Category Archives: Print

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.

H/T Vox.com

Don’t Believe The Sales Pitches: No “Losing 15 pounds in 15 minutes” is NOT possible

Run on over to RunHaven.com where I wrote a story about how important it is to put down the latte and back away from the fitness magazines splattered with sales pitches making it seem possible to get a six pack in six minutes. Hint: it’s not.

So kick the miracle drugs and workout plans right in the gonads and instead try these steps instead! 

Amen, Lorde!

She’s never seen a diamond in the flesh, she cuts her teeth on wedding rings in the movies because she’s just that badass, so naturally, we’re on each other’s team.

Lorde, music’s royalty and über talented 17 year-old became my Twitter heroine March 30. P.S. how is she only 17, amiright?!

She tweeted a side-by-side photos of herself, one photoshopped eliminating her blemishes and another sans editing with this amazing caption: i find this curious—two photos from today, one edited so my skin is perfect and one real. remember flaws are ok :-)

Being that she’s a 17 year-old (again, HOW?!) and in blinding light of fame, it’s refreshing that she use her fame as an opportunity to shatter some p-shoppin’. By using Twitter she was able to reach her fans directly (which I’m sure many are teens themselves) using herself as an example of the unrealistic results of photoshop and telling her fans that giving your flaws a big ol’ hug is a good thing, because it makes you, you.
Amen, Lorde!
Other celebrities should jump on this golf cart to dissecting photo editing! Forrreeee!!

Where Are You Most Beautiful?

What if I asked you, “where are you most beautiful?” What would be your response?

For father and Clinical psychologist, Dr. Kelly Flanagan he wants his “Little One” to always know where her beauty exists: on the inside.
I LOVE THIS.

bonus points if you notice what's similar about these covers.

bonus points if you notice what’s similar about these covers.

Dr. Flanagan wrote a letter to his 4-year-old little girl on his blog about the oppressive language that’s seen up and down the make-up aisle of retail stores (and on the covers of magazines.) These words having staying power, power that grabs you by the throat and shakes you while saying (subconsciously) you’re not beautiful if you’re not “ageless,” “zit-free,” or “flawless.” (also see: clean.clear.and under control.)

He points out that after having a daughter he started to realize she’s just as strong and a force in this world to be reckoned with. She has the same gifts, potential and passions as any man. High-five, Daddio! Observing the words listed in the packaging of the make-up aisle many people, including her, won’t view her as someone that is fully capable of greatness, instead she will be thought of as a play thing or just a pretty face to gawk at. Society, you’re rude.

In his letter, father Flanagan (nope, not a priest, but it does have a nice ring to it) didn’t change the words marketers use, but instead gave them a new meaning, a better meaning. He redefined the make-up aisle.

Here are my favorite redefines:

Brilliant strength. May your strength be not in your fingernails but in your heart. May you discern in your center who you are, and then may you fearfully but tenaciously live it out in the world.

Infallible. May you be constantly, infallibly aware that infallibility doesn’t exist. It’s an illusion created by people interested in your wallet. If you choose to seek perfection, may it be in an infallible grace—for yourself, and for everyone around you.

Choose your dream. But not from a department store shelf. Find the still-quiet place within you. A real dream has been planted there. Discover what you want to do in the world. And when you have chosen, may you faithfully pursue it, with integrity and with hope.

He ends the letter with reminding his “Little One” that when she gets older and perhaps may want to wear make up, she should never forget where she is most beautiful: on the inside.

This letter truly touched me and I think more fathers, mothers, and overall people should take the time to dissect the beauty veil and how it impacts young girls/women psyches. I have found so much inspiration from Dr. Flanagan that next week I will be writing a letter to my own (unborn) daughter and posting it here.
In the meantime, I’m curious what life lessons you would include in your own letter to your child? Leave these nuggets ‘o wisdom in the comments! 

 

 

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!)

Education:
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.
Interest:

  • 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 (http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-guardian-princesses), 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!)
gp_slide1

Teachable Moments Through a Lens

notjustagirl

by Jaime Moore, Jaime Moore Photography

Tis the season for all things dress up! As the air crisps, mums bloom and pumpkin flavored everything takes over, (reason numero uno I love fall) thinking about “what am I going to be for halloween” haunts the creative crevices in my brain as well as many young girls.

Will they go with the Mean Girls approach?
“Halloween is the one day a year you can dress like a total slut and no one can say anything.”

The Disney Princess approach?
You know the tutus, tiaras, wands, glitter and twirling all of the twirling (OK before everyone gives me a onetwopunch I love all of those princessy things, exhibitA) But I think Halloween is a time to use your creativity and brain power to come up with an original idea, a homemade creation, something totally silly or having to do with pop culture. Sorry Sally, princesses were so 2008. But just to prove I’m not living under a rock, though it was pretty comfortable there before Facebook, I totes know princesses of the Disney variety will be forever and ever (amen) be a “thing” until the next cultural fad comes into focus blurs all the other lines (link).

So in the spirit of Halloween I want to give a standing ovation to Jaime Moore, a photographer and mother of a 5-year-old young lady, for thinking out side the Mean Girls and Disney Princess mold!

When searching for creative inspiration to take photos of her daughter she stepped away from the fantasy driven princess mantra and centered on real women, history (herstory? hehe…I mean herher?) changing women.

What she did was spot on and not to mention inspirational like whoa.  She dressed her daughter as five women in history—Helen Keller, Amelia Earhart, Susan B. Anthony, Coco Chanel and Jane Goodall—and before the shutter snapped she educated her daughter on each woman’s great achievements. What up teachable moments!

Moore said in Ellen Degeneres’ The Good News column that it was important to educate young girls that there are other role models besides princesses.

