Life, Love, and Dirty Diapers

The Story of Cosmetics + New Name

Fascinating isn’t it? Personally, I know a lot of times that I should be using greener products, but I find it so hard not just to reach for that free or very cheap bottle of shampoo, especially when our budget is tight. That’s why I think, in part, companies should be forced to eliminate dangerous chemicals and find new ways to do things. They’ve banned tons in Europe, but not here. I don’t think people should be forced to choose between cheap and safe since the all-natural products out there today tend to be much, much more expensive. But there has to be a greener, cheaper way to do it. And I know, I could make it myself, but at this point, it’s hard for me to commit to it. I don’t know why. I guess because I can’t change my life overnight and I’m not ready to jump there yet. I’m not perfect, so don’t rag on me.

Oh and guess what? I have a new name! The winner is Life, Love, and Dirty Diapers (hehe). That one was overwhelmingly most popular. So I’ll be changing my name and everything else today (and slowly over time, in case I miss a few places)! So I hope you keep reading along. I know this was supposed to happen yesterday, but yesterday got away from me.

Melissa

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10 Finds for You – August 15th

Okay, so one thing that I do is that I love to share other people’s articles and content. Why? Because there are a lot of great things out there. So periodically, I’ll do what I’m doing today, which is leave you a list of things I recommend reading (or watching). Just a few notes because I’m just going to leave the links and not add any of my extra commentary, leaving a link here does not mean I agree with everything on the site – I just think the particular link is interesting whether or not I agree with it. If you want to discuss any one in particular, leave a comment and I’ll happily discuss it with you and what I think about it.

1. What About American Girls Sold on the Streets?

2. Couple to attempt 50-mile swim across Lake Michigan

3. Women Scientists Still Face Discrimination

4. College Teams, Relying on Deception, Undermine Gender Equality

5. Sentencing Juveniles

6. ‘The Girl’s Guide to Homelessness’ Author Brianna Karp Offers Advice to Young People on the Streets

7. One-third of tween clothes are sexy, study finds

8. TTC & IF: WHO Annoyance

9. Sex and Self-Esteem: A Big Boost for Men, Not So Much for Women

10. Fathers: Key to Their Children’s Faith

Happy reading!

Melissa

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Safe and Sexy

So, I told you I was going to still blog about politics and the like some of the time – just not all of the time. So today I wanted to blog about this interesting video I ran across. Basically, this video is about this photographer who has traveled all over the world, to many different countries, asking women to pose for her wearing two different outfits. One outfit is supposed to be what they feel safe wearing and the other outfit is supposed to be what they feel sexy wearing.

It was really interesting to think about the differences between the two outfits. First of all because of the kind of message it is – the idea of what sexy looks like and perhaps the idea that we are allowing society to decide what clothes make us attractive versus feeling attractive in the clothes we also feel comfortable in. Or maybe we’re not meant to feel sexy in the same clothes that we feel comfortable in because sexy should be reserved for certain people. I know there are definitely clothes I feel both sexy and comfortable in in the right situation. For example, there are very sexy things that I own and wear. And when I’m wearing them in the privacy of my own home, in front of my husband, I feel very sexy and also very comfortable. But if I wore those same things out and about in the town – no way would I feel comfortable! So maybe I’m not meant to wear sexy clothes out and about.

One last interesting thing of note was what a lot of people found sexy was different from the image the media pushes on us as sexy. The outfits weren’t all overly revealing. Some certainly bared skin, but most of them were still much different from the like those outfits you see on celebrities that leave very little to the imagination. Anyways, I’ll leave you with the video now so you can watch it. And there is some skin bared in the video, just so you know, but it was originally aired on PBS so that probably gives you an idea of its appropriateness. There’s also some really interesting thoughts in there from when she asked people what made them feel powerful and what made them feel vulnerable. Leave your thoughts in the comment – do you agree or disagree with me? What feelings does the video invoke in you when you watch it?

