P for pink or powerful or… both?

An article about Serena Williams wearing a bodysuit for her French Open return turned my eyes to my own tennis outfit. Sometimes I wear shorts, sometimes a skirt (more precisely, a skort). A skirt? I can already see my old friends raising their eyebrows. Ever since I graduated from high school, where I had to wear my school’s uniform skirt, I’ve never bought a skirt for work or casual occasions. Then, I became hooked on tennis and bought my first tennis skirt. Looking at myself in it in the mirror, I liked the person in front of me. She looked professional, active and feminine—the whole package I wanted to have but couldn’t with a regular skirt.

In her book My beloved World, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote, “I am a woman; I do have a feminine side. Learning to enjoy it would not diminish any other part of me,”  We shouldn’t be forced to choose between feeling good about how we look and doing our jobs well—whether it’s making history-making decisions or firing off some powerful forehands. We can have them all. We should.

Today, I wear my favorite pink Under Armour T-shirt and a tennis skirt. I may not look aggressive, but my shots are. Feminine qualities are not limited to “delicacy and prettiness.” They also include competency and competitiveness.

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What is beautiful?

I was listening to NPR’s On Point and the guests were talking about middle age. Pamela Druckerman, a Journalist and author, said,

“The nature of beauty changes as you get older. You are no longer beautiful because you are unlined, perfect and firm everywhere. You look in your 40s and beyond like you have a story. And the kind of French twist on this is to say it is this story that makes you beautiful. This one woman said to me ‘We are not frozen. We are alive.’ The beauty is to see who someone is.”

We often associate a youthful look with beauty. Then, I realized that a youthful look is beautiful because it conveys the imagination, the will, the energy and the potential. Of course, I’m not going to toss out my eye cream and give out the routine of my minimal skin care, but I could see the necessity for anti-aging treatment for the mind—keep staying curious, trying, learning, contemplating and dreaming.

We are educated to be presentable, but what is more important is to have a story to present.

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Photo by Candida.Perfoma / CC BY 2.0

I’m traveling… in a way

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“Some scholars of literature claim that a book is really that virtual place your mind goes to when you are reading. It is a conceptual state of imagination that one might call ‘literature space.’” (p. 91 of The Inevitable by Kevin Kelly)

In my office building ditched by students who packed up for exciting trips for Spring Break, I brought an exciting world to me. Call me lazy; I’ll take it. Strictly speaking, I’m traveling too.