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Lee Price

Lee Price is an American figurative realist painter. Her hyperrealist canvases contain candid, pseudo-photographs concerning the relationship between women and food. Sometimes evoking secret moments of binging, and others featuring lonely moments of tea-sipping in a bathtub, Price captures the quiet war of emotional eating, using herself as the subject.

As a woman, I have been made to feel guilty for eating that extra french fry, for wanting that additional slice of cheese, or for not being petite. Women are constantly ‘food-shamed’ according to antiquated stereotypes of our gender should behave around cuisine. In short: eat little. We are held to impossible etiquette standards, we must be dainty, and yet, we must also be the cooks.

Food, the sustenance of life, and for many a joy of life, is also something which seeks to control us.

I have eaten crab rangoon in a bathtub. I have consumed a bag of Salt and Vinegar potato chips and a box of Oreos silently before a roommate came home. I have sneaked eating Frozen Yogurt on my walk home. I once got into a fight with a best friend over a box of Whole Wheat Strawberry Poptarts. All the aforementioned rest neatly in my annals of food guilt.

Yet, some of my most cherished memories also contain the ignition of my olfactory bulb and gustatory delights: pizza from Jumbo Slice, 2 am chicken tenders from Wingo’s, a Philly cheesesteak, my anniversaries at Dovetail and Colicchio & Sons, a weekend olive oil tasting in Napa Valley, sashimi-delivery-for-two with my boyfriend in the tangled sheets.

It wasn’t until the aughts that a woman finally won Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest.

I oscillate between a life of gluttony, of flippant uncaring, and of an extreme need to somehow tame my natural urges, and to count a calorie. My friends are all on a perpetual diet. I cannot read a woman-targeted magazine without an article on cholesterol, staying slim, or the right kinds of fats. If left unchecked, I would eat all of the world’s chèvre.

Lee Price, Ice Cream II

But, in truth, I adore food. I adore it at least three times a day. And Price shows this edifying and celebratory (almost orgasmic) side of fare, as well. However, she neglects to include the communal connotations of a shared meal.

Snack_52x40

From her studio in Beacon, NY, Price dreams up canvases “exploring food’s role as liberator, crutch, drug, and nourishment.” In a somewhat mocking turn, the city of Beacon, not far from the Culinary Institute of America, is also in the midst of a food revolution. The industrial town on Metro North has remained its relationship with farms not factories: Tito Santana Taqueria, The Hop Beacon, Homespun Foods, Max’s on Main, The Roundhouse at Beacon Falls, Cafe Amarcord.

Let the food revolution continue.

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Traveling Blue Wig Project!

The Fierce Fund, a corporate advised fund of Silicon Valley Community Foundation, believes that every woman is chockfull of stories of strength, ferocity, courage, and perseverance. Their goal is to celebrate, encourage, and elevate women and girls. That’s why, this year, they have decided to donate $20,000 to one of the following three organization: CoachArtDress For Success, and Girls Who Code. If you’d like to vote for this years three nominees, you can do so here.

Three Charities for the Traveling Blue Wig Project

The Fierce Fund - Blue Wig Project

The Fierce Fund Blue Logo

Wherever your fierceness comes from (ROAR), we all have our moments to shine, sparkle, glisten, sweat, pant, laugh, scream and cry. Sometimes it takes all of those things to even begin to dream of being as fierce as your full potential. As part of the Clever Girls Collective, I have been selected, as one of 50 bloggers, to describe a moment when I was fierce – and to prove that I’m not afraid – I was even challenged to wear a neon blue Peggy Sue wig, in public, in New York City.

Being Fierce is having the courage to try a new career, drive across the country, travel somewhere you’ve never been; standing up to a bully, calling out hate speech, voting; being strong for your kids, being there for your friends, being active in your community. Being Fierce can mean going back to school after a couple decades away, it could mean putting on a bathing suit at the public beach. Or being Fierce could mean going through cancer treatments and choosing to rock a blue wig in stride.

The Fierce Fund - Blue Wig Project

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I had always been a Type-A student. I cried when I got B’s – over studied, thought deeply about texts, and always took homework seriously. I was the girl who could have a paper finished a few days ahead of time, actually took notes in class, and liked speaking with the teacher after lecture. Because of my good grades, I never really struggled in school. From elementary school to college, my report card was never the harbinger of parental woes. In fact, I never totally struggled in graduate school at Columbia University. It was hard, and I definitely studied and worked through many laborious hours in a ton of libraries, but nothing ever seemed like a Sisyphean uphill battle.

Be sure to stay up-to-date with the #FierceFund by following the hashtag across Twitter and Facebook.

