Life, Love, and Dirty Diapers

Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011

Safe cosmetics, on the surface, might seem like a green or environmental issue, but really, it’s a woman’s issue. Why? Because companies are continuing to make products that contain chemicals that have been proven unsafe and women in Britain have been shown to spend an average of $164,000 dollars on make-up over their lifetime (and do you really think it’s that different in the US?). So needless to say, if it’s not safe, it’s effecting women in a pretty big way.

That’s why making sure that cosmetics are safe is a big priority, even for someone like me, who hardly wears any make-up. Because I have a lot of friends who do. And I bet, even if you yourself aren’t big on make-up, you probably have friends who wear it as well.

So safe cosmetics are important to women, because of the amount that most women use them. Congress has a Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011, and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has made it easy to contact your representatives. Helping get this passed will do a lot of good for many women, men, and children.

Thanks for reading!

And also, P.S. I’m thinking about video blogging once a week – what do you think? Just to spice things up. Delivering you the same great information, just in a different format.

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The Obsession with Thinness

I wanted to link to this post, because I think it points to something that is so true. We value thinness, even though thinness doesn’t mean healthiness. Even though thinness can be just as much of a problem as weighing too much can.

While I am just genetically thin and I don’t face a serious life-threatening illness, like the writer of this piece did, I can not tell you how much of this resonated with me. It was very uncomfortable for me to be praised on my thinness, or worse yet, to be accused of having an eating disorder at a time when I was trying so hard to gain weight. I looked in the mirror and hated myself, despite the fact that everyone around me thought I had the ideal body. I just wanted to weigh more.

Being thin isn’t always ideal. And even now, as (while I have not weighed myself) I am pretty sure I have put on weight since getting married, I struggle with the same thing as she did. I am reluctant and almost afraid to put on weight now, that for the first time, I might put on enough weight that people no longer compliment me on being skinny. And as much as I hated that, at the same time, it was mine.

Read one woman’s story of how thinness nearly killed her. As with most links, I do not endorse all the content on the blog, but I thought her story was an important one to be shared.

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Fashion Companies Cover Up Models to Run Ads in the Middle East

A while ago, H&M ran a set of ads. Some savvy bloggers in the Middle East (Dubai specifically) realized that the ads they got were different from the ads that were running in other Western countries. Check out the side by side comparisons. The ones that are less clothed are the Western ones.

Personally, I see nothing wrong with these companies doing such. It makes sense – they want to try and secure the market over there and the market is more conservative, so it makes sense to do this. Some of the photoshopping looks a little weird (like the sleeve one) but it probably saved them a lot of money instead of taking two separate photoshoots. In fact, I wish the covered up versions of the ads were the ones we got, because the amount of skin people can show in advertising these days just seems to be excessive.

Should companies change their advertising for different countries? Answer your thoughts below in the comments!

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Women in History: Lena Bryant

So, I have to say that there is not a lot of information about this woman out there. She is an entrepreneur, which I think successful women entrepreneurs do a lot for women too, even if their effect maybe isn’t as pronounced as someone who fought for suffrage. But they opened the doors for women to successfully run businesses today. And, in Lena Bryant’s case, she changed clothing manufacturing for the better.

She

  • started Lane Bryant.
  • was an immigrant.
  • was supposed to marry the man who paid for her to come to America, then refused and took a sewing job in a factory.
  • eventually married and had one son.
  • was widowed shortly after her son was born.
  • needed to find a way to support her young son.
  • took up selling her sewing out of her apartment.
  • eventually rented a store front on 5th Avenue that she lived in the back of.
  • made the first commercial maternity dress and it was a huge hit between women of all classes.
  • married again sometime after opening her storefront and went on to have three more kids with him.
  • had to overcome the fact that pregnancy was not mentioned in press, which made advertising this dress hard, but at one point she got it into a paper and the dress completely sold out one day after that.
  • created the first mail-order catalog to also help overcome this problem. They had one for maternity wear and one for plus-size wear.
  • also designed plus size clothing – another big seller and another first too. She was the first mass manufacturer of plus sized clothing.
  • measured 4,500 women and surveyed 200,000 women before designing her plus-size clothing to figure out what real women, not models, needed.
  • made 5 million dollars by 1923.
  • really cared about people. When any of her customers had been in any kind of natural disaster, she would work with the Red Cross to assist them by replacing their wardrobe.
  • also want to make sure her employees were taken care of, something unusual for the time. She provided for her employees above and beyond what was the norm. She offered medical benefits, life insurance, profit sharing, pensions, and disability insurance to her employees.

