Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I Don't Shoot Puppies in the Face

As we all know, the world in which we live is very diverse; from cultures and geography to cuisine and clothing. Considering that the human population is damn near 7 billion (way too many for the planet. India, China, I’m looking at you), you have to expect a high degree in different beliefs and ways of life. For the most part, a lot of people embrace the beauty different cultures give us. I mean, the different food alone is freaking amazing (if only I could eat), music, film, traditions, customs; it really is a wonderful menagerie of human existence.

One other thing that is as varied and diverse as the cultures are the multitudes of religions and religious beliefs. Hell, there are some 40,000 different denominations of the Christian faith alone. I am not even going to try to get into the different sects of Islam, Judaism, Baha’i, Hinduism, Buddhism etc.; you see what I am getting at. There are a lot of religions and a lot of different ways in which they are practiced, and because of that, there is a lot of infighting, which, call me crazy, sounds counter-intuitive.

The reason why I am getting into trying to breakdown all these different faiths is to show what kind of diversity we have when it comes to faith, belief and religion. It is as varied as Jelly Belly’s, but most of the time, not as sweet. But there are several that I left out, because these are the most feared for some reason: Non-believers.

Now, if you want to know how to freak people out, tell them you are an Agnostic or an Atheist, basically anything that falls into the non-believer category and watch people stare at you like you just shot a puppy in the face. Seriously, shoot a puppy in the face, and then tell someone one that you do not believe in god, and they will be more disgusted that you do not believe in god instead of the fact that you just shot a poor, cute, cuddly wuddly fluff ball of a puppy in the face. I do not know why such a revelation elicits such a reaction, but it does. You could be volunteering in a soup kitchen, just donated a kidney to a dying kid, cured AIDS and cancer together and made world peace a reality, but you are the devil because you question the existence of god. It really freaks people out.

I fall into that category of puppy shooters. I was raised Muslim (which is a degree above puppy shooting non-believers these days), I used to fast during the holy month of Ramadan, toyed with the idea of praying when I got older, and was for the most part, a good Muslim kid. Yup, I was a semi-practicing Muslim all up until a few years ago, when something changed, and I became Agnostic.

Religion no longer made any sense to me. In the end, the basic tenets of religion is to be a good person, don’t steal, don’t kill, don’t screw your neighbor’s significant other and just don’t be an asshole. Those are all really good lessons, but I did not need a religion or “god” to tell me what was right or wrong.  And here is a thought for you, I believe that god is like Santa. He knows when you are sleeping, he knows when you’re awake, he knows when you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake, or you are going to go to hell. Where do you think the lump of coal came from? We use Santa to make children behave, but he does not exist. Then does that not make god the adult version of Santa?

The seeds of doubt have always been there. Being Palestinian, I always thought that if there was a god, why would it make my people suffer? Or why would it have let the Holocaust happen? Why would it have George W. Bush be president? TWICE?  Why do good people die all the time and the assholes live, hell even rewarded? What kind of a god would let bad things happen to innocent people?  And why did you give me this hair and a slow metabolism? I have heard the crap of god is testing us, blah blah. Tell that to the poor innocent children being used as sex slaves and dying of AIDS that god loves them and is only testing them. What the hell did they do?

Also, upon taking a mythology class in college, I learned that every single religion out there was recycled from previous polytheistic faiths. Sorry to burst your Noah’s Arc bubble everyone, but that one was copied and just tidied up a bit. As was the virgin birth, creation, Adam and Eve, the commandments and just about everything else. NONE OF IT was original, and that shook my belief system.  It was like someone shot my puppy in the face.  Even before hand, I never believed all those stories to be literal, but dammit, I thought they were at least original! So why would I still believe in a virgin birth, a son of god, a great flood or a prophet that went up to heaven on a rock when all of it was pretty much made up, plagiarized and written by man several times over? I could not any longer.

So you now have the short version of why I drop kicked religion to curb, however, but not a higher power altogether. I am Agnostic. I do not fully believe in the existence, or non-existence of a higher power. I am on the fence. I really, really want there to be one. I really do. But I am not convinced completely that there is one. It does not make sense. There is no proof. And if anyone tells me “that is what faith is” and “god is love,” I will punch you in the throat. You may not be in front of me, but I swear to your dear and fluffy lord, if you tell me god is love one more time, I will hunt you down and punch you in the fucking throat. That is not proof.

