Life, Love, and Dirty Diapers

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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Study of Women and Men in Movies

So this is the part where I tell you guys I’ve decided to drop the last series I was working on. Why? Because to be honest, while it was interesting to work on, I didn’t enjoy it that much and there’s a new Time list out already. Perhaps in the future I will do one on the current Time list, but who knows? I’m flexible.

Also, you may wonder why I’m blogging now. I have a new little guy at home. Well to be honest, the sleep when the baby sleep thing doesn’t work real well for me during the day – if I don’t feel tired, I can’t make myself sleep without ending up majorly frustrated. I am trying to rest and take it easy though and blogging is better than cleaning in terms of taking it easy. So that’s why I’m blogging, if you’re wondering that. To be honest, in a lot of ways, even though I’m still recovering, I feel better now than I did when I was pregnant and I have a lot more energy. Little guy is a really good, calm baby and he sleeps really well so I have to do something to stimulate my brain or I will lose it.

So I thought I would write about a study I came across – it’s about a year old, but I don’t think anything has changed and the data is still very relevant to today. Basically what the study did was to analyze the top 100 films from 2008 in terms of men and women.

Some of the insane things they found – men had 67 percent of the speaking roles compared to 33 percent for women. Is this a subtle reenforcement of women should be seen but not heard? It very well could be. It also found that women were more likely to wear provocative clothing and to appear nude than men were. I think this is a huge problem because it reenforces the idea that women are sex objects and that their bodies need to be put on display. If it’s in our movies, you can bet that’s the message that it’s sending. Even now, as I write this, my husband is watching Iron Man 2 in the background and the female that’s breaking in is dressed in a super skin tight black outfit, clearly meant to look hot, while the man breaking in with her is dressed in a suit. There’s no reason her outfit needs to be so skin tight and there’s no reason it needs to have a plunging v-neck either – does that really help her break in? I don’t think so. One of the scarier parts of the study found that teen girls in movies were just as likely to appear partially nude and more likely to wear sexy clothing. No wonder teen girls struggle with body image so much when the teen girls are being portrayed as sexy in so many movies. It’s a lot of pressure.

Anyways, I feel like somewhere in my head I knew this, but looking at the actual numbers makes it seem kind of shocking. I mean, I knew that women are classically portrayed as sex objects in movies, but still. You can check out the full thing here.

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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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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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