Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Raising Gold Diggers

As sad as it may seem, this is not the first time I have been offended by Wal-Mart's selection of little girl clothing.

These panties were sold in children's size at Wal-Mart. They are Christmas themed...apparently. The front states, "Who needs credit cards..." and the back reads, "When you have Santa..." That is almost a cute idea if it were not on the crotch of little girls' panties! We wonder why our children are so spoiled, why they are so sexualized, why they "grow up so fast". How can anyone not see the consequences of these actions? The mentality you are teaching your daughter is to find a sugar daddy; spend someone else's money.

Now some will argue that it is supposed to be funny. Like I said, it has potential to be cute, but not on children's underwear! Also, consider how often children age 3 to 8 get subtle humor and sarcasm...

We have to be so careful what we show and teach our children. We should encourage them in many ways, but be aware of what you are encouraging.

One angry blogger wrote, "there's nothing quite like telling adolescent girls that they don't need to worry about finances since they have their very own moneypot between their legs". We must take an active role in shaping our children.

Why not turn this into a positive? Teach your daughters about spending and saving carefully and wisely, and then they still won't need credit cards (for a while at least), but for much better reasons. Use this lesson as something you can teach your daughter, even if you just teach her 'what NOT to do'.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Relief for the Girl from Qatif

Thank God for squeaky wheels.
The king of Saudi Arabia has released The Girl From Qatif after several other nations expressed great distaste and concern for her emotional and mental well-being. He expressed that he did not doubt the judgement made, but was acting in the "interest of the people".
Further details on the story (that I did not have before) make the situation more clear. The woman (19 years old) had recently gotten married, so she met this man to retrieve a picture he had of her. In the mind of modesty she did not want another man to have a photograph of her. By being in the presence of a man who was not her relative, she broke a deep rooted law and had to be punished, EVEN THOUGH her encounter ended with her being raped by seven men.
I begged you all to pray and keep this poor girl in your minds. Many people, including our own president, made their displeasure known. Thanks to their words and actions, this girl has been released from prison.
We need to acknowledge the power of our actions. I am not assuming my action had any direct correlation to the president's actions. I am only saying that speaking up can and will make a difference. Take heart in that, and take a stand.
(original article)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Jennifer Love Hewitt

These are some comments made by anonymous online abusers referring to this swimsuit picture:

“I guess success has gone to her head and she thinks it doesn’t matter how fat she gets now.”
“If you think flabby is sexy, then yes, she is still sexy. Firm is always better than flab.”
“She needs to stop wearing bikinis until she starts working out.”
“She should be embarrassed about how overweight she is. She needs to talk to Jessica Biel or Nadja Bjorlin about getting in shape.”

Ladies, I am not making this up. I copied those directly from the article where I found them. I couldn't believe my eyes.
If this body is a representation of "fat" (now considered a proverbial 'four letter word') to our society, than what are the rest of us supposed to do?
Hewitt, a beautiful, curvy young woman, is proud of her body. She always has been. She used to be very thin (and popular), and this is probably partly due to her breasts. She has always had the top half of a "fat girl". No one ever seemed to mind her massive mammories when she was squeezed into a tiny dress and almost falling out of the top. Funny how the eyes of society are so selective. Except that it isn't funny at all.
What sort of image and ideal do we set for ourselves? For our children? Do you realize, in America, how young girls start to abuse their own bodies in an effort to "perfect" them? You can see 6 year olds in yoga class talking about carbs, 8 year olds skipping meals and weighing themselves 3 times a day, girls getting breast implants for their sweet sixteen or earlier. How long can we allow this to go on?
Yes, there is a weight crisis in America. In fact, there are a few. As a country we are severely unhealthy and overweight. What about those who starve themselves and get lipo to go from a 0 to a 00? Who is talking about their weight crisis? I am, and I am sick of this false standard.
The sliver of silver on the outside of this dark cloud is this : The "Ghost Whisperer" star says she loves her body, and according to buzz there are folks out there that agree. Searches on "jennifer love hewitt sexy" jumped 41%, proving that every dude doesn't desire a size zero.
There is a movement beginning of men who don't want women they are afraid will break beneath them. For that, I am thankful.

In JLH's words, “To all the girls with butts, boobs, hips and a waist, put on a bikini – put it on and stay strong.”

