The Brassy Gal

So this little beauty doesn’t have a real name as of yet, but she is truly a beauty.  It’s probably the most ‘normal’ chandelier I have bought to date.  It was a steal of a deal on craigslist and I sent my wonderful long suffering husband to drive an hour to pick it up.

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His exact words to me on the phone were “it’s really a lot of brass…” with his voice trailing off.  I laughed and said that she was getting a fresh coat of paint.  White paint that is.  Mr. Wonderful has been pestering me ever since I finished our kitchen chandelier to do another white chandelier.  A beautiful pearly white.

I’ve wanted to work with one of these dual level chandeliers for a long time…this picture does not do it justice in any way but she will be a thing of beauty when I’m finished.

 

Stop Hating Your Body

I wrote this for the Daily Hiit, but it’s something I needed to share.

In the world today it is almost impossible to go through life without having the unattainable standards of the media and Hollywood having an affect on your psyche.  Multiple times a day advertisements, T.V. shows, movies, and clothing labels are barraging the public with their own standards of beauty.  Not even promoting anything resembling health.  It is a media storm that is driven by the belief that beautiful people sell beautiful things.  The belief that if you buy this product you too can resemble those who grace the ads, big screens, and airwaves.

Body image issues have become the prime issue facing everyone from fashion houses to Hollywood to magazines.  The idea of the “real woman” made its heyday attacking the super slim figures walking down the runways.  Beneath the exterior of the “real woman” campaign is much more than the desire to see different body types and sizes modeling clothing.  At its heart the drive is much more individually based.  When confronted with images of women who seemingly have no flaws, the flawed woman who is watching is confronted with her own body and sees it right on the page or the screen and does a comparison.  Down to the minutia.  Women hate not only being confronted with the idea that there is only one female body type that is considered beautiful but also they hate being confronted with their own body image issues as if those imperfections hold more sway in their mind then their college degrees or children or personality.

There is not just one beautiful female body as there is not one ‘perfect’ mother, wife, sister, daughter, or friend.  Changing a negative body image starts and ends with one thing.  Perception.  What you see in the mirror is determined by your outlook on life, your goals, your triumphs and setbacks, and pain.  It is no different than how you view a painting.  What a woman sees in the Mona Lisa varies drastically from what a man sees.  Body hatred exists because it is negatively perceived and negatively categorized.

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The little rolls of fat deposits around your waist and hips?  Those aren’t your most hated stumbling block.  They exist because you are a woman and genetically pre-disposed to more fat than men.  They are also a way of keeping you alive should famine or loss or starvation hit you.  It’s your body’s insurance policy on itself.

The thighs?  The thunder thighs you call them?  They happen to be the largest group of muscles on your body.  The largest fat burning grouping of muscles on your body.  They are strong because you need them to be.  They make it possible to run miles or pick up your children from the floor countless times a day.

There is nothing on or in your body that you hate.  Nothing at all.  From personal experience, what you really hate are your choices.  Choices that may be personal, dietary, or those skipped workouts.  It’s not about the fat on your body.  Are you putting in the effort into changing your body that you put into hating it?  Strangely enough your body is whats going to change you.  If it is fueled by positive thoughts, love, proper diet, and exercise it will reward you.  Your body is not the problem.  The way you think is.

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Everyone comes in different sizes.  They face trials and setbacks no one knows about.  Perhaps one is at risk for diabetes or another for breast cancer or another for MS.  At the end of the day what others look like or how much they weigh is not the issue, the issue is whether we approach our own situation positively.  Change if you want to change or don’t change.  But become comfortable in your body and love who you are.

You are who you choose to be.

Daily Hiit Blog Posts Updated

Sorry for the long absence…it gets hectic in life a times as we all know.  But I did want to take time out to give you all an update on the blogging that I have done, as a Featured Blogger, over at the Daily Hiit.

I’m going to link to the posts that have done extremely well on the site as well as those I really feel strongly about.  You know, just so you get a good mix.  Please hit the like button on the post for me if you read them!

Anorexia Memoirs: Are We Adding To the Problem?

Super Bowl=Single Largest Sex Trafficking Incident in the US

What I Learned From Ditching My Scale

A Different Take on the Thigh Gap Craze (one of my favorites)

Homeless Veteran Undergoes Makeover

11 Differences Between Dating a Man vs. a Boy

How to Strip Women of Their Achievements

Sorry for the deluge…there are a lot more.  Feel free to peruse.

