The structure of the novel is quite simple. Karbo divides her book into chapters that each tell a story from Chanel’s life, while offering advice to readers on what they can take away from each account.
For instance, in chapter 7 of the book, Karbo retells the story of Chanel’s rivalry with Italian designer Elsa Schiaparelli. Schiaparelli, the inventor of such creations as the Lobster Dress (a white silk evening gown featuring a large red hand-painted lobster) and the Shoe Hat (literally an upside down women’s shoe with the heel pointing upward), essentially stole all of Chanel’s customers at the height of her influence. According to Karbo, Chanel never once publicly recognized the rivalry. Instead, the French designer quietly closed down the House of Chanel, lying in wait for Schiaparelli’s ridiculous designs to go out of style before she made her comeback.
The lesson to be learned from Chanel’s actions? Karbo cites one of Chanel’s most well known quotes in an effort to make her point. She writes, “All the best Chanel maxims are slightly opaque, koan-like. Perhaps her most famous one is ‘Elegance is refusal,’ which can mean any number of things, from refusing melted butter on your popcorn to refusing to pay too much attention – or any attention – to your rival.”
Karbo’s book gives readers the chance to learn not only from Chanel’s triumphs but from her mistakes as well. Among the many affairs that Chanel had, one of her more unfortunate relationships was allegedly with Nazi officer Hans Gunther von Dincklage. During the Nazi occupation in France, Chanel was rumored to have come to an understanding with the Germans, a scandal that would soil both her career and reputation as a designer. Following the liberation of France, Chanel was arrested and brought to trial, though she was released shortly afterwards when British Prime Minister Winston Churchill intervened on her behalf. Even after she was let go, Chanel knew her life was still in danger, so she fled for years to Switzerland and returned to France in 1953, at the time when Christian Dior debuted what he called “The New Look.”
Even though Karbo does not say this explicitly, I believe the lesson to be learned from Chanel’s departure for Switzerland is knowing what to do when one is beaten. Chanel may not have publicly admitted her mistake, but her actions spoke for themselves. As in the case of Elsa Schiaparelli, Chanel knew that timing is everything and that her patience would be rewarded. In Switzerland, Chanel amused herself with fashion magazines and lived knowing that her legacy survived on a single perfume bottle: No. 5.
Interwoven into the text of Chanel’s life and success is Karbo’s own journey: to buy a genuine piece of Chanel couture. Her endeavors take her from eBay to Paris, France, where she comes to the rather illuminating conclusion that she does not have to buy Chanel in order to wear Chanel. Karbo then sets off to create her own Chanel jacket, an attempt that certainly bears witness to her love of Chanel’s self-made success and fearlessness.
Yet another point that Karbo makes in her book is worth remembering, or at the very least considering. This lesson, however controversial, is one that she backs up with evidence from Chanel’s life; no one, not even Coco Chanel, can have it all. Chanel might have experienced love in her life, but she never married or had children. Chanel knew what she wanted most from life, and she knew how to make it her priority. She chose to turn down countless marriage proposals from rich and famous men who offered her a world of wealth and comfort, and in doing so, she refused to trade her passion and independence for a domestic life she knew she could not lead. When asked why she had rejected the Duke of Westminster’s proposal, Chanel simply replied, “There have been several Duchesses of Westminster. There is only one Chanel.”
By Michelle Golden
The new hit web-series Anyone But Me’s Nicole Pacent looks like a spitting image of Angelina Jolie. Created by one of the writers and Consulting Producers of The L Word and ThirtySomething, Susan Miller, and independent filmmaker Tina Cesa Ward Anyone But Me introduces a new post 9/11generation struggling with homosexuality, identity, and modern long distance relationships. Pacent flips her freshly salon highlighted brown hair, flashes a Crest-white smile and tells me she has been acting since she could put one foot in front of the other. Placing her Au Bon Pain coffee near her computer, she explains how she was nominated as one of Shewired.com’s 2009 Gay Women of the Year and what it means to her to be a part of Anyone But Me.