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Girl from Qatif

"A Saudi court sentenced a woman who had been gang raped to six months in jail and 200 lashes — more than doubling her initial penalty for being in the car of a man who was not a relative"
This is what we are dealing with in other parts of the world, people. As Americans it is so easy to only see our own world. America is very often portrayed as "individual" or as "only". We turn a blind eye and a closed heart on too many people in this world. Our sisters are suffering in immeasurable ways.
This woman got into a car with a male she went to high school with so that she could retrieve a picture. While in the car two other men got in. They drove to a location where this girl (19 years old) was raped by seven men.
She will spend six months in jail after being beaten within an inch of her life under direction of the court. It is illegal, under Saudi Arabia's interpretation of Islamic Sharia law, for a woman to accompany a man in public who is not related to her.
I do not mean to only show one side of this argument. The men were punished as well. The individuals will serve from 2 to 9 years in jail for their offense. I do not need to make a one sided argument to show the horror of this situation; it shines through even when you show both sides! This woman was brutalized and shamed by a group of men, and then received virtually the same treatment from the courts! They beat her and threw her in jail!
Women very often hide their rape and abuse because they feel shame and they fear it is their fault. This "justice system" is proving their fears true! It sends the message that it is the woman's fault because men cannot help themselves and she should have known not to provoke them.
The woman, known in the media as The Girl from Qatif, was represented by a lawyer who appealed the case, saying that the verdict was too lenient for the attackers and unjust for the victim. His license was revoked. This is what happens to those who are standing up for what is just! It can be so daunting and disheartening, but we must continue to pray and to donate and to fight!
Do a little research. See if you don't feel the fire under your butt to do something, anything. Your sisters are waiting for you.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Sara Blakely

As I am in the process of finding the perfect wedding dress, I must say “Thank You” to the genius woman who invented Spanx undergarments!
Sara Blakely was just a normal woman with a normal problem that she turned into an extraordinary opportunity.
“Like so many women, I bought clothes that looked amazing in a magazine or on the hanger, but in reality magnified every panty line and imperfection — clothes that eventually made their way to the "maybe one day I'll be flawless" section of my closet where they remained unworn.”(original article)
Who hasn’t felt that way? If I sold everything in my “maybe one day I’ll be flawless” section, maybe I could pay for a dream wedding!! These magnificent undergarments can reshape and refine most of the areas women are self-conscious about. They do not necessarily intend to make you look skinny; they intend to make you look smooth. More often than not, it is the ‘bumpy’ nature of my physique that bothers me, not my actual size. I am not alone in that feeling.
As if her invention hasn’t sparked enough good karma, “Sara is turning her attention to giving back by helping women globally with education and entrepreneurial support.”Sara has started the Sara Blakely Foundation which seeks to empower women. The Foundation finds young women with great potential and funds their education and goals. One of the biggest projects it is currently involved in is giving out scholarships for CIDA, the first free university in South Africa. These blessed women who receive the scholarships are given incredible opportunities that would have otherwise passed them by.
This Foundation has many incredible and maintainable goals, and I cannot wait to see what dreams she can achieve through this project.
“While many of our natural resources are being depleted, one is waiting to be unleashed… WOMEN!” – Sara Blakely

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Outrage over Britney's Belly

Despite her many, publicly stated faults, despite her sad descent into trashiness, despite her disappointing excuse for a comeback, Britney Spears is not fat.

The Internet was teeming this morning with blogs on Britney's belly. Critics everywhere are "disgusted" and "embarassed for her" because of her appearance.

Um, excuse me? I know plenty of people who would be happy to switch bodies with her (at least the outside; who can say what state her health is in). Especially given that she has had two children in the past few years, I think she is doing just fine.

Opinions at the Associated Press were fairly open minded:

"Was it fair? Did Spears, lest we forget a mother of two, deserve to be held up against the standard of her once fantastically toned abs, sculpted by sessions of 1,000 tummy crunches? Or was she asking for it by choosing that unforgiving black-sequined bikini?

"More profoundly, in an age where skinny models and skeletal actresses are under scrutiny for the message they're sending young girls, what does it say that we're excoriating a young woman for a little thickness in her middle?

"Talk of Spears' physique comes amid an increasingly critical focus on overly skinny actresses in Hollywood, who've largely replaced supermodels as the world's fashion plates. It's hard to pick up a celebrity magazine without a critical photo of, say, Angelina Jolie's birdlike arms. And curvy actresses are getting positive attention, from Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson of "Dreamgirls" to Golden Globe-winner America Ferrara of TV's "Ugly Betty."

"In the fashion industry, there's been an effort to promote healthier-looking models. "Girls aren't looking as skinny this season as they did," said Suze Yalof Scwhartz, executive editor-at-large for Glamour Magazine. "There's food backstage. They're looking sexier." At Glamour, she noted, a model won't be featured "if she shows too much clavicle." "

I think britney should be satisfied with the way she looks. However her health, both physical and emotional, are in need of attention. Maybe if we stopped focusing on what "we the people" deem that she should look like, someone could give her the help she really needs. As long as the media and the consumers of America give constant focus to the disarray of her life, she has little hope.

