Category Archives: Social

Grow Your Voice To New Decibels

BeBoldIt’s time to be bolder, older. The complex navigation of the “in between stage” is something we all go through, some of you might be there now, and others have come out on the other end, thriving.

There’s this new phenomenon, OK not new just now being talked about (finally). It is the “losing their voice” phenomenon that is muting girls in the adolescent phase through to adulthood as they become more astute to the culture and societal, albeit ridiculous, standards infiltrating their psyche.

Does this really happen? Absolutely, I’ve been a witness to it time and time again through friends and young girls I interact with at the dance studio. Does it have to happen? No way! And here’s why…

When I was young, I was the girl that hid behind my mother’s legs in elevators, never uttering a peep until I got into the house or car with my family—my “safe” space, while other kids were running around giving their unfiltered opinion of the world around them. Today, I’m a more confident woman, who is bold and isn’t afraid of voicing my opinion, something that has developed over time and really escalating in the last few years, post-college. Who do I have to thank for that?
The real world: It’s complete with an all-too-often male-dominated (we’re working on that!), career driven environment forcing me to be ballsy and step out of my comfort zone.
My mother and other positive female role models and entrepreneurs in my life: They encourage me to be vocal, go after what I want (no matter how big the dream) and never bat an eye at the haters (because haters gon’ hate..hate..hate..)

How can you encourage those girls and women currently idle in this “in between”? Well, Fast Company published a well-articulated article to encourage women to not be comfortable fitting in the feminine and often “passive” role, but to instead be confident, fearless and wildly obsessed with their lives and own their opinions!

Here’s my commentary on Fast Company’s list on how to pump up the girls and women in your life (p.s. you’re included in this!):
1. Encouraging their interests
If it’s boxing, snowboarding, dancing, or putting together vision boards lift them up.  Step into their world, be curious and ask questions, who knows you may learn something yourself. Never ever, shrug it off or tear them down for being into something that’s not your mug o’ joy.

2. Call out and monitor the media, which includes user generated social media (Instagram, I’m looking at you) and be avid in smashing the stereotypes into smithereens through discussions 😉

3. Watch your own talk
OK, THIS IS THE HARDEST. If I’m having a downtrodden day, we all have them, and overall feel “bleh” about my body, I try to spin it around and find something positive about myself, rather than intoxicating my social feeds both online and IRL with my “woe is me” messages, that inadvertently girls and women are reading and listening to which leads to the appearance dictating self-worth in their subconscious, similarly to those Photoshopped teen magazines that show the unrealistic beauty standards. This is a great practice for all you mothers and sisters out there who are constantly around your favorite girl!

4. Create a safe space for them to express themselves
For me, growing up, my expression was in the dance studio, which looking back is strange because I think dance has a stigma of being body obsessed.  I was fortunate enough to grow up in a studio that believes dance is for everyone (shape, size, color—all are welcome!)

5. Bring awareness to the “loss of voice” phenomenon!
Sometimes talking it out (or writing it out) and helping others see that this does happen at their age—but it doesn’t have to—if you’re surrounded by the right people with the right uplifting messages you will forever build your voice to new decibels.

 

 

7 Keys to “ Social ” Security

7keysToday’s teens have run rampant on the Internet with their shares and over shares through photos, mindless tweets and hormones. Oh…the hormones. But seeing what these teens share on their social networking sites is embarrassing to their older selves.

All I’m saying is I’m grateful that I joined the digital world in the early 2000s when the Internet was dial up, (“Mom, get off the phone I want to use the Internet!”) AOL AIM was the new cool way to communicate with your friends because your razor phone didn’t have texting, and Twitter just simply meant you were a “twit” x 2.

Unfortunately, teens don’t have the luxury of Facebook being exclusive to the college crowd with those legit .edu emails, but instead they have the freedom of expression when and wherever they feel the urge to share. YAY FREEDOM! But as former first lady, Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “with great freedom comes great responsibility.” Responsibility…that pesky trait that is thrust upon us (most of the time) with age. When I was a teen, I was carefree and the only thing I was “responsible” for was completing my homework on time, acing that test, being a good friend, and the occasional laundry load. Now, at an earlier age, teens are responsible for their adult future the moment they create their first online profile.

