All Articles Tagged "confidence"
The skin on her face was blotchy and ashy. In fact it was an unnatural, almost ghostly shade of gray – several shades lighter than the cocoa-brown hand that gave me back my change. I looked at the young cashier with pity and choked back an urge to reach out and hug the poor, misguided girl. She couldn’t have been more than 20 years old, and already she’d bleached the hell out of her skin.
I see it at all levels daily. Whether it’s the local grocery store cashier intentionally robbing herself of the beautiful melanin God gave her, or a singer transforming herself into someone we don’t even recognize through cosmetic surgery, we women are sending the same strong message to the world. We’re shouting (not whispering), “Hello, world! We are women and we are NOT happy with ourselves!”
I find it tremendously sad that we women, who are easily the most naturally amazing creatures on the planet, refuse to accept ourselves. Maybe we’ve just succumb to the sick images that the media is constantly feeding us. But at some point we have to slap ourselves and realize how insane these messages are. You don’t see men running around bleaching their skin, changing their weaves like they change their underwear, squeezing into Spanx and embarking on crazy fad diets in hopes to whittle away their pounds. No! I don’t care if a man is fat, wrinkled, bald and hairy. He smiles, sticks out his chest and chooses to accept himself just the way he is. And we all applaud and say, “Now, there goes a really confident guy. He’s got swag. I like it.”
Well, I think it’s high time that we women make a conscious decision to accept ourselves and love our gorgeous flaws. I, for one, am on a pilgrimage to be happy with myself. I invite you to go on this self-acceptance journey with me by:
Step 1. Being more forgiving of yourself. When I make mistakes, I’ll look at them as just that – mistakes. Not catastrophes and not major downfalls. I’m not the superwoman the media tells me that I need to be. I’m beautifully human. The more that I forgive myself, the more I’ll love myself inside and out.
Step 2. Working with what you’ve got. Maybe I’m not a gorgeous supermodel. My gray hairs are starting to grow quicker than my dark brown hairs. And my skin’s youthful glow is beginning to dim just a bit. But guess what – I’m still fabulous. Just the more mature model of what the Creator made me to be. I’ll accept the changes that come with time and work what I’ve got!
Step 3. Celebrate your accomplishments large and small. Like many women, I often focus on what I haven’t done. As I stare at my life’s endless to do list, it’s easy to be dissatisfied with who I am and what I’ve done. Instead, I’ll refocus my attention on what I have been able to accomplish. I’m pretty amazing, and worth celebrating. I bet you are too!
Step 4. Tell myself that I’m beautiful and mean it. I’ll no longer wait for compliments from others. Let’s face it, sometimes they just don’t come. I’ll look at myself everyday with loving eyes and compliment myself. I will tell myself that I am beautiful, smart, kind and loved. And the love and acceptance that I give myself will be enough.
Will you take this self-acceptance journey with me? What steps are you going to take to be happy with yourself?
Yolanda Darville is a wife, mom and freelance writer focusing on issues that make a difference. To read more of her writings connect with her on Twitter at @YolandaDarville.
By Dara Tafakari
The other night, I watched my daughter be free. She splashed in the water like a little duckling, feet kicking blithely. Before I could stop her, she dunked the back of her plaited head into her bubble bath and grinned up at me. I groaned. She was completely unbothered that her hair was now wet. Then I smiled back at her, because she is a little Black girl who is completely unbothered that her hair is wet.
And when she runs through the house giggling without a stitch of clothing on, I remind myself that she will not always be this unfettered. So I let her…for a moment. (Potty training is The Struggle, for real.)
At some point in our childhoods we leave behind that impulse to be naked to the world. Maybe we leave it crumpled on the floor in the bathroom one night and forget to pick it back up. The self that emerges is tremulous against the cold stares of society. Is my skin too dark? Am I good enough? Can anybody love me as I am? When I look at the woman I am now and the little girl I carried for 10 months, I hope she never knows shame like I have.
Shame disempowers rather than strengthens.
But I know she will. It is a rite of passage of sorts, especially for girls who will become women, to begin to fold yourself into unobtrusive flatness. We spend so much of our childhood unlearning the freedom that clothed us when we first arrived here. Then we spend our adulthood trying to get it back.
Before my exuberant Bean starts to diminish her own light to match the dim watts she sees, I desperately want her to inherit these lessons. I wish for her to wear them like armor against the capriciousness of the world that awaits her.