I am asking you all to be better than that.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Moira Cameron

This woman has broken down a major wall in patriarchal tradition. She is the first female Beefeater EVER in a history of over 500 years!

"Moira Cameron, 42, from Argyll became the first female Yeoman Warder in the guards' 522-year history after beating five men to win the coveted position to the famous ceremonial guard."

Cameron joined the army when she was 16 years old and served in the forces for 22 years, the required experienced to try for her post.

She has set an amazing example to girls and women everywhere that we can truly do whatever we set our minds to; even if there is a current rule excluding women, it can be broken! Thank you, Moira, for helping us break through the "weaker sex" stereotype. Good luck with the inevitable jokes that will come your way.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Playwright fights for Congolese women

Eve Ensler is at it again, working endlessly to abolish violence against women. Especially sexual violence, as her efforts have turned to war-torn countries, mainly in Africa.
(For original article, click here)
"Eve Ensler has just returned from hell. That's how the author of "The Vagina Monologues" describes her trip to Congo, where thousands of women have been sexually attacked and mutilated in the African nation's civil war.
The 54-year-old playwright has joined with the United Nations in a campaign against what a U.N. expert called the worst violence against women in the world.
'In Congo, you're talking about a situation where Africans are hurting Africans, black people are hurting black people,' Ensler told The Associated Press in an interview from Italy. 'And it's harder to make people care. People say, 'Oh, it's just Africa.' And nobody is held accountable.'
She spent weeks at the Panzi Hospital in the city of Bukavu, in eastern Congo, where Dr. Denis Mukwege is helping to repair the broken bodies of war victims. The hospital sees about 3,500 women a year suffering fistula and other severe genital injuries.
A U.N. human rights expert said last month that the sexual atrocities in Congo's volatile province of South Kivu extend "far beyond rape" and include sexual slavery, forced incest and cannibalism.
From Geneva, Yakin Erturk called the situation the worst she had ever seen as the global body's special investigator for violence against women. She blamed Uganda-backed militias that occupy Congo's Ituri region, as well as the nation's armed forces and national police.
Erturk will report her findings in September to the U.N. Human Rights Council.
"How do I tell you of girls as young as 9 raped by gangs of soldiers, of women whose insides were blown apart by rifle blasts and whose bodies now leak uncontrollable streams of urine and feces?" Ensler asks in an article in the September issue of Glamour magazine.
The International Criminal Court in the Hague is now considering indictments in connection with the atrocities. The court's probe started in 2004, instigated by Congo's president, Joseph Kabila.
Ensler is asking people to write letters to Kabila, demanding that he take stronger action to stop the attacks. Hundreds of letters already have arrived at the United Nations, which is forwarding them to the African leader, Ensler said.
She is working to raise both awareness and funds for the women through the United Nations Action Against Sexual Violence in Conflict and through V-Day, a global movement she founded to stop violence against women and girls.
V-Day was inspired by the overwhelming audience response to "The Vagina Monologues," an award-winning play in which actors share anecdotes about their bodies that reveal heartbreaking and hilarious glimpses of their souls.
The V-Day movement has raised over $40 million in the past decade, funding thousands of community-based anti-violence programs and safe houses in Kenya, Egypt and Iraq, as well as the United States.
The money Ensler helps raise for Congo will go to Panzi hospital and to establish a safe haven called "City of Joy."
Her journey to Congo in May was inspired by a conversation she had with Mukwege last December in New York, where he spoke about his work — 'sewing up women's vaginas as fast as the mad militiamen are ripping them apart,' as Ensler describes it.
Their friendship 'began with my rusty French and his limited English,' she wrote. 'It began with the quiet anguish in his bloodshot eyes, eyes that seemed to me to be bleeding from the horrors he'd witnessed.'"

If anyone can read this without feeling rage, feeling helpless, feeling true sorrow, then go on with your life as it was. If you feel the need to donate your money and/or your time, check out the V-Day website for clues on how.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Women With Wings

This amazing group of women has so many wonderful missions on their plate. Their main focus right now is to go to Zimbabwe and Botswana to "give back the voice" to the women there! This project builds such emphasis on the voice women have, and especially the voice we do not use. It is a matter of rebuilding confidence and spirit, re-establishing strength and will. These women in Africa need that desperately.
Nan and Lorri really need help for this dream to fly. They need encouragement, but right now their greatest need is money. You can make tax-deductable donations here if you would like.
For all of my Houstonians (and Abilenians) I have another method. Nan and I have had some communication concerning getting these women to Houston for a project building! Now, we would be responsible for raising the funds to get them here and do what they need to do, but we would also need to help them build this Africa fund.
If you have any good fundraising ideas, PLEASE leave them here in a comment. Also, if you are comfortable doing so, I ask you to pray for these missions and efforts. Together, we women need to utilize our strong voice and send these angels to Africa!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Plus Size Opportunities

Hollywood Gains more than Weight!

