November 5, 2010

Are YOU Pretty?

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 5:57 pm by Gina

Ciao ragazze!

Even if poetry isn’t your thing or you’ve never heard someone perform it out loud, this is something you have to watch. Poetry slammer Katie Makkai rocks this performance about “pretty” and how we use such a silly word to define ourselves. Raw and real it gets to the point. Watch it and tell me what you think!

The word pretty is unworthy of everything you will be,
and no child of mine will be contained in six letters.
You will be
pretty intelligent,
pretty creative,
pretty amazing,
but you will never be merely โ€œpretty.โ€

There is so much more that makes someone pretty than a straight nose and nice clothes. Are you living a pretty life?

Here’s to striving for something more substantial than simply “pretty.”


October 8, 2010

The Girl Effect

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 6:52 pm by Gina

The Girl Effect, n.
The unique potential of 600 million adolescent girls to end poverty for themselves and the world.”

The Girl Effect is about girls. And boys. And moms and dads. And villages and towns and countries.

Girls living in poverty are uniquely capable of creating a better future. But when a girl reaches adolescence, she comes to a crossroads:

The Girl Effect is amazing. It’s as simple as that. The website is amazing, the videos are amazing but most importantly, the cause is amazing.

When women and girls earn income, they reinvest 90 per-cent of it into their families, as compared to only 30 to 40 percent for a man.

There’s something that everyone can do to help. You can donate, you can spread the message or you can simply learn more. Go to the website and look around, its fascinating.

Think of yourself at 12 years old, it was no time to be having babies or to be worrying about when you will get your next meal. Maybe the worlds biggest problems don’t have to be so big and overwhelming. We can invest in the future by helping one girl at a time.

With love,

September 14, 2010

Ted Talks: Embrace Your Inner Girl

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 6:13 am by Gina

Ted Talks is “a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading.” This website is filled with the most inspiring, courageous, persuasive and any other positive adjective one can use to describe, speeches from people all over the world.

One such person is Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues, a play that recounts stories from hundreds of women about their bodies, their sexual experiences, and yes, their vaginas. Since its start in ’96 it has been translated into more than 45 languages and performed in more than 120 countries.

Here, Eve talks about her concept of the “girl cell.” The inner cell that everyone, women and men, have. In her words this cell is, “compassion, and it’s empathy, and it’s passion itself, and it’s vulnerability, and it’s openness and it’s intensity and it’s association, and it’s relationship, and it is intuitive.”

She continues the explanation saying, “And then let’s think how compassion informs wisdom, and that vulnerability is our greatest strength, and that emotions have inherent logic, which lead to radical, appropriate, saving action. And then let’s remember that we’ve been taught the exact opposite by the powers that be, that compassion clouds your thinking, that it gets in the way, that vulnerability is weakness, that emotions are not to be trusted, and you’re not supposed to take things personally, which is one of my favorites.

I think the whole world has essentially been brought up not to be a girl. How do we bring up boys? What does it mean to be a boy? To be a boy really means not to be a girl. To be a man means not to be a girl. To be a woman means not to be a girl. To be strong means not to be a girl. To be a leader means not to be a girl. I actually think that being a girl is so powerful that we’ve had to train everyone not to be that. ”

Wow. And the whole speech is like that! She continues with horrific yet powerful stories of girls she has met during her career and their stories as well as what this did to transform her and what it means to be a girl. I know that it is a longer video, but I promise it is completely worth it!! At the very least listen to the beginning or click here to read the interactive script.

Concluding with an excerpt from her new book she explains her reading with this:
“But I really want to do it for each and every person here, to value the girl in us, to value the part that cries, to value the part that’s emotional, to value the part that’s vulnerable, to understand that’s where the future lies.”

Something that doesn’t tell us to stop feeling? I think I can get used to that!


September 2, 2010

The First of Italy 2010

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 10:25 pm by Gina

Hi all,

As previously stated–I’m in Italy. I arrived August 2 with my mom and nonna (grandma) and we had a fabulous time traveling from Rome to Florence, Venice and finally to Milan, with day trips to Pisa, Viareggio and Murano. It was an amazing two weeks and I am very grateful for my good fortune.