Social networks make sharing a feeling, thought or angst too easy. Have a feeling? Type it out or snapshot it and put it out into the world. BAMZINGO. Easy Peasy. No second thoughts or maybe even first thoughts needed. It’s not like Facebook asks you, “are you sure you want to post this hateful message about Caroline to your timeline,” before you post said hateful message. Sure, for some period of time there’s a feeling of relief or a sense of pride and importance. Because today popularity is based on how many people “like” your selfie picture you just shared on Instagram, never mind the fact that many of your followers are trolls, bots or worse yet, sex offenders.

An article published in The Washington Post regarding how FLOTUS, Michele Obama, and how she is educating her daughters, Malia and Sasha, to navigate this Wild Wild Web era.

“I think they are [some] of the first kids in the White House growing up where everybody’s got a cell phone and everybody’s watching, Michele Obama said in a 2012 interview with women’s magazine, iVillage.

“We just have to have real conversations even now, it’s: ‘You can’t go off on somebody. You can’t act bratty. You may be having a moment but somebody could use that moment and try to define you forever.’”

The “forever” part is what many teens (and even college coeds) skip over. Even if that angsty tweet included every shade of profanity is deleted, it’s still there. The Library of Congress has it in their archives, seriously, (MWHAHA) and it can and will come back and rear its ugly truth when you’re interviewing for your dream job. Because just as you are defining who you are IRL (in real life), with every posting, comment, or “like” you’re defining who you are online—your persona.

With that, I give you 7 Keys to “Social” Security

1. Don’t follow for the sake of acquiring more followers.
Quality over quantity, people. 

2. Avoid posting random thoughts that no one, including you, will understand tomorrow.
That’s what a private journal is for after all, your private thoughts, complaints about friends, family, and boyfriend. 

3. Think. Think some more. Then Post.
As this becomes a more digital age, digital personas (whether true to your IRL persona)  will play a role in how you’re viewed offline:  Future employers, college admissions,  significant others, etc. will care how you behave (or don’t) online. 

4. Don’t post for the sake of posting.
Post because what you’re saying has a why! 

5. Don’t have usernames like “faggotbaby” and  “nookiecookies”.
Just don’t, be more creative (a.k.a. less profane), or if you’re not the creative type, simply go with your name or a version of it.

6. Refrain from posting, tweeting or retweeting images (even if you didn’t take them) that could land you in jail.
“Valentine’s day is coming up…” [insert photo of a heart-shaped candy box, but instead of chocolates it’s clumps of fresh weed…]
Seriously, I found that in a teens feed! 

7. Sharing is caring.
Tell a friend that they’re tweets about so-and-so “being a hoe” is not only online bullying, but also will show up again and again when they’re application is sitting in the admissions office of their dream college or when they’re on an interview for that dream job. 

Online, the future is now!

How are you protecting yourself, your siblings, friends, or for you parents out there, your children.

 

When a News Anchor Proves Sexism is Still Strong

You know that whole one step forward and three steps backward mentality? Yeah, our culture seems to do this with sexism and that’s just not here in the states, but globally.

By now, you may have heard the experiment an Australian news anchor for “Today” Karl Stefanovic sported the same blue suit for an entire year (a YEAR!) just to see if people would notice, since the comments from viewers have been relentless on his co-anchor, Lisa Wilkinson. The verdict? Not a soul noticed his repetitive ensemble for 365 days.

He comments:

No one has noticed; no one gives a $%*t. But women, they wear the wrong colour and they get pulled up. They say the wrong thing and there’s thousands of tweets written about them. Women are judged much more harshly and keenly for what they do, what they say and what they wear.

I’ve worn the same suit on air for a year –- except for a couple of times because of circumstance –- to make a point. I’m judged on my interviews, my appalling sense of humour – on how I do my job, basically. Whereas women are quite often judged on what they’re wearing or how their hair is … that’s [what I wanted to test].

 

I admire Stefanovic for conducting such an experiment, it was necessary in bringing, once again, the scrutiny women face daily and how their “legitimacy” of their thoughts and genius are often pushed aside based on how they look.

President of Barnard College and author of “Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection,” Debra Spar told The Huffington Post last year, “We are sadly still living in an era in which women’s looks are just much more subject to constant appraisal than is the case for men, Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin and nearly every woman who has run for office wind up having their clothing and their hairstyles receive way more attention than they really should.”

I couldn’t agree more! A lot of this type of evidence is in the documentary, Miss Representation. If you haven’t yet seen it, it’s worth a viewing!