"The ladies of "Hairspray" are a rarity in fat-phobic Hollywood, whose obsession with willowy women is so strong the idea of a corpulent heroine is almost unheard of." These harsh but true words are the opening for a wonderfully eye-opening article about the 'new' remake of Hairspray.

Honestly, when was the last time you saw a big girl save the day? Win the contest? Get the guy? Ever?

Well Hollywood is slowly changing it's image, and the commotion is being headed by the return of the movie musical. Remember the splash caused by buxom, bitchy and beautiful Effie White played by Jennifer Hudson? That plot is riddled with weight references. However, even that was a baby step; different cultures have different beauty ideals. I think that is incredible. But until we had a "good ol' fashioned American white chick" with plenty of jello to jiggle the test of our nation's preference could not be complete. Enter Nikki Blonsky. This beauty, who plays the lead role in Hairspray, is proud of her beauty and talent. She kicks serious 'A' at the local dance contest, and she knows she is hot stuff. She encourages her mother, who is so ashamed of her own weight she hasn't left the apartment in years, to embrace the world and herself. This movie screams, "Way to go, fat chicks!" in the best possible way. It teaches us not to judge simply by a look.

I applaud the return of the movie musical, and not only because I want to star in one. The more money we can throw at the box office, the clearer the message to producers: we want to see our selves, our neighbors, our friends on the screen, not just the pretty skinny girls you picked off the runway. We are women too, we are beautiful and we are talented.

And we will be represented in the world of the media.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Slow but steady steps are being taken to ensure the physical health of runway models and the emotional security of young girls everywhere.

While this article focuses on the fact that London is resisting this movement, it also highlights the countries who are really making an effort.

There are decrees being set about the limitations on fashion models, rules that should have been set down ages ago. They are trying to set a minimum age, namely because young girls are more succeptable to the pressure to lose weight in an unhealthy way. They believe that the younger the girl starts in this business the more likely she will develop an eating disorder.
These commitees are also enforcing rules concerning a minimum weight. In several fashion-focused countries designers have rejected models for being 'too skinny', and it it about time! They actually have regulations based on the BMI (Body Mass Index) which has more to do with the ratio of fat and lean muscle than just a number on a scale. It means they are finally trying to be more concerned with their health than just their appeal. Imagine what a great difference this will make for many girls?
I'm going to make a confession: I have, for quite some time, secretly longed to be a runway model. My body is far from perfect, but ladies I know how to do that walk! I have always kind of laughed to myself, however, at the possibility of it. I think I have a good mix between slender and curvy, but curves do not appeal to fashion designers this season, so why bother? Slowly the concern of health is sneaking up on the desire for "perfection", and it is going to change the social concept of ideal beauty. Look throughout history - the pendulum swings to both sides with time. There was a time in our history when being skinny and tanned meant that you were lower class, worked outside and could not afford food. Now it is revered as most high in the art of appeal!
Curvy ladies, our time will come again. It is already on its way!

Friday, July 13, 2007


An older music video that makes a great point. It's cheesy, but they do a great job of covering a lot of ground. Any of it seem familiar?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Waris Dirie

This Somali-born super-model is an example of exotic and breathtaking beauty. She is also an absolute pillar of strength. This woman now works for the United Nations as the Special Ambassador for the Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation, a topic she understands first-hand.
A lot of people are either unfamiliar with the idea of female genital mutilation, or they severely underestimate its existence. "Between 100 million and 140 million women have undergone genital mutilation worldwide, and 2 million girls are at risk each year." This practice is most common in African and Middle Eastern nations and cultures. An article I read this morning, however, made me aware of the rising number of cases in Britain.
Dirie puts her career and her privacy on the line every day for millions of children and young women across the world. She is able to draw upon her own story to encourage others who have had the procedure. The process she underwent was very often fatal; it took the lives of her sister and her cousins.
Dirie believes that the best thing we, as individuals, can do to stop this is to raise awareness. She said, "It’s got to be kept in the newspapers, it’s got to be talked about - and that’s the way people can help and to know what’s going on. Because mostly they don’t know what’s going on. Most of the world doesn’t know it’s going on, and it happens."
This strong, beautiful woman is a beacon, shining light on the dark things we wish we could ignore. I applaud her strength and her mission, and I hope she continues to make the world a better place.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Invisible Women

So many of the women I have emphasized and analyzed are familiar faces; celebrities we see and read about practically every day. While I feel that it is necessary to do so, it is important that I do not neglect the Invisible Women, those who suffer away from constant watch.
I want to take a moment to give a little hope. I have become emotionally involved in the crisis in Darfur. I have tried to donate my money and my prayers to the efforts made there, and I am constantly amazed at the huge impact of a small donation. This article was featured in Oprah's magazine (and you know I love Oprah!) on how easily we can make big changes.

