Posts in category Beauty
Victoria Soto (right) was a 27-year-old teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut. She hid her 1st grade students in cabinets and closets after hearing gunfire. When the shooter came to her classroom, she told him that her students were in the gym. He then killed her. This brave teacher sacrificed her own life to save the lives of her kids. Her courage and selflessness deserve to be remembered.
Kaitlin Roig, 29, (below) was another heroic teacher at Sandy Hook who saved her students by barricading them in a small bathroom and comforting them until help arrived. Fortunately, she and her students survived the attack.
"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.' To this day, especially in times of 'disaster,' I remember my mother's words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world." -- Mr. Rogers
"Las Hermanas/The Sisters" by Degadina. Note from the photographer:
"I met them again; this time, they were coming from the market where they sat on a bench and ate strawberries. When they left, they started holding hands and only then I photographed them."
Kathy Ireland, Elle MacPherson, and Rachel Hunter (L-R) appeared on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in 1994. Today's thin ideal, popularity of plastic surgery, and extreme Photoshopping make 1994 seem like such a long time ago. And times have certainly changed.
We see photos like this all the time in the media. Many of us compare our "flawed" bodies with the model's seemingly "perfect" one, & then feel like crap. But here's a reality check that shows how this model morphed into "perfect":
1) nose narrowed
2) breasts enlarged & brought closer together
3) protruding ribs removed
4) waist narrowed
5) belly pooch flattened
6) skintone lightened & smoothed out
7) hips made curvier
8) inner thighs slimmed
We are mirrors -- we teach children how to feel about themselves, not only through our words, but also through our actions. We can tell a child that she's beautiful, but if we're constantly denigrating ourselves, she'll learn to see herself in that same critical light. Here's a beautiful example of how one mother's experiment to help instill a healthy body image in her daughters ends up helping her to improve her own:
"'Look at me, girls!' I say to them. 'Look at how beautiful I am. I feel really beautiful, today.' "I see it behind their eyes, the calculating and impression. I see it behind their shining brown eyes, how glad they are that I believe I am beautiful. They love me. To them, I am love and guidance and warm, soft blankets and early mornings. They have never doubted how wonderful I am. They have never doubted my beauty. How confusing it must have been for them to see me furrowing my brow in the mirror and sucking in my stomach and sighing."How confusing it must have been to have me say to them, 'You think I am beautiful, but you are wrong. You are small and you love me, so you're not smart enough to know how unattractive I am. I know I am ugly because I see myself with mean eyes. You are my child and I love you, but I will not allow myself to be pretty, for you. ... No matter how much you want to be just like me, I can't be beautiful for you and I don't know why. "It's working, a little bit. I've even stopped hating myself, a little bit."
I've recently started posting a few original memes here and on my Facebook fan page (which has over 2,700 fans -- so please check it out!). As an artist, I enjoy creating these images. I add a small mention of my website, Facebook page, and logo to my memes in case they're shared. Unfortunately, another fan page on Facebook, Women's Rights News (which has about 100 times more fans than I do and should know better), has shared several of these images, but cropped my info off.
- J.K. Rowling: http://beautyisinside.com/2012/10/is-fat-really-the-worst-thing/
- Portia de Rossi: http://beautyisinside.com/2012/10/portia-on-body-image/
- Iyanla Vanzant: http://beautyisinside.com/2012/10/what-we-believe/
- The 1950s Kitchen: http://beautyisinside.com/2012/10/1950s-kitchen/
"Do you remember not to stride ... to walk with a spring that looks as if you like to dance?" Why, yes I do! In fact, I often do the Waltz as I walk. I may not get very far, but golly gee, do I look feminine!
This commercial could easily be confused with the juvenile & sexist ads for Carl's Jr. But this company doesn't sell burgers. You'd think that a luxury cars maker would want their brand associated with class and elegance -- not juvenile humor and tacky stereotypes about frumpy smart women and dumb blondes. Way to be classy, Mercedes. :/
In June 1972, Kim Phuc was pictured in a world-famous and iconic photograph from the Vietnam War. She was the naked child who was horribly burned with napalm and was running from an airborne attack.
Since then, Kim has found a way to transform her suffering into good. She runs The Kim Foundation International, and she acts as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNESCO. She has transformed into a viable, visible symbol of peace and hope. Hers is an important story of resilience, courage, and forgiveness.
A talented Maryland tattoo artist has made a name for himself as an expert in a valuable niche. Vinnie Myers started out tattooing fellow soldiers in Army boot camp, but has since devoted his business to helping breast cancer survivors. These customers are looking for more than a cool new piece of artwork to decorate their bodies -- these are women who just want to feel whole again:
"[Vinnie] has perfected the three-dimensional nipple tattoo, restoring a final mark of femininity to at least three women a day, who have come from as far as Saudi Arabia and Brazil to Vinnie's Tattoo Parlor ... 'The industry standard has always been draw a circle where the nipple should be and color it in,' Vinnie said. 'When I first started doing it, I said to myself: Why should I do a tattoo of a nipple and make it look like a pepperoni, when I can make it look like a nipple?'"
