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Thank You Mom . . .

8 May

Me and my Momma!

For loving and teaching me to love every part of myself, my body, my heart, and my mind.

For acting like it was no big deal when I wanted the black baby doll when I was little. You taught me to never judge anyone because of their appearance or their beliefs, even when they were different from mine.

For believing in my dreams and giving me the courage to go after them.

For always making the BEST halloween costumes! Princesses, Minny Mouse, and even a Troll!

For having the strength to leave a marriage that was hurting you. It showed me that we always deserve to be treated right and to be happy.

For being a room mom, a Girl Scout leader, a marching band volunteer, and the manager of our sports teams.

For being open and honest with me about sex and discovering my own sexuality and teaching me to love myself as a sexual being and to never be ashamed of that.

For embracing and trying to understand all the things that made me different and special.

For going to Planned Parenthood with me when I was 19.

For encouraging me to play with Barbies and baby dolls and kitchen sets and makeup when I was little.

For encouraging me to play sports like volleyball, baseball, snowboarding, hockey and lacrosse.

For letting me play baseball on the boys team, when I didn’t want to play with the girls.

For the MANY MANY times you helped me get organized.

And most of all, thank you for being a strong, confident, beautiful, driven, passionate, intelligent woman for me to look up to. I wouldn’t be half the woman I am today without you.

I love you more than anything in the world! You are my rock, my mom and my best friend!

Love, Fess ♥

My Mom with me and my brother after he was born! Almost 21 years ago!

My Vagina is Perfect!

16 Mar

This post was inspired by an essay I wrote for a class after reading an article titled Vulvas with a Difference by Faith Wilding. I’ve always been slightly disgusted by the recent popularity of vaginal rejuvenation surgeries. In fact, I find the whole concept appalling.

I remember the exact day I learned my vagina was different. I was at one of those trashy, fluorescently lit, sex-shops with my boyfriend. We were looking at all the fun toys and at the end of an aisle we came to the fake vaginas. I asked my boyfriend, “Why do they make them look like that?”

“Like what?” he said.

“Like that,” I pointed to the plastic vulva lips, “all weird and stuff.”

He looked at me confused and said with a smile, “That’s what some vaginas look like.”

I was shocked! I thought to myself, “Wait . . . my vagina does not look like that.” This was the first time, in my entire life, that I felt a slight insecurity about my vagina. I realized that I had never actually seen anyone’s vagina other than my own.

There may be something we can learn from this. I didn’t know what other vaginas looked like, so I didn’t know what mine was “supposed” to look like. I’m not bombarded on an hourly basis with images of beautiful, skinny, blonde, vaginas. It’s the only part of my body that no one was shoving images of in my face telling me what it was “supposed” to look like. And as a result, I thought it was perfect. I’d heard about vaginal rejuvenation and pink dyes to make your vagina a more “preferable” color, but I always thought that was for old ladies who’d had kids or were just dealing with the inescapable effects of aging. I had no clue that my vagina wasn’t pink enough, or now maybe it’s too pink. Fortunately for me, I was at a place in my life where I could realize the absurdity of my new-found vaginal insecurity, and get over it fast. But what if I had been 16 and seen that fake vagina? I might have gone into my adolescent years with a crushing worry about the appearance of my most treasured body part.

In the article Vulvas With a Difference, Faith Wilding says, “The new vulvar and vaginal surgical technologies would be put to much better use in helping women seeking reconstruction and healing of sexual organs mutilated and damaged by Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) practices, than in making unnecessary “aesthetic” interventions on perfectly healthy women.” (3) I totally agree with her. It makes me so sad to think that there are women who are so unhappy with the appearance of their vagina that they’re resorting to surgery to “fix” it. We are fighting the gruesome and terrible practice of FGM, and yet there are women voluntarily submitting themselves to the same kind of practice. Just because an anesthetic is used, and you are given pain pills after doesn’t make it any different.