“We’ve amassed such a wonderful, small niche following for Anyone But Me,” said the New York University Tisch School of Arts graduate who plays 15- year old Astor, Vivian’s (played by Rachael Hip-Flores) on-screen love.
“I think people really relate to the Vivian and Astor characters and the fact that in that first [SheWired.com] interview when I came out, people were really psyched about it. I guess it’s just not that typical,” says Pacent. “It’s funny to me now because it’s just so second nature for me. I don’t even think about it. I talk about it because it is who I am, and it’s part of my life.”
After coming out publicly to the press as bi-sexual on April 21, 2009, shortly after the release of the first season of the web-series, Pacent has been contacted by devoted fans saying they have been touched by her efforts. “It’s why I act at the end of the day. Besides my own love for it, it is to do something that makes a difference with people.”
As a kid in the early days of her acting career, Pacent often played the little mermaid during recess, always showing admiration for the song, “Part of Your World,” to the point that even to this day, she still relies on it as her audition song. Theater was always something that just “made sense” to Pacent.
“Anything that was theater or music related I just loved. When I watched a movie or went to see a show, I was just completely transfixed,” she said. “I went to see Red Riding Hood when I was seven and all I wanted to do was be red riding hood.”
But the confident and smiling actress reminiscing about her musical production and community theater days on and off the playground actually used to be a little girl scared of coming out to her peers, and more importantly, to herself.
“It’s such a funny idea this whole idea of coming out because if we lived in a world where people didn’t assume that you were straight until proven otherwise, then maybe things would be different. But really you come out everyday to people.”
One would never think that in the middle of a hockey field where practice was being held, someone could have an identity crisis. However, for 15-year-old Pacent it was possible. During a summer afternoon, her and her teammates saw, what they thought, was an attractive-looking guy across the field. A few minutes later they found out that this guy was actually a girl, when he, or rather she, took off a baseball cap to expose a shaved head and a face that had very apparent girl features. That moment was the turning point in Pacent’s awareness of her sexuality. As all the other girls laughed at the idea that they could possibly think this ‘guy’ was “cute,”
Pacent still could not get it out of her head that she still thought the girl was attractive in her eyes.
“I remember looking at her intently and being like, ‘That’s a girl. You know it’s a girl now. Why are you so attracted to her?’ I had to keep on telling myself, you know this is a girl, right?’”
At 15, coming out was a scary process for Pacent. It was different and she did not know anyone her age that identified as gay.
“It was so the other. As soon as it came in my conscience mind that this just might be who I am, I suddenly was alienated in my own head. I became the other that everyone could talk about, and to me, that was very scary. It was scary because it was real.”
Able to relate on a very personal level with her character on Anyone But Me, Pacent says Astor is very confident.
“She’s much more myself now than myself in high school. Myself in high school was a little more Vivian,” says Pacent. After moving from New York City to Westchester, Vivian has to deal with coming out to her peers in a new school and neighborhood and subsequently has a hard time adjusting to that idea while still maintaining her relationship with Astor back at home.
“Sometimes I was comfortable with it and sometimes I wasn’t. In terms of owning to who she is, she is more mature than I was. Astor is the kind of girl that I would date, not necessarily the person I am,” says Pacent.
Performing as Astor on the show makes Pacent think a lot about her identity as an actress, saying that often where people have trouble in acting is where they have trouble in life too. Sometimes during scenes where she needs to become vulnerable, Pacent finds it hard to do so in front of other people when she is not in control. “There have been times in scenes where I’m like, ‘Should I cry in this scene?’ and I found myself so uncomfortable at the idea of crying and I ask myself ‘Is that me being uncomfortable for Astor or me being uncomfortable for me?’
Since coming out to her peers and family, Pacent is finally comfortable forming relationships with other women and not afraid of being judged. The Angelina-look-alike is starring again on the second season of Anyone But Me.
“You know, my ex-girlfriend in the beginning thought I looked like Angelina Jolie but then over time said ‘Yeah I saw it when I first met you, but I don’t see it anymore. You’re just…you.’ That’s what I get from most people. They see it at first and then they don’t see it anymore. I mean it’s an incredible compliment. That woman is outstandingly beautiful. Can’t argue with it.”