“I realized there’s nothing else out there right now when you look at toddlers or young girls’ ideas for costumes or anything. Disney princesses are everywhere,” she says. “I think it would be nice to broaden the horizon a bit… there are real women and real role models for them to look up to.”

Who is your favorite history-making female? Let me know in the comments, pumpkin.

 

How P!nkly Put: “Reformed Slut”iness and The Talk

Driving to work today I heard on the radio, clearly my only sense of mobile news while my iPhone containing my Twitter feed is safely tucked away to resist temptation…. Any way, P!nk told Glamour Magazine that she is a “reformed slut.” It’s her “unsophisticated way of taking my power back.” P!nk has always, in my eyes been a woman of strength with a no-bullshit attitude who takes risks. All-in-all, I’m a fan.

Photo by Ellen Von Unwerth.

Photo by Ellen Von Unwerth.

First, let me say I understand what she was “Try”ing to do. She is aiming to give the “slut” stigma a good ‘ol drop kick and subside the double standard that exists when men and women do a casual sheet dance. Why is it that men are labeled as “the man,” “player” or even “stud” all of which have a positive definition while women are labeled as “slut,” “whore,” and any fill in the blank derogatory label here? Using the phrase she did is clearly garnering a lot of attention by being so P!nkly put.

What really got me fuming was while I was on lunch today we have the ladies of The Talk (CBS) coming through the wall-mounted TV. They were babbling on about their Emmy nominations, which proceeded to have the cue card holders’ arms fall off because of the straight 5 minutes of applause that was required in the opening segment. The ladies then with a lack of finesse moved into a discussion about P!nk’s statement.

Host Aisha Tyler mentioned that she actually uses the word to squash the societal stigma and “take it away” from men using it. Host Julie Chen agreed and tries to flip the script by using it to describe men’s sexual promiscuity as “slutty.” I’m sorry, but using the word in any size, shape, connotation, or WHATever makes it seem OK for others to continue using it. The way Julie and Aisha are using the word seems comfortable, comfortable enough to use it. Sorry ladies, not the right approach. Just.don’t.use.it. Period.

Continue reading

The Feminine Feminist: Strong, Successful and Stylish with Sparkle

We can’t be feminine and be feminist and be successful?

Zooey Deschanel begs to differ:
“I want to be a f‑-king feminist and wear a f–king Peter Pan collar. So f–king what?”

Zooey Deschanel cover of Glamour Magazine.

Does any one else see the irony of telling a magazine like Glamour that you’re a feminist when you’re surround by these other topics?

My thoughts exactly. In an interview with Glamour magazine she not only told them that she was a feminist but an effing feminist. Does any one else see the irony of telling a magazine like Glamour that you’re a feminist? But thatttt’s a whole different blog post.
In today’s culture women are supposed to be sweet, coy and passive. PROBLEM. Especially for me. I am an independent, strong, successful woman but also stylish. I love fashion. Truth. Does that make me any less of a feminist? No. I know there are different degrees of feminism but one thing I think they all have in common is shattering the limits that society has set for women.  And by limits I mean stereotypes. And by society I mean the media. As Salon’s Mary Elizabeth Williams wrote in referring to Zooey’s statement, “This is exactly what feminism looks like. It’s not frightened or demure; it’s unconditional. And it wears a tiara if is wants to.” Hell yes it does.
Why is it that culture slaps a strong woman in the face, figuratively for the most part, for being “slutty,” “bitchy,” or “mannish.”
A perfect example of media abuse is Hillary Rodham Clinton. In case you’ve been living Continue reading

Photo-shop or Drop?

Dove Canada’s recent ad campaign by Ogilvy Toronto used reverse psychology of sorts to inform those graphic designers, photo editors and art directors, who are responsible for copying, pasting, shrinking, deforming, whitening images what Real Beauty really is. In order to get straight to the source of the problem, said editors, Dove packaged their message to in the form of a Photoshop Action, a downloadable file that applies an effect with a single click. They created their “Beautify” Action that appeared to add a skin glow effect and planted it on websites that these creatives already visit. However, it reverted the image they were applying this “glow” to back to its original pre-altered state. Genius….though I suppose a bit misleading. Ok, ok a lot misleading.

Advertisements, magazines, “get skinny” websites, and social media networks like Pinterest are often the sources of what we as females, and males for that matter, view as beautiful. It’s everywhere! We are suffocated daily by these images and sure, we understand this celebrity or that model are apart of this fantasy world when we’re flipping the pages of a magazine or scrolling endlessly on our computers. But we are often left standing in front of the mirror naked going “wait, where did that dimple come from and when did that zit decide to rent space on my face?” It’s bonkers, and it makes me mad. Hmph.

Continue reading

Bringing Healthy Back!

Who says healthy women can’t be sexy? Fashion Runways. With far-too-skinny models stomping the runways of London’s and New York’s fashion week last week, the discussions of body image and “what is too skinny?” surfaced.

Sure, there have been other efforts from several fashion organizations around the world, but most emphasize age minimums and healthy working environments, whatever that means. I want numbers people!

For the country of Israel, enough was enough.

Adi Barkan, an iconic fashion photographer was the one who spearheaded the efforts to bring the image of the healthy model back after one of his models died in his arms from anorexia. Barkan told NBC News, “When a child looks at the TV and they want to be skinny not for any reason just because they saw beautiful and skinny girls, that, we can change.” And change he did. Barkan pressed Israeli politicians to draw up and pass a law that bans models from working who have a lower body mass index (BMI) than 18.5, or less than 118 pounds if you’re 5’7’’. Wowzah. The law also enforces clear written disclaimers in magazines and newspapers advertisements that have digitally enhanced images.

Continue reading