Here are some of the ridiculous products I found that are for “fixing” or making your vagina “better”. News flash – I like my vagina just the way it is. These are a few products we could do without. (I swear I didn’t make some of these up.)

Betty Beauty Pubic Hair Dye
Don’t like the color of your pubic hair? Don’t worry! You can dye it!




Alpha Betty Vagina Bling
This is not an area for glue and reinstones.







My New Pink Button
Not only do we have to shave our vagina’s, but now we hate to tell you, the soft sensitive skin underneath that hair . . . it’s definitely not pink enough.  So if your vagina is actually skin colored . . . you need to fix that.




Vaginal Scented Film Deodorant
Just in case your vagina actually smells like say . . . vagina . . . there’s a solution for that! Just use one of these little films and your vagina will instantly smell like baby power, fresh flowers, or get this – island breeze! FINALLY! I’ve always wanted a vagina that smelled like island breeze! Taking a note from the Vagina Monologues “My vagina is supposed to smell like pussy!”






The Cuchini!
Just incase everyone thought you actually had vulva lips down there, now they’ll think you just look like barbie with a smooth hard crotch.

International Women’s Day!

8 Mar

Time to celebrate! Yeay!

The Cost of Playing Along

23 Feb

I fully believe that gender is a visual performance that we all participate in. I believe that we as humans (both men and women) learn from our culture and media how we are expected to act out our given gender.

With the invention of the Internet, mass media, television, and social networking we are being drowned in messages about how we should act or dress based on our gender.

Participating in the gender performance is not only time consuming, but it is a costly endeavor. Since the beginning of 2011, I’ve spent a great deal of money to play my gender role.

Here’s my break down:

Eyebrow wax: (don’t want to be caught dead with a uni-brow):             $25

Manicure every 2/3 weeks (3 times so far):            $68

Pedicure every 3-4 weeks (twice this year):            $36

(plus an extra charge for fake toe nails, since mine fall off from skating):            $16

Hair cut every 6 months:             $65

Tanning ($49 a month, cause tan fat looks better than white fat):            $98

New cover up, foundation and mascara from Sephora:            $75

Veet cream hair remover for legs:            $9

Implanon birth control implant (lasts three years):            $257

Gym membership (gotta stay in shape. $52 a month):            $104


Seven hundred and five dollars in two months! That’s a sobering amount of money. According to the UNICEF Tap Project, just $1 can supply a child with safe drinking water for 40 days. The UN says it costs a woman $17 a day for a hospital bed in a maternity ward in Kenya. With the money I spent in only two months, I could have helped provide save drinking water to children for a few years, or helped women pay for over 40 days of maternity stay at a hospital in Kenya.

Is it worth it?

Gender Double Standard

28 Jan
Jersey Shore's Sam and Ron.

Jersey Shore's Sam and Ron.

I used to be reluctant to watch the show Jersey Shore. But – in my opinion when the President of the United States references Snooki in a speech, along with terms and quotes from the show becoming main stream in everyday life, it means it’s time to get on the band wagon. It meant that Jersey Shore was going to be an iconic part of our generations culture – like it or not. I started watching just to have an awareness of the show. Needless to say, I now religiously watch Jersey Shore every Thursday and have even got my Mom hooked on it.

I’ll be the first to admit there are many times when I’m in extreme disagreement with the way one of the men treats a woman or with one of the women when they’re physically fighting or talking shit about another one of the women in the house. And there are a plethora of times when I feel a sinking crush of sadness for a random girl that’s called a grenade or made to feel ugly or unattractive. Who do these guys think they are anyways? I also think there’s a serious double standard in the house about the acceptableness of the guys having sex with (or I should say smooshing) multiple random partners on many different nights, but the women are called sluts or dirty if they do the same.

I feel there’s a disconnect with what’s allowed for the women in the house to own and act on their own sexuality. Personally a very triumphant moment for me was when Jenni recently left her boyfriend, Tom. She was obviously in a very emotionally and mentally abusive relationship. It blows my mind that as beautiful and powerful and confident as she is, she still felt she didn’t have the strength to leave the relationship. I think there are many women out there in the same position and I believe that watching Jenni find the strength to walk away and take her happiness into her own hands probably gave a lot of women the strength to do the same. JWOWW is now a positive role model in my book.

