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Woman With A Plan - Issue #41

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“Once we give up searching for approval we often find it easier to earn respect.”  ― Gloria Steinem
 

Woman With A Plan

September 21 · Issue #41 · View online
Weekly thoughts, ideas, and information from one woman to another.

“Once we give up searching for approval we often find it easier to earn respect.” 
― Gloria Steinem

You Oughta Know
I had an unpleasant experience recently, one I hesitate writing about lest it seal itself into my memory. I went to see a new hairstylist, a man carefully selected based on an impressive Instagram account.* Our appointment began with a quick consultation and small talk. What brings you to Vienna? Where are you living? Do you have children? He was well-dressed and spoke perfect English with an accent, a relief after worrying about a possible language barrier. When he asked what I like to do for fun, I hesitated. Would reading news on the internet count? “Do you like clubbing?” he asked. “I bet you’re one of those moms who goes crazy when she goes out, dancing on the table?” I assured him no and laughed it off. We moved on and he took a guess at my age (I looked 35 that morning). He was soon turning 40 and when I asked if he had any big plans, he sighed. “I don’t know. Probably a strip club?” I rolled my eyes. “Have you been to one?” he asked. “You didn’t like it?” I wish I could say I took this opportunity to shut him down, or enlighten him on modern feminism. But I didn’t. I had a head full of foils and I felt compromised. No woman wants to piss off her hairdresser mid-appointment. I continued smiling and bantering, subtly shifting the conversation away from the topic of pole dancing. At one point, he leaned in to share his personal Instagram filled with gym selfies, beautiful women, and sports cars. I took an awkward glance before reaching for my Kindle. When we moved on to the sink, he whispered, “And now, my favorite part,” and proceeded with a long, sensual head massage, enjoyable but for my instincts of fight or flight. I couldn’t stop thinking, “Is he getting off on this?” We finally wrapped up and I took a quick look in the mirror before paying a hefty sum and running out the door. At home, I choked up recounting the appointment to my husband. My favorite self-care ritual had been reduced to a sleazy mess. I felt like an idiot. I felt gross. More than anything, I was embarrassed, as though I had done something to encourage it. It was a feeling I’ve had many times in the past, shame for the way men behave and the way I try to make the best of the situation. I wanted to believe those days were behind me, that I wouldn’t put up with that kind of bullshit anymore. I’ve spent the last week rehashing the whole episode, evaluating my experience and my hair. Maybe it wasn’t that bad? Maybe it was worth it? (It wasn’t.) I’ve written and erased dozens of reviews, second-guessing an appropriate level of criticism. I’ve basically thought nonstop about this man and wondered, does he have any idea how I feel? Does he think I enjoyed it? Does he care? If I had to guess, he probably hasn’t thought about it at all.
*In a tragic footnote, I did a Google search by image and discovered why his work on Instagram is so impressive - it’s not his.
Media Diet
A painfully apropos NY Times editorial by Professor Anita Hill in light of upcoming Kavanaugh hearings. #believewomen
Congratulations to Dr. Leana Wen, Planned Parenthood’s newly appointed president. May she continue Cecile Richard’s astounding legacy.
Speaking of amazing women, I have so much admiration for this one.
And this one too - right on!
Only 20 more years to go.
I didn’t watch the Emmy’s, but I enjoyed catching up on this moment. So many stunning dresses, but I’m especially in love with Mandy Moore’s darker hair.
A fun peek inside one of New York’s most fashionable apartments (those shoes closets!)
Oh, this makes me so sad. Racked was a terrific site for in-depth journalism on fashion and beauty. A huge loss.
Long before I moved to Seattle, reruns of Frasier always brought me to my happy place. I enjoyed this oral history written 25 years (!) since the pilot. This remains my favorite episode. And in case you’re curious, here’s what Frasier’s apartment would look like in 2018.
I’m sooooo excited for my friend Georgia, what incredible news! Please read her stunning novel if you haven’t already.
Open Tabs
The Amazon Gods smiled upon me and miraculously delivered an order of Isabel Marant x L'Oreal in advance of the official launch (September 27th). I bought the lipstick in Pigalle Western and the Shine matte highlighter, both very impressive for the price.
It doesn’t get much better than a perfect striped top for twelve dollars.
Just heard about Summer Fridays on the Linda Wells episode of Fat Mascara. They only have two products, both masks. I’m intrigued - have any of you tried them?
A perfect guide for my fellow beauty junkies.
Copy + paste into my closet please.
White boots were a big trend during NY fashion week, a cringeworthy notion for this size 11 gal. If I had to give them a try, I’d go with these.
Have a Relaxing Weekend.
Woman With A Plan is a newsletter by Sarah Richey, an American expat living in Vienna, and mom of three feminists in the making.
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