The Unrealistic Expectations of Beauty

Whether we’re at home watching tv or a movie, reading Vogue or People Magazine, or walking down the street or eating in a restaurant, we are surrounded with images of women and men that slightly all look the same; yet, don’t look anything like us.

Growing up I have come across many images of women that show them as looking less like a human and more like a god! Their skin always flawless, not a stretch mark or area of cellulite in sight; meanwhile, my skin was far from perfect with both of those at just 14. As you can imagine that kind of exposure wasn’t great on my self esteem, and I know I was not the only one now, but back then I was sure I was the only imperfect kid bad-photoshop-kimora-lee-simmonsin school.

Advertisements upon advertisements show men and women as something sexier and dissimilar from the average person, as well as themselves. The models and celebrities faces are drastically altered to become more “visually pleasing” and to be shown as even more perfect. Skin colors are changed, causing dark skinned beautiful women to have a fairer look, causing many girls to feel unsettled about their skin tone. Mens muscles are increased in their size as women’s are shown to be smaller.

Companies have been showing women as a material object and men as the superior sex. Women’s bodies have been changed to show a product’s value by the company using women as a sex symbol because sex can sell everything. The sexier the image of a woman, the more
mg3likely for that product to be flying off the shelves because it leaves an impression on the buyer’s mind. Womens are transformed into beer bottles, cars, and food, they’re used as racks for objects, sexual stimulants, and as a way to show the positive aspects of products, many of which don’t show their faces.

All bodies are meant to be cherished and the the similarities and differences loved. How can a person behind a computer screen, a worker for a company, and a magazine, publish something that is able to cause emotional distress in millions of both males and females and not a second thought?

As of today it is clear the effects of these kinds of ads and messages being pushed into our brains. Many women spend countless hours preparing themselves for the day and judging their image along the way. Makeup doesn’t make a women beautiful, clothing doesn’t make a woman beautiful, size, ethnicity, hair color, or even eye color doesn’t make a women beautiful. Beauty is natural and pure, no amount of material or man made chemicals can make a women look more appealing. Yes makeup and clothing can increase a woman’s self esteem; however, now it has reached a level where we are constantly trying to alter our appearance to look like everyone else who has fallen into the spell of ads and tv.

There is no reason for us to try and fit in. This world was created for us to live as individuals and be happy, not to buy expensive products to look “pretty.”

I praise the individuality in all people. Do what you want, live how you want, wear what you want, and be proud of who you are. Your genes are perfect and your appearance is perfect. Love yourself for who you are and fly free!

What’s Really Important 

What’s the point of living if your are living to please someone else? This question I’ve pondered after realizing I’m missing the little parts of life that I should be enduring for myself and for my own pleasure. 

All too often we pass up a day for ourselves, finishing (or beginning) a great book, eating the last donut, and getting out of our comfort zone while trying something completely new. It’s funny seeing that just these few things have been taken out of our hands quite a few times. We focus on our impressions and how we are being perceived as a human rather than being who we wish to be. 

Who cares if we enjoy reading instead of keeping up on the latest Scandle TV show. Who cares if we enjoy the chocolate cream donuts simply because the cream inside is just too good to pass up. And who cares if we enjoy roughing it in tent instead of staying in a five star hotel. 

These small parts of life also have an impact on making us who we are. The moral of this quite random post is that we need to live for ourselves and forget who and what others want us to be and how to behave. We were created to live, not to be lifeless. 

Food for Thought

When it comes to food, we tend to love the convenience and enjoyment we get from making the purchase and indulging. Grocery stores are always close by, along with fast food, restaurants, and all the coffee you could drink. It’s become second nature for us to run into a store for a quick snack or soda, causing us to unconsciously spend more money on products we don’t necessarily need.

Recently I realized the number of food outlets within my reach, and how easy and cheap it was to buy food from these places without lifting a single finger in the process of making it. Every corner lies a McDonald’s, Starbucks, convenience store with aisles of junk food and snacks, and no work for the consumer needed.

Growing up, my family relied on the convenience of fast food. Going out to eat in between soccer and dance practice, then rushing home to complete piles of homework that can never be accomplished on an empty stomach, made the drive through a regular part of the week.