What I really want to discuss is what happened on the most recent episode. Sammy and Ron have this relationship thats undeniably toxic. To themselves and to the house. But what happend last thursday night and the gender double standard that we witnessed totally shocked me.
Watch the clip below or click here:

If the roles had been reversed and Ron had laid a closed fist punch on Sammy’s face . . . we’d be up in arms. We’d never stand for that! Remember how the men in the house reacted when a guy punched Snooki?
Watch this clip below or click here:

When Snooki gets punched every single person in that bar wants to distroy that guy because it’s the ultimate immoral act for a man to punch a woman in the face (especially in public). Yet, after Ron got punched by Sam, the entire cast (excluding Jenni) had a sit down with Sam to try and convince her not to leave!! And then, to put the icing on the cake, Ron agrees to give Sam another chance.

Hidden Hurt – a site for men in abusive relationships says:

“They [men] are likely to feel deeply shamed, frightened, experience a loss of self-worth and confidence, feel isolated, guilty and confused about the situation. A lot of male victims of abuse however, have great difficulty defining it as such. This is partially due to the image our western society generally has of Man. Men are often thought of as strong, domineering and macho. Boys, even at a young age, are taught that it is unmanly to cry (“big boys don’t cry”). To many, the idea of a grown man being frightened or vulnerable is a taboo, the idea of a man – usually physically the stronger – of being battered, ludicrous. Hence many male victims of abuse may feel “less of a man” for suffering abuse, feel as though they are in some way not manly enough and ought to have the ability to prevent the abuse.”

I’m not trying to say that Sam is continually physically abusing Ron. We see Ron, (as Snooki would say) as this big gorilla, guido, juice head and after the fight he breaks down and starts crying. Which is a gender double standard in it’s self. I think Jenni was dead on when she tried to explain to Ron that he was on the victim end of his relationship with Sam.

Obviously I’m only privy to the edited reality that we are seeing via MTV’s story twisting producers. However, I can’t ignore the gender double standard of this very public, abusive relationship. From what we’ve seen on the show, we can fairly assume their relationship is entirely unhealthy, but I feel it crossed a line last night when Sam physically assaulted Ron. We’d never and shouldn’t be okay with our young girls watching women be punched in the face and then taking their boyfriend back, and we shouldn’t be okay with it when it happens to a man either.

Are Your Legs Gap Approved?

5 Aug

Makes you feel pretty good eh?

It may not come as a surprise when I tell you that The Gap is trying to make you feel like shit about about yourself so you’ll buy their clothes! Are you surprised? As Stephanie Marcus, who took this picture says,

“Another day, another ad that tries to make people buy their products by making you feel bad about your body.”

It always blows my mind that big apparel companies try to sway us into buying something by making us feel like shit about ourselves. This is just like the controversial “Eat Less” t-shirts that Urban Outfitters sold back in 2008.

Yes, Gap is benefiting from the publicity they are getting from this disgusting ad. And I guess I’m feeding into it too, but I feel it’s important to talk about these kind of things. As true as the Gap ad may be, hearing the true facts about eating disorders and body image issues among our young girls takes a lot of the humor out of it. Focus Adolescent Services reports that,

Anorexia and bulimia affect nearly 10 million women in the U.S. Anorexia has the highest premature fatality rate of any mental illness and the average age of girls affected with eating disorders is 11-13, affecting girls as young as elementary school age. Without treatment up to 20% of girls with eating disorders die.

After hearing those statistics, it is disgusting that any company would even dream of playing on your insecurities in an attempt to make you buy clothes.

