On Workout Clothes

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“You look so cute! Are you going to the gym later?” I asked my good friend Allie after running into her in the street. In a non-offensive way, I was pleasantly surprised to see her so put-together in workout clothes (I know her writing well, which often pokes fun at her history with dieting and reluctance to work out, so no I wasn’t being a total asshole).

“Nope! Nope! Not really!” she smiled. And this is why I love Allie.

So I told her, “Jesus, I fucking love you,” and we continued walking in opposite directions down the street, me to get coffee and her, to do something that didn’t involve cardio.

Rewind a bit. I was “pleasantly surprised to see her so put-together in workout clothes,” which I said because it was true and not so I could properly set up the point I’m about to make.

Now, zoom: “so put-together in workout clothes.”

Since when is that a thing? A thing that’s such a thing that it’s already engrained in my subconscious, like I don’t even have to deliberate whether or not Allie looked put together and consider her Lulu Lemon a part of that, but I sight-read the situation and BAM, it was automatic love, Allie looked good.

Usually, when I put on workout clothes in the morning, it’s to push myself to make it to the gym at some point later. This is a method we like to call “No Excuses.” Rarely do I go to the trouble of putting on full workout attire, sports bra included, with zero intention of going to the gym. Sports bras are just hard to put on sometimes, and smush the boobs, so I generally opt for the “complete slob” look which is yoga leggings and a sweater and sneakers and regular/no bra.

But the funny thing is that if I were to wear head-to-toe workout clothes–and real fancy workout clothes, not an old college t-shirt–I would look way chicer than I do in the “complete slob” look though an equally minimal effort was put into both outfits.

I understand the phenomenon, but it still entertains me. It’s like my theory of the Green Juice Effect (you can read about it here), which was discovered after I walked around Madison Square Park, green juice in hand. There, something magical happened, and the strangers around me ignored my resting bitch face for once. They smiled at me, they looked at me, and that’s greater than any Hanukkah miracle I’ve ever experienced. I realized that green juice was the newest accessory, and carrying it was an easy way of saying “I care about my body,” “I am fit,” “I suffer via blended greens for the sake of that healthy glow, hell yeah I do,” and even “I have the extra cash to buy overpriced green juice instead of something from the office cafeteria.”

Over the last year-ish, workout clothing has done the same thing. It’s a twofer–your body is covered in clothing, and the clothing accessorizes your personality even better than that monogrammed necklace you got for graduation.

As for when working out became a status symbol? I really don’t know. Maybe it was the rise of the $35, 45 minute SoulCycle class, which I can’t imagine paying for six days a week, or when Net-a-Porter started selling $900 Fendi stretch jersey stirrup leggings. A body is the one thing everyone has. Obviously there was a time in the early 80s when not all of America could afford Jane Fonda workout videos, so I suppose physical fitness has always somehow been divided by socioeconomic status. But still, working out now isn’t nearly as cool unless you look good doing it, which is particularly annoying when you aren’t seeing #results and god should just throw you a bone and give you a good pair of mesh cutout spandex (that rarely sell for below $80, by the way).

The new intersection between what you wear to the courts and what you wear to dinner is a whole different story. I never thought I would wear Nike Frees with jeans but hey, shit happens. Normcore happens. Ugh, normcore.

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Flavor of the Week: The GoPro

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Have you ever looked very small, but not like skinny small, just disproportionately small, against a colorful outdoor landscape? Like someone shrunk you and dropped you off in Google Earth HD?

Have you been fisheye lensed without complete distortion?  Just slight distortion so we know you still are pretty but are standing in front of a funky camera?

Have you starred in Beyoncé’s “7/11” music video?

Have you ever been skiing in Colorado? Do you do cool tricks? How about skydiving? Have you been strapped to the back of a Swiss man named Romain, kind of like the lettuce, and fallen through the sky at frightening speeds over the Alps?

Well, golly gee, you must have a GoPro!

I love something I don’t understand, and that thing is the GoPro. GoPros are meant for “high action” endeavors, which is why you see so many people with GoProfilePictures (see what I did there? eh? eh?) of themselves SUPing (stand-up paddle-boarding). You can attach them to a helmet. This is good for me, because I really should be wearing a helmet more often and this is a great excuse to do that. So maybe I should get a GoPro.

Side note: I love that the GoPro is called a “Hero.” Like, “Hero 4.” It’s like an action figure for grown men.

The other day I was having a conversation with someone about the difference between a GoPro and a selfie stick, a difference the other person didn’t quite understand. The GoPro is an actual camera that you can buy a more expensive, more official, selfie stick for, and you get to call that selfie stick a tripod and pretend it’s not a selfie stick. The actual selfie stick is different–you attach it to your phone and have a lot of fun with it when you aren’t worried about looking like a Times Square tourist. Hence, another reason we love the GoPro: it turns selfies into self-portraits. We can all be Frida Kahlo if we try hard enough.

