May 20, 2010

Yes!

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , at 11:56 pm by Gina

Readers-

Lately I’ve been feeling blah about myself. Nothing too bad, no worries. The only reason I’m posting this is because I don’t want you to think that by any means I always think positively or always feel great about my work/my actions/my body. Thats ok though, because in the end I’ll always turn/try to turn the positive way instead. 🙂

Now for the star of the post! Jessica!

How AMAZING is this? This little girl knows how to do it! Stand in front of your mirror and sing, dance, scream what you love! Make that mirror your friend instead of your constant foe. Anyway, I really liked this short video and the adorable and adorably brilliant little girl.

Your disgustingly corny friend,
Gina

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March 31, 2010

Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , at 6:31 pm by Gina

When I first walked in to the theater I was surprised by how many people already filled the limited amount of seats, evidence that there is a hunger to hear about these issues and perhaps an excitement to get rid of them. I’ve come to hear a presentation from Courtney Martin about her book, Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters, and how “the quest for perfection is harming young women.”

Courtney, a young writer and graduate from Barnard as well as NYU has a personality so friendly and relatable it is easy to feel comfortable around her, as if she is a close friend. Characteristics that, to me, make her all the more qualified to write a book on the struggles of young women.

She says outright, “I am not an expert on eating disorders, nutrition, health, or psychology, but I do have expertise in quiet desperation…In this book, I act as an observer, an outraged idealist, a story teller, a bleeding heart, an eavesdropper, and an ordinary young woman.”

Courtney begins by asking us to close our eyes and imagine our morning.

“One minute debating whether to have a bagel and be “bad” or a protein shake and be “good”; two minutes chastising yourself for choosing the bagel: two minutes contemplating how fattening the cream cheese was. Three minutes poking your face in the mirror, feeling bad about the dark circles under your eyes. Four minutes reading that Lindsay Lohan lost a bunch of weight; another minute chastising yourself for being so vulnerable to the media; five minutes thinking about how crazy it is that woman as smart as you spend so much of their days obsessing about food and fitness…”

The list goes on to include contemplating decisions such as chicken sandwich vs. salad, gym vs. nap and dinner eating plans. Think about your own day, how much of it is spent chastising yourself? Everyone wants to be healthy, but it is not healthy if it comes with a side of hatred, discouragement and obsession. All told, women spend about 100 minutes a day scrutinizing instead of loving their bodies. These are ambitious, driven, impatient women who have settled on wasting this time and energy obsessing over their bodies.

What fascinates me most about her book is the focus not just on eating and body image disorders, but also on the perfectionism that seems to have taken over our generation. We were raised by parents of a feminist, rebellious generation who taught us “we can do anything” and yet we heard “we must do everything.” It is this complex that is also represented in the title of Martin’s book—Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters.

I am positive that everyone knows the perfect girl. They have struggled with it themselves and seen their peers/relatives/friends struggle as well. Perfect girls are the captains of our sports teams, honor roll students, winners of scholarships, peacemakers, do-gooders, socially conscious and involved. We have 5-year plans and must be thin, beautiful and effortlessly perfect.

On the other hand, the starving daughters are dying for attention, recognition, a hug. They are constantly being pushed away by the perfect girl who only wants to show the world her beauty, strength and willpower, not her doubt, fears and cravings. The starving daughters are tired of trying so hard all the time and constantly being at war with the perfect girl.

I am not trying to blame the media, our parents or our friends. I am not trying to say that every person you know has an eating disorder, and I don’t think Courtney is either. Instead, this book brings to attention the harm that destructive thoughts and attitudes can have to one’s well-being, which, in a world where two-thirds of females ages 18-35 would rather be mean or stupid than fat, is something every single person has to conquer to some degree.

A few weekends ago I came home from school stressed and emotionally drained from trying to support a friend I know who struggles with some of these same problems. Collapsing on the couch I looked at both of my parents and genuinely thanked them for never making me feel like I had to be perfect, I did that to myself more than enough.

Don’t wait until you are 50 to love yourself, life is too short and perfect is far too boring. 🙂

With love,
Gina

~If you are interested in hearing Courtney speak and read excerpts from her book click here

~Much of this post was paraphrased from Courtney’s book. I encourage you to check it out!

