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We who are about to diet: Erica Rivera.

April 22, 2010 \pm\30 9:40 pm

Name: Erica Rivera

Age: 28
Predominant genre:
Non-fiction.

How much time would you say you spend thinking about your physical appearance each day?

Two hours?

How much time would you say you spend doing activities to improve your physical appearance each day? What are some of these activities?

Three hours, including exercise, hair styling, skin care, and makeup application.

Do you feel like the time and mental energy you devote to your physical appearance takes away from the time and mental energy you might otherwise devote to your writing?

Exercise certainly takes up more time than I would like, but I also feel that giving my brain a break and do something physical helps my writing, too.

Do have trouble rectifying your identity as a writer with your consideration for your appearance?

I am certainly more confident expressing myself in writing than in person; when I am face-to-face with someone, it is hard to focus on the task at hand.  My mind is often busy wondering what their impression of me is.  Sometimes I feel like the amount of time I spend on my appearance is out of sync with the intellectual identity writers have, like caring about how I look is too “shallow” for a writer.

Do thoughts and feelings about your appearance in any way dictate your choice of subject matter?

In my memoir writing?  Not really.  If anything, I use my appearance as leverage to attract more readers, such as in the case of my Man Eater blog. At times, being young and attractive can be advantageous to writers and help promote their material.

Do you ever feel like heterosexual male writers are at an advantage, because they don’t “have to” spend as much physical and mental energy on appearance?

I think males, no matter what their vocation, are at an advantage because their work is based more on merit, not appearance.  I can imagine that over the entire lifespan, they save a lot of time that women spend on appearance to advance their careers.

Do you consider yourself a feminist?

That would depend on how the word is defined and/or being used.  I believe in equality for both sexes.

If so, do you have trouble rectifying your identity as a feminist with your consideration for your appearance?

One of the reasons I’m reluctant to use the word is because of its negative connotations.  Immediately an image of a masculine woman (i.e. Janet Reno) pops into my head.  I’d like to believe that women can still be attractive if they want to and have powerful positions in the workplace.

Have you ever used any non-food substances to keep your weight down?

Yes:  exercise, laxatives, diueretics, herbal supplements, and weight-loss pills.

If you could eat anything you wanted and not gain weight, what are some foods you would eat?

Peanut butter, chocolate, doughnuts, cakes, cookies, etc.

What did you eat yesterday?

Asparagus omelette and toast for breakfast; salad with grilled chicken, slice of bread, and apple with peanut butter for lunch; fish, salsa, and vegetables with chips and guacamole for dinner; a cupcake for dessert; berries, yogurt, and a few squares of dark chocolate as a snack.

Did you eat what you ate yesterday based on pleasure, environmental factors, health factors, staying skinny, or something else?

I try to balance pleasure with healthy choices.  I work from home, so I prepare all my own meals, and most of the time I am able to indulge in what I really want in moderate portions.

What’s in your refrigerator?

It’s always packed with several kinds of fruit, fat-free cottage cheese, fat-free yogurts, skim milk, lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, peanut butter, chicken breast, reduced-fat cheese, and a lot of condiments!

What’s in your pantry?

Lots of instant coffee and cocoa mix! I cook most of my own food, so I always have staples like different sugars, whole wheat and white flours, spices, and herbs on hand.  I try to keep processed foods to a minimum.

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3 Comments
  1. Jen permalink
    April 22, 2010 \pm\30 10:31 pm 10:31 pm

    too damn bad they took ephedrine off the market. now that made me a writing machine.

  2. Jen permalink
    April 22, 2010 \pm\30 10:35 pm 10:35 pm

    trucker speed!

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