I made a video of our time here together which was just my first two weeks (there are many more weeks to come!) There are hundreds of pictures but I tried to narrow it down to some of the best. Hope you enjoy!

Probably the number one thing I’m thankful for is that I was able to go on my dream trip with not only my mom, but also my nonna. She is 78 years old but don’t let that fool you, she can practically run laps around me. One of the strongest women I know, she is who I give credit to for my mindset that created this blog. She had four daughters and it was in this atmosphere that I grew up, watching the women of the family plan events, cook amazing meals, have careers and families and keep our family together. I love family get-togethers and find myself admiring these women every time we have one.

Who are the women you admire? What have you noticed with the women in your family? If there are negative things don’t worry, there are in every family, including mine. The important thing is how we work around the tough stuff. How we help each other, react to situations beyond our control and learn from the women around us. I’ve learned a lot from the women in my life, and I’m glad I was able to learn from them in a totally new and amazing atmosphere.

Buona giornata!

July 22, 2010


Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 10:43 pm by Gina

Hi loves,

How do you want to be remembered? This is the opening question to the beautiful, insightful, and bubbly video by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. As the video acknowledges, it is a “whopping” question. Still, it raises some thoughts about how we live currently, and how that will affect the way we are remembered.

So, as an interactive way to do this post, I want to hear your acts of kindness! What have you observed? What have you done? What has been done to you? Big or small, tell your acts of kindness! One act, two, a dozen! Send us a story or make a list (a favorite thing for becauseiamawoman) and we will share the kindness for everyone as a reminder of the economics of kindness in our world.

I realize it can be difficult to think of an example of a positive human interaction, but it doesn’t have to be anything grand or anything small- just kind.

Some examples to encourage you to share:
– Allowing a semi that needs to get over room to do so, without speeding by or getting frustrated
– Watering the flowers for a neighbor
– The bracelet another counselor made me just in time for my last day of work
– Random comments on my facebook wall that make me smile
– Cracking jokes with the overworked Subway employee

We all know the benefits of thinking of positive things- so take some time out to do it and share it with becauseiamawoman! “What have you filled the world with?”

~Gina Marie

June 24, 2010

I Love Summer Because…

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 2:26 am by Gina

Sorry Loves!!

This week has been hectic and fun and too long for only being half-way over ๐Ÿ™‚ Needless to say I forgot about Finish the Sentence Tuesday…BUT since you are all loving, empathetic, awesome readers I know you won’t hate me forever! haha

The first day of summer was this past Monday and for many of you I imagine it simply came and went like any other day. I know its not a national holiday and we don’t get presents, food, fireworks or any of the other positives that come from such holidays, but it is an important day nonetheless!!

If you’re anything like me than summer vacation is a slew of happy, fun, deliciously joyful moments and images. Perhaps it’s because of our summer vacations when we were children, but it seems summer often makes us think of the little things that give us pleasure– strawberries, flowers, outdoors, swimming etc etc etc. The list could go on.

This is the reason it’s important!! Despite the fact that we all have responsibilities and to-do lists longer than our arms, don’t let the first day of summer pass without acknowledgement! Tell us your favorite things about summer! The little pleasures that you envision when you close your eyes and think of the word “summer.”

Now for the final part. MAKE THOSE THINGS HAPPEN AGAIN!! Catch fireflies (if you can find them!) play in the sprinkler. Actively work to get that deliciously joyful moment again (while remembering that high expectations can often ruin the awesome moment you’re already having) and take back a little bite of your summer. (what’s with all the food references? I must be hungry.)

When I was a kid I would make lists in my notebook during the last few weeks of school of all the things I loved about summer. It made me very happy and hopeful and helped me to survive the last few weeks of being locked up inside all day– tell me yours!!

p.s. don’t judge the video too harshly, I’m still learning and threw it together quickly ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy Summer!! xoxo

May 20, 2010


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


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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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,

May 10, 2010

Mothers Day and Sunday (Monday) Wrap Up!

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 7:15 pm by Gina

Hi readers,

First, let me apologize for being a day late in both Sunday Wrap Up as well as Mothers Day- my bad!