Additional fun fact: The name Lane Bryant comes from the bank misspelling her name.

So I hoped you learn a little more about someone who I feel like has a well known company, even if she herself is not that well known. I didn’t find much information on her to be honest. However, her company continues to be successful, even to today. And I think she’s important because look at everything she was able to do. She saw women’s needs and she met them. And sure, maybe it seems like a trivial need, but people need clothes to wear. And not only that, but she helped people. She put people before profits. And she wanted to make sure her employees were taken care of too.

Sources:

P.S. if you like my blog, won’t you like my page on Facebook?

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Barbie: (Almost) Life Sized

I think that seeing this life size Barbie is really important. And I think realizing that Barbie, while not the only factor, does play a role is important. And I dunno, I don’t like Mattel’s statement on the whole thing that she wasn’t modeled on a real person. I mean, of course she’s not modeled on an exact real person, but she’s clearly not modeled after a dog or a cat or anything else. And I mean clearly they decided for a reason to give her super big boobs and to make her have a super skinny waist. I mean, they didn’t decide these things in a vacuum. They did it for a reason. The question is what reason? Did they do it to make us want to look like Barbie? I mean you have all kinds of Barbie – Barbie can do anything. Why not aspire to be like Barbie?

Barbie isn’t solely responsible, but so many girls play with her and how she looks is going to weigh in on things. I mean, I can’t help but know that I always noticed when I was a kid and I started developing I wanted big breasts. Hmmm. Maybe my sister was onto something when she started to pop the heads off of all my Barbies.

Update: I have since learned, that while parts of this Barbie are proportional, not every part of her is proportional (I did some looking after I was questioned about it by people with keener eyes than I have who can tell proportions). From this article, “She based her numbers on the book “Body Wars” by Dr. Margo Maine, and readily admits the doll’s head, hands and some other features are not to scale.”

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The Sexualizing of Little Girls

I don’t usually link solely to other content (or don’t like to) and I wouldn’t usually link to this blog (because I don’t agree with everything they have to say) but awhile back there were a lot of articles out blaming parents for oversexualizing their kids. And to some extent, the blame should fall on parents who buy these (because it’s not like most 8 year olds have a lot of disposable income).

But as this post from Jezebel points out, the issues are deeper than that. Well said (this time).

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America the Beautiful Review

So, I’ve decided another thing I want to do with this blog is let you know about documentaries that talk about women’s issues. I will only review documentaries I’ve watched so I can give you my first hand account on whether or not the documentary is worth watching and spending some time on.

Today’s documentary is America the Beautiful. Here’s the trailer.

I think 100 percent this movie is worth watching. Everyone needs to see this video. Every woman needs to see this especially. You will learn astounding things and after this, you will never think about beauty in the same way, or at least I don’t think of beauty in the same way since watching this.

It is a worthwhile documentary to say the least. It is rated R because it does get a bit graphic or rather frank really, but it is worth the watch. The beauty industry deserves to be exposed for what it is and how they treat women.

You can find out more here: http://americathebeautifuldoc.com/

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Size Two? Too Fat

It was one of those he said, she said cases. Or rather, she said, she said. And I know this is a little old and I want to work on new issues as well, but sometimes I just want to say stuff about things that have already happened.

