Archive for December, 2007
What I love about myself: My sense of humor – I always laugh at my own jokes.
My biggest challenge in accepting my body and beauty: Dressing room mirrors – they can be very evil. I would also put censor packaging on tabloid magazines – they perpetuate the most obnoxious ideas and standards of beauty and success, and unfortunately they are easy to read for young children who are often in tow of their parents at the grocery store, so at an early age they begin to learn a skewed definition of “beautiful”.
My biggest support in learning to appreciate myself: Most definitely my participation as a coach with Girls On The Run. Being a coach requires self confidence and as a coach I’m a role model to the girls in my program. Kids are incredibly intuitive and can tell when you aren’t being honest with them and my girls hold me to the same – if not higher – expectations that I ask of them, which is to lead a healthy lifestyle, remain physically active, serve your community, and always promise to do your best. If I can accomplish these things then I am a good person – and totally worth appreciating – even if I have a bad day shopping for clothes!!
Beauty is: Our differences. We are quickly becoming a very boring species because so many people are hiding their individuality by acting and trying to look like someone else. If this is you, please stop and be yourself. The world needs you! (more…)
I’m a resolver. A lister. A planner. A dreamer. A must do better-er. And I am also a supporter of women, a cheerleader (in the theoretical sense. I tried out for cheerleading against my better judgment just once in 6th grade. I did it because I am a supporter of women—was so even then—and one of my good friends REALLY wanted to be a cheerleader but wouldn’t try out alone. So, I attended all the practices and then promptly ran into the judge’s table as I finished up my cartwheel, cartwheel, round-off during the first leg of the tryouts. Needless to say, I wasn’t invited back. My friend, however, made the team and was a cheerleader for the rest of her public education career.), an activist, and an advocate. So with the New Year upon us, I decided to take advantage of that desire in all of us to want to be better to throw out some resolutions for your consideration. Let’s vow to up our game in 2008—bringing out the best in each other while becoming our best selves.
Now, for the resolutions…
Ditch the fat chat. A study published in the journal Body Image showed that women echoed what they heard others say. When actresses, recruited by the researchers, said negative, neutral, or positive thing about their bodies to 88 unsuspecting women, the subjects tended to speak the same way the actresses did—even if they had just rated their body image as positive or high before the conversation. Sure, there are all sorts of reasons that a woman might do this—to build camaraderie, to be polite, etc—but because those statements might end up add to having a significant impact on one’s self perception, why not just stop? When a woman criticizes herself in front of you, don’t join in. Instead, celebrate what you love about her or tell her just how wrong she is. We do ourselves and others no good when we allow these critiques to carry on.
Love yourself. We too often invest in self-loathing—from our weight, to our hair, to our body shape, to our skin color. And the energy we put into all of this hating, tweaking, complaining, erasing just takes away from the energy we have to engage in our world. Luminous, shiny hair doesn’t make you a better mother. A tan does not make you a better teacher. These things don’t change the world. What you have in you—in your soul— is what has the makings of an everyday miracle. Want to feel better about yourself? Invest your time in doing esteemable acts rather than measuring your esteem by a beauty standard that exists on a slippery slope.
I, like many people in my generation, loved The Cosby Show, and, most especially, loved Claire Huxtable who surely deserved many mother of the year awards for everything she endured. Last night, I was doing my annual end of year chores (cleaning out file drawers and shelves, gleaning whatever I no longer need) when I came across Phylicia Rashad’s list to her younger self which was published in O Magazine in 2006.
Her letter, written to the 21 year old Phylicia, starts out:
Romantic involvement distracts you and can blind you to what’s really in front of you. And what really is in front of you?
What I love about being Latina: I love that I am surrounded by the strength and support of other Latinas, who are some of the strongest women I have ever met. I also love the strong sense of family, and pride, that all Latinos I know seem to have.
What I love about being Americana: Opportunity – and the fact that if you work hard enough, you can do just about anything you want to in this country.