Happy Mothers Day to EVERYONE!! What a wonderful day to celebrate all women, not just mothers. They say it takes a village to raise a child, and I’m sure any mother would agree with that. The girlfriends who listen and keep the moms calm, the aunts that babysit for the weekend, the grandmothers who spoil and the friends who entertain- all women are a part of being a mom ๐Ÿ™‚ I found hundreds of Mothers Day poems/quotes/sayings, but I thought this poem was short, to the point, and expressed most of what I wanted to say (because it truly is impossible to thank your mother adequately, I mean… the gift of life…yeah.)

Mom you are a shining star though the world doesnโ€™t know your name.
You have no fancy title like Baroness or Dame.
Mom you really are a star, my mother mentor and friend.
A Nobel Prize for motherhood is what Iโ€™d recommend.
And if I won the lottery Iโ€™d share my win with you
Iโ€™d take you Mom on a spending spree each day the whole year through!
You may not be famous, as your face is known to few.
But Mom I think you are wonderful and Iโ€™m so proud of you!

p.s. mom, I really would share my lottery winnings with you, I mean… kids are expensive!

Now for Sunday Wrap Up:
1. Perfect for a combined mothers day post: “Leah Dieterich’s mother always told her to write thank you notes. So she does. To everything. thxthxthx is her daily exercise in gratitude.” This blog has a daily thank you note, a perfect reminder to count your blessings!

2. This fresh ta death video from Beyonce (as always.) I’m obsessed!! I absolutely love the outfits, the makeup, the idea. Despite the sad title, I find this video very fun!

3. Palmer Fest! I was there, it was fun, and I’d do it again! How exciting to party with an entire college campus on one street! Despite the craziness of this article, I got to see many people I knew, experience a college fest and take plenty of pictures. People who do stuff like throw bottles or light fires ruin the fun for everyone, and I was long gone and safely home by that point- so nothing to worry about there ๐Ÿ™‚

There you have it, a mashed together celebration of Sunday- on a Monday! Tell me a story about your mom, tell me a story about being a mom, how do you feel about mothers day overall? Also, feel free to send links/suggestions of things you think would be good for the Sunday Wrap Up- I’m always open to hearing them!

Love you all,

March 15, 2010

Finals Week

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 4:49 pm by Gina

Hi loves!

So it is currently finals week for your lovely contributors Jess and I and posting an in-depth, interesting blog is not very probable. Instead I just wanted to leave you with a fun little video from some VERY talented kids. Check out the PS22 chorus blog here for more amazing videos ๐Ÿ™‚

Off to study! peace!


March 8, 2010

International Women’s Day

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 6:41 pm by Gina

Today is a very happy day for Because I Am a Woman readers- It’s International Women’s Day!!

IWD started in 1909 in America and is now celebrated every March 8th by hundreds of countries around the world.

“Activists of All India Women Cultural Organization take out a rally on the occasion of International Women’s Day, in New Delhi, India, 8 Mar 2010” –Associated Press

This year, the International Committee of the Red Cross is raising awareness for women displaced by armed conflict. They say,

“We want not only to draw attention to the plight of these women but also to acknowledge their tremendous courage and resilience in ensuring the survival of their families in hostile and unfamiliar circumstances.

I think it is equally important to raise awareness of the specific threats women face as a result of displacement. All too often, women and children are lumped together as the most vulnerable group. However, the two are very different groups, each with specific vulnerabilities and needs.

Women are not totally helpless. Our idea is to move away from assumptions and stereotypes and instead call attention to womenโ€™s specific needs, vulnerabilities in wartime, and indeed the remarkable strength they show in protecting and supporting their families and finding ingenuous ways of coping with their ordeal.”

Beyond this, International Women’s day is a day to celebrate the beauty and strength women have no matter what race, religion, nationality, orientation or age! It has been used as a political platform, but today I hope we can celebrate it with love, grace, beauty and power, towards each other and our accomplishments world wide.

To finish up, this video from NATO leaves us with a simple message, not against men, just against not allowing women equal rights.


Gina Marie

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