Empowerment and inspiration to brighten your every day.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Call To Action Against Street Harassment: A New Approach

 Artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh has created a movement "Stop Telling Women To Smile", which challenges societal norms and rejects the general response women are told to have when met with harassment. While street harassment is not a female-only issue, it impacts everyone, women are generally conditioned to remain silent and to respond "in a flattered way" when cat-called at. Stand up against street violence, LGBTQ violence, stalking, and cat-calling, by joining the Hollaback! movement at: http://www.ihollaback.org/

To see more of Tatyana's revolutionary campaign, visit: http://www.tlynnfaz.com/Stop-Telling-Women-to-Smile

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Making Big Moves: How To Nail A Job Interview

Four months ago I met an incredible woman, Professor Linda Babcock, author of "Why Women Don't Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide". Hearing her speak has changed the way I view job interviews and taking serious steps towards my career. Generally, we are conditioned to be polite and not ask many questions when in the presence of someone powerful (i.e.- a boss, CEO). Studies prove that being confident and able to negotiate yields higher salaries and bigger job opportunities. Lately, I have gone on some pretty intimidating interviews, and as I nervously waited to be called into their offices I realized something. People are just people, and you should not be intimidated. Here are some of my quick tips on how to be a strong candidate for job offers:

1. Before you leave for the interview, give yourself a self-esteem boost. (listen to upbeat music, eat or drink something you love, dress in a way that makes you look professional, feel comfortable, and makes you happy.)

2. Breathe deeply before entering the waiting room: the more you prepare yourself the less anxious you will feel. Remind yourself what an asset YOU would be to the company or business. 

3. Upon meeting the person: smile, give a firm handshake, and maintain eye contact throughout the interview. Confidence is essential, and they will pick up on that. Also, research their company so that you are knowledgeable if they ask you about their work. 

4. Describe your diverse skills, languages you speak, previous work experience, and then add something that makes you stand out in the workforce. It is not the time to be shy about your accomplishments, so bring an updated and detailed resume. 

5. Lastly, it is okay to ask them back questions. The more alert and involved you are in your interview the more engaged they will feel. 

Be positive, you are going to do amazing things, XO.

Monday, August 12, 2013

A Twisted Obsession: A Thigh Gap?

Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr sites have exploded over the past year with accounts obsessing and promoting "thigh gaps". So, what is the big craze about? Young girls seem to idolize models and celebrities that have a considerable space between their legs. After doing some research, it appears that accounts have been set up on Instagram with inaccurate calorie intake charts, endorsing starvation and fasting as an effective method of "thigh-gapping". Long-term fasting and calorie counting impacts your mental health, disrupts your cycle, and causes your organs to break down. So, instead of taking dangerous hormone replacements, getting plastic surgery, and wasting your life away in hopes of having an unhealthy body shape: understand that life is more than a few centimeters. Exercise + Organic, Healthy Foods + Body Acceptance = A Naturally Beautiful You. Yay for thighs that love each other and kiss while you walk ;)

There is a new app for your phone or iPod, "Leg Exercises- Personal Trainer for Leg Exercises" to make your legs look even better than they already do.

*Report any sites you see that support eating disorders.

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Problem With The Phrase "Real Women Have Curves"

Generally, the saying "Real women have curves" is used as a device to empower women to embrace their natural body type and shape. In many cases it is true that women have curves, but not ALL women are born with big chests and hourglass waists. Perhaps, this now-mainstream phrase is undermining the purpose of body empowerment and acceptance. Magazines, TV Shows, and other media outlets condition women and men to believe that skinny figures are achievable through unhealthy means. They neglect the fact that many women are naturally slender, and are equally as beautifully. We are sometimes told that curves are not accepted by society, yet it seems that those who possess thin arms and small chests are bullied, too. Emma Gray, of the Huffington Post, wrote an informative article about the hypocritical stigma surrounding being born thin and being raised in a world that constantly changes and negates what a beautiful body must look like. Whether your body is shaped like an O or an I, know that you are the one that is perfect, it is society that needs help. LOTS OF CURVES OR A FEW CURVES, LOVE YOURSELF! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/12/things-to-never-say-to-a-skinny-woman_n_3581600.html?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women. <3

Sunday, June 23, 2013

How To Be Content With Your Life and Seize Your Dreams

There is no secret recipe to leading a pleasant and empowering lifestyle, it really is quite simple. The more we empower ourselves at a young age, the more successful adults we will become. It is also never too late to become empowered. Follow my 3 steps to taking charge of your life and your goals, because no goal is too big to be achieved.

