2012: Twelve Intentions

Find me over on my new project page

It's like a vision quest in the form of a 12-step program in the form of a blog.


I'm also available for: 

  • Content development, specifically web content for health, fitness, beauty and to a lesser extent medical and pharma (my old topical haunts)
  • web editing related to the above
  • social media strategy
  • content strategy
  • being a clown at your party. Just kidding. No seriously, I won't dress up as a clown. 

Please contact me or my agent who are actually the same person. 




The Unexpected Things 


Sometimes things don't happen as you expect them to.

You may go in to get your roots touched up and come out looking like an anime character, for example. 

I've been writing this blog for almost two years now. It started off as a distraction and became an outlet.

Writing it, and hearing from you, helped catalyze some of the important changes in my life that have happened over the last 2 years --and especially over the last year. 

I started out talking about food back in 2010, but after a while, the simple exercise of writing something nearly every day--even in an unedited way--forced me to confront a lot of the issues tangential to simple food, and eating it.

I had a lot of support from you guys as I decided to move to California on my own. I was especially inspired by a few of you who wrote to me to tell me that they changed their lives significantly in one way or another after reading this blog. 

I feel wicked lucky. To think all of this happened because I was bored at my editing job back in the spring of 2010...

I became increasingly transparent through last spring and summer here. It was fun for me to be able to use my experience to connect to people in other states and countries who had similar experiences. But lately, I've felt a little confined by my subject matter, particularly the word "diet" and people's deathly hangups about it (even though that's what I set out to change). And, perhaps it's my most recent birthday, but there is less of my life I want to have out here going forward. I need a break from people thinking they know me because they read my blog...or from being called "One Girl" by my friends. It's been really surprising how much this blog has seeped into my life and blurred the edges between on and offline, truly. 

So, I am going to say goodbye to this blog. I'm gearing up for a new project starting in 2012 that will take a different direction, though I remain committed to the concept of optimum mental and physical health. 

Sometimes, you have to put a couple things in the rearview to make room for new projects. In the meantime, I'll still be reachable via the contact information to the right and twitter @jessicabrookman

I'll update here when I launch the new site, but I'm taking a digital holiday and doing some traveling for the next couple months.

Take care and don't be afraid to say hi! ...And don't worry...the purple washed out of my hair. :)


An Interesting Problem to Have...

On last week's post, I naturally got a comment talking about how this is a blog for unnattractive women:

You can pretty much substitute unattainable/ridiculous beauty standards for "male physical preference." I wonder why hot, slim girls never have this ongoing battle with unattainable beauty standards as the plump and unattractive amongst us do? Maybe because it better serves us and thus are not marginalized and excluded from it.

You're singing the song of the unattractive women.

I would say that I sing the song of "all women" because it would inevitably be a benefit to every single one if some of these trends (and that's what they are) changed. But, that would be doing a disservice to a lot of people who read this blog--many of whom are men--in representing you and people like you.

You equate feminine elevation with more being CEOs and in big managerial positions. This egalitarian feminist stuff is cute and all, but I wonder when you and those like yourself will realize most women simply aren't interested in attaining any of that stuff.

I do? I think peope should do whatever work moves them. I have everything from rocket scientists to stay-at-home moms reading this blog. I myself prefer to be, ironically, a starving artist. And if believing that women are worthwhile as human beings makes me a feminist, so be it, I'm a feminist. 

We simply don't have the same incentives to achieve on that caliber as men do. Why can't people just come to terms with this basic fact of human nature?

Oh, I don't know, Coco, why can't you just read my blog and assimilate the facts: I dropped out of a highly competitive field because i realized it spelt doom for my potential to have a family and actually see them grow up. Figure that one out...I don't have all the answers for you. I do know that while nobody wrote a song called "Looking for Business Partners in All the Wrong Places," you should probably also do womankind a nod and google Sheryl Sandberg.

This just further confirms that much of the impetus behind feminism is based on the dissatisfaction very intelligent women have with the fact that less intelligent, prettier women with few credentials routinely swept the male market without breaking a sweat....While most brilliant and successful women occupy the same trope of generally overly entitled, delusional about what they can attain relationship-wise and their sexual value at large, unattractive, bitter, and may as well start naming their future 28 cats.

This blog is an argument against extremes. You seem to believe that there are only two option: To be intelligent and ugly or an idiot and attractive. The whole point of this blog is that you aren't making binary choices. Your committment to extremism and reductivism alternatively bores me and gives me a migraine.

