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.