Posts Tagged ‘image’

Join The #KeepItReal 3 Day Challenge!

As a woman, and mother I’ve struggled with my perception of myself and my body. I don’t have to tell you how having a child can change your body, and I have a different relationship with my body since giving birth six years ago. Yeah, I’m a little more self-conscious, and get pretty jealous of the celebrity moms rocking it in their 2 pieces in the magazine. Didn’t they have stretch marks I say? Didn’t their boobs sag afterwards? It’s so strange all throughout my pregnancy my stomach was so smooth, and as soon as I had Lil Mama my stomach told a different story. And let’s not even talk about the boobs!

What is frustrating as a woman and mother to a daughter is how the media portrays beauty. What girls see, what I see is not the reality. There is a perception that beauty should be and is flawless perfection. Eyebrows should be perfectly arched, liner precisely drawn, and beautiful voluptuous curves. These images are splashed in magazines, and in my opinion sharing the wrong image to women and girls about what real beauty is.

The 3 day #KeepItReal concept is amazing. We’re challenges mags to KEEP IT REAL and take the focus off this impractical idea of beauty so girls can have a fun and stress-free summer! So instead of feeling guilty that you can’t fit into the designer 2 piece bikini featured in the latest gossip mag, we are putting pressure on the mags that have such unrealistic views of beauty. The goal of the 3 days is to ask magazines one very reasonable request: to post at least one unphotoshopped image of a model per issue.

How can you get involved? First, download the Keep It Real Toolkit which includes more information and contact info of Magazine Editors we’ll target.

Day One (June 27) was all about tweeting using the #KeepItReal hashtag tweeting to magazines to KEEP IT REAL! I tweeted out to Self Mag & Essence!

Day Two (June 28) is about spreading the #KeepItReal word through blog posts and Facebook, and sharing post url’s to magazines via twitter! Post your own blog or feel free to share this post!

Day Three (June 29) is about capturing real beauty. Get on Instagram and share the image to the left using #KeepItRealChallenge and show the world what REAL beauty looks like to you!! Share the picture via FB and Twitter using the #KeepItReal hashtag! In partnership with Endangered Bodies they’ll be taking the best photo of the day and display it on a billboard in NYC!

Interested? I encourage you to get involved! You can RSVP via their Facebook Event Page. I am committed to helping change the way my daughter grows up and views beauty via these publications. I’ve already got my pictures ready to share via Instagram (follow me: msalexandrav), twitter, and facebook and am excited to be part of this necessary movement!

#KeepItReal !!



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How to Talk to Little Girls

A friend of mine, who is a mother of 2 daughters, forwarded me this article titled How to Talk to Little Girls featured in The Huffington Post. The article by Lisa Bloom talks about girls & self image and how we as parents and adults play into girl’s self-esteem. Think for a second about your encounters with girls, do you comment on their hair or outfit? Are you quick to tell them how cute they are? (slumps down in seat).
Lisa says, “Teaching girls that their appearance is the first thing you notice tells them that looks are more important than anything. It sets them up for dieting at age 5 and foundation at age 11 and boob jobs at 17 and Botox at 23. As our cultural imperative for girls to be hot 24/7 has become the new normal”
Not good!! The article was enlightening to me; it made me take a hard look at how I interact with my own daughter as well as little girls I come across. I realize that I often comment little girls on their new haircut or sparkly tights. And while I never saw anything wrong with it, I am becoming more aware of how these constant comments can affect a girl’s self-esteem and expectations.
My friend Marlene who forwarded me the article had this to say after reading:
“It really opened my eyes to how I interact with my girls and other young children their age. I mean I am definitely one of those people that use compliments as an ice breaker with kids like “wow, you look beautiful in that dress” and even with boys “he look so handsome in that outfit” etc. And I also thought showering my girls with compliments like these would build their self confidence, but it’s actually counter-productive because now thinking back I can recall instances where my own daughter would get dressed and ask ‘Mom, do I look pretty in this dress?, Does my hair look nice like this?’ I always say of course you look great no matter what…..BUT now I realize that she was seeking my approval. I want my girls’ self confidence to be based on who they are and what they know and not how they look. I guess all we can do I acknowledge this and try to break the cycle. At least I do.”
This article made me think of a previous post of mine titled Does this diaper make my butt look big. In the article I talked about the poison that are Bratz dolls and how more and more kids are concerned with their image, when they should just be concerned about being kids! Raising a healthy and confident daughter is extremely important to me, and I know that in order to achieve this it takes a lot of patience and conversations with her. Though it seems that society is completely against my desires, promoting the complete opposite of role-models and putting so much pressure onto image.
Did you read the article by Lisa Bloom? How do you counteract society’s fascination with image when interacting with your own daughter or girls you may know? 


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A Life full of Plan B’s

Plan A: Graduate from College #1

Plan B: Graduate from College #3

Plan A: Keep my job throughout my pregnancy

Plan B:  Fired not even 1/2 way through my pregnancy

Plan A: Sexy sleek black small SUV…fully loaded

Plan B: 1996Toyota Camry

Plan A: First apartment = Complete Awesomeness

Plan B: First apartment=1 bedroom hole in the wall

Plan A: SuperMom

Plan B: Often annoyed aggravated- due- to –lack- of- sleep Mom

Plan A: Together Forever with my daughter’s father

Plan B: Try to have a mature understanding for the sake of our daughter

Plan A: Single life, no kids, gorgeous loft apartment, fly car, hott bod

Plan B: Kid at 19, ok apartment, crappy car, and not so hott bod

Plan A: Perfect Family = Mom, Dad, Kids

Plan B: Family = Mom + Daughter

 

Let’s be honest, it can be downright annoying when things don’t go as planned! We plan, we schedule, we’ve got everything in a little box, have tied a ribbon, and then someone comes along and opens it and throws the stuff around. Annoying! But…not the end of the world!