Study in Silver Proposal

So here it is.

Earlier last month Study in Silver was purchased by a gentleman from Pennsylvania over Etsy and he had a fantastic idea for its use.

He was going to use it to propose to his girlfriend.  I was floored.  So without further ado, here are two photos that he gave me permission to use on the blog.

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The rather romantic gentleman used flickering lights in the chandelier which really seemed to increase the drama.  Isn’t the couple just beautiful?

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Now isn’t she one lucky woman?

Thank you so much Tung, for letting me provide a fraction of the romance for  your proposal.  I wish you all the happiness in the world for you and your wonderful fiance.

Are these mannequins too thin?

Original Daily Mail article here.  I had to post this, it was just so incredibly shocking.

How super-thin store mannequins with implant-shaped breasts are redefining Venezuela’s idea of a ‘normal’ body shape.

Super-thin Venezuelan mannequins with breast implant-shaped torsos are being blamed for the country’s growing body-image problems.  The nation’s body ideal of a large chest, tiny waist, and long legs, is now being represented in retailers’ window displays around the country.  Their shape reflects the one requested in plastic surgery offices across the country, many of which are frequented by women with low incomes who set aside daily necessities to save up for breast implant surgeries.

The trend represents a change from the catwalk model-shaped mannequins (like those common in the U.S.) that previously filled stores.  Nereida Corro, the co-owner of a mannequin factory in Valencia told the New York Times: ‘The mannequins were natural just like the women were natural, [but now] the transformation has been both of the women and of the mannequin.’

In fact, mannequin factories in around the country were struggling to make ends meet until they decided to redesign the figures to reflect their native country’s voluptuous beauty standard, which women often earn through multiple plastic surgeries.  Boutique owners who have begun using the mannequins have noticed a spike in sales.  Yaritza Molina, a boutique owner in Coro says that she has ‘lots of clients that come here [to the store] and say “I want to look like that mannequin.’ She often tells them: ‘”OK, then get an operation.”’

The New York Times says that while there is no strong numerical information to demonstrate plastic surgery’s boundless popularity in Venezuela, the practice has become a definitive cultural norm–so much so that surgery has become a casual conversation topic among young women.  Bodies that have been operated on are now considered ‘normal’ body shapes, rather than altered ones. Unaltered body types, they say, are considered sub-par as they do not express the country’s beauty ideal.

In a way, the new mannequin trend corroborates this ideal, by showing women how clothes are supposed to fit on their figures.  Plastic surgeries’ prevalence has become so widespread in recent years that Venezuela’s longtime leader Hugo Chávez who died in March, once publicly spoke out against the practice. He felt it was ‘monstrous’ how women with low incomes were placing a greater priority on the pricey surgeries instead of daily expenses like food and proper shelter.

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The Times reports that the average breast augmentation surgery in Venezuela costs around $6,350—approximately three months’ worth of living expenses.  One of the more influential proponents of Venezuela’s naturally unattainable body ideal is the Miss Venezuela pageant. The competition is an immensely popular broadcast among women.   Osmel Sousa, the pageant’s leader who has been responsible for producing many Miss Universe wins says that he considers a woman’s appearance somewhat malleable. ‘If it can be easily fixed with surgery, then why not do it?’ he said of small, common beauty ‘defects’, like an imperfect nose or smaller breasts.  In fact, he feels that ‘inner beauty doesn’t exist. That’s something that unpretty women invented to justify themselves.’  His statements may sound drastic, but for women like Daniela Mieles, they feel very real.

Mieles’ family runs a tiny rooftop mannequin production company. In the last few years she has gradually helped steer the company’s products towards reflecting Venezuela’s changing body ideal.  She says that Venezuela’s understanding of physical appearance entails a focus on overall perfection, rather than individual assets. ‘Beauty is perfection, to try to perfect yourself more and more every day,’ she said.  In turn, Mieles has begun wishing for a body that reflects those of her family’s mannequins. She and her husband have begun to save money for her to get breast implant surgery.  If they save enough, Mieles could one day resemble what Molina describes as a ‘princess.’  ‘These are the princesses,’ Molina told the New York Times of two mannequins placed side-by-side in her store. ‘Because they have the best bust.’

I find it incredibly sad that the unaltered and real body is considered sub-par in Venezuela…it seems to be a trend that is not far off from reaching the United States.