Just accept my belief, like I accept yours, even though we do not agree, and do not look at me like I just shot your puppy in the face.  It is none of your business.  No really, it isn't, just walk away. There are many non-believers like myself out there, many of which I honestly believe are still in the closet about being so just because of the stigma and people trying to save them. We do not need saving, and don't judge us, because according to your beliefs, that is your god's job. We are happy. We sleep fine at night, and we are good people. We give to charities, do no harm to others, and do not start holy wars. We are good for the sake of being good, not for fear of going to hell. And if there is a god, when we die, I highly doubt that it would punish us for questioning its existence if we lived a good and honest life, especially if god loves each of its children. I would be more worried about those using its name to do bad things, like war, murder, stealing, and shooting puppies in the face.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Fight For Fluff

Okay, so it has been a while since my last posting. Blame it on not having a life, ergo no fun stories to write about as well as a serious case of writer’s block. And I am still mourning the outing of Ricky Martin. That will always hurt. But here I go.

So, since last we met, other than my Ricky Martin breakdown, I was in a life and death battle with fluff. Okay, maybe it was not that dramatic, but I was in a fierce battle with fluff with my never ending desire to get rid of the excess fluffage of which my body vociferously holds on to despite the fact that we are not in a famine, other than a self imposed one. It has proven to be a worthy adversary.

My “model” diet of not eating did not work out so well. I was able to last for a few days on only lettuce and green tea, but you can only go so far when the sight of a cupcake brings you to tears and you would trade your left testicle (if I had testicles which I assure you, I do not) for said cupcake. However, I am a few fluffy pounds lighter, and have been able to keep them off even with the re-introduction of solid food back into my diet. I even had a cupcake. Yay! But I still have much fluff to lose. Boo.

So, I am now trying a different approach. I am going to attempt to accept my fluff and its stubborn nature to adhere to my belly and my thighs, rather than my boobs and my butt. Why could you not just stay in my boobs and my butt? But I digress, and no pun intended. So, in this attempt to “love” my body, maybe I will start exercising since I need to anyway. But rather than doing it to get less fluffy, I will do it to get healthier. Blah, blah, blah, who am I kidding? Deep down, it will still mostly be for aesthetic reasons.

And so here is the fight for fluff. As you may know, I am trying to break into an industry where you are based on your dress size. Zero and negative digits are preferred, and you may be able to slide up to a size 2 or 4 if you are almost freakishly tall like me. But you are really pushing it at a size 4, especially in the modeling industry. However, if you are on the opposite end of the spectrum, you can be a “character” actor or a “plus size model” if you are overweight. Does this sound wrong to anyone else? What about us fluffy girls in the middle? Why do you have to be icky thin or overweight to get work in acting or modeling? Why can we not just be actors and models without the need of being either or on the dress size scale? We can act and model too god damn it. Give us a chance, and let us eat a damn cupcake without feeling guilty.

Would the world really end if there were a size 8 or 10 model in Vogue or she be the latest starlet? Me thinks not. In fact, I think the women of the world would rejoice in finally seeing someone who actually looks like them, and has a body type and size that is actually achievable. Now I know there are women out there that are naturally super skinny. However, they are an extreme minority and do not represent the rest of us who are just medium in size. Also, it is not a healthy thing to promote either extreme of skinny or overweight. Healthy should be promoted. Why is this something that the entertainment and modeling industry are so vehemently against?

I for one, who has major body issues and is in need of thousands of dollars worth of therapy to help address, would like to see some size 6-10s in magazines and the silver screen. I would like to see a girl with a little fluff and not have it be viewed as gross. Because whether we want to believe it or not, this does affect us all: men, women and children. It shows that only perfection will succeed, get the girl or boy, and that they are the only ones worth anything. When I do see an actress get butchered in the media for having gained a little weight, making her to be gross and less than for that minor little flaw, I cannot help but feel they are butchering me. Because even at her fattest, she is still thinner than me or most women I know or the same size. So if she is gross, what does that make us?

