Brasilmagic\’s Weblog

Venting to the World

American Homophobia towards Speedos

One sign of homophobia in America is in men’s clothing options. While certainly America is not the most homophobic country (think Middle East and countries where homosexuality is considered a crime!), there are little red flags here and there.  

I never took to the grunge look that started around 1990. I also dislike the rap scene style of baggy pants and shirts 3 times the guy’s size.  How would men react if women started dressing in big baggy pants and t-shirts which would hide their shape?

The low crotch baggy pants make young guys look bad. Sloppy, out of shape. Sorry guys, women also want to see if you have a nice butt :).  Now, I am not advocating the return of the skintight pants of the 70’s (ouch!) but fitted pants make a man look  better dressed and elegant. European men know exactly what to wear (Brazilians too!). Just go to any European capital and you will know what I am talking about. Some young Hollywood singers and actors (think Zac Efron) have started to bring the fitted look back.

As for speedos….I am a huge speedo lover. The way Americans blast speedos, especially the new generation who did not live the 70’s and the 80’s, is amusing. They equate speedos and fitted pants (again, not tight pants!) to being gay. Hello, then the entire male population of Brazil and Europe would be gay! And what’s wrong with being gay anyway?

Speedos make for better comfort, better tanning and better swimming. I cringe when I see these poor fellas at the beach in America with those large floppy shorts below their knees….it’s like swimming with your clothes on! If you want to wear shorts, at least wear some shorter shorts to swim and lie on the beach! I also feel sorry for toddlers dressed with long shorts at the beach or the swimming pool, because their mothers bought into the anti-speedo wave.

One of the arguments I hear about Speedos is that people don’t want to see old and fat men wearing them. But so what that if older men have bellies and speedos will show them off? We will see the bellies anyway with the big shorts! Additionally, it’s practically impossible to look wonderful wearing any swimsuit over the ages of 40 or 50, whether you are a man or a woman.  Very few people manage that, except the dietaholics and the gymaholics.

So I am for a speedo comeback. I especially like the ones that are square looking, more like briefs. See Daniel Craig’s pic above. And stay away from anything resembling a g-string, they do not flatter men or women alike.

When I was in Rio last December, it was nice seeing men comfortably wearing their speedos everywhere.  In no way I feel offended by the shape of men’s genitals; I know they have balls, so what? We are not offended by the zillions of (enhanced) breasts we see popping out of their tiny triangles in swimming pools and beaches either….

Are men who are too vehemently against speedos scared of being seen as gay, or do they fear that they will be attracted to other men in speedos? Or are they just insecure about their bodies?

I did like the fact the SATC movie showed a man’s penis briefly.  It’s time for homophobia to leave movies and TV as well. What’s so horrible about showing a man’s penis in a movie with a sex scene? We see women’s nude frontals and naked breasts all the time.  Are men in America that scared that they will feel attracted to other men?

May the new generation of American men start the Speedo Revolution! 🙂

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June 27, 2008 Posted by | Difference between cultures, Fashion, Society | 45 Comments

“Abhorrecence”

Adolescence….more like abhorrence….

As a mother of two young women, I sometimes have my feelings hurt when they don’t treat me as well as I treat them.  I am constantly calling them sweet names, doing things for them, calling them on the phone in a cheery mood and hugging and kissing them.  While sometimes they are in a good and loving mood, sometimes what I get is impatience. They get impatient with me. They say “duh” if I say something obvious. They talk back to me irritably. They make fun of me when I try to make a comment on their favorite TV show which I do not follow. They go to bed without saying good night. They call me when they need something but they can be blunt on the phone when I call them to say hello, as if I am nuisance.  They are in their late teens and early adulthood, so I thought this would be over around 15, but it happened later than I thought.

When your kid goes off to College, they get used to their independance. When they come back home to visit, they resent feeling like little children again.  They resent that they are still financially dependant on their parents and need to stay with them when school’s out. They think of themselves as adults, so at home they feel reduced to that little child again to had to obey his or her mother’s orders. This also happens to adult children my age when they visit their own parents and feel the childhood tensions climbing back.

Maybe we all are a bit impatient with someone a generation ahead. Maybe we all long to be independant and away from our parents when we feel we are grown up.  Maybe our parents’ aging and physical deterioration reminds us that life ends. Anyway, there are good moments and bad moments, but they do not know that even though I just shrug when they treat me like that, deep inside I am hurt. I am sure many mothers of teenagers and young adults feel the same.