My life has been all about Plan Bs. I’ve always had an idea of how I wanted to do things and where I wanted my life to go. Then BAM! Life instantly changes, and all I can do to try to find my balance with the new changes. And as soon as I get some

stability and create new visions for my future BAM, this roller coaster of a life heads down around and to the side and I once again have to find my ground. Funny how life has a way of constantly changing. And yet, change is one of the things I fear.

What I have yet to fully understand, is that these Plan Bs are not Plan Bs…they are what was meant to be for my life. All that has happened, all the pain I have gone through, all the bs I had to deal with, all the people I have met along the way…it’s all happened for a reason and has brought me to the place I am today. If I never would have given my daughter’s father my number, I would never been able to meet my beautiful beautiful daughter.

So I’ll still create visions for my futures, but recognize that what will be, will be.

And all I can do is prepare myself for the journey.



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In part 1 of IMAGE-IMAGE-IMAGE I used the term everyday woman freely  without describing what my definition is.
An everyday woman is:
·         Of any race, ethnicity, or culture
·         Working, underpaid, unemployed
·         A mother, aunt, or daughter
·         Not necessarily content with her body image
·         Self-conscious
·         On average about 140 pounds
Where did our negative body image come from? Our mothers? Our friends? Media? While media takes the cake with persuading American women that beauty means to be thin, your culture also plays a part. Latin women are known to be curvaceous as well as confident. Latin men love their full figured Latino women. So, should all American’s relocate to Latin communities or countries? I think not.
Like the new Lifetime show,  How to Look Good Naked, we as a society need to redefine what beauty truly is and remember that true beauty comes from within. We need to teach ourselves to self-love rather than self-loathe. While bypass surgery and crash diets may seem appealing, it won’t change your mind or your heart.
American women, what is so wrong with accepting your bodies?
I challenge you. Whether you are 15 or 55, black, yellow, or pea green. I challenge you to love every part of yourself. If you wake up in the morning and don’t like what you see in the morning like me, change what you see. Take out that red lipstick you were always too shy to wear and use it for once. Write on your mirror ‘I AM BEAUTIFUL!’ Yes, women for once, do something for you. And post this saying all around your house. If your husband asks what you’re doing, tell him, I’m beautiful and clearly you don’t tell me enough! And if you’re single like me, it’ll be that added umph you need when you’re feeling down. 

Research what works well with your body type. Don’t know your body type? Do a little google search and I think you’ll be able too. Find out if darker jeans work best or a wrap dress. Trust me, when you find something that works with what you’re working with, it’s magic and it’ll boost that inner self-confidence. Once you’ve found that perfect outfit, go get your hair down, nothing crazy though. And when you get back in that mirror, get out that lipstick and write on the mirror then put a little on.

And when life has you down remember the following:

LAUGH! Hahaha. Remembering you have a sense of humor is important.

Eat healthier. Yes, fast food seems oh so convenient, but it also isn’t the best for your health. Snack smart and sensibly. Throw a bag of mixed nuts in your purse or snag a few of those cheerios!

Get Moving! Yes exercise people! Instead of driving, walk to where you have to go. Take the stairs instead of elevator. Trust me; your thighs will thank me.

Express Yourself. Bottling up your emotions is a no-no. Let it out. Not comfortable talking to someone? Start a journal, or draw what you’re feeling.

Think Positive. If you think today’s going to be a good day and it’ll be a good day. Think it’s going to be a bad day and it’ll be a bad thing. The mind is a powerful thing.

It’s crazy how small changes can make you feel so much better.

So, self-conscious American women, up for the challenge?


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PART ONE:
Weight + Image:
America’s fall into the world of all this
Superficial + Unhealthy
America, home of the thin and superficial
America, home of the super-thin and materialistic
Amerca, home of the obese and extremely self-conscious
Sooo, whats up with American women feeling like they don’t measure up when it comes to weight and image? Could it be because the average American woman is 5’4’’ and weighs 140 pounds? It could be. It could also be because plastered on billboards, in magazines, and on TV are super-thin and mostly Caucasian women who look nothing like the everyday woman. Could it be because the average American model is 5’11’’ and weighs 117 pounds? Could be.
In the movie Shallow Hal, the main character, Jack Black, views overweight women as beautiful and thin. He views their “inner beauty”. He is deemed an outcast by his friends and thought to be crazy to be attracted to a woman who wasn’t 110lbs.
Society urges women to try this diet pill and try that. From hip-hop abs to nutrisystem, it seems like society cannot get away from the thin-craze. In one magazine I was reading I found 6 ads for ‘magic’ diet pills. And even saw an ad for plastic surgery. Clearly these ads wouldn’t have been created if there weren’t overweight people. Knowing that is that case, why feature stick then makeup packed women who look nothing like the everyday women?
 The Dove Campaign for real beauty caused a lot of outrage worldwide. Why are those kind of women now on billboards? They’re not attractive, they’re not pretty! News flash: those women dressed in white bras and panties, well they’re you’re wives, sisters, mothers, and daughters.
Dove began the campaign because they like many women in society felt that beauty had a narrow and unchanged view. Their goal was to redefine what beauty is so it accepts all women and challenges them to accept and love every inch, roll, and curve.
Another organization encouraging women to accept who they are is the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA). Started in 1969 the NAAFA strives to banish discrimination based solely on body size. The NAAFA seeks to empower women through membership, education, and advocacy. It’s important to state that their goal isn’t to necessarily lose weight, but to get to a point where you are healthy and feel good about yourself.
When did image start becoming survival of the thinnest?

In a culture built on fast cars and sex appeal where does the average women fit in?



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