“Fueling Hope:
If your reaction to news of atrocities in Darfur, Sudan, is horror mixed with helplessness, it’s time to get involved. Many women living in refugee camps have no choice but to put themselves in the path of government-supported militiamen, Janjaweed, as they rape and slaughter their way across the region. “To fuel their traditional cooking fires, women spend as much as seven hours a day foraging for scarce wood, and while they’re out searching, they’re vulnerable to rape,” says Christina Galitsky, an energy analyst at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California. “The men can’t go instead because the Janjaweed kill them outright. And the women have become so desperate, they’re selling their food rations to buy wood.” Galitsky worked with her colleague, renowned scientist Ashok Gadgil, to develop a simple stove that reduces the amount of fuel consumed in cooking by up to 75%. There are 2.2 million refugees in Darfur who need about 300,000 stoves; for $30 you can donate one to a woman and help keep her and her family safe. Visit

These women suffer violent and horrifying rape almost daily. They are physically and emotionally scarred repeatedly, and they do so to save the lives of their family. What better way to encourage another beautiful soul in this world than to save her from that merciless torture?

Monday, July 9, 2007

Mrs. Earth

I found an interesting competition, and I wanted to inform people:

Reply to: mrsearth2008@gmail.com
The Mrs. Earth Pageant was created to celebrate the outstanding successes a women has achieved as a wife, mother, friend and community leader. Mrs. Earth will be the total package: beautiful, successful, confident and driven.
We will forward you all the information you'll need to participate in the 2008 competition.

How fascinating that they are marketing it towards married women, and focusing not only on their physical beauty but on their successes as women. I think it is a great step forward in the pageant/competition world.

Bunnies against beatings...

Really, it is You-Tube day...

This man makes an excellent point. I'm glad I found this clip because it illustrates that there are men fighting the same fight as women. Feminism does not set out to be anti-man, and I think this guy stands strong on an important issue. I especially like his references to the famous serial killers; not everyone knows this evidence from their testimony, and it is valuable.


It seems to be You-Tube day...

This one might make you a little angry. Yes, this guy is definitely a jerk and a sexist. That part doesn't particularly surprise me. However, how sad is it that it works! It gives you a hint about our educational system. Also, maybe we should put a little more focus on women's studies at a younger age, especially at an all girls' school. Most of these girls think that suffrage is synonymous with suffering, so they are all for it. One girl got the voting reference, but she got it backwards.

What are we passing on to our future generations?

Women in Art

This video is fascinating and beautiful. It moves from picture to picture a little too fast for me, but the image created is incredible. Watch it once through while watching the eyes the whole time.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Oprah Winfrey

According to Forbes magazine, Oprah is the most powerful and influential person in our nation.

I'm not afraid to admit that I am often jealous of this woman. Can you imagine being able to make a living out of giving? Doesn't that just sound wonderful?

She has opened schools and programs in Africa, raised awareness for several issues at home and educated the world about a lot of things. She even graced the silver screen in movies like The Color Purple (a now-Broadway musical that she funds) and Beloved.

And not only is she a beautiful person as measured by her passions and accomplishments, she is in great physical shape as well! Amazing skin, gorgeous hair, fun and appropriate fashion; now, I'm sure it helps to have a make-up team, but either way...

I have recently learned of Oprah's O Girl, O Beautiful program. This site has some fascinating links, including interviews with famous, beautiful, successful women who have felt, and do feel, incomplete and insecure because of their bodies. Of the many options on this site, perhaps the best part is the contract. This is a literal contract for girls (and women) to print and sign, vowing to love themselves and embrace their personal beauty.

There are a million reasons to love this woman and her work. She has inspired me on many occasions and I hope she can do the same for you.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


I received this sweet poem from a great friend today, and it reminded me of why this mission is important. We need to recognize our own beauty without comparing or tearing down the beauty of other women. We are incredible beings as we stand alone and when we stand alongside our sisters. Let this be a reminder to encourage the beautiful women around you, including yourself.