January 28, 2010

Dove Real Beauty

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 3:08 pm by Gina

Hi Ladies!

The picture that went along with Jessica’s post on the Dove Real Beauty campaign and plus size models really struck me. She was BEAUTIFUL and weirdly labeled as “big.” I searched some Dove videos and loved them.

First:

This one particularly stuck with me because it made me realize/remember how early our image of ourselves becomes affected. I had forgotten that when I was that young I used to worry about certain physical aspects of myself and wish they were different. How Silly!! I hadn’t even hit puberty yet, and Lord knows thats when the real tough times come! haha These children should never have to think of things like that yet with the barrage of media that everyone takes in, it makes sense.

Second:

When I started watching this video I was almost bored. “What’s the point,” I thought. Then they pulled out the Photoshop and I was genuinely shocked! That woman’s image was completely manipulated- I didn’t even know they could make necks longer! It was a stark reminder of the truth behind a lot of our media.

Even if you didn’t want to hear my super- corny explanations of my choices, I hope you enjoyed the videos. I hope you watch them and it reminds you to love yourself!

~Gina

January 26, 2010

Plus Size Fashion

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 4:32 am by Gina

Hey everyone,
If you have ever read a fashion magazine, you have probably noticed the plethora of perfectly perfect models that appear smiling back at you on every page. This can be kind of frustrating to look at month after month, issue after issue, especially if you aren’t feeling perfectly perfect yourself. That’s why I find it so refreshing to see (for the hope of not sounding too cliche) REAL women in the pages of magazines, who have flaws, and are all the more beautiful for them.

I’m sure you are all familiar with the Dove Real Beauty campaign, which I personally loved. Embracing women for themselves is always inspiring. Today I saw this article on jezebel.com about the status of plus-size fashion debate, and found it both exciting and depressing. It goes more in depth in the article, but what I was glad to hear was the fact that more people are starting to take notice of plus-size models in the high fashion industry, notoriously know for it’s stick-thin standards of beauty. This is definitely a step in the right direction, and if any of you hear more news about this, please let us know!
Have a good week!
Jess

December 20, 2009

Video Series: Part II, I Am Powerful

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 3:30 pm by Gina

Buongiorno bellas!

Part II brings a video from the super amazing CARE organization (their videos are just very well done.) It is simple and strong. It is moving and mindful and a perfect 3 minute break on a relaxing Sunday. Oh and thanks for putting up with my alliteration 🙂

Another fresh blogger out there posted something today that really touched me. He said, “The minute we were conceived we became receivers and transmitters. We are connected to this world, this fantastic universe, and to each other. Our thoughts, speech, beliefs, actions and attitudes are our tools to use to create the ideal life experience inside and out…The same works outwardly for those you love. You can create them as something for them to grow into.”

Don’t limit yourself or those around you just because you have preconceived notions or fears. Like the video says, you are powerful.

“I’m dreaming up a decade free of doubt where every life is loved and celebrated.” (via)

With Love,
Gina

December 10, 2009

A Few Insecurity Fixers!

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 3:26 am by Gina

I am the worst blog partner ever. I know, I know, Gina is amazing and does so well posting which is awesome, because lately I’ve been slacking. So, searching on the Internet tonight, I found this article on self confidence at glamour.com that I thought would interest you guys!

The title of the article is 3 Things Women Say That Make Them Look Insecure (and How to Stop and Just Be Your Amazing Self), which is pretty self explanatory. It’s written by the Editor-In-Chief of Glamour, Cindi Leive, who has hired tons of women over the years and has noticed three things that women say that can make them seem “less self-assured than they deserve.” Those three would be:
1. Using the word “like”
2. Accepting the compliment
3. Undermining your own ideas
She goes on to explain how to stop these little insecurities, and you can find the rest of the article here. For me at least, I found this to be very helpful, considering I have my own self-confidence issues that I deal with as much as the next girl. What do you guys think? Are these tips silly, or do they actually have some merit in helping women garner themselves more self confidence?
Thanks!
Jess