Here’s the clip from the Australian news cast where they reported on the anchor’s experiment.

Any one notice how uncomfortable they are with defining what sexism is?! *cringe*
Help the news anchors out! How would you define sexism? Let me know in the comments!
Me?  I tend to agree with sex education activist, Laci Green, on the topic of sexism. Sexism is the “exclusion and unequal power in society,” it effects both men and women.

This Ain’t No Mad Men Party: Show Women The Money!

showwomenmoneyMad Men, an AMC television show that throws you back to an era of chain smoking, business dealing, and treating women in the workplace, and in general, like they’re less.

Today is Equal Pay day, a day when a woman finally catches up to what a man doing the same job made in 2013. #Truthbombs, ya’ll. This is not a day to be celebrated, but to instead bring awareness to the stereotypes that clench our culture and continuing to infiltrate in our economy. Even when women work full-time, year-round, they still only make 77 percent (on average) of what men in their field make. Over the course of their working lives, women make between $400,000 and $2 million less than they would if they were paid fairly. I’m pretty sure this is a form of robbery.

It’s also a known fact that women have outnumbered men in attending and graduating from higher education institutions. I can verify this since James Madison University was 60 percent female and 40 percent male when I attended, which made the dating scene um…interesting.

Anywho! With that factoid tucked in our belt of knowledge it’s practical to draw the conclusion that more women in the work force have more education and/or equal education as their male colleagues. So if this ain’t no Mad Men party, why don’t we all make the same pay for the same work? Seems logical, given the evidence.

A lot of this discrimination stems from pay-secrecy policies issued by employers that punish employees if they utter a peep about salary. Ridiculous? Absolutely. But right now there is no federal law that broadly prohibits employers from penalizing and even firing employees just for talking about their salaries. At my full-time gig I don’t think there’s a policy in regards to pay, however, culturally it’s simply “not done.” People, in general, are hush hush about money in real dollars and cents, however, many have no problem flaunting their new designer handbag or new revved up ride that just rolled of the showroom floor in all its shiny glory.

I’m not sure if you’re aware of Lilly Ledbetter, she’s a women’s equality activist and back in her years working with Goodyear she was a victim of this discrimination. She worked for Goodyear from 1979-1998 and on her first day she was told to never discuss her pay, and it wasn’t until 10 years after she started working when an anonymous source dropped a letter in her locker that she realized she was being paid 40 percent less than her male colleagues in the same job title. This resulted in a Supreme Court Case (Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.) in the late 2007.

Today many women’s, labor, community groups are pushing a new bill in the Senate called the Paycheck Fairness Act, which will help close the wage gap between women and men working identical jobs and stiffen the penalties for corporations who continue to discriminate. The Paycheck Fairness Act will also be a much-needed update to the 50-year-old Equal Pay Act that was signed during the Kennedy administration.

Please take action and tell your Senator to SHOW ME WOMEN THE MONEY!

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!!

Karate Chopping Super Bowl Sexism

#NotBuyingIt app screenshot.

#NotBuyingIt app screenshot.

Social media has proven time and time again that it is a ninja raising awareness, causing chaos or in this instance, karate chopping (hiiiyahh) sexism in advertising.

For the past two years and before the existence of this blog, I would sit every Super Bowl Sunday in my yoga pants and Redskins jersey (yes, I’m aware they haven’t been to the big game since ’91) cross-legged on the couch nomming on mini potato skins (with bacon!), nachos con queso, watching teams of men go at it on the field to be the best in the nation. (Cue testosterone grunt.) And then there are the commercials drawing in the non-football fans to the TV. I think these commercials are always overhyped and in my opinion, pretty terrible and lack of creativity  (except for this one) because they too often degrade women, over sexualize women, and objectify women. For the record: If men were portrayed in these big game ads in similar ways, I would have the same problem. Why? Because “sex sells.” But me and many others are not buying it!
My thought: if the products and services were any good they wouldn’t need sex to sell them, amiright?

How many times did we see that Go Daddy commercial starring the first professional female race car driver, Danica Patrick and had NO CLUE WHAT GO DADDY WAS TRYING TO SELL?!?! This ad created that shock and awe factor I’ve talked about before, a buzz around the commercial that led people to figure out (thanks, Google) what or who Go Daddy is and what he was hiding under all that unnecessary sexism. This ad and many others are prime examples of advertising abuse, or not using advertising for the sake of selling, but for the sake of shocking (and awing).

