Stories in Viva that you’ll love, handpicked by our team.
Who Defines Authenticity?
We were tasked to define our "authentic selves". Each of us looked deep and came at the question from entirely different directions. We invite you to let your mind wander in ours a while. Then perhaps dig out your journal and see what words come to mind to define your own sense of authenticity. The challenge may be complete, but the opportunity to write for a prompt continues.
Pilar Had Ferrets
As the niece of a million handsome uncles, I was constantly surrounded by swooning women. Whether it was my sister's friends, neighbors, sisters of other girlfriends, moms, ladies who worked at my grandmother's restaurant- none of them were safe from the Latin lady killers that were my uncles. Along with this collection of hunky uncles came the collection of beautiful women they dated— the true main characters of this story. And, as I think back to my childhood memories with my uncles, rarely were their girlfriends not included.
The Gone Girl Revival
Spoiler warning! Gone Girl, both the book and the movie, have seen a resurgence in the past six months or so. Snippets of the 'Cool Girl Monologue' have been floating around Tiktok, and aesthetic images of Amy Dunne are appearing on Instagram, with captions claiming 'she did nothing wrong'. Of course, with lockdown it was inevitable that many movies would find many new viewers, particularly films that were very popular when they first came out, but there has been a certain added attraction to movies with highly gender-based commentaries: American Psycho, Fight Club, and Gone Girl, to name a few. The reasons for this Gone Girl resurgence in particular are a complex tale of anger, counter-movement and irony.
Silver Hair and Silver Linings
Women regularly come under fire when they decide to show themselves as they are and leave society's expectations aside. And nothing says, "I don't care about social rules" like letting your silver hair shine wild and free. Even if you're 29 years old.
The Mysterious Genital Sculptures That Adorn Britain's Churches
Sheela Na Gigs are seemingly erotic stone carvings of female figures predominately found in Romanesque churches. What's special about them? Well these sculptures consist of an old disproportionate woman squatting and pulling apart her vulva, a fairly strange thing to find in a church.
“I’ll start my diet on Monday” “I’ll lose the weight next year, I promise” “Once I lose this weight my life will be so much better”. I tell myself these small platitudes and for the briefest of moments, I truly believe them. I think I want to believe them because we’re so conditioned to believe that our worth is tied to our outward beauty.
I Sparkled on My Own Terms
It was my wedding reception. Let me put this into context for my non-Indian readers. An Indian wedding reception usually happens a day after the wedding. It is an occasion when all friends and family, primarily on the groom’s side, come laden with gifts and good wishes for the newlywed pair. In exchange, the guests have a delectable feast.
My Essence As Woman Is Freedom
We live in a time of extractive patterns. Patterns where the dysfunctions of our relations, with other people and the planet, have become so normalized that we don't even remember what healthy even looks like. Patterns where we run towards what sparkles even faster than we run away from the pain behind us.
Friday, 11:43pm We stumble out of bars, laughing. The bouncers tossing us out glare at us until we stumble down to the streets. We try to gain composure momentarily. Once the doors slam shut, however, we flip off the bars and burst out laughing once again. Tears streaming down our faces, we tell one another not to jump up onto the stages next time.
Never Underestimate the Power of a Woman’s Voice.
What makes a woman’s voice sound empowered and less like a typical “Karen” wanting to speak with the manager? I’ve been getting in trouble lately with my teenage son for emailing his teachers and administrators, even his basketball coach and director for things I am noticing that don’t sit well with me.
The Venus Effect
Our world has been turned upside down in the last 20 months or so, in no uncertain terms. We have been blindsided by unexpected events, and felt more collective fear and disempowerment than we have in a long long time. Perhaps in our entire lives. It has not been easy, nor gentle, for we’ve been swept up in a maelstrom of angst in unprecedented ways. And yet, with all the death, destruction and confusion; with all the unceremonious stripping away of dignity, autonomy and deeply held value systems…. something deep in our hearts and souls is galvanizing, even as the body and mind takes shelter.
To the Men Giving Me Fitness and Health Advice
First, let me just start by saying thank you to all the men who give me unsolicited help on health and fitness. You know who you are. You’re always present, at every gym. Sometimes, at workplaces. You may be a personal trainer, or a random gym goer.