Whether you plan to hit the beach or chill at home for your upcoming vacation, here are three light, fun and feminine reads you might want to pick up. Smart chick lit at its best, these books offer strong leads grappling with very real situations.
Emily Giffin’s “Something Borrowed”
“Something Borrowed” is the tale of do-gooder Rachel, who is always pushing her own desires aside and letting best friend Darcy take the reins. Rachel is a hardworking, single lawyer who hates that she’s stuck day after day doing paperwork but can’t consider quitting. On the other hand, Darcy lucked out with a fabulous Manhattan PR job, airbrushed body and handsome fiancé Dex to boot. Rachel is the perfect friend, but when she and Dex sleep together on the eve of her 30th birthday, Rachel finds herself weighing her interests against Darcy’s and desperately trying to be a good friend while following her heart.
Giffin’s writing is superb, and Rachel may be the most relatable protagonist to emerge in a sea of the wannabe-models and Prada-wearing assistants that give chick lit a bad name.
Meg Cabot’s “Every Boy’s Got One”
Even if you haven’t read Meg Cabot before (The Princess Diaries, Avalon High), “Every Boy’s Got One” will show you why she’s cornered the teen girls market: she understands the way both women and men think. “Every Boy’s Got One” is laugh out loud funny and at times frustrating. Jane Harris heads to Italy to witness her best friend’s elopement only to get caught in some love-hate sparring with the best man. The relationships between Jane, Cal and soon-to-be-wedded Holly and Mark are revealed through diary entries, emails, tickets and more. Throw in a few mothers, an Italian housekeeper and the non-responsive boy Jane asked to watch her cat and it’s a rollicking trip from airport to Italian villa.
An easy read, “Every Boy’s Got One” is Cabot at her simplistic best. The magic lies not in the writing but in the arrangement; here, a receipt from the airport store releases giggles.
Hester Browne’s “The Little Lady Agency”
Melissa Romney-Jones is at her wit’s end. She loses her secretarial job, her father constantly holds the money he lent her over her head, and she unknowingly becomes an escort for her old etiquette teacher’s business. Once she discovers her error, Melissa decides to create what she thought she was signing up for in the first place: an etiquette-teaching, man-shaping business catering solely to the social needs of London’s not-quite-so eligible men. To do so, she dons a blonde wig and ups her self-confidence. But soon she realizes keeping bombshell “Honey” separate from Melissa isn’t as easy as shimmying into one of Honey’s cocktail dresses.
Browne’s breakout novel is a breakthrough success. Melissa is a creative entrepreneur ready to show her family and her ex-employers that her organization, wits and charm will get her where she wants to go.
If you’re hungry for more of the same characters, Giffin has written “Something Blue” as a follow-up with a twist and Browne has written two more books featuring Melissa.
By May Chan
If Lady Gaga watched When in Rome, she would call it a “bad romance” of the ages. You know the film is not destined for an Oscar nomination when it uses Facebook commentary to promote it. And you know a romantic comedy is not worth watching if the male lead has starred in another romantic comedy (ahem, Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!) that was equally not worth watching.
Despite this film being titled after a Mary-Kate and Ashley movie, I ignored the warning signs and paid the matinee price.
Directed by Mark Steven Johnson, the film follows Beth (Kristen Bell), a New Yorker who has little luck with love. At her sister’s posh wedding in Rome, a drunken Beth, thinking that her luck would change, takes a few coins out of a magic fountain to ensure she meets the right man. Enter Nick (Josh Duhamel), a sports columnist, who is instantly smitten with Beth.
Beth’s luck suddenly worsens with a gaggle of men following her: Antonio (Will Arnett), Lance (Jon Heder), Gale (Dax Shepard), and Al (Danny Devito) vie for Beth’s affections in unexpected outlandish ways. Even when Beth returns to New York, these men run into her endlessly.
When Beth finds out that her suitors are under a spell, she wonders if Nick’s attraction to her is genuine or not. The rest of the premise is easily predictable.