Always congratulate yourself on your accomplishments. Toddlers know no humility and it is refreshing. Whenever Bean achieves something–and I mean anything, be it small or monumental–she is immensely proud of herself. “I DID IT!” she shrieks. We applaud, we shower her with “yaaaaaaays” and “yaaaaaaassss,” we feed her desire to feel good about her capability. Before she is surrounded by a classroom where standing out in achievement means Difference and derision, I want her to always take pride in her abilities.Get your hair wet, baby girl. And I don’t mean that in the chastising sense where people fix their mouths to say Black girls and women don’t exercise. I mean that I want her to know the sheer joy of snorkeling in the ocean, curls plastered to her cheeks when she whips her head back to the sky. That feeling where she derives more fun from play than perfection? That.
Enjoy your culture. Let the beat drop on her favorite Yo Gabba Gabba tune, and Bean lets out a timely, “AYYYYYYYYE!” She doesn’t know that’s a cultural marker. She just knows that when you feel the beat, you make it known. She will dance to anything with a djembe or an 808 or a break beat or a foot stomp. Africa lives in her steps.
Your womanhood is softness and it is strength. Nakedness is the one thing we cannot escape about ourselves, yet so many of us hate our naked bodies. This shame. Who taught us this relentless apology for curves and pubic hair and stretch marks and the audacity of our breasts to obey gravity as we age? I cannot even dislodge the word vagina from my mouth without blushing. This is no way to be a woman, to have parts unspeakable–I was not crafted to be malediction in the mouths of men. I pray that my daughter learns herself deeply, loves herself thoroughly, and revels in the parts that make her a woman.
For the full list head over to TrulyTafakari.com
For more from wife, mama and word ninja Dara Tafakari, check out trulytafakari.com where you can find Dara’s writing on the crazy collisions of life, race, popular culture, and the occasional nerd activity–with an offbeat dose of humor and clarity.
Uh oh! It looks like we may have overshot things a little in our effort to make our kids feel better about themselves.
A study conducted by Ohio State University suggests that constantly praising your child for everything he or she does is slowly turning him into a narcissist. We know, the word sounds a little harsh when referring to a child. But according to the study, what many parents are doing to boost their children’s self-esteem, making everything that their kids do seem special and worthy of either praise or a prize; even the things that they’re supposed to do in life (Think: Chris Rock’s “You want a cookie?!”), is actually hurting them.
The goal may be to raise more confident children who are secure in who they are, but what we may be doing is creating the most egotistical generation ever. And that can’t be good.
The study, which was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, tested two theories as to why some kids turn into narcissists: Was it from being “over-valued” by their parents (Yes, there is such a thing and we’ve all seen those kids and those parents.); or was it the children that had parents who withheld warmth and affection who were more prone to exhibit narcissistic behavior; perhaps in an attempt to compensate for what they weren’t getting emotionally?
After examining close to 600 children age 7-12 in four six-month waves, the group developed reports on child narcissism, child self-esteem, parental overvaluation, and parental warmth. What did they find?
As it turned out — not so surprisingly — it was the kids whose parents provided the most praise who appeared to show the signs of narcissism; internalizing their parents’ lofty views of them, and expecting others to see them in the same way.
“People with high self-esteem think they’re as good as others, whereas narcissists think they’re better than others,” co-author of the study, Brad Bushman, told Forbes magazine. Semantics? Sure. But according to Bushman, the difference is crucial. And it’s just as crucial for parents to understand that difference.
“Children believe it when their parents tell them that they are more special than others,” he explains. “That may not be good for them or for society.”
So what’s the best way to raise children who feel that they’re as good as and not necessarily better than others?
Is “You is kind. You is smart. You is important,” considered crossing the line?!
The high self-esteem that parents are striving to instill in their children may be just as simple as giving them affection and support; not an over-inflation of their talents; not always telling them that they’re the best (it’s never too early to teach the word “humility”); and especially not celebrating all of the things that they’re supposed to do.
Tell us what you think MommyNoire! Do you agree that kids are more narcissistic these days, or should we be celebrating the rise in self-esteem…even if it may be going a little too high?
Feeling sexy is a state of mind. Have you ever seen a woman walk into a room and own it? It doesn’t matter how tall she is, what size she wears, or what her hair looks like—she just stands firm in all her fly-ness, letting her light shine bright. Don’t we all want to embrace who we are, exuding confidence in every step we take?