Ow. It hurts. Make it stop.

And while it's true that I'm objectively less attractive when I have a migraine, I'm simply not an ugly bitch. It would be abusive of me to imply that I haven't used my looks to my advantage on an almost daily basis. I have never gotten a ticket of any kind, I didn't know that oil changes cost money until last year and I routinely get into places I have no business being simply for smiling and asking nicely. But now you're making me sound like a douche and I haven't lived in LA long enough to be a douche. Stop it.

I'm not a douche. I just play one on the internet.

I also believe that it's possible to be a cat lady without ever actually owning any cats. But that's a story for a different day. Let's finish up with you: 

Mind you, I'm a woman who most of my confidence actually comes from my intellect [Ed note: obviously...] as I was a late bloomer, however I'm now good looking and of superior body type. I value my intellect more than I'll ever value my beauty for it is fleeting, but I'm aware of the reality of human biomechanics. I'm aware that I and most women want to get married and make babies. I am aware that men don't give a rat's ass about a woman's professional accolades, academic accolades, and overall intellect unless she's hot. I'm also aware that at the age of 23, given the fact I'm at my prime in attractiveness, it would be foolish and unwise to squander my best years deluding myself that I don't want a man only to complain 10 years later that there are no "good men" who want first dibs of my imminent sexual irrelevancy. 

Life isn't fair, I know. You lot better start learning how to speak cat. 

First of all, how DARE you insult my current ability to speak cat. Second of all, when did this ever become about men wanting me, or anyone who reads this blog. Men-not-wanting-me is not a problem I have but it's also not related to the point of this blog or, more specifically, the post that you commented on. My point is that it would benefit everyone to be aware of--and graduaally change--these standards. And you'd have to be a moron to believe that, as an attractive woman, you are somehow exempt. In a lot of ways, I think beauty standards apply pressure to the most attractive among us even more heavily, since those women are expected to use them to to their advantage effectively and are less free, in some ways, to explore their other talents. 

For me, it's an interesting problem to have: I'm not willing to wrest whatever power from the system and keep my mouth shut while I see things that are offensive simply because I pay for dinner less than the average person. Maybe that, itself, makes me unattractive. Maybe not. But what do I know, I'm just a girl with purple hair, two absentee cats and a lookbook I haven't used in 10 years. 




Girls Need Girls. I was a guest blogger on IamThatGirl.com

Hey guys, 

Check out my post on iamthatgirl.com: 

We are all familiar with the impact of unattainable beauty standards. Almost every single woman in America has had her fair share of frustration when considering her appearance in comparison to a Photoshopped version of a woman in an ad campaign. But what about the broader implications these standards have on women? ...

Click here to read the rest of the article.


Post-Thanksgiving Terms of Endearment

Ah, the beginning of the holiday (eating) season. 

Last year, I wrote an post about saying no to post-holiday fat talk. It was serious in nature--you shouldn't get too concerned with a couple pound weight gain over the holidays, just keep exercising and go back to eating your normal diet and you'll be ok. Whatever you do, don't fat-talk:  

In addition to the personal effects, by fat-talking, you’re perpetuating the expectation in our culture that you’re *supposed* to be upset with yourself. There are a lot of shitty things happening in the world, you eating too many christmas cookies doesn’t even make the list of “Top 1000 Evil Things of 2010.” So get back to (or establish) your routine and focus on one of those things. [See also: genocide in Darfur. See also: honor killings in the middle east. See also: violence anywhere See also: world banking crisis. See also: various forms of cancer. See also: etc, etc, ad nauseum...]

So, I think this message still applies. But this year, I wanted to add some additional support to your post-gigantic meal psyche. 

You are not carrying 5 extra pounds, you are: 


  1. Additionaly curvaceous.
  2. Constructing a compelling argument to get out of the house during the holidays to go to the gym by becoming an out of shape person.
  3. In training to produce a real-life version of one of Rubens' paintings. 
  4. On a vacation in the Land of Black Leggings until further notice.
  5. In solidarity with your thanksgiving turkey: Stuffed and not moving around too much.
  6. Preparing for an unlikely, but still possible, event that you are on a cruise ship in the North Atlantic and your boat strikes a large iceberg and sinks without enough lifeboats, leaving you to float in frigid water overnight. Hey, it *could* happen. 


So don't worry, just get back to your regular routine, don't forget to move around a little and you'll be back to normal before you know it. 

Plus, you have bigger things to worry about, I suspect...