My biggest challenge in growing up Latina in America: Ignorance, and people not understanding – or trying to understand – what it is like to be raised in dual cultures. For me, being half Mexican and half German, it sometimes feels like the best of both worlds. But sometimes it can feel like I don’t fit in with either group.
What I love about myself: Physically, I have always loved my eyes. Emotionally, I have always loved my ability to relate to and warmly embrace so many different types of people.
My biggest challenge in accepting my body and beauty: My biggest challenge growing up was realizing that most people don’t care about what you look like. I spent my teens and my 20s trying to shrink the width of my hips, only to come to realize in my mid-30s that my hips are a part of who I am no one really cares about their size. Peer pressure will always exist, but it needs to be combated with education. Life is short. We’ll all be dead and gone before we know it. I’ve come to realize that I’m not going to waste one minute worrying about things that “just won’t matter 100 years from now.”
My biggest support in learning to appreciate myself: My husband and my own personal growth process. To some extent, self-awareness and wisdom do come with age.
So, I am working on a body image, beauty perception, and identity cheers and jeers list for 2007. Have some suggestions for who or what should make either list? Send them my way for consideration!
Throughout the United States today Hispanic women are attaining the highest levels of professional achievement and leadership. To honor their accomplishments, Hispanic Business Magazine will present its 6th annual Woman of the Year (WOY) Awards and annual Elite Women directory in its April issue.To qualify, individuals must be U.S. citizens of Hispanic origin who work in Corporate America, nonprofit organizations, sports/entertainment, government (elected or appointed positions) or academia. The deadline for nominations is Friday, January 4th.
If you would like to nominate a Hispanic woman who has had a recent, national impact please fill out a nomination form on our Web site.
If a biography and/or photograph is available, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any further information you would like to submit in addition to the nomination form please send to email@example.com.
What I love about being Latina: Being able to understand Reggaton…also being part of a culture that has been present in the United States for so long and is a part of the US history as much as the early European colonial settlers. Knowing that I have a deep and rich culture that is as diverse as the many faces of the Latin people.
What I love about being Americana: Being raised in a country where freedom allows me to be a strong Hispanic Woman. I am lucky enough to break the barriers that many women in Latin American are still not able to break through. I can appreciate being raised in a country where I am truly free to follow my dreams and pave the way to the future that I want.
(a history of me and my short skirts)
2008 will mark the 10th anniversary of Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues and the movement it spurred. I had the honor of being in a staged version of the Monologues about five years ago and loved every moment of being a part of such a phenomenal movement.
It was also a lot of fun to come out on that stage and say:
“My short skirt is not an invitation, a provocation, an indication that I want it, that I need it, or that I hook. My short skirt is not begging for it. It does not want you to rip it off me or pull it down… My short skirt, believe it or not, has nothing to do with you.”
In its 9 year history, V-Day, the activist and advocacy movement inspired by the Vagina Monologues, has accomplished a lot:
Using art and activism, V-Day has educated millions about the issue of violence against women and the efforts to end it, crafted international educational, media and PSA campaigns, launched the Karama program in the Middle East, reopened shelters, and funded over 5000 community-based anti-violence programs and safe houses in Kenya, South Dakota, Haiti, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, and Iraq.
The 10 year annivesary will culiminate in a huge celebration in New Orleans next April.
In the meantime, in each issue of O Magazine, Ensler asks for four movers and shakers from around the globe to share their earth-fixing ideas. Here are some recent ideas that I especially loved:
What I love about myself: my soulful sensitivity that pains over injustices, and my incessant rebelliousness that becomes revved to fight against them.
My biggest challenge in accepting my body and beauty: is feeling as if my body betrays me when it is not as strong as I’d like it to be – when it becomes easily fatigued climbing a mountain or anxious at the prospect of revealing my wholeness. I vigilantly fight against internalizing my body’s limitations and constantly reassure myself that there is beauty even in weakness.
My biggest support in learning to appreciate myself: My husband, my lover, my pro-bono pyschiatrist who daily affirms that I am strong, stunning, and only slightly insane.
Beauty is: Awe for the Creator and the miracle of her creation. (more…)