These ads left a bad taste (and no, it wasn’t the queso) in the mouths of viewers everywhere who took to Twitter to share their disgust and concern by using the hashtag #NotBuyingIt. The #NotBuyingIt campaign, created by The Representation Project, is a movement that uses film and media content to expose injustices created by gender stereotypes and to shift people’s consciousness towards change. Due to the success of the campaign in the 2012 and 2013 Super Bowls an app was launched, which you can download for free from iTunes and upload your own examples in the media and everyday life of how sexism won’t sell.

I’ll be tweeting live during Super Bowl XLVIII using #NotBuyingIt and #MediaWeLike to call out the very worst and best in Super Bowl advertising. Super Bowl isn’t just a spectator sport, join me!

 

 

 

 

Bogus “Bikini Bridge”

bridgeWhat in the universe is a “Bikini Bridge” and who started such a thing?

“Bikini Bridge” is not a thing.

This breach of culture was started by the evil Internet imbeciles named 4chan (also responsible for “CuttingforBieber”) in an attempt to make girls hate their bodies (more than most of us already do) and feel insecure about not possessing this bogus body attribute. It’s the new “Thigh Gap” of 2014. No, no it’s not.  It was a test, of sorts, to see if the phenom would take off and become a society staple and so far, it’s working.

Now with 1,645 2,365 likes (since its inception, yesterday) the Facebook page is ever-growing with comments from mostly men (who are horned up, beep beep) rating the girls’ the “bridge” from 1-10. If a bikini bridge was a thing it would be formed when girls lay flat on their backs clad in a bikini and take a selfie of their undercarriage to capture the “bridge” of fabric created when their hips are protruding out farther than their stomach.

I couldn’t spend much time on the page because, well, I was starting to feel physically ill and tossing my cookies (mmm, cookies) was not on today’s to do list. The page description is “this is for those who don’t enjoy porn but do enjoy the erotic glimpse of Bikini Bridge. To see less is more.”

And click, buh-bye.

The Internet misfits weaseled their way into the Twitterverse where there is over 5,000 tweets using #bikinibridge hashtag as well as tragic blog posts that thought this “bridge” was the next body trending shaming thing, like this piece on Buzzfeed Community that shames women who don’t possess this counterfeit curvature and it’s by a woman.

Dropkick.

We have to do better, ladies. Because if we don’t, no one else will.

We have to take these hoaxes for what they are, FAKE, and instead of continuing to let them invade our culture, that’s already brittle, we have to put up those shields, blinders or both and be on the offensive (be ahead of the game, in control) of what we read in all mediums and what we write. We must do research to find truths instead of accepting a forged façade.

What words or phrases would you like to see banned from our culture? Ugly Cry? Bubble Butt? Thigh Gap?  Let me know in the comments!

Moral Panic Mode: Parents

Kid culture is a relatively new(ish) phenomena defined by adults, (yup, guilty) who often have a clouded perspective of today’s youth. Adults view kids through the lens of moral panic. A moral panic occurs “when the official or press reaction to a deviant social or cultural phenomenon is ‘out of all proportion’ to the actual threat offered” (Mazzarella, 2007, 48). In addition, it is when a group is defined as a threat to the values of society and interests (Mazzarella, 2007). The purpose of the next 4 blog posts is to define how…

1) parents, 2) marketers, 3) journalists/documentarians, and 4) researchers aid in the development of the moral panic between adult culture and kid culture.

ParentsDistribution of media like CDs and DVDs has led to parents forming groups against these dispersal tactics. Parents’ Music Resource Center (PMRC) came on the scene in 1985, started by high profiled wives such as Tipper Gore, (ex)wife of then-senator Al Gore. Tipper Gore was shocked when she first heard the Prince song “Darling Nikki,” because the song references masturbation (Mazzarella, 2007). Though at the time the PMRC aimed to require all music, though predominately focused on heavy metal rock, to have a warning label if it contained explicit content inappropriate for children. Their passion spread to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). In 1990 the RIAA adopted the “Parental Advisory/Explicit Lyrics” label that we now see when visiting record stores (Mazzarella, 2007). Though the high profiled wives and mothers were able to have their voices heard around the country, most parents don’t have the luxury. And with the popularity of online music sales through iTunes, Spotify, etc. the world of music (TV, movies, etc) is WIDE open for kids with a computer or smartphone and a wifi connection, see: EVERY kid, has access to any and all music.  