Someone will always be prettier.
Some will always be smarter.
Some of their houses will be bigger.
Some will drive a better car.
Their children will do better in school.
And their husband will fix more things around the house.
So let it go,
and love you and your circumstances.
Think about it!
The prettiest woman in the world can have hell in her heart.
And the most highly favored
woman on your job may be unable to have children.
And the richest woman you know,
she's got the car, the house, the clothes~~~~
might be lonely.
And the word says, "If I have not Love, I am nothing."
So, again, love you.
Love who you are.
Look in the mirror in the morning and smile and say,
"I am too blessed to be stressed and too anointed, to be disappointed!"
"Winners make things happen~~
Losers let things happen."
Be "blessed" ladies~~~~~
and pass this on to encourage another woman.
"To the world you might be one person,
but to one person you could be the world."

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Fund Free Mammograms

One of my favorite things about the female nature is the desire and skill to nuture and care. Obviously, some women are more or less skilled at this, but we all feel that draw.
What a nice feeling when you can do something for your fellow sister!
There is a website that makes it easier than ever. This takes five seconds, and costs no money. All you have to do is click on the "Fund free Mammograms" tab in the middle of the page -DONE! The site gets donations (that fund the mammograms for women who cannot afford them) from advertisers, so each click represents someone that has seen the ads. it is very simple. I have the site on my desktop, and every morning at work I open it, click, and I'm done.
Not only will you be doing something great for the world of women, but you will feel pretty darn good, too.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Sue Konicek

You have probably never heard of Sue Konicek, and that is fine with her. She isn't in this business to be rich and famous.
She does it because she loves it. And I love her because she does it.
Konicek opened a theatre because "She likes to watch children’s self-esteem and skills grow as they learn and perform — on stage and behind the scenes." This article explains about how and why Konicek decided to change the world in her small venue.
She has sacrificed a lot in order to give this gift to her community. She jokes that she is "married to the theatre", but it isn't necessarily a joke. She spends all of her time there, dedicated to great art with great community outreach.
I think more of us should draw on our strength as women and go after our dreams. Sue did, and not only is she happy, but she brings happiness to others daily.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Women With Wings

What a fascinating project I stumbled across!
These women have organized an art outreach that looks so incredible. Apparently they travel to your town, find a community of women who want to participate and build art towers based on the stories of the local women. Then they have an auction and sell the pieces. All of the art is inspired by the true and personal stories of everyday women. Doesn't that just sound neat?
I have made contact with their 'tour coordinator' and am hoping to bring them to Houston in the near future. For those of you living elsewhere, I strongly suggest researching this possibility.
Please go to their website and read about their mission - it may inspire you as it has for me.


Friday, June 8, 2007

Jordin Sparks

I have been meaning to write about this beautiful young Idol, but I am glad I waited until now. Sparks is incredibly beautiful, incredibly talented and very, very likable. She is also very lucky.

What she is not, however, is "a vision of unhealth".

Meme Roth would disagree. She is associated with the National Action Against Obesity, and she feels like Jordin Sparks is a horrible role model because her body encourages obesity in today's youth.

Now, I will not busy myself with calling this woman horrible names, 1) because hundreds of other bloggers have got that covered, and 2) I try to keep a positive vibe in this blog. But I do intend to disagree passionately with her specific statements.

The quote I had the most problem with states, “We have to stop with the 'baby fat,' 'curvy,' 'goddess' euphemisms and own this child health crisis." I am not going to disagree that we have a child obesity epidemic sweeping our nation. Every woman is beautiful, but it would be naive and dangerous for me to state that every woman is healthy! But to compare women and girls who are curvy and voluptuous with any kind of 'crisis' is the seed behind all of the negative self-images we carry along.

I support this woman's mission in general because she is striving to provide strong, healthy role models. Thumbs way up; I just think she ought to broaden her scope of 'healthy' to include muscular, tall women like Jordin Sparks. Have you seen this girl's father? Jordin is not genetically destined to be tiny!

The good news is that people everywhere - women and men alike - are up in arms over this, only proving that the notion of 'big = bad' is slowly but surely fading into a 'natural and individual are beautiful' mentality.

Thursday, June 7, 2007


There are so many inspirational beauties; women of power, charcter, talent and physical beauty. I would love to hear from those who read this blog who they would like to see honored. They could be political figures, movie stars, sports stars, religious figures, models - there are no limitations. They could be dead or alive.
Who inspires you?

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

My Point Exactly

This video can be found on the Campaign for Real Beauty website. It is a little sad, but very true. It gives a little insight into the minds of young girls, the issues with which they suffer. It makes the heart-achingly true point that even the most beautiful women and girls do not understand and appreciate their own gifts.

