Poem-A-Day: Christine Heppermann (again)

Yesterday I posted a poem by Christine Heppermann about the evolution of the dominance problem inherent in the inequity between men and women.

Today I’m posting one by her about the tragedy of the beauty myth, about how people can become conditioned — brain-washed — to pick themselves apart. Is there any more insidious oppression than the constant pursuit of perfection? What a curse to never be able to see one’s own value.

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The Wicked Queen’s Legacy

 

It used to be just the one,
but now all mirrors chatter.

In fact, every reflective surface has opinions
on the shape of my nose, the size

of my chest, the hair I wash and brush
until it’s so shiny I can see myself

scribbling notes as each strand
recommends improvements.

I make sure to write them all down
when all I really want is to stop

at the market and flirt with the butcher,
ignoring his critical knives,

haggling, for once, over the cost of
some other poor creature’s thighs.

***

This poem has been posted here with the permission of the author.

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Christine’s writing for children and young adults includes fiction, poetry, and narrative nonfiction. Her books include the highly acclaimed book of poetry, Poisoned Apples: Poems For You, My Pretty; the novel-in-verse Ask Me How I Got Here; the nonfiction City Chickens; and the Backyard Witch series (with Ron Koertge).

Christine has been working in the field of children’s publishing for more than twenty-five years. Her essays and reviews have appeared in The Horn Book Magazine, The Five Owls, and The Riverbank Review of Books for Young Readers. She has been a book reviewer for many newspapers; currently she writes the young adult roundup for the Chicago Tribune.

Christine lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with her two daughters, two cats, and one husband. Find her online at christineheppermann.com. She can be reached via email at info@christineheppermann.com.

Fashion Friday 9/20/13

Today was the homecoming pep rally, and we were all encouraged to wear our school’s colors, one of which is purple.

shoe pic 1
What? It’s purple.

These are the Iron Fist brand American Nightmare shoes, but I like to call them my zombie stompers.  They have a shoe like this called Zombie Stomper as well, but I don’t care for its neon color palette.  So there.

Even better from this angle.
I’ve got spirit, yes I do. I’ve got spirit, how about you?

These shoes have four-inch heels, and they make me almost as tall as some of my students.  Win.

I especially like the little bows on the backs and the criss-cross lacing up the heels.  And the poetry fragments on the inside don’t hurt.

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Fashion Friday 9/6/13

With a full-time job teaching high school and two children advancing through elementary school at an alarming rate — particularly a daughter whose behavior has led me to believe Eight is the new Thirteen — I think a lot about peer pressure and what’s happening to our kids socially.  (That’s a topic for an entire blog, and I’m not about to attempt it in a single Fashion Friday post.)  One thing that I try to do, to help the kids in my life see it’s good not to follow the herd all the time, is to be as Continue reading “Fashion Friday 9/6/13”

Fashion Friday 8/16/13

The evil eye enjoys a wide variety of cultural meanings around the world, but a commonly held idea is that it’s meant to bounce away other people’s malicious envy against you, karmically turning it back on them as bad luck.  Like with a lot of interesting symbols, my Arab-American upbringing flirted  Continue reading “Fashion Friday 8/16/13”

Fashion Friday 8/2/13

This week’s installment of Fashion Friday comes to us from Alanna McAuley, who is actually a former student of mine.  (Long former.  She’s graduated from college now.)  She recently stumbled upon a really wonderful advancement in fashion geared toward a highly specific and selective group of people… Continue reading “Fashion Friday 8/2/13”

Fashion Friday 7/19/13

Something cheery this week.

Near our front door we have a tiny pond with some ferns and shade-loving flowers and butterfly plants and a couple of rustic benches.  The whole area could use a redesign, but it’s been too busy a year for that, so maybe we’ll look into it over the winter when the weather is cooler.

We used to have turtles and fish living in the pond, and one spring we had thousands of tadpoles, too.  But then the turtles ate most of them, and so for the last several years we’ve had just two frogs.  They stay in this Continue reading “Fashion Friday 7/19/13”

Fashion Friday 7/5/13

First of all, I hope everyone who was observing it had a Happy 4th of July!  I’m spending the long weekend with my sister and some friends at a fancy masquerade ball in Los Angeles, so Tui Snider over at Mental Mosaic is guest contributing our Fashion Friday post this week.  (Thanks, Tui!)  I’ll be returning to my somewhat regular Fashion Fridays duties next week with a longer piece than usual.

I met the bubbly, fun, smart, and creative Tui at the DFWCon (Dallas/Fort Worth Writers’ Conference) back in May.  She graciously posed in her cute black-white-red outfit for May’s rêveurs/rêveuses day and was rocking the most wonderful manicure, which she happily agreed to write up for a Fashion Friday post.  Click here to go to her Unexpected Texas blog, where you can see the full post.  There are lots of other interesting things to see and read on there, too, so browse around in the archives.

Here’s a photo to whet your appetite for Tui’s post on the “literary manicure.”

Literary Nails by Tui Snider
Literary Nails by Tui Snider

 

Now go on over to Tui’s blog and check out the instructions for how to recreate this conversation starter yourself.  Happy weekend!

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Would you like to be a guest contributor to Fashion Fridays?  If so, please check out the FF page for more guidelines on how to participate.

 

Fashion Friday 6/21/13

This week’s Fashion Friday comes to us from my friend Cecelia. Yay! It’s a bit different from the usual fare but something excellent.
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Side note: I’ve been so grateful to our guest bloggers who have been stepping in while I’m traveling and finishing novel revisions. You’ll hear more Fashion Friday stuff from me next month, and I’ll get back to posting other writings very soon, too.  Lots of publication-type irons in the fire at the moment. Everyone’s patience is SO appreciated.
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Now, without further ado…

Fashion Friday 6/14/13

A lot of teachers I know and work with — okay, pretty much all of them — often admit they need a week or two to decompress from the school year once summer break starts.  Of course, summer is short, and most teachers have a lot of work to do over the summer (even if they aren’t teaching classes).  I know this shatters a myth many people like to believe, that we spend a couple of months just doing nothing but draw a paycheck.  (Trust me, in seventeen years of teaching, I’ve never encountered any teacher for whom that was actually true.)

Anyway, a week or two out of ten is an awful big chunk of time to spend decompressing.  So sometimes, the first weekend of summer, you have to make a grand statement, metaphorically, to shock your system into understanding you really are on summer break.

right hand watermelon

And the other hand…

left hand watermelon

This gets the point across nicely.

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Fashion Friday 5/17/13

Okay, so it’s not a hat this time, but it is something delightful to wear on your head.

This adornment was made by Saorsa Studio of Beads.
This adornment was made by Saorsa Studio of Beads.

Or more specifically, in your hair.

green glass hair beads (close-up)
It works best, I think, if you have a coarse or curly texture to your locks, to put this ornament in when your hair is still a bit damp, as mine is in these pictures. The stick holds the hair pretty well this way; most of mine is piled up here, twisted only slightly, and still feels secure.

The beads are green and a very pale amber-orange.

green glass hair beads with roses
I love this rose bush. It grows roses in three different colors – white, pink, and fuschia — even though it came from one single bareroot plant. It also thrives better than any of our other rose bushes or climbing rose vines. Now that the rains have stopped for a while, maybe I can tend to the garden a bit more. You know, in my copious amounts of free time.

An ornament like this also looks very lovely with a full up-do for a daytime/work look.  (Wearing it with one’s hair down is a bit more romantic.)  Even a severe chignon can look very feminine with beads dripping from it.

What interesting things have you worn in your hair before?