In the beginning of high school, everyone got these big, fancy Canon and Nikon cameras for Hanukkah, like Gretchen Weiners and her gorgeous gold hoops, and brought them to “parties” and to “photoshoots” on Fridays after school. The photos were beautiful. I mean in terms of cell phone, all we had to work with back then was a Blackberry. You so easily forget how shitty its camera quality was. And the Blackberry flash–don’t even get me started on the flash. But I do miss my Blackberry. RIP. So the DSLR was a sweet, sweet remedy for an aged profile picture.

Now, we only take photoshoots in secret. You know what they say, or at least what my mom says, and it’s that it takes a million photos in order to get one good one. And then that one good one goes up on your Instagram. Group photos, tho. GROUP PHOTOS, THO. That’s a whole different story that the DSLR does not lend itself to.

The GoPro is extremely conducive to capturing college life–a life in which (too many?) things happen in groups.  It’s just as conducive, if not more, than the DSLR was to capturing our virginally innocent ninth grade Fridays. Today, Facebook is no longer about proving to the world that we finally have boobs. It’s about proving to the world where we take them. How effin cray cray life is. How much fun we’re having.

GoPros, in a strange, magical way, make everything look more fun. It’s partially because they’re able to tag along in situations that were previously unphotographable. Now, nothing is sacred. No moment is un-GroProable.

So literally, pics or it didn’t happen.

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On Tweeting

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My tweets come to me in waves, kind of like the nausea-hunger cycle one endures on her period. I’ll have three days of subjectively unadulterated wit followed by a week of getting lost in the trappings of a hectic schedule that leaves my Twitter account neglected and, even worse, un-funny. And then, the three days of me patting myself on the back in masturbatory chirping, nonchalantly dropping the details that both spawn from and trigger whatever the F is going on inside my head, resurrect like Jesus Christ on this very Easter Sunday.

For example, a dry spell will produce uncomfortably forced material (as I feel obligated to feed my social media presence regularly) that reads like this: I tried to put on jeans in this blizzard but after three hours “literally could not” and had to come home and put on leggings/exercise pants

That is a bad tweet.

But when I peak, I peak: Raise your hand if your outfit has ever been personally victimized by your snow boots and Grandpas who work out in boating shoes [I promise, not all of my tweets are about shoes] and then there’s this last one, which I think is really funny but most people don’t get it, “I love it when you call me big matcha”

(Most don’t understand this one because you have to have both a broad knowledge of Biggie and a specific knowledge of powdered green teas to do so and to therefore find it funny whatsoever. I think I am one of a small margin who stands at the crossroads of both of these… um… roads.)

Needless to say, when a good tweet comes to mind you hold on to it for dear life and you don’t let go. This means you might text it to yourself or jot it down in the Notes app or, old-fashioned, on a napkin if you don’t have time to perfect your own diction within the confines of 140 characters.

This means that I tweet everywhere. I tweet from the street, on line, in class, and, especially, while walking. The best ideas always come when I’m walking. A tweet is not a boob or crotch itch one cannot, and therefore does not, scratch in public. A tweet is much more ephemeral, but the largest difference between the two phenomena is that the latter is something you don’t want to drift out of consciousness. The former, obviously, you do.

For someone who is not very self-conscious, though I am self-aware, tweeting makes me very self-conscious.

I tweet and I feel like everyone walking behind me is peering over my shoulder. I’m paranoid that the world is reading it — which is stupid, because the world is actually about to read it — and I’m paranoid that, above all, the world is judging me for it, “it” being both the contents of the tweet and the tweet itself.

If I was walking behind someone who was tweeting, I would probably be thinking the following things:

  • Isn’t it weird that she’s talking but directing it at no one right now, in other words that she’s talking to nobody, like talking to a wall
  • Like why is she tweeting and not texting
  • What could she possibly be tweeting while walking somewhat aimlessly
  • Really, why is she tweeting
  • Who does this chick think she is having a directionless voice that people will care to listen to

The last one was a little harsh, but you catch my drift.

A Twitter account is kind of like a public diary — or in my case, it is one — and it is the ideal space to unleash the random thoughts that cross your mind — that’s how I construct my tweets, anyway, they aren’t contrived or planned much further than that — that other people might just find funny. And in order for one to recognize that others might find his or her inner train of thought humorous, he or she must be able to poke some small ounce of fun at his or herself. He or she must also have some hubris. I probably suffer from that to an extent.

I’m self-conscious when passersby see me tweeting on the low, whether I’m walking or opening Twitter in a new Chrome tab at a coffeeshop, because I feel like they’re getting a strange glance into this proverbial abbreviated diary of mine. They know when I have an idea because I take action to it right away. Usually when you have an idea, you just have it and you are, at first, the only one who knows. Like any other diary I’ve ever written, people are welcome to read it, but only if I stick it in your face and force you to.

So, I guess the moral of the story is to follow me on Twitter if you want to read my tweets. And if you insist on being nosey, on judging me for tapping on the little blue bird in the lower right-hand corner of my iPhone, then you are simply snooping in a sphere that is not yours to snoop. And you’re totally harshing my creative mellow. Jeez.

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