But there were some facts involved. Domonique Ramirez won Miss San Antonio. She was then subsequently fired and a new beauty queen reinstated.

The reason she claims she was fired? For being too fat. Which they denied, but then yet testified that bikini photos they took of her where she gained so much weight were so bad that they couldn’t be used. They also say she was tardy, but still, they testified this part in a court of law.

She sued and subsequently won and was reinstated.

Those are the facts.

And this? This is Domonique.

Domonique Ramirez

First of all, does she look fat to you? Because she sure doesn’t to me. And even if she was fat, would that make her any less beautiful? Why do we continue to base our beauty on such narrow standards that no one, not even this girl, is skinny enough? Beauty comes from the inside and instead, we’ve made it all about this unattainable outside. Our beauty standards are out of reach to most women. When we tell women they aren’t beautiful, we also tell them x product will make them beautiful. We put women down, to sell beauty. It’s ridiculous and it needs to stop. We need to start recognizing women, all women, as beautiful. Because really, every woman is beautiful. We are all beautiful for our own unique reasons.

As I’ve probably said before, I’m against beauty pageants. This is just another reason why. We need to redefine beauty if it’s not already too late.

Photo credit
News Radio

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Botox for 8 Year Olds?

So, I previously brought you plastic surgery to prevent bullying and now I bring you sadly, more unfortunate news about what mothers will do to make their children “pretty” this time in the name of a pageant.

In San Fransisco, there is an 8 year old girl whose mother injects her with botox to get rid of her “wrinkles.” Not only that, but she is getting pubic hair waxes (called virgin waxes) in order to “keep her from growing any pubic hair.” All I can keep asking myself is why? Why do we allow mothers to treat their children this way? Thankfully, they are investigating, but this isn’t going to stop here I’m afraid. If it isn’t this mother, it will be some other mother. It boils down to this fact. We, as a society, value beauty. And the advertising industry and the media have made a very clear picture of what it means to be beautiful. As I have said before on this blog, beauty should not be what we value so much that people go to such extremes to get it. This girl was perfectly beautiful before she got botox and even if she hadn’t been, she still shouldn’t have gotten botox. This child is going to be messed up for life, always trying to get on the next big thing until she is “pretty enough,” but more likely until she dies of a botched plastic surgery or a botox injection gone wrong. Instead of teaching this little girl that she is beautiful no matter what and that she is valuable for so much more than her looks, this mom choose to give her 8 year old botox.

Oh and just like I showed you with plastic surgery, these are the risks of botox, (from Mayo Clinic)

Pain and bruising at the injection site
Redness
Itching
Headache
Nausea
Temporary muscle weakness
Increased body sweat
Although very unlikely, there is a possibility that the effect of botulinum toxin may spread to other parts of the body and cause botulism-like signs and symptoms.

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these effects hours to weeks after receiving Botox:

Muscle weakness all over the body
Vision problems
Trouble speaking or swallowing
Trouble breathing
Loss of bladder control
Other serious but very uncommon side effects to watch out for include:

Allergic reaction (itching, hives, swelling, chest tightness, trouble breathing)
Eye pain, bleeding or bruising around your eye
Blistering, peeling of your skin or severe rash
Chest pain, shortness of breath or uneven heart rate
Flu-like symptoms
Face or neck pain
Seizures

Okay, personally, I would try to avoid anything that might happen to give my child those possible side effects, especially in the name of cosmetics. Child services is investigating and I hope something is done. I’m including three videos below so you can see how the child’s self-esteem is going to be ruined for life.

Interview with mom and girl:

Discussion on it, mentioning virgin waxes:

On the follow up:

It is a shame that we live in a country where a mom even considers doing this to her child.

Going to take a quick poll below.

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Pretty

I don’t have many thoughts on it, but I’m passing along this video because I think it goes along with the video the other day. There is such a pressure, especially by mothers, to be pretty. I liked what she said about what she will tell her daughters, because I think that those are the important things for young women to hear.

Enjoy.

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