I teach Gender and Women’s Studies, so I spend a lot of time talking about gendered representations and how screwed up they are. I read a lot of student papers about how fucked up it is that 98% of the images of women we see have the body type of maybe 3% of the country’s population. I nod, I make my checks and check-pluses, I concur wholeheartedly as students get critical about this stuff, sometimes for the first time. I’ve been teaching this stuff for over ten years, and I have to admit, sometimes it turns into white noise. And then other times I am out riding my bike around, up the hill for a delightful breakfast date to hear stories, then down the hill and through the Baltimore you know if you’ve never been here, and have just seen that one show set in Baltimore, a quick stop and then a winding ride over to Canton to pick up something at Target. The noise cancelling headphones I wear when I’m off the clock came off when I wander through toys. All princess, all the time. But that’s not what struck me today–it was the other line of sexy monster dolls with their almost skeletal bodies, asses out, skinny waists, broad shoulders. It might be a Women’s Studies 101 moment, but it’s a real one: this stuff is seriously fucked up. And then Easter candy was 50% off and I stocked up and hated that I did that and hated that with all this education and stuff, I still have to spend time negotiating the eat-everything-and-nothing-never-all-the-time logic that sells so much and tells us to hate ourselves for buying it. That I have to spend any of my time thinking about what my body looks like when I could be thinking about all the things I can do and feel because of it, and all the places I can go as it pedals up the hill in gusty winds. That’s worth thinking about, but it’s a constant low-level battle to keep the other stuff at bay, and the battle starts first thing. Ugh. But hey, I got myself 12 Cadbury Creme Eggs for a few bucks, and they are delicious.