All posts tagged: Confidence

Every Woman’s Reward: Becoming That Mean Old Lady

 I’ll admit it. As the years go by, I seem to be getting meaner. If I gave a damn, this would be a troubling development. I was born on March 20, the vernal equinox, the first day of spring when everything’s coming up daisies. As a Pisces, I spent most of my life a brooding but compassionate dreamer, friend of the underdog, empathic helper. But March 20 is also on the cusp of Aries, the bullheaded, competitive, pull-no-punches sign. That makes me an astrological Dr. Jekyll, Ms. Hyde. So, I’m not surprised that in my second act, I’ve gone from friendly fish to full-tilt ram. What worries me is that my prickliness may not be written in the stars so much as imprinted on my genes. I don’t aspire to be an old shrew, but when I look at some of the women in my family, I wonder if it can be avoided.  I’m far more prone to hang up on someone, claim space for myself, cut off ridiculous prattle, even threaten court action when …

Why I’ve Aged Out of Embarrassment

Lately, I’ve grown increasingly pissy about this aging thing. Frankly, I can’t find much to like about getting older. My back aches, my hips are tight, I sleep too little and eat too much. My skin is dry, my hair is gray and I can’t see a thing without a pair of reading glasses, which I can never find. But there’s one aspect of aging that I’ve happily embraced: Almost nothing embarrasses me anymore. For most of my life, I’ve been hyper-conscious of drawing unwanted attention to myself by performing poorly. I cringed over every perceived shortcoming, constantly comparing myself to others. Somebody was always better at something. Well, that will always be true, but the difference now is I care a lot less. At this point, my heroes aren’t necessarily the best or brightest. My role model is Popeye who proudly proclaimed, “I yam what I yam, and that’s all what I yam.” This doesn’t mean I no longer give a hoot about trying to be a better me; I’ve simply become more accepting …

6 Ways to Brag About Yourself (Without Being an A**hole)

For women, bragging is a necessary but tricky endeavor. We’ve heard that women need to brag more, and that’s true. The only way people will know how awesome and competent we are is if we show them. And lucky us, with our social media presence, we have the show-and-tell platform of every kindergartner’s dreams. So, go ahead and tell the world that you’re totally winning at this life thing. A promotion! A new client! You lost weight! You overcame a yearlong illness! You overcame the yearlong sleeplessness of new motherhood!  But guess what? As necessary as bragging and show-and-tell are, no one likes a showoff. So, here are tips for how to express yourself when you know you’re the sh*t — because you should also know better than to act like your sh*t don’t stink. 1. When you score a sweet new job or promotion. Avoid thanking God and giving an Oscar speech. I’m not against people publicly sharing their religious/spiritual gratitude. I do it all the time. But, like bragging, acknowledging one’s faith on social …

Why Weight Loss Felt Like Betrayal

(Graphic: Helen Jane Hearn/TueNight) I am a fat woman. Most days, that’s merely a description, not a value judgment. It wasn’t always that way. At a young age, I learned that food was a double-edged sword. Wielded by my mother, food was a gesture of love that meant she was taking care of her family. In my hands, it was a way to soothe feelings of sadness, loneliness, hurt and anger. Growing up as fat girl with a heaping helping of nerd thrown in, I was bullied at school, ignored by boys and told through every possible medium that when measured against the Western Beauty Standard, I would never win. I’ve done all the usual things every self-hating fat woman has done: crazy diets, becoming best friends with bad self-esteem and creating the world’s best arsenal of self-deprecating jokes. It wasn’t until my mid-20s, after I was brave enough to cancel my subscription to Cosmo (which taunted me every month with pages full of clothes I could never wear, guys I could never date and …