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Monday, July 25, 2011

The Perfect Pick-Me-Up

Do you ever feel like you look younger than your actual age? Do people tell you that you could pass for a teenager? Okay, maybe a college student. I have told Jenarcissist several times that I would love to go on that show where they put you in a glass box in the middle of the city and have people guess your age. Oh, what was the name of that show? Anyway, it was a makeover show and the people who went on it were always in dire need of help. The ages guessed would always be well over their actual ages. It was quite sad, but they would make a complete turn around by the end of the episode! Anyway, my motivation for wanting to go on the show is quite narcissistic indeed- I want to hear how young people think I am. Terrible I know! But I am just being honest, and my perception of how old I look may be way off. That's okay, because I feel good about myself and that's what is important.
Well, I came across a couple of websites that will post your photo and have random people (guests to their website) vote on how old they think you look. Needless to say, I couldn't get my pics uploaded fast enough. I tried to pick a flattering photo, but I didn't make any edits to it aside from cropping it. It took several weeks before enough people had voted to see the average of their guesses, but boy was it worth it! I now have the perfect pick-me-up for when I'm feeling down about getting older. I averaged 19.6 and 23.3! I'm actually 31.6...Woo Hoo! It's also a lot of fun to vote on other people's pictures too! Check out these screenshots from the two websites, How Old Are You? and Guess My Age.
Take a look and see what you think. Let us know if you upload your pics and how it comes out!

Is Shyness a Form of Narcissism?

“Shyness has a strange element of narcissism, a belief that how we look, how we perform, is truly important to other people."

-Andre Dubus

I came across this quote while randomly reading about narcissism and self-love. It really made me stop and think, as I have been terribly shy since childhood. I have never, however, made any connections between my shyness and narcissism. It really does make perfect sense, though, that the two are connected in some way. When I was younger, my shyness was certainly more extreme and even debilitating at times. I remember feeling like a complete outsider during the second grade. I think I maybe had one, possibly two friends that year. My dad had moved my sister and I from California to New Mexico, so everything was different and unknown to us. I felt like everyone was watching me all of the time and judging me. I had always been shy prior to this, but in school I had been fairly social and relaxed. The next year Dad moved us to Georgia, and my shyness continued to be a painful part of my life.

As I entered Middle School, it just got worse. I felt as though I was being filmed, and everything I did or said was being watched by everyone. Everything I wore was being scrutinized. I was all anyone saw and they were judging me hard. It didn't help when I started working in the 8th grade and a popular cheerleader shouted at me amidst a huge crowd of kids, "Do you like pancakes?" She knew I was working at IHOP and for some reason she found pleasure in mortifying me in front of what seemed like hundreds of kids. To this day I would like to tell her how belittled she made me feel that day. I would like to tell her that my family had no money, and that if I had any intention of buying new clothes or owning a car when I was 16, that it was on me. What blows my mind is that she didn't even know me, as we had never spoken. She was just one of the popular kids and a big bully. I was just a random target, I guess. But boy did it hurt.

Up until that time, I don't think my shyness was narcissistic at all. I had had a really rough childhood and we moved around a lot. My sister and I lived with uncertainties and an unknowing of what to expect at home and for our futures. As far as I'm concerned, my shyness was a protective blanket from the existence that was my life.

I came into my own a bit more during High School. My family life was quite a bit more stable, though still pretty messed up in comparison to the norm...whatever that may be. My friends and I weren't popular but we also weren't the "geeks". We were pretty much the ones who got by without much notice. I was involved in art and the drama club, as well as some other activities. I continued to be shy, but now my shyness was more connected to how I felt others viewed me. Did my hair look okay? Were my boobs big enough? Were my clothes cute? Is that hot boy talking about me? Was I prettier than that popular girl who gets any guy she wants? These were the type of questions fueling my shyness and inadequacies. This is certainly when my shyness made a turn towards narcissism and never looked back.

I became a changed person during High School. I began to believe in myself. I knew that I was smart and felt that I could accomplish anything in life that I wanted. I could be anything, despite where I had come from. I realized that I was no longer that awkward kid and I had grown into a pretty cute girl. I was nice too, unlike some people I had encountered through the years. Even back then, I knew that who you were on the inside was a great measure of one's beauty. Overall, I thought I was a great package...I still do. So is my beautiful sister who survived with me, along with a couple of extra bumps in her road. And my wonderful best friends...they made it through their own trials and tribulations. We all grew up enveloped in our shyness, and we all eventually transitioned, or might I say, blossomed, into the "narcissistically shy" women that we are today.

How I look and how I perform is important to me. I do care what others think because I am trying hard to be a beautiful person in every way. Maybe I shouldn't care, but to me it's a positive because it encourages me to be my best. When I am feeling shy, my mind is telling me that people are watching me and judging me. Well, I want them to see a person who respects and loves her body, and who takes care of herself because she deserves it. Just as any person should. I want others to see a woman that they can look up to. I want young girls, my daughter especially, to see that inner beauty is what shines the brightest.

