Sharrona Pearl is an Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on how we judge others by their faces and appearance, and her first book, About Faces: Physiognomy in Nineteenth-Century Britain, was published by Harvard University Press in 2010. She and Ben have three kids who love navigating the streets of Center City, Philadelphia. You can follow her on twitter at @sharronapearl.
This piece was written in response to a previous blog post by Jordana Horn.
I also (in what seems to be a theme on this website) didn’t watch the Oscars. The next day, the blogosphere directed…me to clips of John Legend and Common’s acceptance speech, which moved me. Very much. As did their performance of the song “Glory” itself. Their discussion of the history of triumph and the ongoing struggle of blacks in America was brave, important, and resonant. Their song, with its insistence on highlighting Ferguson in the context… >> Read More
For the first time in six years, there was a guard outside our shul on Shabbat. It’s not one of the big historic synagogue buildings in Center City Philadelphia, which has, like many large…synagogues, been employing security services for years. It’s a small--but growing--rabbi-led minyan that meets on top of a store. We have an awning with our name, but there aren’t any city signs pointing the way to our modest quarters. And yet, this week, there was a guard posted outside. I grew up in one of… >> Read More
I’m a pretty laid-back parent about most things. My kids eat dirt, play with (plastic) knives, and spend a lot of time on the counter helping me cook. I rarely think to warn others when they have…colds (I’m trying to remember!), because I would never expect the same. Colds are a part of life, and will probably help them in the long run, as frustrating as they are now. My kids run around, make messes, get sick, get better, and generally (I hope) have a lot of fun. (It’s not always… >> Read More
Three kids in, I will nurse (and have done) in front of anyone. Father-in-law? Check. Rabbi? Check. Boss? Check. Graduate students? Check. Everyone who goes to my local park, grocery store, coffee…shop, and (obviously) doctor’s office? Check, check, check, and (obviously) check. To me, nursing is natural, life-giving and life-affirming, and simply a part of my baby’s nutritional needs, much like any other kind of food. Pumping is a different story. I barely let my spouse see me pump, let alone anyone else. Where nursing is… >> Read More
I remember clearly the day that I learned for sure that I know nothing. I was standing in line at the dollar store, casually eavesdropping on the woman ahead of me talk with the woman behind the…register about feeding their ravenous newborns. I nodded smugly, caressing my huge belly and thinking back to when my other two kids were new and endlessly hungry. I smiled, confident in my ability to empathize and ready to interject a wise comment as a soon-to-be mother of three. And then I stopped to actually listen.… >> Read More