What keeps Vinnie's work from looking like pepperoni is his attention to detail:
"Vinnie took a peach-colored Sharpie and drew concentric circles where the areola, the dark area around the nipple, and the nipple itself ought to be. First on her right breast, then her left. ...
Vinnie first tattooed in the lines of the two circles, then started shading the areola, making his way to the nipple itself. He also took special care to do what are called Montgomery Glands, the little raised dots in the areola.
Creating a three-dimensional image, the appearance of a raised nipple, is all about using light, shadow, and color to create illusion. This is what distinguishes a gifted artist."
Vinnie has helped hundreds of women feel normal again after losing their breasts to save their lives. His artistic talents enable his customers to see what look like "healthy normal breasts, with fabulous nipples."
"About 290,000 women will get diagnosed with breast cancer this year. About 50,000 will get reconstructive surgery, and 90 percent of those get some sort of areola. But it can be unsatisfying, with no image of a nipple. Furthermore, says Vinnie, surgeons often use vegetable-based dyes that fade quickly."
Although insurance companies will cover the cost of nipple/areola reconstruction, it's often difficult for a patient to collect without a fight. Fortunately, Vinnie charges only $400 for his services, which makes the cost less financially restrictive for women who've already fought enough.
Check out Vinnie's website with several before-and-after photos of his work. NSFW, for obvious reasons.
A woman recounts a story about a friend's experience winning a free style consultation with Clinton Kelly from the TLC show "What Not to Wear". The friend wore a plus-size and had a hard time finding clothes that fit her well. She assumed that it was because of her size, but she couldn't seem to get good results even when she tried to follow plus-size fashion tips from the show. She asked Clinton what she was doing wrong, and he shared this secret:
"His answer was that everything you will ever see on a celebrity’s body, including their outfits when they’re out and about and they just get caught by a paparazzo, has been tailored, and the same goes for everything on What Not To Wear. Jeans, blazers, dresses - everything right down to plain t-shirts and camisoles. He pointed out that historically, up until the last few generations, the vast majority of people either made their own clothing or had their clothing made by tailors and seamstresses. You had your clothing made to accommodate the measurements of your individual body, and then you moved the fuck on. Nothing on the show or in People magazine is off the rack and unaltered. He said that what they do is ignore the actual size numbers on the tags, find something that fits an individual’s widest place, and then have it completely altered to fit. That’s how celebrities have jeans that magically fit them all over, and the rest of us chumps can’t ever find a pair that doesn’t gape here or ride up or slouch down or have about four yards of extra fabric here and there."
Everything is altered. So many of us find fault with our bodies for not fitting the clothes, instead of finding fault with the clothes for not fitting our bodies.
"I sat there after I was told this story, and I really thought about how hard I have worked not to care about the number or the letter on the tag of my clothes, how hard I have tried to just love my body the way it is, and where I’ve succeeded and failed. I thought about all the times I’ve stood in a fitting room and stared up at the lights and bit my lip so hard it bled, just to keep myself from crying about how nothing fits the way it’s supposed to. No one told me that it wasn’t supposed to. I guess I just didn’t know. I was too busy thinking that I was the one that didn’t fit.
I thought about that, and about all the other girls and women out there whose proportions are 'wrong,' who can’t find a good pair of work trousers, who can’t fill a sweater, who feel excluded and freakish and sad and frustrated because they have to go up a size, when really the size doesn’t mean anything and it never, ever did, and this is just another bullshit thing thrown in your path to make you feel shitty about yourself."
Remind yourself of this helpful little secret the next time nothing in your closet seems to fit. Remind yourself the next time the diet ads start making you think you need to lose weight. Remind yourself when you start feeling fat and ugly and worthless. Because the truth is, the flaws may simply be in your jeans — and not in your genes.
Over the last several months, I've noticed that lots of women have been smiling at me on the street, in restaurants, in stores, etc. I'm not used to this, partly because I can be a little shy & I avoid eye contact with passing strangers, but partly because of a sad habit shared by many of us -- that we view other women as threats.
Here's actual proof that beauty magazines make women feel ugly:
"A new University of Missouri-Columbia study found that all women were equally and negatively affected after viewing pictures of models in magazine ads for just three minutes. 'Surprisingly, we found that weight was not a factor. Viewing these pictures was just bad for everyone,' said Laurie Mintz, associate professor of education, school and counseling psychology in the MU College of Education. 'It had been thought that women who are heavier feel worse than a thinner woman after viewing pictures of the thin ideal in the mass media. The study results do not support that theory.'"