Parents are forced to create their own rules for use in their household from music and television to the Internet. “One approach is through ‘restrictive mediation,’ a practice in which parents make rules about amount or time of viewing allowed, define forbidden content, and use media as part of a reward or punishment system” (Bachen, 2007, 242). The younger the child the more rules are placed on when, where and for how long use can take place. Parents of adolescents may lower their guard when it comes to displaying their favorite media characters, simply because they have more control over it in the home. By letting their children take part in “adolescent room culture,” the bedroom becomes a place where he or she “engage in identity work and investigate their future possibilities through media,” (Fisherkeller, 2007, 229). However, as parents become more familiar with the medium, particularly the Internet, rules may evolve (Bachen, 2007).

“Parents are deeply fearful about the World Wide Web’s influence on their children, according to the Annenberg Public Policy Center’s national survey of parents in computer households in the United States” (Aikat, 2005, 3). The Internet is a main concern because of the wide-range of freedom it gives children (Stern and Willis, 2007). Yet another reason why Facebook should have never left their college niche. “Teens have more autonomy to do, say and go where they wish than they have had historically” (Stern and Willis, 2007, 217). The three ways teenagers use the Internet is for communication, information seeking, and content creation. They communicate with their friends through Instant Messaging, (awww RIP, AIM) Facebook Messaging and Text Messaging with the phones they now have and the ripe age of eight. Damn you societal norms. They also use the Internet to seek information for school assignments and often complete those assignments now completely online. Now, more popular than ever kids are posting photos via Instagram, tweeting tweets they shouldn’t be during school hours and maybe writing the occasional blog post. Despite these uses parents are still concerned with access to “inappropriate” content.

Having the world’s information at the thumbs of your kids is scary sure with websites that have content about “eating disorders, bomb making, alcohol, smoking, and most of all, pornography,” parents are concerned teens who are seeking information about these topics will find an overload of information easily and those teens not seeking this type of information may accidently stumble upon it (Stern and Willis, 2007, 218; Aikat, 2005). For example, whitehouse.gov is the official website of the government establishment, but an unknowing teen may accidently type in the dot com (.com) address only to find explicit content. Note: It’s no longer an explicit site like it was when I was in sixth grade, but for the sake of argument…that example will do. Right? thanks.

But I have also found in recent talks with parents (disclaimer: I’m not a parent) that the “everybody’s-doing-it syndrome” is taking over. And as a parent it’s getting more difficult to just say “no” to requests like “everyone has a cellphone, mom” which can quickly elaborate to “everyone has a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, insert all the social networking tools here.”
So as a parent…what do you do? Do you give in? What age is an appropriate age to allow your son or daughter to handle the responsibility of a cellphone and online communications. Parents, I want to hear from you! Leave a comment!

Thanks to Societal Norms a Quarter Life Crisis is Totally a Thing

So, July has been a bit loco, it marks the halfway point of 2013 also known as “The Year of Me” andddd I turned 25. Yep, that happened. You guys, a Quarter Life Crisis is totally real and yep, I’m kind of freaking out about it. Why? Well because my Facebook feed (pesky social media) is full of people doing awesome things that go both with and against societal norms. With: engagements, weddings, babies galore. Against: Quitting jobs to start businesses or chase the dream job, moving away and raising hell. Me? I’m floundering.

For the first time in a long time I asked myself what am I doing with my life? And for the first time I sit and ponder because I have zero clue but I’m trying pretty dang hard to figure it out.

2013 I have dedicated to me and finding new passions and igniting old ones. I’ve been learning a lot about “my” people, the Internets and my eating habits to create a healthier and happier me!

The Year of Me: Try new things, take risks and seek adventure in hopes of changing the world.

As a young professional woman I feel like there is a societal stigma that says we have to hold ourselves together and be ladies even when we’re falling apart. The awful truth? Harsh reality? I’m 25 and for the first time in my life I don’t have a plan. But I’m a planner, always have been. I have a gazillion-and-one to-do lists, post-it notes all over my desk dictating what’s on my plan for the day, week, month. I’ve been known to have back up plans for the plans.  Always be prepared. That’s my motto.

