Frozen Banana Treat

•April 27, 2011 • Leave a Comment

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As the weather warms, you can finally have ice cream, popsicles, and other frozen treats without fear of frostbite.

Frozen bananas are an inexpensive, healthy, and refreshing respite from the heat.

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Just unpeel a banana, stick it in a Ziploc bag, and put it in your freezer. In a few hours, you will have a popsicle that is more satisfying than the average ice pop.

If you want to get fancy, spread some peanut butter or Nutella on it for a delicious combination that packs some protein. Frozen bananas are also a delicious addition to smoothies.



Free Samples on iBooks

•April 26, 2011 • Leave a Comment

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Do you have an iPad, iPod touch, or iPhone? If so, you can download the iBook app for free from the App Store!

Need another reason to download the app? iBook offers free samples of books that download straight to your device. Try out Maria Menounos’ new book, The Everygirl’s Guide to Life and you will have access to 73 pages of Menounos’ tips and anecdotes!

Did you ever wonder as a child where Disney got its stories? Apple will also give you a complimentary digital copy of the classic Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne.

To the Point

•April 25, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Confession: I couldn’t stay away.

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But, for the next while, I am experimenting with a new format – one that requires less time of (the likely very busy) you and I. Posts will now be tips that are to the point and I will leave it up to you if you think it is useful for you to learn more about (i.e., spend more time on) them.

My rationale? (Out of respect for your time, stop reading here if you found yourself thinking, “Thank goodness! Hannah is finally going to stop wasting my time with her pontificating!” and just wait for the next few posts because, here comes some of my media philosophizing.)

Think about it: how often do you (or, if you’re a particularly voracious reader, the average person) read an entire article? Do you have the time? The attention span?

What does it mean that Twitter, with its 140-character limit, has both found a way to integrate with traditional media outlets like TV news programs as well as serve as a source of news in itself for its users?

Sometimes I find myself worrying that I have not taken full advantage of the vast amounts of information out there – in cyberspace, in print, on the radio, and on television.

So, for better or worse, I see a major trend towards short-form content, both as useful in providing succinct information in itself as well as giving users a hint of the longer form content they can access.

Miss Representation

•April 11, 2011 • 1 Comment

A new documentary entitled Miss Representation focuses on two key and interrelated areas in which American women have yet to make satisfactory progress: positions of power and media portrayal. Increasing the number of women visible in each of these areas will eventually bolster women’s representation in the other.

Like what you see? Check out the scheduled screenings of Miss Representation taking place across the United States.

Uncommonly comprehensive for film promotional websites, the Miss Representation site has a plethora of fascinating and sobering facts, reading lists, and suggested actions you can take, even if you have only 10 seconds to spare.

For now, join me in supporting the Miss Representation team’s efforts on Facebook and Twitter!

Will a Cleopatra Run in 2012?

•April 7, 2011 • Leave a Comment

by Danielle, Politics & Philanthropy Contributor

I just finished reading the book Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff. It was incredibly well written,

and is much more captivating than some of the other nonfiction that covers the ancient world. Schiff does an amazing job of bringing together all of the historical sources of the time into a captivating narrative, and gives a fair representation of all parties involved.

What was most striking to me was the incredible power that Cleopatra held. She ruled, as a woman, for 22 years, during a time in which a woman in power was as unheard of as a computer in the Roman Forum. She lost a kingdom, regained it, nearly lost it again, amassed an empire, and then lost it all. But her story is still popular, not for the lands that she ruled, but for her relationships with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony.

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It was incredibly fitting timing that I completed reading this book during the same week in which we lost both Elizabeth Taylor and Geraldine Ferraro. The lives of these two incredible women give us insight into Cleopatra’s life as a sex symbol and ruler. Taylor and Ferraro have vastly different stories, but have both made a lasting imprint on American history. In an enlightening article in the National Journal, Kathy Kiely contrasts these two legendary women.

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Elizabeth Taylor, who played Cleopatra herself in the film, is like Cleopatra the sex symbol—with the glamor and very public personal life. Married eight times, she was in the public eye ever since starring in National Velvet as a child. Most remembered for her distinctive violet eyes, she was the icon of her day. Even though she did a lot for others, especially those with AIDS, at the end of the day many only remember her as a sex symbol.

Geraldine Ferraro, on the other hand, is like Cleopatra the ruler—she opened doors for all women. When she strode to the podium in 1984 to accept her nomination as Walter Mondale’s running mate, the first woman to be placed on a national ticket, “She took the ‘only men need apply’ sign off of the White House,” as Senator Barbara Mikulski describes.

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Though in the past 2,000 years we have made substantial progress in the realm of women in power, there is still a long way to go in terms of women being seen as leaders, not just sex symbols. There are currently 99 women in congress. In U.S. history there have been only 34 women governors as opposed to 2,319 men, and there still has not been a woman president (the Barbara Lee Foundation). Recently created programs like Emerge and Project 2012 provide women with the support and tools to take the risk and run like Ferraro, and perhaps by 2012 the world will look more like one that Cleopatra and Ferraro embody.

