whatwouldmandydo check this out!
So far people have come up with:
-blueberry yum yum
Pictured above: Brenda Oelbaum, artist and activist, with her Venus sculptures, torso sculptures by Nancy Fried, and photography by Ariane Lopez-Huici.
Exhibition: The Fearsome BMI: Women Artists and the Body.
March 24 2014 - May 5, 2014
This exhibition will feature artists who deconstruct cultural norms of beauty, and is in conjunction with the Institute for Women’s Leadership Consortium Initiative on Women and Health, and World Health Day Conference and Teach-in.
Artists: Nancy Fried, Ariane Lopez-Huici, Brenda Oelbaum, Monica Ong Reed, and Laura Splan.
Location: Dana Women Artist Series Galleries
Mabel Smith Douglass Library, Rutgers University
New Brunswick, NJ
Brenda Oelbaum said of the accompanying conference:
It was the most interesting and diverse group of woman, Activists, Doctors, Sociologists, Authors, Gender Studies, Public Heath Professionals, and Artists. With the exception of Jane Brody, as key note speaker, whose presentation was deeply problematic, rude and bigoted…It was a very exciting event filled with new ideas, research and intelligent dialogue, on a very complex issue that plagues women’s health and treatment there of…
I feel so honored to have been included in such a ground breaking event. I’m glad I spoke up for myself and I was thrilled that I was heard. I can only hope I did justice to the cause…and that I have inspired more people to stop dieting. [x]
Where!?!?!? Why Wasn’t I there??? I LOVE those Nancy Fried Sculptures.
Anne Boleyn/ King Henry VIII inspired nail set
I will just leave this here.
TUDOR NAILS FTW!
Hard as Nails
When I was a senior resident in pediatrics,
I discovered that if my nails were pretty on call nights,
no one on my floor would die.
Every other week I’d visit on my one day off
a female manicurist from Odessa
who quizzed me about my lovers
while she pushed back my cuticles.
When I finally admitted I lived with my girlfriend,
the Russian suddenly had no appointments available.
So I found myself a gay Greek manicurist,
who regaled me with tales of his Prince Albert piercing
and didn’t mind touching my woman-touching fingers.
I confided the manicure’s death-forestalling power
to the other female residents.
Soon blood-red fingernails and toenails, too,
appeared on every ward. “If your nails are pretty….”
we would say, and wink on rounds.
We kept them short enough to do pelvic exams on teenage girls,
but we kept them buffed, shaped and lacquered.
In medical school we had been trained to act like men:
“Don’t smile so much, it makes you look stupid.”
“You need to be more aggressive.”
Aggressive we became,
but aggressive with colorful nails.
On my brief visit home,
my father rebuked me for not helping my mother in the kitchen.
I pointed out that my brother wasn’t helping, either.
He brought a dish his wife cooked, said my father.
My brother eyed my professional manicure.
Hiswife, he said, did her own nails.
Well, that’s great, I snapped,
I earned my own doctorate.
My good friend trained to be a midwife,
and her soft butch girlfriend a surgeon.
Her soft butch partner got a lot harder
in the process of becoming a doctor.
They broke up weeks before my friend was supposed to inseminate.
She asked her butch surgeon ex
if she could still use the sperm donor they had chosen together,
but the ex said, No. So my friend,
too distraught to bother with a manicure,
went down to the crossroads and found herself a man.
She squeezed what she needed out of him,
and a few days afterward, he killed himself.
Nine months later, she squatted on her own bedroom floor,
reached down and pulled her baby boy out herself.
Her nails were short,
but they were pretty.
“Hard as Nails” first appeared in Ink Pot, No. 4, June 2004. It’s in my Lambda-Literary-Award-winning poetry book The Horizontal Poet (Zeitgeist Press, 2011, $14) and in my poetry chapbook The Underwater Hospital (Zeitgeist Press, 2006, $5). For a signed copy, Paypal cost of book+$1 shipping/handling to Jmsteckel@aol.com or send a check to Jan Steckel/PO Box 18797/Oakland, CA 94619.