So how do we get there? With all the negative images out there about size, skin color, hair, and so much more, how do we fall in love with ourselves? How do we all—regardless of what we look like or where we are in life—get to a point where we feel totally and completely sexy in the skin we are in?
It’s easy for so many of us to point out our flaws, but when asked what makes us sexy, we tend to hesitate. But we shouldn’t. We have to stop waiting for this imaginary “moment” where we finally feel good about ourselves. Feeling great about who you are is a state of mind and we are the only people who control that. The key to feeling and being sexy doesn’t require you to change a thing about your body; it simply requires you to change your mind.
Here are a few tips that can help you feel sexier in the skin you’re in:
Take really good care of your skin. Our skin is the first thing people see when they look at us. Whether you have glowing skin, or a few skin issues that cause concern, we should all take great care of our skin because once we damage it, that damage cannot be reversed. Wash with the right products, moisturize, exfoliate, protect, and pamper your skin daily. You’ll feel good and you’’ also be glad you did in years to come.
Indulge in a warm bath. Sometimes going to the spa is not in the budget (if it is, please go!). I find that a warm bath can have the same relaxing affect as a spa visit. Take some time to relax and just breathe, while giving your body—and your skin—some time to rest.
Pursue an opportunity. Do you have a list of things you want to do, but for one reason or another you just aren’t doing them yet? What are you waiting for? Nothing builds confidence and makes you feel great like finally stepping out on faith and making a move. Even if things don’t turn out the way you’d like, having the courage to step out once can give you the courage to do it again and again.
Go out with friends. I know you love you career and your babies and your partner, but check this out… you need to spend some time with your girls. Throw on something sexy, get those lashes poppin’ and spend some time out on the town with people who “get” you, don’t want anything, and know how to have a good time.
Try something new. Is there an art class you want to take? Maybe you want to try pole dancing? Have you been itching to take dance lessons? Whatever it is, step out of your comfort zone and make it happen. If nerves are getting in the way, try to enlist a homie that will do it with you. New experiences feel good and when you feel good, you feel sexy.
Tell someone “no.” No need to be mean about it, but saying “no” can really be a wonderful thing. You can’t be everything to everybody and if you try to, you will surely suffer the price. If you start saying “no” to others, allowing more room to “yes” to yourself, life will begin to feel pretty freaking good.
Get physical. It’s hard to exude sexiness if you feel tired, run down, and weak. Take that body God gave you and move it! Pilates, hiking, dance, running, sex—I don’t care what it is, just get moving. It’s great for your mental, physical, and emotional health, and a healthy woman is a sexy woman.
Martine Foreman is a freelance writer, lifestyle blogger, and life and family coach. To follow her journey as a busy mom, wife and honest chick from Brooklyn, NY (now living in the burbs), check out her personal blog, CandidBelle.
by Yolanda Darville
This year my daughter asked me (begged me, really) if she could play soccer. My first inclination was to tell her no because her fourth grade schedule was already jam packed with activities. My first priority is for her to have time for her studies! But then I thought about how she’d never played a team sport before, and I decided to let her play. I am so glad that I did.
I was never a sporty kid growing up. Academics, community service and girly activities were my thing. I knew that sports had benefits for kids, but I thought those benefits mainly had to do with living a healthy lifestyle. So I was surprised to see that playing a sport didn’t just give my daughter a leg up against childhood obesity but had a number of other positive impacts. Here are some of the lessons that she’s learning through sports:
Teamwork — My daughter is an only child, so she’s use to being alone, playing alone and relying on herself. A team sport has been a great way to show “little Miss Independent” the importance of working with others. It hasn’t taken her long to figure out that if she wants to win at soccer, she’ll have to learn to work well with the rest of her team. It’s a lesson that she’ll use in the classroom and later when she has a career.
Strategy – On the first day of soccer practice, my daughter was eager to start kicking some goals. But her coach slowed her down and explained that soccer had rules. He also showed her the importance of coming up with a winning strategy to achieve your goals. Now as she plays, I can see her little brain working on the field as she strategizes the best move to make at any given time.
Practice Makes Perfect – Twice a week my little girl spends time doing drills, drills and more drills. We’ve both noticed that the more she practices her soccer drills, the more adept she becomes when it is game time. I couldn’t help but point out to her that the same is true of math and spelling!