Jennifer Hudson

This songbird is one of only 15 actors (in 78 years of awards) to win an Academy Award for her debut film. She has a voice to incite a standing ovation in movie theaters across the country. She won our hearts on American Idol until she was haphazardly let go.

But the most remarkable things about Hudson are her beliefs. First of all, she has justified a nation of big-and-beautiful women, women with curves, women the way God intended them to be. She has the full-figured look in the bag. Do you realize she gained weight for "Dreamgirls"? They asked her to gain 20 lbs or so at the start of the filming. She has no intention of changing her body to please "popular culture", and thank goodness, 'pop culture' is just fine with that!

Secondly, this incredible woman is a out-in-the-open Christian. She grew up in the Baptist church and has been singing in gospel choirs for as long as she could. And I am always impressed when people have classy and pointed answers to controversial questions. So often the media (and other cynicists) will try to trip-up the religious types and stereotype them as elitist or judgemental, and sometimes they are right. This woman, however, stopped them dead in their tracks with this answer:

"In a recent interview, I was asked how I reconciled being a Christian with performing at events for my gay fans. I find it upsetting that some folks equate being a Christian with being intolerant of gay people. That may, unfortunately, be true for some, but it is not true for me. I have talked often of my love and support of the gay community. I have said again and again that it was the gay community that supported me long before and long after American Idol, and kept me working and motivated. It is the gay community that celebrated my voice and my size and my personality long before Dreamgirls. Yes, I was raised Baptist. Yes, I was taught that the Bible has certain views on homosexuality. The Bible also teaches us not to judge. It teaches us to love one another as God loves us all. I love my sister, my two best friends and my director dearly. They happen to be gay. So what? While some search for controversy, I hope that my friends and fans who know me, know where I stand."

This woman has so many levels and so far I like them all. She has my respect, for her talent and passion as well as her mission and faith.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Rosa Parks

While a nation was at its feet, this woman ‘sat down’ for her rights.
Parks was an active member of the NAACP and was therefore very well aware of racial issues. I’m sure her stance to stay seated was entirely purposeful. She was a great model for non-violent protest. She didn’t start a fight, she didn’t yell or kick or scream. She simply stayed seated.
This woman was a major catalyst for the Segregation Movement. Approximately one year after her arrest Martin Luther King Jr. came onto the scene as a civil rights leader, and we all know where the story goes from there.
Parks was awarded the Congressional Gold Metal, Congress’ highest honor, in 1999. How incredible is that? She passed away in 2005 at the age of 92, at which point she was still as classy and sassy as ever. She represents an entire history of strong women who did what they believed to be necessary, and for this she deserves great respect.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Donna Hester

If only every woman could have the drive and passion that this woman constantly exudes. She was my teacher, my boss, my mom-away-from-mom and my friend. To be fair, she is still my friend.

This picture of her with the ironing boards is from a short show she did based on an art series by Jill Maxwell. The piece was called Iron Apron Strings. Jill created several amazing pieces based on six women in the genealogy of Jesus, and she did so using household and stereotypically-female items like irons from all ages and ironing boards. Donna wrote a one-woman show to explore the lives of these same women. The whole experience was moving, humorous and beautiful.
Among the long list of her wonderful qualities, talent cannot be skipped over. Donna has performed in many plays on the ACU Theatre stage, and every one that I have seen has moved me or made me laugh. Sometimes both! She has great skill and joy for the calling of theatre.
Donna is not only an emotional inspiration and a spiritual foundation. She is also a gorgeous woman. Her skin and hair are incredible, and I have seen her husband of many years stare at her with love and desire (when he thought no one was looking).
I am so thankful for role models like Donna. She is someone to look up to and aspire to be in every way. Her age is regardless; her spirit is so alive and her joy so contagious. I pray that you all are blessed with someone like this in your lives.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Eve Ensler

It is my proud pleasure to be from the same species as this woman. She embodies and empowers all things female. She was nominated by CNN as America's 'Best Feminist'. Whether or not you have heard her name, you have probably heard of her most famous works; "The Vagina Monologues".

This playwright and poet was devastated to hear a friend of hers' interpretation of her own body. She realized something had to be done to enhace communications between women and other women, but more importantly between women and their own bodies. We are strangers in our own land, disgusted and afraid.

As a result of her play, she began V-Day; an organization designed to increase the awareness of and cease violence against women worldwide. She has since become quite the activist fighting for women and their needs all over the world. She has since written "The Good Body"; a personal inspiration and mission for me. This play was the main catalyst for me to begin this website, this project. This time she explores the war we hold with our own bodies; not just a lack of understanding, but an active anger and fear towards. It all grows from the hatred she has for her own stomach, and it branches out to include stories from women of every age, size, shape and culture.