Hence, the fight for fluff, because fluffy girls need to work too.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Part of Me Died on Monday :(

As you all have heard by now, Ricky Martin came out of the closet.  Yes, this was not a surprise to all of you, but for some of us who have been living in the sweet denial that he was straight and we actually had a chance with him, it was a sad, sad day.  We no longer have a chance with Ricky, but gay boys, rejoice, he is all yours.  Be kind to him.

I still remember the day my cousin told me about this hot Latin guy named Ricky Martin, and had me listen to "La Copa de la Vida."  I am not a fan of soccer, but that day I yelled goal.  This is before his soaring fame in the U.S. and "Livin' La Vida Loca" infamy.  He was our little secret, along with all of Latin America, and his sweet bon bon was all ours.  He was our Elvis without the jumpsuit.

After that fateful Grammy performance in 1999, everyone had heard about Ricky Martin.  From there on, he was everywhere.  Including a live performance and signing at the previous Tower Records on Sunset Blvd. in Los Angeles.  I had just moved to San Diego at the time, was unfamiliar with Southern California, and I was determined to meet my man.

I woke up uncharacteristically at 5 a.m. (I never woke up before noon if I did not have to) to get ready for the two hour drive to L.A.  I get there safely and without trouble, and find the obvious line that was forming to meet him.  Where did all of these bitches come from?  Do they not know he is mine?  After being herded into the parking lot to wait in line to see him, then began the wait.  One hour.  Two hours.  Three hours.  Four hours.  Did I mention that it was a very hot day?  Well, it was, and there was no water or food in sight.  In fact, some people actually passed out from the heat, but I stood strong. 

And then he came.  Although he was several hours late due to interviews and needing to do some yoga, we still rejoiced!  He was here!  He was now going to sing for us!  No he wasn't!  Apparently, the sound system failed, and so said performance was now canceled.  Dammit!  It's okay I kept reminding myself, I am still going to meet him, and he will be entranced by my beauty and will pull me aside, after which he will fall madly in love and marry me.  Yeah, it did not quite go as I imagined it.

So, after so many disappointments, and another two hours waiting in the sun to actually get inside and get his autograph, I am literally the next one in line at the door to be let in.  I am reeling with excitement.  This is it!  I am finally going to meet him in person!  My heart is beating, my stomach is fluttering, it's going to happen!  No, not really!  I was foiled yet again!  What does the cat herder at the door tell me?  He is not signing autographs anymore because he wants to meet everyone.  NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!  I am the next person in line!  You cannot do this to me!

Well, they did that to me.  When it was finally my turn to go in, I was rushed through.  "Go, go!" they were telling me.  As I rushed through, they handed me a black and white photo of him with the autograph already imposed on it, a chain necklace that read "Loca" on it (which I still have), and then, there he was.  He was a vision to behold.  I can truly say he is the most beautiful man I have ever seen.  So I walk up to the elevated table at which he was sitting to get my quick handshake, and he says to me, "Hola.  Thank you for coming.  Thank you so much for coming."  I stare into his beautiful eyes, and all I can say to him before I was ushered out so the next bitch behind me can get her five second handshake was "ekh."  Yes, I ekhed at him in disgust then walked away shaking my head in disappointment.

That was it!  After a 10 hour freaking day, all I got was an hola and a bloody necklace?!  As I stood outside the door, I stared at the photo and necklace in one hand, and then at my empty hand that touched Ricky.  Damn it, I felt robbed.  And that is exactly why I started yelling "all you get is this stupid necklace!" at people in line after I left.  That they may as well not waste their time since you don't get to stand there, chat and take a picture with him.  A necklace, a handshake and a don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. 

After all of that, I still loved him.  Loved him so much that I covered most of San Diego in a period of 40 minutes going to four different Ticket Masters to buy tickets to his concert in Portland, OR.  But that is a different story.

So as you can see, I went to great lengths for Ricky Martin.  This is why the news of his now confirmed homosexuality has hurt me so.  Do not get me wrong, I love my gays, I am all for same-sex marriage, homosexuals serving in the military and having the same rights as everyone because damn it, we are all human.  But why did Ricky have to be gay!  Why?  Oh well, somethings are just too beautiful and not long for this world, and I guess it is better knowing that since I cannot have him, no woman ever will. I will never be able to compete with a penis.  But the loss of hope is devastating, and it will take me a while to get over this loss.