I remember when I found my first cellulite dimple on my right thigh about 11 years ago, when I was in middle school. It was devastating. I was sitting on the steps to our pool with my legs crossed and when I leaned over to put my hand in the water . . . there it was – all puckered up like it was laughing at me. Ever since that day I have been self conscious about wearing shorts or crossing my legs when I’m in a skirt or shorts. In middle school I would even wear long boys shorts because I was so ashamed of my legs. (and I was NOT a fat kid.) With the increase of overweight kids these days I cannot even begin to imagine how many young girls are suffering in silence.

Over the last few years I have came to terms with my thighs and made friends with my cellulite. Yes I could benefit from losing a good 20 lbs, (and I’m working on it!) but in the mean time my thighs are mine and I love them. My legs have carried me through a lot of great experiences in my life and I refuse to be ashamed of them no matter what weight I might be at.

Do me a favor – do not let ads like this Gap ad dictate who’s legs are ok to be seen in public and who’s aren’t. At the risk of sounding like Tyra Banks – Love your body for what it is. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be more fit or lose weight, but in the mean time don’t put yourself down. Your body is yours and it’s the only one you get. I’m sure we can all say we know or have known someone who was affected by an eating disorder. If you or anyone you know needs help there are plenty of resources and hotlines out there. Eating disorders are not something to take lightly.

So – My thighs and I have a message for the Gap and their ad team:

Go fuck yourselves.

I still think there’s hope for our society though. Nike is re-releasing its My Butt is Big ad from 2005. I LOVE IT! I want this framed on my wall.

Be proud of your body.

To All Cats of the Solis Household

20 May

Dinner time! Yumm! Click to see all the babies!

Dear Cats: The dishes with the paw prints are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.

The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack. Racing me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn’t help because I fall faster than you can run. I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry about this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort, however. Cats can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other, stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and having ur arms stretched out on the other end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm.

For the last time, there is no secret exit from the bathroom! If, by some miracle, I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge in an attempt to open the door. I must exit through the same door I entered. Also, I have been using the bathroom for years – feline attendance is not required.

Thank you! Mom ❤

Overrated – Underrated

3 May

So I saw this on another blog and I thought it was a cool idea.

Make a list of the top 5 things that are overrated and the top 5 things that are underrated. Here’s mine – what’s yours?

1. american idol
2. twitter
3. marriage / weddings
4. best friends
5. ovechkin

1. kittens
2. masturbation
3. good books
4. taking naps
5. feminism
6. getting what you want

(ok i cheated and put 6 lol)

I might change my mind later or feel differently on a different day, but that’s how I feel right now. =)


Personal Narrative

18 Apr

“Please can we look at the shoes real quick? Just for like a minute?” I pleaded with my mom as we made our way to the check-out line at Target.

“No Vanessa. They’re about to close. It’s almost 10 o’clock, lets go.”

“Ugh, please Mom?” I tried one more time, but to no avail.

“You don’t need any more shoes, Vanessa. You already have shoes you don’t even wear.”

She was right. I had shoes I’d never worn, but it wasn’t really that I needed a new pair. I just wanted to look at them, and then maybe I’d want a new pair, but even then – wanting and needing were two completely different things.

As we were leaving Target, she agreed to let me drive home. I had just received my permit a few weeks before and was taking full advantage of every opportunity I had to get behind the wheel. On the way home we talked about hockey and school and she made the occasional, concerned parent, “Pay attention to the road,” comment. I’d lived in the same house since the day I was brought home from the hospital, and the three mile drive from Target was one I’d made a million times. However, this time would be one that I would never forget.

When it came to driving, I was fearless. I loved the feeling of being in control of a car. I was never hesitant about learning to drive and signed up for drivers-ed the day I turned 14 years and 8 months old. Now that I had my permit I couldn’t wait to get my drivers license, and at that time I was well on my way to fulfilling the 50 hours of practice time it required.

I flipped on the left turn signal and merged my mom’s GMC, pop-top, conversion van into the left hand turn lane. Two cars were coming down the street in the opposite direction. The one in the lane closest to us was slightly ahead of the other. I could tell the one was picking up speed as it was slowly cutting out the other car’s headlights. Over the ticking of the turn signal I said to my mom, “That car’s going pretty fast. I think I’ll just wait.” She looked over at me and agreed, “Better to be safe then sorry.”