Out of convenience, the men who follow Beth around happen to be fellow New Yorkers as well. The few laughs extracted from the film feature Beth interacting with wannabe model Gale, but other than that, Nick seems to be there for the obvious charming reason of swooping in at the right time.
Although the year has just begun, few romantic comedies, including this one, have stood out. The character, Beth, seems like every protagonist audiences have seen in 2009, like in The Proposal and The Ugly Truth. The seemingly Type-A woman denies her attraction for the goofy guy. The problem with When in Rome is that Bell and Duhamel’s chemistry lacks substance. For an hour-and-a-half movie, there was enough time to progress from the mere flirting that high school lovers ping pong back and forth.
Recently, Kristen Bell has been typecast as the one, which guys fight over, and this plot is no different. Maybe she should concentrate on more comedy and less romance or find a traditional love story worth investing. Duhamel, on the other hand, should just consider staying away from romantic comedies.
As for the location, Rome did not seem very prominent other than the fountain scene. The film title seemed unintentionally cheesy, as if the director expected the title to carry the film. How romantic. The film is set in Rome. Who cares if the plot is wacky? The wackier, the better.
A romantic comedy enthusiast would consider this movie to be disappointing, and surely this is not a film for those cynical about love. However, if this film is at the top of your must-watch films, save the money and get it on Netflix. That way, you can at least fast forward to the ending and skip the not-so-funny scenes.
What, you may ask, is a Go-Getter Girl? Well, a Go-Getter Girl is no single person. She can be your ambitious and terrifyingly organized cubicle mate. She can also be your boss, or the person your boss roots for at all the important meetings. She is typically on the receiving end of everything you dream of at work: fast promotions, pay raises, and high-profile projects. And to top it all off, she is always cheerful and upbeat, and converses well with interns, secretaries, colleagues, and managers alike.
Every office has a Go-Getter Girl, and we all have a good idea of what she looks like. Her heels are immaculately polished, her nails are well manicured, and even first thing in the morning she appears as though she just stepped out of a Ralph Lauren catalogue, designer handbag in tow. As this woman’s colleague or employee, you may feel intimidated, jealous, angry, or any combination of these feelings. Why is this girl so perfect? How did she become this way? Why am I not doing what she is doing?
Thankfully, there is a book devoted entirely to the art of becoming a Go-Getter Girl versus, as author Debra Shigley calls it, a Get-Along Girl. The Go-Getter Girl’s Guide: Get What You Want in Work and Life (and Look Great While You’re At It) is divided into three sections, each covering one component of the Go-Getter Girl and what it will take to get out of your Get-Along Girl slump. While Shigley’s encouraging tone just might get some readers pumped for a life-changing transformation, the book covers no new ground. Most of us know that it is unprofessional to cry at work or to break down in front of bosses and colleagues. Readers may assume, just from using common sense, that coworkers will be more likely to betray you when their own butt is on the line than to help you out. While many of the stories in Shigley’s book are quite inspiring (like those of Spanx founder Sara Blakely and bestselling novelist Emily Griffin), the actual career advice Shigley offers feels more redundant than innovative, even at times bordering on the nonsensical. At one point, for instance, Shigley tells readers that when faced with the dilemma of choosing between a pantsuit and a skirt suit, go for the skirt, as most employers still expect women to wear dresses and the like to work over their “masculine” counterpart. This advice is ridiculous, and what is even more disappointing is that such a mind-boggling tip is briefly glossed over without any supporting statistics, facts, polls, or research.
It figures that in a book written for women there would be an entire middle section devoted to just beauty and fashion tips, which is certainly appropriate given Shigley’s belief that the way you present yourself is half the battle to getting where you want to be in life. But Shigley, by no means a beauty or fashion expert, can’t seem to distinguish for herself what qualifies as inappropriate attire in the office, condemning black stockings as suggestive of prostitution, another baffling conclusion unsupported by hard facts and real evidence. There are other strange, if not unnecessary, sections of the book which describe at length different exercise positions, including a protracted step-by-step guide on how to do a pushup. Shigley would have been much better off providing diagrams or pictorials of these exercise moves rather than undertaking the nearly impossible task of explaining how to do a standing lunge. Her beauty tips and glossary of beauty-related terms are equally ridiculous. At one point, the reader might be tempted to just pause and wonder, “Who in this day and age doesn’t know what dyeing your hair means? Who doesn’t know how to do a pushup?”
