Category Archives: Clap it up!

Barbie’s New Body


The news was just released that Barbie is getting a new body to be more realistic for the average girl’s body. And my initial reaction was, “FINALLY, MATTEL GOT THE MESSAGE.”  We know that this concept of realistic body images for girls is a hit and some folks have taken it into their own hands to develop realistic dolls, like the founder of Lammily.

Now, the traditional Barbie isn’t getting replaced, but instead will have shelf sisters who are more diverse than ever. In addition, to the changes Mattel made in 2015 by offering different skin tones, Mattel is taking it a necessary step further by added three new body types to the product line: tall, petite and curvy, which also happen to come with different hair colors to best reflect the ever-changing trends of 21st century America. YASSSS!

Not only does this doll evolution develop young girls’ views on self body image in a healthier way, but it also provides a greater chance for play and imagination to run wild. All too often I found myself as a kid throwing doll parties in Barbie’s dream townhouse (complete with pulley elevator) and I often forgot who was hosting the shindig because Veterinarian Barbie looked like Nurse Barbie or wait, was that Ballerina Barbie? — all Barbies in my play trunk looked the same — bright smile, blonde hair, trim waste, always shoeless — except with the only identifier being her clothing, which I changed regularly. Girls now will have the opportunity to play with dolls that closely reflect what’s currently out in the world allowing them to develop more character personas which lead to creative playtime and ultimately growing their reasoning that yes, we’re all people but what makes us beautiful is our differences.

I’m ecstatic that after years of media and bloggers like myself urging Mattel to make changes by exposing the false realities of Barbie’s biology they finally listened. And the new and improved dolls went on sale today at and I’m interested to see how well they do in terms of sales and outreach to more moms, daughters and other Barbie enthusiasts.


Watch the video from Mattel on why this evolution is important to them — AKA Mattel showcasing that they’ve received our messages loud and clear!



Showing Serena Williams the Love-Love

With any moment in history there will always be the haters, those that “just couldn’t believe it” and flex their muscles behind their keyboard sending angry tweets. It’s been long past due to start embracing these history makers, not putting a giant poop emoji over their head. But I also realize that this world is just as cruel as it is righteous. One step forward, 5 steps back…yup, it’s not like I haven’t said that before. I welcome the history makers and those who aim to challenge society and succeed despite those holding them back. Power through.

And there is no greater power than that of all-star athlete in the tennis world, Serena Williams. She’s done so much on the court while staying true to who she is off the court while giving those sexists and racists haters the big ol’ “look at me now.”

So, it wasn’t all that surprising that people would have rather had a horse be Sports Illustrated’s sportsperson of the year. THIS.IS.NOT.A.DRILL.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, hold your horses. Sure, American Pharaoh was one heck of an athlete winning the Triple Crown this year, but a “person” (see also: human) he is not. One trot at a time, I say.

I’m going to clap it up for Williams and shush the racists and sexists because Williams is a historic pick. She is the first woman to win as a solo athlete since 1984. She is the first woman the magazine has ever honored on her own. And she looks damn good doing it showing power, strength and dominance on the cover in her much-deserved throne. She dominates her sport in every capacity and now she does the same as sportsperson of the year! Take that racist and sexist haters.


P!nk gives fat-shaming critics the one-two punch!

I’ve always loved P!nk because her music is powerful, her performances are full of beautiful, dare devil aerial antics and her bold girl power prowess knows no bounds. So when twitter gave her ish for looking voluptuous in a black dress while attending a cancer benefit rather than, you know, giving focus to the cause at hand: cancer. She responded to the hate in a way more of us should—she spoke up! Ohhh girl, did she!

Her response is “f*&kin’ perfect,” to quote one of her song titles.
“I can see that some of you are concerned about me from your comments about my weight,” she wrote in a tweet. “You’re referring to the pictures of me from last night’s cancer benefit that I attended to support my dear friend Dr. Maggie DiNome. She was given the Duke Award for her tireless efforts and stellar contributions to the eradication of cancer. But unfortunately, my weight seems much more important to some of you.”