For some reason, I’m having trouble embedding it – but you can see the video here

Melissa

P.S., I’m still looking for new blog name suggestions! You could leave those too if you’d like!

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An Interesting Look At Toys

All right, so for today I thought I would share this interesting blog post that I ran across. First off, I have to make my standard disclaimer that just because I’m linking to it doesn’t mean I endorse or agree with everything on the website, I just found this one post interesting when I ran across it.

Anyways, the post is about April O’Neil, from The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (of my childhood!) and how the toymakers changed her toy over time. It’s pretty interesting to see and to think about in terms of what that tells us about women – especially April’s shrinking weight in her statistics. So anyways, head here and take in this food for thought. And if you want to start a discussion with me about it, I’d love to get some comments.

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Interesting Editorial

I ran across this editorial today and I thought I’d post it here. It makes some really good points about the way our society works – the really bizarre way. It talks about how we present this idea to little girls that the way they ought to be is really sexual and then when something happens to them (like they are raped or anything else), we blame them for their over sexualization even though that over sexualization is something we’re presenting as how you get ahead in life. It’s interesting to consider, no doubt, because I definitely do think the message that you need to be “sexy” and “hot” is out there and that this message is being pointed at kids younger and younger and I have seen a lot of victim blaming for being “too sexy.” So I definitely think that this cycle that the editorial talks about is highly worth considering.

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Sexualizing Little Girls

This product is a bit old and I couldn’t find it on Abercrombie and Fitch’s website anymore (probably because it’s winter and they’re no longer selling swimsuits) but I pull it out of the archives, so to speak, to make a larger point that I sort of hinted at yesterday.

You see, over the summer, Abercrombie and Fitch released a padded bikini top aimed at girls as little as 7. 7 years old? And Abercrombie and Fitch already think they need padding? Just why? Why are we in such a hurry to turn our little girls into women? Childhood is a time that you are supposed to enjoy – the time before you start to feel pressures from society about how you look and about how you should act and everything like that. We are letting our little girls down by pushing being sexy on them at such a young age. They deserve better. They deserve to just be little girls who don’t need any padding because they don’t need boobs.

It’s time to put our foot down and say these things are unacceptable. Let little girls be little girls.

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Children in Pageants

I’ve spoken about this before, but I recently ran across a blog post on why kids should just be kids and not dressed up and getting botox and things like that and I really liked it and agreed with it, so check it out.

Kids Are Not Dolls

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Breast Implants Have Increased

So man oh man. I came across this article from the New York Times about how in the last ten years breast implants have increased. A lot. I mean, sure, they could increase more, but it still seems like a huge number to me. They increased 39 percent since 2000. And maybe over time that doesn’t seem like a huge increase, but still. It asks the question why? Plastic surgery carries serious risks and it’s not like there’s any medical reason (that I know of) to get breast implants like there is to get a breast reduction.

Why do women feel the need to make their breasts bigger? I feel like this represents an underlying trend in society not to be happy with our body’s image. You know? There’s always bigger breasts, longer legs, better hair, thinner figure to have. But why? Why is it that some women feel such pressure to look a certain way that they’re willing to undergo surgery to look a different way? And it’s risky surgery at that. What is it about our society that women feel the need to do this? To risk possible death just to have bigger boobs?

What would it take to end the hate about our body image? What would it take for women to love themselves? This is the question I want to know.

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Women “in” History: Misty Copeland

I say women “in” history because Misty is still hot on the scene of ballet, so I can’t say that she’s faded into the woodwork of history yet. But she did make history and she will be remembered. Because she is talented and beautiful and smart and groundbreaking and she has such a great attitude. She inspires me so much. She is doing great things and will continue to do great things.