Thinking On The Fly – When she’s all suited up in her soccer gear and out on the field, my daughter has to think fast. There’s no time to sit down, take a break and reflect on the problem. And mommy and daddy can’t help her. Playing a sport has been a great opportunity for her to think on the fly. It’s wonderful to see how proud she is when she realizes that she and she alone made the right decision.
You Win Some, You Lose Some — Euphoric! That’s how my little girl felt when she won her first game. A few weeks later, she was absolutely crestfallen when her team lost. But she learned an important lesson – sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. And no matter the outcome, you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep doing your best.
My eight-year-old probably has no idea of the life lessons she’s learning from being involved in a sport. All she knows is that she is having fun. But as her mother, I’m confident that she’ll use the skills that she is developing throughout her lifetime.
Do your kids play sports? What lessons are they learning as they play?
Yolanda Darville is a wife, mom and freelance writer focusing on issues that make a difference. To read more of her writings connect with her on Twitter at @YolandaDarville.
By Joelle Casteix
Times have changed, and it’s easier to inform and educate our children about things that may have embarrassed our parents and grandparents. One of the most important things we can do for our children is to teach them to be body confident and remove shame from the discussion of our bodies. When we do that, we empower our children to speak up instead of shaming them into silence.
Empowerment is about taking all the things that are beautiful about being a toddler or preschooler and embracing them. It’s about trusting your gut, using your eyes, and giving your child words to properly describe his or her world in a safe and consistent environment. Following are some lessons to help your child—and you—do just that.
Lesson 1: Use Correct Names for Body Parts
One of the easiest and best things you can do is teach your toddler the correct names of body parts. Growing up in past generations, we thought that they were “loaded” words, so we dumbed down our body parts and minimized their importance by using words like wee-wee or hoo-hoo. But we need to remember that our bodies should never be minimized and that these biological terms are correct and accurate. Remember, teaching the proper names of body parts does not mean that you should talk about sex with your preschool-aged child. Toddlers and preschoolers are way too young for any discussion of sex. With this age group, we are talking about body parts, not sexuality. Once your child has the right names for body parts, he or she may start asking questions. Embrace these questions, and answer them as honestly and age-appropriately as you can. Once you teach the proper names of parts and encourage questions, your child will probably come to you when he sees bumps, marks, or other things on his body that he didn’t notice before.
For parents of an older generation, it can be jarring to hear a little girl use the word vagina when talking about her body, or a boy using the word penis. For the child who is introduced to the proper terminology, it’s not a loaded word. It has nothing to do with sex, purity, virginity, morality, or guilt. So stop being embarrassed. As your child already knows, it’s no big deal.
Lesson 2: Teach Your Child to Be Self-Sufficient in the Bathroom
As soon as your child starts using the toilet, begin teaching the proper way to wipe—especially with girls, who can develop infections if they don’t wipe “front to back.” Boys may be a little more reticent—on the whole, they tend to be less fussy about cleanliness than girls are. But if you encourage your child to wipe correctly and clean the private area well, you will give your child (and yourself) a whole new level of independence. What does this have to do with abuse? A common grooming technique for predators of young children is to gain the trust of a child enough to be able to wipe him or her after going to the bathroom. It’s easy access that can quickly cross over into sexualized behavior. The sooner your child is independent, the less likely that a predator (who in these cases is usually a trusted family member) will have access to the child in the bathroom.
Lesson 3: Follow the “No Secrets” Rule
Kids, especially preschool-aged children, love the concept of secrets. It’s their way of creating a child-centric world that is full of fantasy, play, and a child’s sense of power. The problem is this: Secrets are a predator’s pal. This is one of the most important things you can teach your toddler or preschooler. There is a way to stop secrets and protect all of the children involved. It starts when your child is a toddler, with the “no secrets” rule.
Simply tell your child that you live in a house full of love—and people who love each other do not keep secrets. I promise you, your three-year-old won’t be confused or push back. Your child will be aware and have her guard up when an adult tries to create or keep secrets with her. She will know that something is wrong and that adults never ask children to keep secrets. Your child will also have the tools and awareness to be able to come to you directly when an adult wants to keep secrets.
