Monthly Archives: February 2013

Sexism and Body Shaming, Oscars Edition

I fully admit to falling asleep after Russell Crowe ruined the Les Mis group singalong, but now that I’ve caught up on the remaining 19 hours of the Oscars last night, there are a few things I think we need to talk about.

1. Enough with the Black Swanning already.

Forget your feelings about her nipple-y dress and overly earnest acceptance speech, Anne Hathaway killed it f*cking dead as Fantine and I’m glad she won. At the same time, I am not excited about two big wins, two years in a row, for already-tiny actresses winnowing down to skeleton size for these roles. I know there’s a case to be made for method acting and I guess, yes, an 18th century French prostitute dying of consumption would be pretty starved-looking. (Though the chicks who played her on Broadway never seem to need to go there.) See also an insane ballerina. But the media frenzy around these weight-loss-for-art stories only reinforces our skewed ideas about what women need to look like to be successful. We do not get this lathered up when male actors change their body shape for a part, period. It also gets in the way of appreciating the fine acting these women are actually doing because instead of talking about the interesting choices they made with their brains, we’re thinking, as usual, that women are their bodies and not much more.

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A Day in The Freelance Life

Co-worker Walter gets on top of some filing. 

Introducing a new feature for The Freelance Life: Day in the Life snapshots! I love when other blogs do these — especially So How Was Your Day?, which obviously does nothing but — because I am absolutely beyond nosey (yes I will also look in your bathroom cabinets when you invite me over, without a modicum of shame). And with freelancing, there are just so many endless variations on how you could spend your day! But I have a working theory that while there are many different effective working styles, there are better and worse things you can do with your time to be productive and successful. And that perhaps the freelancer stereotype of sleeping until 3 PM, working in your pajamas and eating Ramen noodles for all your meals falls into the “worse” category.

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[Mission Statement] What’s Going On With This Blog

2013 marks my fourth year of blogging, and when I look back over how this blog (and this whole website, and my career and my whole life while we’re on the subject) has evolved during that time, it’s a little amazing to me.

But what may amaze and delight me may be confusing to my lovely readers. As in, I’ve noticed a lot of new subscribers in the past few months — and a lot of new un-subscribers. Ouch… except I understand why. People often come to my site because they’ve read a specific story that I’ve written elsewhere — and then understandably get bored or turned off when they realize that I don’t blog 24/7 about that specific topic. (Be it MLM marketing scams or lighthouse renovations or what have you.)

So I thought it would be helpful to all you readers, new and old, if I sketched out a clearer mission statement for this blog and kept it posted right here on the top of the blog page, always and forever. (Or until everything about this site evolves again and that no longer makes sense.)

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[The Freelance Life] On Getting Paid (And Knowing Your Worth)

When you’re starting out as a freelance writer (or really, in any creative/media-driven career), this really annoying thing happens: People ask you to work for free. A lot.

I don’t know too many lawyers or investment bankers or insert-almost-any-other-profession-here who have to work gratis or for “stipends” (read: slave wages and maybe some swag from the beauty closet) for years before they get a regular paycheck, but in our industry, it’s a rite of passage. I’m one of the “lucky” ones because I got most of my unpaid labor done in college via three unpaid magazine internships. I made fantastic connections at these “jobs,” and one of them turned into a full-time job after college, so lots of people would say, you see? Luck. But what really makes me lucky is that I come from a family who supported my career goals and were financially able to subsidize the huge corporations benefiting from my pro bono photocopying all those semesters by covering my living expenses through college and for a wee bit afterwards. #thanksagainparentalunits!

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[The Freelance Life] Finishing Up Your Business Plan

 

Alright, alright, it’s finally time for us to finish up these business plans that we started oh so long ago.

The good news is, if you’ve already written up your professional goals and financial goals, you are basically set for the year — especially if this is your first year writing a business plan. Those are the most essential parts because now you know how much money your business will make and what you need to do to make that money. And have a warm and fuzzy feeling about your career, all at the same time.

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