She continued…
“While I admit that the dress didn’t photograph as well as it did in my kitchen, I will also admit that I felt very pretty,” she continued. “In fact, I feel beautiful.”
It’s so easy to be hateful behind a keyboard, but we have to remember it’s just as easy to overcome the hate and be an example and voice of many too. So just when I thought P!nk was all </endrant> she replied to many of her fans tweets and shared them making me feel super OK with consuming that personal pizza at lunch. Dawwww I heart my body even more now. Curvalicious, FTW.

And my personal fav…because it really is all about balance



P!nk concluded with, “So, my good and concerned peoples, please don’t worry about me. I’m not worried about me. And I’m not worried about you either,” P!nk concluded. “I am perfectly fine, perfectly happy, and my healthy, voluptuous and crazy strong body is having some much deserved time off.”

So instead of offering these compliments or being too hard on yourself, cut yourself a break would ya (P!nk did!) , because you my dear, are BE.YOU.tiful!

Holidays: Made with Code

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree, how lovely are your coded branches.
Ya see, around the extravagant National Tree there are state trees often covered with ornaments made NationalXMasTreeby students, community groups, etc. However, this year I, you, us got to participate in designing an 8 second pattern on our state’s tree through the great gift of tech, through code, and it’s all thanks to Google’s initiative “Made with Code,” who invited girls from across the country to make this season a little brighter by lighting up a holiday tree and sharing it with friends.

I love this idea, encouraging girls to hone their creativity and put into digital coded form. Why? Because today, less than 1% of girls are majoring in computer science. And currently women are under represented in companies, labs, design, boardrooms and organizations that make technology happen.

I myself couldn’t wait to make my 8 seconds of fame on the Virginia state tree that went live December 8 at 8:02p.m. I went to the site and I was actually surprised as I was expecting to see actual lessons for code complete with line breaks and about a gajillion of these </>, but instead there were just drop downs and drag and drops with selections for colors, movement and design. But for youngsters I guess it makes sense to show that by using the building blocks of pattern, color and movement creates a unique final product, digitally.

From me to you, Happy Holidays and have a joyous New Year!


A Nobel Prize to Girls Everywhere

I know I know, two posts in one week, especially after being silent for what seems like an eternity! But I could not contain myself any longer! This is a huge day and weekend for the girl world!

Today, Malala Yousafzai won the Nobel Peace Prize for her bravery and ability to triumph suppression and draw attention not just to her experience of being denied an education in her home country of Pakistan, but for all young girls around the globe, who want to go to school to receive the freedom that education provides. Malala came to global attention after the Taliban shot her in the head about 2 years ago, for her resilient efforts to promote educations for girls in Pakistan. After recovery, Malala made it her life’s mission to be the spokeswoman for girls education around the globe. According to the Nobel committee, at 17-years-old, Malala is the youngest peace prize winner, ever. You go Malala! You are no doubt a nobel prize to me and girls everywhere!

The prize was shared with Kailash Satyarthi, 60, of India for his efforts on promoting education for young people while shedding light on the grave exploitation of children for financial gain.

This announcement comes just one day before International Day of the Girl Child this Saturday, October 11 with the theme: Empowering Adolescent Girls: Ending the Cycle of Violence.  Two years ago, the United Nations declared in a resolution that “empowerment and an investment in girls are key in breaking the cycle of discrimination and violence and in promoting and protecting the full and effective enjoyment of their human rights,” from that resolution, International Day of the Girl was born. The purpose of the day (though more like a movement, a “dayvement”?) is to raise awareness and promote causes and issues surrounding girl culture in today’s world from freedom and education to safety and ultimately, equality. Many are taking to social media to share why they’re raising awareness by using the hashtag #dayofthegirl.

Look out for my tweets throughout the day tomorrow!

In conclusion I leave you with some Friday inspiration from Malala herself!

