Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Feminist Angst, Pink Soup and Crappy Crab Rangoon

I was innocently working out at the Y, listening to my Indigo Girls mix on the iPod, when I caught a glimpse of "Toddlers and Tiaras" on the TV in front of me. Usually, I get stuck watching damn Fox News, while I'm sweating on the elliptical. This was worse, if that's even possible.

I can't believe these kid pageants are allowed to not only occur in real life, but be broadcast on television. In one scene, one of the mothers wanted to apply fake eyelashes to her three-year-old daughter to prepare her for the pageant, but the child ran away in tears. She didn't want stuff glued to her eyelids.

There was a swimsuit category. Toddlers, with faces caked with makeup and hair shellacked into place, were forced taught to strut on a stage to prove that they are worthy of a prize (parental acceptance) if they look cute enough in their frilly bikinis.

One child was told she needed to wear sunscreen before going outside, otherwise she would freckle. The kid refused, probably because she's tired of having gook lathered on her face. "Fine, you'll get freckles!" This is, apparently, a worse fate than skin cancer. There was a lot of crying and yelling and it made me judgy, as well as stabby. These feelings seldom happen to me, much less the combination of both.

I strive to be open minded and not judge others for their choices in life, but this, frankly, left me without a choice. WTF? Ophelia was drowning and the beauty myth was alive and well. This went beyond the realm of crushed feminist ideals. It was bordering on abuse.

Then, "Pendulum Swinger" started playing in my ears and I walked away. (Actually, I staggered, because I'd just spent 50 minutes on the torture machine.) But I was still pissed and felt a burning desire to somehow save those baby girls from their mothers.

I moved my workout to the track, where there were no televised distractions and I thought about beauty and what we teach our children. Why was I here, burning calories? To lose a few extra pounds. To lead a healthier lifestyle. To listen to music without interruption. But mainly, it's because I feel fat most of the time. I have ever since I was a 90 pound teenager in high school. Who am I to judge those pageant mothers? What am I teaching my girls? I do my best to teach them kindness and compassion and to not worry too much about what people think. The whole "it's what's on the inside that counts" bit. Of course, I believe it wholeheartedly, but I often regress into insecurity and self doubt. We're all in the same boat.
That night I decided to make what the kids like to call "Pink Princess Soup." Granted, I'm not big on the whole princess phenomenon, but if it gets them to eat their veggies, I'm good with it. It's my own variation of Borscht, with beets as the primary ingredient. (My vague recipe is available upon request.)
We decided this looked like a juggling ghost:

After soup, we played Twister, which is a difficult game to play when you're an adult. But if you're a kid or a cat, it's a blast and a half!

Sammie really liked to spin the spinner.

On Sunday, I made crab rangoon, from a Pinterest recipe, which I (of course) did not follow. It called for a cup of crab, but I just threw in the entire container because, there's no such thing as too much crab. In reality, there is such a thing. It was too fishy and lacked the creamy goodness of crab rangoon that is properly prepared. I'm still posting photos because they're pretty:

Oh, and I finally upgraded and got the iPhone 4S, with which I am passionately and incorrigibly obsessed. Instagram has changed my life. I'm sure I'm annoying the hell out of my Facebook and Twitter friends with the constant posting of filtered photos. (Sorry.)
Peace out.

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