Curves: Another Bankruptcy

No one was a more staunch supporter of Curves, the women’s gym franchise, than I was.  Almost exactly a year ago, I had an exchange of comments (see Curves blog category) with someone named fitdude, and you could almost see my enthusiasm on the page.  At the time, the Curves founder, Gary Heavin, was in the news, and many franchises in the US had either been closed or had gone bankrupt.

When bankruptcy finally felled my own Curves,

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Avon & China: the Economics of Harm

UPDATE from In Defense of Animals, posted on FB, July 2014. China Stops Cosmetic Animal Testing The Chinese government just passed a law that removes animal testing requirements on cosmetic products. With a $1.7 billion cosmetics industry, this is a major change that will save countless animal lives. This is a huge reversal from China’s 2012 animal testing mandate for all cosmetic products, which prompted companies like Avon and Estée Lauder to drop their cruelty-free policies and start animal testing in order to tap into the growing Chinese cosmetics market. Due to loopholes in the law, experts warn that some animal testing may continue, but it’s a big step in the compassionate direction.
Let’s leave the subject of animals for a moment, and focus on the specious arguments by which multi-national industries get away with murder, so to speak. In the late sixties, when I was about 16, I watched a TV documentary on how cosmetics and beauty care companies experimented on animals to both test and improve their products (at the time, as I recall, “hypoallergenic” shampoos were the newest thing). TV images in that doc of cats with their skulls prised open and electrodes attached to their brains, eyes, and faces left me in shock.
I had only just begun wearing makeup (strict upbringing) and was now faced with what I thought was a moral dilemma. I had already joined the second wave of feminism and would shortly be working with other young women to set up a Women’s Centre at my local college (CEGEP). Wasn’t that enough? Some of the more militant feminists had already eschewed cosmetics, but for completely unrelated reasons.

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Facing Up to Facebook

Okay…fine.  I joined.  There’ll even be a little “thumbs-up” icon on this blog shortly.  It’s a new year and time to try new things.  I don’t know how it works, but just like this blog which I launched just about a year ago, I’ll get the hang of it.  Once again, thanks to my brilliant colleague, Tyler, who explains everything to me as if I were four years old–successfully–I am moving into a Brave New World.

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High School Confidential

If I hear this comment just one more time, I’m going to spit:  “why are you spending your energy on horses when women and children need your support?”  As I recall, the first time I was reproached in writing about this was in a response from Senator Celine Hervieux-Payette; that was about eight or ten years ago.

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American Cousins

American Cousins

Yes, it’s true…I’m one-quarter American (or one-sixth or some fraction thereof).  Maternal Gran emigrated to Youngstown, Ohio, married a distant cousin in Philly, PA (no Deliverance jokes, please!), moved to TO or Montreal (I forget which was first) but ended up, anyway, in Montreal, and bore seven children, one of the last two of whom was my mother.  Mum was a helluva dancer and singer…so much so that, in her heyday, she was spotted by a talent scout from New York who tried to persuade her father that she had a career waiting in New York.  It was a different era then, so of course, Grandpa felt that only hussies were actresses and singers, and so on.  Mum went on to marry my father, and I’ll save her story for another time.  

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Yah, I Get that a Lot

Yah, I Get that a Lot

Aren’t you…um…whatsername?”  “Didn’t you used to teach at (Nortel, Bell Helicopter, Johnson & Johnson, Imperial Tobacco, Harris Farinon, etcetera)?”  “Weren’t you on a cable TV show in Ottawa…yuh know, a show about card-reading and stuff like that?”  “Weren’t you my Teaching Assistant at Carleton U…the one we called, ‘Attila the T.A’…you were tough, man!..wasn’t that you?”  “Aren’t you one of those bra-burners who ran that Women’s Centre at Dawson College in the late 70s?…was that you?”  “Aren’t you the girl that Quebec Cine-film wanted to be a double for actress Carole Laure…you know when she was still famous for ‘Night Magic’, that incredibly strange but wonderful film she made with that other Quebec actor, Nick Mancuso?”  I know you’re somebody–or were somebody–I just can’t remember who.  Who are you…exactly?

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