As I became older I began to become more aware of the food I’m allowing into my body and became more health conscious. I made friends with local growers and farmers, and became a regular in organic food markets. I suddenly noticed the enjoyment in growing my own baughers1vegetables, and seeing how hard work and patience can pay off and be more rewarding than having a large fry at the end of a busy day.

When I began to surround myself with the kinds of people who understand the importance of food as fuel, I decided to make the switch to becoming “food aware.” I slowly limited the amount of meat I ate and increased the numbers of vegetables and fruits I consumed that are in season and organically grown.

I don’t want this post to seem as if I am trying to persuade everyone to become vegetarians, pescetarians, or even fruitarians, that not what’s important to me. What I want this message to be is that food should better yourself and have lasting positive effects on your mind and body. Understanding where your food is coming from, how it’s grown and raised, where it is produced and manufactured and by whom, and by what means, is something I think everyone should find interest in.

I find joy in raising and growing the foods that I eat. These experiences have shifted my views on my diet, and has lead me down a healthier path. Who knew gardening, farming, learning, and sharing could be something so rewarding?

For My Future Daughter

My Future Daughter,

I wanted to write this to you, as a college student preparing for the “real world,” because I’ve recently realized, and appreciated, my own growth from a teen to a young adult. This may seem odd or cliché; however, the struggles of growing up is something every child will go through, and I know, as your mother you may not believe me, but yes, I was young once.

Growing up you will run into obstacles that you will feel no one will understand, and that may be true, but please know, although you call me Mom, I care and love you, and will always be open to hear what you have to say. Teen years are tough, trust me I know. Bullies, endless school work, ever changing emotions, a lack of personal knowledge, and the swift changes in friendships, will make you feel lost, but I will always be someone standing right next to you through it all, with an open heart and an open mind. 

Relationships change and so do personalities. Someone you trust may redirect their path somewhere that seems brighter, you may as well, but don’t lose sight of who you are and where you wish to end up. Your dreams are more important than what’s popular or “cool,” you hold more power and strength than you think, so never give in. All the tears you will cry at night from a comment some classmate made about your style, voice, hair (sorry, it will probably be frizzy), size, or any other nitpicky aspect teens like to tear apart about each other, may tear you down, but you will forever be beautiful and full of talent and worth, remember that. 

Just like trees grow and become stronger, so will you. Your roots will become grounded, head looking beyond the tragedies below, and armor, strong and through experience. Let the sun glow upon your face with your feet brushing against the cool ground, keeping you connected with the earth and what is important in life.

I promise to keep you safe and constantly loved, even when you don’t notice it. Through the struggles of growing up, I will rise you higher. From changes of emotions and growth, I will keep you grounded. 

Keep these words in your mind as you begin to move forward in your beautiful life. Find happiness in all that’s around you, peace among the madness, and joy in everyday experiences. This life is made for you, take it by the wings and fly.

Sincerely,

Your Mother

Businesses Tickled Pink

Hello everyone,

I came across a very interesting website today, ThinkBeforeYouPink.org, that really opened my eyes to the degrading, ineffective, and just plain horrendous ways businesses are using the pink ribbon as a marketing ploy, instead of using it to help fipinkcrapnd a cure for breast cancer.

When it is October the world is painted pink as promotions for the Breast Cancer Awareness Month begin to push forward. Companies, ranging from Kohl’s to Hooters, are getting in on the campaign and have created products to fit in with this theme; however, many of these companies are taking advantage of customers and their concerns for this disease by making money and keeping most, if not all, the proceeds made during this month when selling their pink products.

As people who have concerns with health, and many of us have faced, fought, or know someone who has been taken by this disease, we want to help find a cure. The sad truth is that many of us are unaware regarding the truth of the pink ribbon, and do not realize the ways businesses are abusing this symbol in order to better their company.

Products ranging from water bottles (which some of the plastic used actually have been linked to causing breast cancer), laundry detergent, sodas, along with tv networks, and restaurants, all have been using the pink ribbon as part of their campaign during the month of October. We, as consumers, see this ribbon and believe that these companies are generous people who care about finding a cure, and many of them are; however, not all. As the ribbon is shown, we feel more inclined to buy their product, thus raising the sales of these businesses. As consumers, we need to be aware of the differences of businesses supporting the breast cancer campaign, and businesses actually working with the campaign to find a cure. The logo may be shown on a wide range of products, but only a few may actually be giving a good amount of their proceeds towards the cure.