Perhaps because of this good luck, I was not fully prepared for the actual job market. I graduated at one of the lowest points of the recession. This was a time when students were occupying Wall Street, the unemployment rate was at an all time high, and job security at a low. I naively thought that something would fall into my lap – I was a good student – I had stellar grades – a ton of internships – professors liked me.

The Fierce Fund - Blue Wig Project

I didn’t get hired for almost nine months. And, even when I did find work thereafter it was through part-time or contractual positions. I was underemployed.  The first week without a response from a resume or cover letter was fine. Being turned down for networking over coffee a few times was OK. But when the pattern began repeating month after month, it became hard to retain my self-esteem. It was difficult to trust that the years of self-worth and compliments which I had built up from being a “good academic” had any credence in the so-called real world. It was hard to get out of pajamas on some days, because if I got into jeans, then I could walk outside, and then I would be tempted to spend money on coffee. Coffee from a barista was a luxury. Any time not spent sending the over 105 resumes, which I crafted in that timeline, was a waste. My boyfriend (now husband – yay) was sad. I was completely forlorn and a bit aimless. My only focus and goal was job hunting, googling positions, and since that was not delivering, I felt like I was failing 100%. Unemployment depression is very real.

The Fierce Fund - Blue Wig Project

The remain fierce, I convinced myself to create this-here blog. I would post EVERY day during my job hunt to convince myself of my employable qualities. It was nice to be reminded that I had creative ideas to offer the world, even if I was not getting paid for them! Now, almost 200 posts and two-years later, the blog still inspires me!

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Walk a Mile in Fierce Woman Shoes: 

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Dear Kate

Aunt Flo; Riding the Crimson Wave; My Moon; The Cotton Pony; Checked into the Red Roof Inn; T.O.M. Time Of Month; Shark Week; The Rag. Whatever nickname you use to address your period (ahem; menses), give it up and give this special cycle the honors it so deserves! A woman will spend approximately 3,500 days of her life menstruating, so we better learn to love it, or else we’re in for some doom and gloom.

Dear Kate / The Walkup

Dear Kate / The Walkup

ms moxie cheeky / leading lady bikini full

As the inimitable feminist, activist and philosopher Gloria Steinem once wrote, “What would happen, for instance, if suddenly, magically, men could menstruate and women could not? The answer is clear – menstruation would become an enviable, boast-worthy, masculine event: Men would brag about how long and how much. Boys would mark the onset of menses, that longed-for proof of manhood, with religious ritual and stag parties. The US Congress would fund a National Institute of Dysmenorrhea to help stamp out monthly discomforts. Sanitary supplies would be federally funded and free. (Of course, some men would still pay for the prestige of commercial brands such as John Wayne Tampons, Muhammed Ali’s Rope-a-dope Pads, Joe Namath Jock Shields – “For Those Light Bachelor Days,” and Robert “Baretta” Blake Maxi-Pads.)”

Dear Kate / The Walkup

So, let’s all exit the Red Tent, shed the taboos (like our uterine lining), and embrace this awesome time which signifies womanhood and more importantly, fertility and the continuity of humanity. It is not awkward, it is not gross (womb blood once nourished YOU), and it is not foul. In fact, in many ways, having my period is the only time I feel like a kind of X-(wo)Man whose superpower is that of lunar cycles, friendship syncing and tidal waves. Why do some men get to brag about natural bodily functions like ejaculation, burping and farting yet, us women cannot discuss our most basic of reproductive rites?

Dear Kate / The Walkup

Lace during your period! The Victorians would have never imagined it. 

leading lady laundry bag / ms moxie bralet

I will, however, admit something, even after my pro period rant; sometimes menstruation really is inconvenient, even messy. So for that we have Dear Kate! Protective, leak-resistent, stain resistant lingerie for women. Throw out the granny panties! Dear Kates were invented for those days when the last thing you want to worry about is an embarrassing mishap. Rock those white pants, and quit soaking and scrubbing, Cinderella! Rather than having an underthing with the express purpose of “attracting a mate” why not empower yourself with a garment made for your needs, while still being cute?

Dear Kate / The Walkip

Dear Kate’s founder utilized her chemical engineering background to create the patent-pending fabric lining each pair of underwear. Comprised of two luxurious microfiber layers and a thin, breathable outer layer, this is revolutionary fabric to the rescue. These clever and washable garments will save about 730 panty liners a year, think about it – that’s a decent chunk of change ($$) and a few trees. Not just for the monthly gift; Dear Kate also comes through in a pinch for gym sweat, bladder leakage and discharge. Trust me, it’s love-at-first-wear.

As Dear Kate CEO and founder Julie Sygiel explains, “We can’t reschedule your time of the month or train your unborn child, but we can make life safer for your favorite dress.”

TAKE BACK YOUR PERIOD. PERIOD.