Buzz Topic: The Cultural Pressure to be Exceptional

I finally ran a half-marathon in the spring. I toyed with the idea of running one for a long time before I actually signed up. The thing that kept me from signing up wasn’t the fear that I wouldn’t finish; I knew that I could do it if I was disciplined about sticking to my [...]


Dove Can’t Show Us Real Beauty

  The Dove Real Beauty Campaign aims to show us "real beauty." Their latest endeavour, the Dove Real Beauty Sketches video, shows a bunch of women describing themselves to a professional sketch artist who never sees them, but draws them based on their descriptions. He then draws them again, based on descriptions given by people who just [...]


The Annual Performance Review of My Body

If my body was an employee under my management, I’m pretty sure she would have quit by now. In her annual performance reviews, I overlook every good thing she has done for me, and come down hard on all the bad. I say to her, “Things aren’t looking good for you this year, body. Your [...]

Vanessa Pike-Russell

A Fulfilled Life: The Family Perspective

  I’ll always remember this one moment in high school. I had just gotten back from a college visit, and my lacrosse coach was asking me how it went. She had decided to check my transcripts before she let me skip practice for the visit, and was surprised with what she saw. So she said [...]


Learning Humility as a Stay-At-Home-Mom

Want to know a secret? I was pregnant during my college graduation ceremony. No one knew except a few trusted friends and relatives, and it was early enough in the pregnancy that you couldn’t tell from the outside. But underneath my graduation gown, underneath my dress (which was carefully chosen from the racks of Ross [...]