June 18, 2008 Posted by | Being a mother | Leave a comment

70’s music I love

Love the Black 70’s singers like Marvin Gaye. Also am a big fan of Bread, no matter how corny it sounds. David Gates had the softest voice, the lyrics were sad and romantic and the melodies just out of this world. This is a  tribute to Bread.

I will say it is a pity you guys are not around anymore-a reunion tour would be just awesome (although some of you are dead, Gates is still around). Here are 2 of my 70’s favorites:

 ( “Baby I’s a want you” was my second wedding song..so melodic).

Other old favorites:

June 18, 2008 Posted by | Music | 1 Comment

My favorite Britpop band

PET SHOP BOYS – GO WEST – ORIGINAL

To be honest, I don’t know if the Pet Shop Boys or New Order is my number one love…both are amazing and I have never fallen out of love with these guys since I discovered them in the 80’s. Clear lyrics, incredible melodies, soft voice, great rythm..what else do you want?

June 18, 2008 Posted by | Music | 1 Comment

00’s music I love

 

Because I like Britpop so much, Keane reminds me of the 80’s soulful songs. This is beautiful, as well as his other songs.

The Killers also has a Britpop edge. Love this one:

June 18, 2008 Posted by | Music | Leave a comment

80’s music I love

The 80’s were great when it comes to music. I will be adding some of my favorite songs, and a few from the 70’s and even now the 00’s (gosh, we are almost in the 10’s….time flies)

June 18, 2008 Posted by | Music | Leave a comment

My quick trip to Ireland

DublinThe best fish and chips I\'ve hadDublin-bustling aliveMe in front of an old Irish CastleMy husband Peter not enjoying a bitter Guiness beer at the top of the Guiness factory

 

Impressions of Ireland:

Ireland has a lot in common with other European countries. I am fan of Europe because they have quality of life with enjoying life at the same time. Lot’s of vacation time, no 50 hour work weeks, etc.  They also protect their old and their retired and they do not depend so much on cars, having really good public transportation systems (that is why the high gas prices does not affect them as such).

People are slim. People walk, cities are made for walking. People do not take the car to go to the local bank, they walk. Therefore, I only saw 5 overweight people amongst hundreds. I even counted 🙂

Men dress nicer, jackets and more fitted pants. None of that baggy crotch down the knees pants look.

A more homogenous society. There are immigrants but since many are from Poland and Eastern Europe, they blend right in with the Irish.

Very clean country. There were men with washing machines cleaning the sidewalks. No trash anywhere. Little police presence (the cops there are unarmed) and even though we drove around a lot we did not see one traffic cop pullling anyone over).

Still a family oriented society. Kids live at home while they are single, way into their 20’s (and sometimes 30’s and 40’s if they are unmarried, ha ha!). At least in the smaller and rural areas.

Women are better dressed than in the U.S., not so casual/frumpy.

Weather is cloudy, grey and rainy most of the time. Blue skies are rare. We had one sunny warm day (Saturday).  They never get too much snow though, since they are between the Atlantic ocean and the Irish sea.

Food is highly greasy and mostly fried, but somehow people are slim!  I had the best fish and chips there ever, in the town of Trim (north of Dublin), in a small take away shop called “Castle”.

A lot of people smoke, but surprisingly,you cannot smoke inside pubs and restaurants (like Maryland and DC). No smoking in their famous pubs? Wow. Good thing.Ireland seems to take care of their old and retired. My husband’s aunt is 88 and lives in a cute small house where twice a week people come and clean it for her. She told us her pension is good. My husband’s uncle, who is retired from construction work, seems to have a good standard of living with 4 kids, one still living at home.

There is public health for all and private health system for those who want a better and faster treatment.

We did not see any poverty nor did we see incredibly rich people or big mansions.

Ireland has a lot of new modern constructions. Old and new together. If the weather were better, it would be a nice place to live. But if the weather was warmer,  it would become a rat race too….

June 10, 2008 Posted by | Travel | Leave a comment

Can boys become gay by playing with dolls?

Can boys become gay by playing with dolls?

As I was writing my post about the new SATC movie, I made a comment about playing with dolls. A few days ago while watching The View (thanks to my DVR!), I heard Whoppi Goldberg (Whoopi and Joy Behar, I love you both!) making a comment about how parents allow girls to play with trucks but do not like boys to play with dolls. I guess the fear of making their sons become gay takes over? Is it possible that by playing with dolls a boy will grow up to become a homossexual and only feel attracted to other men?

