Someone, not on drugs, once called me her life coach. Nice title but I couldn’t possibly accept. It might be insulting to real therapists and counsellors out there who have advanced degrees and truly care about helping you live your best life, while I, on the other hand, generally just enjoy exposing human foibles, including my own.
But coaches of various incarnations and self-help experts are everywhere today. Everyone has a book or TV show and wants you to play with your inner this and secret that. And some of the stuff out there even works. Just think, where would we be today without Oprah?
The latest expert to reach my consciousness is Mama Gena, who helps “sister goddesses’’ develop their womanly arts. She used to be just plain Regena Thomashauer, a theatre arts graduate and New York actress-teacher, which sometimes meant she was an optimistic waitress, until she found her inner goddess. She is now a blitzfully successful self-taught pleasure expert—which kind of sounds like something the nuns said would make us blind.
As far as I can glean (having never taken this workshop and having no need to locate my vulva) participants learn to twirl a pink feather boa, arch their backs like a feline alien, and love their bodies.
On the Ricki Lake show, where Mama Gena was spotlighted, the finale was a country singing star belting out, “My vagina is eight miles wide. Absolutely everyone can come inside.” That might be a new anthem for women, but I am still learning the words to Helen Reddy’s I Am Woman.
There is something to be said for Mama Gena’s “love your body’’ and “own your own sensuality’’ theme since self-loathing and depending on other people to make us feel smart and desirable is wasteful and shuts one off from wonderful opportunities and people. And who can quarrel with advice to admire oneself in the mirror every morning and say, “You are sooooo hot!’’ especially when the air-conditioning vents do not need cleaning.
Mama Gena also teamed up on the Ricki Lake show with an expert pole dancer who schooled us in the Sparkle and Stardust Walk—sparkle in front, stardust behind. This involves a sort of deliberate long-legged prowl in which your behind leaves the room five minutes after you do. Commendable, but I doubt many Trinidadian women will need to practise much given the dimensions of the local posteriors.
No, no, you are doing it all wrong. Elongate that back. Be fluid. Don’t waddle. It’s Sparkle and Stardust, not Sparkle and Sawdust. So all this inner cleansing and outer twirling got me to thinking: who am I today? Apparently, this is a question we must all ask ourselves to remain sane and relevant.
I used to be the shop-till-you drop correspondent back in the Nineties but in this economy that might be insensitive and, nowadays, even though I take all my vitamins, the drop comes so much faster during the shop. I once aspired to be a fashionista (hey, if Fashion Police star Kelly Osbourne could pull it off) but that would be ambitious, since I still have not mastered the high heel.
Aha! I have got it. I have been inflicting my opinion on people for decades and most of my friends are still speaking to me and inviting me to their parties. I can say what other people think but don’t voice because they fear offending the wrong people; don’t have the time to articulate their deepest thoughts; are ashamed to acknowledge their guilty pleasures; or are so busy being sensible and mature, they have forgotten how to laugh.
So, there. I am an opinionista! Which is a Latin term meaning stylish commentator in a sexy red suit. See you next week, goddesses. And remember, sparkle in front, stardust behind.