Step 1: Enter The Mindset That You Are Deserving Of A Positive Life: Try this exercise, stand in front of a mirror immediately after you awaken. Focus your eyes on your reflection, while visualizing a particular goal. Now repeat, "Today and everyday I am deserving of a happy life. I will not be afraid of those that stand in my way, for I am powerful."

Step 2: Come To Terms With Your Past: Society tends to use the word "demon" and "how to come to terms with your demons". It is necessary that you tell yourself that no trauma in your past can hold you from a wonderful future, because "no pain including loss is infinite". Once we acknowledge that the cycle of negativity  (bullying, abuse, poor self-esteem, etc.) is breakable, the future becomes tangible.

Step 3: Continue Your Quest For Your Dreams: Never Take "NO" For An Answer. Never give up on yourself, you can always negotiate in order to reach a goal. Fear is what causes both women and men from asking for a raise or promotion in the workplace. Realize that in your personal life, in order to make your relationships stronger you must be decisive and know what you want.

Take a deep breath! Life is beautiful and you are on your way to a good life :-)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Standing up for our men and women of service: Anti-sexual assault of both genders in the military

CNN recently covered the long overshadowed topic of sexual assault and harassment in the armed forces. The news outlet states, "The Defense Department estimated that more than 26,000 troops experienced an episode of 'unwanted sexual contact,' a huge jump from the 19,300 figure in the 2010 report." When divided per day, 70 reported cases of assault occur daily in the military. For years, I hoped that activists and the media would shed light on this highly controversial issue. Just like in cases of out-of-military rape and sexual assault, far too many cases go unreported and far too few rape kits are used. President Obama vowed last month to hold attackers accountable by striping them of their military positions and dishonorably discharging them. We hope that these measures follow through and that military members are taught to not assault in the first place, because while after-the-fact advocacy is imperative, preventative training and strict prosecution must be implemented in all military branches. To help raise awareness and to urge survivors to report their stories, visit: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/951/654/552/obama-bypass-congress-to-confront-rape-in-the-military/?z00m=20561797

Sunday, June 2, 2013

#ChimeForChange: How To Perpetuate Women's Empowerment

Rise and Shine received an incredible outpouring of donations for Chime For Change, the live concert hosted by Beyonce, Madonna, and Salma Hayek on NBC tonight. It is through the advocacy and generosity of our communities that allow for change to become a reality. The theme of this concert, women's rights and empowerment, had an unbelievable amount of men vowing to end violence towards women and promote equality and greater education. :)

Our six donations turned into EIGHT donations and went to:

  • "Help End Sex Trafficking - Support Survivor Stories" via Equality Now ($100.00)
  • "Supporting Single Mothers in Ukraine" via the Global Fund for Women ($50.00)
  • "Projecting Courage Through Film", an initiative to create films shedding light on child marriage ($40.00)
  • "Building The Power To End Street Harassment", to end catcalling and stalking of women, via Hollaback! ($20.00)
  • "Halt FGM", to include men in focus groups to promote advocacy to end Female Genital Mutilation, via The Coexist Initiative ($30.00)
  • "Protect Women's Rights Defenders in South America" via Global Fund for Women ($30.00)
  • "The Red Alert System", to find missing women and girls in areas with drug cartels, via Coalition Against Trafficking in Women ($80.00)
  • HIV/AIDS care to women in Uganda and Ecuador via UNAIDS($50.00)

Thank you again, and please visit http://www.chimeforchange.org/ to help fund projects or create one of your own. Change begins today.