Ricky, if you read this, I still love you, and I wish you all the happiness in the world.  But you owe me a proper meet and greet dammit.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Chubby Side of Thin: My attempt at getting rid of 20 lbs of fluff via the model way.

First, a preface to those of you who have no idea what the hell I am talking about. I am on a mission to change referring to oneself as fat, to fluffy. Hence, fluff = fat. Fluffy just sounds nicer and more positive than fat. Just try it out. “I’m feeling fluffy,” “I’m having a fluff day.” Sounds cute and more positive, right? Also, fluffy is when you are not quite thin, but not fat. Yes, I know this seems like a contradiction, but at a certain point of weight, it is not fluff, and no matter what words you use it just is not cute. And it is my word, so I get to place rules of its usage as I please.

Fluffy is, as I refer to myself, being on the chubby side of thin. Do not confuse fluffy with poufy, which is a whole different state of being. Poufy is a nice way of saying bloated.  Can you imagine having a fluffy poufy day?  I have, and it is a recipe for disaster. But that is a whole different topic. Back to fluff.

For example, I have gained 20 lbs of fluff in the past couple of years. So I am not fat, but rather as aforementioned, on the chubby side of thin. I cannot fit comfortably into clothes that were once loose, and now I have a bloody muffin top. Now do not get me wrong, I am not on a roller coaster of self pity wanting compliments. Please do not tell me to love myself, because I do. That is why I am trying to make myself better. But this current state of fluff makes me want to cry and eat my feelings, but that is what got me into this current state to begin with.

So now, my only option is to try the model diet of not eating, with a few modifications. I know it is not really my ONLY option, but I hate sweating, so working out is out of the question at the moment. Deal with it. Also, buying a new wardrobe is also out of the question. I do not have the funds and will not reward weight gain in such a way. Besides, the model diet will not only allow me to fit in said clothes, but will save a ton on groceries and therefore allow me to buy something pretty.

So I am going to try to live on water, green tea, a fruit and/or a vegetable a day until I lose the fluff, with the occasional can of tuna or popcorn if I feel faint. Wish me luck. I know this might be more calories than the average model consumes and minus the cigarettes, but I do not want to be icky skinny, which is different than thin, yet again, a whole different topic.

And so today I embark on said model diet. Will I last? I hope so. Will it work? I hope so. Will I keep the weight off if it works? Probably not all of it, but that is what dieting all over again is for. Will I be cranky? Yes, yes I will, and I will probably cry a lot too. Should I just be happy with my body? Yes, but honestly, I just do not feel comfortable and simply feel better at a lower weight, and living in L.A. and trying to break into an industry where I am viewed as old and fat does not help either. I love how just getting on a plane to another city makes me young and thin again. Except when I go home and family is all too quick to point out that I have gained weight. And people wonder why I have body issues.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Well Hello: A Quick Introduction

Hello!  My name is Yasmine (yes-meen), and I am a tall, Palestinian-American girl with a fro.  The reason why it reads "Pali-American" is because blogspot does not give you enough characters so I had to shorten the title as best I could.  I actually wanted the blog name to be "Musings of an Almost Freakishly Tall Palestinian-American Girl with a Fro," but it would not fit, so I did what I could.

So I am sure you are asking, "what constitutes almost freakishly tall?"  Well my new hopefully loyal readers, I am just shy of six feet, but stand 6'3"-6'5" depending on the heels.  Yes, I wear heels.  Deal with it.  Why should I deny myself fashion because you are uncomfortable with my being vertically blessed?

Moving right along.  As also stated, I am Palestinian.  So don't mess with me, we invented the suicide bomber.  No, I'm just kidding!  But really.

Now for the fro.  I have super tight curly hair.  Enough said.

So these blogs will be my musings on everything and anything that pops into my mind on any given day.  From what I love, to what I hate.  Like dirty feet.  I HATE dirty feet.  I mean really people, if you are going to expose your feet to the world, take a damn foot file and some soap to those nasty things you call your feet.  But I digress.

I hope you enjoy my musings, and if you do, I hope that you will pass the word along.  If you don't, well, too bad.  I'm going to keep writing.