I remember every part of what happened next as if it took 2 hours to unfold, but in truth it was only seconds. I had planned on waiting momentarily for the two cars to pass us, but just then I noticed the car closest to us starting to veer into our lane, coming at us head on. I remember thinking that I couldn’t just make the left turn to avoid the inevitable crash because there was another car in the far lane. I saw the on-coming headlights getting bigger and bigger, the bright white light pouring through the windshield until I couldn’t see anything else. I managed to turn the van just enough to the left to avoid a full head on collision. After the blinding headlights disappeared the blackness filled with red and blue flashing lights. Where was my mom? Was she hurt? Had I passed out? Was I hurt? I was convinced I’d had a few unconscious moments because it felt like the police were there almost instantly.

I heard my mom’s voice, “Vanessa – are you okay?” She was still right next to me in the passenger seat. As I was realizing what happened, I remember having a moment of sharp pain in my left leg, but then the adrenaline took over and my mind and body when into shock. I got out of the van and began pacing around to digest the scene. About 20 feet from our van the police were helping a limp, off-balanced man out of a little, red, boxy car. He was smaller than the officers, his black hair disheveled, wearing a white undershirt, his blue jeans unbuttoned and his belt hanging open. The man was missing his shoes, wearing only white socks which looked too big for his feet. As I was wandering around in the street still trying to comprehend the mess I could hear the man rambling some incoherent nonsense. I heard the officer’s question, “Sir, have you been drinking?”

That was all I needed to send me into an emotional fit – the tears started pouring faster than they already were. I had always been an advocate of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and was firmly against driving while under the influence. To hear that my mom and I had just been hit by a drunk driver was like being struck with a sledge hammer. A police officer came over and helped me find my way to the grassy street corner so I could sit down, assuring me that I was safer there than wandering around in the middle of the street. As I sat there I could feel my heart pounding through my entire body, the salty taste of tears on my lips and my hands trembling as I held my head in them.

Eight houses down, on the street I was about to turn into my dad heard the crash while he was watching TV in our living room. He came out of the house to see what happened and upon seeing my mom’s van surrounded by the glow of red and blue police lights he threw up right on the front porch. He said it was one of the most petrifying feelings he’s ever had. He ran down the street, passing our on-looking neighbors and was elated to find that we were alive and well.

The driver of the car that hit us was a man named Joey Jay. The brother of a Michigan state representative. He had previously been convicted of three other DUI’s and was driving on a suspended license. A few moments before he hit us he was in a near collision at an intersection up the road. The driver of the other car that was driving next to his before the crash was on the phone with the police and had actually been following him. This was why they were able to avoid hitting us when I tried to make the left turn. There were several other 9-1-1 calls which were the reason for the almost instant police arrival. Apparently the cops were mere car lengths behind him and saw the entire crash as it was occurring. The police told us later that the man had blown through red lights at multiple small intersections previous to hitting us and managed to avoid crashes with numerous cars. Less than a quarter of a mile farther from where we were was a very busy six lane, four way intersection. I believe that everything happens for a reason – that maybe him hitting us prevented him from t-boning an un-expecting car in the upcoming intersection.

The pain in my knee came back later that night once the shock subsided. After a trip to the emergency room I was fitted in a knee brace and told to stay off my feet for a few months. I had vivid visions of Joey Jay’s drunken state as he was being escorted out of his car and recurring dreams where blinding headlights would turn a pleasant dream into an over-exposed nightmare. Thankfully we had a lot of support from our local MADD chapter and after some counseling I was finally able to get past it. My mom and I were very lucky – we both walked away with injuries that we would recover from with time.

The day after the crash I jokingly said to my mom, “We should have stopped to look at the shoes.” To this day, we always take the time to stop and see the shoes.