Lesson 4: Don’t Force Hugging and Kissing
As a child, I hated hugging old men. It wasn’t because I thought they were creepy or had a bad experience with an older man when I was a young child. My reason was pretty simplistic: I hated the way I smelled afterward. But I was always forced to hug these men anyway. My parents never meant any harm. They just didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings and thought that these hugs were totally harmless. But the lesson I learned was far more insidious. In my little mind, I learned that when an adult wanted to touch me in a way I didn’t like, I had to submit. If I didn’t, I would hurt their feelings and disappoint my parents.
Do not force your child to hug or kiss anyone. Hugging and kissing adults are not signs of respect.
They are not signs of love when the child is forced or unwilling. And when you tell your child that adults don’t have to respect his or her body boundaries, you are doing the predators’ work for them. Let your child politely say no. If children learn that their space and body are respected, they are far more likely to understand and appreciate proper boundaries with all adults.
What do you do to replace the unwanted hug? Teach the handshake. Enforce the rule of eye contact and the smile. Don’t want to deal with germs? Teach your child to say, “Very nice to see (or meet) you,” and then tell the adult that your child is a petri dish of germs from school and that you don’t want to share any of the local viruses. The adult will gush over your polite child and thank you for your consideration, and everyone will win. Even a “fist bump” with eye contact and a smile is a great and respectful way for a young child to greet an adult, especially if your kid has the sniffles or its flu season.
Lesson 5: Embrace the Tattletale
If there was one thing you could do right now that would empower our nation’s kids, help prevent sexual abuse, hinder bullies, put criminals behind bars, and foster corporate and organizational transparency, you would do it, right? Well, you know how to do that? We have to stop punishing our tattletales. When toddlers or preschoolers come to you and say, “He called me a name,” “She won’t share,” “He’s crying,” “They were hitting,” they need your help to solve a problem. It is our job as parents to get to the root of the problem. We can use this teachable moment to show our children how to solve problems so the kids can get back to the business of playing. The tattlers are setting the bar for their peers. They are doing something else as well: They are being transparent about it. But when we punish tattletales, we are teaching our children to turn a blind eye to wrongdoing. We are teaching them that reporting wrongdoing is just as bad as committing the crime. And when we do that, we foster cover-up and enable predatory behavior and all other kinds of wrongdoing. We need to start thinking about tattling in a different way: It’s the closest thing that children have to “mandatory reporting.”
If you want your toddler or preschooler to be comfortable telling you about things, you can’t punish the child for reporting the bad things he or she sees and hears. In fact, if you want to foster communication with your growing child, you need to embrace these tattletale moments. Use them to help your child learn to solve problems, especially if the child is tattling in order to seek attention. Continually reassure your child that being transparent and truthful is an admirable quality. After all, honesty and refusal to turn a blind eye to wrongdoing are qualities that will keep your child safer from grooming, predators, and bullying, and will benefit him or her throughout life.
The preschool years are a magical time. You will never laugh so much, smile so often, and want to bang your head against the wall—all within a two-hour period—as you will with your toddler. Even though you may feel like you have no control over this small bundle of energy, it takes only a few small, simple changes to ensure his or her safety.
A former journalist, educator, and public relations professional, Joelle Casteix has taken her own experience as a victim of child sex crimes and devoted her career to exposing abuse, advocating on behalf of survivors, and spreading abuse prevention strategies for parents and communities. Casteix’s blog, The Worthy Adversary, is one of the leading sources for information and commentary on child sexual abuse prevention and exposure. A wanna-be ski bum, she lives in southern California with her husband and young son. Her new book The Well-Armored Child: A Parents Guile to Preventing Sexual Abuse is available on Amazon.com as well as at other fine booksellers. To learn more visit: WellArmoredChild.com, or visit her on Facebook.
Feeling sexy isn’t necessarily a physical thing but rather a state of mind. It really doesn’t matter what size or shape you are, as long as you fully accept who you are and how you look. That doesn’t mean that you think you’re perfect or don’t need improvement. It means that you support yourself throughout every step of your own journey including pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood. Many of us forget what tremendous change our bodies had to go through in order for us to give birth. It’s indeed a miracle, a miracle to be entirely proud of. This is where I’ve found–and you’ll find–complete, unapologetic confidence.
