Friday Favorites

Some great reads to share from the past few weeks: 1. Yoga, Spinning and a Murder

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This article is kind of old now, but it's stuck around in my mind for a few weeks. Mann's anecdotes ring true to the basic fact that many lucrative organizations and companies tend to promote a very particular lifestyle that often results in employees falling prey to certain guidelines and ways of thinking. Lots of companies have their cults and converts, so what Mann shares in this piece about her time at Lululemon doesn't surprise me in the least, and some parts of it are comical for sure ("talked shit about gluten" - HA).

But it left me feeling uneasy. Maybe because she brings up a lot of stereotypes related to yoga--working for little pay, obsessing about the perfect outfits to practice, eating as clean as possible, exercising all the time, etc. I think some of these things certainly translate to other fitness fads or trends, like Crossfit, except there isn't a comparable business surrounding those the same way Lululemon surrounds the yoga community. Maybe because some of those stereotypes are true, and that can be hard to swallow even if you absolutely adore the benefits of yoga. Here's the thing: the tone of her piece mocks an environment like Lululemon, and that feels icky to me. Like some of the commenters, I'm confused why this became a tirade on one particular company and lifestyle instead of a story that went like this: "I worked for this store, and I didn't like it, and it didn't fit with my preferences, so I quit and moved on." Right? (Not to mention the way she includes the Maryland murders, which seemed unnecessary and mildly inappropriate to me . . .)

Anyway, I wanted to share it even though I didn't particularly like it because it made me think about all sorts of other things. So maybe it will for you, too.

2. A Dad and a Dream

doyin richards

Just read it. And this one. I remain eternally confused as to why other people are hateful (seriously, sickeningly hateful) toward individuals who are . . . being good parents. Because of their race or family construct. Or whatever. And I am grateful to men like Doyin Richards and Kaleb and Kordell for sharing their stories.

3. Lessons from the Obamacare "Horror Stories"

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Lesson one: just because a story is on the Internet does not mean it is true. Part of it might be true. I repeat, might be. So when I hear and read story after story about how Obamacare sucks, I immediately look for the sources and the facts. I'm not a liberal who is dying to defend our President and his choices at every turn, nor am I someone constantly looking for holes in Republican arguments. But I'm certainly skeptical of media coverage when it comes to politics these days, and you should be too. Facts and details matter.

4. Ignoring the TL;DR Criticism

Godin clevely and concisely argues in favor of long-form content:

"Here's what I've found: When I read in checklist mode, I learn almost nothing. It's easy to cherry pick the amusing or the merely short, but it's a quick thrill with very little to show for it."

I'm clearly a word-y person, so I favor his perspective.

5. Wearing Fur

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My sister and I were recently gifted with our grandmother's mink coat (to share). She wore it to a holiday party, I think without contempt, and I haven't yet worn it. I'm not sure if I will, but I appreciate this writer's story about the complexities of wearing fur as part of today's fashion aesthetic. If you know and value where your fur came from, is it okay to wear? What if you buy it used rather than new? Is it always wrong to wear fur? I'm not sure.

6. Estrogen and the Golden Globes

Soraya Chemaly presents some astoundingly (awful) statistics related to women in media and entertainment these days. I hadn't heard about Kyle Smith's (of the NY Post) comment that the Golden Globes had "too much estrogen." Here is Chemaly's powerful retort:

"The night [Golden Globes] was a celebration of an industry in which women are remarkably discriminated against, hypersexualized, and subjected to double standards regarding how they look, age, paid and invested in. . . . First, let's put Smith's disgust in context. He makes the miserly complaint that Sandra 'Bullock had ten times as much screen time as her costar, Clooney being reduced to playing her coach.' This is the perfect example of how this works. It is a ridiculous distortion of the facts to suggest some sort of equivalence between opportunities for women and men to play lead roles in Hollywood. What Kyle is actually saying, with a straight face, that even one film out of 250, in which a woman is the protagonist and a man is supportive is JUST TOO MUCH."

Be sure to read this entire article; it's an important one.