One reason I wanted to highlight this woman is for her particular kind of beauty. She is attractive in a physical sense, but certainly not "breathtaking" or "irresistable" by the worlds standards. It is her heart, her mind and her spirit that you cannot resist. She is an intellectual beauty, and inspirational beauty, not merely one of body.

Eve Ensler makes it her business to improve the quality of life for women everywhere, and for that we should be eternally grateful. If you yourself are interested in helping, her websites offer many solutions, from donating money to donating time.

Help this woman change the world before it falls into the hands of our daughters and granddaughters.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Dakota Fanning

She has won MTV awards and Kid's Choice awards. She has been nominated for S.A.G. awards. And she is 13 years old!

This young woman has quite an impressive resume; do you realize she has worked with Tom Cruise, Mel Gibson, Reese Witherspoon, Helen Mirren, Kate Hudson, Joaquin Phoenix, Brittany Murphy, al Pacino and Sean Penn just to name a handful?

This precious, talented child has the look of a sweet angel, but she has tapped into her great acting abilities to pull off some weighty roles. Most recently she has been the subject of controversy over an independent film called Hounddog. In the film, Fanning portrays a little girl in 1950's Alabama who loves blues music. It gets her through the poverty and abuse in her life. There is a scene in the movie where she is raped by an older boy, and when audiences found out they went crazy. Groups were protesting that the film be shut down and that the director be sued for inflicting this experience on an actress who is so young. (Read more about the controversy here)

Fanning took an extremely mature stance on the whole project. "You have to prepare your children for things that happen in the world. Everything isn't rosy."

This beautiful, talented and intelligent individual deserves the immeasurable praise she has received for her craft, and I hope she is an inspiration to little girls everywhere.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Helen Mirren

For every woman who has ever scoffed at an "anti aging" campaign, I present Helen Mirren. This beauty was born July 26, 1945 (get out your calculators, ladies) and has aged amazingly. She isn't flawless, not even close. There are deep set wrinkles around her mouth and eyes (most likely from laughing), and gravity had taken a slight toll on her body.

Who cares?

This woman was invited to meet the Queen of England, thanks to an incredible portrayal of her majesty. Mirren has been referred to as "the ultimate thinking-man's sex symbol", and rightfully so. Whether or not she is a fox (and she is), she possesses class, intelligence and talent. Not to mention a fierce wit.

I commend Dove Beauty products for their "Real Beauty" campaign, and specifically for their "Pro-Aging" campaign. Why try and fight the inevitable? Why not embrace it?

Plus, if you can pose nude at that age and still crack a smile, you deserve the world!

Keira Knightley

This is the body of a woman who works hard. Thanks especially to movies like King Arthur (which, by the way, Guinevere kicks @$$), Knightley has adopted an extremely hardcore workout.

However, a body this good makes people suspicious. Knightley just recently ended a lawsuit against an English tabloid magazine that essentially blamed her for the death of an anorexic teenager. The tabloid posted super-skinny pics of Knightley (on the beach and such) and suggested that she had an eating disorder. The headline read: "If pictures like this one of Keira carried a health warning, my darling daughter might have lived."

Knightley was rightfully offended. She won the case and was awarded $6000 (3000 pounds). She doubled that money, adding her own $6000, and gave it to BEAT, a charity for people with eating and mental disorders.

Super-skinny isn't my look of choice (thank goodness, because it is not in my genetic code), but if you can pull it off, rock it. Every body is beautiful, in every shape and size.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Sara Ramirez

A Broadway star. A television star. A true beauty and inspiration.

This gorgeous woman gives pride to voluptuous women everywhere. Not to mention hispanic women. This Latina Diva was born in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico in 1976.

She takes pride in her size. When asked about a certain scene from Grey's Anatomy, she responded:

"Nobody from the show said I was too heavy. Instead they wanted me to dance in my underwear."

Don't you wish we could all have that pride? That kind of self-appreciation should be more contagious. Pass some on today.

Personal Mission

There are beautiful women that see an ugly woman in the mirror every day.
There are skinny girls starving themselves to get the attention of some boy.
There are older women trying every cream and procedure to remove the signs of age from their face.
We live in a society that demands perfection. Someone has decided on what is "normal" and "appropriate" and "acceptable" and women kill themselves every day to fit that mold.
I am here to tell you that every woman is beautiful.
This blog will explore the rampant negative self-image that weakens our stability. If people think fat is disgusting, I will show them just how voluptuous and natural "fat" can be. If people are afraid of wrinkles, I will show them how wise and beautiful their grandmothers are.
We must fight this fight together, every day and on every field.
In every woman there is beauty. And in every woman there is the power to inspire.