August 27, 2008
My friends and I had a really interesting experience in our loft the other night. Six young and gorgeous women joined us for a party. Each of them could have been on the cover of a magazine. They all had great haircuts, cute figures, and beautiful skin. We were excited because it was like dressing human Barbie dolls. Guess what happened next.
Donna and I were waiting for one of the girls to need our help, and they started tearing themselves apart. One girl said she wanted to wait until she lost weight to try anything on. She had to have been about a size 6 or 8. Another girl tried on a dress and said she didn’t want to show her lumps and bumps. No matter what Donna and I said, they just wouldn’t stop putting themselves down. It was a real eye-opener.
We mostly work with women in their 30’s and 40’s. We always tell these women they’re gorgeous and point out their beautiful features. I have yet to see a woman lacking in the attractive attributes department. We usually succeed in showing women who shop with us that they are beautiful and helping them realize they are the only ones who notice their so-called flaws. Unfortunately, we didn’t influence these particular girls at all.
It started to make me think. Has the younger generation grown up with so many airbrushed images that promote the unrealistic idea of perfection that they can no longer recognize true beauty? Have they lived such a short time that they can’t remember an imperfect media image? Are we responsible for making these young women feel like they’ll never be beautiful enough? What can we do to change the way these girls feel about themselves? I hope they will learn that they are all stunning.
We can stop this trend now. We have the opportunity to help the next generation of young women love themselves.
I have a girlfriend who has two little girls. Even she is not immune to putting herself down. Listening to her call herself fat broke my heart. Not just for her, but for the pressure she is placing on her beautiful little girls. She usually wear a small or medium, has beautiful dark hair, great eyes, and a killer smile. She is also funny, interesting, and smart. She is teaching her girls that these qualities aren’t enough. Every time she calls herself fat, she defines what “fat” looks like to her girls. This mindset has to stop now!
We are an amazing gender. We care for our families. We are creative. We are smart. We love our friends and we care for those around us. When did that become insufficient? I challenge you, especially you mothers, to stop putting yourselves down. Figure out what it is that you like about yourself and focus on that quality. Tell your children that you love the way they look. Tell your children that you love the way you look. Let them grow up to believe that they are beautiful!
“Children seldom misquote you. In fact, they usually repeat word for word what you shouldn’t have said.” - Anonymous
Written by Gini Linnabery Swancy, CEO of AnatomyofStyle.com
August 25, 2008
Here are some more reasons why people should travel to other countries:
3. Learn something new.
Other countries have so much to offer other than the site-seeing and the food. There is always so much history in every country, and most of it is interesting. Now don’t go rushing to every museum and historical site, that would get boring. Take the time to people watch and see the things that have changed the country and make it special. You’ll be surprised how interesting it really is.
4. Expand your horizons.
Exploring a new place can seem scary especially if you’re unfamiliar with it or don’t speak the language, but don’t let that stop you from venturing out into the world. There is so much to see and learn from other people and their cultures. So what if you don’t know the language? Learn a few phrases to help you get by. So what if you’ve never had the food? Give it a taste. Always try something new because you never know how it could change your world.
August 21, 2008
School has started for most people, and I know how overwhelming school can be. I’m an editor for Student Life and yearbook, I participate on Student Council, Knights of Excellence, and I’m also a class delegate and a mentor. Believe it or not, I still want to take on more activities!
I wanted to share the importance of taking time out for your family, friends and most importantly, yourself. People always stress the importance of getting involved in school because it will help you in college. Don’t get me wrong, I think obviously think being involved is good. I’m just saying that you can succeed in high school and get into an awesome college without taking on a million of activities.
Your family and friends are the ones that help you take a break when you need one, and remember that it’s okay to ask for help or support when you need it. So just take time each week to be with your family and friends. Also, don’t forget to treat yourself for the hard work you do.
August 14, 2008
We are always looking for ways to improve Girls With Dreams! Take a quick survey and tell us what you think.
Or take the poll here.
August 13, 2008
Tip 3: Friends are key.
Who have you been spending time with this summer? Did your friends change? Who do you think you’ll spend time with this school year? Do your friends lift you up or pull you down? When you do well in school, are your friends happy for you or do they get jealous?
Take a moment and think about what the perfect friend means to you. Are those kinds of friends in your life now? If yes, great! If not, that’s okay, too. Middle school and high school can be a time in which your group of friends changes. Just recognize what qualities are important to you and you’ll find the right friends.
Pay attention to how you are being as a friend as well. As long as you’re being a good friend, you’ll naturally attract the right type of friends and develop healthy and supportive friendships.
August 12, 2008
Tip 2: Learn from last year.
In order to have your best year yet, take a peek at last year. What habits worked really well? Where did you achieve the biggest success? How did you do it? In what areas did you fail, and what did you learn from those experiences?
Based on your answers, examine the goals you set for yourself in Tip 1. Take what you learned here and apply it to your goals for this year. Make sure you don’t get hung up on past mistakes. The most successful people make lots of mistakes. It’s important to see them as opportunities for growth rather than failures. Just learn from them and move on!
August 11, 2008
I’ll be writing a back-to-school series over the next few weeks. I just heard a few of the schools in St. Louis started going back today! I thought most schools had at least a week or two left. Whether you’ve already gone back or are getting ready to, you won’t want to miss these tips They will help you have the best year ever.
Tip 1: Set goals for what you want to accomplish this year.
Stop and close your eyes for minute. What does the perfect year look like to you? Would it be singing in the school musical? Making the dance team? Earning a high GPA? Although your list might be long, pick three or four goals to focus on. Then, make sure you record them in a place you won’t overlooked. Write them on your school calendar, phone, or Post-It note.
Be sure to check back for Tip 2 later this week! If you have other tips for getting ready for school, we’d love to hear them!
August 1, 2008
I was sad that the week had to end! I met an incredible group of young women I know you’ll be hearing more about in the future. We talked about a few key things today before we celebrated: Giving Back and How to Make Your Dream Happen.
It’s so easy to get caught up in our own lives that we can forget to stop and help each other or consider how our choices affect the world around us. So, take a look at how you give back. Do you volunteer? Are you involved in any projects at school or church that help the community? Do you recycle or think about other ways to help the environment?
When it comes to your own dreams, it’s important to also have a plan. Talk to people who are doing what you want to do. See if you can get an internship or volunteer at an organization that will help you determine what you really want. Never give up or take no for an answer! We’re going to have more discussions about your dreams in our Book Club Series kicking off in August!
I want to thank all of the girls who spent the week with me at Lewis and Clark. I learned so much from all of you and admire each of you for your beauty, courage and dreams!