Best of the Blogs

•April 6, 2011 • 2 Comments

My Google Reader is packed.* If I fall behind on my blog reading during the week, I often have hundreds of posts to catch up on by the time the weekend comes!

So, inspired by Mediabistro’s reminder to spring clean my Twitter account, I decided to do the same with my regular blog reading lineup.

The beauty of the blogosphere? There’s something for everyone. Here are seven of my favorite blogs. Considering how many hours I spend scouring the Internet for sources that regularly feature novel, entertaining, informative, and thought-provoking content, I would dare to say that the following blogs have undergone a serious vetting process!

For the Fashionistas:

  • The Sartorialist: Fashion photo-blogging would not be the same without The Sartorialist, which features images of not fashion models in expensive designer outfits in a carefully curated setting, but real people on the street. As the Parisian cafe-goers know, people watching isn’t creepy – it can be a great resource for style ideas!
  • Who What Wear: Another great fashion resource, my personal favorite from WWW is the “What Was She Wearing” posts that feature pictures of celebrities alongside a guide of which designers they’re wearing. In a way, it’s like turning reality into a living catalog.

For the Beauty Junkies:

For Women who Dream of the Corner Office:

For Women who Want to Know:

*If you regularly read multiple blogs and do not yet use Google Reader, you’re missing out on a valuable content aggregation tool! Check out the Google Reader tutorial to get started.

I’m always looking for new inspiration – Which blogs do you follow?

Is It Okay to Be Pretty in Pink, But Wicked in Uniform Yet?

•April 4, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I was that youngster who played just about every sport she could. But I was also the little girl who fully embraced the scrunchie craze and slicked on Limited Too sparkly (and scented!) hair gel every morning before school. Later, I was that athlete who missed her high school senior prom and graduation to compete at the national youth rowing championship. But I was also the young woman who considered Elle Woods from Legally Blonde to be one of her idols and loved any event as long as the dress code called for a fancy dress and high heels.

Growing up, however, I saw these two sides of my identity as mutually exclusive. I did not have many role models who were comfortable with being seen as both attractive and athletic. As a result, I grasped onto anything I encountered that suggested that strength and femininity were compatible. In fifth grade, I proudly carried around a clipping from a Gatorade advertisement with Mia Hamm that read, “You wish you could kick like a girl.” In middle school, one of my favorite shirts read, “Pretty in Pink, Wicked in Uniform.”

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Unfortunately, there still seems to be much tension between these two characteristics. Most female athletes have struggled with presenting an image that is both “feminine” but is also true to how intimidatingly strong they are when they compete. They may also feel pressure to use their attractiveness to promote their sport. In an article entitled “Raising Her Profile By Showing Some Skin” in The New York Times, James Vlahos explains how even Italian sky diver (and Men’s Fitness titleholder of “World’s Hottest Female Athlete”) Roberta Mancino has struggled with this fine line, even though she has a professional background in both fashion modeling and extreme sports:

“Last fall, for [an] ESPN documentary, Ms. Mancino pulled off one of her most dangerous stunts yet. She stood atop a bulb of rock that crowns the Eiger, in the Swiss Alps, then leaped. In her wing suit, she veered ever closer to the craggy black massif, rocks filling the view of her helmet-mounted camera. Finally she turned away and pulled the rip cord.

But ESPN also was sure to show Ms. Mancino preening in designer clothes, strolling bikini-clad along beaches at sunset, and delivering smoldering close-ups straight to the camera. It was as if a woman who could literally fly through the Alps wasn’t enough to keep viewers interested.”

The potential repercussions of sexualized portrayals like this?

“Sex sells sex… It doesn’t sell women’s sports.”

-Mary Jo Kane, executive director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls and Women in Sport at the University of Minnesota

I agree with Ms. Kane, but I also wish that the younger me had had access to more women like Mancino, who are not afraid of showing off their strength or their sexuality.

Furthermore, there could be a positive benefit to the entry of female athletes into the fashion industry. Even though Mancino, with her “curvy figure” and “an endless succession of cuts and bruises,” does not have a body like that of most female models in advertisements or runway shows, she has been able to earn the money necessary make a living by modeling on the side. The debate over using waif-like versus healthy models in fashion is nothing new. Featuring strong and healthy female athletes like Mancino in fashion spreads may be part of the solution to promoting a healthy body image amongst young girls and encouraging women to live a healthy and happy lifestyle.

Another important point to stress is not only the importance of showing women examples of what a healthy and mature female body looks like, but also the importance of showing young girls that it is okay to be interested in both sports and fashion. One particularly good role model in that area is tennis player Maria Sharapova, who has designed a successful line of shoes and handbags for Cole Haan. Sharapova might be a tough world-class athlete, but she has a flourishing side career in fashion. And, a woman who is truly “pretty in pink, but wicked in uniform,” she sports pink tennis dresses on the court while she delivers her opponent a 100-plus mph serve.


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