She

  • was only the third African American female soloist for the American Ballet Theatre.
  • was also the first African American female soloist in twenty years for American Ballet Theatre.
  • didn’t start learning ballet until the age of 13 and yet became super successful anyways.
  •  started en pointe three months later. (This might not mean a lot to you, but en pointe is hard, really hard. I used to be a ballerina and I never made it there. For more on it, here’s the Wikipedia article.)
  • played Clare in The Chocolate Nutcracker.
  • has toured in China.
  • has had many roles in famous shows.
  • has had some crossover work in music videos.
  • gives back to the community.
  • has the possibility of becoming the first African American female principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre.
  • is developing her own product line of dance wear made to fit people of all shapes and sizes.


Others said

  • “It’s not like she’s going, ‘Hey, look at me.’ But she can be so ethereal, you just have to.” – Craig Salstein.
  • “I am a huge fan of Misty Copeland! She is not only a phenomenal ballet dancer, but she is intelligent, driven, and such an inspiration to me, and millions of dancers all over the world. She beat the odds, and is living her dream, in spite of so many challenges. She is the epitome of the type of dancer my show was created to spotlight, and represent. I’m honored to have her on our radio show!”  – Ashani Mfuko

She said

  • “The challenges of being one of the few black women in this field, gave me this determination not to give up.”
  • “It’s just so important to see that it’s possible and to see that someone can make it. Now that I’m here, I can set an example and hopefully make things easier for the next black [ballet] dancer.”
  • “Some black women give up and don’t do classical ballet dance. I want them to know that times are changing. The more people we have auditioning, they can’t deny talent.”


Awards

  • Los Angeles Spotlight Award
  • Best Young Dancer in the Greater Los Angeles Area
  • ABT’s National Coca Cola Scholar
  • Leonore Annenberg Fellowship in the Arts

Misty’s website can be found here. Her twitter is here. Her Facebook page is here.

There’s so much more of her personality that I don’t know how to include without copying and pasting whole interviews with her. I really like these interviews with her to get a feel for what a cool person she is.

Sources (Not already mentioned)

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Young Girls Dressing Provocatively

I was reading this article on the Wall Street Journal about potential reasons why moms and dads not only allow their young girls to dress provocatively, but they pay for the clothes as well.

It’s really interesting the different theories posited by the article. First, is that it is a bonding thing between mother and daughter, since the mothers did so when they were young.Second is that they don’t know how to teach their daughters how not to do that and that they feel like they’re setting double standards when they acted like that to then tell their daughters not to.

I agree with the second theory more than the first, but I think I also have my own theory, that’s sort of tied up in the second theory, but not quite. It’s more that women have been fed this message so long that it’s empowering to sleep around and to dress sexily and everything like that and even though many moms feel bad about it now, I still think somewhere in their subconscious is the idea that they want their daughter to be liberated and empowered.

But you know what? It’s not liberating and empowering. It’s letting a man make an object out of you sexually and thinking it’s for your benefit. I think that the over-sexualization and hyper-sexualization of women is not for the benefit of women but for the benefit of man. Think about it – in the past, if a man wanted to have sex he had two options – pay for and sleep with a prostitute or wait until he was married and have sex with his wife. Now, he can have with a lot of women whenever he wants, pretty consequence free. Sure, he might have to worry about STDs, but there’s no obligation for him to stick around if the woman gets pregnant.

I don’t know if I’m making sense of if you agree or even quite where I was going with this. I just think that telling everyone they can have sex all the time is not empowering. To me, it’s empowering to have the self-control not to sleep around and the trust that waiting will bring me something better. And you know what? Now that I’m married and have had sex, I realized that if I had had it before I married I would be a broken person, because that’s an amazing connection and it would break me in so many ways to have that with many different people – to have it with people and then to have them leave me. I couldn’t handle that. And I recognize I couldn’t handle that.

Sorry to get into an area that you probably didn’t want to hear about but I think that waiting for sex should be the norm and it should be that way because sex is something beautiful and special. It’s not empowering to me to give away something special to everyone, but it is to save that something special for a special person.

So thoughts, did I just ignite a firestorm? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

“Sex is the most powerful thing there is, and our generation, what did we know?” – From the article linked above

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