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Fighting Marriage with Mannequins

Remember those t-shirts?

You know the ones.

The ones that said “Oops! I forgot to get married and have children!”

They poked fun at society’s expectations of women and did so all in the compact space of a few words on a t-shirt.

The message was small but it worked to combat something big.

Unfortunately, things haven’t changed much since those t-shirts first came out because women are still finding ways to fight these norms.

Art Director Suzanne Heintz has just founded a bigger and better way of wearing that t-shirt, she’s done so by dragging around two mannequins for the past 14 years, oh and making a much anticipated documentary about it.

Suzanne has carried around her perfect mannequin daughter and perfect mannequin husband to help her live out societies expectation of the perfect little family.

“It’s always been really hard for me to put into words what I’m doing and why but basically, you can boil it down to the fact that I got really sick and tired of answering the question ‘Why aren’t you married?’ over and over again,” Suzanne shares in the documentary.

Suzanne has not only been a part of her little mannequin family for the past 14 years, but she has dragged them over 10,000 miles to take pictures with them all over the world.

Sounds like a lot of work to make a point doesn’t it?

“Art is supposed to be hard. That’s what makes it worthy of your attention. It’s important,” she went on to say.

Her message is important and it stems around this idea: “I have the right to decide how my life looks, and you know what? So do you! I mean come on, women’s lib was in the seventies. It’s the 21st century and somehow I’m still not right without a ring on my finger.”

Her message is a strong one and an inspiring one that we can’t wait to see play out on film. Until then we’ll just have to laugh, enjoy, and feel inspired by the photos she’s taken with her family.

These photos taken in 1950’s garb look beautiful, but of course there’s always something a little off, much like how marriage must feel and look to those who don’t see it as something that’s of importance to them.

Suzanne’s documentary is one to watch for. Look for part one coming out in March of 2014!

Better Than Barefoot!

For many of us,  the new fad of running barefoot isn’t all that the experts crack it up to be and most of us aren’t going to be jumping off the couch to try it. Here is something better… I love – LOVE – my Vibram Five Fingers though – the new “better than barefoot” toe shoes… Sure they look goofy but they feel divine. REALLY. Although the young man at the sports store said ” you won’t wear anything else”, he hasn’t met a 5’3″ redhead fireball who loves her CFM shoes!! I let him know that I plan to wear them as often as possible so that I can continue to wear my stilettos into my 70’s. He looked aghast. I recently took them around the Greek Isles and got so many comments that I wish I have the European distribution rights.  They allow me to feel a medicine ball with my toes when I am doing a yoga plank (NOT something I can do when I have runners on). The other plus, they spread my toes open again after I have had a night of dancing in 4+ inch stilettos. You know me, always the Engineer, my arches felt like they wanted a bit more support so I customized my ‘better than barefoot experience’ and inserted 3/4 length arch support inserts – now they are even more divine! I am more grounded and stable and have better mobility in my feet/toes. this translates to I am willing to walk more and move more. Confession: I haven’t tried the new ‘barefoot” runners (in fact other than a recent sprint to the subway, you aren’t going to get me to run) but I will advocate for the new fangled five-finger toe shoes anytime!

Go Ahead – Call me BITCH

As you well know, name calling isn’t limited to only kids in the school yard.

On the way up the ladder you may have been called many names. My favorite has been the word ‘bitch’ although I have been called many others in 30 years (contact me for the full list 🙂 ) Even in today’s world, with women getting the vote over ninety years ago (as recently as 1940 in parts of Canada), you’ve no doubt had to work much ‘harder’ than your male counterparts and gotten pushed  around more on the way up the proverbial ladder. It probably goes without saying that  some men find you intense and even possibly intimidating. My rant isn’t about men or women and who owns the control…. My rant is to get over it! Own it! Embrace it! If you can embrace your own “bitchiness” then no one can use it against you.  Roll with the punches, be the epitome of that ‘ball-busting’ woman that your coworkers fear for making them look poorly if they aren’t juggling all the balls as gracefully as you do.  You are ball busting! Make a joke of the word. I am frequently quoted as saying about myself “Yes, I AM a Babe in Total Control of Herself (aka a B.I.T.C.H.)”. It usually gets a chuckle if nothing else and laughter is a good equalizer and diffuses tensions. Sure they may still say things about you behind your back, but once you realize that being a B.I.T.C.H. (aka Beautiful, Intelligent, Charming, & Hellacious) makes YOU feel great, then who the hell cares if someone goes looking to take potshots as long as you get a clear runway to getting the job done well. We can’t control the whole world but we can control our inner world. Start your own lexicon – spread the word!