Dancing With Uncertainty

RachelIn a few days, she leaves. I’m sending her off with a plate of sushi and a warm hug. But rather than a “good-bye,” I don’t do well with those, they seem so permanent, so infinite; instead I offer my “see ya later.”

She’s embracing the unknown and squeezing it so tight that I know she will succeed. She’s rocket launching into a new chapter, a new country and a new language—a new life—and I couldn’t admire her more.

She will have gumption. She will have the strength that I’m not sure she knows she has deeply-rooted inside. She will make change, not just in her life, but also in all of those who have the opportunity to be touched by her goodwill and humor.

She will have an experience of a lifetime having big adventures in little Africa, adventures that I can’t wait to tagalong with by reading her words and seeing her photos (thank goodness for the Internet).

Her bravery and fearlessness are constant reminders to take chances, to embrace the unknown in my life, and to not be afraid of what’s to come, but to rather enjoy the journey. While she is gone I’m going to try my best to live loudly, like she is on the other side of the world, as I make attempts and steps to achieving my goals and dreams, because it is because of her that I’ve realized, if you don’t start you won’t grow, learn, change and above all experience.

Love you, Rachel. Cheers to “dancing with uncertainty” as you serve in the Peace Corps in Cameroon, Africa!

Remember: Be Bold. Be Brave. But always Be You!

A Breath of Fresh Aerie

aerieREALThere’s a new real beauty advertising campaign on the rise by American Eagle apparel’s lingerie line, Aerie. Its spring 2014 advertisements will not be featuring Photoshop retouched images. (Cue happy dance.)

Aerie seems to be taking their lead from Dove’s Real Beauty campaign who took a risk and cannonballed into the deep end of the body image pool 10 years ago, and fortunately surfaced with numerous viral advertisements that are changing the way women view themselves.

What makes Aerie different? It’s young. Founded in 2006, Aerie is aimed at the high school and college female demographic. Females between the ages of 15-21 are the most impressionable when it comes to their sense of body image and these self-opinions are often dictated by what is seen in the media.

Aerie hopes to make women feel confident about the body they’re rockin’ and is asking them to participate by tagging photos of themselves using the hashtag #AerieREAL. Because “the real you is sexy.” (oh, snap!)

Though the ads still feature beautiful girls with model-like features: hourglass figures, legs-for-days, blemish-free faces, it still beats the alternative where images are digitally sculpted and shaped by the strokes of an (air) brush.

What do you think about Aerie’s real campaign? Good idea? Bad idea? Marketing ploy?

Let me know in the comments!

14 Things to Start Doing in 2014

In the spirit of the New Year I’m listing 14 things we women, girls, females need to start doing in 2014!

Ready, steady, GO!

1. Say “yes” to yourself more
and “no” others or activities that really just don’t give you that “omg, I’m going to pee my pants I’m so excited” feeling! 

2. Exercise not to “get thin”, but because endorphins make you feel all the happies
Because, science

3. Accepting that life is a journey and you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be
hey fate, I’m looking at you

NewYear20144. Take a deep breath and relax
Maybe it’s yoga, a massage, some peace and quiet with a good book, or even a glass of wine. cheers! *clink*

5. Cherish moments with family & friends focusing more on the experience of being with each other and…

6. For the love of all things, put down the phone and walk a way
We’re all guilty of it. Desperately wanting to capture that moment, freeze it in time for eternity, posting it on the web, for eternity, but what about relishing the moment without the digital device? Try it. I think you and I will like it! 

7. Be mindful of spending
This year I have a goal of finally getting out of my parents house, yup I’m 25 and live at home because 1) real estate and rent in the DC metro area in outrageous and 2) I’d rather spend money on bottomless brunches and traveling. I’m tracking my spending, maybe cutting out some traveling, setting up automatic banking transfers to my savings, getting my Roth IRA up to speed and start some investing. Oh hey adulthood, waddup. By focusing on these simple and sometimes daunting tasks your 65 year old self will be happy to retire and not be poor. YAY!

8. Dance more, because again happies
Whether you dance in the club, Zumba at the gym, take salsa or line dance lessons or simply prancercise around your bedroom in your undies, we all need to let loose! 