Beyond the selfishness of many companies, there is another issue that I have come across, degrading language towardsavesecondbase-300x176s women being placed on tee shirts as well as many other materials. All of us have probably heard the phrase “Save the Ta Tas” or “Save Second Base,” yet, there is so much more to women that deserve to be saved besides their breasts. Women deserve to be saved because they are human and worthy of such, not because boobs are appealing, or because our society define what a woman is by her chest. These degrading remarks do not help the cause, and instead, limit the abilities of women.

Breast cancer is a subject that should be spoken about with respect and understanding. October should not be the only month where we are focused on finding a cure for this disease, and as turns out, it is more of a month where business rack in more cash for themselves. As consumers, we need to be aware of where our money is going and which companies we can trust. Has anyone ever seen a breast cancer tee shirt with a man shown on the front instead of a w
oman? Probably not; however, this disease can affect men as well – yet their not getting any attention.AlexisLivingstonPhotography-MensBreastCancer1

If you all want to look more into this topic, I have listed a few websites that are very informative and can help shed a light on the reality of what Breast Cancer Awareness has really become.

http://everydayfeminism.com/2014/11/breast-cancer-campaigns/

http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/types/male_bc

http://thinkbeforeyoupink.org/blog/

The Female Traveler

Being a female, I’m lucky to have grown up with a family where I was able to work alongside my brothers. I never heard the phrase “let your brothers do it,” and in fact, it was more focused towards my brothers with the phrase “let your sister handle it.” My dad taught me how to use power tools at the age of ten, and I’ve helped him build countless pieces of furniture. There was never a view of sexism in my household, and I am very honored to have lived in a home as such.840288_grande

Now that I’m in college and have been working towards my career, I was amazed by the negativity I’ve experienced when announcing my career to people outside of my family. Apparently being a travel writer is something a man should take on because it’s not safe for women.

If you’re like me, then you can feel my fury when hearing this idea. I feel exactly the opposite of what I’ve been told. Women should feel empowered when given the opportunity to travel the world. Being in a different country is an experience that all human beings should experience, and I feel that traveling alone is a way for us to discover ourselves and realize our own power and strength.

I understand that traveling alone after college is something that anyone can be nervous about, but I have a greater appreciation for the experiences I will have and problems I will learn from. Being a woman, I was taught to never let someone else’s ideas hold me back, and that life is meant for making mistakes, jumping in head first, running into issues and then resolving them, just as anyone else would.

So moral of this post, women, be fearless. It’s no longer a man’s world, but a world for all. Nothing is impossible or better suited for somebody else. Keep your dreams in the front of your mind and never let go of them because someone else has a different idea for you. Ultimately, it’s your life, your career, your dreams, thats it.

Peace.

Yoga Poses for Relaxation

As many of us may be aware, yoga is an amazing workout with many benefits towards our health and flexibility. However, for the busy parent or college student, yoga can be a great way to relax and to take time for yourself even if you only have a few minutes of free time.

Each yoga pose will com with benefits for our bodies and minds. Deep twists allow our muscles to relax and can relieve back pain, plank poses strengthen our arms, wrists and shoulders, and prepare us for inversions such as a forearm stand. So what are good relaxation poses?

The first relaxation poses is awesomely called corpse pose or savasana. Typically this pose is performed at the end of a yoga class where one can release tension and clear their mind. To perform this pose, one simply lies on their back with hands by their side. The point is to release our muscles and lay still (hense the name corpse pose), which actually can be surprisingly difficult, especially for someone with an ever racing mind; however, once you finally release yourself, this is an amazing poses for relaxation.

The next pose is supported shoulder stand. This is a personal choice of what I found to be relaxing and beneficial for anyone with a limited amount of time on their hands and wants to relax. In this pose all you need is a yoga block and a wall if you choose. Simply lie on your back with the block under your bottom with your legs pointing up to the sky. If you choose to use a wall, allow your bottom and legs to rest against it, allowing you to use less strength to support your legs and more relaxation to take place. This pose is great for your back, where many of us hold most of our tension. For an added benefit, this pose is also known for relieving varicose veins by the reverse effects of our legs being upside down and the blood flow reversed.

I hope this post gave some insight on the benefits of yoga and the simple poses that can help relieve stress. I will be sure to make similar posts in the future!

Peace.