Being a mom makes you sexier because:
You feel like you can conquer the world
After seeing the capability of my own body, will and my strength, I am certain that I can achieve anything I put my mind to. I know that I walk differently and talk differently. I’ve evolved as a woman. I am now a mother. “I can do it” is my daily affirmation. Nothing can bring me down because I’ve endured nine months of physical exhaustion to bring a new life into this world. If that isn’t sexy, then I don’t know what is. Now, you need to understand what that means. Some people might get intimidated by a woman who holds her head up high (I’m not talking about arrogance), but knowing who you are and what you’re capable of makes you feel so good about yourself and shines a very energetic vibe onto those you encounter. Constantly remind yourself of all the obstacles you’ve overcome, all the great things you’ve achieved.
You have ambition and motivation
Having children changes your whole outlook on life. For many it also triggers the will of achieving more than what they’ve had before. Wanting to do better and providing only the best for your child becomes a top priority. Who doesn’t love a woman who’s focused on her goals, knows what she wants and is willing to work hard for it? That goes for men and women. I love seeing how motivated my husband is to start his own business, thinking of our future children and next generation. Working as a team and having each others back is even better as it balances out your hustle which you’d now share with your partner. And nothing is better than coming home to an appreciative partner and to reward each other for the hard work.
You are super caring
Women, especially mothers, are known to have a more caring trait to them. You get used to it by always checking on your kids, cleaning up, cooking, making sure they’re fed and so on… I’m going to break this one down in two. First, men love to be cared for. I think everyone does. Knowing that the person you like is concerned about your wants and needs makes them more attractive to you. Secondly, men tend to subconsciously fall in love with women who behave similar to their mothers.
Now, don’t get me wrong and start pampering him left and right but I’m saying that the carling, affectionate, loving trait of a mother is a beautiful thing that everyone needs to appreciate.
And never let the lack of appreciation make you doubt yourself. Know what you bring to the table.
You have physical sex appeal
I know this is one of the touchiest topic for most moms. Nonetheless, let’s face it; our bodies go through immense change to prepare for childbirth and it isn’t always easy to get back to the pre-baby body we’ve had or to workout at all. We’re back and forth between cooking, feeding, cleaning etc. all while trying to take care of ourselves. It’s very important to take a break when you need it and face one challenge at a time. Even with my stretchmark’s and wobbly tummy, I feel wonderful. The biggest mistake you could do now is to compare yourself to others. It’s a violation of self. Accept yourself, you’re beautiful. You’ve brought life into this world; there is nothing more amazing. When I say that I feel wonderful, I’m not saying that I wouldn’t want my body to look any other way. That would be a lie. But I love it now, I’ll love it later and whatever else I’ll go through – this is me and I refuse not to accept and love myself whole fully. I believe that self-love is the most important love; how else would you know what to give another person if you can’t even feel those emotions for your self?
GoldieBlox believes that girls are capable of anything, and they deserve to see brave, smart, heroic women they can relate to. Their mission is to inspire girls to take the lead — that’s why we created Ruby and Goldie – strong, positive role models who solve tough problems, invent things, and prove that girls should be more than just sidekicks.
Only 12 percent of protagonists in major Hollywood films are female. In movies across the board – G-rated, family films included – male speaking characters outnumber female speaking characters three to one. And although we want to think this is getting better, it’s not: the ratio of male-to-female characters in film has remained the same for 60 years.
GoldieBlox, known for their award-winning construction toys and action figures for girls, launched today their new video that speaks directly to the current conversation surrounding the lack of strong leading female characters in Hollywood blockbusters. Recently fueled by commentary from Jennifer Lawrence, Viola Davis, Kerry Washington, Cate Blanchett and Geena Davis, this is a hot topic. The video features GoldieBlox’s newest action figure, Ruby Rails, as the hero in some of the most iconic action movies of our time – highlighting the fact that women, especially women of color, are underrepresented in these roles. On a list of the top 500 films of all time, ranked by box office success, only one percent of films star women of color.
That’s six in 500, and the only live action movie of the six, Sister Act, was released in 1992.
Think about that: It’s been almost twenty-five years since we’ve had a top grossing live action film that was led by woman of color.
And only one film – not one percent , but just one single film – out of 500 was directed by a woman of color.
The rest of the stats from behind the camera aren’t any better.
You might think that the editing room is a respite for women in film and entertainment, but that’s not the case. In 2014, 15 percent of films had female directors, 20 percent had female writers, and a mere eight percent had female cinematographers.
Our girls deserve action heroes with flowing hair and combat boots. Our girls deserve to see themselves onscreen as well as calling the shots behind the scenes. Our girls deserve more.