9. Write life in a journal
When I was 10, I started my journaling experience filling up an entire composition book of my thoughts and daily activities, and I can’t wait to stumbled upon that lovely piece of literary (ha!) work! Writing is therapeutic and often allows us to reflect on our day, week, month.  Plus, it’ll be fun for your relatives to comb through your life archives when you’re 90.

10. Finish things you start, this includes books, movies, and dreams
HUGE focus on dreams.  For about a year, I’ve had this business idea I’ve let fear wiggle its way in to my psyche! You can’t fail if you never take that first step and START! Getting to it “later” often means “never.”  That thing you’ve been waiting to start, be like Nike and just do it! 

11. Start to put yourself out into the dating world.
Personally, I was pretty dang bold in the realm of dating in the latter half of 2013, I randomly Facebook messaged one of these handsome guys from Inside Edition segment (successfully going out on a few dates), tweeted at Ryan Kerrigan of the Washington Redskins to be my NYE date. (to no avail) But seriously if anyone knows Kerrigan, holler atcha girl!!

12. Start believing in yourself
This is kind of like number 10, but if you can dream it you can do it. And for us fierce females we have to start doing because we are capable and we shouldn’t let the media, men, other females or anyone else dampen that spirit.

13. Learn something new
Coding, Photography, and there’s always those Pinterest recipes and crafts that no matter how many you pin, they will not make themselves.

14. Be you!

WHAT ARE SOME THINGS YOU’RE GOING TO START DOING IN 2014?!? Leave a comment! Happy New Year!

Reinventing the Princess

A few weeks ago I heard about a new movement to reinvent the ‘Princess’ that we’ve become accustomed to little girls in our lives idolizing or dressing up as to collect treats during Halloween. You know the princesses I’m talking about, starts with “Diz” ends in “knee.” (say it out loud, friends).

Guardian Princess Alliance (GPA) has created a story book series that is on a quest to smash the Disney stereotypes into smithereens by characterizing new and culturally diverse princesses with a multitude of talents, knowledge, and special powers while incorporating different traditions native to countries around the world.

With the book series, GPA aims to transform the cultural meaning of princess into a positive role model who takes actions to help protect living beings and preserve the planet for future generations while moving the focus of the stories of each princess away from external beauty.

Though I have not read a story quite yet, (I hope to get a copy soon!) I have faith in this cause because it’s an equal mixture of education & interest (and uber talented illustrators!)

The books aim to teach girls that it’s not just about how a princess looks that makes her successful and a leader. Instead, this stereotype gets flipped on its noggin’ and allows these princesses to take ownership and leadership roles in their communities by being a guardian of “the land”, “the sea”, “animals”, “healing forests,” etc. all the while looking different (for once). Having the princesses represent different cultures is probably my favorite part of this story series because it gives the characters depth and creates an atmosphere that no matter what culture/country a girl comes from she too can be a leader, a princess.

  • Princess = hot topic

Now, originally I wasn’t a fan of using “princess” at all to describe this new movement, but you have to think of marketing and what’s not only going to get the parent’s attention but also the girls to read up! So, I get it.

  • Environment = sizzling topic

With the ozone layer depleting, talks of global warming, animals going extinct and forestry being something of the past, a huge concern for parents (I haven’t checked with little girls) is ‘will there be something for my child or grandchild etc. to enjoy?’

  • Girl Power = balmy topic

This is a movement, creating these spaces whether its through literary works, campaigns, blogs like these, and organizations the topic of preparing girls to become the young and confident women of the future is ongoing and ever present in the mainstream media.

Now, here’s my ask! You know there’s always is one! (or 5) I encourage you to donate to the Indiegogo campaign (, which is set to close Nov 1!
No doll hairs ($$) to spare? It’s cool, leave a comment below answering the question, “If you could be a guardian princess of anything ever, what would it be?” If you leave a comment I may have a surprise for you! Anddddd I know people heart surprises! (it’s good, reallllly good, promise!)