As I grow older, I can see that my shyness is slowly fading. I am becoming more sure of myself with each passing day. I now aspire to be different and would rather not fit the mold of what people expect of me, a 31 year-old married teacher with an 11 year-old daughter. I don't think I'll ever live without a lingering bit of shyness, however. It is who I am. And I'm okay with that, because I am pretty awesome despite it.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

"What to Expect" at an Open Casting Call :)

Today I did something totally different from anything I've ever done: I went to an open casting call for a movie! "What to Expect When You're Expecting" - I mean, what else would they name a movie about pregnancy than the classic manual? :) They actually film a lot of movies here in Atlanta these days, and several have been close by enough where I could go to the casting calls, but, for whatever reason, I never did, even though I thought about it. Well, when my incredible mother-in-law sent me this article from the newspaper, I knew I had to go to this one since they were calling for pregnant women and babies!

Hubs couldn't go, and I was a tad nervous going alone in case I couldn't figure out where to park and where to go. But then I decided I'm not alone; little baby girl is always with me. ;) That gave me a huge boost of confidence, and off she and I went. I'm ALL about my baby belly, and any chance to show it off is where you will find me!

I got there a little after 1:00, and there were still hundreds  of people waiting! I can only imagine how many actually went since they started at 10 am. Never having done anything like this before, I assumed someone would ask you questions and maybe even shoot a quick video of you to see how you appear on camera. I waited in line about two hours - thankfully, it was indoors in the A/C, and there were seats now and then so I could sit and rest, although it didn't take long for my hungry baby to tell me I should've packed a granola bar. (I should know better by now.) I was so glad I wore comfortable shoes. I chatted with the gals in front and behind me in line. The one in front of me had been an extra before and was there with her beautiful baby girl, and the ones behind us were not pregnant but go to extra casting calls regularly, which I thought was neat. We wound and wound our way through the hotel in line and finally got downstairs. Someone took the little paper I filled out with my info and wrote a number on it, and then I got one picture taken by a guy with a regular digital camera while I held up my number. And that was it! As the article says, you can also submit a photo to them via email or text in lieu of going in person, and now I know it wouldn't have upped my chances to be there. But I'm glad I went in person; just the experience of doing it made me feel so good about myself and was really interesting. It was total and complete cuteness overload with all those adorable babies and children and the equally adorable pregnant women everywhere! I'd hate to have to be the person to decide who makes the cut!

Here's what I wore...I thought maybe they wanted natural-looking people more than dressed to the nines.
I'm assuming they need extras for things like doctor's office waiting rooms and birthing classes. (?)

25 weeks along now (a little over 5 months)!!

I've heard they start filming next weekend and will be shooting the next several weeks, so I have no idea when I'll be contacted if I'm chosen. It's just casting for extras, so you probably won't see me with a speaking role anytime soon...though they do say they might feature some extras with one-liners. But how neat would it be to be on the screen in a movie for even a fraction of a second, especially with my baby belly? Even if we had to pause at just the right moment to catch a glimpse of me, I could tell her someday, "Look, there we are in the movie!"

After I left, I texted Kam to tell her I had done it...I hadn't mentioned anything about it to her before then. She responded that she had just submitted pictures of her and her husband (Vain Shane) for a different movie filming locally! We always seem to be on the same wavelength and do the same things at the same time, even when we're unaware the other is doing it. :)

All in all, it was a really neat experience! Thanks, mom-in-law! And now I have this song stuck in my head. hehe

Well, I bet you I'm gonna be a big star
Might win an Oscar; you never can tell
The movies gonna make me a big star
Cause I can play the part so well

- The Beatles, "Act Naturally"

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Please Vote for Kam's Video!!!

I am SOOO excited today because our very own Kam (a/k/a KameraWhore) has made it to the Top 5 in a video creation contest for one of our fave singers, Langhorne Slim! Won't you please check it out and vote for hers?? She's unable to post right now, and I wanted to get the news out as soon as possible. She did ALL the drawings and animation herself! She's so talented. Hers is the only animated one and by far the most creative!! Watch it above and then GO HERE TO VOTE! And please tell your friends!

Kam meeting Langhorne

Friday, July 1, 2011

How to Talk to Little Girls from Miskabelly

Flickr image by Krista Kruger

Hoping you'll check out this post on one of my fave blogs and let us/them know your thoughts on the subject. Whether you have kids of your own or not, I'm sure each of you knows at least one little girl. :) I left my thoughts in a (long, of course - I don't know any other way to be!!) comment on their blog.

There has been a lot of buzz on the interwebs this week surrounding this Huff Post article about the way we interact with young girls, which makes an extremely valuable point:

"Teaching girls that their appearance is the first thing you notice tells them that looks are more important than anything. It sets them up for dieting at age 5 and foundation at age 11 and boob jobs at 17 and Botox at 23. As our cultural imperative for girls to be hot 24/7 has become the new normal, American women have become increasingly unhappy. What's missing? A life of meaning, a life of ideas and reading books and being valued for our thoughts and accomplishments."

You can find Miskabelly's post here. And I will say I think Amanda's position on the subject is much healthier and balanced than the article writer's seemingly all-or-nothing approach, though I completely get where she’s coming from.

P.S. HAPPY FRIDAAAAAAAAYYYYY!!! And a happy and safe 4th for those of y’all in the States.

- Jenarcissist