Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Am I Pretty or Ugly?

After you read this, I want you to share this. I want you to send it to your friends and family. I want your daughters, nieces, granddaughters, students, neighbors, etc, to watch these videos.

This is serious stuff, and sharing on FB isn't enough because guess what? The majority of these girls who are affected by the media and self-esteem issues are young, and they're getting younger.

I also want to recognize, before going any further, that this does occur in men and boys also, but the videos I've found specifically address women, so if I find some strong notes on men, I'll post on that another time. But for now, maybe even show boys these videos as well. It might just be beneficial.

Little girls, starting at the age of 5, sometimes younger, are concerned that they aren't pretty enough. They've resorted to asking strangers on YouTube if they're pretty or ugly. And the comments don't help! There are actually folks out their, other children, teens, and adults, who are encouraging this denial of beauty to these young, impressionable ladies by leaving terrible comments!

You can search the words, "Am I Pretty" into YouTube, and MILLIONS of results show. Look at that number. Look at this video. This is the first one that pops up. The top comment? A very hateful message left for this child. Keyword: Child!

I saw this next video a while ago, posted to FB from Upworthy. It included a compilation of these little girls, but they recently changed it instead to show teens who embrace their quirky characteristics. I decided to attach it, even though the original message has changed, to show some uplifting words from girls. The video is linked directly below.


And I have one more quick point to add before leaving today. This TED Talk that was posted, presented by an actual model. Her answer to the question that all young women ask her, "How can I become a model," is something I would never expect. But she makes a great point. And if you're curious to hear what she has to say, watch this video too.

Watch more. Talk to the young ladies in your life who trying to understand the meaning of beauty. Sit down and have a talk with them. Watch YouTube together, read inspirational books, watch documentaries. Show them what beauty is and what it is not. It's not in the media. Those pictures, videos, movies, aren't real. Let them know.

And above all, tell them that They Are BEAUTIFUL! (And so is everyone else, we don't need them to continue to tear others down.)

Thank you,
<3 Tawny

P.S. I hope that you do share these, at least with one person.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Today, I Went To Church

And it was very new to me, but also a little refreshing.

I attended a service that, before it even started, stated that no one in the room had to believe or agree with a word that was said. There was no prayer, there was no communion, there was no scrutiny for not contributing to the collection plate, just a wonderful welcoming crowd of individuals.

The first part of the day was a small class called Intersections, where we learned about opposite strengths and how we use those to our advantage, staying in our comfort zone, eventually getting stuck, and finding a way to push out of that zone and into a new feeling of refreshment. But what does that have to do with religion or church? It means everything that it's all based off of.

Love, appreciation, and understanding: Not just of others, but of ourselves.

And that's what the service was about today also. The topic? Trust and Tolerance. And who facilitated the service? Not a priest/minister/father, etc. But a professor with his doctorate in Philosophy of Religion. A man who spent years studying literature of many different religions. A man who understands the basis of human beings.

I went to a Unitarian Universalist church. :)

But unlike many churches that I've been to, as soon as we walked in the door, we were greeted with open arms and a plethora of handshakes. We met just about everyone before the first session had even started. Everyone joked and laughed and it wasn't like other churches that I had been to, where everyone was serious and grumpy because they were up at 6am on a Sunday morning. Nope. It started at 10am instead and there was coffee and tea for everyone to enjoy while they sat in session or at service.

And, there were the traditional aspects of candle lighting, concern/joy voicing, greeting your neighbors, and there was even a cutesie little hymn at the end.

Then there was a potluck after, but we didn't stay for it, though. I gotta ease into the whole business.

Anyway, I may go again next week. Part 2 of the intersections session is next week!

Thanks for reading,
<3 Tawny

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Planning a Wedding

And spending thousands of dollars on a 6 hour event scares the living crap out of me.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm excited and everything about getting married in the future. It's what I've wanted since like, I was 5 years old. And I've been pinning random ideas for the past couple of years on a board called, "Someday". But now, thinking about actually Buying things? Spending all of my money on this event? It's scary. It's even scarier knowing that I have champagne taste with beer pockets!

I'm getting the question,"Is there a date yet?" I wish I had an answer! No! there's no date. There's no budget. There's no solidified ideas yet even! I get asked this question, and you know what happens in my brain? Whirlwinds of information, thoughts, fears, numbers, logistics, etc. *shakes head quickly with widened eyes*

Here's why:
I went to this website, saw this buzzfeed post, and a ton more other information out there that was just... overwhelming. One blog post said something along the line of, Think of a budget. Now add $20,000 more to that. and That's how much your wedding will be. NO. Thank YOu.