If you’re the mom of a daughter, you know that girls are bombarded with unrealistic expectations of what they “should” look like. It can be heartbreaking, really, to hear them complain about their hair texture, skin color, height, weight and more…especially when you know they’re beautiful just the way they are.
Beauty anxiety is felt by girls as young as 10-years-old. In fact, 9 out of 10 girls want to change at least one thing about their physical appearance, according to Dove Girls’ Self Esteem Research 2010 and 2013. Dove believes everyone has the opportunity to help a girl navigate those feelings. The Dove Self-Esteem Project launches a new Self-Esteem Pinterest page to provide free self-esteem exercises, activities, and workshop guides to inspire women to embrace the opportunity to help the girls in their lives reach their full potential.
“The Dove Self-Esteem Project has long been delivering self-esteem education to young people to help them build positive self-esteem and reach their full potential,” said Jennifer Bremner, Director of Marketing, Dove.
“Dove recognizes that women and girls spend a great deal of time on social media. Now when girls need a self-esteem boost, the mothers or role models in their lives can rely upon practical and easy-to-use self-esteem inspiration right on their phones. Our new Dove Self-Esteem Pinterest page demonstrates the power and ease of mentorship, and we invite parents, teachers and any person with a girl in their life to join us in helping the next generation develop a positive relationship with beauty.”
The Dove Self-Esteem Pinterest Page offers every woman and girl a personal confidence-boosting board they can turn to when they need it most. The boards consist of more than 80 accessible, sharable pins, using educational curriculum developed by the Dove Global Advisory Board, that address:
· Five Self-Esteem Topics proven to have an impact on a girl’s body confidence and self-esteem, including ‘media and celebrity culture,’ ‘teasing and bullying,’ and ‘respecting yourself and self-care.’
· Sample Scenarios such as ‘Parent who suspects her daughter may be experiencing cyberbullying’ and ‘Parent who wants to increase their own self-esteem to be a role model for their daughter.’
The Dove Self-Esteem Project delivers self-esteem education to young people (primarily girls) 7-17 years-old through lessons in schools, activities for mentors, online resources for parents and partnerships with youth organizations like Girl Scouts of the USA and Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
Scrolling through my Instagram timeline the other morning, I was stopped in my tracks by an awesome image of Alicia Keys boxing underwater. It’s a recreation of Flip Schulke’s iconic series of Muhammad Ali boxing underwater, originally published in Life magazine in 1961. Under her pic by Brendan Forbes, she wrote:
I only got 28,000 of those days. So what the F**K am I waiting for?? 😉 Let me elaborate: (click link in bio) #inspiredbythegreatest #Ali #28000days
Yes, 28,000 days is the name of Alicia’s new single but it’s also a call for everyone to think about what you’re doing with your life and the precious time we have here. Are you wasting time hating on someone or feeling sorry for yourself, or are you enjoying life and attacking the challenges like they could be your last?
Alicia took to her site, AliciaKeys.com, to pen this revelation she’s had about life and I know I could relate, so I thought it would be great to share her with you moms who maybe feeling like you’re not giving life your all.
Here’s some of what’s in Alicia Keys ‘A Revelation’:
For as long as I can remember, I’ve hidden myself. It might have started in school when I realized that I caught on to things a little quicker, and teachers started to show slight favor to me, or use me as an example. I remember feeling like my friends would make fun of me or look at me as if I was different from them and so… I started hiding. Not intentionally, I didn’t mean to, but I did. Little pieces at a time.
I remember feeling that same way when I first started to get recognized as an artist. I had the baggy/braided/tough NY tomboy thing mastered, that was who I was (or who I chose to be) and I felt good there. Then, because of the way I spoke or carried myself, people started calling me gay and hard and I wasn’t gay, but I was hard and although I felt comfortable there, it made me uncomfortable that people were judging me and so slowly I hid that side of myself. I put on dresses and didn’t braid my whole head up, so people could see more of the “real” me, even though at that point I’m sure I was more confused then ever of what the real me was.
I became comfortable hiding, my intelligence, my physical appearance, my truths, my thoughts, myself.
And just the other day it hit me! OMG! Alicia!!! Why are you choosing to be that person?? That is so old and outdated!! STOP!!
You are allowed to be smart
You are allowed to be beautiful
You are allowed to be radical and have strong thoughts that others might not agree with
You are allowed to be tough
You are allowed to be sexy