Today, I’m like uhhhh what’s next in this life? (Again, floundering.) I already fulfilled my original plan.
Plan: graduate high school, get into college, study journalism, be the first in my family to graduate college, get a job in the communications/journalism industry. Check, check, checkitycheckcheck. Maybe I let fate and hard work take over? Perhaps. Sounds like a plan. (see what I did there?)

I’m learning to embrace this rite of passage before the next plan/goal/fate-awesomeness in my life comes to fruition, which is to someday have a family of my own. But for now I’m content with working on impressing myself by dating myself. Call me selfish if you must, but there is something to be said for being your own número uno in life! Olé!

Here’s a little ditty of a poem I drafted up for myself as I embark on the next 6 months of The Year of Me! Hope you can relate to it in some capacity and feel inspired to take control of the wheel in this journey of life!

This Life
By Karlyn Williams

Tired sitting side car
This life
Grab the wheel
Floor it
Wind caressing tendrils
Rounding the curves a little too
Fast
This life
Dare to be great
Dare to take chances
Just dare
This life
Drive to seek passion, joy,
Promise to pump the breaks from time to
Time to enjoy
This life
Take care at yellows
Be patient at reds for they will
Flip to green
To go
Seek your dreams
This life

What have you done this year for yourself!? What are you planning to do this year for yourself!? Share it in the comments!

It’s So Cliche [a guest post]

Today’s guest post [very first one ya’ll!!!!] is from Janna Hall of My Beautiful Catharsis and serves as reminder to all girls and women: stop being someone you’re not despite what the media is handing you daily and start being you! Because there’s no one else in this world that is better at being well…You! I couldn’t agree more! Around here at SGS we are constantly dissecting and beating those too present stereotypes to a pulp! Thanks to Janna for sharing her thoughts, inspiration and honesty! 

It’s So Cliché…but “Be yourself; everyone else is taken” is a mantra that we need to carry on throughout our life. As kids, we grow up wanting to be like the girls on TV. My best friend and I couldn’t sit through a show or a movie without shouting, “I’M HER!” every time the prettiest girl came on the screen. For us, it was Clueless.  From the moment Stacey Dash hops into Cher’s Jeep, we thought of every reason to ditch who we were and immediately wanted to look like, sound like, and be Dionne. Or the pink Power Ranger. Or Beyonce. Or in my best friend’s case, Britney. From a young age, we’re almost programmed to want to be everyone else, whether it’s a Disney princess, a pop icon, or the popular girl in school. It’s so wonderful to pretend, but what happens when we’re adults and realize that we’re actually not those women, nor will we ever be them? In the midst of our fantasies, we’ve grown to hate ourselves, not because of who we are, but because of who we aren’t. We aren’t those princesses. We aren’t those girls who, with one quick, flirty glance fall in love and live happily ever after with our Prince Charming. We aren’t those celebrities who have picture perfect bodies. We aren’t them. We are who we are. I am Janna. You are you. Somewhere down the path of pretending, we’ve placed more focus on the body we don’t have than our own reality. Somewhere down that path, we’ve snapped from fantasy land and traveled down the path of self-loathing. We’re obsessed with someone else’s beauty so much so that everything we see when we look in the mirror is repulsive. We’re so obsessed with someone else’s life that our own reality, no matter how fabulous it may be, seems worthless. We wander through life wanting to be someone else, while letting the person we were created to be wither away.

It saddens me to see people hate who they are. What’s the point? You will never be anyone but who you are, and to want anything but that is setting yourself up for disappointment. Society, nor a man, nor a celebrity, can or should make you feel like the person you are isn’t effing amazing. Because you are. And there’s no one quite like you.“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than you.”

Janna Hall

Janna Hall

Graduating in 2010 from James Madison University with a degree in English, Janna left her hometown of Richmond, Virginia and headed to New York City in search of something greater than herself. That “something,” she discovered, was the position of Editor for EvolutionaryPress Publishing, helping young writers fulfill their dreams of becoming a published author. A now 7-time published editor, Janna enjoys the thrill of making dreams come true, and continually seeks ways to reach others and make a lasting impact on lives—both young and old. After spending a summer volunteering with New York Cares helping young girls prepare for the upcoming school year, Janna realized how passionate she was about seeing young girls gain confidence in their ability to succeed in the classroom and decided to use her passion to help girls succeed in all aspects of their lives. Now, she works for Girl Scouts of the USA, running the social media channels and pushing the message of building girls of courage, confidence, and character.