I laugh every time an article says, "Traditionally the bride's family pays for this and the groom's family pays for that..." HA! Ain't no one got the funds for that. I've seen enough episodes of SYTTD to know that allowing others to pay means they have to like it. Sorry. But I ain't about that life either.

Then it's the logistics. My family is in WI. My bff is in IL. His family is in NC and FL. How is this even going to be possible? Where are we going to go? Because I sure as heck don't want a TX wedding! (No offense y'all!)

It's just all too scary to think about!

The Dress Alone is Enough to Freak Out About:
I actually tried on a few dresses one day with a couple of friends. Just for a little stress reliever... Yeah um, I put one dress on, and I felt naked. I said it was because of the dress, but I felt naked in all of them. For some reason, it just felt wrong, like I wasn't supposed to be there. I don't know why either! I love looking at them and everything, but trying things on, was a whole new experience.

A new collection came out at David's Bridal. I saw one dress and thought, I want this. My best friend said that I needed it. Desperately. I looked at the price... $1350. Not including the veil(if I choose to have one), alterations, shoes, jewelry, etc. etc. That's way more than half of what I would want to spend on a dress. If my dream dress is going to cost me that much, how much am I going to pay for a classy-ass wedding? I ain't doin' no outdoor barn wedding with mason car candles. I mean, it's cute and all, but I am not a country girl. And neither is Chris. Which is great and all, but that means we have more expensive taste now.

I Just Don't Wanna:
Every time I look at a magazine/website/blog post/Pinterest item now. I start mentally hyperventilating and tell Chris, "You plan this thing. I don't wanna do it anymore." Is that bad? Are my feelings to blame? Am I being over-dramatic? I don't know. This is Not like planning a residence hall program. I don't have the qualifications for this. hahah

Just know this. Right now, I have no answers. On anything. And I don't know if I'm ready to find those answers.

Thanks for reading,
<3 Tawny

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Motivational Porn

When life is great and we're sailing along, getting things done, and convincing ourselves that we're going to change the world. We don't need any help with motivation! The world is in our hands!

But then life starts becoming a little difficult or we have that one last paper to write before a vacation, and all motivation to continue is lost. We just don't care anymore.

Then we look for someone else to pick up the slack that our mind gave up on.

Why can't we use the same drive -- the kind we have when we wake up on that rare Sunday morning, clean the entire home, do all the laundry, iron everything down to the underwear, catch up on every show that we're behind on, finish the crafts we've been neglecting, call all of our family members, and read 100+ pages of our favorite book, all before 3pm -- on the mundane things in life?

Why is it that, as soon as we actually have to do something, we now have no more motivation?

For example: the end of semester is coming up and you have a schiesty ton of work to do. Two assignments "standing in the way" between you, and a long awaited break. What do you do?

  • Complain to FB
  • Watch Netflix until the last possible hour
  • Search Pinterest for quotes from a historical figure to help push you through
  • Tell yourself that the faster and harder you work now, the more time you'll have to enjoy everything else later
The answer? 9 times out of 10 it's probably not the last choice. But why not?

In my opinion, the answer is simple. We live in a society that encourages knowledge and education, but ignores the reality of hard work. A society that pushes for balance, but rewards those who become experts in one small detail of life. There's too much pressure put on us to be this perfect, well-rounded, intellectually balanced person. But then again, if you're a smart scientist, you won't get nearly as much recognition for your work than an upcoming movie star who's already been treated for two drug addictions. 

I think we should stop focusing on what the world wants us to be, and start putting more faith in what We want to be individuals, what We can contribute to the greater good.

Time to Re-Evaluate:
If you're in a job where you need constant motivation to get through a day. Get out.
If you're in school and you're constantly screening quotes for the perfect combination of words to get you through a semester. Maybe you should rethink your education. 

Why are you where you are in the first place? 

Why are you still there?

Why Aren't you somewhere else?

Who's looking up to you? (I think we forget that aspect constantly.)

Who do you want to be?

Who can you be? (The answer is anyone you want.)

You are the only one in charge of your happiness. If you're not where you want to be, FIX IT. Stop relying on others and take on the world the way you planned to when you were that ambitious little 6 year old who couldn't wait to grow up.

Thanks for reading again,
<3 Tawny