Though the beauty and fashion section of the book proved the most exhausting part to get through, the rest of the work was unfortunately no better. More often than not, Shigley seems totally unaware of the insulting nature of her advice. She claims that she is against the use of feminine sexuality to win over what remain largely testosterone-dominated offices, but her tips would suggest otherwise. In the third section of the book, Shigley suggests that suppressing your feminine side does include “using your sweet nature to cajole a better deal,” a phrase that could be worded infinitely better with less emphasis on the “sweet nature” that she assumes all women, simply by being female, must possess. The Go-Getter Girl’s Guide is in more ways than one a step back for career books aimed specifically at a female audience.
While the book does encourage women to negotiate better deals for themselves (in terms of maternity leave, salary, and benefits), the messages Shigley’s book sends are far too mixed and muddled to effectively encourage women to become the movers and shakers of their office. Readers may be left with the same question they began with: “What is a Go-Getter Girl?” The Go-Getter Girl, according to Shigley, is bright, talented, and strategic about her career. Perhaps inadvertently, Shigley also suggests that a Go-Getter Girl is manipulative, fake, and unafraid to use her femininity to get what she wants, making this book more a setback for hard-working women in the office than the tool for career advancement it desperately wants to be.
Instead of buying a bouquet of flowers that will last only a few days after Valentine’s Day, say “I love you” by creatively mixing together some everyday materials. With an old newspaper, old magazine, and some colored tissue paper (from past gifts, store wrapping, etc), not only will a dazzling bouquet result, but also a free and eco-friendly gift that stays fresh all year long.
-Last week’s paper
-Vase or recycled bottle (optional)
First cut varying sizes of “imperfect” circles. Just have fun with the different shapes and sizes. Cut about four circles and stack them on top of one another. With the tip of the scissors, poke a small hole through the middle of the circles. Set aside.
With a page from the magazine, roll the page to make a thin tube, so that it emulates a flower stem. Tape the end so that the stem stays put.
Now stick the newspaper “petals” through the stem. Play around by scrunching and manipulating the paper with your hands to create a flower shape.
Bunch up a small section of the tissue paper to act as the center of the flower. Gently tape the tissue paper to the middle of the floral circles.
Add some leaves to the rolled stem by using the tissue paper as well.
For a little fun scent, gently spray some perfume near the middle of the petals.
Make a few, and gather them for a beautiful presentation on a Valentine’s Day party by putting them in a recycled bottle or gift one to all of your friends knowing that they will have a happy “hearts” day everyday.
By Christine Stoddard
With words like “acne,” “drama,” and “hormones” bobbing in the waters, nobody ever said puberty was an easy sea to navigate. But Arielle Eirienne’s book, The You Behind the Mascara, promises girls that life doesn’t have to be a shipwreck. This self-described “growing-up guide for teenage girls” encourages young women to sail through high school and college with confidence, optimism, curiosity, and strength.
Eirienne’s smart advice ranges from “Focus on your heart” to “Transform fear into courage” to “Always choose purpose” to much, much more. Her tone dips into both the entertaining and the profound as she touches upon a variety of topics. Erienne explores everything from college to grad school to jobs to studying abroad to romance. Whether you, your friend, or your daughter needs advice about unlocking your personal potential or re-bounding after a break-up, the answer lies within these pages. Maybe it’s not a definite, logical, scientifically measurable answer, but it’s a helpful, soothing answer nonetheless–the kind of answer that urges you to take advantage of life’s natural ebbs and flows. You don’t have to stay stranded on that deserted island forever!
At thirty-six pages, this clever book teaches girls of a certain age to laugh, love, and live–happily and intelligently but not frivolously. It may be a fast read, but it’s a worthwhile one. Treat it like a compass and you’ll go far.
[The You Behind the Mascara (ISBN 978-0-557-09624-4) by Arielle Eirienne is currently available for purchase on Lulu.com.]