My guess it is nonsense. Homossexuality is predisposed. I have seen boys who later became homossexuals and they were already different from other boys from an early age. They had similar traits to girls. So when a parent gives a doll to a boy to play, two things may happen: he can toss it aside and go back to building blocks or pushing his toy truck or his plastic lamborghini or he can become a more sensitive man in the future, one more aware of his emotions and more sensitive to women’s needs. He will not see these traits as weaknesses and will not be afraid to cry. If he holds a baby doll as a little boy, he may feel more inclined to take care of his own child and be more nurturing. So give kids all kinds of toys, do not stereoptype and don’t think it is ok to give girls cars and not give boys dolls. I had two daughters who played with legos and everything else, so unfortunately my time is over to follow my own advice 🙂

June 2, 2008 Posted by | Being a mother | 5 Comments

Why women love Sex and the City

It’s as hard to find a woman who does not like SATC as it is to find a man who does not like a good car chase movie.  After all, our parents put dolls in our arms since we were young. We tried to do things with their hair and we dress and undress them. Our dolls talk to each other and interract.  So men are asking themselves why we are all so excited with this movie, after watching rerun after rerun of all the episodes?

For grown up women, the idea of having a few really good girlfriends who will stand up for you and who are not competitive or envious is very cozy. Men are not so nice anymore. We hear too many horror stories of relationships and marriages gone bad. We hear too many jerk stories. The geographical distance between us and our parents makes it difficult for them to participate in our lives.  Our generation has less siblings, and they too often live away. So our GFs offer us a safety net.

On an non emotional level, women like shopping. A few don’t, but let’s just say that most discount stores and shoe departments of famous chains are loaded with women, not men. Women scavenging, women picking, just like our ancestors picking the ripest fruits. The SATC series and movie is a feast for our shopping eyes. The four women are not young but they look gorgeous, sending every frumpy middle aged housewife in the country a glimpse of glamour. They are always impeccable and look like models. They have easy jobs with abundant money. They have their pick of men. They are empowered and do not take shizz from anyone. What’s not to like in this adult fantasy?

Written by a middle aged sopshisticated New Yorker (Candace Bushnell), SATC has it all. Every woman can identify with one of the foursome. Some are more Carries (I am :)), some are more Mirandas, some are Charlottes and a few see themselves unabashedly as Samanthas, or hope they could be a bit like her.

SATC also subverts the historic male advantage on the mating game. In this case, it is Samantha who plays the dirty old woman eyeing much younger men without feeling bad about it. The male body becomes an object of desire. At the same time, the need for romance is filled with the endless rollercoaster love story of Mr. Big and Carrie and the idyllic marriage that Charlotte has. All in all, SATC hits all women’s secret desires and need for security, fantasy and adventure. 

 And men can profit from watching the movie as well as the series to get a real peek into women’s brains. My alpha male husband did-and survived 3 hours of the movie without falling asleep-bravo Darren Star, you did create a success!

June 2, 2008 Posted by | Relationships | Leave a comment

Frump Nation

I heard the term Frump Nation and liked it. It is used to describe the excess informality in clothing option nowadays in the US. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for comfort too, I do not like to torture myself with high heels and tight dresses. On the other hand, I believe there is a time and place for everything.  Last weekend I was at my daughter’s College graduation (Cornell University). I believe graduations, weddings and funerals demand a certain formality of attire, in respect to the occasion and to the hard work your child has put in all those years. Therefore, I chose a nice dress for her commencement cerimony. I also knew we had to walk around the campus, so I had my heels in my purse and my really comfortable skecher-like shoes on. At the stadium waiting for the ceremony to begin, I looked around and saw loads of parents wearing really casual attire, even bermudas and sneakers, and while yes, they are really comfy, this is the day your son or daughter is graduating from a really nice Ivy League and no, you are not grocery shopping! Can’t you wear at least a jacket over your sports shirt and ladies, can’t you buy a 20 dollar decent dress at Marshalls and put a bit of lipstick and comb your hair to honor your child?

The extreme casualness is a sore for the eyes. I used to like to go out and see people well dressed in restaurants. Now I see women dressed in sweats in expensive restaurants (I am not kidding you).  Lack of vanity, lack of time, lack of money, lack of self esteem, lack of manners, lack of common sense, lack of finesse, whatever it is, going out in America instead of a feast for the eyes is like walking through a garden with dead and rotten flowers…

June 2, 2008 Posted by | Difference between cultures | Leave a comment